MATALAM, North Cotabato (MindaNews / 5 Oct) – In my more than three decades of writing (reckoned from the time I was chosen Editor of the university school paper in 1981-1984), not once did it occur to me that I can do a creative compilation of stories I have written and make a book out of it. Creative, because there were quite a lot of them already but I have to choose only those stories that connect and inter-relate with one another so that they can be grouped into chapters.
Not only should the stories fall under distinct chapters where each would rightfully belong. I would like to come up with a book that chronicles the experiences of a family that evolved through time which, of course, necessarily starts with me as an individual. If there is such a thing as “family autobiography,” then this is it. And so, therefore, a chronological arrangement of the stories is essential.
Toying with the title was not easy, but since my favorite topics had been my encounters with people, places, events, the environment, and how the whole gamut of things derive to influence a family in the making, I have aptly called the book “Family Affair.” In a capsule, the book is all about the story of a family that tried to assert its presence and essence in a setting and place where it created its own “comfort zone.”
As a “family autobiography” that chronicles its struggles, failures, and successes, I tried to avoid the monotony of just creating a litany of dates, activities, and events. I tried to avoid that by creating autonomous stories in every episode while making sure that they appropriately connect and inter-relate, albeit they are relevant components of the whole “family affair.”
As you shift through the pages you will be brought to different themes, events, encounters, and experiences each of which create an indelible mark that guides you as you negotiate your way through the journey called LIFE.
However, please be sure that you are emotionally healthy because the stories are guaranteed to catapult you into varying emotions as you splurge into them. For example: you will feel in love with the story “Musing Over a Puppy Love,” “First Love,” “First Kiss,” and more. Yes, there were love stories appended into the book as the spice of life is never complete without it. Even the movie “Titanic,” which was supposed to be a story of tragedy, was romanticized.
You will cry with me as you read the story “Guilt Over My Sister’s Death,” and “Last One for the White Handkerchief.” You will understand my struggles and how I won over them in the story “Chasing Dreams,” laugh your heart out over the story “How I Became a Motornapper,” feel adrenalin surge with the story “The Jump of My Life” and “In the Shoes of the Exorcist.” This story, modesty aside, won me an award in my blog “Maxim Sense” at www.maxim061156.wordpress.com.
You will be delightfully entertained by my creative story “How a Total Stranger Changed me Without Saying a Word,” understand how grand parenting shifts high and low in the face of a naughty grandchild, whom I refuse to give her that tag anyway, in the story “My Two-Year-Old Granddaughter Taught me Something New,” understand me more as you read the story “How I Want to be Pampered on Father’s Day,” and probably, appreciate me as a lover, partner, husband and friend as I dedicate love poems to my wife.
Finally, I beg the indulgence of those who still believe in that larger-than-life yuletide character whom we have always known as the generous Santa Claus. Whether he was more of a mythical persona or someone who was exceedingly generous in the past but feels more comfortable by not confiding his identity, is something that no longer merits a fact-check. And I said I beg your indulgence because I made a humorous take on Santa Claus, that larger-than-life persona who almost equaled the popularity of the Nativity, in my story “Letter to Santa Claus.”
I don’t understand why Santa Claus has to leave Mrs. Claus alone in the cold, on the eve of Christmas, when Mrs. Claus needs him most. I don’t understand how Santa Claus could reach out to children in every corner of the world and find out who’s naughty or nice to deserve a Christmas present. His sleigh pulled by work animals led by Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer, must be travelling at the speed of light to be able to do all the impositions he had assigned to himself.
Well, you have to get a copy of the book to believe what I say.
(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. Maugan P. Mosaid holds a doctorate degree in rural development. He is a planning consultant and teaches Statistics and Methods of Research in the graduate school. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)