Aside from the web logs of the merry bunch of geeks I like to call my pals, Ive been regularly checking out the web logs of 2 other people, both famous, both successful. After I get my fair-and-balanced dose of what's going on in the rest of the world (CNN for mainstream media news and GNN and World Net Daily for guerilla news--the latter 2 news sites tend to cancel each other out), I check out the following blogs:
Dean Francis Alfar's Notes from the Peanut Gallery. I dont exactly remember how I came upon this site. I think I was blankly clicking on links on other blogsites just so my click finger had something to do after my brain post-prandially shut down. What a find. In it youll find a record of Alfar's life and thoughts on a whole gamut of things like writing as a creative endeavor, the foibles of running a business, being a dad, and exterminating cockroaches. It has links to his works and sometimes you get a glimpse on how stories form in his mind. He isnt at all stingy with his ideas, probably because he's confident that there's more where they came from (or probably because he can unleash the power of a famous lawfirm on you--I dont know). I found out later that Dean Alfar has won 8--eight!--Palanca awards including this year's for best novel, and I went 'ah'. He has parlayed that creative talent into running successful media companies called Kestrel Studios and Kestrel IMC. The only other person I know who's done that is Carlo J. Caparas who parlayed his komiks writing talent into Golden Lion Productions which had a string of hits with their massacre movies. The titles always followed the formula "The [place] Massacre: [Short ejaculatory prayer]" Like Caparas, Dean Alfar is also into komiks. I'd like to see these 2 get together and chat about komiks. (Carlo J. Caparas's komiks novel Somewhere I think is one of the best in his genre. Alas, I also think he did his best creative work as a writer. He understood his particular medium of short four-to-six page, six-panels-a-page chapters. As a film director though...)
Jessica Zafra's Twisted. I must confess I wasnt a fan. Ive read only one piece she did for Today and it was something about her plucking her hair out by the roots, and it involved a man. It was well written, but I found it sad. I never read another piece after that until I found a piece she's written for the Standard while on a plane. I also saw her on TV once. She had a TV show, but I didnt get to be a regular viewer because I thought one of her co-hosts looked too happy to be there, and after a few minutes of watching, I knew why: He knew how lucky he was to be there. But I was fascinated by her fans, some of whom worship her as a goddess. She has touched something in them. Or maybe she has put her finger on some lost undercurrent of culture which she generously dispenses to those seeking some. I found out about her site while browsing through an internet forum and decided to take a look. I can see why she has a following. Her pieces are witty and entertaining. I dont see anything in it so far that would merit undying loyalty, but perhaps she cultivated that during Twisted's run in print. I daresay we can classify Jessica Zafra as a cultural icon; someone who's grown bigger than her work. I havent figured out what that culture is exactly though but that's no mean feat for someone who writes for a living.