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Saturday, April 27, 2013


The following untitled piece is my first piece of writing.  I’m not sure but I think I wrote it when I was about  two years old.  With this blog post, I am humbled to offer the world release of this historic work:

The grass is green.

The sun is out shining.

The sun burnt the grass.

I know—so young, and already I had a dark side!  Anyway, this piece of writing is also the text to my first book!  Entonces, I thought  to make a mini-book replicating this first book, a 1/1 edition which I’m sure no longer exists—it was left behind in Baguio City, Philippines where I grew up as a youngster.

By the way, I know of my first book not because I remember writing it.  I just grew up hearing my mom’s recollection of the incident.  After I read my words to her, my mother apparently played along with much enthusiastic encouragement.  She even helped me fashion bookshelves from shoe boxes for more books!

So, this mini-book, My First Book, is the first replication of what I created when I was a toddler.  When I began SitWithMoi, I thought I would create such a book, but only was moved finally to do so when I received a card announcement of an exhibition of Larry Poons paintings at Danese, New York.  I thought the reproduced painting was so gorgeous that I wanted to use it as the cover to My First Book:

The card was large enough to be folded into front and back covers as well as the verso cover pages to a 2” x 1.5” book:

You would open the book to see the title page

You then would turn the page to a page with a green highlighter scrawl (I didn't have crayons around so used highlighters instead) at the bottom of the page.  That’s right—I didn’t use words to write my first book.  I don’t think I knew how to write then.  But I obviously could conceptualize.  So I scribbled green across the page and would interpret it to Mom as “The grass is green”

You’d turn the page to see similar treatment—yellow highlighter blob atop page—that I would interpret as “The sun is out shining”

And you’d turn the page to see brown crayola (I did find a brown crayon) on the bottom of the page for my interpretation, “The sun burnt the grass”

The colors unfortunately bleed through the slim pages – but that’s okay as that allowed me to create a summary of the story:

Having gotten this far in making this book, I was feeling so pleased with it that I decided it deserves an author photo!  And so I went through my mother’s stuff because I knew she had childhood photos of me.  I decided on this one—I was at elementary school:

I chose that photo because of what Mom wrote on its back, which so displayed the love and pride she felt for me … not just for me but for all her children; she was a very encouraging parent:

Eileen, on their promotional program. The little rolled paper is her “diploma”.  It is a paper with 3 sentences bearing the best wishes of her teachers and the principal. I think she is almost 5 feet tall now.

I remember those white shoes in the photo (white shoes! How retro!). I was so happy Mom got me the pair, and so pleased with moiself for having them J

Anyway, as I would say in an Author's Note in the book, I dedicate the book to my mother, Beatriz Tilan Tabios, for all of her encouragement to me.

So, where shall we “shelve” my first book?  I think on a white chair to match those white shoes!  Let’s shelve it on Eero Saarinen’s “Pedestal Chair”! Place it on a pedestal, indeed!

I’m delighted I can share this project now.  I’ve been relatively silent on blogs recently as I got caught up in both an autobiography-in-progress as well as finishing a new short story that, respectively, are on and inspired by Mom.  I really miss her. 

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