Tag Archives: writing

Yearly Challenge: NaNoWriMo

October has just started but writers all across the world are now gearing up for the yearly NaNoWriMo challenge: Write a complete novel of 50,000 words or more in 30 days (or less).

Last year, I had the good fortune of winning the damn thing, and by winning, I mean that I reached the 50,000 word count. Let’s not talk about whether or not the story finished. :p

Because of that win, I was declared Newbie of the Year by the MLs of NaNoWriMo Philippines. It was a big suprise even though I had been doing NaNo for 10 years.

Below is a screenshot of the message that was sent out to our local mailing list. Here’s hoping that it will provide inspiration to those who want to give NaNoWriMo a try, or have tried and never finished, or have finished many times before.

NaNoWriMo Pep Talk

My pep talk for NaNoWriMo Philippines after winning it last year.

And I guess I’m a sucker for punishment because I’m going to give this another go. See you at the finish line.

Filipino Fridays 2014 #2: Author Aspirations

On to week two! The countdown to the Filipino Reader Con 2014: Readers Turned Writers continues. This week, they ask this question:

As a reader, have you ever thought about writing a book? What kind of books/stories do you want to write? Or are you now a published author, and what compelled you to go fulfil this dream? How was your journey from reader to writer? How did you go about getting your book out there?

I have always wanted to write stories. My earliest memory of story creation was playing with my brother and neighbors, where we’d create scenarios that we’d act out. Eventually, my childhood best friend Lee and I would draw and write stories. All throughout my life, I had created snippets of fictional and fantastical worlds. In high school, I thought about creating manga. I had drafts of scripts and sketches of comic panels. In college, I got pushed more to write stories thanks to friends who were into the same thing. I started writing fanfiction, until eventually I went back to doing original stories. Long story short, yes. I’ve always thought about writing a book. Books, actually.

And what kind? Stories of adventure or mystery (think Nancy Drew or Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series), fantasy (Enid Blyton again, and Nick Joaquin’s Pop Stories for Groovy Kids), school stories/coming of age (Sweet Valley, The Babysitters Club), and romance (Sweet Dreams, Love Stories, Mills & Boon).

Today, the dream still hasn’t died. It hasn’t gone easier, either. I still find it challenging to put down words to paper (or the digital paper, as often the case may be), but I’m trying. It helps that there are friends who have successfully hurdled the challenge of getting their first work out there (I am so proud of them!), and while I’m not the competitive (much) sort, I want to have that achievement too. I’m working on it, really!

Let’s talk more about this, shall we? I’d love to hear your comments, or better yet, I hope to see you at the Filipino Reader Con on November 14. Face-to-face discussions are always the best. In the meantime, don’t forget to post your own answers to the question.

[Filipino Fridays] Intro + New Discoveries: Surprise, Reader!

 photo filipinofriday_zps2b07fdd5.jpg

And we’re back! Can’t believe it’s been almost a year since the last ReaderCon. It was my first time to attend, and boy did I ever participate. I’m excited for this year, because the theme is something pretty close to my heart. Filipino ReaderCon 2014: Readers Turned Writers.

We count down to the event itself through the weekly Filipino Fridays. Click on the link to learn more about it. This week’s question is:

Surprise, Reader! Hello, it’s the first week of Filipino Fridays 2014! Whether it’s your first time to participate or not, tell us a bit about yourself. More specifically, tell us about your favorite book discoveries for this year. Any author you started reading this year that you can’t get enough of? A book you didn’t think you’d like, but you ended up liking/loving? Any book series that you just have to get your hands on? Have you discovered anything new from Filipino authors this year?

It’s my second time to join FF, and the past year has been an amazing ride of new reads. I had plenty of new reads this year, but I thought I’d share what my favorite books are from Filipino authors. In the last year, a few friends released their self-published works, which immediately became part of my must read pile. Then there’s the writing workshops I participated in a few months ago. I never got to finish my story, but the others were able to successfully finish theirs, so my reading list grew.

Kids These Days (Stories from Luna East Arts Academy Vol. 1) – Various authors
A few of the writers are my friends, so it was a given that I read their work right? Reading this threw me back to my high school years, where every encounter with my crush/es was something worth writing down in your journal. Or, Sweet Valley (twins, not High, ironically). I enjoyed the various points of view of the stories, and each one has little surprises that keep you wanting more.

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Writers in Talks 2012

Writers in Talks or W.I.T. is a day for both readers and writers to come together and talk about books and the writing process. It is hosted by Philippine publisher Visprint, and is already on its second year.

The whole day affair was held at the Alphaland Towers in Magallanes, along EDSA. As early as 7:30 am, attentees were already queued for registration. Earlybirds were given a Visprint bag and some printouts of works from the guest authors and speakers.

Anne was the one who brought W.I.T. to my attention, having attended last year. This year’s event had not just the usual author talks that one would expect from similar events, but it also had book launches and surprising fun presentations from a few of Visprint’s authors.

Waiting for W.I.T. to start

The morning’s talks were split into two: Fiction writing and comic book writing. It was a difficult choice but I went with the latter while Anne went to the former.
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Note this

I have a fondness for stationery. Notebooks, pencils, pens, even ordinary pad paper. Often I find myself wandering to the bookstore and after I looked at books, I’ll go browse the stationery section. Chances are I’d end up buying a pen, or a notebook… or both.

I have more notebooks than I care to count. Some of them are so used, the covers and edges are frayed and falling apart. Some barely have anything in them, while others are still in their plastic cases, waiting for years before I even get the urge to rip them open, much less use them.

Various notebooks I've collected. This is not all of them 🙂

As a kid, I used to collect stationery. I’d hoard these pieces of paper with cute designs and keep them in a box. My godfather knew I liked them so much, he gave me a letter set which I only used to write to very special people. I traded the ugliest ones I liked the least. I’m such a pack rat, I still have most of them.

In college, I’d collect notebooks, albeit unintentionally. My friends (especially my housemates) noticed this and gave me the notebooks they don’t use. After I graduated, my mom used them because she couldn’t stand seeing them go to waste. I was irked at first then I realized she did have a point. Besides, that’s what notebooks are for right?

Yesterday, I couldn’t help myself and bought this Moleskine lookalike from National Bookstore. At P80 for two small notebooks, it was far cheaper than the Italian brand. Don’t get me wrong. I love Moleskine and own a few of them, but it does cost a lot.

My new companion: Mini notebook for random ideas

These notebooks will reside in my bag and will be the first thing I reach for when an interesting idea pops up. It’s great when I need to make a list, or have a plot that I want to explore in the future. Sure, you can say that I can input it in my cellphone, maybe even set an alarm to remind me of it. I actually do that, just so I won’t forget that I wrote something down that needs to be explored. However, one major advantage my notebooks have over using my cellphone? It never runs out of battery, and given how my phone’s battery drains really fast and I must conserve it as much as possible, my notebooks are very handy indeed.

I haven’t even begun talking about my pens…

Writing spree

I’ve been trying to figure out how to write the blog posts I’ve been wanting to write. Years ago, when I first started blogging, it was never a problem for me what to write. What I needed to learn then was when to stop writing. A few years later, from blogging three times a day, I was down to barely blogging thrice in a month. What happened? It certainly wasn’t for lack of anything to write about.

I haven’t finished writing my posts for last week, when I went to the cooking demo with Ryan and attended Trent’s first birthday with Drew. I haven’t even begun writing about my new toy collection, much more my toy hunting adventures with the boys and Joiz. Then there’s the dinner with friends on Saturday, Ryan and me dragging Drew around Quezon City, dress hunting with the authors and Fristine’s surprise shower dinner.

Not to mention the Samsung Galaxy Tab tour with Carlos Celdran yesterday! Weeeee.

That doesn’t even include the pictures I have to sort through. I must start now!

Jot them down

I love notebooks and journals. One of the places I can’t resist going to is this section of any bookstore. Sometimes I buy them with the intention of filling them up with ideas and thoughts, although half the time, they end up sitting in my shelf, gathering dust. I’ve been doing it for so long that I managed to get a collection — but my mom thought it was a waste so she used them. Ah well.

In the last few years, I started collected the Starbucks planner, although half of the ones I have were given to me as gifts. As much as I like Toffeenut Latte, buying 15 of those wrecks havoc to my wallet (not to mention my blood sugar, cholesterol, carbo… like I really care haha). Besides, it’s not as if I really use them. I like how they look mostly.

Recently, I started to like Moleksine. The price of one is about the same as that of a Starbucks planner, only you pay for it in one go. I got one reporter notebook at a local dealer, long before National and Fully Booked stocked up on it. It’s my constant companion, full of ideas, doodles and odd notes.

That isn’t to say that I don’t have other kinds of notebooks. On the contrary, I have tons of different kinds, most of which is like the notebooks we used back in school. I’m not really picky. I love notebooks, and if it happens to look cute, then I love it all the more.


A few notebooks I have at home

Sometimes, I find it amusing at how many people (here, anyway) are so into getting branded and expensive journals/planners. I can understand the appeal, but I don’t get why it has to be that, or nothing else. The fact that everyone wants it, doesn’t make it all the more special. It’s just paper with various designs, acid-free or otherwise.

About a month ago, I came across this journal/planner at a Korean store in Market! Market. At Php135, it’s a bargain. It doesn’t have that much cute drawings, although it does have a funny saying in some of the pages. That aside, I find this planner really cute, so even if did manage to complete the Starbucks planner thing, this one will still be used.


Just to give you an idea of the size

And because I’m too lazy to post the pictures one by one, slideshow!

Although, if my friends are all willing, I’ll get that Starbucks planner. As it is, I’m halfway done thanks to their generosity hehe. And I won’t say no to that monthly Moleskine Colour planner if anyone wants to give me one (I didn’t win the contest eh tsk).

Write stuff

I’ve started two part time writing jobs over the last few weeks. The first one is at oDesk, where I post comments in a gardening forum. It’s fairly easy and pretty fun work. I’m no gardener or farmer but I’ve got my fair share of that from my elementary and high school days in our agriculture class (yeah, we mucked about in “gardens” and studied plants/horticulture and stuff). Plus, there’s the knowledge handed down from my grandparents and parents about farming, not to mention the years of reading Better Homes and Gardens.

Besides, there’s the Internet if I need anything else.

My other writing job is for a local children’s magazine. I write several short articles on various topics that kids are into (cartoons, movies, video games, books, etc.). I like it because the topics are something I’m really interested in and it feels like I’m writing for myself and not for someone else. I started on it last night and will continue on it today until I finish all the topics for this week.

I’m still looking for other writing jobs. Who knows, maybe I can make it my permanent source of income?

P.S. I just realized I have no category for “writing” until now!