Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Writing again - Nanowrimo 2014

For this year, I have decided to write, "Dance of the seven veils." The story is about the dance, the modern girl who inherited the gift, its curse and consequences and what happens when she discovers that her child may inherit it too.

I still have a lot to iron out with my novel outline. I am nowhere near the daily goal for word count but I am determined to finish this and reach the 50k words by the end of the month.

I have sought out the company of like minded writers and attended my first Pinoywrimo event. Seeing the progress of my peers is the motivation I need to push myself and write my novel.

Cheers to all the Nanowrimo Participants!!

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Bargain Bookstores

I must confess that I do a lot of book hunting as I have quite an appetite for reading and I strictly adhere to the confines of my wallet. So it makes sense that I can easily abandon the high price of new books from well-known bookstores and head straight to bargain bookshops. And mind you, I’ve had practice. 8 years of scrounging for second-hand bargain books have taught me a lot of things. 

One thing I discovered was that I am claustrophobic. Going through various books, their covers, short summary and even the author’s bio for 45 minutes in a room stacked with books and enclosed in a small, cramped space inside the mall gives me dizzy spells and suffocation. But I suppose that’s the price of buying cheaper books. I usually leaf through every book in the shop except when I’m looking for something specific. If the subject of the book or magazine catches me, I’m sure to follow it up with what I call my “price glance”. First you look at the front cover of the book, flip it and read the short summary at the back then glance at the price for a second before shifting your eyes back to the top of the book. If the price meets my wallet, that book is not leaving my hands otherwise I casually flip it to the front cover again and return it to the shelf.

Finding treasures in bargain bookshops is the best thing about book hunting. Books that normally cost around 300-400 pesos in bookstores are just sold at bargain bookshops for as low as 90 pesos. That is, if you are fine with a second hand, tattered, dog-eared but complete and readable copy. Magazines and comic books pass as brand new copies except that they are back issues but you can get them for under a hundred pesos. This works especially if you are in it for a good article or story and not for just being trendy. Surprisingly, I found a great magazine for writers called “Writers’ Journal” and " Writer's Digest" and it’s been a great help in polishing my writing technique. I never would have known that such magazines existed had I stopped with just the paperbacks. These are the gems you find when you put in a little effort.

Bargain bookshops don’t hurt the local book industry since their selection consist mostly those of foreign authors. They do carry local magazines at retail price so they’re doing more good than harm. Back issues of local magazines occasionally go on sale for a tenth of its retail price though. Bookstores have their moments too. I’m ecstatic when they have their book sales. This usually occurs when inventory month comes along. Slow-moving books are chosen and prices are slashed to discounts. Back issues of magazines are also sold at discounted rates.

One setback when going to bargain bookshops is that they don’t have a list of their merchandise. These bookshops exist under the principle of “ukay-ukay”. You really have to possess patience and a good eye to find treasures in these small but thriving bargain bookshops.

So if you are looking for books to help you write or just for entertainment, don’t just stop at the big bookstores. Give our local bargain bookshops a try. Who knows? Maybe you might find you own diamond in the heap of rocks.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

hello again...naturally.

The new year ushers in a more determined and motivated self. Yes, I am swamped again but remember that idle minds are the devil's playground. And so I am working myself to the point of exhaustion. Why? Because it's better this way.

 I dream of Italy. Wouldn't it be great if I won? That would really be something else. Aside from the fact that I am already booked for Vietnam in November for a one-week stay, winning this would be the best thing that's ever happened to me.

Crossing my fingers and saying a prayer.

Reading list 2013:
  1. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
  2. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith
  3. Inferno by Dan Brown
  4. Bloodline by James Rollins
  5. Divergent
  6. Insurgent
  7. Time: Secret Societies
  8. Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
  9. Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes
  10. Mortal Instruments: City of Glass
  11. Mortal Instruments: City of Fallen Angels
  12. PB 23 by Pol Medina Jr.
  13. The Aswang Enquiry by Frank Lynch 
  14. The Tron Betrayal
  15. Time: Secret Societies

Pathetic, I know. Been busy with my photography last year. But at least I stuck to my "one book a month" policy. Looking forward to doubling my record this year. That's if I get the chance since I have my MBA to finish. Graduation date is 2015 so wish me luck!