Don’t Forget the Soap Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway

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So I’m back, after a stressful two weeks. I promise to catch up on some reviews, but for now, let’s do some promotional blog tour stuff. Today on the blog is a new nonfiction collection of stories from Marie Claire Lim Moore, Don’t Forget the Soap. First off, I love the title. Second, the blurb reminds me a bit of Tweet Sering’s Astigirl, but you know, for moms. And perhaps for daughters, too? Hm, sounds interesting.

About the Book:

Don't Forget the Soap Book CoverAt the center of many good stories – inspiring, entertaining, admittedly corny – is Marie Claire Lim Moore. Ask her about the time she and her family sat down with former Philippine President Corazon Aquino. Or the time she built houses in Mexico alongside former American President Jimmy Carter. Equally engaging are her every day experiences and perspective on life. You will be interested to hear what she thinks is a relationship “deal breaker” or why Christmas should be regulated or why kids shouldn’t say, “I’m bored.”

Don’t Forget the Soap is a collection of anecdotes from different points in Claire’s life: stories from the tight-knit Filipino community in Vancouver mix with memories of her move to New York, experiences at Yale and travels as a young executive. Underlying this narrative is the story of a global citizen who does not want to forget the fundamental values that come along with the “immigrant experience” as she and her husband raise their children in the increasingly glitzy expat bubble of Singapore. Her parents continue to remain a big influence in her life and her mother’s reminders a grounding force. These stories will warm the heart and resonate with people of any culture.

Goodreads | Ebook | Paperback

Excerpt:

My parents were extremely supportive of my pursuing opportunities in different parts of the world (not exactly conducive to settling down), and they didn’t bat an eyelid when my long-term relationship (on path to marriage) ended abruptly just as so many of their friends’ children were walking down the aisle. People would comment, “You must be feeling some pressure from your parents to meet someone.” No, actually, I wasn’t.

Not until the year I turned 30 and met Alex did my mother make any comment in this regard. It was after I finished my assignment in the Philippines and was deciding whether to go back to Brazil, stay on in the Philippines or return to New York. Most of my colleagues in the program continued working abroad (it was considered the faster path to running a business since many of these roles were in emerging markets where one had the opportunity to take on a relatively big job, the equivalent of which would not be available in global headquarters).

“At this point in your life it’s OK to let a ‘friend’ factor into your decision,” she would say. (My parents never used the term “boyfriend.” It could be a “close” friend or a “special” friend but in their minds nothing was official until marriage, so why give anything in between a title.) She continued, “You’ve put a lot of focus on your career, which is great, so now you can balance it by putting some attention on other important things.” After our assignments had finished in Brazil, Alex went back to New York and I went to the Philippines. We left more as friends than anything else but soon found ourselves staying in close touch while on opposite sides of the globe. We spoke at least two times a day despite the time difference, and he even came out to see me in Manila. I decided to take a job back in New York and see where the relationship could go.

About the Author:

marie claire lim moore - author photoMarie Claire Lim Moore is a Filipina-Canadian-American working mother and author of Don’t Forget the Soap. After spending the early part of her childhood in Vancouver, Claire moved to New York City and attended the United Nations International School. She went on to study at Yale, climb the corporate ladder at Citi and travel around the world. She met her husband, Alex, while working in Sao Paulo, Brazil and they married in Manila, Philippines shortly before moving to Singapore. Now Mom to Carlos and Isabel, Claire also manages the Global Client business for Citi in Asia. She enjoys juggling career and family and likes to throw in community and politics for fun by campaigning for US political candidates, fundraising for organizations that advance the role of women in business and promoting foreign direct investment in the Philippines. She is also a guest contributor at Sassy Mama Singapore. She tweets at @MarieClaireLM.

Giveaway!

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NaNo Update!

First off, the winner of my High Society giveaway is:

Monique

Congratulations! Expect an email from me soon! :)

* * *

Next, time for a NaNoWriMo update, I think? :)

So it’s Day 19 of National Novel Writing Month, and so far, this has been the strangest NaNoWriMo for me, ever. Just look at my graph:

NaNoWriMo 2011 update

I tried to keep up with the daily word count quota of 1667 words per day starting November 1, but by November 5, I started to fail. Why? Well, by first write-in, I realized that my original idea is not heading anywhere. So during the first write-in (Day 5), I decided to start again with the same story idea but pushed it back a few decades so instead of my story being set post-apocalypse (yeah, I was trying to write a dytopia novel :P), it was set during the apocalypse.

I kept my first 6,000 words in first because I figured that since they’re the same idea, it should still count. However, 5,000 words later, I realized that I don’t know where my story was going again. It was forming to be a chick lit / dystopia / conspiracy novel, but I had no idea how to write a conspiracy novel. I thought I’d have better luck writing about rv repairs instead. *headdesk*

So by the second write-in (Day 7), I was at a loss. I knew if I continued writing my novel, I would hate it and I would end up slaving over it and I would never, ever want to see it again. I needed to do something about it, but I’m not sure if I could still stick with the story.

I was also toying with the idea of writing what I know, particularly, what I read. Not fanfiction, of course, but you know, writing a genre that also want to read. By the night of Day 7, I was toying with the idea of starting my novel from scratch and going for a genre that I have been reading all year: young adult. I mean, the reason I wrote chick lit a few years ago was because I kept on reading them. So why wasn’t I reading a young adult novel this year when practically all that I have read last year was young adult?

Love Books? Write One!So by Day 8, I decided to try writing the start of a contemporary young adult novel I have been toying with since last year. And…I decided to stick with it. I started my word count from zero and worked from there. That’s why there was a sudden decline in my word count — I couldn’t really include the ones I’ve written for that other novel in this novel because I didn’t think it was fair. So with a new word count quota (2300 words a day), I set to work.

The new novel is easier to write and definitely more fun. I guess reading all those contemporary YA novels really helped because it was so easy to get into the world now (especially since I have set the story in my college alma mater — will change that during edits, but for now this should work). It was easier to write that I managed to get 9,000+ words in a day (Day 12-13), and by Day 17, I finally passed daily word count quota.

This is the first time in my eight years (!!!) of doing NaNoWriMo that I changed stories within the month. It was still early when I did that, so it didn’t really make that much of a difference, and I am confident that I will get to 50k words this month. Of course, my story would be far from finished by then, but still, at least that’s a NaNo win. Let’s also hope that I actually finish this novel too, yes?

So that’s basically what made my NaNoWriMo interesting. :D This is me taking Chris Baty‘s words seriously for this year:

“What should I write about?” is a hard question. “What would I like to read about?” is easier. The answers will be the same for both.

Yep, I’m doing exactly that. :) I am at 32,000+ words as of today. See you at the finish line!

Happy Birthday Giveaway Winners

My birthday week has come and gone and I can definitely say that has been one of the best birthdays I’ve had. thanks to everyone who made it special. :)

Those people who made it special includes everyone who joined my birthday giveaway. Thanks so much for your greetings and your recommendations. I love how some of my friends who are usually quiet online even left comments just so they could greet me and help raise the amount to donate. There were 44 comments (43 actual comments, 1 pingback) by the end of the contest period. Rounding it off to 45, That means I get to add $9 to my donation. But since 9 is a bit of an odd number, I decided to make it $10 instead, making my donation $35. Again, I know that isn’t much and I don’t think it can hardly buy gold coins, but every little bit counts, right?

I made the donation today, much thanks to Paypal for making it easy. :)

Donation receipt

Thanks again to everyone for helping me with this. :) Let’s keep on praying for Japan, and for the world, too.

And now, for the other and the most awaited part of this post: the winners! Put all the names in via random.org and clicked Randomize! First two names in the list are the winners. :) Wee~

(Of course I’m putting them under a cut. Suspense much. Drumroll…)

(Oh, and it should be winners not just winner. :D)

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[Closed] Happy Birthday Giveaway!

You know, I meant to have a 30-day blogging thing going here at One More Page this month because March is my favorite month being that it is also my birth month. I also thought of having a month-long giveaway. I meant to do those things but March hit me with too much work and real life things that I didn’t have the time to set it all up. My reading is also slower compared to my January one, and it’s kind of frustrating because I really can’t do much about it (except maybe…not sleep).

ANYWAY. Being busy doesn’t mean I can’t hold a giveaway, even if it’s not as grand as how I planned it to be. So behold: my 25th birthday giveaway! :)

I’m keeping the mechanics simple. Just leave a comment in this entry and answer this question: What’s your favorite birthday read? Or if you don’t have a birthday read, what’s one book you’d like to read on your birthday? It doesn’t have to be a book, but if it’s a book, do share so I can see what it is! :) The giveaway will run as long as it’s March 17 somewhere in the world — that starts 8:00pm today (GMT+12 – as soon as this post is up) up to 6:00pm on March 18 (GMT-11). This is open to everyone, and I will pick 2 winners by Sunday, who can get any book of their choice worth $15 from Book Depository. :)

Image from cdryan.com

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE. I don’t want this to be just a simple giveaway — I also want to help. I’ve been planning to donate to Red Cross to help with the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami relief efforts. I’ve set to donate $25, but I thought you guys could help me raise that amount. For every five (5) entries I get for this giveaway, I will add $1 to the donation. So if I get 25 entries, I will add $5. I know it’s not much, but every bit counts, right?

One more time!

  • Leave a comment on this entry with your answer to this question: What’s your favorite birthday read? Or if you don’t have a birthday read, what’s one book you’d like to read on your birthday? One entry per person only. :)
  • This will run from March 16, 2011 8:00PM (GMT+8) to March 18, 2011, 6:00pm (GMT+8) — that’s how long March 17 is all over the world. Comments left beyond that will not be counted.
  • I will pick 2 winners on Sunday via random.org. The winners will receive a book of their choice worth $15 from Book Depository.
  • For every 5 entries in the giveaway, I will add $1 to my donation for Japan relief efforts on top of the $25 I will be donating.

Clear, clear? I’m not sure if I will be able to put up a post in the next few days since, well, I may be busy, so keep those comments coming. :)

Anniversary Giveaway Winners!

I couldn’t sleep last night, so I decided to do what I was supposed to be doing when I started my anniversary giveaway and log all the comments in an Excel file. I should have started doing it from Day 1, but I was too lazy to do so. The bout of insomnia last night made me finish it, and I was astonished to see that I had to wade through almost 20 pages of comments in my WordPress to log all the comments (of course, half of those are my replies, but still!). WOW.

Thanks to weheartit.com too! :)

My last giveaway got only 13 entries. Granted, it was only open to the Philippines, and my blog was virtually new then, so that was understandable. The anniversary giveaway was expected to be different, but holy smokes, I was surprised at the number of comments I logged last night! There were only 52 people who commented on all entries for the entire contest period, but there were a total of 206 comments all in all. Again, WOW.

I’m rambling, I know, and I know you want to know who won. But first, let me thank everyone again, for taking the time to read, comment and interact not only with me but also with the other people who commented in the posts. It’s fun to read the conversations going and the questions raised. It’s especially nice to see people coming back to reply on the other replies, because I know that is not usual! So once again, thank you for joining the contest and bringing lots of interesting discussions in my blog. It’s always a thrill to check my email and see that I have comments to approve, or there are comments from returning visitors. I loved replying to all of them, too. If I haven’t said it enough, one more time: THANK YOU!

And now we go to the exciting part. The winners!

One More Page Anniversary Giveaway WinnersAgain, everyone who’s left a comment in my posts from December 24 to January 9 get an entry each, and the more comments left, the more entries they get. There is one winner from the my hometown and another international winner, as long as Book Depository ships to wherever you are, since that’s where I’ll be ordering the book. I put all the comments in an Excel file with the date of their comment, their name, email address and where they commented, and then indicated if they are from the Philippines (local) or not (international). Then I put the local and international entries in their own sheets so it’s easier to pick a winner. Then I sort of jumbled them around by rearranging the rows so they’re more or less “mixed”, like actual raffle entries.

Again, a refresher: the winners can each choose ONE book from the following:

I’m stalling, I know. :P But here we go. :)

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