NaNo Update!

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


Congratulations! Expect an email from me soon! :)

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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!

Flipreads: Filipino e-Books for All

There were a lot of things that happened last Friday, and yes, I think people made use of the 11.11.11 date to make the day more memorable and all that. Other than the 11/11/11 Challenge for our NaNoWriMo region and lantern launches all over the metro, Flipside Digital Content also launched their e-bookstore, :)

I was supposed to be at that launch but alas, work called, so I had to pass. But if you also missed the launch, well, here’s some stuff on the launch and the bookstore for your information. :)

eBooks now made accessible to Filipinos through

Filipinos can now have easier access to eBooks through the online eBookstore, Likewise, authors and publishers can now distribute their eBooks more widely and securely through the same website, which was launched on November 11 2011 from 4-7PM at the Celebrity Sports
Club Grand Ballroom. is owned and developed by Flipside Publishing Services, a sister company of Flipside Digital Content. Flipside Digital Content, previously just a conversion house catering to four of the top six international publishers, is responsible for publishing and co-publishing more than 70 Filipino and Asian eBooks on Amazon, Apple iBookstore, and Barnes and Noble just in its first six months of operation. Most of these international eBookstores, however, are not available to the local populace.
Filipinos can only buy from Amazon, albeit with an added cost of $2 per book.

Now, Flipside is making eBooks more accessible especially for Filipinos through Readers can download eBooks onto their Apple or Android devices. They can even download it onto their PCs or Macs. Whereas before, Filipinos could only buy eBooks legitimately if they had credit cards, but with Flipreads, they may use other payment gateways such as CashSense and, in the near future, Globe GCash, and Smart Money.

Flipreads also serves as a secure distribution platform for Filipino publishers, authors, and other content providers. Therefore, publishers can now sell their eBooks securely through Authors can also opt to independently publish their titles through the site. Other institutions and
entities can also distribute their digital materials safely through Flipreads.

eBooks distributed through Flipreads can be made secure through the use of Adobe Content Server’s DRM. DRM stands for Digital Rights Management and is the means by which eBooks are protected from casual piracy. Alternatively, authors and publishers may choose to distribute their eBooks for free
through the Flipreads site.

Flipreads also hopes to provide a venue to publishers and authors to bring previously out-of-print titles back into circulation. Since everything is online, these titles will also be available to an international market.

For more information, email or call +632-5709255 or +63917-6206244.

I love the idea of this entire store, and I love that it makes books more accessible to people not only here but also in other countries. Of course, nothing still beats print books, but still, ebooks have come a long way and it’s really hard to deny ourselves that they are here and they help a book reach more people than a print one can. I mean, look: they have The Sky Over Dimas by Vicente Garcia-Groyon, and that was a required reading for me back in college. And they also have Blue Angel, White Shadow by Charlson Ong, which I reviewed earlier this year. And of course, they have High Society by Paolo Chikiamco and Hannah Buena (formerly known as Kataastaasan), which I definitely recommend. :)

Also, I love that this thing came just in time for NaNoWriMo. Who knows, maybe a NaNo novel will get published and sold through sometime, yes? :)

Brb, writing

It’s been a while since I posted. Why the silence?

One word (or icon):

It’s National Novel Writing Month time! For some reason, I seem to be busier this year. It may be just because it’s the start of the writing season, so I’m still scrambling to put my ML duties within my normal everyday routines. I have a review backlog and a Google Reader backlog and I am not really doing well with some of my readings, so!

Yeah, expect it to be a little quiet for a while here. I will try to get some reviews out of the way soon — being on night shift does have its perks — but if I disappear here and on Twitter, I may be too busy catching up with my word count quota and researching about novel stuff, such as Psychiatric Aide Jobs. :)

Are you also doing NaNoWriMo this year? Come celebrate/commiserate with me by leaving a comment! Or add me up as a writing buddy — we can do this together! :)

Playing Hurt Blog Tour – Interview with Holly Schindler

I just realized that I’ve never done any author interviews in this blog ever since I started it. I remember hosting only one interview with Camy Tang back when my book posts were in my personal blog but I never really did any here. I guess I was really just too busy writing reviews that I never really followed through on my plans on interviewing some authors. Oops, my bad.

But let’s change that. Here’s my first author interview in One More Page! Let’s all give a warm welcome to Holly Schindler, author of A Blue So Dark and recently released Playing Hurt, for this leg of the Playing Hurt Philippine Blog Tour! :)

Playing Hurt Philippine Tour1. I find it really interesting that you’d write about a female jock. Were you one back in high school?

Not at all! I’m terribly uncoordinated. I swear, I can fall around corners! Just awful…If
you told me a few years ago that my second book would feature a couple of athletes, I
would have laughed in your face…

2. Basketball is a really huge thing here in the Philippines, even if…well, we’re shorter than other basketball players are. It doesn’t stop us from watching or playing, though! Do you play any sport or would you rather watch? Or both?

I’ve really come to have a much greater appreciation for athletes as I’ve gotten older…I
realize, now, how mental sports are! My brother likes baseball, so I wind up watching
more baseball than anything else…

When I was in graduate school, though, I fondly remember our Lady Bears going to the
Final Four—so exciting…

Playing Hurt3. What was the hardest part in writing PLAYING HURT? How different was it from writing your debut novel?

My debut, A BLUE SO DARK, wrote EXTREMELY quickly—I wrote the first draft,
edited it, and submitted it in just about two months!

I did have to rewrite the book several times. But every rewrite went every bit as quickly.

PLAYING HURT was a slower write…And it changed the most from the original draft to the final published version.

4. What was the last book you finished? Did you like it?

Some of the last books I’ve read (and loved) are: JUMPSTART THE WORLD and THE
NIGHTMARYS. I also really, really love Brian Katcher (cool work, cool guy—met him
last summer at a teen lit festival). And I’m taking the plunge (finally) into THE GIRL

5. This may sound totally random, but it’s one thing I must always know: what’s your favorite dessert? :)

I’m a HUGE cheesecake fan.

6. I’m one of the Municipal Liaisons for NaNoWriMo Philippines, so in their behalf, I must ask: any message you can give to the aspiring novelists in the Philippines?

Love Books? Write One!First of all—I just want to give everybody who takes part in NaNoWriMo enormous applause! That’s the most important part of all—just planting yourself in the chair and getting the work done. Everybody’s had an idea that would make an incredible book, but actually getting that idea onto paper is excruciatingly hard work.

…Really, though, the best thing you could ever do is just keep going. One foot in front of the other. The thing about writing is there’s always one struggle after another. First, it’s getting the book on the page. Then, it’s finding an agent. Landing a book deal. Getting through book development, finding a readership, learning what promo methods work, growing a readership, changing genres…There’s absolutely no shortage of struggle in writing. Focus on the small triumphs, celebrate them, and tackle the next struggle with fervor!

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Thanks for dropping by, Holly!

I’m only the second leg in the blog tour — make sure you visit the other blogs participating in the next few days! Thanks to my good friend Kai of Amaterasu Reads for hosting the tour. :)

November is NaNoWriMo

Love Books? Write One!

I love books, and yes, I will try to write one (again!) this November :)

When October rolled around this year, I felt a sense of nervous anticipation in the air that almost felt foreign to me. I couldn’t figure out why I felt nervous and excited at the same time, and I know it wasn’t because of my brother’s wedding this month (but there is nervous anticipation for that, too). It wasn’t until I got an email from my inbox with this subject when I was reminded why there’s a certain thrill to October:

[NaNoWriMo HQ] New site is live!

Of course! October means it’s less than a month until National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)! :)

(NaNo -what? Here’s NaNo in a Nutshell for you! :) )

This is actually my cue to panic, really, but before I do some official panicking, I suppose a history of my relationship with NaNoWriMo is in order. I started NaNoWriMo back in 2004. I was a junior in college, then, and it was a very busy time for me, but I was missing my “literary” life. I took up Computer Science back in college, thinking that I could always squeeze in writing in between my technical life. I joined the school’s literary folio when I was a freshman but quit because of lack of time. I stopped writing my stories after that because I had to focus on school, but come that time in 2004, I felt the itch to write again. I knew some friend who have joined NaNoWriMo before, and after some thinking, I finally bit the bullet and joined.

I failed on my first year at 33,000+ words because I lost the juice to write for my story, plus I had school projects to finish. I felt a bit bad for losing, but one of the Filipinos I found in the forums told me I had to win the next year, or else. :P Come 2005, I came in with a pretty good idea for a story and won. I’ve won NaNoWriMo every year since.

What is it with NaNoWriMo that gets me going? I honestly don’t know. I’ve only written for the joy of writing with really no intention of submitting my work for publishing. Oh sure, I dream of getting published some day, but since I lack the formal education in writing, I just kept the drafts in my computer, showing them only to those interested in reading. I mostly use NaNoWriMo as an excuse to be creative and as a month where I have a deadline that everyone expects me to meet, as opposed to having my own deadline that I can always procrastinate in.

And it has always, always been fun. I always surprise myself year after year, learning things about myself that I didn’t know and learning when I am at my best in my writing based on what I did the rest of the year. I’d also like to believe that joining NaNoWriMo has helped me improve my writing. Not in terms of grammar of course (God knows I don’t have the perfect grip on English grammar), or even in vocabulary, but in how I write. Case in point: I used to be a very dialogue person and I really don’t like writing descriptions. After a couple of NaNo novels, I found out that I can do a decent description of a particular setting, like an office. ;)

But you know what makes my NaNoWriMo fun? It’s the community. The Filipino NaNoWriMo community (aka Pinoywrimo) started in 2005 after we found ourselves a regional lounge and nominated our first ever municipal liaisons (ML). Come 2007, I was nominated to become the new ML after our first ML, Erwin, passed away and his co-ML, Inez, went to the US for her PHd. Ever since then, I have been in charge of the craziest and most inspiring group of budding novelists in the country. :) These people make the craziness of writing 50,000+ words (or more!) in a month more fun. I love seeing what they write, I love hearing their stories on how they met their word count goal, I love seeing them and holding write-ins for them. I don’t think I’d keep coming back to NaNoWriMo if it weren’t for these writers. :)

The Pinoywrimos in 2009

Last year was especially hard NaNoWriMo for me because I experienced a serious burn out, and I think I was still traumatized by the flood that I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I lay low with all NaNoWriMo related activities after, but now that it’s October again, I can’t help but feel the buzz in the air. I know it’s crazy of me to still go do this on top of my work, personal life and all the reading I have challenged myself to do, but the year just wouldn’t be complete without writing a novel. It just wouldn’t. Like what the poster up there says, I love books so much that I am going to write one. ;)

Besides, where would all the fantasy novels I read this year go if I won’t write my first fantasy novel? :D

How about you? Are you joining NaNoWriMo This year? Let me know so we can be writing buddies! November is going to be so much fun. *grin*