Wednesday, December 16, 2009


To my friend Cathy, who bought the book a few weeks ago. (Yay!)

She's a friend from way back, and she's actually read the early stuff I wrote. When it was typed crudely on bond paper, and then when the typewriter gave out I wrote them all on notebooks longhand. She read all of them. This was before the Internet, and we entertained ourselves this way. We wrote stories, and we read them.

It wasn't just her, though; many other friends from high school who were supportive and encouraging. It's a nice memory to go back to when you have the desire to write beaten out of you by school, work, and everything else.

Friday, November 20, 2009

New bedtime reading

Now reading The World for Lost Beings. (Author Miriam Delos Santos is a friend.)

Three chapters in and I'm getting a Coehlo vibe from it. Not exactly my thing, but I see that she's taking very real situations (I would say Pinoy but some of them are quite universal) and placing them in that philosophical space. More pages will be read tonight. :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Belle for real

"Scientist announces that she is call girl and blogger Belle de Jour" (The Guardian)

How wacky is this? This can totally be spun off into another novel. :)

I didn't read the blog or the books, but instead watched the Secret Diary of a Call Girl series on British TV. It's a good watch, but I didn't feel compelled to want to know the "real Belle." Finding out, now, that she's a scientist, does make me kind of curious.

I know this is a misconception, but I still do think that people who write novels gravitate toward somewhat literary careers as their day jobs. I've been an editor and corporate communications writer myself, and if you read a lot of local chick lit you'll see that authors with advertising and journalism backgrounds. Developmental neurotoxicology and cancer epidemiology? That's different. That's kind of cool.

Will she be as interesting an author now that she's out? Does it even matter?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Jill, I've signed your book. It will be one of two signed books in Texas. Yay!

It's fun and all, but writing on a book makes me feel weird. A few years ago I stopped writing my name on books to label them. Today when I take a pen to a book page a little voice inside tells me I'm vandalizing private property. :P

Sunday, October 25, 2009


How's this for inspiring? For the third year in a row, a Filipino author has been part of the Man Asian Literary Prize shortlist.

Eric Gamalinda's The Descartes Highlands (excerpt here) also starts out promising and is likely the kind of book I actually will buy. Looking forward to it, and I wish him winner vibes.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

NaNo time

Thank you, Tina, for reminding me that NaNoWriMo is near. I'd heard about it, and been spectator to the efforts of friends to participate, but never really got into it myself.

But wait -- maybe I kinda did. Most of my only first published novel was written in November last year, so I do know how it feels to write every day and finish in a month. I was kind of wrapped up in it and then poof! It's over.

Happy writing and plotting, people!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Everyone has a story

Cutting into regular programming about romance and chick lit to bring you this:

Hope everyone is safe, dry, and healthy.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Not me for a day

I'm starting to see a personal trend. Romance novels work their magic on me when I'm not in a position to get into those wild and wacky situations.

When did I most enjoy reading this genre? In my early teens (no real romance to speak of) and now (that I'm happily in a relationship).

But in my early twenties and late teens, when all of this dating and playing the field was supposed to happen? Romance novels annoyed me. I stayed away from the genre, mostly. Maybe it was the pressure, because each story could have, in theory, easily happened to me if I just put myself out there a bit more. I don't really go for drama in real life, so that made for a day-to-day existence not worthy of a chick lit chronicle.

Why do I enjoy it again now? I think it's for the vicarious thrills. Being a teen and knowing I couldn't have those relationships yet, I enjoyed knowing one day I might, if I chose to. And being in a relationship now, I don't think of these heroines as mirroring my life too closely, and can enjoy each misadventure without thinking of what I should be doing.

The other day I finished Shoes Off by Katrina Ramos Atienza, and got caught up in being a Bridezilla, flirting with naughty balikbayans, and running off with island guys. None of which I'm inclined to do, personally, but I can appreciate how fun it all can be for girls who are the types who would.

Because it's not about me, when I read these books, but about the girl whose life I step into temporarily. When it's written in a way that feels right, I get her crazy decisions, even though I don't think I'd make the same ones.

Friday, August 28, 2009

A confession

I Google myself. (What, you don't? Because you should.)

This hobby has led me to blogs of people who read the book and wrote something about it. It's always fun to see, but I've so far kept myself from replying directly because I'm not sure what the etiquette is. I actually like seeing comments of people who don't know me, and don't think I would ever see what they wrote. Replying and acknowledging seems like the right thing to do, but it also breaks down that wall and I don't know what happens after that.

So I have not outed myself yet and replied to the blogs. In some cases they noticed something and I have an explanation for it, but I've decided to stand by the editorial choices that I (and my rockin' editor Ines) had to make. That thing? Sadya yon. Lahat yan, sadya. :)

Friendster, on the other hand, is something else. Oh, Friendster. My account there was idle, until I made that wonderful discovery that people were adding the book to the "Favorite Books" space on their profiles. Suddenly that social network I had left because it was too "open" became the place that gave me happy fuzzy feelings almost every day. Couldn't help it, started sending private messages of thanks to the people who added My Imaginary Ex to their profiles. I have not been able to thank them all, because some of them have private profiles, or have restricted their messaging to friends, but I hope you wander onto this post one day and know that this is for you and thank you. :)

That said, hugs to: ★ maria ★, depel pilo, akÖ., nickea covar, Maryneth, ei - ei ™, rosabєℓ :), tin tin =x, eri ck, yHanZieLLe_14 aGOzAr, GHiA, tri.cia., rORy, CAMILLE and j.lo. I've contacted all of you one way or another already but here's another shoutout.

(Also, if I must be analytical about it, this Googling myself exercise has shown me who my audience is and what they respond to. Not exactly the audience I thought, but that is why I'm a newbie and need to learn things.)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Spotted in Cosmo again

This time in the August issue, with Cristine Reyes on the cover.

My mobile phone's camera didn't get the text very well, but they wrote something interesting here. Something about what questions the story may stir in you: Do you have the guts to end an engagement? Etc. Questions even I never asked myself.

Fun to think about, if only in the hypothetical. :) And now I have another Cosmo issue in my house.


Time Traveler's Wife (sniff!) was a great adaptation.

Finished reading Marla Miniano's Every Girl's Guide to Heartache. It's sweet, smart, and just the thing that the part me that feels like a teenager still enjoys.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Twiddling thumbs

SO excited (and scared) for Time Traveler's Wife.

There are books that wish I had written (The Inheritance of Loss) because I know I could do it, and then there's Time Traveler's Wife which I know I couldn't have done because it's just that out there. But effective. It's going to be a bitch to adapt, I think, but I'll enjoy Eric Bana shirtlessness if I can get it.


Really, really appreciate the people putting My Imaginary Ex on their Friendster profiles. I've sent some of them my thanks through messages privately, because I don't know what the protocol is for social networks nowadays. :) But I think I should say thank you, and I have.

You girls (and some guys too!) are wonderful.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Back from movie night

So behind on reading! But saw The Proposal, which was fun. Much squealing from the females in the theater, which is always good for a romantic comedy. And hellloooo, Ryan Reynolds.

Thank you to Alexie and Arianne. :)

And Ula - I saw your comment on the Facebook page, and really appreciate it. Sorry for the comment bugginess here! Not used to Blogger just yet so I don't know how to fix it, yikes!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Man Asian longlist is out

For those watching out for this kind of thing, the longlist for the Man Asian Literary Prize has been announced.

Congrats to those who got in! And now the frenzied finishing of the actual novel begins, haha.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Trying to be more "social"

New, personalized URL on Friendster: Finally grabbed it because of the nice people who've added My Imaginary Ex to their profiles, so I had to log in and thank them somehow.

Summit Books is on Facebook! Add add add.

Hello, nickea!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Media roundup

I should have talked about this before I went on the radio, but frankly I was scared of burping or saying something stupid on the air.

Thankfully none of that happened (stupidity was kept at a minimum I think), so maybe I shouldn't have been too worried. Today Marla Miniano and I went on a radio tour promoting our respective Summit books. We visited 99.5 RT (Sam Oh and Gibb), Magic 89.9 (Boom and Mia), Jam 88.3 (Patty) and Wave 89.1 (Janice and Jerome).

Had a nice time, didn't burp at all, and reconnected with friend-from-college Patty. Fun!

And: My Imaginary Ex made the "Book News" section of Chick Lit Club.

Friday, July 10, 2009

In any order

I'm reading Emma right now, by Ms. Austen. I have to admit though, I only really knew Emma as the basis for the movie Clueless, and I'm imagining the cast from the movie but in the costumes of the era. It's weird.

In some cases, by the way, I'm totally for watching the movie before reading the book. Some movies make confusing but beautiful books a bit more accessible (The English Patient). The novel Atonement felt to me like an extra DVD feature for the movie, which explained everyone's motivations further, but didn't change the overall experience.

But I'm also reading Watchmen, and I wonder if I should have read it before I saw it. Because it's really really like the movie. It's like I'm watching it all over again.

Thanks to Emman, Troy and Iggy. :)

raf mentioned me in her blog.

And thanks to the people who left comments on the Summit Books page, posted reviews in Multiply, and added the book to their Friendster profiles. I wish you all a lovely day, and chocolate! From someone unexpected. :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Busy today, but just want to hop on over to thank: Louie (as in Louie of the acknowledgment page, yeah!), raf's friend Mia, and Mariz.

PS to Mariz - Check your email!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Hay! Exciting.

Two more people to thank: Bianca and Jamie. Seriously, gusto kong mag ice cream. Parang feel kong mag Selecta Gold Berry Strawberry. :P

And thank you to raf, again!

I know I'm really going to have to blog soon, but if this is all just populated with shoutouts and thanks to people who've been encouraging and supportive, then I'm happy.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Ad sighting

Couldn't find the June Cosmo in the first three places I checked, so went with the July issue instead. There's still an ad there (love that Summit synergy).

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Thanks to raf! Your comments, full of win. Made me laugh before I dragged my tired self to bed. :)

Off to buy June Cosmo, which apparently has an ad of the book somewhere inside. I've not bought a current issue of Cosmo in, well, I don't even remember.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Useful after all

It was nice to see Layla yesterday. Not just because she's a friend, but also (for more relevance to this blog) because seeing her reminded me of the very first draft ever of My Imaginary Ex. It was a short story I wrote in college that she, Camille, Deb and maybe Alexie read.

Medyo malabo yung story na yon, haha. Because I was in college and was all ponderous, cryptic and influenced by Alanis Morissette. :) Now, not so much. At least a strange, unclear and somewhat angry story back then turned out to be something more... well, fun and pink several years down the line. There's a life lesson there, if I look hard enough...

Thanks, Layla!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Blogger novice

I bumped up my original My Imaginary Ex post so it stays on top of the blog. Is there a way to do that without traveling forward in time?

Thanks: Liann and kao's friend. And to Bernice, again, for getting your friend a copy. (Just not sure how a guy would react to it, but never mind...)

And thanks all over again to Mimi! Loved your text. (It rhymed pa!)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Related reading

My friend Katrina Ramos Atienza also writes chick lit. Inspiring, two ways:

1. Through her I found out how to get started and see something through to publication.
2. She didn't strike me as the "chick lit" type.

#2 is important to me because I don't feel like the chick lit type either, but that doesn't mean I'm excluded from writing it. I guess if you have that story in you, then go ahead.


Another round of shoutouts: Mimi, Tita Nel, Tita Nel's officemate, Tita Tess, Lola Stella, Tita Yeyeng, Lorie, pauleene and Andei (thank you again for the comments), and kao (whose email I will probably read when I have bad days for, like, ever).

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Yes, let's just say it's you

Tibibord's question -- if he would recognize any people in the story I wrote -- made me wonder if people I know would by chance read it and recognize themselves in it. I said it's all fictional, but that's boring. I have friends who integrate people they know in their work all the time, so maybe it can't be helped.

So I guess as long as you like the way you think you were portrayed, then sure, it was probably you. How about that?


More thanks to: Bernice, Pinoy and my tito Chito!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Oh look! New layout

Sure, the notebook theme's a bit trite, but... prettier!

Thanks and much love to: Haydee, her sister Hazel, Camille, my friend Hazel, don't-mention-my-name-in-blog M, Tania, Iggy and Tibibord.

And of course to Mike. :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Day of cool

Yay! My Imaginary Ex is out now.

Upon quick browsing, I say this: I love what they've done with it. The cover, the little icon-type illustrations inside (I don't know what they're called), the typeface, the paper even.

So far the process of getting a book published has been fun, if a little nerve-wracking. Everyone should try it. :)

originally posted June 9, 2009

Monday, May 4, 2009

Talented people are cool

I don't draw. People who can, even in that techie, digital way, are cool. In the same way that people who read music, or dance, or do other things I can't do are cool.

When I was younger, I used to write Sweet Valley High fanfic, and one of my favorite daydreams was imagining what the covers (of my fanfic stories) would look like. Totally missed out on the fact that my "daydream" was just the beginning. At some point, if it were the real world, an artist would take over, and that cover will be her creation, not necessarily mine.

Now I look at book covers that I like and wonder how involved the author was, or if, like me, they just went "Oooh, cute!"

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The next one

I used to write regularly in high school. These were the days before the internet, of course, so there were fewer distractions for a teenager and all I did was read and write. After finishing one story, I quickly moved on to another. I found inspiration all the time, and was disciplined enough to see almost all the stories through.

That's a bit harder to return to. The first book is barely out, but I've been training myself to think of "the next one" already. There have been a few false starts, but giving up shouldn't be an option.

Inspiration, I'm reminding myself, is more of a mode. I just have to get back in that mode, because surely it'll get easier once it's back in my regular routine. A friend just told me an anecdote about her life that is now swirling in my head, hopefully I get to create something out of it. She's even looking forward to it. :)

Friday, April 17, 2009


The first post truly is the toughest.

I set up this blog to document my new life as someone who has published a work of fiction (see how I avoided saying "author"), but this'll only work if I actually write something else, and not just the one novel. I'm going to try to do that.

So let's start. Yesterday I wrote my book dedication, and that wasn't as easy as I thought. I usually find author's dedications cute, if they're short and cryptic, but since this was my first time I felt compelled to thank everyone I'd ever met. Thankfully I restrained myself. It ended up as a list of shout-outs to a number of people who truly did help me get the story published, in one way or another. And then I closed it with a few sentimental thank-yous. Just a few.

The next thing I have to do is return to a "romance" frame of mind. Those who know me will laugh, because I tend to be very skeptical of romantics. And yet I've been buying Harlequin from Booksale again lately, so maybe I'm just in denial.