Tag Archives: 2008

2008 Goals – Looking Back

Okay, so it turns out I have enough time to do one more post, and I guess it’s more appropriate to do this now before the year actually ends and then make a post on the new goals tomorrow.

To be honest, I didn’t feel like doing this because I know most of the goals here are miserable failures. However, I realized that I won’t be able to be at peace with this year and my 2009 goals if I don’t close this one, so, regardless of the results, here’s the assessment of my 2008 goals, posted January 1, 2008.

  • Go to Sydney for World Youth Day 2008. – I don’t want to call this a miserable failure, because even if I didn’t get to go to WYD 2008, I still learned a lot from the experience of preparing for this. I did come thisclose, so that’s good enough I guess. Australia will still be there (although no WYD), and I have more than enough time to prepare for WYD 2011 in Madrid. :D Here’s to hoping my WYD dream comes true.
  • And speaking of traveling…visit at least two other places in the Philippines. – I didn’t get to visit new places, but I did get to go on outings: Subic (Hot Air Balloon Festival), Laiya, Batangas (company outing), Laguna (team pool party) and Cebu.
  • Drive on my own. Naaaah. I drove a bit during January, and all the driving I did after was to bring the car out of the garage. *headdesk*
  • Lose at least 20 lbs and/or 3 inches. Naaaah on this too. I think I managed to stay within what I currently weigh/my current pant size, so that’s something. I will try better next year.
  • Learn how to jumprope. Again, naaaah. I have a jumprope, but after six jumps, I need to stop because I was out of breath! I think the length of my rope is making it hard for me. :| Practice practice!
  • Finish my 2006 NaNoWriMo novel. I made a start on version 2, but I stopped. I have an outline waiting, but the 2008 novel got me more interested. ^^;
  • Establish the PinoyWrimo community and bring attendance to events to at least 20 people. This is probably the goal that really surpassed its expectations. There was 100% increase in attendance in almost all events. The Kick-Off was surprisingly well-attended, as well as one of the write-ins, and we had two TGIO’s which was attended by most of the active people. I love my Wrimos. :)
  • Read at least 50 books in one year, and review at least half of it. I might reach up to 46 this year (see list of books here), but it’s okay. It’s probably the most I read in a year. I finished my review goal though (will post a list soon).
  • Reward myself with new clothes/shoes every month. I think I only managed to do this like…five out of 12 months?
  • Revive Godchicks. Still nothing on the website. Limbo.
  • Start my own blog hosting/hosting business. I started something, but it was more for students who know me. Heh. I still want to host people, but maybe I need a better plan for this. (Oh and if you need hosting, yes, do email me because I am hosting).
  • Bake any one of the following: apple pie, double-layered cake or cheesecake. I have conquered the cheesecake! Next year I’m going to do both the double layer cake and apple pie (not necessarily mixed together ;) ), especially now that we have 9″ spring form pans now. :D Which reminds me, I owe my boys and a girl a cheesecake when we get back to work.
  • Try/learn something new. This is so general! But the main new thing I could think of for 2008 was IBM Club and all the activities, joining the Townhall committee for work, buying my own camera with my own card, watch musicals, traveling with my own money…there’s so many! This is definitely the year of new things. :)
  • Give time for Gawad Kalinga. I…didn’t get to do this either. :( I did get involved in other charities come the end of the year. I want to do more though.
  • Renew my prayer time and grow in my faith. I honestly feel like I didn’t get to do this either. I’m happy I got to confess again, but I know my prayer time is still not as regular as it was before, and I know there’s so much more room to grow. This is why I’m going back to basics in 2009, because I feel like with all my busyness in doing everything that I want to try and trying to be extraordinary, I think I may have lost my way somewhere. So I can’t really measure this one, but I just know there’s still more refining to do.
  • Document everything. Well, I didn’t get to document everything, but I think I managed to take more photos of events this year than last year’s. :) Maybe this year I can start doing a photo essay or something like that.

And so there it is. I don’t know how to assess it, really, since these things are mostly subjective, but I guess this just means 2008 was truly an eventful year. It would’ve been stellar if I managed to do everything, but then…what challenge would that leave for next year?

And yes, I will definitely do this again for 2009. Are you with me? :)

Last Day of 2008

Even after spending up to midnight yesterday cleaning up this site, setting up Wordplay (for 2009!) and my brother’s website, I woke up almost in time today, off by an hour on my alarm. Heh, snooze buttons are evil, I tell you! But at least I don’t feel like my day is going to be wasted. :) I hope I can keep this up for the next year.

It turns out I won’t be spending New Year at home but at the condo, where we’ll be able to watch fireworks and such at the rooftop. This means I can go to the gym tomorrow morning (yeeees I’m turning over a new leaf — start early!), but it also means the midnight introspection and long prayer/journal times that I do literally at the start of the new year (as in 12 midnight) won’t be done in the privacy of my bedroom. But it’s okay. That only means I have to get creative.

Honestly, I feel kind of bad because I did not get to finish everything I listed here. I might be able to cross out two more from the list there…but the others will just have to be finished by next year, or at least, before I go back to work on Monday. And speaking of which…I still don’t feel like going back to work on Monday. Who’s with me? But, like everyone always say at the end of vacations: time to face reality. Then again, not yet. ;)

I’m rambling, I know. I may not be able to post again until tomorrow, where the year officially ends in 9 (at least in my timezone that is), and a new year and month will be added in my archives down there…so let me share the last reflection from Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost For His Highest. I hardly read this one this year, but I always liked the reading for the last year. No matter how blah and apprehensive I feel about the upcoming year because of all its challenges, somehow this brings me comfort because of the truth it carries. So I leave you with this reflection as the last hours of 2008 tick by (did I say that right?).

December 31
My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers

“You shall not go out with haste…for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.” (Isaiah 52:12)

Security from Yesterday. “…God requires an account of what is past” (Ecclesiastes 3:15). At the end of the year we turn with eagerness to all that God has for the future and yet anxiety is apt to arise when we remember our yesterdays. Our present enjoyment of God’s grace tends to be lessened by the memory of yesterday’s sins and blunders. But God is the God of our yesterdays, and He allows the memory of them to turn the past into a ministry of spiritual growth for our future. God reminds us of the past to protect us from a very shallow security in the present.

Security for Tomorrow. “…the Lord will go before you…” This is a gracious revelation — that God will send His forces out where we have failed to do so. He will keep watch so that we will not be tripped up again by the same failures, as would undoubtedly happen if He were not our “rear guard.” And God’s hand reaches back to the past, settling all the claims against our conscience.

Security for Today. “You shall not go out with haste…” As we go forth into the coming year, let it not be in the haste of impetuous, forgetful delight, nor with the quickness of impulsive thoughtlessness. But let us go out with the patient power of knowing that the God of Israel will go before us. Our yesterdays hold broken and irreversible things for us. It is true tha we have lost opportunities that will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past res, but let it rest in the sweet embrace of Christ.

Leave the broken, irreversible past in His hands, and step out into the invincible future with Him.

Goodbye soon, 2008. Hello, 2009. I hope I’m ready for you. :)

2008 Year-End Survey # 2

Again, as with tradition, here’s another year-end survey that I’ve been answering since 2003. Well, at least I think I answered it every year since then. Here’s the survey last year, and here are my answers for this year. :D Oh, and I can’t remember where I got this, so just feel free to grab. Here we go!


1) Place you hung out the most in this year:
Office, brother’s condo, home, Eastwood and Robinson’s Galleria.

2) Favorite new place you discovered:
The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf! Their tea lattes are amazing, and it’s the perfect writer-ly hangout.

3) Places you went on dates:
Erm, if it’s just a normal friendly group date thing, mostly CBTL and Starbucks. As for the serious, romantic date — nah. Still nothing. :P

4) Favorite vacation spot for the year:
Cebu! I would definitely go back, if only for La Merea and Da Vinci’s Pizza.

5) Places you made out in (or more) this year:
Same answer: none.

Continue reading 2008 Year-End Survey # 2

2008 Year-End Meme: First Sentences

Now that Christmas has come and gone, it’s time for all those year-end memes to come out and be posted to help reflect on the past year. :) This particular one was started last year, and it was really fun, so I thought I’d do it again. Here we go!

Take the first sentence (or two) from the first entry of each month and post it here. That’s your year in review.

  • January
    And…here we go. New year, new layout, new philosophy. Yeah. HAPPY 2008, EVERYONE!
  • February
    So today I start mid shift.
  • March
    Yesterday consisted of: Sleeping in late, playing Heroes for a while in the morning, dressing up,  Jomar & Clarisse’s wedding (Congratulations!), seeing old friends who I haven’t seen since the Switchfoot in Manila event, seeing my Sociology professor in the wedding who I haven’t seen in five years and turns out to be Jomar’s friend (Small world!), becoming an impromptu tech person to help out with the video presentation for the pre-reception event, resting all night to recuperate from all of the past weeks’ activities.
  • April
    I have one confession to make: I love summer.
  • May
    It’s way past May 1 already, but…belated Happy Labor Day!
  • June
    A lot has been happening in my life lately, most especially at work.
  • July
    So…it’s been another year. :) Today, I celebrate my first year in my current company.
  • August
    This is a post-dated entry just because I might not be able to post tomorrow. :)
  • September
    I’ll be all cliche and say this: wake me up when September ends? Please?
  • October
    It’s the first two days of October and I’m nursing a runny nose and a just-healed sore throat, but I’m starting to get my bearings again after such a busy month.
  • November
    So it’s finally November, and weirdly enough, when 12 midnight rolls in, I did not feel like writing at all.
  • December
    Today I filed my first sick leave in the span of one and a half years.

It seems a lot stressful than last year’s, don’t you think? Which only means this was a stressful year. Hah. I hope 2009 changes things. :)

Now off to finish the templates I’m working on.

Thank God it's Over!

Yes, thank God this week is over and thank God this Friday is over. Oh and Thank God because we had such an awesome TGIO party! Thanks so much, Maita and the rest of Talecraft!

Now I can finally focus on the other freelance things I’ve left behind with this entire NaNoWriMo stuff came in, and finally focus on some serious Christmas shopping and work. And…well, rest because my cough and slight asthma just won’t go away. T_T

But let me pause from all those (again), and write about…well, writing. Being in events like these and around so many writers (award winning or just starting, like us) never fails to inspire me. I always thought of myself as a “lesser” writer because I did not have any formal education. I know it’s not always with the degree and I know a lot of people attest to that, but sometimes I can’t help but feel like my writing always lacks something. It’s either my words are too awkward, or I don’t have enough vocab,  or my story just plain sucks. I dream of becoming a published fiction writer, but I feel too chicken to submit anything as I don’t think it’s good enough.

But being with people who have so much passion for writing makes me hold on to that dream and just keep writing. And I guess that’s what really counts, because no one can ever get published just like that. And it takes a lot of guts to face a blank sheet of paper, and how many times have I managed to overcome that?

Also, I can’t imagine life without writing. Life without Dallas jobs, yes, but writing? The horror!

So…I guess no matter what happens, no matter what other people say, I still believe I am a writer. Fluffy writer, yes, but still a writer. :) Haha chick lit FTW!

It was awesome being with everyone tonight! Makes it worth all the traffic and stress. :) But again, thank God it’s over!

Goodbye November

And so it’s the last day of November. NaNoWriMo 2008 ends today.

It’s been a bittersweet feeling since last year. Novermber always has this magic feel because of the novel writing thing. And every time November ends, there’s the “What now?” feeling afterwards. I feel that way today, but I’m also quite tired of writing which is why I haven’t written anything in addition to the story just yet, plus because I will be busy in the next weekends, but all in all, I’ll miss this rush for November.

So what did I learn this year?

  • I have a story to tell. :)
  • It’s hard to manage a group of Wrimos single-handedly. It’s fun, but it’s hard and tiring and expensive. But the Wrimos made everything worth it. :)
  • I need to expand my vocabulary. After some time I keep on using the same words and it was frustrating.
  • I still need to work on my descriptions. Like, say how can I describe a smile without using the word smile. You know?
  • I need to really work on the back stories of the characters — not in full detail, but at least in better detail than the vague ideas that I have. Oh, and make sure the characters have hobbies. :P

And of course I’m doing this next year. Some things I am thinking of trying and/or will be doing:

  • I will make sure there’s a beginning, middle and end before I start writing. At least it would give me an idea of where my story would go.
  • As I mentioned earlier — proper character back stories! Which means I should do more observing whenever there’s an idle moment.
  • Chapter outlines. I was never an outlining person, but I realized that it was really hard to go through some parts that are boring for me or at least very hard to write, so…chapter outlines should help. :P
  • Read, read, read. Seriously, I need to read more books of what I want to write.
  • Speaking of, I’m thinking of trying another genre next year. Like…I don’t know, Mystery and Suspense, or another shot at Mainstream Fiction…or *gasp* Fantasy! Let’s see.
  • I will definitely write again even if it’s off season. I’m thinking of doing a 365 days of fiction (hence there’s me wanting a Moleskine daily planner for next year).
  • I’m still thinking of Script Frenzy. Let’s see.
  • I want to do some guerilla writing next year. I’ve been thinking of getting an iPod Touch (haha good luck with my expenses) because I’m not into PDAs. Of course, a notebook and a pen will do. But I still want an iPod Touch. :P

Oh, I will definitely continue writing my novel. I seriously want to finish this. But first I must do an outline for this. :D

In the meantime, I’m meeting with fellow Wrimos tomorrow, and then there’s the TGIO party on December 12, organized by Talecraft. :) And I better start on my freelance projects due on December.

So, did you join NaNoWriMo? How was your experience?

NaNoWriMo Weekend # 4: The magic land of 50k

Despite my wall last week and my rantings last Saturday, I managed to hit 50k last night before I slept. :) I decided to start skipping scenes already because the first date scene I wrote may be cute, but it’s getting really hard to write, and everyone’s just talking all over the place. Haha. And speaking of things going all over the place, my story is there too, and I haven’t touched a lot on the subplot (do chick lit books have subplots?), and I still don’t know what my ending would be. I think my two protagonists really have this thing for each other, but I have never written anything where the two people would get together in the end, so it’s kind of foreign territory for me. I want to leave things hanging, open to interpretation and all that.

Oh and I realized that Ruth’s dates are always on dinner times, so I’m guessing she will go fat at the end of the novel, unless I make her metabolism go fast (haha), or get her some best diet pills. Or, I better just define the other things she does so there’s more variety when she goes out. :D

This is my fourth year of hitting 50k, but I don’t want to stop here. I actually want to finish this novel, so I will be continuing to write even if I’ve reached the prescribed word count goal. My personal goal is 60k, so I’m still 9500 words away. Eeep!

Anyway, I better get ready for work. :) Here’s the fourth excerpt for this week. This is an exaggerated case of a jealous ex. :D I have a feeling I did not really convey Ruth’s fear but what the heck. I’ll do edits next time.

Continue reading NaNoWriMo Weekend # 4: The magic land of 50k

NaNoWriMo Weekend # 3: Hitting The Wall

After flying high the first two weekends of November in my novel…I hit the wall.

Roland/xrecent said it well from yesterday’s write-in said it well: the wall is big and scary because you don’t know what is happening at the other side. In Chris Baty’s words last 2004:

You’ll know you’ve hit the Wall when you start thinking that the whole endeavor is futile. When you start worrying that you don’t have the time or imagination to pull it off, and you come to see your story as an unmitigated disaster that should be put out of its misery before the thing gets old enough to remember where you live.

And I’ve been hitting it a lot the past week — talk about being caught in a total Week 2 slump.

It started with my MC’s crying mode last week. I managed to write a better chapter but it was still terribly boring, and hard to write. I thought that would be okay, but then when I started on the next chapter, I was stumped. What happens now?

It was annoying. And then my internal editor decided to show up, and it keeps on telling me how flat my writing is and how emo everyone has become and how I approached it wrongly and how I should just start from the very first part and write again and not think of finishing the entire story this month. I tried to look for some dares and prompts (like including Plum trees in the novel even if there are no plum trees there) but none worked. Yesterday it told me my build up was too slow, and I should have just plunged in and that I really did not know my characters at all…and it really drove me crazy. I wondered if the story was even worth telling at all.

So last night, after being so frustrated with what I’ve been doing, I took another break. I took a shower and thought of how to approach things in the story. I always get my best ideas in the shower and I really hoped to get it then. Slowly, as I rinsed off the shampoo, I found some glimmer of new ideas inside my head, another way to approach the story.

And today I wrote.

I’ve managed to hit 38k already, and I’m still writing along steadily. I do hope I can get through this particular rough patch, and get to the exciting parts (which I honestly still have no idea how to write). I think I’ll be doing some outlining in my spare time soon.

Anyway, before I go to bed today so I can start early tomorrow for some early morning writing, here’s one of the versions of Chapter 7, which I don’t know if I will be able to include at all. It was slightly fun to write though, even if I think it absolutely sucks. :P

Continue reading NaNoWriMo Weekend # 3: Hitting The Wall

The One Where My Character Juggles and then Cries

So I was flying high with writing the past few days until I reached Chapter 7. This is where my character told me she wants to juggle (so I let her) and then in the middle of the chapter, she bursts out crying.


The scene was a “poor baby” moment, the day after Ruth finds out that her crush is not who she thought he was. She woke up with a hangover, and then her friends and her sister catch her juggling (yes, she juggles to relieve stress) and so everyone went on “comfort Ruth” mode. It was supposed to be the scene where she gets convinced by her friends to start dating, and she expresses some of her initial fears. At some point during the chapter, her best friend asks her how she is, and then she cries. SHE CRIES!

That was surprising. She’s not supposed to cry until somewhere later in the novel!

I finished the chapter yesterday but then I got stuck. I couldn’t move. The tone of the novel started going emo, and I suspect the premature tears caused it. And there’s still supposed to be some wacky stuff happening in the next few chapters and suddenly her crush became the main guy. If I continue with what I wrote, I would have to make him reappear, so where would my two other guys go?

ARGH. I so wanted to delete that chapter yesterday. I wanted to edit it…so I added some words to see how it would go but it just turned out even worse. *headdesk* And it’s like the biggest Nano sin if you edit during the month, but I so want to edit! But no no no no no.

The solution?

I write an alternate chapter.

Okay, that may be cheating…but it’s not re-writing. I’m just writing the chapter in a different way, without any reference to the first version of the Chapter 7 I initially wrote. A less emo chapter.

Okay, I’ll definitely put the juggling in there. That’s just too fun not to write.

So welcome to the suckage that is Week 2 in NaNoWriMo. I’m tempted to take a break, but I don’t want to. Unless nothing hits me today, then I will probably take a break. Hopefully, I don’t have to because I really don’t want to abandon this novel and not finish it. I want to break to 30K tonight, and then maybe I’d rest. :P

I love my story too much to abandon it. And I love that my characters are actually moving on their own. Sometimes they do too many things (like cry for instance), but that just means they’re living. I won’t be surprised if my character decides to buy some promotional bags for herself (but I won’t let her…unless absolutely necessary).

Somehow all these talks make me think of Jasper Fforde books. How characters get formed and how stories go and all that. Interesting.

Anyway, I’m off to lunch and get some more plotting done. :D Hopefully some of these ideas make it into my screen. :) Happy writing!

NaNoWriMo Weekend # 2: Writing, but not the Novel

So here’s the second weekend and I finally broke into 20,000 words. I want to reach 25k before I sleep tonight, but as luck would have it, I have some other writing assignments that I need to finish. I have 12 reflections due for Didache 2010 next week, and to be honest, I wanted to write them all this weekend but it was impossible. I was too distracted. :( I’d rather write my novel, you know? But I must finish this.

So now I’m alternating between writing those reflections and my novel. You know when both is equally important?

I think it might be my last year for Didache. I don’t know. I haven’t really thought about it. Or prayed about it. >_>

Anyway, writing the novel has been really fun. Week 2’s coming, but it’s supposed to be the hard week, but so far I’m not seeing any hard writing days yet. I want to start fleshing out the subplot with Ruth’s sister, but it’s not rearing its head, so I will go continue where my characters want me to go. Ruth’s gone speed dating and met Matt, reconnected with Ian and now she’s about to find out something about Glenn. And finally, Ruth is going on dates! I will finally make her go on a date with the guy who will ask her to buy term life insurance! I feel like I rambled for the first six chapters, but it feels just right to build up to her forced dating spree. Whee. This is the fastest progress I’ve had so far. :D I might just reach 60k. :D

I better get back to writing my reflections. :D And before I go, here’s an excerpt from Chapter 5:

Continue reading NaNoWriMo Weekend # 2: Writing, but not the Novel