Tag Archives: Nanowrimo

A Little Dose of Fiction

Day 21This entry should be going to Wordplay, but it’s not flash fiction because I’ve written this one months ago. Anyway, I’m just really tired today so I can’t go and think of anything deep to write about (I still owe you guys something though). Soo…since NaNoWriMo is almost upon us (still going crazy thinking about it!), and I’ve been meaning to finish this novel soon (gimme time, gimme time!), I thought I’d share a part of my 2008 novel that I am currently finishing/revising. :)

Most of the stuff I wrote in 2008 are still unused in this re-written version…which is like a total bad thing to do when you’re not yet done with your novel, but really, the things I wrote November last year? It sucked. Haha. Then again…this excerpt I’ll share may also suck just as bad so I shouldn’t judge.

Before I cut this entry…I invite you! If you’ve been wanting to write a novel all your life and haven’t…well, this November is just the perfect time to write a novel! :) Everyone’s welcome to join the challenge, so if you have a passion for creative writing, you’re welcome! So…join the National Novel Writing Month! 30 days to write a 50,000 word novel. Crazy? Yes! Fun? DEFINITELY. :)

So here we are…one of the favorite new parts for my 2008 novel. :D Unedited, of course, so excuse the errors. :)

Continue reading A Little Dose of Fiction

57 Days till Literary Abandon

Day 4I was supposed to make a post about slowing down, about the weekend (long weekend ahoy!), but then I developed a sudden case of ADD, and suddenly I was thinking of something totally different from what I originally was thinking, and I’m suddenly all hyped up and excited and nervous because there’s so little time left and there’s so many things to do…and…this is such a long sentence, are you tired of reading it yet?

Okay. Calm down, Tina. *breathe*

Did you know that the first paragraph contains 82 words?

ANYWAY. Focus, Tina. Focus.

So what’s making me all giddy and nervous and rushed and all that all of a sudden?

One word: NaNoWriMo.

Or, four words, to make it longer: National Novel Writing Month.

And as of today, there’s only 57 days left before NaNoWriMo 2009!


Suffice to say I’m suddenly all hyped up about this year’s NaNoWriMo. It’s my sixth year joining (and my fifth year to win), and Look at the cool 2009 badge there. I’ve also been getting emails from the NaNoWriMo headquarters, and I’ve been seeing their preparations for this year…and who wouldn’t be excited???

I’m doubly psyched this year because it’s the 5th year of NaNoWriMo Philippines, and I want this year to be slightly bigger than last year’s. Last year’s results were already extraordinary, but this year, I want it to be better. Like, you know, have 100 winners for the region, or something. I don’t know if I can start planning bigger events this year, but I’m hoping to be able to have memorable events for this year, enough to make the newbies return and do the craziness again come 2010. :)

The entire thing is making me panic just slightly, though. So many things to do, so little time! I love being a Municipal Liaison, but sometimes I wonder if I can do everything on my own, you know?

I know I can’t. So I better send out an email soon to ask for support, both moral and financial. And start enlisting people who might want to help for events, start making graphics, start making…so many things! See who’s excited/nervous/rushed?

(It may just be the brownie I ate earlier, soooo….)

Here are some spoilers of the things running inside my head for events/things/stuff for NaNoWriMo Philippines for 2009 (none of them confirmed yet, some are just ideas):

  • Mascot making contest! We need a mascot, seriously. :) But I must figure out what prizes to give here. Any suggestions? Donations are also very welcome. :P
  • Revamp Pinoywrimos.com. Yeah, the website needs a revamp. Let’s see if I can get my design skills cracking again. Unless someone else can offer a design for free?
  • More “media” coverage. Nothing like full-blown TV/radio stuff, but you know, just more popularity. Seriously, we need more exposure for these wonderful novelists! A blog tour, perhaps?
  • Kick-off party! Yes, another one! I’m thinking of hitting CBTL again, since it’s a writer favorite, but I wonder if we will fit! Last year we conquered the back half of CBTL in Galleria, and I’m expecting more people this year!
  • Ate/Kuya program. NaNoWriMo as a whole has an unofficial mentoring program, so we’ll be launching a localized one. :D More details to follow!
  • More pep talks from known writers. Yeah, I know most of the Wrimos are getting tired of my words in the emails. So…I say we find more writers and inspiring people to write pep talks, right?
  • Plot Emergency Devices! I don’t think I can come up with a survival kit this year (sorry, my pockets aren’t that deep), but there will be more plot emergency devices this year to help you with those tricky plot holes. ;)
  • Write-Ins! We loved the write-ins last year, really. :D We’ll be having a mid-month write-in, as well as mini-write ins for other people who want to write together in certain areas. :)
  • Word wars! I know a lot of people who got to 50k because of the word wars, so we’ll definitely keep this going.
  • TGIO! I’m still hoping for a TGIO as grand as last year’s, but if not, we can always make do…right? A dinner/pizza day should be good too.
  • PinoyWrimo Awards. More awards? Of course!

So many things happening, so little time! At least, I feel like it. Gosh, I hope there’s enough time to plan all this into fruition. :)

Wow, what a big word. Fruition.

Anyway, if you want to help us on any part of NaNoWriMo 2009, you’re very welcome! And it will be very, very appreciated! The Pinoywrimos will thank you, and who knows, your contribution might just be one of the things that push them to 50,000 words and eventually, a published novel. That’s like, awesome points. ;)

But seriously, if you want to help, drop me a line. Or leave a comment, then I’ll email you. :)

OMG 57 DAYS LEFT!!! Excuse me while I panic spazz a bit more.

If you’re joining NaNoWriMo 2009, leave a comment so we can spazz together. If you’re thinking about joining, well, leave a comment too, so I can convince you to join! Let’s get the NaNoWriMo fever going! :)

…And did I mention that I have no plot yet?


Big, Fun and Scary Things to do for 2009

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! I spent the first day of 2008 in Ortigas, where we watched Manila being covered in smoke from all the fireworks as 12 midnight approached. My parents and I headed to the condo’s roof top to watch the fireworks at midnight and the people who were with us were singing Auld Lang Syne as we stood in the slight drizzle.

Yes, that’s me trying to be descriptive. I suck, I know.

Anyway, as with what I did last year and as with what I posted yesterday, it’s time again to set goals and resolutions for 2009! I’m naming this one the Big, Fun and Scary Things to do for 2009. I’m using this post to make it official because this year I intend to join the worldwide challenge (click that link to know more!) that Chris Baty, NaNoWriMo founder started two years ago. Nothing like having an entire group of people doing the same thing to motivate me to actually do these things. :P

  • Write a piece of fiction everyday for 2009. I figured at the end of 2008 that I really missed writing, and I felt that I can only be better at writing if I practice. So to help me with that, I have started wordplay, my writing blog for this purpose. It’s proving to be a difficult challenge already — I’ve been trying to write my first piece in the past hour and it feels like pulling teeth. T_T
  • Lose at least 3 inches and/or 20 pounds. Ah yes, the weight loss goal. I figure to support this, I’ve got to be more drastic: I’ll be writing down what I eat everyday in my planner, and will be really serious with my boxing/exercise. Cors! Game?
  • Finish my 2008 Novel. I really want to do this, I swear. This is one novel that I knew I should finish. And besides, I promised Julie. Now if only I can finish that outline…
  • 100 Nanowrimo winners for our region in 2009! Last year, I wanted to increase the participation of the region. This year I want to get 100 winners for the region. :D We can do this, right?
  • Read 50 books in 2009. I managed to reach 44 last year, and I think I would have been able to reach 50 if I didn’t stop reading in the middle of the year. This year, I swear I’ll get that number. I also added a twist to this goal: 25 books should be books I’ve never read before, and 5 should be classics. :D
  • Watch 25 movies in 2009. I’m not much of a movie watcher, so most of the time I feel left out when people talk about movies. This year, let’s try to change that. :D Fireproof movie seems interesting; I wonder if this will be shown here.
  • Travel. This is a given. :P I’m eying Baguio this February (the last time I’ve been there was when I was 12!), another beach place in the summer and hopefully Hong Kong within the year. :)
  • Bake a double layer cake and/or apple pie. Self-explanatory. :D
  • Drive by myself. Again, for the nth time. I swear, I should do that this year.
  • Submit a written work somewhere. I’m not so sure how I’d do this, but I’m going to try. I hope this gives me courage to enroll in writing classes. And speaking of…
  • Enroll in some classes — either writing or anything web related or even something entirely new.
  • Prepare for graduate school application. I’m seriously considering going back to school (see previous bullet), so I’m going to start scouting this year. I can start by the next school year, God willing, but if not, I can start preparing this year.

My dad told me yesterday that these were goals and not New Year’s Resolutions, but I told him having goals seem easier and I can form my resolutions around them. But just for kicks (and for old time’s sake), here are my 2009 resolutions (which might be the resolution of other people too haha):

  • Pray more. 2008 was a rollercoaster for my spiritual life and I know 2009 will e the same, but still, I’d like to revive my prayer life again. I just have to keep on trying no matter how hard it is. This includes the first Wednesday and Friday masses and confession.
  • Go to work early and leave work early. I was known as the office girl last year because of all my commitments at work. This year though, I’m going to cut back on that. I enjoyed them, yes, but this year, I’m putting myself first. I’m going to stop going to work at 10 and start going to work at 8, so I can go home at 5 and have enough time to work on my other goals and to-do’s outside of work. I need to start taking care of myself again, you know. I will only stay at work for more than 8 hours if I absolutely have to, otherwise, I’m out of there.
  • Take care of myself more. This is quite ambiguous, but I figured I’d have to start taking care of myself because…well, I need to. Which means, more time for myself, my family and the things I love to do. Yes, this involves pampering and shopping. :P
  • Be healthier. This supports my second bullet up there. I swear, I’ll do better this time.
  • Keep in touch/get back in touch with old friends. I’ve mentioned this a lot of times: I suck at keeping in touch. This year I’m going to try (yet again) to catch up with old friends (so friends, let’s go out!).
  • Better time management. With all these commitments and, I’ve definitely learned that I need to manage my time more wisely!

I think that’s it? Goal-setting has always inspired me, and I find it really fun (yet intimidating) to do. But I love the feeling of being new, regardless of how much I accomplished last year. The important thing is that we try, no matter how many times we fail. After all, He makes all things new. :)

Happy 2009 everyone! May this year bring more blessings and make all of us the persons we want to be. :) *cheers*

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!

Christmas Weather and December Stress

I don’t know what happened, but there was this deliciously cold breeze yesterday and I can still feel it until now. Can you feel it? :)

It sucks that I can’t enjoy it fully because I’m still kind of sick (these colds just won’t go away!), but I’m loving it. I can feel Christmas, and I haven’t even done my Christmas shopping yet!

I’m having some holiday blues though. Or maybe it’s because of the stress. Yesterday I was feeling all sad for some reason, and it’s not because I’m not out of the house because I really wanted to rest and work on my freelance projects. Earlier today I was panicking because of all the things I need to do for the next two weeks, and I don’t know if I have enough time or strength or if I can actually finish everything the way I want it to be finished, like:

  • Two freelance projects due this month. The second one is just a prototype and is relatively easier than the first one and I can do it during vacation, but the first one is consuming so much time that I feel like this will eat the developing time for the second one. Bah. The least I could do for the second one now is to make a template and a project plan and a requirements analysis document. That should take me one day…as long as I find some time. :| Can someone help me with Drupal theming?
  • PinoyWrimo TGIO party on Friday. I’m really thankful that Maita of Talecraft is helping me out, so less stress, but I still find myself stressing over the people who’s coming. Haha. Anuba. I’m missing our account’s party for this. Sorry guys, I’m needed here. I’ll be at our team’s Christmas party. :D
  • Work documentation stuff. I just need to send an email for this, and then worry about everything by the time I go back for work next year, but you know how I stress over these things. T_T
  • Christmas shopping/baking. Enough said. I’m thankful that we get one extra weekend in December before the  vacation, so at least I can deliver the gifts/baked stuff before we get off for the long vacation. :D I’ve got baked stuff for the people at work, some nice things for my other friends but nothing yet for my family. How lame is that? No complicated stuff like auto insurance, simple but meaningful stuff will do.
  • Domain renewals. Not only my domains, but send domain renewal emails to my hostees. Can do this in a day, and probably right before Christmas rolls around (haha what a Christmas greeting).
  • Upgrade my WordPress and make a new layout. This is personal, but I’ve put it off for s long and this layout’s been here for almost a year, that I really need to do something about it. When is WordPress 2.7 coming out?
  • Annual Physical Exam at work. This is stressing me out how? Oh the lab samples. And the exam is at 4pm. May I be excused this Monday because I’m still recovering from my cough? You don’t want me coughing during my X-ray, right? Hay. Good luck.

Add that and the usual work load at the office, club activities and this desire to write something even if I have absolutely no time at all. Bah humbug.

I really should get working now. I’ve got CSS e-books to hopefully help me with what I’m doing. Drupal, I shall conquer you! (Wish me luck!)

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?

Month's End

This time last year, I was busy with work and was trying to cope with my being on night shift. This time last year too, I was struggling to reach 50k for NaNoWriMo. This year, I’m on day shift, trying to cope with all the deliverables at work, and mellowing down from NaNoWriMo after reaching the finish line seven days early.

Right now I’m trying to think of the things to do in the last month of 2008 other than go Christmas shopping. Like:

  • Finish all due rakets (two!)
  • Upgrade my WordPress and create a new layout (musn’t forget this!)
  • Go to the dentist (I’m overdue)
  • Go shopping (I’m in need of clothes, seriously)
  • Clean my room (long overdue too)
  • Meet up with friends I haven’t seen for a long time

I know there’s more, but I just can’t think of them yet. I have a lot of things to do at work too, and December’s a short month (we’ll be off by the 24th, and will be back by January 2), so everything must be finished early. So. Many. Things.

Ah yes I’m stressing myself out again.

I was about to post something about NaNo’s end, but I’ll reserve that on the 30th. Now I’ll go back to my reading — nothing like good and comfortable home lighting to be in the mood for reading. :)

Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving!

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!