Tag Archives: 2008

What I love most about NaNoWriMo

I’m already at 9,028 words and I personally think this is my fastest progress ever. I’m trying to remember my 2006 stats (which I lost during the Ginger crash of 2007) but if I hit 10k today, that’s a pretty good thing, right? I’m actually averaging 3k per day. And what’s cool is that I’m still on chapter 2. Okay, I don’t know if that’s cool, but I guess that kind of means that my story is at least promising to be…er, long. I think.

Anyway. I don’t have any excerpts to share today, and I know writing this means I am procrastinating, but hear me out for a minute. I’ve mentioned this a lot of times, but I will say it again. There’s something magical about November. Ever since I joined the craziness that is writing a 50,000 word novel in a month, November has always been a month of bright ideas. The time where I meet people both in real life and in my imagination, all tell their own story. November is the time I dream and talk of novels all day, where I meet all sorts of characters who do all sorts of stuff: some like riding bikes, some have interesting back stories, some advocate healthy cooking, some eat ice cream all day long. This month is where anything can happen — in my novel, at least. :D And I know this is bad writing practice, but November is the only time I really get to write, and the time I really get to feel like a writer. Like I can make all excuses to not do some things because “I have some writing to do.” A bit pretentious, yes, but true, isn’t it? We all use that excuse. ;)

The thing I love most about NaNoWriMo is how my writerly senses become all active. I love how it revives my dream of being a writer, how it encourages me to just write and worry about the result later. I love how it helps me reach for my dream, even if it’s just one month in a year. And I would never ever trade the experience for anything else.

To be honest, I’m still scared for any of my babies to go out into the world…but maybe this year would change that. :) After all, everyone has a story to tell, right? And maybe this year, my story will be one of those that will be told. So I will write. :)

To all NaNoWriMo 2008 participants: keep on writing! You guys are one of my biggest inspirations this year, and it’s an honor to be a part of such a wonderful writing community. :)

NaNoWriMo Weekend # 1: Word Wars

So it’s finally November, and weirdly enough, when 12 midnight rolls in, I did not feel like writing at all. Is it over-excitement? Or am I just stressed over supervising the first ever PinoyWrimo Word War?

Probably the latter. The PinoyWrimos had their kick-off chat starting 10:30 PM on October 31, and it was a crazy conference. Last year we have about 15 in the chatroom. This year we got 29 inside. Whoa. What a wacky, wacky group, this is. Quotable quote of the weekend: TONIGHT WE WRITE! IN CBTL! OMG, that cracked me up.

Anyway, I decided to join some word wars myself, from yesterday’s unofficial one to today’s official one and I realized that I can actually crank out about 1000+ words in an hour — and I am even distracted at that time, checking the chat every now and even worrying how to get back inside the chatroom after Yahoo! kicked me out. All in an ML’s day’s work. :)

It’s been great so far. The people are wacky and amazing, and it’s so nice seeing everyone’s word counts spike up on this first weekend of November. It’s going to be a great month, I can feel it. :)

As for my novel…I think I wrote the longest first chapter ever. My first chapter was around 6000 words! Scrivener is lovely to use, and it’s gotten me really organized and motivated to write even more. My current word count is 6,913 and I’m planning to break into 7k tonight before I go to bed. I like my story this year than last year’s and I really hope I won’t lose steam and I’d get enough motivation to finish the novel within the month. :)

And because everyone’s waiting for this…here’s the first excerpt of I Am Single (And Everybody Knows). This is a part of chapter 1. :D

Please note that this is unedited stuff, so expect mistakes! :D

Continue reading NaNoWriMo Weekend # 1: Word Wars

Lifehouse in Manila, July 26, 2008

So, it was the first time in more than a year that I watched a concert where I wasn’t part of the organizing team. It was kind of a strange feeling, but it felt a bit relaxing too, as I wasn’t in any stress and all I had to do was to sit back and watch the show.

But I do miss the perks. Meeting the artists from the moment they step in the country. Making sure the place was okay. Getting really good places to stand (because we can’t sit down) during the show and then congratulating the artists personally after their performance. But…like I said, it’s kind of a welcome break.

Oh, and one more thing: it sucks that I have no camera. :| Sure, Captain Tal did okay (see blurry pictures below), but my micro sd card is still 64MB because I totally forgot to buy a bigger one (okay, maybe I was a bit too lazy to do so)…plus I could’ve taken more photos and clearer videos if I had a camera with me. Next mission: buy that pink Canon Ixus 80 IS, ASAP!

Anyway, so last night, Tue, Happy and I trooped to Araneta Coliseum (exactly two months since Hillsong United, oy!) to watch Lifehouse. I’ve been excited for this since Happy told me she bought our tickets (Upper B is all we can afford) and for the past week I’ve been listening to their songs just so I’d be ready on concert night. And because I’m on constant Lifehouse mode for the week, I’ve made a playlist of songs I wish they’d sing on concert night:

  • Whatever It Takes
  • First Time
  • Blind
  • Breathing
  • Simon
  • Everything
  • Hanging By a Moment
  • Somewhere in Between
  • Undone
  • You and Me
Our view of the stage from where we sat
Our view from where we sat (Upper B).

So the show starts, and even if we’re in Upper B, we had a pretty good view. Lots of people screaming (including us, of course!), and because we were well prepared, we sang along with the songs that we know. :D For a moment I wish we were at Patron or LowerBox…but after some time, I realized how relaxed we were at Upper B. I even sat down at some part of the concert. :P And who knew Araneta could be so cold?

The guys were amazing, and I swear, I love Jason Wade. I love his rocker voice on mp3s and CDs, but hearing his voice live is just…to die for. Love, love, love! He has an amazing stage presence too, and I love that he makes sure to look up at us people who were at the higher part of the coliseum. :D

I <3 you Jason Wade!
This is the closest I could see of him...on projected screens, which conked out by "You and Me". :|

The show wasn’t as fluid as the ones I’ve watched before (i.e. Switchfoot), because sometime in between the songs, the stage would darken and there would only be low guitar/bass riffs and not too many friendly chit-chat with the audience, not at least until the middle? There was even a time when Jason went offstage for some reason and then ran back up. But performance wise, they were really amazing, and I am even a more fan now than I ever was before. :)

The concert ended a bit too early too, and I can’t help but feel like it’s bitin. But then again, they sang more songs than the Switchfoot show, so maybe it’s only because I’m used to being backstage before the concert proper, which makes it feel longer. Haha. Or maybe it was only because not all songs from my wishlist were played. But, regardless of all those thoughts I just typed, I had fun, they were amazing, and the show was worth it. :D

Since I didn’t have access to the actual setlist after the show, I made sure to note all the songs they sang in my phone (titles in boldface are the songs I love):

  1. Make Me Over
  2. Spin
  3. Am I Ever Gonna Find Out
  4. SimonYES! Looove that they sang this! ♥
  5. Hanging By a MomentReminded me so much of my prayer before I resigned.
  6. Blind — ♥
  7. Take Me Away — Tried calling my friend when they played this since this was one of her favorite songs but she didn’t answer. Oh well. :(
  8. Somebody Else’s Song
  9. From Where You Are — This is the part where we sat down, because we didn’t know the song. Who has a copy of this? :D
  10. Bridges — Bryce sang this one, and it sounded a lot different from Jason’s version. I love the part where they shared one mic though.
  11. Better Luck Next Time
  12. Whatever It TakesWe screamed when they started playing the intro of the song :)
  13. You and Me
  14. First Time
  15. (ENCORE) DisarrayAfter last night, I now love this song.
  16. (ENCORE) Broken I love the meaning of this song.

I still wish they sang Everything…but 6 out of 10 wished for songs isn’t bad. ;) I hope they’d go back (and can our team please handle them now? :D), and I will definitely be there again. :D Here’s to another bigger Lifehouse fan. *cheers*

Like being in love with you for the first time. ♥

Goals for 2008

Blogging is more fun if you have a new layout, yes?

Just like last year, I spent the first hour of 2008 in reflection and prayer. I admit my prayer time is very different from last year’s (sometimes even non-existent…hay), but this year’s first ever prayer time is still a prayer nonetheless.

I re-read my journal from last year and I just have to laugh at my old goals. I won’t list them down anymore since I hardly fulfilled any (see, 2007 was a difficult year), but this year, I want it to be different. As what Bo Sanchez said in today’s Didache reflection: Friend, write your dreams! So…here we go!

2008 Goals (The Year of Big, Fun and Scary Stuff):

  • Go to Sydney for World Youth Day 2008. The thought of this scares and excites me, and a part of me feels like I should not push through. Sometimes I feel too lazy to save up or plan…but this is the first BIG trip I’m planning for myself. I want this. And by God’s grace, I will get to Sydney…with friends, of course. :) I heard the screening for Philippine delegates (the sponsored ones, I think?) is over, but I can still go! This just means I’m going to have to be stricter with my budget (say goodbye to any plans of getting anything big and expensive, like plasma tv lifts) and do a lot of planning. Hmm.
  • And speaking of traveling…visit at least two other places in the Philippines. 2007 was a year without beaches, or special trips out of town, except for Naga and Singapore. This year, I want to be able to go to out of town trips around the country. Not necessarily the beach, but at least somewhere outside Manila. Oh, and properly document it.
  • Drive on my own. This has been on my goals list since I learned how to drive, and I haven’t done it. Ehehe. The only driving I do lately is take out the car from the garage. I just keep on having visions of myself crashing whenever I drive. Or bumping someone. Bah. This year, I promise to practice driving whenever I can and to get rid of all the bad visions and trust that I would not get into a car crash nor scratch the car or be the cause of traffic.
  • Lose at least 20 lbs and/or 3 inches. I’d say 50 lbs, but I figured I should start slow. I will eat healthier: more fruits and veggies, less meat. I will stop eating too many sweets and fast food, drink more water and juice instead of soda. And I will exercise. Time to get those boxing gloves out again!
  • Learn how to jumprope. My coordination skills are so blah. This year, I promise to master the jumprope!
  • Finish my 2006 NaNoWriMo novel. Because I missed writing chicklit last year and I really want to finish Rain’s story.
  • Establish the PinoyWrimo community and bring attendance to events to at least 20 people. After the success of last year’s events, this year should be better, right? :)
  • Read at least 50 books in one year, and review at least half of it. Hello, 50 book challenge! This means I’ll be reviewing more books come 2008.
  • Reward myself with new clothes/shoes every month. This is in connection with what I elaborated with in this post. Yes, this is a goal, because I am not a “shopper”, even if I am a girl. I’d rather spend my money on food or books, instead of this one, really.
  • Revive Godchicks. The group of girls are okay, but the website is dying. ^^;
  • Start my own blog hosting/hosting business. I did not sign up for Dreamhost for nothing. :)
  • Bake any one of the following: apple pie, double-layered cake or cheesecake. It’s time to expand my baking abilities, yes?
  • Try/learn something new. What “something” is, it’s yet to be determined. New food, new sport, new place, new anything. I’ll have to make a list of this after this year’s over. :P
  • Give time for Gawad Kalinga. I read the company’s report on GK for last year and I got psyched again. This year, I’ll volunteer for Gawad Kalinga again, and bring some teammates as well. :)
  • Renew my prayer time and grow in my faith. In what way I will accomplish that, I have no idea. But I will do my best to attend first Wednesday and first Friday mass and confess at least every two months.

And in an attempt to watch over these goals (which I bet will still grow), I created a new category just for this one to keep track of my goals. Oh wait, one more goal:

  • Document everything. Bring my camera everywhere to “capture moments” and write about everything I can (online and offline).

There you go. Like I said, this list will most probably grow and I will favorite this so I can keep track. Also, feel free to bug me about these goals every now and then, especially if I’m not posting anything about them. :D

Before the first day of 2008 ends, I’d like to share something from Pareng Oswald (Chambers), in his My Utmost for His Highest devotional. I wrote this in my journal last year, and I wrote it again this year because it’s beautiful:

It is true that 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 rest, but let it rest in the sweet embrace of God. Leave the broken, irreversible past in His hands and step out into the invincible future with Him.

Good night everyone!

In 2008, I will chase daylight

And…here we go. New year, new layout, new philosophy. Yeah. HAPPY 2008, EVERYONE!

The past layout has been six months old and although I love it, I thought it’s time for a change, especially for the new year. So from pink and black, I’ve got blue and white and gray…something similar to the first layout of the domain when I got it four years ago (which reminds me…this domain turned four the other day!). The layout is structured similarly with the past one, so it wasn’t that hard to make, but I did have difficulty with the colors on this one. This is the first layout I made on a Aslan, and the first time I experienced the PC-Mac color thing. I don’t know if it’s just my brother’s PC and the angle of his monitor, or the colors are just really screwed. Now the original look is not how it looks like now. Ah well. It looks fine now, but I will change it tomorrow when I am on Guilo (my office PC). I still have two things to accomplish today, so the layout tweaks wait tomorrow. But if you see any bugs, please let me know. :D

Chasing Daylight is from Erwin Raphael McManus’ book of the same title. I bought it during the last book fair, which I only got to start reading a few days ago. So far, it’s an exciting read, which got me thinking about what I plan to do for the new year. Here’s the blurb:

“There are a few things more powerful than a life lived with passionate clarity,” writes McManus.”Every moent is waiting to be seized by those who are chasing daylight.

We all have dreams, hopes and aspirations. Why, then, do some of us realize our dreams and advance forward while others watch timidly from a distance and hope for a break? Author Erwin Raphael McManus reveals the direct relationship between passion and initiative.

When we are passionate about God, we can trust our passions.

Chasing Daylight is a call to live a life of blazing urgency. We have but one life. We are given one opportunity to pursue our dreams and fulfill our divine purpose. Every moment counts, and we must engage them with fierceness and zeal. Put an end to passive observation, paralyzed by the need for perfect opportunity, and start seizing the raw, untapped potential of your life with God.

Are you willing to risk failure? Are you ready to get in the game? You may stumble, but you will find yourself falling forward, propelled toward the God-inspired adventure He intends you to live.

So yes, 2008 is the year of chasing daylight. :) Bring it on!

Changed and Changes

I just finished baking my New Year’s cake, a Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Cake (will post about this once I know how it tastes — crossing my fingers now!), and earlier, I just cooked another batch of Chocolate Revel Bars, so now I feel like I’m so full of flour and sugar. How’s about that for spending the last year of 2007?

The other day I met up with Diana, an old elementary schoolmate who moved to Canada back in high school. It was supposed to be a reunion of sorts, but as usual, as with my “gimmick jinx”, no one else made it. Except for Happy, who I was with during the afternoon after a failed movie thing (Pfft, goodbye P140 because of Enteng Kabisote 4!), and we ended up eating, walking around Eastwood, listening to Regine Velasquez sing and sitting in Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf until my brother arrived.

It was a nice day, actually, even if I was hoping for a bigger crowd. It was nice talking to old friends and current friends and having everyone get along. During the course of the night (and after), however, I got thinking with something Diana said: “You haven’t changed.

No, it wasn’t said in a deregatory way. What she meant was, I haven’t change since the last time we saw each other…which was six years ago. I find comfort in the fact that I am still the same person I was (okay, a bit more mature than before), but as for other things…I guess I am still the same. As we were accompanying Happy while she shopped, I realized that the way I look is more or less the same as the way I used to look, way back in high school (sans the braces, of course), and the way I dress is still the same way I used to dress. My hair is still wavy, I did not grow taller, and I guess I am fatter than I was before. If we used to know each other and then we lost contact and we saw each other again, you won’t have any trouble recognizing me because I look the same.

Not that it’s not bad. I am comfortable with the way I look, and I like myself (but yes, I could lose a few pounds and all). But everyone I know and used to know, everyone around me has changed even some bit as they went through some defining moments in their lives. While I…was still stuck wherever I am.

Like I said, it’s not bad. But maybe it’s time I do something to change myself, you know? Physically. I won’t be doing it for other people, not to attract guys or because I feel insecure with anyone, but because I want to do it for myself. You know, do something new with the way I look. Get my hair straightened again, finally lose some weight, get out of the shirt+jeans+sneakers outfit. Maybe even wear a bit of make-up (gasp!). Be a girl, for a change, you know? There’s nothing wrong with that, right?

So God help me, I will try to be more…er, fashionable this year. I will start fitting clothes I never thought I’d fit before, start exercising seriously (so I won’t have to wear a corsets when I wear some…fit clothes), and start paying a bit of attention with the way I look…even just a bit. And yes, shopping! I told myself that starting next year, I’ll be buying myself a top/pants/skirt/shoes every month next year, and I must buy myself a dress by my birthday. I know I’m not the kind of girl who turns heads with her beauty, but that does not mean I can’t be presentable, right? ;) As with what I said a few days back, 2008 is the year of Big, Fun and Scary Stuff, the year where I try new things for myself. And this is new. So…bring it on!

Less than six hours before we say goodbye to 2007! Have a safe New Year’s Eve, everyone! :) See you on 2008!

Last Working Day

And before you say anything about my title, no, I don’t mean my last working day ever here. What I mean is, it’s the last working day for 2007! For us, at least.

Ah, what was I doing last year? I was worried and all about the upcoming year, and it’s mostly because of work. Hah. I’m that neurotic. Well, I’m still a bit neurotic in that sense, but I am definitely doing so much better this year than last year. :)

This week has been package week for me at work. My gift for Grace arrived yesterday, as well as a late birthday gift to Happy from me and Tuesday, and earlier today, I got my Moleskine Asia order, which contains my 2008 planner, 2 blank notebooks that I plan to use somewhere (journals, yay!), and my gifts to Tuesday and Bea. I was so giddy when I received my packages — even if I spent on all of them — just because. I miss receiving letters from snail mail. The only letters I received for the past year were bills. Hah. I now know the feeling.

Maybe next year I can invest in snail mail stuff. Hmmm.

Armed for 2008!Anyway, a bit earlier today, while fixing my stuff, I was holding my new planner and the Moleskine I won a few months ago, when I was hit by my OC-ness. I tore the two pages I have written in in the said notebook, then opened one of the plain Moleskines I ordered and told myself this would be my journal for 2008. Why change from the other even if they’re both Moleskines? Can’t tell, I was sworn to secrecy. :D But anyway, I’m now using this other plain pocket Moleskine…So now I have two identical-looking notebooks all ready for 2008.

Suddenly I’m excited. :) I remember last year I was so apprehensive at the incoming year; this year, I’m psyched. I’ve always made predictions at the start of every year since 2004. Not the fortune-telling kind, but the a general feeling of how the year will go. Like, 2004 was the year of “many happenings” and 2005 was the quiet year, and 2006 was the year of promises and 2007 was the difficult year. What about 2008?

I think 2008 will be…different. I believe it will be definitely better than 2007. In what ways, only God knows. If 2007 was the year of Great Adventures, I think 2008 will be the year of Big, Fun and Scary Stuff (thanks to the NaNoWriMo people for this term :) ). Come to think of it, I think that term is very similar to Great Adventure. ^^;

But yes…2008 is going to be the year for it. :) The year of Big, Fun and Scary Stuff. I don’t know what 2008 holds, but I’ve got several things to put in my list of Big, Fun and Scary Stuff to conquer this year. :) Like, lose weight (seriously), drive (seriously), bake something new other then my revel bars (and maybe get myself an Ove glove to prevent burns), and go to Sydney. :D Woooh. And that’s just the start! Exciting!

What about you? What do you think 2008 holds for you? :)