Month: November 2012

Here’s to random beautiful things

We had a surprise guest during last Tuesday’s Creative Writing class, just as we were about to discuss the things that inspire us. I wouldn’t even have noticed if our professor hadn’t pointed it out. This huge ass butterfly, what we call a mariposa, perched on our window and stayed with us for the entire session. Makes me wonder what other amazing things I miss out on because I’m too busy to take a good look around me. We don’t really celebrate Thanksgiving in the Philippines, but today, I want to give thanks for all those chance moments that add a touch of magic to my everyday routine. Here’s to seeing that butterfly on the window! Happy thanksgiving to all 🙂 Advertisements

Bottled Kicks: Dare Double Espresso

Well, look at what we’ve got here! Thanks to my sister who’s fresh from a business trip to Melbourne (and my brother who picked it up for me), I’ve got a new coffee to try. So far, I haven’t featured any bottled coffees yet, but I just felt that this is more than deserving of its own post. Bottled coffees are much harder to get right than fresh ones. Maybe it’s the coffee-milk-sugar ratio that’s the kicker, but of all the ones I’ve tried, I can count only a few that I truly enjoyed enough to want to buy them again. Unfortunately, that’s not always easy since some are imported. There’s Starbucks Frappuccino (that one I’m able to buy here), Baristar Coffee from Korea (I love ’em Korean coffees) and the local Nescafe canned iced coffees do okay in a pinch. Most others I’ve tried were either too watery, too milky or too sweet. Let’s talk about Dare. The first thing that got me excited was, of course, the Double Espresso part. To be honest, …

NaNoWriMo Tales 2: Crossing the Midway Line

I did it! After four days of sporadic writing followed by two days of marathon writing (the last of which amounted to an as-yet unprecedented total of 6,453 words in one day—YAY!!!), I finally conquered the elusive 25,000 word count—and neglected my blog in the process. A friend of mine told me recently that I should choose between travel writing and fiction writing, and concentrate on just one. I’ve been giving that a lot of thought ever since. True enough, I am having a hard time doing both. I’m not even gainfully employed yet, and already I’m struggling to keep the balance between updating my blog and keeping my novel on track. Because of the extremely tight deadline dictated by the NaNoWriMo gods, though, I’m focusing the majority of my energies on my fiction writing—at least for the duration of this month. It’s been one heck of a challenge so far. I’ve followed my gut and skipped scenes not once, but twice. The second time was brought on by another major bout of writer’s block. …

NaNoWriMo Tales 1: The First Week

It’s the end of my first week of NaNo-writing — or the start of my second, if you’d rather — and thus far, I have a grand total of…(drumroll)…11,535 words. It’s nothing to scoff at, but it’s not exactly near the 18,337 word count that I should have by now. You might ask: if I’ve got a ton of catching up to do, why am I wasting my time writing in my blog? I suppose the best answer would be that this serves as some sort of a warm-up exercise for me to get the my fingers tapping away at the keyboard and my brain juice flowing. As of this moment, the thoughts and words come in trickles rather than the much-anticipated torrents. I haven’t even started the real action in my story yet already I’ve come across that major villain called writer’s block. And my God, it’s a big one. So big that I’m actually considering doing an entire rewrite…which would probably amount to NaNo-suicide as that would mean starting off with nada once again. Nope, I don’t think …

The Demilitarized Zone, Korea

It’s sad that most, if not all, countries have a history of violence that has defined, molded, and transformed them so completely. I haven’t gotten around to writing about my last three days in Korea, but I decided that what we visited on my final day deserved a post of its own. Before our trip, I didn’t really know much about the history of Korea (due in part to my propensity for sleeping in history class back in high school). I knew there was a North Korea and a South Korea…Yes, that was basically it. So when my brother mentioned that we include DMZ in our itinerary, I was clueless and just nodded along. It took us some maneuvering since my stay was much shorter than my siblings’, but we managed to allot my last day for our trip there. We booked a half day tour to give me enough time to prepare for my flight later that evening. Though our trip was quite short, I have to say that DMZ was one of my most memorable experiences …