All posts tagged: Writing

“Excuse me, please.” (aka Four)

The tale of a postcard-perfect town and a four-time encounter with a memorable stranger. Sort of like “Before Sunrise”…but in reverse.

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Life after 50K

Before I get caught up in the December festivities, let me take this moment to celebrate the month that was. November. To most, it’s that time of the year to play catch-up—with the work and personal goals they haven’t quite achieved yet, with the pre-Christmas-rush shopping, with their friends and family before everyone gets busy with the holidays. To aspiring authors, it means only one thing: NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month, aka the month of uninhibited word vomiting, of ignoring the backspace key, of backing up documents to the point of paranoia, and of shamelessly indulging in excessive amounts of coffee, chocolate, and junk food (that is, unless you’ve got GERD like I do). This was my third time to join NaNo, my third time to win it, and my third time to not finish my novel in thirty days. The first time, I came in without a plot, simply armed with an idea that I thought was totally brilliant. I wrote the required 1,667 words a day when I could and made up for what I …

“What if we don’t wake up on time?”

Hamburg, November 2010 I woke up in a startling burst of consciousness, as though someone had poked me in my side. I blinked. I didn’t usually wake up without an alarm. My eyes grew wide. My alarm. I groped for my phone underneath my pillow, my breath suspended in my chest. My hand hit gold, and I quickly pulled it out and checked the screen. Jolting upright, I turned to the lump beside me and shook it. “Wake up!” Your head shifted on the pillow as you mumbled something I couldn’t understand. I was already on my feet and hitting the lamp switch. Light flooded the small room, throwing shadows along the not-quite-white walls enclosing a space that looked nothing like it did in the photos. Not that it mattered now. “Wake up,” I half-yelled at you as I shoved my legs into my jeans, “It’s (time). Our train’s leaving in x minutes.” “What?” Launching into a sitting position, you checked your phone and jumped out of bed. I strode over to the tiny sink just beside the door and splashed …

An interview with author Marie Lu

If you’re a fan of dystopian YA books, chances are you’re familiar with Marie Lu, the writer behind the best-selling Legend trilogy, which has been picked up for adaptation by CBS Films. Last October, she debuted her new fantasy series The Young Elites with a book of the same title. This story follows Adelina Amouteru, a girl who emerged from the blood fever with strange markings and a dark, mysterious power. She falls in with the Young Elites, a society of other teens with magical capabilities, who are hunted by the Inquisition Axis. As her control over her powers grows, so does the call of the darkness within her. I’ve already passed the halfway mark of this book, and I can say that it’s a dark, compelling read that’s mostly narrated by an unexpected main character—a budding villain. Last week, National Book Store delighted readers by bringing Marie to Cebu and Manila for a signing tour. I was supposed to interview her for a website that I’m writing for, but since there was a last-minute scheduling conflict, I thought of doing it for my blog instead. Thankfully, the lovely folks at NBS accommodated me. This opportunity came …

“Can you take my picture?”

Because I was feeling inspired, I give you the first of my Snapshot Stories—encounters that stayed with me through my travels. Enjoy! Siem Reap, February 2013 The sun burned hot and bright against my back, sending trickles of sweat down the thin cotton of my shirt. The occasional breeze rustled my hair from its bun. My leggings had long said goodbye to their pristine black state, standing no chance against the fine orange dust that coated the ground. Like the finest of powder, the dust jumped at the slightest movement, swirled at the slightest whisper of wind. I’d been warned about it, but it had still shocked me when I arrived in that small but mighty town. No longer. I stood smiling as my friend struck a pose in front of the ruins of an ancient Hindu temple. Structures of red stone rose above him, battered by time, yet still glorious in the intricate details and the graceful curves and curlicues that brought life and depth to those solid walls. As though there wasn’t a crowd of …

Things I learned from 8 best-selling YA authors

In honor of it being midway through NaNoWriMo, I thought it was the perfect time to write about one of my favorite parts of my freelancing gig—interviewing published authors. It’s been a long-time dream of mine to publish my own novel, and nothing inspires me quite like talking to people who have done it, and done it well. More than celebrities, it’s authors who bring out the fangirl in me. It’s always such a pleasure to meet them and realize that they aren’t just extremely smart and well-spoken, they’re also down-to-earth and, well, awesome. Like I said, total fangirl. Thanks to National Book Store and Hitlist.ph, I’ve been able to meet several authors whom I never would’ve dreamed of being in the same room with, let along talking to one-on-one. I’ve picked up some great insights from them, and I thought I’d share them with you all. I hope you find these interesting and useful too, and if you’d like, you can click on the links to each of my articles to check out the full interviews. Enjoy! …