Monday, November 1, 2010

Things To Do This Sembreak

I decided to make a new label for my blog. It'll be called "Personal". So this blog won't be just a Writing Blog. From now on, it will also be more personal. Which means I will bore and torture you with the whereabouts of my personal life. I will also post some things that are not really related to writing or just a "li'l tiny bit" related to writing.
Since in my previous post I wrote about a "list" of things to do in my one week vacation, I decided to make an entry about that. Here it is:

Things to do this sembreak:

1.)Draw a self-portrait- Nah, I'm not an artist. I'm not really good in drawing. But hey, it's my time, it's my vacation, it's my own self, so I'll do anything I want. Teehee...

2.)Learn how to sew using a sewing machine- I just love sewing! I'm not good in this, either. And I haven't tried using a sewing machine. But I love redesigning my clothes.

3.)Learn how cook!- Ahaha... I don't think I'm a bad cook. It's just that I don't get to cook in our house because I have lots of older sisters who cook for the whole family. Well, I'm not getting younger so I decided to try this craft NOW.

4.)Compose a song- I love music, but music hates me. Still, I want to try to compose a song. Period.

5.)Write at least 15k words- Whew! I'm not so sure I can achieve this. It's already Tuesday and I haven't written anything!

6.)Update and reorganize my writing blog!- That's what I'm trying to do right NOW!

7.)Write a letter for my 25-year-old SELF... - Ahaha. Don't you guys love receiving letters? Well, I do! Last year, I wrote for my 24-year-old self. 

After one week, let's see how much I can achieve from these goals. I'll post them here. I'm already done with that self-portrait thing. It doesn't look like me though. Haha! 

Sullen Princess (4th Book)

Okay, so I abandoned my blog for months... Sheeesh, how humiliating! 

I went to college (but no, that's not enough reason!) and got a little busy. I even neglected my writing. But two weeks ago, I managed to finish my manuscript (Sweet Princess). I'm still waiting for its feedback.

Since it's our sembreak, I made a list of things that I want to do. One of those is "Update and Reorganize My Blog". So here I am, trying my very best to think of something to write. I realized I haven't posted my fourth book yet. So here it is!


The Sullen Princess. It's the story of Aurielle Torrevilla, sister of Janica from Naughty Princess. I can't count the times I cried over this book. Not because of its drama, but because I had to revise it over and over and over again! It's not even the original plot. I had to make a MAJOR revision and change the entire story. 

So imagine my delight when this book got the "Reader's Choice". The months of agony was totally worth it.

Friday, May 7, 2010

3rd Published Book

Finally, my book "Naughty Princess" has been released already. It was supposed to be a series but my publisher said they won't publish other series yet, aside from those already existing series...

It's okay. The editor told me I can still write the stories of Janica's sisters. They will be publised under the PHR imprint.

Please grab your copy NOW!
Enjoy reading... ^_^

Friday, February 5, 2010

Interview with Aira Ledesma

Aira Ledesma discovered her talent in writing as early as seven years old. Up to date, she has written hundreds of pocketbooks including the very popular Bestfriends Series. Here's a short interview with her.

1.)When did you start writing?
As romance pocketbook writer,1995.

2.)Did you experience rejection? How did you cope with it?
The first time I experienced rejection, I stopped writing. I felt bad and frustrated. I kept the rejected manuscript for months. Then, there was this new publication that opened doors. I decided to submit my rejected manuscript with this in mind: if ever ma-reject ito uli, it means I am not meant to be a romance pocketbook writer. So what I did was I ironed every crumpled page of my rejected manuscript to make it appear newly typed. During that time, computers were not that popular yet so writers used typewriters instead. To my delight, which gave me a new hope, that manuscript was approved. In addition, an editor of another publication talked to me and got me to be their regular writer. That ended my frustrations and the rest was history.

3.)What do you do if you have the writer's block?
I stopped writing and turned off my computer. . I'll do something else and try to relax my mind. When I have rested enough from writing, I figured out what's wrong with my manuscript. That's the time I'll think what scenes should comes next. It is very important to get rid of the writer's block before a writer continues writing. For me, it's like an obstacle in a game. You can't continue playing in another level unless you have resolved the hindering obstacle.

4.)Any tips for the aspiring writers?
If you feel you are a borne writer by heart, don't stop dreaming to be one. Read as many romance pocketbooks as you can for a start to familiarize yourself with the formula. Yes, love story writing has a formula. As for myself, reading Mills and Boons was my training ground. By constant reading, I was able to determine how a story should run and what are the important elements that should compose it.

I got this tip from the first publisher that accepted my first published manuscript. According to him, the dilemma of the characters must already be established in the first ten pages of your story. He also said that the writer must have the ability to arouse the curiosity of the readers at the very start of the story. Most of the time, it must be written in the female character's point of view since the target market of romance pocketbooks are women. Aside from being a wide reader, the writer must know her characters and can give justification if ever there are deviations from the normal characterization.

Be attentive, be a good listener, be a wide reader, be a keen observer, be alert and aware with everything and everyone around you. For who knows? A single word that you may hear from a person next to you or a funny act from someone you bump in a department store may lead you to a good story plot.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Write with Passion

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Place for Writing

Do you have a particular place where you write? Do you sit down in the same desk each day? If you don't, then maybe it's time you do!

Having a place for writing can actually help you write faster. It's almost like a habit. Your brain gets accustomed to that place, so every time you sit down to write, words and ideas can flow out easily.

It doesn't have to be grand or paradise-like. You don't even have to spend big bucks for it. Making it special in your own way is enough. Here's a list of things you can do to make a place where you can do what you love most. Writing!

  • Find a desk. Even an old one will do. If don’t have any desks or tables, you can purchase plastic tables at low prices.
  • Place it in a very comfortable room. Make sure it’s near an electrical outlet so you can plug-in your computer or if the day’s hot, an electric fan. It’s also nice to put the desk beside a window to let the air freshen you. Seeing the world outside can also bring new ideas to your brain!
  • Design it. Go! Let your creative mind work. Put something that inspires you to write. Some people like having papers on their desks. You can arrange some books from authors who inspire you or even books that you wrote.
  •  Put some flowers or pictures. A flower can brighten anyone’s day. But if you don’t like them or you simply don't have flowers, you can put pictures of loved-ones instead. You can choose whatever you want. After all, it’s your own place!
  • The last but absolutely not the least, maintain cleanliness. Did you know that mess is one of the factors of stress? Yes, it is! So, every now and then, keep your writing place in order. Besides, having a comfortable, clean place is good for your health. Haha!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Interview with Mariane Reign

 Mariane Reign was only fifteen when her first book got out to the market (probably making her the youngest tagalog romance writer!). Her debut novel, "Grow Old With You" was immediately followed by "Race Me To Your Heart". This talented young writer will be graduating from high school this March.

1.)You're already a writer at age fifteen. How do you feel about that?
-Somehow, I feel delighted and very much thankful. For me it's one of the greatest achievement I've ever had. I consider it a miracle already Smile Though there are times I feel insecure with other writers. Is it normal? Oh yeah. I'm an abnormal Razz
Critics and readers make me flushed and all red whenever they tell me I wrote a nice story. I mean, it's like, writing is not my life but still, my writing touches lives.

2.)When did you start crafting stories?
-If you mean writing stories, I started with fan fictions when I was nine. They were written in script-type though. I posted them in a site. Hindi ko alam kung bakit ako napunta sa pagsusulat ng nobela..hahaha. When I was in third year, I wrote a 172 pages playwright. It was a love story. And someone actually volunteered to print it out and bind it into one for free. Then they told me to try writing novels Smile

3.)Who inspired you to write?
-My friends, primarily. Since most of them are quite fond of reading tagalog novels, they pushed me to write one, two and more. I didn't expect they'd like it though since I had no experience in writing such things. In my first try, I judged it a crap. But my friends liked it so I made two more that were clearer than the first one. And so Grow Old with You and Race Me to Your Heart were born.
4.)What do you do to beat writer's block?
-Writer's block? I thought that existed too. But since myriad of writers had told me it doesn't exist, I erased that from my vocabulary. If I'm not in the mood to write, I read, watch T.V, talk and talk, listen to songs and daydream. Somehow it works. Smile

5.)10 years from now, what do you see for yourself?
-Honestly? It's unpredictable. It's either I'd be a psychologist treating people or I'd be a writer writing for the people. Right now it's 50-50. I think wherever I am at that time would be the place where I'd belong forever.

Walk to Beat the Block

For almost three months, I had been struck by the Writer's block. Just when I needed to write most, words seemed to abandon me.
I was desperate to find the cure. But I guess I just got too lazy to write. Every time I thought of sitting in front of my laptop, part of my mind told me I was tired and all. This month of January, I finally found a way to fight the “I’m not a good writer” stuff. So, what did I do?


Yes, I took a walk. Each day, I wake up at 4:30 in the morning. I write for about an hour. After that, I take my snickers and walk for a mile or two.

Why does it help?


- Exercises the brain by increasing the blood circulation, oxygen, and glucose to it.

- Improves memory.

-Improves your ability to make decisions, solve problems, and focus.

- The calming effect of walking quiets the mind enough to let clear thoughts merge.

- Increases creativity (stimulates imagination and creative thought).

Yes! Exercising does not only benefit the body but also the brain. So why don't you tie up your shoes and start walking now?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Did you know...?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Luckiest People

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Interview with Sharon Rose

Sharon Rose is one of the most talented persons I've known. She's a writer, a painter, an architecture, a photographer, a make-up artist, a businesswoman.... Name it! This lady can do all that.
To visit her blog, CLICK HERE!

1.)What is your inspiration in writing?

For my characters, my inspiration are the people around me and the individuals that I admire. For example, nagagandahan ako sa isang kakilala, gagamitin ko yung bida sa nobela ko. Or if I would be inspired by her life, i'll use her life as the plot in my story. Yung mga ginagawa ko kasi, though fiction are inspired from true to life stories, some of them are mine. Dagdagan na lang ng konting spice at ang finished product ay isang manuscript.

2.)How do you beat writer's block?

May writers block ako kapag masyadong pagod kaya pagod na ang utak mag-isip. Or kapag hindi inspired. To beat this, I usually read interesting books that will inspire me and challenge me to write a good read. Lalo na kapag nagandahan ako dun sa binabasa ko. I also unwind and go to places that i can get inspiration. Or simply not to think about writing at all. Pagkalipas ng ilang araw, may mga bago na naman akong ideyang maiisip. Or simply kapag tinatamad ako, nagkakawriters block talaga ako kasi tinatamad na magsulat.

3.)Do you have a writing schedule?

I don't have any writing schedule. I write when an inspiration struck me and that I have the time to put my ideas into writing. Ayokong masyadong pinapagod ang sarili ko kasi nagiging fight scenes lahat ang kalalabasan. Kumbaga nagiging suplada ang bida.. haha

4.)Do you have some tips for the writers wannabe?

Tips na mabibigay ko, if you have the passion, then strive hard to fulfill your dream to be a writer. Wag masyadong padadala sa mga negative comments. Take it as constructive criticisms and a challenge to improve your craft. Kapag nadiscourage ka naman at feeling me eh hindi ka talaga magiging writer kasi di maganda ang feedback, stop for a while, relax, get inspired and write again and again. read a lot and study other author's style, to get some tips and read about techniques in writing. Read and read and write and write until you'll get the right formula. its always try and try until you suceed.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Interview with Almira Jose

Ms. Almira Jose gave me permission to repost this interview from her blog:

 1. When did you start writing Tagalog romance novels? 2003

2. When were you first published? Aug 2003
What genre or title - was your first published work? Modern Category Romance written in Popular Tagalog

3. How did you become a Tagalog romance novel writer? My own initiative
Who or what influenced you? I have long since been a fan of the genre and writing felt like a natural progression

4. Do you use any pen names? If yes, what is/are these? Yes, Almira Jose

5. How many novels have you written so far (If forgotten, approximate no.)? Twenty four

6. Are all of these published? If not why? No, 18 have been published already, the rest are still waiting their turn/schedule

7. How do you come up with your plots/stories? How do you choose your characters? My psychology background plays a part. I'd like to think I have a rudimentary understanding of human behavior.

7. What are the usual themes of your novels (aside from having a central love story)? Why do you use such themes? I'm partial to 'coming of age' 'comedy of errors' and 'rekindling old flames' but I try not to indulge myself and write these themes. Why? I want to push and challenge myself.

8. Do you follow a formula/process in writing your manuscript? If yes, what is/are these? Romance fiction by nature is formulaic. Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl in the end.

9. What do you consider as ideal writing conditions (place, almosphere, mood, etc.)? Place - my room...Atmosphere - as long as there's no distraction...Mood - when I don't have pressing problems to think about. In short, when I'm relaxed

10. Where do you get your ideas on what to write in your novels? Decades of reading, watching films, observing strangers, interacting with others etc...

11. What/who are your inspiration/s in writing? I'm a fan of the genre and that inspires me to write.

12. Do you accept inputs suggested by your publisher? Editors? Production Designers or Marketing Directors? Yes. I take their suggestions into consideration.

13. What suggestions do you retain/remove? What I love about PHR is that they give us writers leeway in our stories. We can write 'out of the box' as long as we are able to give justice to our plots

14. Who has the final say as to what gets published? The editor

15. Does/do your publisher/s have memos/ guidelines on how and what to write? No. But they do have book imprints for example, my love my hero (where the heroine's safety is compromised and the hero saves the day), my lovely bride (the story leads to the altar), blue (the male protagonist is a blue collar worker), working girl (most of the scenes take place in the work environment).. they don't obligate us to write under these imprints but they do encourage us

16. Are there any restrictions? If yes, what are they? Who sets these rules? As I've mentioned, the very nature of the genre is formulaic. Boy meets girl, conflict keeps them apart, this conflict is later on resolved and both end up together. Conflicts are vast and varied and it is up to the writer to think of, build up, and resolve this conflict. You can't write a story without these elements and still call it romance.

One rule that can't be broken though is that the hero and heroine together must have a happily ever after ending. This has been a long established requirement of the genre.

For clarification purposes, I'd like to make clear that we are talking about modern romance fiction here. The happily ever after part is a requirement that sets this genre apart from a love story... one example, Love Story by Erich Segal. Although containing elements of romance, this book cannot be categorized under modern romance fiction since the heroine dies in the end.

Interview with Mei Sanchez

Mei Sanchez was the sole finalist of PHR's 3rd Romance Writing Contest. Her winning piece "Sa Pagitan ng Dalawang Rosas" was published on July 29, 2009. Her other books are  "Huling Mahal" and "The Boy Next Door". I had a chance to interview this talented and very down-to-earth woman.

1.) How did you discover your passion in writing?

I discovered my passion in writing when I joined PHR's 3rd Romance Writing Contest. It was only that time I found out that writing gives me joy and profound fulfillment. That's also why I'm thankful for the contest because I was able to discover a part of me I thought never existed.

2.)You won PHR's contest last year. Who motivated you to join?

Actually, I didn't really win, I was only a sole finalist. To tell you the truth, the prize motivated me to join. ^-^ You see, I'm a full time mom and housewife, so the cash prize will do me good. But through the contest, I'm now embracing and loving the life of a writer with its ups and down.

3.)What was your initial reaction when you found out you won?

When it came to my attention that I was the sole finalist, I was surprised. I was thankful to God for the new found talent. Who would've guess that a middle aged home maker can start a career in writing?

4.)Any writing tips for the aspiring writers out there?

Dear ones, never stop dreaming and believing. Before writing, READ and STUDY a book. You might pick-up pointers on the writer's style. Also, don't lose heart when you receive a rejection because it's a vital part of being a writer. Why vital? Because through it, you will learn and strive harder to have an approved MS. Keep on writing and love it. Let your imagination run wild because it will help your fingers type your stories. ; P

Interview with Karen Dee

 Karen Dee's debut book got accepted by Precious Pages Corporation last November. Here's a brief interview with her.

1.) Tell me something about your first book.
The title of my first book is "Age is only a Number." Basically, we are very fond of the ideal relationship wherein the boy is older than a girl. So my story here is about a lady bounded by her past love life. Her life was focused on her career when he met a guy, who is a friend of his little brother. She doesn't want to be accompanied by him but the guy didn't want to leave her alone...

2.) How long did it take you to write it?
Three or four days. I forgot.

3.)What was your initial reaction when it got accepted?
I was surprised...I'm speechless. I felt the need to read the acceptance notice again and again. I couldn't absorb the fact that my manuscript was accepted.

4.)Where do you get your inspirations?
First of all, I really wanted to write. It was my passion ever since I'm in Elementary. I was dreaming of becoming a writer someday but never really imagined that I can be at this point of time! My very true friend was the one who lighted the way for me. She told me about her manuscript being accepted and encouraged me to submit mine too. And so, I did. My other inspiration was my sister. She is indeed my number one fan. I am very grateful for her - for not being tired on reading my manuscripts and giving me more encouragements to pursue my writing.

5.)Any future plans for your writing career?
I have so many plans!! I wanted to write a book of my own. I wanted to write a true-to-life story book and something inspirational. But I guess, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication.

Romance Formula

Thursday, January 21, 2010

So You Want To Be A Writer

Writing is easy. Every first grade student can do it. However, being a good writer is another thing. If you want your works to be published, there are some things you need to consider.
1.)    Read- Not just reading a few articles a day. When I say read, it means at least three to four hours each day of your life. You will never be a good writer if you’re not a good reader.

2.)    Practice- Make it a daily habit to write something in your journal or blog. There are many things to write about! It will also help you establish writing discipline and help you find your own style.

3.)    Familiarize- Read books and articles about the publishing world. It never hurts to get yourself acquainted with what the editors look for. If you can’t get a magazine for writers, search the web! Also, it’ll be great if you have a friend who has knowledge about writing. Or, you can send an email to your favorite writers. Some of them will actually answer your questions.

4.)    Group- Join or organize a group where you can all share your ideas. You’ll be surprised at how many people want the same dream you’re having. If you have friends who are willing to join you, great! But if you don’t, do not be discouraged. We are in the computer age and you can find thousands of writing groups in the internet.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Be Somebody!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Work-           This is the most important if you want to be a writer. For without this, all your wishes and day-dreamings are worthless. In my early teenage years, writing was my dream. I wanted to be a writer and everyday, I would day-dream that I am writing.
                       Only when I really started to “write” did that desire come true. The path to writing is not easy. Working is not enough. There are more things to consider.

Risk-              I know many people who want to write but are afraid to try. They are afraid that their works might be ugly and nonsense. They are scared to pass it to the publishers because of rejection. But how will you know if you won’t take the risk? Remember: Quitters never win!

Inspiration-      Because the writing is not an easy task, and sometimes you get bored and your mind seems not working, you need inspiration.
                        Where would you get it?
                        It depends on what gives you happiness and joy. You can read the works of writers you look up to, you can also read articles about writing like this one you’re reading, and you can post on your desk some inspirational quotes or even pictures of loved-ones!

Time-            \Maybe you have other works, or maybe you are a student. But if you really want to be a writer, give time to writing. No matter how little it is. The secret here is “time management”. If in one day you write just five pages, in one week you already have 35 pages. In just about a month, you can already finish your manuscript!

Escape-         From time to time, let your mind rest. If you’ve been writing for hours, stand up and do some stretchings. You can also walk to increase the blood flow so your creativity can work better.

I learned that...

Yesterday, I learned that writing has math too!
No matter how frustrating it is, I guess I can never fully avoid math.

Yup, I don't like math, and I guess it doesn't like me as well. We hated each other since my mother gave birth to me. Our feud grew stronger as I reached high school level. I just don't understand how I can use "x + y" in my writing career. I loathed every teacher who teaches this subject. I disliked everyone who forces me to study this you-know-what thing.

Then yesterday, I found myself struggling with numbers again. I had to write the time frame for my new series and it almost blew my mind out!

I realized that was not the only time that I "HAD" to use math in my writing. Many times, I had to count how many pages I had to go... How many words I still had to type... everything!

Well, I guess Math and Love Story are not nemesis at all...

The Best Job!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Waiting Mode

I strongly believe that patience is a virtue...

Pero pagdating sa manuscripts? Nakakabaliw maghintay!
Hinihintay ko ang confirmation ng PHR na na-receive na nila ang pinasa kong manuscript kahapon, at hinihintay ko din ang feedback ng MSV sa pinasa ko sa kanila last two weeks ago.

Hay... buhay writer nga naman!

But guess what? I love it all. I love my work, I love the challenge, I love the love stories I make... everything!

What more can a girl ask for?

I Live To Write