My Ideal Book Conference

August 21, 2017 at 9:48 PM | Posted in Books, Writing | Leave a comment
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Are you a bibliophile? Have you ever gone to book launches by your favorite authors and lined up for hours just to get an autograph? How would you react if you meet your favorite author in person?

I was lucky enough to meet my favorite local author Jessica Zafra years ago. I used to work for a company before and we had to organize a book launch for her latest book. Of course as a fan, I was excited – and also nervous. I admired her for years and loved her writing. I have her Twisted book series in my collection. It would be my first time to see her in person. And so I did. It was a thrilling experience.

Unfortunately, since I was part of the team that organized the book launch, I wasn’t able to get an autograph from her. I remember being caught up in a flurry of activities during that time, basically just making sure that the launch ran smoothly. I didn’t even get to thoroughly enjoy watching her read passages from her new book nor was I able to fully listen to the Q & A portion where she answered questions from the fans. I was backstage most of the time. The opportunity to come up to her and ask for an autograph didn’t happen.

All the same, that was still an enjoyable experience for me. It’s rare that you get to meet your favorite author in person, much less organize a book launch for them.

Wouldn’t it be nice, though, to see your favorite authors gather in one roof? If I were given the opportunity to plan a book event myself, it would be a gathering of authors, editors and publishers. I think it would be interesting to have a mix of experts in the industry as part of the conference so that the learning is not limited to the field of writing only.

Photo credit: guardianlv.com

For the panel, I would imagine my favorite authors to be part of it. It would be awesome to see Anne Rice there in the panel. I know she often gives writing tips on her Facebook page but I think seeing her talk in person would be an immersive experience. It would also be interesting to see Neil Gaiman talk about his writing process, especially when he’s writing the TV or movie adaptation of his books.

Gaiman has already been in Manila twice but back then, I never read any of his books or comics and wasn’t a fan. But I heard he was super nice to his local fans. Now that I’ve read some of his books, I’ve become a fan. If he ever comes back to Manila, I would definitely want to meet him in person.

As a book writer wannabe myself, I know there is much to learn when it comes to publishing your work. That’s why my ideal panel for a book conference would involve editors from major and independent publishers. It would be good to hear tips from them on their editing process, or how they pick fresh material to publish, what kind of stories they think readers would want to read, etc.

Photo credit: quirkbooks.com

I’m particularly interested to hear people from Quirk Books. I think they attracted quite an attention with their Quirk Classics line. Did they ruin the classics by injecting humor and horror into them? How did that idea of reimagining the classics come about?

My ideal book conference would be in a casual and informal setting. I think it would be great to have a Mad Hatters Tea Party as a theme for the conference. Imagine authors and editors sitting next to fans and interacting with them at a long and lavish table in an al fresco setting. I think that would be more fun and lively than the usual traditional conference set up. Throw in other notable authors like Pablo Neruda or Umberto Eco (yes, I know they’re dead but they can always appear as ghosts!) in that panel and you have an interesting mix of people. And who would be perfect as moderator in the panel than the Mad Hatter himself? I think he can share his nonsense poems and riddles with the authors.

Of course, these are all just wishful thinking. I’ve had enough experience organizing corporate events myself and some conferences can be pretty boring. This imagined book conference would be my take on how I would want an interesting event to go.

Organizing events can be fun but it can be stressful too. It’s a good thing that there are helpful online tools out there such as Eventbrite that make an event planner’s life easier. And there’s nothing more satisfying than to see your events turn out to be as successful as you hope they would be.

 

Writing Fanfiction

April 30, 2015 at 12:09 AM | Posted in Fandom, TV, Writing | Leave a comment
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Remember that time when I blogged and said I don’t write fanfiction? Yeah well, I just broke my own rule. I wrote my very first fanfiction last year after getting encouragement from some of my Twitter followers who love reading and/or writing fanfiction. I never thought I would succumb to the trend but I did.

I watch a lot of TV shows and sometimes I binge-watch them for hours. And as a result, I get a lot of ideas about certain scenes or dialogues from the shows. Sometimes I find myself forming new or alternative scenes in my head with my favorite TV characters, especially when I think that a particular scene should be written differently for whatever reason (consistency, realism, clarity, etc.).

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My venture in fanfiction writing was mainly brought on by this fact. And also because since I ship some of the characters in the shows I watch and wish for episodes where they form romantic relationship with each other, I decided to take matters into my own hands. After all, I have ideas in my head on why and how these characters can develop their relationship and where the story can go. Besides, I also wanted to test myself if I could do it and see how good I am in creative writing. And it turned out that I can and am good enough.

I’m a big fan of Suits, and conversation among shipper fans on Twitter pushed me to go ahead with writing my very own fanfic. My favorite OTP on Suits is of course Donna and Harvey, a.k.a Darvey, and they are the focus of my first fanfic. Admittedly, it was a very enjoyable experience for me. I was surprised on how easy I could write it. I only had to put to paper what was already in my mind. Several chapters later, I posted the story on fanfiction.net and was overwhelmed by the positive feedback I got from fellow Darvey shippers. I was truly delighted.

I’ve just written my second Darvey fanfiction, which I also published on fanfiction.net. And honestly speaking, I don’t know if I will write more or not — or whether I can write a fanfic about other shows. But one thing is certain for me: I’ve proven to myself that I can definitely write fanfiction.

Unwritten

November 19, 2014 at 11:48 PM | Posted in Musings, Writing | Leave a comment
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Sharon Olds poem

I recently came across this poem by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Sharon Olds and it struck me as both poignant and relevant. This particular line of the poem spoke to me like it was talking about my life. As an introvert, I am never the type to put my heart on my sleeve. Whatever my opinions are, whatever I feel I usually put it in writing – either on this blog, in my private diary, or on social media. I can be a really keen observer, especially when it comes to people and situations. I might not be very vocal about it, but I form opinions in my head. I am like Charlie in The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I write what I observe. Perhaps some of that you can read on my blog or on Twitter but some are kept in private, away from prying eyes.

The poem also reminded me of my previous attempt to write my own autobiography. Given my past and present experiences, I have a lot of stories to tell. Some of them I’ve already divulged to my close friends but others are still waiting to be written. Maybe someday I will eventually write about them or maybe not. There are things in life that are better left forgotten, unspoken or unwritten.

Mementoes

March 20, 2014 at 10:00 AM | Posted in Musings, Writing | Leave a comment
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With all the modern technology available these days when it comes to communication, writing letters has become a lost art. I’m not talking about email, but rather the traditional form of writing correspondence. And as much as I love receiving text messages, email or instant message from friends, there are times when I get nostalgic about the days when receiving mail from the post brought excitement and curiosity for me.

Back when I was in high school and college, I used to send letters and postcards to my friends. Cellphones weren’t ubiquitous in those days and the Internet at that time was just in its early stage (Gosh, now I suddenly feel old!). I remember purchasing stationeries, greeting cards and color pens specific for each person I’m writing to. And even though my handwriting didn’t (and still doesn’t) look good, I enjoyed putting my thoughts into paper.

letters & mementoes

I’m the type who cherish little things from friends so I kept every letter, postcard and note I received from them. When I was in college, my friends at the university and I used to doodle and pass notes to each other during boring classes. I still have them with me as mementoes of the good old days.

These days, it’s a rarity to send and receive letters via snail mail. On one hand, I don’t mind sending or receiving one from the post because I think it’s much more personalized and intimate. But on the other hand, I like faster communications so electronic is the way to go. I’m also trying to go paperless as much as possible and reduce my carbon footprint, so online communication is now my chosen form of correspondence aside from SMS and phone calls.

Of Fan Fiction and Fangirling

February 27, 2014 at 12:46 AM | Posted in Writing | 1 Comment
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Every person who is part of a fandom only knows too well about fan fiction. In fact, most fangirl and fanboy I know have read fan fiction at some point, even if they’re not voracious readers of the genre. I must admit, even though I belong to several fandoms and spend most of my time fangirling on them, I never tried writing fan fiction. As a writer, this should have come naturally to me, right? Not really.

Honestly speaking, I don’t feel comfortable writing about characters that are not originally conceived by me. Somehow, I feel like I’m committing a blasphemy (for want of a better word) if I dare to write stories about the characters I love. It’s also sort of like giving respect to the writer who originally created the characters. Don’t get me wrong. I admire fan fiction writers. In fact, I have a few friends who write fan fiction. I think most writers of the genre have the natural talent in spinning interesting stories about much-loved characters from TV, movies or books. And I think it’s a true testament of their dedication and love for the fandom they belong to.

Fanfiction-Writer-What-my-friends-think-I-do

But for me, I really can’t bring myself to do the same. I prefer writing about characters that I myself created. Well I guess that’s just me. When it comes to writing fan fiction and fangirling, I mostly veer towards the latter. When I fangirl, I tend to express it through other means – either by blogging or gushing about it nonstop on social media. But who knows, maybe eventually I’ll try writing fan fiction just for the experience.

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