Books, Creative Writing?, Down Memory Lane, Marked on the Calendar

Writing My Way to Success: #buqoYA x Mina V. Esguerra

Let me start by telling you that I’ve always dreamed of writing my own book. #Hihihi

Sure, WRITING will always be my passion, which is why I never stop honing it. From magazine writing (print and online) to blog writing, even technical writing, I’ve tried ’em all. Now, it’s about time to venture into another form of my chosen craft: story writing. See first sentence. 😛

Since I consider myself as someone who “has experience but not enough theory” when it comes to my passion (my course is not related to writing, but that’s another story for me to tell! *wink* *wink*),  I make sure that I attend writing classes/workshops whenever my budget and schedule permit. To cut the long story short, during one of my writing class/workshop hunting sessions, I stumbled upon local author Mina V. Esguerra‘s blog post about her online creative writing class called #buqoYA, which was hosted by Buqo — the Philippines’ #1 digital bookstore.

And from the moment I signed up, I knew it’d be perfect for me!

Why? Everything just fell into place. 🙂

First, I’ve been a reader of Mina‘s books even before I found out about her class, so I was thrilled to be learning from one of the country’s finest authors (aside from being published the traditional way, she’s also a self-publisher!). And yes, I’ve had the privilege of having my copies of her books signed! Thanks, Mina!!! 😀

Second, I love reading Young Adult (YA) stories — especially if there’s a love story involved! And guess what? The #buqoYA class required us to produce a story that is under YA (the category) and romance (the genre). I even got assigned to the trope I wanted: #FTMTF. Woohoo! (But that’s for you to find out once you read my story! Hehehe!)

Next, I, myself, am a Buqo user! I first discovered it during last year’s Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) and since then, I’ve been a convert — of e-book/digital reading that is! Haha! But seriously, what I love about Buqo is that it’s “a digital bookstore, newsstand, and reader” all rolled into one! It mostly offers local publications (so many great local book and magazine titles to choose from!), so think of it as the local version of Amazon‘s Kindle app. I’m actually currently subscribed to the digital version of Cosmopolitan Philippines, and I also get to buy other local books and magazines without the hassle of leaving my house and looking for a place to store them — all thanks to Buqo! 😉 So to start your Buqo reading adventure, download the app on your Android or iOS device, or simply visit their site HERE. (If you want to read my story, Buqo is where you’ll first find it… SOON!)

Last but definitely not the least, the #buqoYA writing class by the Mina V. Esguerra was perfect for me because of the most obvious reason: I finally got the chance of being closer to my dream of writing a book and actually publishing it! To give you an idea, I’m writing a novella. 🙂

Trivia: A story is considered a novel if it has at least 40,000 words (at least!). A novella if it has around 15,000 to 39,999 words. A short story if it has 14,999 words or less. Or something like that.

Also, I’m going the indie route since I’m the publisher of my book (not to be confused with my would-be first e-book distributor, Buqo). But hey, of course I’m not closing doors to the traditional way (hello, publishing companies!) but for now, I’d like to have overall control of it.

So much control that I’m not even done with the story yet! Toink! =))

Kidding aside, yes, I’m still in the process of finishing my story, but I promise that it’ll see the light of day THIS YEAR! It’ll be available in e-book format first, then in paperback… Yeah! THIS. IS. REALLY. IT!

But since mine is still in the works, I’d like to ask you to please also support my classmates who are already done with their stories. Theirs will be available by April (I think), but I’ll be sure to spread the word here or through my other social media accounts. I’m counting on yah, guys!!! 🙂

#buqoYA class of 2015 :)) (photo courtesy of Buqo's Facebook page)

#buqoYA class of 2015 :)) (photo courtesy of Buqo’s Facebook page)

All in all, I can say that my #buqoYA writing experience is a success! 🙂 Sure, I may not be done with the actual novella yet (for personal reasons I’m not comfortable disclosing to the public for now), but it definitely has taught me A LOT OF THINGS! From learning the different romance tropes to self-publishing, meeting people who have the same passion, to brushing elbows with those who already have success stories to tell when it comes to creative entrepreneurship, I owe all those to this class!

But most of all, this experience taught me this: that I. CAN. DO. IT! And you know, just having the guts to finally start one of my lifelong dreams is already success for me! Besides, I believe for a fact that for wordsmiths like me who live, breathe, and bleed THE WRITTEN WORD, there’s nothing more affirming than knowing that we’re all writing our way to our own success stories!

Oh yeah!!! ❤


If you’re one of my #buqoYA classmates,
what’s your takeaway from this entire experience?

And if you’re one of my blog readers,
I want to ask you now how many copies of my future novella will you order?
Hahaha! Kidding… not. =))

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Books, Gathered Thoughts, Reviews

The (Wannabe) Book Blogger

Hey-a friends! 🙂

So guess what? My craziness has attacked again, which kind of led to another “light bulb moment.” Remember my travel blog project which I just suddenly started two years ago? Well, I’ve got a new blog project in the works…

Except this time, I’m going to write about books, books, and MORE BOOKS!

But WHY, you might ask?

Unleashing the book blogger in me
Three words: I. love. books! And I bet most of you do, too! 😉

Be it fiction or non-fiction; from historical to young adult (YA), to self-help and even biographies, I enjoy ’em all! (The only genre I really can’t stand is horror. Sorry.)

And I think it’s about time that I let my opinions about them be finally heard read! Hence, this first step in my book blogging career. Chos! Career talaga? Haha!

Anyway, it’s also timely because of my latest Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) experience (I’ve been attending for almost four years now) — which resulted to *NEW* books for me to read and yes, finally REVIEW!

I created a special page for my book reviews, which you can check out by clicking here. 😀

Of course it’s still “under construction,” heck, I still even have to find my standard review format but for now, I just want to inform you that starting from this very post, The Lady Is In is already on its way to becoming a semi-book blog. “Semi” being the operative word because you know, I’ll still be writing about my other loves: beauty, food, travel… and anything in between (which includes my reviews) — it’s pretty much my blog header! Wahahahaha!

You know what I mean. So I hope you’ll join me in this new blog project of mine!

Sometimes a wordsmith but always a bookworm (meganon?!),
MIKA 

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Books, Down Memory Lane, Marked on the Calendar, Mi Familia y Mi Amigos, Reviews

A Floating Bookstore, A Dose of Carbon Dioxide, And A Whole Lot of Fun!!!

Weird title?  Heehee.  But yeah.  Even though this is already considered a “late” post, let me tell you first about my Manila adventure with my two friends Mark and Maica, one fine (spontaneous) day…

(photo courtesy of my friend Mark)

Last week, we went to the heart of Manila with the hope of having a one-of-a-kind bookstore experience: the MV Logos Hope.  As self-proclaimed bookworms, the three of us traveled all the way from Makati just to have our hands on very rare, but cheap finds! 😀  But lo and behold, it seemed that we lacked in the “research” department because when we finally arrived at the gate, we were told that the ship’s closed on Mondays!  On MONDAYS!!!  And we went there on a Monday.  Fuuudge. 😐

Since we didn’t want to “waste” one whole trip (not to mention “excitement”), we decided to go to the Manila Ocean Park instead.

And that’s when ALL THE FUN started!!!

MANILA OCEAN PARK

It was already my second time to go there and honestly, I didn’t even think that I’d be back when I went there the first time!  Oh well.  I guess this spontaneous “excursion” was another proof that it doesn’t matter WHERE you are…  what matters is WHO you’re with!  Ahem!

Plus, it was nice to see Maica HAPPY after finally seeing penguins in the flesh!  Trust me, you don’t know how much she loves ’em!!! 😉

Maica and her beloved penguins!!!

As for me, I kind of “penguined” out when it was my turn to feed them…  that’s why I could only get as close to a penguin like THIS:

penguin hugs, anyone? HA HA HA

Good thing there was also another attraction to SMILE about inside the Trails to Antarctica part of the Park: SNOW VILLAGE!!!

Traveling to Antarctica is a dream of mine too, ya know? 😛

Ready for some snow…

…and MORE “FAKE” SNOW!

After that, we decided to try a five-minute 4D movie (thanks to my insistence!) located at the mall outside the Park.

But wait, there’s more…

Once at the lobby, I suddenly saw a familiar “sight” — Mr. Carlos Celdran of Walk This Way fame!


ME: Carlos Celdran!

CARLOS CELDRAN: Hi, how are you?

ME: *smiling like an idiot* =))

I swear, I’ve been planning to go to one of Mr. Celdran‘s Manila tours since time immemorial, that’s why seeing him in person even before availing of his tour spelled only one word: STARSTRUCK!  Hahaha!

I plan to FINALLY avail of his tour THIS YEAR and of course by that time, I promise to have my picture taken with him already.  Don’t worry…  knowing me, you’ll read all about THAT on THIS beloved blog of miiine!  *more hahahas*

Lastly (for that Monday), I realized that with happiness comes PANIC MODE!  On the way home while on the jeep, I witnessed my very first “snatch” encounter!  I don’t want to rehash the details anymore, but I was ThisClose to being the victim!  I’m just really relieved that it wasn’t me, but still sad for THAT lady… 😦  Overall, it was truly one OMG moment for me!

Nakakalokang OMG MOMENT talaga that it made me avoid public transportation for a week!!!  I’m starting to get back to my usual “commuting ways,” but Mayor Lim, do something about THIS for the sake of my fellow Manileños, Taft Avenue, and the City of Manila in general!  Please and thank you.

Moving on…

The following day (Tuesday), we finally stepped foot on the MV Logos Hope (we’re so full of HOPE, no?) with our other friends Angela and Jen. 😀 😀 😀

…some of the places the MV Logos Hope has been to. “Some” being the operative word!

Inside the MV Logos Hope were BOOKS (duh), a cafe, and hundreds of volunteers!  Actually, volunteering for the ship is NOW part of my bucket list!  So when it gets back to our shores, I’ll definitely apply!  Hehehe.

…couldn’t really decide what to buy, so may the heavens help our credit card! =))

a cafe inside a ship – reminds me of our cruise trip! Not bad. Not bad AT ALL. 🙂

And there you have it!  After all that’s been said and done, I realized that no amount of carbon dioxide (sad but true) can stop me from exploring the streets of my beloved Manila!

As posted inside the MV Logos Hope,

“Life is a journey. We’re all going somewhere, but where are we going?”

My answer?  Might as well go somewhere you’ll always keep coming back to (THAT song was right after all)…

…and for me, that’ll always be my hometown: MANILA. ♥

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