Friday, September 05, 2003

Harry Potter Book Wars Part 3

Yes, it's been my fourth time to the bookfair.

And in less than 24 hours, Goodwill reduced the price of their Harry Potter book 5 from P850 to P780. (The rest of the bookstores didn't though).

At this point, maybe it'll drop down to P500+ on Sunday, and then I can buy all my cute friends copies.

On a side note, in less than 24 hours, all the copies of Wolves in the Walls have also run out. There's a fishbowl full of McKean-illustrated postcards at National Bookstore though.

All Comic Shops Are Equal

Because it was a holiday last Monday, and because of the storm that hit the country, all of the comic shops in Metro Manila had their shipment delayed.

Guidance Testing

Had the weirdest (and probably most difficult) guidance testing today even though it was multiple choice.

I Am...

...One of the most evil people alive, as Dean and Vin would testify.

Read more!

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Quotable Quotes from George R. R. Martin

Game Pro (interviewer): Does having a growing and rabid fan base change anything about the way you write or what you write in your story?

George R. R. Martin: It shouldn’t. It is different when you do a project of this size and length, because the fans are contacting you, and you’re getting feedback during the course of the story, across multiple books, which is very different from the novels I did previously.

When you do something like Fevre Dream – I write the book and the book comes out, then the fans respond, but the book is finished. They can’t guess what is going to happen, or tell me what they want to happen. There is no way I can be influenced by what they say to me, because before they even see the book, the book is done. This way, they are giving you feedback in the middle; there is a danger that there would be some influence there. I don’t think that is necessarily a good thing. I think it is potentially a trap.

Having worked in Hollywood, I’ve seen the drawbacks of getting the fans or the viewers involved in the creative process. Hollywood does that all the time with testing and focus groups. They finish a rough-cut of the movie and they show it to some people. "Oh, what do you think of it?" – "Oh, you didn’t like this character? Let’s cut him out." Or on a TV show for example. "Oh, you don’t like the way it ended? Let’s shoot a new ending." You know…art is not a democracy. People don’t get to vote on how it ends. So, I try to avoid that stuff as much as possible.

GP: For those reading this interview that are looking for direction in creating or writing, what advice can you give?

GM: The first thing is, create your own universe. Don’t write in my universe. Don’t write in Robert Jordan’s universe. Don’t write in the Star Trek universe. It is fine that you love these things. World building and creation is part of the process. You’re not doing the whole job if you’re picking up somebody else’s universe and just plugging in your own characters. That is lazy writing, and I don’t think you learn from it and I don’t think it is a good thing for a writer to do. Create your own world and write in it.

Secondly, I think for a young writer, start with short stories. That seems to be a lost art these days, but it is the way to start. I get tons of letters from 16-year olds who are trying to write a series as big as mine, and they’re seven hundred pages into the second novel of their trilogy. That’s like picking up rock-climbing and starting with Mount Everest. No, you climb the hill behind your house before you go to Mount Everest. Learn your craft with short stories. They’re much more containable. You can learn about plot and characterization and setting writing short stories. There’s a market for short stories. The magazines are always looking for new writers and you sell them short stories and you can make your rep there. When you write your novel it’s not just a novel from someone you never heard of, it’s a long-awaited first novel by this established short story writer. That makes a big difference in today’s market. If the stories don’t sell you wasted a few weeks or a month on it. If you write a damn trilogy and it doesn’t sell, you’ve wasted five years of your life. Young writers should start with short stories and don’t even think about a novel until they’ve sold maybe ten short stories. Then you know you’re good enough that you can sell that first novel.

(Elbert comment on the second part: apparently, he hasn't been to third world countries like the Philippines where most of what we write are short stories...)

GP: Video games are regulated by the ESRB, and both movies and music come with parental warnings or age restrictions. What are your thoughts on regulating books in the same manner?

GM: I hate that. In fact, I hate all the regulations on other stuff. Regulations are created by lazy parents and greedy sellers. When I was a kid, I knew there were stores where you could buy Playboy, but the guy who owned the candy store wasn’t about to sell it to me, because I was 9 years old. He took a certain responsibility there. He was the gatekeeper. Then, if I had somehow managed to get a hold of a copy of Playboy, my mother and father would have taken my head off. Where are the mothers and fathers? Why do they have to have these little ratings? They should be aware of games their kids are playing and what movies they’re watching. They shouldn’t need the government to classify everything easily for them.

Read more!
Lalala Links

Anderson gives Wells the historical treatment.

Sandman: Endless Nights shipping big.

Ray Bradbury: I was never a science-fiction writer...

Forthcoming books (including a short story about Lyra, one of Pullman's characters from the His Dark Materials trilogy.

Read more!

There was our second history exam today and had to cram it under 45 minutes, in front of the teacher as a matter of fact. Hopefully I'll pass...


Had our workshop today and well, criticism on my short story The Librarian didn't go well in the sense that I don't know where it should be going since prior feedback contradicted with the present feedback, at least in terms of where it should be headed.

For those who've read it, feedback is very welcome, especially considering I have a deadline of next next week to come up with the final draft which will be deliberated on by a panel of, uh, qualified judges.


Me and Vin managed to sneak past in. Actually, it's because the bookfair closes at 8 pm on weekdays but until 9 pm on weekends.

Managed to see the Harry Potter Book Five Wars part 2 since it was now going for as low as P850, including Goodwill Bookstore (which previously didn't stock it). A sharp drop from last Monday's P950 price tag. Even National Bookstore is giving away free dictionaries to those who purchase the book.

And they've restocked copies of Wolves in the Walls and are even giving away free postcards along with it.

Read more!

Wednesday, September 03, 2003


Been asleep since 7:30 pm...


People were gathering at this monument near White Planes in between Ortigas and Annapolis...

Read more!

Tuesday, September 02, 2003


Let me see. There's rain, rain, and more rain. And while classes were cancelled in certain parts of Metro Manila, Quezon City wasn't one of them. So I did brave the storm, literally, to go to class.

Of course umbrellas were littered everywhere and I suspect umbrella theives should turn up right around this time. And I tried updating my blog from the school but the Internet was so slow that people were looking at everyone else as even blog browsing took five minutes each. All while the rain pecked the glasses of the air-conditioned room we were in.


Among my list of links I never thought I'd find, here's an interview with George R. R. Martin. Of all people, by Gamepro. Then click here for a Flash movie of his comic.

The Woods is Shyamalan's next movie, and apparently, BBC is ressurecting its Hitchhiker's Guide radio series.


Well, my blockmates can't make up their mind. So now we're doing an actual book rather than just an ebook. And I need to get sponsors, at least P5,000 worth. In three weeks.

All my deadlines have also been moved back, which means my final drafts should be in by the end of the month. And I was planning to work on them intensively during sem break...

Read more!

Monday, September 01, 2003

I Just Have to Tell This

GMA 7 was interrupting my daily dose of anime with a "Flash Report".

Host: And here we have *insert reporter's name* covering Mr. Arroyo's speech in the court house.


Host: *asks name*

*more static*

*more static again*

Host: Stay tuned for more news tonight.

Read more!
How Time Flies

After school, spent most of my time looking for a copy of Burton Raffel's Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Unfortunately, our bookstores don't seem to have it in stock and the only version they know is Tolkien's adaptation of it (one of the many side-effects of the Lord of the Rings movie).

Oh, and when I say I spent my time looking for a copy, I meant going all the way to Virra Mall and then Mega Mall.

The book isn't for me, by the way...

The Harry Potter Wars

Got some free tickets to the bookfair from my auntie Doreen.

In my endeavor to, uh, search for Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, I got a second chance at peeking at the bookfair.

One think I apparently missed (or maybe they recently implemented it) is the price wars of Harry Potter books (mainly between Fully Booked/Bibliarch and Powerbooks/National Bookstore). It's now P950, whether you pay in cash or via credit card.

Other epiphanies include the number of Atenean graduates who's somehow involved in the event...

... and how the bookfair is better named a "textbook" fair, with Goodwill virtually eliminating most of its selections and most of the other concenssionaires either sell children's books, text books, or local publications (which sometimes involve textbooks).

On a side note, Nick Joaquin's books are going for as low as P25.00 (but that book apparently sold out) and others going for P50 and P100.

Yugi-Oh and other News

Debuting exactly next week on Cartoon Network!

The CCG anime!

On a side note, the 80s anime Saint Seiya is being *ugh* renamed as Knights of the Zodiac for Cartoon Network viewing in the US.

Forgotten Realms Campaigns

Here's news on Forgotten Realms adventures for those interested.

Level Up Press Release

Come and join us as we launch Philippine Ragnarok Online at the Glorietta 4 Activity Center during the World Cyber Games finals. The celebration starts at 11am onwards with great prizes to be won for those who come early enough. Get to buy porings from roving merchant carts (complete with blacksmiths) or get to demo Ragnarok for free. Watch the Ragnarok inspired Cosplay and Dance Number to be capped of with moonstar 88 rocking the night away! This and many more surprises are in store for all our devoted Ragnarok fans, see you all there!

Lost Voice

Suddenly lost my voice after an hour and a half of blathering with Vin, Alex, and Jay about all things geeky (i.e. anime, RPGs, comics, fiction, and the not-so-usual stuff). As to show the duality of my disease which is the ability to build up phlegm in such a short amount of time (did you know that strawberries have more vitamin C than oranges? either way, your body can only absorb an amount of vitamin C that it gets rid of the excess, preferabbly through sweat and peeing), Vin even commented that I seemed well, even though I was spitting (yes, I know after SARS, spitting anywhere just became illegal or such) and coughing left and right on the way to Mega Mall (yes, I did walk all the way from Virra Mall).

Read more!
Due to Popular Demand

Encyclopedia of Silly Sex.

For Vin

I posted this before but here it is.

Writers contributing to Legends II: Tad Williams, Raymond E. Feist, George R. R. Martin, Robin Hobb, Anne McCaffrey, Robert Silverberg, Neil Gaiman, Orson Scott Card, Elizabeth Haydon, and Terry Brooks.

And aspiring writers can always find this useful: Writing fantasy and/or children's stories.

Read more!

Sunday, August 31, 2003

I Couldn't Resist

From Vern: Worst Covers for Romance books.

Read more!
Still Sick

I wonder if I should give up talking altogether and start learning sign language?

Maybe this would be a good experiment: how far nods and waves can take you in a university.

But alas, I will be seeing my crush and I can't not talk to her.

It's September

Which means there's six weeks to go before the semester ends. *sigh*

I mean you've seen how students cram. You should see *how* teachers cram and the syllabus gets dwindled.

An Exercise in Procastination

Finally updated my links and as bloggers should know by now, is something that keeps on getting postponed since you just want to type and hit the "posts" button without worrying about the layout. But alas, there's some organization in having your links at the sidebar rather than in the entry itself since one week later, you'll be searching your own archives for links you mentioned which would actually have been helpful if you had listed it in the sidebar.

Acrobat Reader 6

I just sooooooo love it. You can even select the text, among other things. Unfortunately, this feature only works if the person who made the pdf in the first place made these options available (like DVDs, while they are capable of so much, not everyone maximizes their features). Which basically excludes all those pdfs you download from Kazaa...

Read more!

Carlo Vergara won this year's book awards, his ZsaZsa Zaturnah going head to head with Arnold Arre's After Eden.

Dual Life

Honestly, you don't know how sick I feel. I've been coughing out phlegm the entire day I've been at home but when I'm outside (i.e. meeting Vin, for example), you couldn't tell I was sick. Except for the occassional bag of tissue I'm holding.

And classes begin tomorrow...

Read more!