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Showing posts from December, 2013

Why I Love Cooking

I remember how, as a kid, I had thought about being one of two things: a priest, or a chef. Look where I ended up.

In the late 2000s, I moved out of the house to join a friend and her then-boyfriend to a nice three-bedroom townhouse in Pasig. She was paying most of the rent so I couldn't complain. The moment I stepped into the unit, one of the first areas I checked out was the kitchen, and I'd imagine myself whipping up whatever culinary storm I could think of, even if  the time I had could only afford me enough to make a sandwich.

I love kitchens, moreso the stuff I could do there. Being an art director for Real Living magazine had exposed me to different kitchen designs, and I'd always get secretly excited whenever a kitchen was the subject of the monthly makeover. A mall's appliance center is also a fave place of mine, particularly--surpirse,surprise--the kitchen section. Then there's the supermarket, which I'd sometimes visit even if I didn't have anyth…

Develop Your Story Creation Skills with Tabletop Role-Playing Games

Since I'm the kind who thinks about these things, I've come up with a list of the different skills of story creators, and I use the word "skills" loosely here. While creating stories, I find myself making use of all of them, some better than others.

1) Research - The ability to search for, consume, and digest relevant and interesting information.

2) Omnipresence - The ability to go into "god mode," that is, to see a story from all angles, within and without. You are aware not only of the events that take place in your story world, but also of the aspirations and motivations within the hearts and minds of your characters.

3) Causality - The ability to see how things lead to other things, why some events take place, and what these events can lead to.

4) Interconnectedness - The ability to determine the connections between seemingly unrelated elements.

5) Psychology - The ability to dissect personalities, attitudes, relationships, and states of mind, and how they …

From Us to You...

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What I Learned in 2013

2013 started in a rough way, to the point that I found myself scraping for cash just to pay the electric bill. But things started to turn around as the year progressed, thank God.

The highlights of the year for me were:

1) As you may have guessed, my debut as a playwright. "Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady" was well-received, even landing in theatre critic Gibbs Cadiz' list of the best one-act plays of the year. The comic book adaptation is now out in the market, though I noticed that not all bookstores have stocks yet. As one of the top three entries of the Virgin LabFest 9, it will be restaged in June 2014, and the full-length musical opens in October.

2) Winning my second National Book Award. Totally unexpected, since "Zaturnnah sa Maynila" Part One isn't a complete work. I'm finishing the whole thing next year, since I'll be presenting a paper on it as part of my writing fellowship with De La Salle University--another surprise I'm thankful…

A Guide on How To Make Stories - A Third Attempt

If you've read the series of blog entries I've been posting about how to create a comics story, that's actually my second attempt at this. (My first attempt was through a small workshop I conducted with volunteers and pizza. That was fun.)

I will admit that even those blog entries have come off sounding complicated, even to me. I haven't gotten substantial feedback on them, and that tells me that they haven't made any impact. (Either that or there's not much of an audience for that kind of thing.) I'm trying again, since the main reason for my doing this is to come up with something I could personally use. There's so much information out there on the topic, from books to blogs, interviews to courses, so I wanted to distill all that information into something manageable.

I'm in the process of putting together a third attempt, which incorporates the lessons I've learned while developing "Zaturnnah sa Maynila" and "Kung Paano Ako Nag…

Billboard's Hottest 100 of 2013

Billboard Online releases its list of the Top 100 songs of 2013. In the Top 20, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Bruno Mars, Miley Cyrus, and Justin Timberlake have two songs each.

Despite Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" endurance in the Hot 100 number one spot for 12 weeks, it wasn't able to edge out "Thrift Shop," which stayed at the top spot for six. Drake enjoyed having the most number of 2013 Hot 100 hits at twenty, while Miley Cyrus' "We Can't Stop" was the top choice of Billboard's Critics' Picks.

Here's the top 20:

1) THRIFT SHOP - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Featuring Wanz
2) BLURRED LINES -  Robin Thicke Featuring T.I. + Pharrell
3) RADIOACTIVE - Imagine Dragons
4) HARLEM SHAKE - Baauer
5) CAN'T HOLD US - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Featuring Ray Dalton
6) MIRRORS - Justin Timberlake
7) JUST GIVE ME A REASON - Pink Featuring Nate Ruess
8) WHEN I WAS YOUR MAN - Bruno Mars
9) CRUISE - Florida Georgia Line Featuring Nelly…

How I Handle a Negative Review

Sometime around late-2001, after I had released my first solo work "One Night In Purgatory," I solicited feedback through the bulletin board I had set up in the book's website. One day, someone posted scathing words on the board. I fail to remember the entire message, but the word that stood out was "fudgepacker."

So I posted a calm reply, thanking him (I had assumed it was a guy) for his comment, and asked him what he thought the book needed for it to be better.

He responded with more verbal grenades, but didn't really answer the question. A clear troll. So I told him that since I was new to the whole comics writing thing, I would be thrilled to know which parts of the book he didn't like. After all, I was just learning, and maybe he could help me.

His answer: he hadn't read the book.

I continued with the same calm tone, asking him stuff about his favorite books and such. He recommended that I read "Love and Rockets" and books from Fantag…

Another Post About How to Save the American Comics Industry

I will admit that I haven't bought pamphlet comics in a very long time, though I try to keep myself updated on the general goings-on in the American comics industry, particularly what's been happening with the Big Two. I've been reading some of the new X-Men titles as well.
Lately, I've been reading some blogposts about the sorry state of the comics industry, how it has failed to attract new buyers, how prices have become prohibitive, how the number of "good titles" have decreased, how film and television adaptations have not substantially improved comics sales, and how "big events" have begun to lose their novelty because of their regularity.
Sadly, it seems that the same mistakes are being made. (I recently heard that special effects covers were being considered for a comeback. Did that push through?)
One development that had been seen as a way to boost comics sales is the production of film adaptations, with the perception that audien…