Thursday, December 31, 2015

[Personal Update] Happy New Year!

2015 kicked my ass -- this is probably the most accurate thing to say about my year. It left me badly beaten, sore and completely exhausted most of the time, but it also left lessons. I'd rather not dwell in negatives. I'd rather talk about the highlights of my year.

  • I placed first on my Legal Ethics Comprehensive Exams. Exams were given last December 2014. The results, however, were out by beginning of 2015 only. This is something I really did not expect because I honestly don't think I qualify as someone "ethical". LOL! If you knew me in person, my personality is a far cry from "ethical", or even "formal" for that matter.
  • Atty. Y personally told me that I was his favorite student. You have to understand that this is a compliment of epic proportions. Atty. Y was my teacher in Statutory Construction, Legal Ethics, and Sales. He's like a strict but well-meaning grandfather. Lots of first year law students don't reach the second year because of his subjects. He's scary and strict, but he's fair, and he's a real softy at the core. I've been very vocal to the fact that he is my favorite teacher and mentor, so it was such an honor to be told that he was looking out for me. Thank you so much, sir! 
  • I graduated from law school. This was a big deal for me, and was discussed lengthily HERE.
  • I took the bar exam last November 2015. This was also a very big deal for me. Let's just say it was an experience I would never forget.
  • Kids These Days was traditionally published by Anvil Publishing. Now, I could confidently say that I have a book out in bookstores (under a pen name, of course)!
  • I re-launched my book blog! I was inactive in book blogging for almost two years. This made me miss a lot of bookish events and had a backlog of books I needed to read and review. Hopefully, I can get to work on my backlog within the first three months of 2016.

I'm pretty sure I read more than 36 books in 2015, but I wasn't able to record all of them accurately in my Reading Challenge widget on Goodreads, hence, only 36 books appear. It doesn't really matter even if I did not reach my goal of 50 books though, since I gave myself a much-needed hiatus from reading to focus on my exams. I will definitely read more books in 2016!!

All in all, 2015 was a very challenging year for me. Hopefully, 2016 will have more in store.

Have a prosperous new year!!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

[Giveaway] Blog Launch Giveaway


All's Fair in Blog & War by Chrissie Peria
Blasts From Two Pasts by Kristel S. Villar
In Over Her Head by Anne Plaza
Blossom Among Flowers by Jay E. Tria
The Real Score by Kesh Tanglao

(Un)Breakable by Kesh Tanglao
Songs Of Our Breakup by Jay E. Tria
What You Wanted by Mina V. Esguerra
The Kitchen When It Sizzle by Chrissie Peria
Fall Like Rain by Ana Tejano

Just A Little Bit Of Love by Ines Bautista Yao
When Cocoy Became Kikay by C.P. Santi
This Side of Sunny by Agay Llanera


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, December 25, 2015

[Linking Up] Feature & Follow #01

Question of the Week: 
What was the best Christmas (or other holiday) gift you ever received? - Suggested by Alison Can Read.

Follow me on LINKYTOOLS.

Well, this is a tough one. I would say 2013's Christmas gift, which was a paperback copy of Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl. I don't remember much of what I get during the holidays, but the book one was memorable because I personally chose what was to be given to me, and the person who gave it simply obliged. LOL! Happy holidays, everyone! ^_^

Monday, December 21, 2015

[Book Review] Wallflower

(Rear Entrance Video 02)
By Heidi Belleau
October 21, 2013
MM Romance, LGBT, Contemporary Romance

This story was refreshing and I really enjoyed it. Common MM romance stories always feature white, dominant, strong and hunky protagonists. This one is an exception. Not only is Rob a geek, he's a beta-male, an introvert and he's Asian. To be honest, I went in and delved into this story without much expectation or pre-conceived notions. It was the description that got me to read the story, and I'm glad I did. 

Plot-wise, I love how the story delved into Rob's identity crisis. I think this is a common occurrence among the trans community. I have nothing but love and respect for transgenders because it's a huge act of bravery to step forward and be yourself despite societal pressures and blatant discrimination. It also tackled the issue of gender and sexuality (which most people still don't quite understand) without being like an awkward sex ed class.

I love how this romance story tackled the serious issues of identity crisis, gender and sexuality while keeping true to its form as a romance story. There were several light elements that kept everything from being too serious. Kudos to the author for being able to balance everything. 

Character-wise, I love Rob. Although one could say that he's a stereotypical Asian nerd guy, I have a soft spot for geeky protagonists. While he's bordering on stereotypical as an Asian nerd guy, there are enough elements to his character to make him unique. He's relatable in the sense that he's only looking for his own place in the world, much like everyone else.

I personally think Rob and I should be friends. I play MMORPG games, too, so we could bond over that. And if he feels like busting out Bobby, we could always bond over make-up.

As for Dylan, I love the contrast that he presents in comparison to Rob. He's self-aware and knows what he wants, which I think is something that Rob aspires to also become.

All in all, this is pretty thought-provoking for a romance story, and I loved it!

Monday, December 7, 2015

[Personal Update] Spoken Words

I have always been a “Words-Person”. As far as I can remember, words -- be it spoken or written -- hold a special kind of allure. I especially like it when I am able to command words to convey complicated thoughts and feelings.

When I heard about Harinawa, a spoken poetry event headlined by Juan Miguel Severo, I immediately reserved tickets without second thoughts. I couldn’t let the opportunity pass. As a writer, I’ve written my own share of poems. As a public speaker, I’ve performed countless poetry pieces when I was young.

Way before spoken poetry was a thing, I’ve been in several summer speech classes which trained grade school students in public speaking. These classes included poetry recitals, so one could say that I was “trained” when I was young.

I first heard about slam poetry (spoken poetry) in Colleen Hoover’s Slammed. I’m also a fan of Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye. Then, a random video-surfing on Youtube led to a seemingly harmless video of Juan Miguel Severo, pouring his heart out in his piece called “Ang Huling Tula na Isusulat Ko Para Sa’Yo”. The piece was heart-breaking and gut-wrenching, and yes, beautiful even.

As an Ilonggo, my native language is Karay-a. The dominant language in Iloilo is Hiligaynon. And the medium of instruction is English. I'm fluent in all three languages. There was very little need to learn Filipino, except for passing the Filipino subject in grade school. Sad to say, while I can understand Tagalog or Filipino, I suck at speaking it.

When I saw Juan Miguel Severo perform his Tagalog poem, I realized how beautiful Tagalog is. This made me want to be better at speaking and writing Filipino. Marami kasing mga salita sa Tagalog na hindi ko pa alam at hindi ko pa napapaglaruan. Hindi kagaya sa Ingles na gamay na gamay ko na at kaya kong gamitin at paglaruan kahit ako ay nakapikit pa.

Nang natuklasan ko ang ganda ng Filipino bilang isang wika, para akong isang batang nabigyan ng panibagong laruan. Nakamamanghang isipin na isang tula lang pala ang makapagpapakita sa akin ng ganda nga wikang Filipino na dati ay hindi ko masyadong pinapansin. 

Maraming salamat, Juan Miguel Severo. Hayaan mo, magsisimula ako sa pagsusulat ng mga tulang Filipino. Malay natin, baka sa susunod, kaya ko na rin ulit umakyat sa entablado bilang isang panibagong makata kagaya mo.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

[Personal Update] I'm baaaackkk!

It has been a VERY interesting year, to say the least. Surviving law school was... something. Getting through a month-long bar exam was also... something. I'm even surprised I still have yet to go berserk even after all the somethings I went through these past few months!

Anyways, GREAT NEWS!!! Book Junkie Joint is now The Perfictionist!! Isn't it amazing? Well, not really, but you know...

Why The Perfictionist, you say? Well, if isn't blatant enough, I combined two words: Perfect and Fiction. I'm not saying I'm in search of the perfect fiction (because fiction is perfect in and of itself). I'm just saying that a well-put together fiction story is a perfect reading material for me.

After all the roller coaster ride I've been through, I'm finally back to doing what I love most: reading. And I couldn't be happier!

As I type, I'm flexing me metaphorical fingers (aside from my actual ones), and sighing in contentment. This is THE life. Heeee. But! My work is not yet done. I missed too many literary events and too many new books this year, so I have to catch up!

Also, THIS:
It's perfect AF, right?! (Please pardon the language. I'm not myself yet.)
I'm so happy to announce that Kids These Days (Stories From Luna East Arts Academy) is finally out in bookstores nationwide! If that is not amazing, I don't know what is!

Plans for the month of December? Why, reading and writing, of course! I'm thinking of writing a new story for Luna East.

Oh, and stay tuned for an exciting giveaway coming your way for a perfictionally perfect holiday!!

Monday, September 28, 2015

[Author Interview] Getting the 411 on Blossom Among Flowers from Jay E. Tria

I have been on a hiatus for several months already, and this week, I decided I needed a break from my off-line life. Luckily, I've come across author Jay E. Tria!

One could say that it was fate which led me to virtually meet author Jay E. Tria on Twitter through fellow author Anne Plaza's fan-girly tweets. Or you know, I was being nosy and she was nice enough to talk to me about our shared love for words, Japanese visual novels and JDoramas (Japanese Dramas). Either way, I scored an Author Interview out of it!

Writing a novel that's also like a manga is a novelty. 
What made you decide to write this kind of story?

It started with the frustration that Hanazawa Rui did not end up with Makino Tsukushi in Hana Yori Dango. So I guess this is a fanfic of sorts, fueled by a lot of pent up feelings and my enduring love for Rui. I was writing it with no outline, as if I was writing dorama episodes or manga volumes, guided only by a very clear image of Takeshi and Hikaru in my head. To be honest, I didn’t know how to finish it. It kind of got out of hand; I spewed out 165k words for the first draft. And at first I was writing it only for my fellow HYD fangirl. She lovingly read it and we giggled over it for days. Every so often I would come back to the manuscript, read it again and feel something again, and I would edit it, write some more. This year, about five years since the first draft, I realized I still love the story very much, so I decided to put in some real work and get it out there.

(Aaaahhhhh, I remember being a Hana Yori Dango fangirl... Still am. haha! Thank God for Hana Yori Dango, and the phenomenon that was the F4!)

Saturday, September 26, 2015

[Book Review] Blossom Among Flowers

Blossom Among Flowers
By: Jay E. Tria
July 15, 2015
New Adult, Contemporary Romance


Being invisible can't be that hard, can it?

Unlike most people, 17-year old Hikaru Saito likes being invisible. Perfectly happy with her nose buried deep in her growing manga collection, she hardly notices how her "harmless hobby" is taking control of her life. But when she fails an important exam, Hikaru is forced to spend more time with her studies and her new tutor, fellow student, campus genius, and golden boy Takeshi Hinata.

Unfortunately for Hikaru, Takeshi's popularity in school forces the spotlight on her too. His adoring fans don't like seeing how much time they spend together and punish her for it. Luckily, Tetsuya Sakuishi, a new young and beautiful teacher, is always there to save the day for Hikaru. It doesn't help that his smile distracts her, however.

Like her tormentors, Hikaru cannot understand why Takeshi keeps showing up in her life long after the tutoring sessions are over. As if the complications of grueling exams and university applications weren't enough, a haughty socialite mother, an imposing business mogul father, and a princess-in-hiding all come bearing down on Hikaru. Through it all, Takeshi is there, looking at Hikaru like she's not invisible after all. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

[Feature] Language, Conjectures and Inflections

I do not own this image. Found it on Google.

As a voracious reader, the idea of being able to read different books in different languages while understanding all the inflections, conjectures and implications in between the written words is probably the ultimate dream! If it was up to me, I’d give myself the superpower to be fluent in all of the languages around the world. It doesn’t even have to be in spoken language. Think of all the literature I would be able to read!

Thanks to the efforts of linguists and translators, language barriers in literature have been reduced to inexistence. Books of famous authors are easily translated, reproduced and distributed in different languages for the consumption of the reading public. This is something that’s really benefitted me, because if it isn’t obvious enough, reading is a huge part of my life.

The most important part of translation, in my opinion, is to convey the emotion. It’s more important to preserve what the author wants to convey, rather than to stick rigidly to word for word translation. As Maya Angelou said, “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I find this statement true because no matter how many books I’ve read, I’ll always remember the ones which evoke the most emotions in me.

With the advent of technology, texts and documents can be translated from one language to another with the click of a mouse. Easy-peasy, and with very little to no effort at all, since translation softwares do all the work and at very incredible speeds. I see this in a positive light because people who speak minor languages are given the power to voice out opinions and be read by a wider audience through the world wide web – all in just a few clicks! This is where translation softwares such as Smartling comes in! What's even amazing is that Smartling isn't only for translating documents. It can also be used to to support website translation, a tool for app localization, or a translation management system for business documents and other enterprise translation projects.

Personally, English isn’t my first language. It’s my third or fourth. My primary language is Karay-a, which is a language spoken by only a fraction of the population in the Philippines. My second language is Tagalog, which is the national language in the Philippines. I was told that by six or seven years old and despite not having any formal education in speaking Tagalog, I was already fluent in it. This was largely thanks to local children’s shows on TV which dominated my attention and time at that age. I also speak Hiligaynon, which is a regional language here in the Philippines. And then of course, there’s English, which is the medium of instruction in schools and universities.

I’d like to think that it’s not that obvious that I’m not a native English speaker, but that’s just me.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

[Personal Update] Au revoir, Law School!

I'm finally graduating from 
the hell that is law school!! 

(This is a long rant. You have been warned.)
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