First Book Published: “TELENOVELAS: A LOOK ON HOW A FILIPINO COMMUNITY SEES FOREIGN TV DRAMAS”

Day 28 of the #NaNoPoblano2021 challenge, now a.k.a. “NaJanPoblano2022” (heee….) . Major Theme: “A Few of My Earliest Things”. New sub-theme: “First Published”. Related post: My Evolution as a Writer.

I was going through my stuff (I never finish going through things…) and realized that I did publish my first book! Like many of my alma mater’s alumni, I published one. I think there are only three copies in total — one for me and two for the school. So I have my copy with me. One is in my college’s library. The last one, I am not sure. Probably in the university main library.

I’m referring to my undergraduate research/thesis. It has a wordy title, which I used in this post’s title. My study focused on telenovelas, or telenovela, which is Spanish for TV soaps. But specifically, as stated in my book’s Definition of Terms, a telenovela referred/refers to “a foreign (Spanish-speaking) TV drama serial dubbed in Tagalog.” For those who don’t know, Tagalog is one of the Philippines’ many dialects and is generally regarded as the one most understood.

I may not have watched everything on TV. However, because I liked to observe and know things, I was often updated about local television. So even if I didn’t really watch telenovelas at the time, I knew all the titles of those that were showing back then. I was well aware of which came first before what, and how the mostly-Mexican soaps made it to local TV.  That was long before K-Dramas invaded our screens. Also. the first telenovela, “La Traidora”, was the first-ever foreign soap that was dubbed in our language!

“Filipinizing” or “Tagalizing” (both coined terms) began with several Japanese live-action shows that used to be English-dubbed. Next, they Tagalized an anime of a children’s classic story. We didn’t have to wonder how far the new practice would go. Soon, it was Mexican soaps! We did not really have them on TV since the general public would not understand conversational Spanish. TV networks probably did not care to create captions because the general public was not keen on reading subtitles either. Again, this was waaaaay before K-Dramas, or Koreanovelas as we call them.

The start of Tagalized Mexican soaps was such a big surprise. Translating and dubbing TV shows using the local dialect paved the way for Spanish-speaking soaps to enter the scene. I will not anymore discuss Philippine TV history here, though. We’ll save that for another day.

That said, my study was actually my thesis adviser’s idea. I had a different one that was going nowhere (I don’t even remember what it was about). I think that was mainly because I was at a rough time in my life. Rough time or not, I had to force myself to concentrate. I had to graduate! It would have been a waste (and stupid!) if I didn’t graduate just because of one unfinished requirement. Honestly, I’m thankful that he gave me the idea. It sparked my interest more. And because I am a writer who loves to do research, I actually enjoyed writing my research. The interview parts weren’t fun, but no pain, no gain, right? To be frank, it was not a hard topic at all.  I didn’t/don’t care. I had fun writing it and it allowed me to graduate.

I took to heart the quote that I put on page 3:

“I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.”
(William Ernest Henley)
my-undergrad-research

“TELENOVELAS: A LOOK ON HOW A FILIPINO COMMUNITY SEES FOREIGN TV DRAMAS” An Undergraduate Research By Jennifer Del Barrio Federizo (a.k.a. Me)

First Book Review Published: “WHAT TO EAT IF YOU HAVE CANCER (A GUIDE TO ADDING NUTRITIONAL THERAPY)”

Basically, I’m just supposed to be continuing what was supposed to be finished last November. But heck, I’m so near-finished now and I’m loving this theme I came up with, anyway. It’s making me want to continue writing again. I just almost gave up a few weeks ago (more on that some other time). I’m happy to share more of myself. So, to continue…

Day 26 of the #NaNoPoblano2021 challenge, now a.k.a. “NaJanPoblano2022” (heee….) . Major Theme: “A Few of My Earliest Things”. New sub-theme: “First Published”. Related post: My Evolution as a Writer. Related page: Critic’s Corner.

Until I joined the Philippines’ first (and maybe only) cancer-focused magazine, I had never really done a book review outside school. It was not something I was sure I was good at. Honestly, I’m still not sure I’m good at it. The best I can say is “I try.” I had no plans of writing any until the Publisher/Boss asked me to review a book that someone recommended to her. So I did and had my FIRST BOOK REVIEW PUBLISHED.

The book was “What to Eat if You Have Cancer” by nutritionist-authors Maureen Keane, MS and Daniella Chase, MS. I hardly imagined that I’d review a book for cancer survivors, let alone, a book giving dietary guidelines. I’m a fiction girl, ergo, I expected to review fiction if I would ever. But there I was. I also tended to write longer, so writing this short one was a challenge. I did it, though. I survived my initiation. The book is most probably very outdated now. I haven’t checked if they’ve written any updated ones.

After that, I would go on writing two more cancer-related non-fiction reviews. Surprisingly, it was I who volunteered! Those were books that I found. One was “My Breast” by former journalist Joyce Wadler and the other, “Cancer Schmancer” by comedienne Fran Drescher. I have shared both reviews here in my blog. These experiences gave me the courage to try and join a call for book review submissions. If you are interested, I reviewed Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple” and Victor Hugo’s classic “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”.

Anyway, I think it’s possible to read the words on the image that I have provided if you just enlarge it, except I just found out now that light reflected on some parts. Sorry! I know I have the soft copy somewhere but I have to find it first.

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First Fictional Book I Wrote: “YOUNG AND IN LOVE”

Day 13 of the #NaNoPoblano2021 challenge. Major Theme: “A Few of My Earliest Things”. New sub-theme: “My Firsts”. Related post: My Evolution as a Writer.

Book 1In relation to my previous post, First Books I Ever Wrote, I am sharing this. It’s Book 1 of the Roseville Books series: Young and In Love. I was young then but not in love. The protagonist being Filipino serves as proof of how much I really wanted to promote our race and nationality….To emphasize, it’s all handwritten and, of course, never been published anywhere. Other than when I went to school, my books have never really left this house.

It is really amusing how silly I was as a writer. At the same time, I am proud of myself because I was able to do it. This isn’t my first-ever story, but it is my first-ever novelette. My books will never be published. I know that for a fact, but I love them just the same, shallow storyline and wrong grammar and all. 

Here is the synopsis (typed verbatim) on the back cover:

Growin’ Pains

In every girl’s life, there always will be growing pains…especially like Joey’s.

She was a bit more conservative than any girl in school. She wasn’t even much interested in boys…almost. Joey has a great crush on Ken Burtonelly, Roseville High’s star quarterback until he blew it. He was unworthy of her affection.

Meanwhile, Joey met a cute but rather intimidating guy at their own grocery store where she also worked. She hated him at first but after sometime, the feeling was fast changing into a better one for him.

Would Joey fall for him instead? Worse…would he be another wrong guy?

I shared a link above if you’re interested in knowing my writing history.

First Books I Ever Wrote: THE ROSEVILLE SERIES

Day 12 of the #NaNoPoblano2021 challenge. Major Theme: “A Few of My Earliest Things”. New sub-theme: “My Firsts”. Related post: My Evolution as a Writer.

Like I said, every writer starts somewhere. These were the FIRST BOOKS I EVER WROTE. Granted that they were not exactly typed and published, but I started my stories writing these. I wrote seven in a span of a year! Of course, the stories all seem silly to me now, but they’re my treasures.

Roseville logo

I made this very simple logo

Why do the titles sound like they’re books a teeny-bopper would write? Because I was 15 when I started. I gave a link above if you’re interested about these so-called “novelettes” and my whole evolution as a writer.

There are only six stories in the photo because somebody borrowed the fourth (or is it the fifth…?) and never returned it. **cry**

My Early Fiction (in order, L-R):

  1. Young and In Love (above)
  2. Once Upon a Summer
  3. Angel
  4. Mr. Bodyguard (missing)
  5. The Boy Next Door
  6. Life Alone
  7. Weave the Net of Love
  8. In Linear Perspective (UNFINISHED)

first novels

“Which fictional character that you created is your favorite, and why?” #atozchallenge2017

So I was late with my F post. Blame it on my very slooooow connection (very slow laptop, actually). And admittedly, I was pretty much preoccupied. The slowness was getting on my nerves on top of that. Anyway, on with my post..

Fictionists, as we know, create characters from their own imagination. Yes, maybe the characters are loosely based on other existing book/movie/TV characters or even actual persons. However, they still have their own personalities, backgrounds, battles to win. Now, being their creators’ brainchild (brainchildren???), for sure, they are special. Do these writers also have favorites, too?

Mine would be Maya, who has been with me, so to speak, half my life, I think. At first, I thought I had a clear view of what I wanted her to be, but I wasn’t ready. I got stumped. For years, her story went on and off, longer than I care to admit. I do feel a bit thankful that I waited because now, she is clearer to me. I know what she is now, I know what I want from her. She is part-me, part-Brennan of BONES, part-Abby of NCIS, and part-whatever things that are unique to her. She is as I have planned long ago, my own contribution to Philippine literature and my own way of introducing the Filipino to the world….Now, if I can only finish it now, that would be awesome! Will carry on, of course.

I was curious about other writers and their creations. I, therefore, posted this question over at Quora:

“Which fictional character that you created is your favorite, and why?”

Luckily, I found people who were willing to share. I think they deserve to be featured simply by sharing. Find out their answers below. Maybe you’ll like their books. Click on the screenshots to get to their respective pages.

 

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Do you have your own faves? Please share and don’t forget to leave your relevant links in the comments! Meanwhile, working on my G post.

F is for “Fictional Character”

This piece serves as my Letter F post for the A to Z Challenge 2017.

If you’re interested:

A for Alibata – How to Spell the Ancient Filipino Way

B for Block – “How do you personally deal with writer’s block?”

C for Contents – Contents with all the Feels

D for Dialogue – Why Dialogue is Important

E for Edit – Mark Your Words!

Cancer? Schmancer! ~ Fran Drescher #MondayReviews

Cancer? Schmancer!

Cancer Schmancer
By Fran Drescher
260 pages

cancer-schmancer-franCreator, executive producer, writer, director, star. But cancer survivor? Certainly not something Fran Drescher would have wanted on her resumé! Yet in year 2000, while the whole world celebrated surviving the millennium bug, she of TV’s The Nanny fame was in a battle no one would’ve predicted for fit, healthy, lively “Miss Fine.”

In reality, things were far from fine. Her almost twenty-year marriage abruptly ended; her beloved dog Chester would soon be put to sleep; worst of all, she finally confirmed what she had somehow suspected all along. After years and years of consulting doctors who mostly told her she was probably just going through the perimenopausal stage—ouch, her ego!—Doctor #9 told her otherwise. That “otherwise” was uterine cancer, stage 1.

So after her first bestseller Enter Whining, Fran was back writing about her life, love, libido, and cancer that really didn’t need to be in her life, but there it was anyway. Why Cancer Schmancer? Writes Fran: “All I’ve got to say is to he** with cancer! This book’s about schmancer! Laughing at the crazy things life offers when it’s biting you in the a**.”

The book basically revolves around Fran’s two-year, 11-doctor journey as she tries to get second, third, fourth and so on medical opinions regarding her health. She knows something is wrong—the staining between periods and cramping after intercourse would have been tell-tale signs of uterine cancer, but she didn’t fall in the risk groups category—yet always, she gets misdiagnosed until Doctor #8 refers her to #9. Meanwhile, her ordeal is changing her into someone she hardly recognizes. Fran eventually recovers with the support of her family, friends, and two different loves.

Written in a candid manner, Fran talks about her cancer with a mix of reflection and humor. There are anecdotes worth retelling to make one smile and even laugh. However, Fran gives more than a dose of humor. She shares the pains and the sorrows as well including a particularly short but sad story so tragic, it spirals to the end of her marriage with Peter Jacobson, her best friend, childhood sweetheart and Nanny co-producer. After the harrowing experience, they will never be the same again, Fran realizes, as they feed off each other’s neediness and fears that are close to paranoia. She just has to get out of the marriage, for both their sake.

As personal and entertaining as it seems, this book is not for the uptight. Language may sometimes be a little too much for some (the first quote is a preview of that) while certain subjects like sex, which is essential to the author, is taboo. But hey, that’s Fran! Take them all away and it wouldn’t be her. One can only appreciate her honesty.

cancer-schmancer-movement

Fran with members of the Cancer Schmancer Movement

The book, primarily written to make women more aware of their health and the importance of early diagnosis especially of gynecologic cancers, is now on the bestseller list. In fact, it created enough impact that on June 21, 2007, Fran celebrated her seventh year of being cancer-free and topped it off with the launch of the Cancer Schmancer Movement, an active policy-changing movement serving the same goal.

Time to sound off the alarm! As Fran says, “Once you wake up and smell the coffee, it’s hard to go back to sleep.”

 

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NOTE: This article was published in The Big C magazine (July-September 2008 issue). To see more reviews, please visit my CRITIC’S CORNER….Thank you!

My Breast ~ Joyce Wadler

Cancer: Zero

A journalist gets more personal with cancer

My Breast

By Joyce Wadler

176 pages

my-breast-bookMy Breast—no words could not be more apt than that. In Joyce Wadler’s book, her breast gets top billing and lands the title-role, having gained her respect as a separate entity with the power to destroy her. She learned it the hard way after all when in 1991, breast cancer interrupted her in the middle of working for People magazine as an investigative journalist, writing her dream book, freelancing for another publication, and trying to keep a rocky relationship stable.

The book actually starts with Wadler discussing where she wanted her lumpectomy scar—a bit of vanity there, she knows—and how she looked her tumor “in the eye.” Her sometimes matter-of-factly, no-nonsense approach already sets the tone to how she later discusses her life in succeeding chapters.

Wadler tells her story with honesty, warmth, wit, sometimes self-deprecation, feistiness, and street smarts. She launches a bit on her family and professional background that indirectly explains what and who she is. Inevitably, she has to mention a lover who is admittedly obsessed with someone else and whose support is not really all there. Hey, it’s her life, right?

Bright and humorous, she tackles her story with a light, sometimes funny, touch, like how she talked of her lump: “I’m starting to feel this thing has a life of its own…like it’s gonna come flying out of my body any minute, like that thing in Alien, and run around the living room and put on the sports channel and ask for a beer.” Most important, Wadler knows her readers want the truth and so she gives it to them.

In details, she describes what it felt like going under the knife (she opted to be awake), under treatment, under inner turmoil while she tried to be brave. She even describes how breast reconstruction is done. It is like a blow-by-blow account of a sort, very informative.

Medullary carcinoma, stage 2, that was what she had despite annual mammograms and having no history of breast cancer in the family. Hers is rare and quite curable, but then it is not something to be lax about. In most part of the book, Wadler tells of doing her own research (force of a journalist’s habit, perhaps), being very inquisitive to doctors and seeking second opinions. She laments how her pool of surgeons seemed to have contradicting opinions prompting her to ask a nursing assistant who exactly was in charge. She finally got her best answer: “…in a sense, you are.”

And so Wadler decided to have a more take-charge manner, making all the decisions when it came to her cancer. The book then ends while she is just sessions shy of completing chemotherapy.

My Breast was actually first published on April 13, 1992 in the New York magazine, stressing the importance of early detection and getting second opinions. It’s surprising readership success then led to Wadler expanding it to a whole book that also became a hit. Much later, it was to be made into a film shown on CBS Television.

Considering the year it was written, some bits of information are a bit antiquated, what with the advent of newer technologies now like the digital mammogram. However, her story is history and the book as a whole is still quite helpful and informative. Cancer, after all, is yet to be obsolete and who best to understand survivors than those who are survivors themselves?

After the book, the author became an advocate of breast cancer awareness, speaking at seminars about her bout with cancer. It was a bout she eventually won.

Score – Joyce: One, Cancer: Zero.” Yes, she kept score.

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NOTE: This article was published in The Big C magazine (exact date to follow). To see more reviews, please visit my CRITIC’S CORNER….Thank you!

Prison Poetry by Ra Avis

Want poetry with real stories? Check out Ra AvisSack Nasty! They also call it “Prison Poetry”. For a reason.

Ra is an amazing woman with an amazing story to tell…though she tells it here through poems. Please find the heart even to just check it out at Thunderclap. Just click on the image/link below 🙂

sack-nasty-book

Support this poetry book! Visit THUNDERCLAP!

Are You a Wrong Reader?

How do you read?

It’s not just knowing the alphabet and reading the grouped letters as words. We are talking about your general attitude towards reading. Do you read almost anything or are you a choosy reader? What kinds of material do you prefer: books, magazines, online journals? What compose your things-to-read list: fiction, non-fiction, self-help stuff?

To be more specific, which “wrong reader” are you?

  1. The RSS Feed Scanner – you just skim through stuff then understand only a little, if at all, at the end. That’s like reading for the sake of reading. Skimming as a practice lets you miss out on some valuable content to read.
  2. The Pleasure Reader – you are only interested in reading what interests you and disregard most other stuff. It’s discrimination of a different kind. Again, you never know what gems you let slip through your hands.
  3. The Info Hoard – you are big on info-gathering. Big on understanding is a different matter altogether. “The material that gives you an edge in the insight department is the stuff that’s harder to understand…You do that by moving beyond learning by instruction, and increasing your true understanding by ..” (Copyblogger.com) You tend to forget to digest what you chew.
  4. The Reader Without a Cause – like the scanner, you have nothing really in mind to read. “Skilled readers do not read blindly, but purposely. They have an agenda, goal, or objective” (criticalthinking.org). At least be a Pleasure Reader by choosing topics you’d like to focus on when scanning RSS feeds, and then you can improve and move on to the understanding part.

 

Next time, it’s better to be a purpose-driven, critical-thinking reader.

 

 

RESOURCES:  Copyblogger.com, criticalthinking.org

Why I Won’t Be Famous (But Here’s the Authority Black Book, Anyway)

Why I’ll most probably be never a famous blogger, it’s because I don’t do all the best practices there are. That’s because I’m not in it to earn anything.

I mean, earning would not be bad per se, and if anything of what I do as a blogger gets any kind of compensation, thank you oh-so-much! I will not be a hypocrite and say a no-thank-you (unless something of an unscrupulous nature is asked of me, although I can’t think of any at the moment…). But I’m not doing this for business. I’m just…writing.

I want to write. I want to share. I want to share what others share. I want to have fun writing. Sometimes…Okay, a lot of times, I have trouble finding time for it, but I think about it everyday. That is the reality I live in and I’m okay with it. I can’t be selfish. Not that I’m saying other writers are, but I’m just saying that in my personal world, it can’t be just all about writing and to Hades with all other people. It’s not always about me. It does not have to be.

So if it seems that I’m not practicing every tip I have shared for bloggers, don’t hate me for it. It’s just that I don’t mind it that much and I choose not to worry. I’m a serious blogger. Just not your idea of a serious blogger.

Why am I saying these, though? Nothing serious, too. Just reflecting because I am actually going to share a free e-book meant for bloggers. I have read it, it’s simple. concise, easy-to-read (won’t take an hour to finish), and would most probably be more helpful to more “SERIOUS” bloggers out there unlike myself. “FACT: More than 80 million blogs are inactive.” Surprised?

Sharing this doesn’t cost me anything because it also got shared to me and all it takes is to go to the link below (the title), give your email there, click on the button, and voila! Your PDF copy of BlogSuccess.com’s

Authority Black Book 

is ready! (see what I did there? I colored the letters in red instead of bla…never mind…he he)