Memories of The Big C #MondayMemoirs

There was a time that I worked for an actual print publication. It was a health-and-lifestyle magazine though it was far from the ordinary. Ours was centered on cancer, its survivors, and how to overcome, fight and win against it. They were, for me, very interesting times.

Almost two weeks ago, I shared on my folio blog my experiences working for the mag and some of the insights that I gathered along the way.

So for today, since I am guessing you missed them, I am sharing my stories to you guys as well. Just click on the image and you’ll be good to go 🙂

I’m a Writer!!! (post)-#MondayMemoirs

I wasn’t planning on posting a #MondayMemoirs especially because it’s past Monday, but I had been re-reading and reactivating blog posts. As you can see from the image, at the Blog Archive section, I had been working on my 2004-2005 posts. Then I got it in my head to see what I posted on August 22, 2005. THIS below was the result.

Granted that the date was the 21st, but in the post, it said “I am now the Editorial Assistant/Writer for a magazine! I start tomorrow!” That means that today, 12 years ago, I officially became a professional writer! Isn’t that a very good reason to reminisce, celebrate and be thankful for???

Being a writer may not be a lucrative job, but I feel so lucky that I get to do what I love 🙂

What’s in a Name?

Awards time!!! This has been a long-time coming, but here it is. With apologies to those who abhor awards, but as I said in the past, I appreciate awards. Thank you again so much to Jafar for giving me the One Lovely Blog Award. I got another award, but his came first so I will address it first.

lovely-blog-award

For the One Lovely Blog Award, these are the rules:

1.Thank and link back to the person who nominated you for the award. – I just did above.

2. List the Rules and Display the One Lovely Blog Award logo to your post and/or blog. – Here they are.

3. Share 7 facts/things about yourself. – Find them below.

4. Nominate around 10 other bloggers and let them know about the award. This is a way to introduce others to bloggers that you love. – I will skip this one and explain later.

5. Follow the blogger who nominated you. – I already started, pre-award.

Okay, for the 7 Facts About Me, I decided to focus on my name(s), which explains the title of this post. I just thought, “What else can I share that I haven’t yet?” Then I realized that I have always wanted to write about the evolution of my name(s)…Well, sort of evolution. I know you’ll probably go, “Whut?” but here it is and I hope you’ll like what I’m sharing just the same. 😉

1. Jay-Gee is how you pronounce J.Gi. I’m sure a lot of people have been wondering how to say it. That said, just call me Gi, short for Gigi, my real nickname. No, it’s never Jen or Jenny, though people automatically assume it just because my name’s Jennifer. I answer best to Gi.

2. “Gi” went through changes. Looking at old pictures, my mother wrote at the back and spelled my name as J-I-J-I (I think that’s cute), but later on, she changed her mind and began spelling it as G-I-G-I, which is the accepted norm, anyway. In high school, my sister did a cut-out of my nickname and stuck it on my door — it said Ghie-Ghie. I followed and spelled it as G-H-I-E even till I began working. That is why a lot of peeps still refer to me as Ghie. I really dropped that one long ago.

For some reason, Filipinos grew really fond of adding an unnecessary “H” to their nicks or their babies’ names, like Lhyn, Bhen, Johnathan, etc. My sister’s name looks cool, though, but I would have hated it if I were named Jhennifer, or Jenhiefer, or Jennifher. With apologies to anyone named as such, but...

galunggong

This is the galunggong

3. My entire gradeschool life, I was called Jennifer F. mainly because I always had a namesake in class. Except in fourth grade, but someone was nicknamed Gigi, too. I didn’t tell my classmates about my actual nick for fear of being teased as galunggong, a kind or sardine that was then–and sometimes is still–normally referred to as G.G. So I stuck to Jennifer all the way through high school. There was a Jenny in my batch, and a Je and a Ge, which were short for Jean and Geraldine respectively, so I decided to stick to Jennifer.

My blocmates in college called me Jennifer but Gi became my “in” name when my sister introduced me to her co-members in a school organization as Gi. I ended up living with the family of a member, renting bedspace, and the people I met there called me Gi. A batchmate used to call me Jen but when she also rented bedspace in the same house, she began calling me Gi. She was already part of the school paper, which I also joined and she introduced me as Gi. Then we and several co-writers became members of a film organization so, well, you can guess what they call me by now 😉

big-c-magazine

Copyright © The Core Group Publishing, Inc. Unfortunately, I heard they folded up so the dotcom of the magazine is no more. The Tripod account was the first and reeeaally old one that was there even before I joined the publication

4. Why J.Gi? When I decided for a writer’s name, I think that was probably around the time I started working for a magazine, I wanted it to be Gi Federizo, kind of like Og Mandino or something. But at the same time, I still did not want to disrespect my parents so, as a “compromise,” I retained the initial. I did want it to be somewhat unique so J.Gi was born.

At the time I thought of this, I met a couple and the guy’s nick was J.vee. I thought hard to give up J.Gi so as not to look like a copycat, then I realized, who cared? Besides, it’s not like I was sure to become famous anyway, so why be bothered? It was not like he had copyright over it.

5. My new last name is Enriquez. As a writer, I retain my maiden name. No laws against that.

6. I have been these people:

Li’l Dove Feather — derived from two names. My favorite Cats The Musical character is Jemima, which means “little dove”; the actress who played her on video was Veerle Casteleyn and “veerle” in Flemish means “feather.” Incidentally, that sounds like my last name anyway.

Maya Sands — a combo of my favorite name, Maya, which I decided to use for my story’s main character, and Sands, short for Sandra or Sandra Dee, my airname back when I was a student radio DJ. I also answer to Sands like it’s second skin.

Charlize Gracie Dylan — also a combo of sorts. Not a fan of Charlize Theron but I liked the name at the time. I like the name Gracie, sounds really sweet. Then I like the name Dylan for a girl, also my fave character from the Charlie’s Angels movie (so sue me). Writers whom I met from Yahoo! groups and with whom I am connected still through Facebook still call me Gracie.

7. I do have a fourth alias, one that I cannot divulge. Let us just say that she was both a part of a social experiment I did on my own, and a kind of means to release depression at the time. She was more like a fictitious character rather than just an alias because I gave her stories, I gave her history, I gave her life. She had a life of her own. Of all the characters I have ever created, she was the best, and the world will never know.

 

So that’s it about my seven facts! He he!

As to why I am not nominating any blog, it’s not because I don’t want to or there are none that deserve it.  It’s mainly because I have decided to create something a little bit different, something that won’t require anyone to pass the award on to be able to accept his/hers. I mean no disrespect to the original creators of existing awards, BTW. I personally like your awards. But I will leave it to others to decide what to do with theirs.

My Evolution as a Writer

So I finally found out what “Remove formatting” could do, so this is now much more readable. I have also done some editing and have updated the thing. Do share your own story. I’m sure you have one 🙂

The End Justifies the Journey

NOTE: I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been curious about how writers started. Well, here is my story, if you’re interested. I thought I’d start with this post (well, technically, this is the second post…) as it’s a good introductory of myself as a writer.

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female-writer-typing


I have always loved stories, that is the clear and honest truth. It is the reason why I began to write. It is the reason why even in my own dreams, I make up stories and watch how they unfold. Perhaps, more than a writer, I am actually a pen-toting storyteller. But it wasn’t always like that. When I was small, I used to have this ritual. At night, I would lie in bed and imagine stories in my head, stories of adventure and drama—oh, I was such a masochist, making myself cry and loving it!—until I fell asleep. Which is probably…

View original post 1,544 more words

My Evolution as a Writer

NOTE: I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been curious about how writers started. Well, here is my story, if you’re interested. I thought I’d start with this post (well, technically, this is the second post…) as it’s a good introductory of myself as a writer.

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female-writer-typing

 

I have always loved stories, that is the clear and honest truth. It is the reason why I began to write. It is the reason why even in my own dreams, I make up stories and watch how they unfold. Perhaps, more than a writer, I am actually a pen-toting storyteller. But it wasn’t always like that. When I was small, I used to have this ritual. At night, I would lie in bed and imagine stories in my head, stories of adventure and drama—oh, I was such a masochist, making myself cry and loving it!—until I fell asleep. Which is probably why they made it  in  my dreams. I don’t daydream anymore, but I can’t say I don’t dream of movies still. And in colors!

I started with writing, though, by writing literally. In school, we had handwriting exercises and we tried to write legibly, neatly and nicely. My penmanship still leaves much to be desired, but no matter. I know I enjoyed writing, enjoyed the letters perhaps because they presented to me a whole lot of possibilities. I felt liberated for some reason. That was during second grade. The next year, I wrote my first story.

See below for individual credits

Well, technically first. It was about a horror story writer who was no good in his so-called craft and couldn’t get published until he unwittingly sold his soul to the devil. Things then went really well, except the devil made him pay for his part of the bargain in the end.

Would’ve been quite an interesting piece from such a novice writer if only it was not a story I read from one of the Tagalog (a Filipino dialect) comic books that were already near extinction back then. My version ironically made my parents (and me) laugh. So much for horror.

I really enjoyed writing exercises in grade school especially when we had to summarize stories that we were made to read. I may have misconstrued summary as re-telling, though. But I did write my first stories within the next years.

I was still quite “un-well-versed” and not sure how to go about creative writing properly, so my early works were in script form written on extra notebook sheets. That was probably because I was too impatient and wanted to do it fast, and I loved reading the short plays found in our textbooks. I also loved to watch TV that my first stuff starred characters from a well-known sentai (Japanese live action shows for kids) and those from a local action-comedy movie intended for teens and pre-teens. My own plots, but the characters not my own. There is a term for that now: fan fiction.

Seems like I have always been partial to adventure, be it action or fantasy. My road to the world of adventures got temporarily sidetracked, however, when I entered high school. You know high school, it exposes you to crushes and drama. Soon enough, I was writing romantic dialogues, words that I thought I fully understood. No more fan fiction. However, my plots were shallow, trying-hard-to-be-mature, and unoriginal, culled unintentionally from TV and movies. I did find a technique, which was to “have” actors “act” in my stories as I imagined them.

Despite that foray into pretentious writing (by “pretentious,” I am referring to my own writing, not others’), fiction still as they were, high school actually brought me to newer heights. I started my first non-fan fiction (supposedly) action-adventure, a detective story called Ticay where a young girl was a secret agent. My father happened to see that one though I wasn’t sure how much he got to read. He mentioned it to me because I think he saw what little of the draft I wrote when I decided to throw it away. After the horror-thingy, I had not let my family read my stuff.

Meanwhile, I wrote my first poems then, which made me think deeper about things and study myself more. I was uncomfortable about writing poetry before simply because I thought poetry was only for smart people. I realized that it was more for people to understand themselves and the world. Around this time, I began composing and experimenting with songs as well, themes ranging from friendship, social relevance and, what else? Love, or the lack of it. Still, storytelling was/is my first love and it was swell getting some kind of recognition as a writer. I was soon given tasks to write scripts for group and class presentations, something that started when a friend volunteered for me when our Literature teacher asked, “Okay, who will write the scripts?” The wheels started turning.

sweet-dreams-ps-iloveyou

High school was really the highlight of my writing “career” and I somehow had Bantam Books’ Sweet Dreams (S.D.) to thank for. Even back in gradeschool, and I knew this because of my big sister, S.D. was the romance book of choice for teens (that’s the first-ever of the series at left, published way earlier), and the same was still true when I got to that stage. I began to dream of being a novelist and S.D. fanned this desire in me because aside from I loved to write, I realized one thing: the endings were mostly so predictable, in fact, you could guess from what were written at the back alone. I thought, hey, if they could do it, so could I!

I would write my own S.D.-like stories and hopefully submit to them. So I did write (though not submit mainly because I had no idea how). I believed in the idea so much that I created my own series called Roseville Books and it even had its own simple logo. In a span of a little more than a year, I wrote seven—I repeat, SEVEN—novelettes! Wow…I had never been so inspired, so prolific in my entire life, ever! It was a feat that I unfortunately have not been able to duplicate. I laugh now when I re-read them, but that stage was still good training ground for me, judging from how my characters and plots grew with more depth and maturity.

Too bad I became busy with school that my eighth Roseville book, as well as some other stories that were mostly SciFi (my friend Raine and I were obsessing over Star Trek then)  were left unfinished. College life then started and everything seemed to be in boring, uninspiring slow motion. I was able to write a few songs and poems, but not short stories, or the eighth Roseville Book, or the unfinished novel called King Arthur’s Daughter. All I had were all drafts that kept accumulating and lists of fictitious names.

uplb-perspective

When I joined the school paper, it was only then did I get to concentrate again on short stories/vignettes. Campus journalism was a whole new ball game and I had to dabble in-between creative and journalistic writing. It seemed that writing became an evolution for me. My Development Communication degree taught me to write for various media, including for radio. I found that though there are obvious differences in the technical aspects, there are not much differences when you write for film, radio, and other stuff. Only a few adjustments and change or additional terminologies to consider.

These knowledge gained were particularly of use to me when I worked for a tertiary school as scriptwriter-producer of (mostly) their institutional videos. I also had the privilege to join a writing-for-film workshop under the great Armando “Bing” Lao. Who would have thought that story-writing could be scientific as well? Honing my chosen craft and wishing to learn further, I joined several writing groups and blogs online. Meanwhile, while these were going on, my dream of becoming a published writer was not diminished. This dream was realized when I joined The Big C magazine team where I became the editorial assistant and staff writer. I not only wrote, edited and proofread, but got to learn more about cancer that I could ever imagine.

Still, the “novel idea” is yet to see fruition, an idea I’ve had before I finished school. It is said that we should write what we know. And so I try to find more information as much I can to make it work. I did use to stress over it, but now, I try to take it in stride. Stress does not solve anything and if I die without ever publishing any book, so be it. Meanwhile, I try to finish a whole lot more in my collection of unfinished “business.”

bigc-magazine

Copyright © The Core Group Publishing, Inc. Unfortunately, I heard they folded up so the dotcom of the magazine is no more. The Tripod account was the first and reeeaally old one that was there even before I joined the publication

Currently, I write content for the web. For those unfamiliar with the actual meaning of “web content  writer,” the job mainly entails writing articles and information you read from businesses’ websites and blogs. For instance, if you were new to WordPress and would like to know what it’s all about and how you should go about things, you go to WordPress.com and the information they provide have been written by their web content writers, not any random writer or blogger who simply wants to write about WordPress.

I still love fantasy, suspense and adventure, with my interests lying on psychology, psychiatry, parapsychology, psychoses, the paranormal, forensic science and other things that boggle the mind. I will never stop writing. Take a hiatus every now and then, perhaps, but never really leave it.

Fiction, essays, poems, songs—they all have their stories. It is just a matter of knowing how and what to write.

Comic book images in collage credited to/found in:

Komiklopedia (for Tagalog Klasiks)

ComicBookMovie.com (for Pilipino Komiks)

Video48 (for the ff.: Hiwaga Komiks, Espesyal Komiks, Extra Komiks)

en.wikipilipinas.org (for Universal Komiks-Magazine and Halakhak Komiks)

 

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So that’s how this writer evolved. How about you? What is your writer’s story? Let us know. Let’s exchange stories 🙂