“As writers, have you ever had ideas only to find out later that others beat you to them? What were they?” #AskWednesday

Well, despite me saying last week that I wasn’t planning on joining Quora, I went ahead and actually started answering and answering questions! And I decided to join because I realized what it could do for my blogging, for #AskWednesday, for instance. It’s easier to interview this way. You will usually get immediate feedback.

So I posted my first and so-far-only question:

“As writers, have you ever had ideas only to find out later that others beat you to them? What were they?”

I kind of knew there would be yes answers, but I thought it would be interesting to find out writers’ personal experiences. Well, so far, I’ve only had several replies (I’m popular like that), from four published authors, but they are good answers. 

First, we have Jesse Frankel a.k.a. J.S. Frankel, a Young Adult Fantasy writer. His works include Twisted, Star Maps, Picture (Im)perfect, The Catnip series, and The Nightmare Crew trilogy.

quoraq1Mr. Frankel went on to enumerate his novels and describe what they are about, to emphasize his point (click on the image to read them). I am admittedly an adult who enjoys YA literature, so I think these are quite interesting, based on the backgrounds he gave.

Lastly, he said, “Now, are any of those ideas new or revolutionary? Nope, it’s the way you write about the characters and the situations that makes them special.”

To this, I agree. No one has complete intellectual rights over an idea unless it is very unique, which is, as implied, very rare. And until you’ve had it recorded in audio or print or some other way, you’ll have nothing to prove it’s yours.

Next is a short but sweet answer from Crissy Moss, author of Witch’s Sacrifice, Small Bites, and many novels and short stories.

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I realized that’s true. I mean I’ve known it before, but this really emphasizes it. I told her, “Yes, you’re right! Even before Shakespeare ever thought of R&J, folk lores were already rich in many love stories resembling R&J’s. So in that respect, even William’s story isn’t so unique…”

Elaine Calloway follows. She is the best-selling author of the Southern Ghosts series. I’m posting her whole reply.

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Good insight about being aware that you’re idea is not unique. And I think that’s the challenge, to still make it your own by adding in your own unique treatment and twists. She also mentioned about writing prompts, which a lot of blogger-writers are all too familiar with. Her example sure is interesting. And I love what she said at the end!

Note to Self: Read on those 7 plots…

Now, I saved this for last. I really love her specific answer! Classic!

Deborah Ross a.k.a Deborah Wheeler wrote the sci-fi novels Jadium and Northlight, various short stories, the Sword & Sorceress and Darkover anthologies, The Seven-Petaled Shield, and many others. I’m posting the complete answer as well.quoraq1dMy reply: “Your account about someone having a very similar story is quite interesting. I mean, who would think anyone else would have a similar idea about a mother-daughter-octopi relationship??? I can imagine that you probably felt like a pale of icy-cold water hit you when you heard the editor. I do hope he didn’t think you stole somebody else’s idea…”

I certainly would hate it if anyone accuses me of stealing ideas! I do love the last bit that she said. I guess that’s really the mature way to handle it.

 

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So, did you like this one? Many more to come! And how about you, fellow-writers, can you share some information from your own experiences?

Four Tips From Seasoned Bloggers

In my line of work, I’ve already read much about blogging and have written stuff and tips about it as well. I have to say I don’t exactly follow them all, but that is because I have a different focus or different agenda, plus I am not that bothered about gaining a huge following, not yet anyway, Maybe someday, I’ll have more time and decide to be more active. That said, I think this post and tips from WordPress.com should work for anyone who is serious enough to be one of the best bloggers out there in the blogosphere. Congratulations to those whose names and blogs are mentioned. 🙂

The WordPress.com Blog

Some of the best blogging advice we hear is from you. On Discover, we publish interviews and profiles of bloggers around the world, who also impart their own tips on how they’ve gotten the most out of WordPress.com. If you’ve missed these interviews, not to worry — we’ve compiled some of the best bits of blogging wisdom here.

Join communities that sustain your interests.

When you start to click around, follow blogs, and fill your Reader with posts to read, you’ll discover that WordPress.com is full of many smaller communities. For example, some participate in black and white photo challenges led by blogger Cee, while others join our multimedia Discover Challenges, hosted every Tuesday.

discover challenges

Novelist Claire Fuller credits two communities on WordPress.com for supporting and influencing her: Friday Fictioneers, a group of bloggers that writes a weekly 100-word story inspired by a photograph (hosted on the blog of Rochelle Wisoff-Fields), and The Prime Writers, a…

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My Jekyll-and-Hyde-ness #atozchallenge2015

NOTE: This was written pre-WordPress…

 MY JEKYLL-AND-HYDE-NESS

The other night, Dr. Positive Jekyll made this decision:

Once again, I will delve in the art of letting go. Hard, true, but necessary.

Sometimes, letting go does not only mean setting others free. Sometimes, it means setting yourself free. For what good is holding on when you know the inevitable? That eventually, it is you who will slip and fall to your own demise? I know that if I keep holding on now, the suffering would be much greater than I make myself believe at times.

So now, I let go, while my wings are still unclipped, free to fly to somewhere unknown and unfamiliar. Why not? It’s a live-and-learn process. I live, therefore, I learn, and I welcome the wisdom it brings. Obstacles will abound, but the rewards are always greater after the rain. There is gold at the end of the rainbow, for me to take, to feel, to taste.

Even leprechauns need to let go at times.

 

Last night…

All I could do was doodle and write words like “What am I?”, “Sh*t happens”, “Stupid idiot”, and “Freaky”… Hello, Miss Negative Hyde.

 

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Some days, I feel like a different person. It’s like, you’d like to keep being Miss Jekyll, but Miss Hyde just decides to show up when she feels like it, especially when she’s mad. My husband calls it “going Incredible Hulk.” He warns our naughty and rowdy kids, “You’d better do what she says or she’ll go Incredible Hulk on you again.”  No one wants to see me mad. You wouldn’t.

Anyway, this post is brought to you by the letter “P” for “Personality”.

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“OH, NO, STOP RIGHT THERE!” #atozchallenge2015

OH, NO, STOP RIGHT THERE!

Oh, no, stop right there!
`Cause you’re not getting anywhere
lay off me, get off my back,
take a hike and don’t come back.
Oh, no, stop right there!
Yeah, you may like me, I don’t care
please take your hands off of me,
turn around and leave me be.
Oh, no, stop right there!
No, we won’t ever be a pair
contraries to what you think,
you should really see a shrink.

No, no, no, stop right there!
Ask no questions, oh, don’t you dare
for I could really blow my top,
prepare to be karate-chopped!

 

Copyright © J. Gi Federizo
Written: June 29, 2002

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This poem is brought to you by the letter “O”…

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And here you thought I forgot, eh? 🙂

When You Write, Walk Your Talk

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Do you really know what you’re talking about?

There was an article I read on how good web developers should be. Based on the stuff the author wrote and considering that some visitors like myself were not as technology-savvy as he was, he did seem very credible about the subject.

A good web developer, he explained, should know this program, that software, most social media, and so on and so forth. He kept enumerating the must-bes and must-knows. He was an expert, nobody was about to contest that. Until he said that one needs to know English and, to emphasize, followed it up with “Did you born in the USA, UK, …….?” Uh, what? Say that again?

I paused and after a moment of comprehension, laughed. He definitely meant “Were you born…”

Considering how grammatically incorrect many of his statements were, I just knew he wasn’t kidding. It wasn’t for me to laugh at someone’s broken English. I laughed at the irony in what that particular non-native English speaker said. If he didn’t seem credible enough doing the technogab, my faith in him as an expert would have died.

Let that be our lesson. The first rule in writing is to write what you know – all of us writers, I suppose, have been made aware of that.  Evidently, he could use more practice to sharpen his communication skills.  It’s not about the English, really. That was circumstantial. It should have been about knowing his targeted audience, his medium, what to write and how to write about it.

If you want to give the impression that you  are experienced in certain fields, go ahead, share your knowledge. But know when to draw the line. Do not claim to know something you obviously are not good at. The least you can do is to have a field expert check your work before you click on “publish”.

You don’t just talk the talk, know what I mean?

NEW & SHAMELESS!!! #atozchallenge2015

What’s NEW??? Well, I’ve become shameless. I’ve got a shameless plug, that is. This is something new that I am trying out, new in the sense that I’ve only done this now.

I feel awkward calling it “Fan Page,” but that’s what Facebook generally calls its pages,  particularly those accounts owned by individuals.

“A fan page is the only way for entities like businesses, organizations, celebrities, and political figures to represent themselves on Facebook.”  (Heyo Blog)

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It’s me at J.GiOFFICIAL

Reading it makes me feel more awkward as I am not sure to which category I should belong, if I should even have such an account. But then again, it’s a personal choice. And if I believe I am a writer in my heart, then I should claim it. Why should we always limit our choices in life?

I do love this description much better as it “covers” me:

“Creating a Facebook fan page is an amazing way to promote your business, build awareness for a cause, gather support for your band, or to advertise in a number of other ways.” (wikiHow)

This should give me more motivation to write, plus I will be able reach a bigger number of audience. I doubt that I’ll have that much actual fans, I am not delusional, but just having a few would be very cool for me already.

That said, we go to the shameless part — Please LIKE my fan page!!! It would mean so much to me….Thank you, guys, you’re so kind 🙂

Meanwhile, if you are wondering whether opening such an account is for you when you already have an account, this might help: Personal Page vs. Fan Page.

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I hadn’t the time and resources to continue the A-to-Z Challenge until now. This is my “N” post, N for “New”.

N of A to Z

Do you have a fan page? Why not show to us? Just add the link to the comments so I can approve your posting the link.

Romeo and Juliet Fever #atozchallenge2015

M of A to Z“M” is for Musicals. Yes, I am a musicals enthusiast, if you don’t know me yet. I like to watch musicals on TV, film and stage. I only get to watch actual musicals once or twice a year due to either budget (many that I’d like to see tend to be costly for someone like me) or venue (they don’t normally show in places near me). When I do get to watch, I normally try to purchase playbills. I may forget about buying other souvenirs, but never the playbills! That’s where you get to know more about a production, its cast, etc.

And because I’ve been in a Broadway-mood lately due to my recent post, I would like to share to any musicals fans out there the full film version of the French “Romeo and Juliet: from Hate to Love” musical that stars Damien Sargue and Cecilia Cara.

Roméo et Juliette: de la Haine à l’Amour is a French musical based on William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet, with music and lyrics by Gérard Presgurvic. It premiered in Paris on January 19, 2001…Since then, the musical has been performed in Verona, Rome, Canada, Antwerp, London, Amsterdam, Budapest, Szeged, Moscow, Vienna, Bucharest, Seoul, Pusan (South Korea), Taipei, Monterrey, Japan and Shanghai and has been translated into several languages, including Flemish, Italian, Hungarian, Russian, English, German, Spanish, Romanian, Japanese, and Korean.” (WikiPedia)

damien-sargue-cecilia-cara

Damien Sargue and Cecilia Cara as Romeo et Juliette

This is one of only two full film versions I viewed online. I really like this one — the voices (although Juliette sounds more mature for a girl supposedly around 14, but this is theater and she has a nice voice anyway), the costumes, most of the acting. The other version I saw, which I won’t say whose, I did not like at all. It looked like something performed in school rather than professional theater, and the acting! There are just no words! A few songs in and I gave up. It was hard watching them, really. Meanwhile, when it comes to the singing, I am also very partial to the voices of the Belgian cast. I don’t think there is any full online version of theirs, professionally filmed or otherwise, but I have the recording, as shared by another theater enthusiast.

Oh, let me share that there is a whole site dedicated to the R&J musical created by my fellow-Veerle fan, VeerleBub. Check out the Romeo + Juliet the Musicals Website. It’s not the musical’s official site, but it’s rather informative and a bit comprehensive, even including translations. I liked visiting there during my R&J fever years ago. Unfortunately, it’s not updated anymore and the owner lost the rights to the original domain, it seems. Think I’ll go contact her again if I can.

Anyway, here’s the film version I promised. As always, ENJOY!

The Art of Komikonation #atozchallenge2015

If there is one thing that I have come to realize in my adult life, it’s that I’m a late-bloomer in a lot of things. I need not go into more (read: boring) details about it, but in relation to my topic of the day, it is only now, in my later years, did I realize that I really, actually love comics.

K of A to ZI don’t have hundreds in my collection, not yet anyway, nor do I have any of those cherished and expensive first editions of famous American comics or Japanese manga. I didn’t start collecting until several years ago when I learned from artist Jonas Diego that we actually hold local conventions now. Komikons, they have called these local gatherings, and they have successfully put “komikon” in the modern Filipino dictionary.

By that time, I was already aware that I could draw a little. Well, sketch, really. Learning about artists now gathering and holding conventions kind of made me regret I did not practice and improve on my visual artistry. Maybe I would be already joining them and marketing my own comics had I pursued learning the art, who knows?

Attending Komikon has become a part of my annual routine. I have been unable to attend some events in the past, but I have at least made it a point to be in one of the three major ones. I’ve been enjoying and, I guess, celebrating the new artists of this era who have made making local comics cool again.

I know of people who seem to look down on local comics, whether they admit it or not. The problem is they don’t even try to consider attending komikons or to simply check out samples. They have become mentally colonized to even dare think that local comics are worth their time. They either have forgotten or have no idea at all that many Filipino artists have actually been a part of various DC and Marvel series. Ever the peaceful guy, a friend of mine said it’s just probably because they already get to read manga on the net for free. But he completely missed the point. That said, I was not about to lose friendship over it; I was not the one missing something good, anyway.

kiko-machine-sample-strip

A sample from Kiko Machine. What immediately drew me to this when I encountered the strip in the dailies was it not only obviously showed bits and pieces of the Pinoy way of life, but the campus scenarios, though made all funny, gave the artist away, that we’re from the same alma mater. It’s not really bias on my part, just that it’s like reminiscing your school days 🙂

cats-trail-sample-page

I read the copies my friend owns and am really hankering to buy my own copies of the series. I like the drawing, but I really appreciate the story-telling and the fact that they — the Damaso couple — create “rewinds” to give readers more ideas as to the background of the story. They have also created the comic book Dragon Breed, which I like as well

school-run-sample-drawing

From the site: “in the post-zombie apocalypse, just getting to school in the morning can be a real killer. welcome to the worst day in the lives of a school bus full of children.” I would love to see a movie version of this! Oh, and this was even before “World War Z” came out

If it’s not obvious already from my past posts, I already have several favorite titles that I like to follow: Kiko Machine, Cat’s Trail, Drop Dead Dangerous, Espiritista, Sulsi (and the other IKOS comics), School Run. I would like to follow Trese, Fallen Ash, Bathala, Dragon Breed, what else….? I really liked, too, the book Elmer and the short Ang Maskot that later became a short film, plus, Kapitan Tog provides comic relief, pun maybe intended 😉

alphario-team

The Alphario Team…Photo credit is theirs

Having bought a story from them, I think I should also try checking out titles from a certain group whose name escapes me for now. Meanwhile, I have to say that I really like the enthusiasm and the efforts the whole Alphario Team always puts into marketing and promoting their comics during the event and even pre-event.

Of all the titles, though, I really am very partial to Ang Sumpa (by Andoyman). Not only does the artist himself pours his heart into it, but so do I. When Andy asked me to serve as editor, I also ended up sharing my ideas, as far as the forensics side is concerned (expert-wannabe). That’s probably why it says “Story Assist by…” on the cover. Still, it’s his story, not mine, his characters, his plot. I, on the other hand, is just happy to be a part of the comics industry, even in just this way. Admittedly, I am now inclined to write my own story or stories — I can’t do the drawing, but I can write the story, right?

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They did not hold the usual Summer Komikon this year. But rest assured that the Indieket’s happening soon. I plan to go so hopefully, things will go as planned. If they do, see you there, folks! Support the local comics industry!!! Time to KOMIKONATE  😀

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For more Komikon-related posts, please go to COMICS TRIPS.

An Author’s Responsibilities by Aya Walksfar

I have been meaning to write an article about something but have not been able to. Coincidentally, I chanced upon this guest blog post over at The Jumbled Writer. It’s a very good writeup on author responsibilities from novelist Aya Walksfar.

I have decided to reblog it (with permission). Actually, I am unable to click “Reblog” so I just provided the link. Just click on the title or the image and…ENJOY!!!!

AN AUTHOR’S RESPONSIBILITIES

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ISAY & AUGIE #atozchallenge2015

A week after Holy Week, we got our little girl…Little girl puppy, that is. i of A to Z It’s the first time this house got a dog after a long time. Our last dog was Odie and that was when I was still single and unattached, plus my parents were still alive. He was our last because my mother would not allow another one. She said, “Who’s going to take care of it when you’re always away?” It was when my father already had the stroke and my mother was not really strong anymore. I was away on weekdays to work so all the responsibility of taking care of the house, my father, and the dog went to her. A dog was too hyper for her. Needless to say, I saw her point so I gave in. I’ve said this several times already after my parents passed away that I would get a dog again. It is only now that it has come true when I’ve got my own family.

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Isay is one aloof little girl. Copyright © J.Gi Federizo

Ladies and gents, presenting…ISAY. I gave her that name, after the place she came from, Talisay. She was already around two months old, though, with certain behaviors that we’re trying to “undo”. She tends to be aloof even of us and has a love-hate relationship with her primary human, my husband. When she does become playful, she can become too playful and treat us aggressively like non-humans.

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Isay with her main human. It’s not easy capturing her every time because she runs away. Copyright © J.Gi Federizo

More than a week ago, we got her a brother (well, brother until their relationship changes). The kids wanted to call him Augie so Augie it is. He is just a month old. Good thing Isay didn’t get jealous and was completely welcoming the other pup. Augie, on the other hand, is more friendly to humans. I present to you…AUGIE!!!!

SOo hard to take this picture!

So hard to take this picture! Copyright © J.Gi Federizo

More humans!!!

More humans!!! Copyright © J.Gi Federizo

Hope you like the pics!!! 🙂