[Blog Tour + Guest Post] Just Write PH: For the Feels

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For the Feels#JustWritePH—For the Feels
Authors: Lee Miyaki (Kim Derla), Maria Criselda Santos, iamloid, and Kristine Cuevas
Click here to buy the bundle – Available for only $0.99 until September 13!

Bundle Description:
The feels come in all shapes and sizes, with a million different unique stories for every kind. Experience bitter feels, forbidden feels, pretend feels and young feels in this four-story bundle that’s sure to tug at your heartstrings.

13th Prayer by Lee Miyaki (Kim Derla)

Paano nga ba magmahal nang bawal? Hindi kasi alam ni Eiffel kung paano. Sadyang malakas lang talaga mang-trip ang pagkakataon nang ipinakilala sa kanya ang seminaristang si Jem. Isa, dalawa, tatlo… Simula nang magsulat si Eiffel ng labintatlong dasal, tila nagbago na ang kanyang mundo.

Never the Princess by Maria Criselda Santos

When their adviser announced that the JS prom is fast approaching, the class of IV-Mahogany was in high spirits, except for Meryll Yuson, a 16-year-old bespectacled bookworm, who wishes to dance with the school’s badminton star at the prom. Too bad it seems he already has someone in mind — Little Miss Perfect, who has been gifted with beauty and smarts. Fortunately for Meryll, she has her own mom to play fairy godmother to her, and her friend Trish who gives her all-out support. Will Meryll get the dance she so wants, or will she end up as a wallflower? Will she even attend prom after the news that she learns?

My Ampalaya Story by iamloid

Paalala ang kuwentong ito ay ‘di angkop sa mga mambabasang naniniwala sa forever at sa happy ending. Halina’t pasukin ang mundo ng ka-bitter-an kung saan walang ka-sweet-an na masusumpungan. Ito ang My Ampalaya Story. One of the most ‘ampalaya’ work published in an online writing and reading site.

A Bump in Athena’s Life by Kristine Cuevas

A rejection leads Athena to find a diversion on her plans for the summer. After finding out an assisting job at Star so Bright, particularly to be Callum Young’s assistant, she then becomes a pretend girlfriend, offered for whatever reason. And after all the hassle and bump she gets with Callum, there’s still that question that hangs in Athena’s head… How can an assisting job turns to a pretend girlfriend be of help in getting to Juilliard? It’s going to be a bumpy summer for Athena as she discovers that sometimes what you want is not what you always get but still have the best in the end.

[Guest Post] Top Ten Writing Rituals by Maria Criselda Santos

It is a universal truth that writing is as difficult as cracking the code to your neighbor’s Internet connection. You could have a thousand ideas in your head, but more often these ideas are reduced to a blank page, and that whatever you do, whether you shut yourself from the world or you scan your brains for that last drop of creative juice, you just couldn’t produce anything. Writers know this case as a bout of THE block, that dreaded episode in which you just want to whack your head and sleep the frustration away. Fortunately, they also came up with various strategies to defeat writer’s block.

Every writer has his unique ritual (no screeching animals involved!) so that he could battle writer’s block and start working on that novel or story. I have rounded up my own techniques, although I’m not sure if they can be considered “odd” in other people’s books. Nonetheless, they worked for me and I have adopted the practice ever since.

  1. Listening to conversations and extracting one-liners. For the record, I don’t tweet live, but I merely jot down memorable or wonderful lines from conversations I have listened to. Sometimes I would talk to people and do the same thing. The truth is, they find it weird that I’d suddenly stop talking and ask their permission to write down whatever they said. For example, one of my stories, “The Stories We Keep”, starts with this line: We all have our sad stories. This line was the result of a long chat with a friend.
  2. Drinking three cups of coffee. This may not be strange a ritual to most caffeine junkies. I don’t think caffeine keeps me awake anymore, but there is something about the bittersweet taste of coffee that jolts my mind from nothingness to uber-productivity.
  3. Finding a quiet spot in a crowd. Probably my favorite paradox, I just couldn’t write when I’m alone. I had to find a place where I would see a lot of people, yet I could write in peace. Yes, it is possible in some cafes in the metro. My favorite writing hangouts are Starbucks and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.
  4. Visiting a bookstore to condition myself. This practice applies to everything I do. I love books and I feel that I want to see (or smell) the pages first before I could sit down and write. While I was working on Never the Princess, I visited Fully Booked often and looked for new YA titles. It helped that I got ideas (like what is cool for teens now, or what gives them the mushy factor). The bonus is that I am surrounded by the things I love the most – BOOKS.
  5. Watching people in coffee shops and other hangouts. Far from stalking, I observe what these people do. I watch how a couple whisper sweet nothings to each other, how they hold hands while walking, and how they seem happy just by being together. I could be the modern flaneur, and I’m glad that I think of a lot of ideas just by observing people from all walks of life.
  6. Putting on my favorite lippie. Okay, this is my lipstick geek self talking. You know what women say about lipstick being their instant feel-good tool? Well, it’s somehow true, and for me what works is any red shade. It immediately uplifts my mood and keeps the writer in me going.
  7. Reading a story or a chapter from my favorite author. When I’m stumped and feeling stressed out from the lack of anything to write about, I relax and turn a page from the works of authors such as Kate Moss, JK Rowling, Neil Gaiman, Dean and Nikki Alfar, and Jessica Zafra. Their works motivate me and give me that much-needed boost, and much like a pat on the back, I feel like I receive that “You can do it” advice from authors every time I read their stories.
  8. Chatting with people online before I actually work. Mind you, this is a double-edged sword. While chatting DOES motivate me to work, especially on those days when I really feel so lazy, chatting also distracts me from doing what I must. So kids, don’t do this.
  9. Reaching my quota of social media posts. Just like chatting, I can’t seem to work without posting the books I sell (This is an entirely different case), or write about my current status. It’s addictive, I admit, and proves to be counterproductive at times.
  10. Surrounding myself with crystals and stones. I am a fan of the esoteric. Tarot cards, pendulums, and crystals – you name it. I even have a cat familiar! As of writing I have not found my rose quartz which, according to a psychic friend, aids in the writing stuff, I do have my citrine, a yellow crystal that is said to absorb negative energies, and my green aventurine, which helps in money matters. I keep these two crystals close to me whenever I work, and I’m about to get more stones!

Being a writer isn’t easy, and as weird as it sounds, we cope by having such rituals. They may not work for you, but they do for me. But as I write this post, it’s ironic that I have ticked off quite a few rituals in my list, and those even turned out to be the counterproductive ones (okay, so I also watched the people in Starbucks last Sunday). The thing is when you feel the need to write, don’t wait for inspiration to happen. The rituals are there to help, but other times they would fail to wake the Muse up. So what do you do then? You struggle, you push yourself to your feet, pick up that pen (or keyboard) and start working. When beating the block, writers don’t wait for a miracle. They create it.

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