“One of the best advice a writer could give to a beginner novelist is to write what she knows and to write what’s in her heart.”
Happy National Novel Writing Month! Today, I will feature the first book that I have written and was published in December 2013, the Confessions Of A Shy Girl. It is a coming-of-age novel about a new girl in town who struggles everyday life in her new school and environment trying to fit in and stand out. Like any young girl, she falls for a guy whom her bully is interested in. Her demeanor to be the class’s pushover brings her to face a challenge in a beauty and brain competition, one she has never done in her life before. But with all the courage she could muster, she accepts the challenge that unexpectedly unfolds her into a better woman that she is and luckily captivates the man of her dreams.
It was not hard for me to write my first novel because I had chosen a story that is closely related to what I had in my youth and a character similar to who I was when I was in high school. One of the best advice a writer could give to a beginner novelist is to write what she knows and to write what’s in her heart. This is what I know and this is what I feel. You have to put yourself in the shoes of the character you created, and that was just a cinch because I feel for the protagonist and I know the rest of my characters as well. As a writer, you don’t have to know everything. You just need to have that passion and discipline. Everybody has a story to tell. There’s always something inside us waiting to come out and feelings longing to be expressed. What is the first story that you have written in your life? It doesn’t have to be a book. It could be a composition you had as a sit work in your English class. It could be a term paper about your life ten years from now or a diary about your fears, feelings, and frustrations that you can’t tell your friends and parents because you’re afraid that they would reject you. Write something today. Write a page everyday. Write in your diary. Write a letter to your Mom expressing your love. Make someone happy by sending them a thank-you note or a get-well-soon note. Write about the weather. Write about your dreams. The book you have read is a must-read and the movie you have watched is spectacular. Why don’t you write something about it? Write and see where your imagination takes you. Who knows someday, you’ll become a writer? A new book among millions is dying to come out from inside of you. And wordsmith, I can’t wait for that best seller!
“Being alone doesn’t mean I’m lonely, I can do my own thing without anybody snooping at me, I have all the freedom that a flying solo affords, and I finally have the opportunity to pursue more of my interests.”
For some, 13 feels like it’s just yesterday. Well for me, it is. In 1987, geeky 13-year old Jenna just wanted to be popular and so after her 13th birthday party went awry, she wished she could just be thirty instead. The novel 13 Going On 30 by Christa Roberts could contradict what I’m feeling right now. Who wants to turn thirty, flirty, and thriving but still feeling unfulfilled? There seems could be nothing hip in my teen years. My birthday parties were spent with my parents and brothers at home while watching T.V; I did not have my debut, did not attend the Prom night, didn’t get jaded on Friday nights and get sobered up early on Saturdays, I did not join the cheering squad and I wasn’t reprimanded for taking a risk in cutting classes, nor was I grounded for a week due to a few nights bonfire at the beach with a boyfriend. I was young, and the next minute, I was old. My life started when I was twenty. Being the late bloomer that I am, I have spent ten years backing up what I’ve missed for the past twenty years. At twenty, I grabbed a lousy job which didn’t promise career growth and character boost, but which served as a passport going to the city. A friend from high school saw me and agreed to share an apartment with me. It was then that I spent countless nights going to night bars and discos, playing billiards with all the dates they were trying to match-make on me and my first time to throw-up and have some late-night hangovers. We went to malls, and it was they who reminded me not to wear loose shirts and sneakers again because I looked better on skirt, strappy sandals and classic tops donned on. At twenty-one, I quitted my job and spent my pay over books and piles of magazines. I wanted to become a novelist or a webpage designer – a job which is a public service, but requires working alone. But then, I lacked resources. I didn’t have a word processor and an internet connection, and I didn’t even have a place conducive to writing and reading. So if I wanted to write, I have to start honing my skills through books first. I sent out short stories to Publishing Firms, and I wasn’t able to concentrate on my current designation. I botched five jobs because I wasn’t happy, and I was exhausted after moving out from one apartment to another 6 times. Right then, I forgot about writing. When I started working in a telecommunications company, I was able to upgrade my PC and practice webpaging. It was fun, but my schedule became hectic and work was toxic, so I didn’t have time to continue pursuing it. I was propelled forward to a job I didn’t like, and I couldn’t stop imagining about my dream job but I couldn’t quit because I had to pay my bills and rent. I had my first boyfriend when I was twenty-two but later discovered that I was more in love with love than with the person himself, so I broke up with him, only to find out that the next relationship would all become a frustration. I fell in love with 3 different guys and was turned down through three similar incidents after slamming the phone down opposite to a sexy voice who happened to be their girlfriends. What was wrong with me? I tried to catapult on my couch every night to seize for the answer, but nothing came close except the doubt that I might be sending the vibe of an external-YES and internal-NO syndrome. A wise man once told me that a lesson is repeated until learned. Maybe, I should just try to stop the malady of thinking about them and start letting go. It was hard because my thoughts were contagious. I started enrolling in driving lesson, swimming lesson, guitar lesson, cooking, photography, and other short courses that could contribute on rediscovering myself to find out what makes me different from others. Time is running so fast. I didn’t realize there’s so much more to do under the sun that a lifetime is not enough for me to experience everything. I didn’t want to turn 30 that fast because I wasn’t done having fun. I was going crazy, so I dug out my old stuff and reduced four dressers to shambles. I think I still wanted to write. I’m gonna use all the pain and emotions I’ve got flowing in a piece of paper. So when somebody try to pressure me to settle down just because for them, I’m behind schedule (What is their problem?), I won’t be worried at all. I’m not yet ready! People have overlooked that I was in the middle of something that was occupying all my time and attention. I am thirty, but everyone is on his own life path and timetable. Being alone doesn’t mean I’m lonely, I can do my own thing without anybody snooping at me, I have all the freedom that a flying solo affords, and I finally have the opportunity to pursue more of my interests.
So when someone finally asks me how’s life treating me nowadays. I know just what to say, “I’m enjoying being single at 30, and loving it. “
“We might not be alike in so many ways, but we were kindred spirits emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually.”
Reading the novel In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner reminds me of a bosom buddy I once had in my late 20s, except that we’re not biological sisters, neither of us is irresponsible, and neither of us had cheated on each other’s spouses. I can relate to this story in such a way that we’re radically different in so many ways, yet there’s only one thing that both of us have similarly — the size of shoes. We might not be alike in so many ways, but we were kindred spirits emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. She fills the void to what is lacking in my soul and I also do the same to her, just like soul mates. This blog is dedicated to her.
When I was a kid, whenever somebody asked me how it felt like having no sister at all, I always told them that it never bothered me at all because I enjoy the full attention that my parents were giving me being the only daughter in the family. I didn’t want to share my clothes, shoes, my own room, and I even disliked being compared to others. So I couldn’t really imagine having my own sister. Or so I thought…..
I was already twenty-two when I met someone through my brother. She was a complete stranger, and my feelings for her were completely indifferent. We did not click with each other that easily enough maybe because of my hostile attitude, or was it because we’re just two different people? She was witty and smart, a people-person, outgoing, very active, career-aggressive, cheerful, and had the potential to relate well with others —- she was in short, my exact opposite. I think we started out being friends when my brother went away. I came to know how nice she was inside and out. This young lady had influenced my entire life like no one else did. She had taught me the power of positive thinking, in believing in myself, and how possible it is for everything to happen even to someone like me. She was the only one who believed in me; she was the only one who told me that I am somebody and she nagged at me every time I started becoming a worrywart and every time I degraded and debased myself too much. She was so excited when something good happened to me, and she felt bad whenever I was down. She hated those people who hated me, and she sometimes scrutinized those guys I was goony about. Her words were music to my soul and the best advice I could get usually came from her. She was the one who told me that when something worries me that much, I just have to close my eyes even when I’m working and shout in my mind “Lord, please let it stop”. We respect each other’s differences even if the only thing we have in common is the love for books or the size of shoes. She knew me better than anybody else— my own mother does not even know me well. I was emotionally detached for four years now, but I did not even feel the emptiness because I had her. I was with her during the difficult times of my life, and she was the one who brought me to the hospital when I was sick. Every little thing she did to me was something I did not get from my own siblings. I didn’t think that having a sister was something you should be proud of.
To you sister, everything that had happened years ago was something I did not foresee. If I had only known that everything would end just like that, then I should had asked you to go out every day and every night even when we had different work schedules, because right now I miss you already. I miss those late nights watching movies together, dinner, shopping, and coffee. I miss those times when we shift from one apartment to another. I miss your comforting words and brilliant advice. You’re everything I’ve got. I never wanted anything but to have a great sister, and now I have none. No matter how I wanted to help you in your times of grief, it pains me much that I can’t see you today because doing so will just aggravate the pain. I know that I don’t have the right to keep you because I did not invest too much in this friendship; you came to me as a blessing. In time, I wish you will soon heal. I still want you to be my sister. If you are ready to see me, I’m always here for you.
Sister, if you are reading this right now, I am so sorry for being so selfish. You were saying something to me. You felt this would happen all along, but I did not listen to you because I thought everything would be fine. I know the feeling now; your pain is bleeding me to death. I’m a bad, bad sister, and I don’t really deserve you. It’s not like someone else died, but I can’t really face the next few weeks without you. Everything would never be the same. I know you’ve got a lot of friends and your life won’t stop without me but as I pray for your recovery, please pray that I would still find someone like you. You are an inspiration to others and trust me when I say everything good that you have done to others will come back to you three-folds.
I love you Sister, and I always want all the best in life for you…..