December 11, 2010

Decisions, Decisions

It’s been almost a month since my last post. Suffice to say I’ve been super busy with school. I’m currently snacking on Pringles, and lazily breezing through Roald Dahl's short story collection entitled The Umbrella Man and Other Stories. I'm actually considering changing my thesis subject from magical realism in Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude to Dahl's penchant for twist endings in his short stories.

Decisions, decisions.

However, I should be working on the first chapter or, at the very least, the outline of my fifth novel. I'm stuck, though. Just winging it and freewriting sounds like a good way to begin, but I'm very hesitant about the method. I don't want to end up with ten pages I'll never use.

Again, decisions, decisions.

Bleh. I should stop procrastinating and start writing.
November 16, 2010

Kera's Story

I've been working on Tyler's story for more than eight months, and I still haven't finished it. Somehow, I think there's something wrong with the story, or maybe I'm not just ready to write it. The story is set in Tagaytay, and I'm really scared that I might get something about the setting wrong since I've only been to the place twice. Also, the characters are being really stubborn--yes, I use my characters as an excuse for my laziness. As a result, I've decided to put it away and start working on a new manuscript instead.

My friend Kera asked me to write a story using her and her crush's name, and ideas started zipping around my brain the second she mentioned "her" story. Currently, her story is still in the planning stage, but I'm really excited to get started on it. I want to finish it before the year ends.

Kera's story might just be the project I need to zap me out of my writer's block.

To get started, I need to pick a theme song for her story. I'm leaning toward Michael Buble's Haven't Met You Yet, but I just might ask Kera what her theme song for her crush is. LOL. I'm guessing it's something by Juris.

Dianne, my other friend, also asked me to write a story for her, but she doesn't have a male love interest at the moment so she'll have to wait... I have a feeling she'll hunt me down with a steak knife if I pair her up with a guy named Van. Hahahaha.
November 08, 2010

NANO 2010 Update #1

I'm still working on my romance novel which is tentatively titled Keeping the Distance. I might post it on FictionPress after (if?!?) I finish it, so you guys can read it for free if you have the time.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to write even a single page today, because I'm too tired. I spent the whole day at school, trying to enroll for the second semester--it's my last year in college. I spent three hours standing in line, and I still have to go back tomorrow. *Sighs.*

Here's my current word count:

18877 / 50000 words. 38% done!
November 07, 2010

NANO 2010

No, I haven't disappeared from the face of the earth. I merely joined NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) where crazy individuals like myself try to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.

So, yes, my fingers have been busily tapping away.

Sayonara, and I'll update whether I succeed or fail.
October 20, 2010

How Meteor Garden Ruined My Life

Meteor Garden ruined my life.

When I was a high school freshman, I became addicted to the Taiwanese television series Meteor Garden. It’s about a poor girl named Shan Cai who goes to an exclusive school attended by scions and heirs from all over the country. She can only attend the school because her parents work their asses off to send her there, and she simply can’t wait to get the whole thing over with.

But then she stumbles upon F4, four of the richest and most good-looking boys in school. At first, she falls for Hua Ze Lei—the silent well-read one—but then Dao Ming Shi is the one who truly captures her heart. He’s brash, arrogant, and completely lovable.

Basically, MeteorGarden is like Cinderella with four Prince Charmings instead of one.

My twelve-year-old self ate it all up. I dreamed about finding someone who’d run after a goddamn bus just because I’m on it and he can’t live without me. Well, yeah, he can, but he doesn’t want to. I dreamed about finding someone who would jump in the way of a moving vehicle just because I don’t want to be with him anymore, who would fight for me despite his elitist mother’s threats.

The scene that cemented my love for Dao Ming Shi was the one where he begged Shan Cai to get back together with him after she made out with Hua Ze Lei, his best friend. Or when he asked her to stay when they were standing in the rain and her bags were all packed. Or the time he gave her a shooting star necklace. Jesus, that scene got me every time.

I was a stupid twelve-year-old, and I’m still stupid at nineteen. No one has ever measured up to Dao Ming Shi, and I doubt anyone ever will. He had his flaws, but they made him even more amazing. They made him seem real. And he beat people up for Shan Cai and he was played by Jerry Yan, damn it. No girl can resist that.

Now, seven years later, I still watch scenes from MeteorGarden on Youtube, and dream about finding someone even a little like Dao Ming Shi. I’m not holding my breath, but I can’t help it.
October 16, 2010

Euphoria #2

Save Forever for Me has finally arrived at local bookstores!


I went to the mall last Friday with my friend Dianne, and, surprisingly, the book was already in the shelves. She immediately bought a copy and made me sign it in the middle of the bookstore. Slightly embarrassing, but completely heartwarming at the same time. So, thanks, Dianne, for your unbridled support!

Also, I found out today that Taylor Song has a rendition of my all-time favorite Christmas song Last Christmas (originally by Wham!). I don’t know why, but listening to Taylor Swift never fails to lift me out of a horrific mood.

October 03, 2010

Male Feelings

(technically Alex Pettyfer has nothing to do with this post, but...)

I was blog hopping last night, and I came across a guest post on Fiction Groupie’s blog about writing from a male point-of-view. The post was mainly about tackling a teenage boy’s point-of-view, but a lot of the points it made could be applied to adult male points-of-view as well.

Here’s the link to the post entitled Creating an Authentic Teen Guy’s Voice.

The post made me think of a lot of things. In my published novels, His Secondhand Heart and Save Forever for Me, and the other two lined up for publication, the story was told from the points-of-view of both the hero and the heroine. I’ve come to realize that my male main characters tend to overanalyze things, and actually talked about their feelings. *Insert shudder here.*

I hope to rectify that mistake in my next manuscript, and create an authentic guy’s voice. As much as I hate to admit it, guys don't overanalyze their feelings. They prefer action, and avoid talking about feelings as much as possible. They want to talk about what they think, not what they feel.

Now I'm off to interview unsuspecting guy friends about their relationships.

September 30, 2010

Save Forever for Me: The Inspiration

I'm obviously becoming more and more forgetful. A couple of days ago, I posted that my second tagalog romance novel, Save Forever for Me, had been released. I babbled on about it, but somehow I forgot to mention the main inspiration for the novel.

It's a song.

To be specific, it's Nina's version of Saving Forever for You.

I loved it, and listened to it over and over while writing Save Forever for Me. I even culled the title from the song. The song, basically, captures the way Warren and Lia, my main characters, feel about each other.

Here it is:

I've never been so sure
About anything before
But this loving feeling
Gonna be a feeling I feel forever more

Looking in your eyes
Tomorrow's all I see
Long as there's forever, baby
I will always be

Saving forever for you, oh oh oh
You are the only one
I'll ever give forever to
Love for a lifetime won't do, oh oh oh
Wanna always stay together
So I'm saving forever for you

You'll be my world
As long as there's a world turning 'round
And you'll be my heaven
Baby, till the heavens all come falling down

Look inside my heart [Oh, yeah]
Love is all you'll see
Loving you forever,
Living just to be

Saving forever for you, oh oh oh
You are the only one
I'll ever give forever to
Love for a lifetime won't do, oh oh oh

[ From: ]

Wanna always stay together
So I'm saving forever for you

Forever I'll be loving you
Long as time passes by
I'll be there beside you, ho
Through it all, I'll be standing by you

Saving forever for you, oh oh oh
You are the only one
I'll ever give forever to
Love for a lifetime won't do, oh oh oh
Wanna always stay together
So I'm saving forever, saving forever for you

Saving forever for you (Hoo…ooh…ooh…)
You are the only one
I'll ever give forever to (You are the only one)
Love for a lifetime won't do, (oh oh oh)
Wanna always stay together
So I'm saving forever for you, for you

Saving forever
Saving forever for you
Saving forever, (Saving forever)
Saving forever for you
Saving forever, (Saving forever)
Saving forever for you
Saving forever, (Saving forever)
Saving forever for you..
September 29, 2010

...thoughts on romance

Romance has always been my first love.

Since I was little, I’ve wished for the fantasy of falling head over heels for someone, and then, magically, finding out that they feel the exact same way. I wanted the fireworks, the sweet one-liners that could make my day, and the little musings that could be shared only by two people in love. Maybe I cultivated the fantasy because of the endless stream of romantic comedies I inhaled or being raised in the generation of boybands—hot guys singing about you being their only one could turn anyone into a blabbering romantic.

Admittedly, I’ve become a bit more cynical over the years, and romance soon sank to the bottom of my list of priorities. After getting burned a couple of times, the idea of finding that perfect person for me turned more than a little sour, but a part of me has always kept hoping.

And that part, I guess, is responsible for all the romance novels I’ve been writing. Making two people fall in love is never easy, but it’s quite an amazing job.
September 28, 2010

Six Months to Go

I'm currently working on my report for my Poetry class later. I need to report on W.H. Auden's Musee des Beaux Arts and T.S. Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. Poetry and I have always had a bit of a love-hate relationship. I like reading it, but I can't write a decent poem to save my life. I'm actually looking forward to Fiction, Western Visayan Literature, and English Literature next semester, especially to Fiction.

I don't understand, though, why English Literature deserves to be a subject. Of course, there are a lot of English writers who made great contributions to the world of literature, but we had European Literature last year and we just glossed over all the other European writers. We studied James Joyce, Gunter Grass, etc, but Dumas never even came up in the discussion.

And what about South American Literature? Gabriel Garcia Marquez pioneered magical realism, and we never even discussed him. I think a subject that tackles literature from South America should really be included in our curriculum.

Well, whatever, I guess I'm just sourgraping because I'm graduating soon, and I feel like I still have a ton of writers to study.
September 27, 2010

Save Forever for Me (2010)

Save Forever for Me

Camryn Morrell

Hindi makapaniwala si Lia sa ginawa niya: Nilayasan niya ang ama at tinakasan ang kasal niya sa lalaking pinili nito para sa kanya. Okay na sana dahil sa wakas ay nakalaya siya mula sa manipulasyon ng papa niya, kung bakit naman si Warren Alcantara pa ang kailangang makasama niya sa bahay na pagtataguan niya gayong puwede namang ang ina na lang nito. Pero dahil wala siyang gaanong choice at siya ang nakikituloy lang sa pamamahay nito, minabuti niyang pagtiisan ang company ng lalaking reincarnation yata ni Hitler. And then he did what Lia thought was the worst—he denied falling for her, matapos niyang umamin na mahal na niya ito….


Thanks to my mother who tries to understand my obsession with writing, and why I have to be wrenched away from my computer.

I would also like to thank my various college friends, namely Kera, Dianne, Edgelyn, Jeffrey, and Elaine. Thank you for taking the time to buy my books, and actually forcing me to sign them in public.

My heartfelt thanks also go to Nang Danielle, Ma'am Arlene and Sir Elsed for promoting my work! Literature majors stick together, yeah?

Of course, I thank everyone who bought copies of my first novel, His Secondhand Heart. God bless you all.

Extra Info:

  • While writing, I imagined Alfred Vargas as Warren Alcantara and Anne Curtis as Lia Olivares.
  • As of this writing, the story of Warren's friend, Dave Silverio, has been accepted for publication. So, please stay tuned for that one.

July 31, 2010

At the Beginning

Hi. It’s been a long time.

I want to say that I’ve been busy with my writing, but I’d be lying if I did. I haven’t completed a manuscript in four months, and I’m panicking. This is not good. I should grab a microphone or something and scream mayday at the top of my lungs.

On the other hand, I’m learning how to write news articles, feature articles, and articles. Newswriting seems so easy when I read news articles, but it’s actually pretty goddamn hard.

Especially for fiction writers. See, in writing fiction, you start off by giving the reader tiny, unimportant details and reveal the really important stuff in the end.

Writing news is an entirely different ball game. You have to place all the important stuff at the beginning, and use as few words as possible.

So, yeah. I feel like I’m in writing kindergarten right about now.
July 09, 2010

What A Day

Originally, I thought today was going to be a majorly shitty day. So, to compensate, I took a picture of something beautiful (ignore the crappy quality). :)

But then…

Things looked up right after lunchtime. I received good news about something I was really nervous about. I celebrated by buying myself a Pepsi (I’m a miser, I know).

Things got even better after school. I went to Robinson’s and found this:

See, I’m a student by day and a tagalog romance novelist by night. The picture above features my first book on a shelf at National Bookstore. Sorry if it’s a little blurry. I had to take a photo before anybody noticed. LOL.

So, yeah.
June 14, 2010

His Secondhand Heart (2010)

His Secondhand Heart

Camryn Morrell

Hindi puwedeng basta na lamang kalimutan ni Devin ang motto niya: Smart people stay single. Sa loob ng dalawang taon, matapos ang isang matinding heartache mula sa one great love niya, iyon na ang definition niya sa relationships: isang malaking sakit ng ulo. Pangako niya sa sarili, hindi na siya muling papayag na kontrolin ng isang babae ang emosyon niya. Pero mukhang kailangan niyang bawiin ang mga ipangako sa sarili nang makilala niya si Vivienne. He thought she was one of a kind. Hindi niya maitanggi na masaya siya kapag kasama ito—ecstatic pa nga, actually. And he was in big trouble.

Ang hindi niya lang maintindihan, parang excited pa siya sa pagkakataong ito, na magpakatanga at sumugal sa pag-ibig….


This book is dedicated to the people who helped me on my quest to get published. To Ms. Elise Estrella, a fellow MSV writer, for answering all my questions about formatting and submitting a manuscript.
To my Engineering friends for inspiring me to write this story. I might not be one of you anymore, but I'm still here if you need advice or a shoulder to cry on. :)

Extra Info:

  • It took me eight months to write His Secondhand Heart.
  • This is the first Tagalog romance novel I’ve ever written and the first piece of writing I ever got paid for.
June 12, 2010

Books, Books, and More Books

After summer classes ended, I had an entire week to myself and I used it to at least diminish the books on my to-be-read pile.

The Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan

To be honest, I wasn't really looking forward to reading this series. Yes, I was intrigued by the premise since the series revolves around the Greek gods and modern-day demi-gods. However, I saw the movie (Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief) first, and it was really predictable. I could tell who the villain was halfway through the movie, but the books were totally different.

All five books in the series were action-packed, funny, and suspenseful. Percy Jackson is also a very likable character, and so are his friends, especially Grover and Annabeth. They all go through the same issues that kids today experience, like growing up with one parent or feeling like an outsider.

I also liked how the gods were portrayed. Riordan managed to stay true to the thousand-year-old myths while managing to make his take fresh.

The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare

"...Have you fallen in love with the wrong person yet?'
Jace said, "Unfortunately, Lady of the Haven, my one true love remains myself."
..."At least," she said, "you don't have to worry about rejection, Jace Wayland."
Not necessarily. I turn myself down occasionally, just to keep it interesting."
— Cassandra Clare (City of Bones)

"I am a man" he told her,"and men do not consume pink beverages. Get thee gone woman, and bring me something brown"-Jace Wayland"
— Cassandra Clare (City of Glass)

I heard a lot of good things about this series before actually reading it. When I finally started on the first book, I wasn't disappointed. Cassandra Clare created a fabulous world I'd love to escape to, especially since it's filled with hot Shadowhunters--humans with angel blood who were created to rid the earth of demons.

This series has a lot of surprises in store for the reader. It twisted my emotions and it twisted it some more until I couldn't stop reading. It makes you hope, smashes said hope, and makes you start hoping again. Basically, the Mortal Instruments series is an awesome rollercoaster ride, one I enjoyed immensely.

The thing I liked most about this series was the romance between Clary and Jace, the two main characters. Once you start reading, I think you'll understand why.

I'm really looking forward to reading the fourth book in the series.
June 07, 2010

My First Book is Almost Out! Yay!

I just wanted to share this, since I'm really excited. :)

My recent e-mail exchange with Miss Apple, one of Bookware's editors:

Hello po, Miss Apple.

Gusto ko lang po sanang itanong kung anong buwan ire-release 'yong first novel ko (His Second Heart).

Thanks po, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Her reply:

Nasa printer na po yung book ninyo. Anytime this week po ang labas niyon.


June 06, 2010


I’m about to embark on my last year of college, and it amazes me that, until now, I still don’t know what to do with my life.

When classes open again, I’m sure I’ll be surrounded by people who have goals and know how to achieve them. I, on the other hand, have no idea what to do with myself after graduation.

Maybe that’s why I’m so listless. I feel like a ship without a mast. I’m just sailing through life without ambitions or goals to drive me.

I’m sure of one thing, though. I want to write, but will that keep me alive in today’s economy?

Sometimes, I feel like I was born in the wrong country with the wrong skills and dreams.
June 02, 2010

Backing Up Files

(via deviantart)

I've come across a ton of blogs during my brief stint as a blogger. Most of the entries tackle topics about the craft itself like characterization, plot, and even purple prose. However, once in a while, I encounter a blog post about the importance of backing up files.

Yes, of course, every writer should consider having multiple copies of manuscripts a golden rule. I believed it, too. I memorized it, even.

It just never occurred to me that my computer would crash less than a month later. Only then did I realize the importance of so-called back ups.

See, I've been working on my fifth romance novel for about three months. I usually finish one every month, but this novel was harder to write. It was the first time I ever tried to incorporate research into my writing. Before, I just went and made things up. I had to make sure that I got every little detail right this time, because I was writing about an actual place.

So, three months of hard work on a manuscript...

Then, my computer crashed.

I would've freaked out if I didn't have a back up copy. I got my computer fixed and breathed a giant sigh of relief.

I ended up asking myself: What if I lost the entire manuscript?
May 30, 2010

Music and Writing

(via deviantart)

For me, music and writing have always gone hand in hand.

Whenever I think of a plot line, I automatically start looking for a theme song or maybe even an entire soundtrack. Using windows media player, I repeat the song or songs over and over while I'm writing.

I don't know why I do that, but I've never actually finished a manuscript without picking at least a theme song for it. For my first manuscript, I chose Bluer than Bluer by Regine Velasquez. For the second, I picked Saving Forever for You by Nina, Smile by Uncle Cracker for the third, and I Never Dreamed Someone Like You Could Love Someone Like Me for the fourth.

I'm also really fussy about the songs. It really has to "go together" with the story of my characters, and the message of the song needs to be similar to the theme of my novel. For example, I picked Smile by Uncle Cracker because the song is about being crazy in love with someone. Well, my characters from my third novel, Dave and Grace, drove each other crazy and ended up being crazy in love with each other.

Also, having a theme song has saved my manuscripts from being deleted more than once. Having a song to listen to while writing gave me ideas for scenes and even helped me internalize the emotions of the characters.

What about you? Does music help in your writing or do you prefer silence?
May 28, 2010

Cosmopolitan Magazine and Romance

I love reading Cosmopolitan magazine, even the two-year-old issues with passé fashion spreads.


Well, aside from the rather educational articles on, um, male and female relations (LOL, sorry if I can't help being immature), the magazine is a gold mine of ideas for romance writers. Practically every page contains an idea for a romance novel.

For example, I have a 2008 issue that contains an article entitled Get A Boyfriend ASAP. I don't know about you, but the article screamed idea the second I laid eyes on the title. I immediately thought of a heroine who's pretty decent, but she can't find the right guy. The entire article itself gave me a lot of ideas for her "boyfriend search."

There was also a section that asked real working girls whether they'd date a younger man or not. Bingo. Another story idea.

Also, the magazine is geared toward women in their 20s, the age bracket of most female characters in romance novels. So, basically it tackles topics that my characters will probably encounter about their careers, relationships, and families.

So, yeah, Cosmopolitan will definitely help me come up with fun, fearless heroines from now.
May 27, 2010

Posting Regularly: A Breeze Or A Challenge?

I've always had a problem with being consistent. Personally, I think it's one of my greatest flaws. For example, I had a goldfish when I was seven, and I always forgot to feed it. Well, I soon found it floating in my aquarium with Xs over its eyes. My mother said it died of hunger.

She really didn't need to point that out.

Anyway, so if I forgot to feed my pet goldfish (a living, breathing creature), why should posting regularly on my blog be any different?

I find it so hard to do something regularly. Yes, I eat, breathe, and sleep regularly, but that's about it. I become a super-student for a couple of days, and that quickly gets old. I become a fan of a particular musical genre, but then that particular genre soon disappears from my mp3 player.

Okay, so, by now, I think you get my point.

Over the past couple of years, I think I've started about twenty blogs, and they all died slow dwindling deaths. This one is actually a record-breaker since I managed to post every month (that's a big achievement for me) since I started it.

According to every blog-writing article I ever came across, posting regularly is one of the golden commandments a blogger should follow.

And I find it really difficult. So, thank God I managed to post today.

What about you? Do you have trouble posting regularly on your blog?
May 26, 2010

The Big Block

(via deviantart)

As a writer, I think it's a part of my job description to worry about writer's block. I've never actually believed in it. Personally, I believe that a writer shouldn't wait for inspiration to strike. You should just jump right in and inspiration will come sooner or later.

But the thing is I haven't written a word in two months, and I'm asking myself if I've finally been struck by writer's block.

All the symptoms are there. I want to write but the words just won't come out. All I do is stare at the blinking cursor on my screen, wishing I could come up with something.

I don't know. Maybe it's fear. Maybe I'm scared about where my writing is going, or I'm just being hugely insecure again, asking myself if I'm even good enough to call myself a writer.

Or maybe I'm just being lazy.

Okay, so after I post this, I'm going to battle that blinking cursor again, and I'm going to make sure I win. This time, at least.
May 25, 2010

Being A Tagalog Romance Writer

Some people think that being a Tagalog romance writer is easy.

Unfortunately, I used to be one of them. When I first tried to write a Tagalog romance novel, I thought: "How hard can it be? Two people fall in love and live happily ever after. The end."

As I plodded along on the first chapter of my romance novel, I realized that writing a Tagalog romance novel is actually VERY DIFFICULT. It's hard to make two characters fall in love, especially if they don't want to. You have to force them to be together and the catch? The characters actually have to like each other or have some sort of connection before they're able to say the three magic words.

Yes, readers expect a happy ending but the characters have to work hard for it. If the characters' conflict wasn't resolved or there was no conflict at all, readers will most likely feel cheated.

Also, there's a long way to go between the first word of your novel and "The End." Aside from the characters, the plot, the conflict, and the ending, finishing your manuscript is the main thing you should worry about. According to Nora Roberts, a bad page is easier to fix than a blank page. I completely agree with her. The same can be said with a rough draft and an unfinished manuscript.

Basically, don't sweat the small stuff. Your manuscript won't be perfect but you can fix it later. It took me eight months to finish my first Tagalog romance novel. It sucked but I was glad it was finished.

I've written more novels, and I think I've improved. At least, I hope so. What are you waiting for? Grab a pen or open a new word document. Get started now.
May 23, 2010

Mamma Mia!

I haven't written anything new lately, and I'm still stuck on Manuscript #5.

On the bright side...

I can't get the songs from Mamma Mia out of my head! I saw the movie yesterday, and I'm absolutely in love with it.

My main thoughts:
  • Pierce Brosnan will always be HOT.
  • Colin Firth... *Sigh.*
  • Meryl Streep is a goddess. I loved her in the Devil Wears Prada, but I never knew that she could sing.
  • Lastly, kudos to Amanda Seyfried for being so adorable. I first saw her on Mean Girls a couple of years ago. She played a dumb blond, but, hey, look at Lindsay Lohan now. *Cough* Coke whore. *Cough.*
Sorry if my main thoughts are barely coherent. LOL. :)

And here's Meryl Streep's rendition of Mamma Mia:

May 20, 2010

I'm Alive! (Again...)

I've been really busy these past couple of days with summer school.

Now, that sounds like another excuse...

But I've really been busy taking in all that stuff about ionic bonds, electrons, protons, cations, and all that chem stuff I have no interest in whatsoever.

I'm still stuck at Manuscript #5. I hope to finish it after the craziness that happens to be summer school is over.

Cheers y'all.
April 24, 2010

I'm Alive

So, I haven't posted anything in a while. I want to say I was really busy, but that would be an excuse. I was just really lazy.

Here are a few updates:
  • I celebrated my 19th birthday a couple of days ago.
  • My fourth Tagalog romance novel was accepted. I'm still working on the fifth one.
That's basically all for now. :)
April 11, 2010

The Ugly Truth

I saw The Ugly Truth starring Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler a couple of nights ago, and I loved it.

Gerard Butler's character, Mike Chadway, was crass and a bit of a pervert, but when Katherine Heigl's character fell in love with him, I wasn't surprised. In fact, despite the presence of a prettier and more, shall we say, polished male lead, I was rooting for Mike Chadway the whole time.

When the movie ended, I sat up and wondered, "How the hell did The Ugly Truth make me start rooting for someone like Mike Chadway?"

I couldn't believe it, especially since his rival (in the movie) looked like this:

Isn't he pretty?

For me, Mike Chadway was a different kind of romantic hero. He's not the kind of guy you'll fall in love with at first sight, but stick around and you'll surely love him.

In a movie where I was already expecting a happy ending, it was a breath of fresh air.

Romance, as a genre, is already a bit predictable. The readers (or audience) already expect a happy ending. The challenge is how to make it new, and to search for that kind of hero who's not too perfect but just right.

Like Mike Chadway, for example.

I've been asking myself the past couple of days how I could make my heroes refreshing. It seems like it's all been done before. There was even an article about the different hero archetypes (the alpha, the bad boy, the lost soul, etc).

What about you? How can you come up with a new kind of romantic hero?
April 09, 2010

Helping With Words

In high school, my classmates used to call me the "walking dictionary." Every time they didn't know what a word meant, they asked me.

So, as a result, I've always been smug about my vocabulary. Well, that is until I stumbled on

Fight World Hunger

The premise of the website is that they give you a word, and you have to pick the correct definition from three choices. Each time you get a right answer, a company or organization sponsors ten grains of rice through the World Food Programme.

Sounds simple, right?

Well, not exactly. The game completely annihilated me.

The first word you have to define is always easy, but they get harder with each level. Here are some of the insane words I encountered:

Appel - stomp.

Bahuvrihi - compound noun.

Balister - a crossbow.

Curtilage - enclosed area of land adjacent to a dwelling house.

Gadwall - a duck.

Pantofles - slippers.

Seel - to sew up the eyes.

Soave - white Italian wine.

Subvene - support monetarily.

Tsuris - an effort that is inconvenient or trouble.

I've been speaking English my whole life, but being faced with these words reminded me that I don't know everything about the language. It is always evolving, and, as writers, we must evolve with it.

Have you encountered these words? Will you ever use them in your writing?
April 07, 2010

The Brilliance that is Harry Potter

Harry Potter illuminated my world as a kid, mostly during elementary school right after my parents split up. It provided me an escape filled with people more miserable than me who had the means to solve their problems (magic and Hogwarts, dude!).

I memorized all the spells and even made my own wand from a barbecue stick (okay, somewhat embarrassing, maybe I should delete that part).

Wow. I just realized I was totally obsessed with Harry Potter.

But, anyway, the bottom line is that the Harry Potter series made me feel good about being a kid again, despite my problems and feelings of loneliness at the time.

The series even led me to become friends with other Harry Potter fanatics, most of which are still my friends until now (I was nine when I started reading the series and I'm about to turn nineteen).

When I finished reading the seventh and final book in the series, I felt like I lost a friend. I mean, like a billion other kids, I grew up with Harry Potter. I waited in line at the bookstore each time the next book came out, and begged my mother and any relative who would listen to buy it for me.

No book has ever made me feel that way. Ever again.

Update 8:15 PM:
I just saw this video on YouTube. It turns out some fans made A Very Potter Musical, and it features this laugh-out-loud feel-good song (gee, I love dashes, don't I?):

April 04, 2010

Wannabe Writers #1

Wannabe Writers is a weekly meme hosted by Sarah at Confessions of the Unpublished. I love the idea of the meme, and this is my first time to participate in it.

Where I am in the writing process:
Since I started my yet untitled YA fantasy last March 27, I've reached a word count of 8,167 words out of 40,000-50,000.

My current problems:
I keep wondering if what I'm writing is good enough or if it's total crap. If it's good enough, then I want to keep on going. If it's total crap, I want to delete the whole thing and start over again. But how exactly do I do that? I have no sure way of knowing, so all I can do is keep on adding more words. I can worry about making sense later.

My questions this week: How do you know when you're good enough?
Like I said before, I have no sure way of knowing if I'm good enough. I guess all I can do is ignore my insecurities, and just keep going.

I might not be good enough now, but I have to keep in mind that I will be someday. As long as I keep writing, reading, and living, I'll continue to be a better writer. As long as I learn from my mistakes and forge on, I'm giving myself a chance at success.
April 01, 2010

Tagged: Fill in the Blanks

Rebecca from Rebecca Knight: Writer in Progress recently tagged me. I had to complete the following sentences:

I like
hot chocolate.

I like Sterling Knight.

I like Taylor Lautner.

I like Sterling Knight and Taylor Lautner. (Okay, I'm cheating here.)

I like watching fantasy flicks.

I like putting a book down with a really goofy I-just-read-an-amazing-book grin on my face.

I like reading blog posts from other writers. Their take on different aspects of the craft are always interesting.

I like blogs with outfit posts.

I like staying up late and reading Scott Westerfeld novels.

I like playing with my dog Ice.

I like walking on cracks just to prove I won't break my mother's back. (I'm kind of crazy that way)

I like doodling on my notebooks while pretending to listen to my teachers.

I love John Hughes' movies, and colorful shirts.

Today was a relaxing day spent reading The Secret Hour.

I hate snooty people who think they're always right.

I hate Jamie Kennedy. I don't know why. I just find him really, really annoying.

I hate rainy days with nothing good to read.

I hate mullets.

I hate being interrupted while reading a really, really good book.

I hate people who judge someone before they get to know them.

I hate giving speeches in front of people.

I hate chores. Yeah.

I (secretly) like Avril Lavigne's songs. They're so catchy. Don't tell anyone.

I love being swallowed up in the world of my current work-in-progress.

According to the rules, I have tag three people. So, I'm tagging you, you, and you. Hahahaha.
March 28, 2010

The Deal With White Space

My current work-in-progress has taught me a lot about white space.

I took a lot at some of my finished manuscripts, and I couldn't help but cringe. Words upon words were stuffed into single pages without room to breath (figuratively speaking).

They looked so intimidating, and they made me want to find something else to read.

White space makes a manuscript look more friendly and approachable. It might add more to your overall page count but it's actually worth it. More pages with fewer words are easier to read from a psychological point of view compared to a lot of words in a few pages.

Meg Cabot once said on her blog that readers will thank you for plenty of white space by buying your books. I think she's right.

Imagine a paragraph that looks like this:

Blah. Blah. I'm going to keep on talking so this paragraph will look really long. Blah. Blah. Blah. So, is it long enough yet? I guess not. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. So, yeah, I'll keep on typing. Is this paragraph annoying yet? If it is, then good. I'm trying to make a point. Haha. Okay, I'm babbling. I'll shut up now. Back to regular programming. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Taylor Lautner is so hot. I just had to put that in here. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Is this paragraph suffocating you? Not yet? I'll keep on going then. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah.

Get my point? See how daunting that paragraph is? Aren't your fingers just itching to press the enter button? I know I am.

March 27, 2010

What's the Big Idea?

I have this idea for a YA fantasy...

...and it scares the crap out of me.

I don't know if it's just me or if this has happened to other writers, but I like my idea A LOT. I feel like this idea can bring my writing to a whole new level and push me out of my comfort zone.

It's in a setting I'm familiar with and a ton of characters I can't wait to get to know. Also, this is the most important aspect for me, it's all about Filipinos. Yeah! I love my culture and I guess I've been writing about other nationalities way too much. Since it's set in my native country and features the people I love, I think this story--whatever it'll turn out to be--is going to have more heart.

That's why I'm scared of writing it. I don't want to screw it up.

I guess I don't have enough faith in myself as a writer YET (I'm trying to be positive by thinking of yet as the operative word). So, to convince myself that I can handle my BIG IDEA and hopefully to convince other writers as well, I made this list:

Remind yourself that you're a fabulous writer.
You are! Just believe it. :)

Remind yourself why you HAVE and LOVE to write.
Why do you write? It's not likely that you'll get rich by writing (only a few have manage to do that) but you love it anyway. So, profit is definitely not your main motivation. You want to be heard and the only way to achieve that is by...

Just start that novel/short story/whatever the hell it is already!
Just type the first sentence that comes into your mind. You can always change it later. What's important is that you've started. Now, all you have to do is finish it.

What about you? Have you ever been intimidated by A BIG IDEA?
March 25, 2010


I finally finished revising Manuscript #4. It's a good thing that I didn't delete it when I felt the urge to do so. I hated it with a burning passion a couple of weeks ago. Now, I actually kind of like the outcome.

I think that's the cool thing about the revision process. I don't know about other writers but I only tackle my rough drafts about three weeks after I finish them. That way it feels like the whole thing was written by someone else. I feel like I'm settling into the story and meeting my characters all over again. I can spot the flaws (typos, OOCs, etc) better and view the whole thing with a critical eye.

Not to toot my own horn or anything but...

I was entertained when I read Manuscript #4. A lot.

*Insert big grin right here.*

So, I sent it off to my publisher a couple of minutes ago. I hope it gets approved. *Crosses fingers.*
March 24, 2010

The Magic of John Hughes

I've been watching a lot of John Hughes movies like Pretty in Pink, Some Kind of Wonderful, and The Breakfast Club lately. Sixteen Candles is next on the list.

I think John Hughes completely ruined teen movies for me.

Don't get me wrong. His movies are amazing. The characters resemble people I go to school with, and I can relate to their experiences. Also, the dialogue in his movies sound so real.

But maybe his movies are too amazing.

I used to think that 10 Things I Hate About You was completely brilliant, but it doesn't even compare to Pretty in Pink. Ditto for Get Over It. I saw that movie when I was about twelve or thirteen and I thought it was the best movie ever.

I've come to realize that the teen movies that have been coming out lately don't reach the standard that John Hughes' movies set. They're too clichéd, and the twists and added special effects don't make them any better. I mean, where's the witty dialogue and the geeky boy we could all fall for?
March 22, 2010

In Ten Words #1

Public Transportation in Ten Words:

Getting stuck in public transportation with someone who has B.O.
March 19, 2010

Thoughts: Practice Makes Perfect by Julie James

Summary (Source:


Payton Kendall and J.D. Jameson are lawyers who know the meaning of objection. A feminist to the bone, Payton has fought hard to succeed in a profession dominated by men. Born wealthy, privileged, and cocky, J.D. has fought hard to ignore her. Face to face, they’re perfectly civil. They have to be. For eight years they’ve kept a safe distance and tolerated each other as co-workers for one reason only: to make partner at the firm.


But all bets are off when they’re asked to join forces on a major case. At first apprehensive, they begin to appreciate each other’s dedication to the law—and the sparks between them quickly turn into attraction. But the increasingly hot connection doesn’t last long when they discover that only one of them will be named partner. Now it’s an all out war. And the battle between the sexes is bound to make these lawyers hot under the collar . . .

What I Think (The Reader Me):
Lately, I've been so busy that I end up putting a lot of books down. It's not that I don't like the said books. It's just that they didn't really catch my attention, and I ended up thinking that I had better things to do.

Practice Makes Perfect is definitely not one of those books.

I couldn't put it down. It made me laugh out loud and I cared about the characters' relationship. The sexual tension between Payton and J.D. just sizzled and made them leap out of the pages. They hate each other on the surface but the readers knows that there's a lot more going on underneath.

This was also a battle-of-the-sexes kind of book. Payton and J.D. are both after the same thing and only one of them can get it. Payton is strong and sassy without being annoying. J.D. is also very masculine without being a chauvinist. The characters are just right. I think Julie James resolved the conflict between them in the end quite nicely. She didn't cop-out and the ending was just right, albeit a bit predictable.

What I Think (The Writer Me):
I learned a lot about creating sexual tension from this book. Julie James is a master at it. My spine was already tingling and the characters hadn't even kissed yet. That's saying a lot.

The book also kind of reminded me of a movie, something along the lines of The Proposal or Laws of Attraction (except a whole lot better). I visited Julie James's website and learned that she wrote scripts before she started writing novels, so I guess that explains the whole movie-ish feeling.

Obsessive-compulsive freak that I am, I also checked out her blog. I saw her post on who she'd cast as Payton and J.D. She said that she pictured someone like Sarah Michelle Gellar as Payton and Ryan Reynolds as J.D. I completely agree with her choices.
March 17, 2010

I Loathe You

I'm really, really tired at the moment.

I had two exams today--Ethics and Afro-Asian Literature--and I had to answer nearly twenty essay questions. My brain has literally been drained.

Anyway, I'm still revising Manuscript #4. I planned on submitting it to my publisher on the nineteenth, but I'm having doubts.

I completely hate it.

I don't know if it's the book itself or if the revision process is taking its toll on me. I want to delete every word. Better yet, I just want to delete the whole thing to make it go away. I don't know. Maybe I'll feel better about it or like it a little more in the next couple of days. At the moment, though, I just want it to disappear.

Manuscript #5 update:

3547 / 20000 words. 18% done!
March 14, 2010


Most writers are either plotters (use outlines) or pantsers. I'm actually somewhere in between. When I'm not sure I can sell a project, I take my time with it and just let the characters take me where they want to go. When I want to set a deadline for a writing project, I use outlines.

And that's what this post is about.

Usually, I don't have a specific location for my work-in-progress. As a result, outlines are harder to compose. I have no idea where the characters are supposed to go or what they're going to do next. It's up to me to come up with ideas for the plot.

For my current work-in-progress, I decided to try something new. I've been trying to integrate research into my fiction for a while now, and this is the first time that I'm really going to give it a short. My current manuscript is set in Tagaytay. I've been there before but that was nearly five years ago. I don't remember much anymore.

I've discovered that research actually makes coming up with an outline easier. While jumping from one website to another, I've discovered a lot of places. For example, there are a lot of tourist spots that can serve as romantic backdrops. I also learned that horseback riding is a popular activity for tourists in Tagaytay, and there are also cool ecotrails. These are things that my hero and heroine can do together while they're getting to know each other or--more accurately--falling in love. My research materials are giving me tons of ideas for scenes. I've become a big fan of research.

However, all this research scares me. Information on the Internet can be unreliable. Therefore, I have to verify information by checking out various sources. Also, including all that information into my manuscript is also a risk for me. What if I get something wrong like the name and feel of a place or the culture of the people?

When doubts like that start creeping up on me, I tell myself to breathe and that I'm working on the rough draft. The revision process will give me a chance to edit and correct everything later.

What about you? From your point of view, does research really help move the plot forward?

On a different note, I finished Manuscript #4 yesterday. I'll start editing some time soon. :)

20041 / 20041 words. 100% done!
March 11, 2010

MS #3


I got news yesterday that my third manuscript, tentatively titled His Saving Grace, has been accepted for publication. :) Unfortunately, I had to restrain myself upon hearing the news because I was at school. I had a big smile on my face the whole day. I only told two friends, and they can't wait to read it. Thanks, guys.

Anyway, I have to keep this short since I have a European Literature exam tomorrow. I haven't even touched my notes yet. The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus will be included in our exam, and it's making my head hurt.
March 10, 2010

Location, Location


Only two more chapters to go and I'll be finished with my current WIP.

I think I'm getting antsy. I really want to move on to something else now. I like my characters and this work-in-progress is really a challenge for me. With my past three romance novellas, the characters started hating each other and then they eventually fell in love. I've never actually written a romance wherein the characters are friends/have a platonic relationship which develops into love. This novella is my first foray into that arena, and I'm not sure if I managed it. At least, I stretched my wings as a writer even in a little way.

My next project will be set in an entirely different location. I'm trying to choose between Santorini and Tagaytay. I want to go to Santorini someday and the research is interesting. However, I love Tagaytay too. I think the story will be more realistic since I've actually been there. Also, the research will be easier.

So, I guess I might pick Tagaytay after all...

Originally, I wanted to set a story in Baguio but a couple of my fellow writers from MSV have used that location in some of their recent books. I guess I want to take my readers somewhere new.
March 08, 2010

500 Words A Day


I've signed up for Inkygirl's 500 Words A Day Challenge. I think 500 words a day is a nice pace for me. The cool thing about it is that those 500 words don't have to be in my current WIP. I can even count the words in this blog post and add them to my total. The important thing is that you get those 500 words done. The only catch is if you write more than 500 words today, those extra words don't count for the next day.

According to Inkygirl, here are the rules:

Try to write 500 words a day, at least six days a week.

As long as you are sincerely and consistently TRYING to write 1000 words a day, then you can post the badge on your blog or website. If life occasionally gets in the way, that’s ok — as long as you promise yourself to get back on the wagon as soon as you can. If you sometimes don’t reach 500 words, that’s also ok — but try again the next day.

The badge has to link back to the 500 Words A Day Challenge page.

What about you? Have you joined any writing challenges lately? What do you think about them in general? Are they helpful?
March 06, 2010

Scary, Creepy Research

(image from

Research scares me.

I'm not saying that as a student but as a writer. I'm ashamed to admit this, but I've never written anything that forced me to come out of my comfort zone. I choose settings I'm already familiar with, and populate my work with the kind of people I usually hang out with. I never bothered to figure out how someone truly different from me ticks. Yes, I write in two languages, but, if you translate my work, you'll realize I still write the same kind of thing.

I've decided to remedy the situation.

I'm going to stretch my wings.


Lately, a story has been calling out to me. It's demanding to be set in Santorini, Greece, a place I've never even stepped foot on. I know nothing about the culture and the people there. Nada. Zero. Zilch. That's what scares me. What if I get something wrong? What if I place this particular inn here and it's located three streets away? What if one of my characters who supposedly grew up in the place breaks one of its most well-known traditions?

I think it's very arrogant of me to try writing about a place I've never set foot on, but I'm going to try anyway.

I'm going to forget all my fears and write about Santorini. Maybe I'll get to go there someday. In the meantime, pictures from the Internet will have to do.
March 04, 2010

The Curse of Being Nearsighted

Writers are supposed to be more observant than “average” people, or at least they’re expected to be.
The thing is… I’m not observant at all. I don’t notice little details like the hole in my Debate professor’s shirt, the white hairs on my twenty-year-old classmate’s head, or the prints on the cafeteria lady’s blouse. I don’t notice stuff like that. I can make them up, but usually with great difficulty.

These little details make a piece of writing come alive. They suck the reader in and make him forget that he’s reading. They form pictures and create a stronger impression in the reader’s mind.

It’s hard admitting this but description is my greatest weakness as a writer. I blame it on my myopic eyes (I don’t wear glasses—it’s a nerd thing), but I sound like I’m making excuses for my lame observation skills.
Lately, I’ve been trying to remedy it. I try to add little details to my work. I hope to see some improvement soon. I also intend to wear my glasses everyday as soon as I get new ones. I’m convinced that there are a lot of interesting details in the world that can help my writing shine. I just have to see them.

WIP Update:

9004 / 21000 words. 43% done!
March 03, 2010

Through My Myopic Eyes

I've been jumping from one writer's blog to another lately. Some of them were funny, some were serious, while all were definitely inspiring in one way or another. Aside from getting published, most of their entries tackled different elements in writing like plot, characters, settings, and a ton of other issues involving writing.

I just started my blog, and I'm simply flailing around. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it. I haven't found my own "blogging" voice yet. Also, I have no idea what I want to say.

All I know is that I want to write about writing.

That's it.

But how?

And will anyone even bother to listen to me?

My questions scare and excite me at the same time.

In the meantime, here's the prologue of my current WIP. I want to know what you think. It's only a rough draft, so please be kind. :)


Through my myopic eyes, the world looks like a painting. The sky is a gigantic blue smudge with white cottony clouds. Do you remember that game kids play when they try to find things in the clouds? You know, they point out a particular cloud that looks like an elephant or maybe a pig or a cartoon character.

I do that a lot. I lie on the grass, take off my glasses, and stare at the clouds. The clouds stare back at me, and I blink a couple of times. Things are more interesting when I don't do that, when I don't have my glasses on and everything is a bit blurry and beautiful at the same time. I can feel the wind on my face, and my arms are tickled by blades of grass. The whole field is silent and I end up wishing I could hear crickets instead of the sound of my own breathing.

As I stare up at the sky, I realize that this is my favorite time of the day. The afternoon is ending. The sun isn't too bright and hot, but its still warm and the breeze is cool. Just perfect.

The clouds end up looking like cotton candy, and I just want to break off a piece and start chewing. I sometimes ask myself what flavor the clouds would be since they're white. I can't really think of anything that fits, so I just settle with vanilla. Vanilla cotton candy. That sounds nice.

The trees are the best part. When I don't have my glasses and am practically as blind as a bat, trees that are usually ordinary-looking end up looking like something from a fantasy world. They look like various shades of watercolor green dabbed into a canvas, darkly beautiful and more detailed than anything else. The leaves aren't individual leaves. They all end up looking like a part of a whole. When they start swaying to the wind, it becomes a fantastic view, like a painting come to life.
Sometimes, when I get lucky, I see trees with flowers on them, usually red or yellow. When I was a kid, I made up a story about them, the trees with flowers. I imagined that if a flower fell from one of the trees, you could make a wish and it'd come true in three days. It was stupid, but I was only five and crazy over Astroboy. I don't really know what the trees with flowers are called, but I think they're still beautiful anyway.

Sometimes, I dream of the trees with flowers, but then I soon hear a splash. My dream turns out to be a nightmare.
March 02, 2010

The Write Way

I want to write about writing, but I really don't know where to start. What can I say that hasn't been said by a thousand more gifted writers before me?

I guess I should start at the beginning. I started writing when I was in the third grade. I wrote in a ton of notebooks I bought from the school bookstore. Most of my stories were based on fairy tales. I tried combining some of them, writing something between short stories and novels. I never finished any though. I also started writing in a diary around that time. I used to write stupid details about my day, like how I noticed my crush was eating a grape-flavored Popsicle. My 3rd grade diary is a pretty funny read. For me, at least.

I also read anything I could get my hands on. I started with the Nancy Drew series and moved on to the Hardy Boys. When I reached the fourth grade, I discovered Beverly Clearly and fell in love with her books. Dear, Mr. Henshaw became my favorite. It's about a boy whose parents just got divorced (my parents were getting divorced around the time I discovered the book), and writing helped him cope. It really helped me understand that sometimes two people aren't meant to be together. We can't force them even if they're our parents.

So, this entry has been really interesting for me. It made me think of how I was as a child, and the things I experienced. I mean, every single thing I thought and went through helped shape who I am today.
February 28, 2010

About Me

Well, hello there. I'm Camryn Morrell, a tagalog romance writer from the Philippines. This is my first post. I've maintained a ton of other blogs before but none of them lasted very long. So, this one is my foray into blogging as a "writer." I hope I'll be able to keep this up.

Penname: Camryn Morrell

I am a college student majoring in Literature. I can’t live without my cell phone (it can‘t go any further than 10 inches away from me), my laptop (I don‘t know how I‘ll survive if it gets broken), the Internet (I‘m a stalker-in-the-making), my friends (they‘re more valuable than my cell phone and lap top put together. Watch as my nose starts to grow longer. LOL), and I really, really can’t survive without books. I can survive without TV and movies (well, maybe just crappy movies), but not books, never books.

Writing, Reading (I can’t breath without a book at least fifteen inches away), Web design, and Asian Dramas.

Favorite Books
Stephen King and Meg Cabot are two of my favorite authors–though I believe the former is leagues ahead of the latter. Stephen King’s book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft is my favorite book of all time. Isabel Allende’s Eva Luna is pretty good too. She’s from Latin America, and I was amazed by the similarity between the culture of the Philippines and that of Latin America. I know I shouldn’t be surprised since both areas were colonized by the Spanish, but it’s just amazing since Latin America is halfway across the world.

Let’s not forget the classics. Jane Austen most definitely has to be in this list. Among her works, I like Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Persuasion best. Jane Eyre was also fantastic, and this might sound totally out of place but I also love The Count of Monte Cristo.

Favorite Movies
I like 80’s movies like The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles, and I’m a sucker for romantic comedies like 27 Dresses, Notting Hill, Clueless, and My Best Friend’s Wedding. Tim Burton movies are also among my favorites, the Corpse Bride and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory are awesome.

Favorite Bands
I like music by Snow Patrol and Fall Out Boy, and I think Sugar We’re Going Down is pure genius. In the local scene, I like the bands Eraserheads, Parokya ni Edgar, Imago, and Moonstar88. Don’t get me wrong though. I like sappy music as much as the next lovesick teenager. I like practically everything by Taylor Swift and Liz Phair.