All original content of whatever nature created by Joey G. Alarilla and posted on this weblog is made available to the public under a Creative Commons License. Violators will be pummeled repeatedly on the head with a keyboard.
Now I know why a lot of people never get around to finishing their novels, or start writing one in the first place. So many other things in life demand your attention. But that's OK. I'll just have to make up for it over the weekend.
Ilocandia is another country. Arianna had often told herself this, mesmerized by the unique flora that thrived in this land’s arid climate, the sand dunes that seemed incongruous as one beheld them from inside an airconditioned bus that traveled in a cloud of dust, and the massive stonewalls and bricks so characteristic of the region’s architecture, as preserved in the awe-inspiring baroque churches that eloquently attested to the country’s rich Spanish past.
As the hotel porter took care of her luggage, Ari smiled absently and remembered the first time she had stayed here at the Castillo Morocco, this vast modern hacienda that had sprung up seemingly overnight in the desert, some say as fully formed as the Goddess of Wisdom when a particularly excruciating migraine of Olympian proportions had given birth to her.
Arianna had fallen in love at first sight with the Castillo, particularly the beautiful fountain in the middle of the winding pathways that led to the hacienda’s modern wing. Like the great fountains of Europe and the more humble ones throughout the world, that of the Castillo encouraged visitors to throw a coin and give voice to a wish, that their hopes and dreams might be fulfilled, just as those of a beautiful young couple whose guests filled these halls during the Wedding of the Century -- the urgent need that brought to life this happy marriage of Castilian and Moroccan aspirations in one of the great Spanish empire’s colonies.
I wrote another 1, 107 words. That brings me to a total of 3, 619 words out of 50, 000. Man, this is crazy -- crazy but fun. NaNoWriMo rocks, but it can take its toll.
Here's an excerpt from Chapter 1:
"For his is a loving heart, and his mercy knows no bounds. He was betrayed, yet he forgives us. He was laughed at, yet he comforts us in our sorrow and rejoices in our triumph. For he is the Apo, the Father of us all."
"For he is the Apo, the Father of us all."
Hundreds of voices, all singing his praise, the sound echoing in this manmade cavern, expectant, exultant, confident in the belief in his triumphant return.
He was a child when the faithful and their ritual had first been explained to him, and he remembered his incredulous reaction: "They think Lolo is a god?"
Whew, managed to write and post Part 3 of the first chapter of The Maharlika Legacy, barely beating midnight. At least that's my quota for Nov. 2.
So that's 1, 341 words for Nov. 2, plus 1, 171 from Nov. 1, for a two-day total of 2, 512 out of the 50, 000 words I'm supposed to finish by midnight Nov. 30.
Here's an excerpt:
Even when she was a child, Beatrice hated official forms. She could not really say why. While others simply wrote down the information and thought little of it, Beatrice would find herself fixating on one blank line or another. What was her name? Why did her parents choose that name? Why was she always checking to make sure she put down the right numbers for her address, and the right numbers for their telephone?
And when she was older, she would wonder, how many brothers did she have? Should she tell them about her half-brothers? Should she tell them that her mother was no longer living with her father? What was she going to put as her father’s occupation? She would die of embarrassment if she admitted that during the time, while she was in college and wondering about her place in the scheme of things, he was unemployed. It always seemed to Beatrice that she had to fill in too many blanks.
Bought Sam a board game today from Mabuhay Educational Center (you know, the same company that markets Games of the Generals -- don't you just love that game?) called Things You Can Eat!, featuring characters from Blue's Clues.
It's a silly little game where you roll the dice to determine how many places your token moves. If it lands on a spot with a picture of something that can be eaten, you get to stay there. If your token lands on a square with a non-food item, you don't get to move that turn ('coz you have to go back where you came from). And the stupid rule: If you land on a square occupied by another player's token, you have to go all the way back to the starting line! So I felt free to ignore this particular rule the two times it happened to Sam, and just applied it to myself (only once, thank God).
The great thing is that Sam was really excited when I brought the game home. I taught her to roll the dice and just throw it inside the box so that it wouldn't get lost. She had fun moving the token, though she always wants to keep counting beyond the number of spaces indicated by the dice.
She also knew which items were food and which can't be eaten, and it was so funny when she argued at first that the teddy bear can be eaten, saying she eats teddy bear crackers. She also insisted the first time she landed on a square with a picture of an aquarium with fish that this could be eaten. "Yes, I eat fish," she argued, so I had to explain that the picture showed an aquarium, and that they weren't the kind of fish she ate.
Since all the food items are on even-numbered squares, obviously the best thing is for you to get a 6. So that's what I kept telling Sam, and she got a 6 four or five times, gleefully saying "I got a 6" everytime.
You guessed it -- she ended up beating me, hehe, reaching the finish line first. Oh, and she just ran up to me right now, showing me her drawing of Mr. Salt and Mrs. Pepper -- pretty good likenesses actually! Yup, she loves that board game.
In case you're wondering, those screenshots below show my character in actual gameplay. Guild Wars is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game which I got to play for free during its World Preview Event from Oct. 29-31.
You can also try catching the Beta Weekend Events starting on Nov. 6, but the final retail version of Guild Wars will ship early next year.
Yup, still here and not in the loony bin or enjoying a vacation somewhere. Just haven't been able to update this blog or write anything yet today for my NaNoWriMo novel The Maharlika Legacy 'coz of all the stuff I'm doing right now for INQ7.net, as well as my other projects.
One of these projects, a new print magazine which I'll tell you all about soon, is scheduled to come out this month, so just stay tuned.
It's been one crazy ride the past two weeks with all the work I've accepted, but heck, I'm not complaining. I just tell myself I'm saving up for Sam's pre-med, er, pre-school tuition next year, hehehe.
Oh, and a big thanks to Texas for sending me the link to Angry Alien -- I really needed a good laugh, and those bunnies are hilarious, hehe. Check out the site, everyone, you've never seen "The Exorcist" or "Scream"until you see their 30-second version -- with bunnies!
Well, it's the first day of the rest of my life, haha, and so far I've written 1, 171 words out of the 50, 000 I'm supposed to complete by midnight Nov. 30 as a National Novel Writing Month participant (read: masochist). Whew, time sure flies when you're having fun, eh?
Here's an excerpt from Chapter 1. This is actually Part 2 of what I've written so far for that first chapter:
Miriel found herself wondering once again why the living clung to the past like a child being weaned from its bottle. Most of the time, she felt curiously detached from the ritual, though oddly tonight she felt the hint of something different in the air. Not fear. Like a familiar face that turned out to belong to someone else -- not that of a stranger, but of someone you knew but did not expect that moment.
Part of her was tired, she supposed. Tired of making the dead speak, of reassuring the living that they were the ones who haunted the past.
Miriel still remembered the first time she realized she could see what other people could not admit to themselves.
She was three or four when she first stumbled upon the past, seeing the procession of spirits and selves going on their merry way, as though nothing had changed in a hundred years.
The old house was a faded reflection of the glory it once was when the young Spanish boxer Julian Alcaraz y Samonte had arrived from the cobblestone streets of Benavides and built this monument on Calle Samar for his dear Esperanza. He had been wounded in some war, and was doomed to limp for the rest of his days.
For more, check out The Maharlika Legacy. I'll try to write some more later, but I still have to edit some stuff for INQ7.net. Ah yes, my real job, hehe.
Sam dressed up as a fairy yesterday when she joined the Halloween parade of kids at Tita Neng's subdivision, which was organized by the homeowners' association (Tita Neng is their vice president and secretary of the board.)
Sam got a real kick out of the fairy/butterfly wings her Lola Linda bought her. We were afraid Sam wouldn't want to wear the wings -- turned out she didn't want to take them off, not for hours!
The kids at the parade were divided into groups by costume type: Scariest for, well, those in scary costumes; Jack O' Lantern for those with pumpkin baskets as part of their look, and Fairy Tale, for the countless other fairies besides Sam. The Fairy Tale category was broad enough to include all the cute kids dressed up as Superman, The Flash, Wonder Woman, Blue from "Blue's Clues," Tigger, Piglet, a mermaid, a puppy, a lion and even a wonderful unicorn.
Each kid who was joining the parade was given a number, which they were supposed to hold up when they walk on stage one by one so that the judges could pick the tot with the Best Costume for each category. Sam, however, got so frightened by some of the masks and costumes (those kids weren't in the Scariest category for nothing) that she clung to me and wanted me to carry her for the rest of the afternoon (well, OK, for the better part of an hour 'coz of course a lot of kids kept arriving and the parade took some time to start.)
Even before Sam got scared, Ellen had already told me to be the one to accompany Sam during the parade. Carrying her under the hot sun (man, it was like summer!) was something we hadn't anticipated, however, but Sam insisted.
Sam had her magic wand with her as part of her costume, and Uncle Mike told her she shouldn't be afraid because she could just wave her wand and poof! the monsters would disappear. Didn't work, hehe.
Some officials also gave speeches before the parade started -- heck, I didn't even know action star Jestoni Alarcon was the vice governor of Rizal until he walked on stage to give his speech yesterday.
So there we were, lost in a sea of kids and yayas and the occasional mom accompanying her child. Yup, Sam still refused to walk on stage, so I just carried her and held her number up high. Nope, she didn't win for Best Costume, but Sam did get a consolation prize for being one of the early birds (in fact, her number for the Fairy Tale category was "1").
Oddly enough, it turned out to be a colored crystal (well, pseudo-crystal) chess set, which was actually beautiful but a strange gift to give to young kids. Still, I take it as a sign, 'coz now I get to teach Sam chess at an early age.
It was the last day of Kay's Philippine vacation yesterday -- she went to the airport in the late afternoon after the Halloween parade. She did get to spend quality time with Fairy Princess Sam yesterday.