Guest Post + Excerpt: #JustWritePH—For Redemption by Yeyet Soriano, Jesse David, Cali (Angie Sanchez), and Racquel Sarah A. Castro

Guest Post + Excerpt: #JustWritePH—For Redemption by Yeyet Soriano, Jesse David, Cali (Angie Sanchez), and Racquel Sarah A. Castro#JustWritePH—For Redemption by Cali (Angie Sanchez), Jesse David, Racquel Sarah A. Castro, Yeyet Soriano
Series: #JustWritePH
on August 22, 2015
Redemption doesn’t come easy. It involves hardship, righting wrongs, and making tough choices. This four-story bundle showcases characters who made wrong turns in life, and want nothing more than to make things right. Features “Era” by Jesse David, “Turning Points” by Yeyet Soriano, “A Fateful Encounter” by Cali (Angie Sanchez), and Encyclopedia Mystique by Racquel Sarah A. Castro.

Available now from Buqo via this link!

Era by Jesse David

What do we need to live this life to the fullest? For Era, it is money. He realizes that it is hard to live this life to the fullest without money. We need money to travel the world, to eat every food, and to live to in the most beautiful city. But what if, money is not the answer? What if you live your life the wrong way, and it is too late to turn back? What if you had a second chance?

Turning Points by Yeyet Soriano

 

Imagine you were about to die, and you were given a chance to change something in your past and live for a few hours in the alternate world created with that change. Would you do it? What have you got to lose, right? What if you got stuck in that world, and although you have achieved all of the dreams you never pursued before, you lost everything that you’ve ever held dear? Sandy Garcia, a forty-something working mother of three, did just that. She wished she never met and married her husband, and she got to live in the world where she became a popular theater star instead. The trouble was, since she never met her husband, then she never had her children. Her entire life was different, and she started to realize that maybe she already had it good in her reality. Alex Marquez was a multi-hyphenated star—theater actress-singer-dancer-published author- professional photographer. On the road to success, she made a lot of wrong choices which left her single, with one child, in her forties, remembering the relationships she screwed up and the children she should have had in the past. Suddenly, she got the chance to live the family life since she got stuck in Sandy’s world. As both women navigate the intricate web of the lives they never initially chose to live, they question whether they still have a chance of getting back their own lives. What does it take to reclaim their real lives? Are both willing to do so? Will they succeed?

A Fateful Encounter by Cali (Angie Sanchez)

"A Fateful Encounter" is a story about a college computer science student, Samantha, who just got back from an eight-month holiday. Not a single soul knows why she left in the first place—not her professors, her best friend Aimee and her closest group of friends. She logs in an online chat site and meets Michael, an engineering student from the same university.

Encyclopedia Mystique by Racquel Sarah A. Castro

Amelia Agustin is a digital converter in the National Library of the Philippines by day and a digital artist by night. At 24, she supports Filipino Authors by buying and reading their works. She rates the books honestly but she didn’t have the courage to write a review. She has this habit of doing digital art inspired by her favorite scenes. She loves to go to Korea to visit Incheon, the newly proclaimed book capital of the world. She admires Jay Diaz, a popular newscaster/bachelor in town. Serendipity pulls them together in an embarrassing incident. Take a glimpse on where their relationship would go.

When I facilitated the #JustWritePH workshop in July and August, I didn’t know what to expect, except that at the end of it, we would be releasing some all-new works by indie authors via local online bookstore buqo (check them out at buqo.ph). We ended up with 20 stories, and were then faced with the challenge of figuring out which story belonged in which bundle. The tales told in #JustWritePH—For Redemption were possibly the easiest to bundle because they clearly were united by a theme of righting wrongs and earning or not squandering second chances.

Facilitating the workshop was a learning experience for me as both a reader and a writer (not to mention a facilitator). I went into the workshop thinking, “If we could help just a handful of authors—or even just one!—I’ll consider it a win.” Well, we ended up with 20 stories published by various authors across multiple genres, and seeing their exhilaration at the book launch (kindly sponsored by Bo’s Coffee) was right up there with the formation of this blog as the major highlight of my year. And it’s definitely another bit of triumph for me that at least some of the writers who joined shared that they’d learned a lot too. One of the authors who finally got to own her author status and publish a full-length novel was fellow NaNoWriMo Philippines participant Yeyet Soriano, who shares her thoughts and learnings in the guest post below (plus, keep reading for an excerpt of her novel, Turning Points, which is included in the #JustWritePH—For Redemption bundle but will be released as a solo title in November.

 

Write a Story, Learn a Lot: My #JustWritePH Journey

Guest Post by Yeyet Soriano

I found out about #JustWritePH on the PinoyWrimos Facebook group. I had just resigned from being a part-time contributor to an online news site and I finally had the free time to write. I took out the manuscript I wrote for NaNoWriMo 2014 and I decided to do all my rewrites and edits as part of the workshop. I thought it would be a walk in the park since I already had a manuscript to start with. I was soooo wrong. It would have been easier if just I wrote a 15,000 to 35,000 word story from scratch than to review, restructure and rewrite a 50,000+ word behemoth. But I plodded on, because it was a story I wanted to complete and publish. I reviewed, re-structured (several times), rewrote new sections, discarded ones that didn’t work, and edited. I had issues with the flow because my main and supporting characters shuttled between past and present in two alternate realities.

An outline was very key, as was a listing of all my characters in both realities—their differences depending on the setting. I had to maintain a timeline, spanning more than four decades for both alternate realities. I also had valuable inputs from experts. When I was writing in NaNoWriMo, I didn’t bother checking my facts, but in #JustWritePH, I had to ensure I did my research. I asked people in theater so I could paint a realistic picture of an MC’s theater life. I consulted a psychologist about bipolar disorder, and talked to people who had the condition or had lived with people with the condition.

The rest of the story, I took from my own experiences. The story is very close to my heart—my own “What If,” so a lot of the elements had to come from me. The alternate reality, and how it came to be and how everything came to a conclusion was 100% fiction. It was a world where a brother of mine who died actually survived, and a sister who survived, died instead. It was a world where I never met my husband and never had all of my kids. Suffice it to say that writing the novel was an emotional and psychological roller coaster for me.

The next important thing I learned from the workshop was the importance of beta readers. What hit me emotionally while writing would not necessarily be appreciated or felt the same way by every reader. I got a dose of a really bad review which questioned everything: the story, the characters, the flow, everything! And it took every ounce of my resolve and strength to stop myself from giving up. There were other readers and other comments and when I received them, I felt better. I realized I could never please everybody. What did I do? I took the comments that I could work on (mostly the common ones) and improved my manuscript. I had to draw the line. This was my story and I was determined to publish it.

Lastly, a good copy editor polished my manuscript and I was ready to go. A big thank you to the person (you know who you are!) who recommended my awesome copy editor!

Was that the end? Nooooo. I had to promote myself as an author, a key thing I also learned from the workshop. It wasn’t easy for me, but I did it. I’m continually doing it.

In summary, #JustWritePH was a wonderful and eye-opening experience for me. As I took my personal journey to complete my novel, I met these wonderful, beautiful and like-minded people who loved writing and reading just like me. I wouldn’t have met them if I had not decided to take on the challenge, and now they have become such a part of my life, I can’t imagine how I could have taken so long to embark on this journey.

Now, I’m addicted, and I am continuing to write. #StrangeLit, #HeistClub, NaNoWriMo 2015, and whatever else that would come after. I will continue to write, because…I am an author.

 

Excerpt from Turning Points by Yeyet Soriano

“Hi, Sandy.”

I heard the voice. I knew the voice. Was I dead?

“No, you’re not dead,” the voice said.

I opened my eyes and saw him, my dear friend from very long ago.

I slapped him. I had no time to think; my hand had a life of its own.

Luca reeled from the slap. Served him right.

“Sandy . . .”

“Luca.”

We stayed that way for a while just looking at each other. I had so much anger and pain, emotions I thought I had forgotten about. How dare he show his face right now?

Oh, shit . . . this had to be a dream. I remembered I was on a plane, and it was crashing.

“Where am I?” I asked. I looked around and there was just nothing. Everything was white. “You said I was not dead, so where the hell am I?” I demanded an answer.

Luca still looked at me with a sad expression.

“You are in a pause state,” he said.

“A what state?” What the hell was he talking about? Why was I talking to Luca at this moment? And why would I believe him if he told me I wasn’t dead?

“Pause.” Luca enunciated the word. I heard it right the first time, I just didn’t understand it. I still didn’t understand now. I kept quiet and waited for him to explain.

“A pause state is when we get a chance to step away from time moving forward and just . . . take a breather.”

“A time-out of sorts?” I asked. Now I’m sure I am dreaming. This is ridiculous.

“You can say that,” Luca said.

“So . . . after this . . . the plane will still crash?”

“Ummm, yes, time will move forward.”

“Can’t we make it move backward so that the plane doesn’t crash?”

“It doesn’t work that way,” he said patiently.

“Then why the hell am I here?”

Luca breathed deeply as he stared at me. I was obviously still mad, but I couldn’t meet his stare. Memories were coming back, and I didn’t think I was ready to confront them . . . again. After all these years.

 

About Yeyet Soriano

Yeyet Soriano has been writing her entire life, first as an angst-ridden teenager, then as a single working woman, then as a married working woman with kids. Though the themes of her written works have changed over the years, she held on to one truth—she needed to write to keep the voices in her head at bay.

Her first foray into self-publishing was when she collaborated with some of her high school friends on a book in 2011, where one of the mini books was entitled “Yeyet,” and some of her nonfiction and fiction works were included. The book was Life in the Middle, A Discovery, and it is being distributed in print by Central Books.

She just self-published Turning Points, her first e-book novel through Buqo, as part of the #JustWritePH writing class. It is included in the #JustWritePH—For Redemption bundle, but will also soon be released as a stand-alone novel in e-book format.

She has also a novella coming out soon from the #StrangeLit workshop (entitled In My Dreams, part of the Darkest Dreams bundle) and is now working on her #HeistClub story. Her target is to have three stories completed and published this year.

Her day job is that of an IT manager for the Asia-Pacific region for a multinational corporation. She is married to a man who reads only to fall asleep, and they have three wonderful kids—two of whom love to read and one, only starting to learn to read.

 

Giveaway

Get the chance to win one of three copies of the #JustWritePH—For Redemption bundle via the Rafflecopter giveaway below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway