In Which the Blogger Celebrates Her Birthday by Launching a Long-delayed Book…

And so it begins...

And so it begins…

“Just don’t forget to give more time to the things you love doing most,” the person whom I consider my best friend said on the day I started my advertising job in the BGC.  And by “the things you love doing the most”, he was specifically referring to my writing.

A lot of things have happened since that September morning.  Campaigns and advertorials were planned and implemented at the office; promotional and sales activations were done and dealt with.  The person who told me to give more time to the things I love most released his album and is currently on tour.  In between, there have been Monday night gigs in Makati; kitchen experiments that have run the gamut from homemade granola to choux pastry; and there have been scraps of stories drafted along with the poems that made their way into my first volume of published poetry.

Have coffee, will write.

Have coffee, will write.

A Jar of Starlight is something of an impulse project.  Following all the rejection notices I received for my novel The Rebirth of Meras: Exodus, I kind of lost my faith in myself as a storyteller.  While this cast something of a serious damper over all those story drafts I had in mind, it prompted me into doing something I’ve totally balked at for an extremely long time: poetry.  I found myself scribbling and posting verses; some accompanied by pictures, seeing how I’d gotten into the habit of snapping photos whenever something caught my fancy.  (Have camera, will write.)

One thing led to another: getting accounts for Booktango and Scribd; actually running off to the National Library to file for a copyright.  There was the process of writing and rewriting; editing and proofreading; selecting which photographs were best suited to the work.  Ask my family and they will tell you that I chose to spend Sunday afternoons at home wrestling with a manuscript instead of having fun.  Ask my friends and they will tell you about how I would spend the time prior to a Monday night gig scribbling into one notebook or another with a bottle of Cerveza Negra close at hand.  Otherwise, I would spend Saturdays alone – again with a notebook – and write between sips of a flat white, maybe a bite or two of a chocolate chip cookie.

I don’t quite remember what prompted me to compile my favourite poems into a book and I probably never will.  Indeed, I’m still hankering to publish a full novel or even a cookbook.  But I think there is always a reason behind the things that happen to us; we may not see those reasons at once, but they become clear with the passage of time – and fears are assuaged, confidence rises; one finds the strength within to keep moving forward.

I am thirty-nine today; a bit long in tooth and claw to be starting out, but it is, I hope, as good a beginning as any.  And I hope, dear readers, you’ll stick around for more adventures – culinary and literary – as the years go by.  As my best friend says, perhaps – yes – I am better off devoting more time to the things, to the work that I love.

And so:

A Jar of Starlight: A Glimpse into Visions and Verses, the preview to the full 70-poem compilation, is now online via Scribd.  Note that this features ten poems from the collection and is currently free to download.  The full version – an ebook – goes on sale online beginning next Thursday, 01st October 2015.

That said, do take a peek, dear readers.  Bash on.  😉

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