The Queen’s Thief Series by Megan Whalen Turner

I’m going to skip my usual monthly books review, and dedicate an entire post to my favourite series, The Queen’s Thief by Megan Whalen Turner. The last book, Return of the Thief, came out last Tuesday, and it took me a record of 1.5 days to finish it.

Now that I’m writing this, I don’t actually know what to say, haha. It’s a bit embarrassing, but I’m just so overwhelmed with how the series ended, how lovely it was, how much of what I wanted was in it and more, and now I’m rather speechless.

I don’t think I’ve been unvocal about my love for this series. One of my very first posts on this blog was an entry to win an ARC of the fifth book, Thick as Thieves, by writing how much I adore these books. The sheer impact these books have had on me cannot be understated. They have shaped what kind of media I consume, what kind of creation I produce, the online friends I’ve made; so many things in my life were influenced by them.

This will be a poor review as well, because I honestly can’t say anything that hasn’t already be said about this series: it is incredibly smart, with twists that make you want to rush for a reread; it has amazing, heart-wrenching plots; and incredible characters that are so life-like you end up feeling like you’re friends with them by the end.

I was not very sentimental about the release of the last book, although this series has consumed the last ten years of my life. But now I’m feeling a tug in my heart, haha. In all honesty though, I am very happy about the way things ended, and I am much happier looking forward to the things the author will create next.

2-Week Translation Break

I took a short break from translating my novel, and decided to work on some art. I was actually hesitant to take a break, because the last few chapters have gone really well; I felt like I stumbled less often over little words, mostly thanks to the vocabulary I’ve amassed working on the previous chapters, but also because I learned to manage my time a little better. But I had arrived at my 2-month mark, and I felt it’s time to produce some new art content. I wish writing drafts could be as shareable as sketches, but I haven’t figured out how to make those interesting enough to share on social media. As it is, every time I’m focused on writing, it seems as if I’ve gone MIA.

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The Stupidity of “English Only” Policy in the Philippines — Tanggol Wika

You see it everywhere. Big public posts reminding everyone to “please transact your business in English” or that we should “Speak English, the language of leaders.” One private school in a Central Luzon province also brags of having “English-speaking kids.” Hence, it is always timely to take a closer look at this weird and generally […]

The Stupidity of “English Only” Policy in the Philippines — Tanggol Wika

I don’t have a lot to comment on this, because I believe the post already points out the issues with this kind of policy, but this type of attitude towards native languages is the primary inspiration behind the plight of Katamans in my story. I have a lot of personal experience growing up in the Philippines and attending school that “encourages” the use of English because it’s the more sophisticated language, the language of the “learned” and the rich. As a young person, you don’t realize how insidious these policies are (and I’m glad that my school wasn’t high-end enough to really enforce these rules, and we all ended up speaking in Tagalog anyway). It really messes up with the way you perceive your own culture, the way you express yourself. And you know what? When I came to Canada, the fact that I spoke some English didn’t make me better than my peers who came from other countries and had to take ESL classes. They still got better grades than me in math, science, art, etc. Because what good is an education in which you don’t understand what you’re learning? How do you develop critical thinking that way? You don’t.

August 2020 Books

I spent much of this month feeling like I was in a book slump, so it’s a little surprising to see that I managed to finish 5 books. But I think the slumpy feel was due to the fact that, with the exception of Toy Box, I wasn’t really into any of the other books.

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Website Update

Hey guys, I just deployed an updated design of my author website. The changes are mostly UI-related, tweaking the palette to make it more vibrant, widening parts of the page so it doesn’t feel so constricted, and re-designing the story cards to make them look more attractive. I also gave myself the option of uploading stories that are not yet finished to give previews of things I’m working on or planning to write.

The story page didn’t change that much. I wanted to widen it up a little, but long-form text gets really hard to read after a certain width, so I left it mostly untouched. I did space out the text a little bit more so it’s easier to read.

I hope you guys like the changes! I personally find it more eye-catching and cozier at the same time, so I’m pretty happy with it. I wanted to start the Tagalog localization as well, but I think it will take too much time for now. I only needed a short break from translating The Malicious Wind, and I think I’m ready to dive back into the drafts today.

Starting My Translation Journey

At the beginning of the month, I sat down and started the first ever Tagalog draft of my story, The Malicious Wind. In the last year, I’ve been trying to hone my Tagalog skills by reading a lot more in this language. So while I didn’t think the translation process would be smooth sailing, I thought I could churn out perhaps a chapter a night of translations.

I was wrong. Heh. It turned out I was still very much unprepared for the challenges of translating. How unprepared? Well, I think it’s safe to say that for every sentence, I have had to look up at least one word in the dictionary.

But don’t worry, this post isn’t going to be all complaints. Actually, there are a lot of interesting quirks I’ve noticed and want to share. So here are a few challenges and a few conveniences of writing in Tagalog I’ve experienced so far.

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