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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Character at a Glance: Sano

To celebrate the release of my first webnovel The Malicious Wind, I want to dedicate a post to the main protagonist of the story, Sano!

I’ve been meaning to write this post for some time now, especially because Sano is the type of character that can pull through difficult challenges without losing his spirit. He’s someone that I personally find inspirational during these uncertain times.


Sano is a sixteen-year-old boy who grows up in a forest by the foothills with his mother. Because his mother is a practitioner of illegal magic, they keep mostly to themselves, avoiding all contact with other people unless those people intend to do business with them. Sano spends his idle time dreaming of venturing out into the real world.

One day, he ironically gets his wish — by becoming a wanted criminal. Sano is driven out of his isolation by warriors who intend to arrest him and bring him to the king for trial and execution. Sano flees from his home with the help of a girl, Anina, and they work together to evade the king while trying to reunite with his mother.

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My Editing Journey

Hi guys! Before I jump into the meat of this post, I’d like to say that I hope you are all doing okay. Wherever you are, I know there is a lot happening. No matter the degree of severity, we’re allowed to feel stressed and uncertain about our situation.

I’m probably one of the lucky few whose lifestyle wasn’t affected too much — the company I work for was able to transition smoothly to a full-time virtual environment, and all the things I love to do like reading, writing, and drawing, are things I can do at home. And yet, the past couple of weeks have been bone-wearying for me. Change is hard, even if only a few small things changed in my life. The constant barrage of tragic news makes it nearly impossible to enjoy the things I used to do, even at home. The conflicting reactions to stress creates tension in a household I can’t leave. One would think that with stay-at-home policies in place, I would find all the time I needed to really dive into the last stages of my writing. But the fact is that I’ve been wallowing a bit. I know, it’s not a good excuse, and I have resolved to do better.

I hope that wherever you are and however you are dealing with the pandemic, that you will stay safe and strong!


I will be writing the final draft of my story next month, and I thought it’s a good time to reflect on the journey that has brought me to this point. In the end, I will have a total of 7 drafts. A part of me feels that’s too few — I know that some writers go through dozens of drafts. But on the other hand, 7 drafts in 4 years feels like a lot, especially considering that I was doing all of this on the side.

Drafts 1 – 3

For the first couple of drafts, I was mostly concerned about the main plot of the story and the characterization of my protagonists. These first several drafts focused on getting all the pieces into place in a way that makes the most narrative sense. I didn’t worry much about grammar or style.

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Finished Draft 6!

I’m only 5 days belated from my goal of finishing this draft by the end of 2019, and I don’t think that’s bad at all! I even went from 105K words to 93K words, so I am quite proud of myself.

What’s next? I’ll just polish it up a bit, then off it goes to a copyeditor. After that, we’ll see, but I’m both excited and relieved that I’m finally wrapping up this project.

Teetering between MG and YA

Last weekend, I surprised myself by reaching the 24th chapter of my sixth draft. It seems like I might just be able to finish this draft before the new year. That was my initial intention, but as I slowly lost steam around the half-way point, I became resigned to the possibility that I will finish much later. I’m still thinking of giving myself some slack, because the holidays are a busy time of the year, and I don’t know what might come up and derail me.

But yes, I’m on chapter 24, out of 31 predicted chapters. Now that I’m nearing the end of this draft, I’m once again thinking about where in the MG/YA spectrum my story really falls.

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No NaNoWriMo & An Early Look At My 2020 Plans

Since I started doing NaNoWriMo in 2016, I have participated in every single WriMo challenge, including the camps in April and July, up until last November. I got to the point in my novel where I didn’t find the fast-paced, get-your-words-down-at-all-cost objective of NaNoWriMo helpful anymore.

That’s still true this time around, so I’m a little sad to say that I won’t be doing NaNoWriMo again this year. Even though my participation spanned less than two years, it still feels odd not to be gearing up for it. I remember how I used to prepare all of my notes and outlines just in time for the challenges, and studiously keeping up with my word counts when it was time to crunch them. In some ways, even though they were exhausting, I miss those months. It gave me something to focus on outside of work, and my consistent progress made me feel very productive.

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Character at a Glance: Anina

Today I want to talk about one of my protagonists, Anina.

It’s still a little strange to sit down and decide, “Yes, it’s time to talk about a character,” because part of me feels like it’s still premature. Although my story had already gone through multiple beta readers, a developmental edit, and a line edit, sometimes I still feel like I’m at that earlier stage where at any moment, my story can crumble to pieces, and I’d have to make yet another major revision.

However, I do think that it’s time to open up a little more about my story. Many of you have been with me since the inception of this blog, and I have been posting about my writing process since late 2016. Since then, I have ranted about the woes of writing, blogged about NaNoWriMo challenges, and shared all the artwork I made related to this novel.

Yet in all that time, I’ve never really talked about the components of my story in fair detail. I’ve dropped character names, but who are they really? Why should you care about them? Why do I feel like spending years and years crafting their story? What kind of world do they live in?

So I’m hoping that in this new series of posts, I can share with you more information about the different pieces of my story and what inspired them.


Anina is a sixteen-year-old girl who is looking for a way to gain magic. She has been searching for a few years, but nobody had been able to answer her. One day she hears of a reclusive mage up in the mountains who dabbles in illegal magic. Hoping that this person can help her, Anina decides to seek her.

Unfortunately for Anina, when she arrives at the Hermit Mage’s house, the mage herself is nowhere in sight. Even worse, she finds the king’s warriors trying to arrest the mage’s son, Sano. Without meaning to, Anina gets caught up in the conflict, and ends up fleeing the scene as an accomplice of a fugitive.

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