Holy Schmoly! Free books? I’d love to get my hands on one of these

I gotta hand it to Brain Pickings for making my morning.

Here’s a cool post about an even cooler publishing project that believes that, “free their books and their minds will follow.”

The "code of conduct" on the back of a free book by Concord Free Press | Image by BrainPickings.org

The "code of conduct" on the back of a free book by Concord Free Press | Image by BrainPickings.org

We’ve given birth to yet another book!

I’m a proud momma of a travel magazine, so I’m used to all the labor pains associated with giving birth to a glossy, every two months.

But, I can tell you, giving birth to a book is another thing altogether.

There is so much more pain and joy in writing and producing a book–for many different reasons. An obvious one is that a book takes more time, effort, and money to produce. (Hence, one needs to be “OC” times a hundred, when working on a book!) Another reason is that, for writers like me, being published in a book gives one a stamp of credibility and, in a way, “approval.” Some people are of the opinion that “one is never truly a writer unless one has been published.” I’m not so sure about that–and in this age of new media, what constitutes “being published” anyway?–but I do know that being published, especially in a book, gives a writer something tangible to show for all those hours of interviewing, researching, unblocking, writing, rewriting, editing, and so on.

"Thunderbird Resorts presents The Power 7 Wedding Suppliers" written by Ana Santos, Nikka Sarthou, and Nina Terol-Zialcita of Writer's Block Philippines

"Thunderbird Resorts presents The Power 7 Wedding Suppliers" written by Ana Santos, Nikka Sarthou, and Nina Terol-Zialcita of Writer's Block Philippines

The all-important byline

The all-important byline

Anyway, this particular book, which was commissioned by Thunderbird Resorts, took roughly six months in the making. Six months is a pretty good lead time for a book (the other book I had co-written which was launched earlier this year ([r]evolutionaries: The new generation of Filipino youth and youth organizations, published by TAYO Awards Foundation and Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines) took all of 26 months to produce!). For this project, Writer’s Block Philippines interviewed the “Power 7” wedding suppliers: wedding coordinator Ernest Pascual, wedding photographers Dino Lara and Oly Ruiz, wedding couturier Veluz Puno-Reyes, wedding stylist Kaye Cunanan, florist and event stylist Teddy Manuel, and wedding videographer Jason Magbanua.

The Power 7 wedding suppliers. L-R: Teddy Manuel, Jason Magbanua, Kaye Cunanan, Oly Ruiz, Veluz Puno-Reyes, Ernest Pascual, and Dino Lara

The Power 7 wedding suppliers. L-R: Teddy Manuel, Jason Magbanua, Kaye Cunanan, Oly Ruiz, Veluz Puno-Reyes, Ernest Pascual, and Dino Lara

I loved working on this project because, well, I love weddings and I love this whole idea of romance and fairy-tale settings and “love conquers all” scenarios. I loved talking to three of the seven wedding suppliers–Ernest Pascual, Teddy Manuel, and Jason Magbanua–and getting their own views not only of their work but also of marriage and relationships. I loved seeing everything come together–text and photos–and finally seeing the finished product unfold so elegantly. I’ve always wanted to write for coffeetable books, and this was a great first time.

Anyway, to all you lovebirds and soon-to-weds out there, the book will be launched at next week’s wedding fair (I have yet to receive details on venue, time, etc.) and will be available in Fully Booked very soon. If you’d like to purchase something that will not only give you ideas for your wedding but which will also serve as a collectible, this book will be it.

🙂

It’s a new month, and the first of the “-ber” months, and I wanted to know…

What do you have in your book list?

You can answer this question in either of two ways:

(1) Tell us what’s on YOUR Top 10 (or Top Whatever) list of mind-blowing, life-changing books of all time

(2) Tell us what’s in your Wish List for Christmas

I’m still compiling my Wish List, but The Chicago Manual of Style (16th ed.) is definitely waaay up there. Family, take note. 🙂

My professor has a new book out!

My professor from the European Journalism Institute, Laura Kelly, has a new book out, and I’m dying to get my hands on it. She’s been an inspiration throughout this writing-while-soul-searching journey, and I hope you guys can take time to check out what promises to be an engaging series of narratives.

Dispatches from the Republic of Otherness by Laura Kelly

Dispatches from the Republic of Otherness by Laura Kelly

According to Prof. Kelly’s official blurb on Amazon.com:

Laura Kelly’s coyly roguish collection of nonfiction stories takes readers from Bulgaria to Mongolia to Armenia and countries further afield. With a generous sense of wonder and mischief and the keen eye of a storytelling journalist, Kelly chronicles the surprising resonance of ordinary encounters with her students, her neighbors, and herself, viewed through the prism of a stranger in strange lands.

Ha! I ordered a copy as soon as I saw this. I’m looking forward to receiving this package in the mail. 🙂

Geek Find of the Day #2: The Subversive Copy Editor

http://www.subversivecopyeditor.com/blog/

What is a subversive copy editor?

It looks like we’re about to find out 🙂

Image from The Subversive Copy Editor website

Image from The Subversive Copy Editor website

According to William Safire of the New York Times, it is “An insider’s book to cure writers . . . while shoring up editors. . . . Good advice.”

The Publishers Weekly “starred review” on Amazon.com, meanwhile, says:

“Longtime editor of the Chicago Manual of Style Online’s deft, humorous Q&A page, Saller writes with wisdom and a great generosity of spirit in this singular survival guide to the copy editor’s trade. Addressing issues essential to these professional perfectionists, who can easily develop compulsive or inflexible practices, Saller’s improbably fun text also makes a cagey introduction to the field. Framing each chapter with a choice Q&A from her column (Q: “Is it ever proper to put a question mark and an exclamation mark at the end of a sentence in formal writing?”), Saller offers thorough advice on common obstacles, like an adversarial writer-editor relationship, or a seemingly endless task. Tried, somewhat obvious solutions-cultivating positive work habits, examining your motives, organizing your priorities-are thoughtfully re-established for overworked, under-appreciated editors. Practical considerations include the minefield of e-mail etiquette, understanding version control, maintaining transparency and the indispensability of back-up copies. With entire chapters devoted to the freelancer and the writer, and an extensive guide for further reading, this is an ideal complement to any style guide: practical, relentlessly supportive and full of ed-head laughs (A: “Only in the the event that the author was being physically assaulted while writing”).”

And, ACK, it costs only $7.15 on Amazon.com–plus $15 for shipping. Tempting, tempting. But since I had just ordered a book, this will have to wait.

In the meantime, I’m twiddling my thumbs.

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