If you have been following me on Twitter, chances are, you’d see me tweeting and re-tweeting things with the #SparkNA hashtag. I know I probably kind of spam my t-list with it but whatever, I love that hashtag so much I already have a separate column for it on my Tweetdeck. Har-de-har.
The hashtag is an amazing thing, actually. As someone who frequents social media sites on the regular (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, most especially) for work and personal use, it has proven to be a handy tool for research, basically. You can find a topic of interest quickly and see what people are saying about it, and you can also get in touch with groups of people who share the same interest.
I had the pleasure of spending my Saturday afternoon with a room full of Filipino authors last April 11th at the National Bookstore Super Branch in Cubao. It was our first #F2F, or Face to Face class for#SparkNA with Mina and a few representatives from Anvil Publishing’s Spark Books. My friends and I came a bit late, so naturally, we ended up being more anxious than we were supposed to. I think that by the time I stepped into the room, I had to take a deep breath because “Oh my god there are so many of them, I feel like throwing up a little.”
No, but seriously, a handful of the participants already know each other from Mina’s previous classes, but we (my friends and I) were all n00bs, so you understand the initial apprehension. I didn’t realize how quickly we’d warm up to the entire group, even if I only got to speak to about 20% of the class.
It’s barely been a week since #SparkNA began (in case you missed it, here’s a post a made about this free writing class I joined), but I’ve already learned a lot–from our facilitator, Mina Esguerra, to my very passionate support group and fellow classmates. But it all starts with bravery, it seems, and I think it very appropriate that this is our running theme for the whole writing journey we will be taking from now until early June.
The first rule: “Your Main Character must be brave.”
Punctuation marks confuse the shit out of me sometimes, to the point that I either overuse them, or don’t use them at all. I’m not really sure how it’s possible to be an expert in punctuation–I’m still trying to be more skilled in grammar, to be honest–but it’s always thanks to patient people like Rix, my editor friend, that I realize my punctuating follies and correct them.
Last night, My friend Therese sent us this photo via Viber, and said (not verbatim), “I’m about to make one of those three-legged creatures soon. I don’t know which is better: for it to be ignored, or ripped apart.”
Hit me right in the feels.