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Mabuhay! I'm an Asian American writer (Back Kicks And Broken Promises, Abbott Press, 2012), martial artist and teacher who was born in The Philippines, raised in Hong Kong and ended up in New Jersey.

21 October, 2013

Semantics, turns of phrase or outright confusion?

I was having a chat with someone recently and I said something that alluded to me being in my fifth decade. My friend commented how I'm in my fourth decade, being that I'm in my forties and not my fifties. I countered that I was, indeed, in my fifth since birth to age ten was my first decade. My friend went on to say that birth to age ten didn't count because a person is too young to at that age to know about things (relationship of self to the world, etc) and, essentially, because there are no digits in the tens column until a person reaches age ten.

This got me to thinking about other terms and phrases that cause confusion and the word 'birthday' came to mind; particularity recalling my son's first birthday party, at age one. I remember someone saying "Happy first birthday!" and I knew what she meant. My son had just turned one but, really, it wasn't his first birthday. His first birthday was when he was born, after all. 

Another one that I often have debate over, and which has caused missteps in planning get togethers, are phrases like 'this weekend' or 'next Thursday.' As many of us do, when we get together with work friends on a Monday, we share our weekend exploits with one another. Some of us use the term 'last weekend' and others use 'this weekend.' Well, which one should it be? The weekend did just end so it was the last one we all enjoyed. Or, perhaps it should be thought of as 'this weekend (that just ended).' The confusion continues when, for example, we're talking about what's going to happen in the next week or so. If, on the same Monday for example, discussion of Thursday comes, someone may refer to the upcoming Thursday as 'next Thursday' because it's the next Thursday coming up while others may say 'this Thursday' because it's the Thursday of this (the current) week.

I suppose a lot of how we think of things and refer to those things comes from our own personal preferences and the lingua franca of where you are. But, is there a 'proper' way that the above examples should be regarded? I've often wondered that. Maybe you have, too. If you have a definitve answer or know where I can find one, please let me know. If you have your own vocab conundrums, share those in the comment section.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great, today, this Tuesday and enjoy your time off this coming, next, weekend, whatever decade you're in and have a great birthday whenever it may be. 

06 October, 2013

Writing Progress

This time of year is usually my busiest. The start of school (I'm a teacher in my non-writing life), catching up with any and all changes to how things are happening at work (this year, it's all about Student Growth Objectives (SGOs) and International Baccalaureate (IB), coaching volleyball (in New Jersey, volleyball is a fall sport) and trying to find time to write. This year, there's the added responsibilities that come with kindergarten, which my son just started, and I'm also exercising more.

So, it's with equal amounts of enthusiasm and relief that today - actually, less than an hour ago - I finished going through my WIP, Sage Of Heaven, and making revisions. My manuscript will go through more revisions as I make the changes in its Word file but, nonetheless, it's getting closer to what I call a working draft; a draft I will feel comfortable workshopping to willing readers (Alex London, author of Proxy said he'd be willing to read it so I know it'll go through, at least, one exceptionally talented set of eyes which are, in turn, attached to a very talented and creative mind) and one with which I can solicit agents.  

I'm planning on having the new Word doc ready by - hopefully before - the end of this month so I can devote November to NaNoWriMo and get the first draft of book two of the Sage Of Heaven series writen or book one of my Aliens Among Us series completed. The volleyball season will be over by the time NaNoWriMo starts and I'll have more time to devote to writing so this is doable. I did write the first draft of Sage Of Heaven through NaNoWriMo, after all.

There's still loads more work to be done with my current manuscript, especially if it does successfully garner me an agent, but I am breathing a sigh of relief that its current round of revisions is completed because, honestly, I wasn't sure they'd get done before the end of the year. So, for you fellow writers out there, especially those like who are not (yet) fulltime writers and who wear multiple hats that it's difficult to reconcile each one, rest assured that if a slow poke procrastinator like me can finish something then all of you can - and some.

Happy writing all!