Thursday, August 31, 2006

A Really Bright Purple Spot!!

May Ann and I are happy and surprised kids. We just got a very bright yet unexpected purple spot in the life of our Yellow Paperclip - the 2005 National Book Award for children's literature from the Manila Critics Circle! WOW... we are overwhelmed and thrilled beyond belief. In my flustered state (I don't remember the last time I felt my hands and knees shake like that!), I nearly forgot to (gulp!) thank the Manila Critics Circle. Allow me to thank them now. MARAMING, MARAMING SALAMAT. Thank you for this recognition and honor. Thank you for seeing the value in being different. This Award is truly a bright purple spot in our adventure!

PS. I'd love to get a copy of the citation Krip Yuson read about my book. If anyone knows where I can find it, please let me know! Thanks!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Book Signing at the 27th Manila International Book Fair

Bookworms, unite! It's the 27th Manila International Book Fair at the World Trade Center starting August 30 (Thursday) to September 3 (Sunday).

SHAMELESS PLUG: May Ann and I will be signing books on Saturday, September 2 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Adarna House booth. Hope to see you there!

One Amazing Artist

May Ann Licudine, 2005 PBBY-Alcala Grand Prize winner for her illustrations of The Yellow Paperclip with Bright Purple Spots, recently launched her website. Let her artwork WOW you over...

Isn't she amazing?! My Yellow Paperclip is alive because of her colorful swirls and splatters. Before we work on our next book together, I thought I'd share some never-before-seen artwork May Ann prepared for the blurbs on the book's back flap. They never made it in print but I think they're great! I can't wait to see you on August 31, May Ann!

Friday, August 25, 2006

One Red Paperclip is Now a Children's Story!

Check out what I tripped on as I blog-hopped! Kyle's amazing adventure with One Red Paperclip has been rewritten for kids! Click HERE for his story for kids - written with the help of his mom who blogs her photos and poetry. How cool is that?

The One Red Paperclip 3-day housewarming party at Kipling, Saskatchewan is coming up next weekend (September 1-3, 2006) and of course I have to be halfway across the world and miss all the fun.

I'll find my way to Kipling one day soon. I wonder if Kyle ever got the book I sent him. I hope he did. Then I can add Kipling to my list of bright purple spots!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Sharing Stories Across Boundaries and Borders

I'm really excited to meet Alice McLerran at the SCBWI writing workshop in November (Are you interested? Click here for more details!). I don't have her book The Mountain that Loved a Bird yet but it's another one I've added to my To-Buy-Soon list (next to Elias and His Trees and Baha!, of course). I know I'll learn a whole new art of children's writing from her.

I was prompted to sign up for the workshop when I found out that she is a Third Culture Kid as well and has fulfilled her dreams of sharing stories across borders and other cultures. After more Googling, I chanced upon something McLerran wrote (highlights are mine):

Those of us writers who choose to craft stories for children frequently are parents, and our first experiments in the genre may well be bedtime tales created for our own offspring. Discovering in ourselves the ability bring delight to those we love can be heady stuff. As we turn to writing and our audience becomes a wider one, what ambition could be more natural and seductive than wanting to create stories to which children everywhere might listen wide-eyed? Whenever we have a story translated to another language and offered in another culture, we come closer to the ultimate fantasy: sharing what we create with every child on the planet.

An ambition so far-reaching has the clear odor of hubris, and we usually keep it to ourselves. In any case, we quickly learn that translated editions are normally arranged not by those of us who create the stories, but rather by our publishers. Traditionally, most deals are made at large international book fairs, and they normally involve agreements between publishers in nations of like economic standards.

Still, cross-cultural publishing can happen in quite different ways as well. When it does, the process can take on new richness, lead to unexpected serendipities.

... in my heart I know that when a story of mine is shared in another culture, it is not the thought that I am facilitating international understanding that most excites me. Nor is it the conviction that sharing stories across borders helps nurture a global literature that enriches us all—although I believe that as well.

My real source of pleasure is the image of a child on the other side of the planet, a child my eyes will never see. He listens to words read in a language I myself cannot understand, yet it is my story that holds him. The story enters his imagination as easily as if he were my own child snuggling next to me, my voice in his ear.

That this can happen seems to me something as close to magic as any writer can wish.

I had some sort of epiphany (I forget exactly when though) about writing stories that would appeal particularly for Third Culture Kids like me. I'm not sure how many TCK writers there are in the world, but my stories would be helpful for TCKs growing up in a new culture, culturally rich (yet a little confused), excited yet homesick, feeling out-of-place everwhere and not quite fitting in with everyone else.

So... write, Nikki, write... Have something to show Alice when she gets here!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Joy Flies in the Philippines

A writing workshop with Alice McLerran
Hosted by the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI)
9 am to 5 pm, Saturday November 11, 2006
Filipinas Heritage Library (formerly Nielsen Tower)
Ayala corner Makati Avenue, Makati City, Philippines

Here's your chance to have your manuscript critiqued while spending a day with Alice McLerran, children's book author from Long Island, New York. Know what it takes to write not only for children but also how to keep on writing and honing your craft. Share your own writing—bring your work, participate in a manuscript critique and learn how to give and receive constructive feedback.

On Saturday November 11, 2006 Alice McLerran will be in Manila for an all-day writing workshop sponsored by the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI). The workshop is for adults who write or want to write for children and young people—amateurs and professionals, published and unpublished authors, freelance writers, college students, teachers, parents, educators, and others who have a keen interest in children's literature. We hope to give all the participants an intimate glimpse into what Alice describes as "the kind of rewriting that is such an important part of the writing process for me." The workshop is also helpful for illustrator-writers, visual artists who are interested in the writing process, and those who are eager to know more about the kind of creative collaborations that can take place between authors and illustrators.

Alice McLerran was brought up in a way that let her know she lived in the whole world rather than in one place. Her family made homes in locations ranging from Hawaii to Germany to Ecuador, and in states across the U.S . As an adult, she now travels even more widely with her physicist husband. When not traveling together they divide their time between homes in New York and Oregon. She earned her PhD in anthropology from the University of California in Berkeley in 1969 once her three children were in school, and later an MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health. Although always a writer, she only began to publish professionally in 1985. Her books include ROXABOXEN, THE GHOST DANCE, THE YEAR OF THE RANCH, and the twin books HUGS and KISSES. Her first book, THE MOUNTAIN THAT LOVED A BIRD, still published in the U.S. and Japan with its original illustrations by Eric Carle, has been reillustrated by artists in Russia, Pakistan, and India for newer editions. Its Philippine editions are now about to be released in English, Filipino, Hiligaynon, Cebuano, Ilokano and Kiniray-a, using totally new art drawn from the landscapes of the Phillipines. To know more about Alice, please visit her website.

Pre-registration is required and is now going on. The fee includes handouts and lunch, and is non-refundable but transferrable: P1500 until Monday September 18, P1750 until Monday October 16, P2000 until Friday November 3. There's a P200 discount for current SCBWI members, and a small rebate on the day of the event for every person who contributes a manuscript for the group critique session. Please provide 2 copies of your manuscript, prefaced with a title page that contains only this statement: "I hereby declare that I am the author of the attached manuscript" followed by the title, your signature above your printed name, mailing address, landline and cellphone number, e-mail address, and an indication whether the manuscript is being submitted for individual critiquing only, for group critiquing only, or may be used for either or both. Manuscripts must be 5 pages maximum, typed 12 points double space on 8.5 x 11 inch paper with a 1-inch margin all around, and submitted upon pre-registration or on Friday, November 3, at the latest. Only those manuscripts submitted in advance will be used for either form of critiquing.

If you've never participated in a critique session and hesitate to submit your work to other eyes, you may regret such hesitation once you experience the useful insights and support a group of fellow-writers can provide! Offer a manuscript you've carried as far as you know how, and with any luck you can come away with ideas on how to do yet more with it.

For more information, contact Beaulah Pedregosa Taguiwalo at or 0917-787-4956, or Dominique Garde Torres (Nikki) at or 0917-667-1267.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A Paperclip... and His Trees... in a Baha!

What does a paperclip, trees and a flood have in common? All three are finalists for the children's literature category for the National Book Awards, sponsored by the National Book Development Board and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. Wow! I still can't believe it!

The Yellow Paperclip is overwhelmed to be in the company of the country's best books published in 2005! In children's literature, the other finalists are Elias & His Trees written by Augie Rivera and illustrated by Romeo Forbes (inspired by The Man and His Trees by Jean Giono) and Baha! written by Eugene Evasco. I look forward to meeting Augie and Eugene - and many other writers! - at the awarding ceremonies on August 31 at the 27th Manila International Book Fair.

Click HERE for the complete list of finalists.

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Yellow Paperclip Meets UST Students

As a partial requirement to graduate in their Fine Arts & Design course in UST, Mitch and her groupmates asked if they could ask a few questions about writing.

It was fun to meet them and answer questions like What are your inspirations when you write? and How long does it take to make a write a good story? I do hope I was able to help! Good luck with your thesis!

The Yellow Paperclip Goes to Ohio and Kentucky (and Hangs Out with Two Angels)

I got a great "greps" (read: grapes = purple) surprise in my inbox this morning from my two friends and fellow Under-Five-Feet Club...
Yes, it's The Yellow Paperclip with Bright Purple Spots on a PURPLE bridge... and yes, that's a YELLOW bridge in the background! How cool is that?! (It reminds me of the yellow bridges I saw in Pittsburgh...)

But then there were more purple-and-yellow shots...

Thank you so much, Kamelle and Moya! I'm sorry I missed the Charlie's Angels reunion!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Isang Daang Manunulat sa Dadaanin

I chanced upon this blog... and realized that my story made it to the anthology of 100-word stories! I submitted three stories... I wonder which one they chose?

It's supposed to be out by the end of the month. I hope to hear more about the book soon and get a chance to meet the other 99 writers.