It was 3am and I was feeling peckish. Luckily, I had some assorted rice cakes in the fridge. I picked the sapin sapin. It’s not something I’m particularly fond of — I’m more of a biko and cuchinta kind of girl — but a nice, warm rice cake always makes a lovely snack.
Since it’s been sitting in the fridge for a couple of days, the sapin sapin was cold. I had a microwave but you don’t want to just pop it in the microwave because that always leads to a dry, unevenly warmed rice cake. I did have an electric steamer but I didn’t want to have to deal with the cleanup. Luckily, my mom taught me a microwave hack that works nicely with heating up rice cakes. It actually works for various starchy food like rice and pasta.
You put the sapin sapin in a bowl. Make sure the sides of the bowl is high enough that if you cover the opening with a wet paper towel, the paper towel doesn’t touch the sapin sapin. And then you take a paper towel, wet it with clean water— I like to fold it and run it under the tap, then unfold it — and cover the opening of the bowl. Stick the whole thing in the microwave and warm it for a minute and a half on 50% or until the sapin sapin is hot.
The result? Warm and gooey sapin sapin.
My mom taught me this as a way of heating up steamed rice but like I said, it works with any starchy food like pasta and dry noodles. It also works great for dimsum, which is usually steam-cooked.
Now go forth and never eat dry rice cakes ever again.
As of a couple of weeks ago, The Billionaire’s Game is no longer premium, but wait-to-unlock. What does this mean? It means that once you start reading the first few free episodes (basically what we call “episodes” on Radish), one locked episode is unlocked every 24 hours. It means that you can read every episode (except for the last ten) for free if you’re willing to wait 24 for each new chapter.
If you don’t have the Radish fiction app yet, you can download it on Apple or Google Play. Once you’ve signed up for an account, just do a search for “The Billionaire’s Game”.
But wait, there’s more.
I’m giving away three coupons for The Billionaire’s Game to each and every Radish fiction reader. Story coupons can be used to read locked episode, and one coupon unlocks one episode. Radish has this lovely Gift Box feature on the app. So just look for it and find your free coupons for The Billionaire’s Game and other amazing stories. Be sure to do it now because these coupons are only available and usable until December 10.
I made a nifty video to give you a better idea of how this all works:
As for The Billionaire’s Lie, it’s also wait-to-unlock. Because I love my readers and want to make my stories more accessible to you. I’m trying to get some coupons for The Billionaire’s Lie in the Gift Box sometime in the next few weeks, so check your Gift Boxes every Tuesday or sign up for my mailing list and get notified by me through email!
#011 – Words and Lyrics with Jay E. Tria Season One
Romance author Jay E. Tria and I chat about productivity, writing fictional bands and … eggs. Among other things! I also ramble on about fountain pens. Enjoy!
00:00:00 – Welcome!
00:01:20 – Survey on illustrated romance covers
00:04:30 – I went to a workshop!
00:12:28 – I got new ink, (Not a tattoo.)
00:17:21 – Coming up: Jay E. Tria interview + what’s a live reading?
00:18:57 – INTERVIEW with Jay
01:06:19 – LIVE READING: “Ask Me Nicely” performed by Gab Pangilinan and Bibo Reyes
01:15:01 – Wrap up
(Please scroll down for the show notes.)
Jay E. Tria is an author of contemporary young adult, new adult romance and paranormal/urban fantasy. She is often inspired by daydreams, celebrity crushes, a childhood fascination of Japanese drama and manga, and an incessant itch to travel. Find a complete list of her books here.
When she’s not chained to a desk writing software code, Brigitte Bautista writes lesbian fiction and poetry. She participated in Anvil Publishing’s very own #SparkNA writing workshop, where her first book baby, Don’t Tell My Mother, was born.
Brigitte is a huge sports freak and considers crying over sports strangely therapeutic. She has never met a doughnut she did not like and atones for the overeating by taking long walks or riding her bike around the city
00:16 Ansela:Welcome to Adulting for Authors. This is episode number 10. I’m your host Ansela Corsino, and I am a romance author. Adulting for Authors is a podcast about productivity. Productivity: you call it binge reading, I call it research.
In today’s episode, I interview Brigitte Bautista. She is an author of f/f romance books— that’s female/female. They are very adorable. I completely loved her first book Don’t Tell My Mother. It was funny. It was sweet. It was romantic and exciting and really hot.
00:57 And I generally don’t read FF romances, but her book was just … it was just wonderful. And I’m sure this second one —her latest book titled You, Me, U.S. — is going to be just as great. If not better. Because that’s how it is when you’re a writer: you get better with every new book right? Anyway, I’m looking forward to reading it. It’s on my TBR list.
01:24 Brigitte and I met up at this really lovely French place called La Mere Poulard. Apparently it roughly translates to “the mother hen”. I think. Anyway, they serve these really adorable fluffy omelets which we all ordered. We had a couple of other people along with us. And it’s a really nice place. It’s quiet in the morning, if you’re in the mood for a quiet breakfast. It got really busy as soon as lunch rolled in. We did manage to have our chat and I hope you enjoy listening to it.
02:08 Now before we move on to the interview, I will read the blurb of You, Me, U.S.
02:15 Best friends Jo and Liza are as opposite as night and day. Sex worker Jo swears by the worry-free, one-day-at-a-time dance through life. Salesclerk Liza has big plans for her family’s future, and there is nothing bigger than a one-way trip to the U.S. But an almost-kiss, a sex dare, and news of Liza’s engagement to her American boyfriend unveil feelings Jo and Liza never thought they had. Deciding between staying together and drifting apart puts Liza’s best-laid plans and Jo’s laidback life in jeopardy. When love clashes with lifelong ambitions and family expectations, someone has to give in. Question is: who?
03:09 And now here is my interview with Brigitte Bautista.
03:23 Ansela: Hello, Brij.
3:24 Brigitte Bautista: Hello, Ansela. Thanks for having me on Adulting for Authors.
A: Yes. Thank you for coming. We’re here at La Mere Poulard. I hope I’m saying that right.
05:02 A: I first listened to an excerpt during … I think it was Feels So Prom?
BB: Yeah, that was Feels So Prom.
A: And she has a new book coming out.
05:13 BB: I’m going to release my second novel, You, Me, U.S. on April 15. That’s the digital release. And then —fingers crossed, everything goes well —I can bring print copies on April Feels Day on April 27.
05:28 A: Yeah, that’s at the Loft, right? At Ortigas?
BB: Yes at The Loft.
05:32 So if you’re… if you wanna get print copies of Brij’s new book — You, Me, U.S...
A: …they will be available. Yeah they will. I have faith.
BB : You have faith in the universe.
A: The annual April Feels Day.
A: On April 27.
BB: So that will be a party!
A: Yes, I know!
05:53 A: So what did you have? We had breakfast. Sort of. I guess it was breakfast, right? ‘Cause it’s not noon yet?
BB: So I had puff omelette. You guys had the savory type. I had caramelized apples with my puff omelette.
A: How was it?
BB: Pretty good. It’s my first time here.
06:10 A: I had the one with potatoes and bacon. Because I figured that would make it breakfast. So I got one with bacon.
BB: We missed rice. We didn’t have rice with our omelette.
06:25 A: Probably later. They have risotto here.
BB: Later na lang.
A: Yeah. I like this place because it’s quiet. I think they have more people in the evening. But it’s morning now so it’s mostly just us.
06:41 A: I actually didn’t know that you worked as a programmer. I had no idea.
A: Hello, fellow STEM girl!
06:51 A: I have to ask … what kind of technology software do you work with? What do you develop?
07:09 BB: Yes. Because they use COBOL for mostly for like high-volume transactions like banks, financial institutions. They use COBOL because it’s more accommodating of, yung nga, higher volume transactions and it’s hard to migrate that many … that much data into the newer technologies. So we’re still in demand for, like, a good 20 years. I’m still gonna be relevant for a good 10 to 20 years. After that I’m going to retire and just be my girlfriend’s wife.
BB: My lawyer girlfriend’s wife.
A: That’s the dream.
07:55 A: It’s so weird ‘cause, like, in school I did take up computer science in school. I don’t think we actually took COBOL but we did take it up in history. That’s why I’m really surprised.
A: Because normally a lot of languages… they get obsolete.
BB: Uh huh.
08:13 A: I’m sorry we’re talking about… We’re not talking about writing anymore.
BB: Adulting for programmers!
A: Yes. Maybe that could be another thing. I dunno.
08:25 A: You know, this is important. Because you have a regular — what’s that — a nine to five job?
A: So how do you balance the writing and your programming.
BB: When I’m working on a project, I really carve time to write. So either … it depends on my current situation. Sometimes I assign writing time early in the morning before I get the work. And sometimes it makes sense to, like, have an hour in the evening before I sleep. Just forming that habit every day. Showing up whether on the schedule that you impose on yourself.
09:11 A: Do you think about your current work in progress while you’re at your day job?
09:18 BB: Yeah! Sometimes I write — sorry. Sometimes I write on my day job because they don’t pay me enough to be overly serious at my job so… I think I made most of Don’t Tell My Mother …
09:38 BB: Please don’t tell my employer. Don’t tell my employer, but I know I did most of Don’t Tell My Mother on company time.
09:49 A: Well, you’re still employed so you seem to be doing a good job.
A: Good job.
A: I think it’s a writer thing that no matter what we’re doing …
A: We’re sometimes still thinking of our WIP. So that happens.
10:03 BB:That happens that happens to me too. When I’m working on a project, I think about it all the time just… The writing time, obviously, the writing time that I carve or that I schedule— it’s more for the manual work like typing. Typing stuff. Putting words in. But the brainstorming, the scene storm, conceptualizing dialogue— it happens all the time.
A: All the time.
A: Like, when you’re trying to sleep?
10:34 BB: And then you wake up and, like, “Come on, let me sleep! That scene can wait.”
A: Say you’re trying to sleep and you think of something that you feel that you have to write down. What do you … what is the first thing you reach for?
BB: Paper. And pen. It doesn’t matter. Well, I always have a notebook naman in my bag, but sometimes it can’t wait. So I just use backs of receipts, tissue paper. I’ve used tissue paper, scratch paper — anything to write. And sometimes my phone but I don’t … it doesn’t work for me … typing on the phone. ‘Cause when I write, that’s when, like, my mind and my hand are more in sync so…
#009 – Plot Challenges with Mina V. Esguerra Season One
I interview romance author Mina V. Esguerra about her writing process and how she manages to hit her word count goals. We also go in-depth about her difficulties with her latest book Kiss and Cry (which is available now so go get it). While we chatted, we had a yummy lunch at Mom & Tina’s in Greenhills on the Lunar New Year (yes this episode is super late sorry).
Mina V. Esguerra writes contemporary romance novels. Visit minavesguerra.com to learn more about her writing, publishing experiments, events, and advocacies.
When not writing romance, she is president of communications firm Bronze Age Media, development communication consultant, publisher, and publishing mentor. She created the workshop series “Author at Once” for writers and publishers, and #romanceclass for aspiring romance writers.
Her young adult/fantasy trilogy Interim Goddess of Love is a college love story featuring gods from Philippine mythology. Her contemporary romance novellas won the Filipino Readers’ Choice awards for Chick Lit in 2012 (Fairy Tale Fail) and 2013 (That Kind of Guy).
I spoke with poet and professor Paolo Manalo about how he makes words happen. It turns out writing fiction is a kinda different from writing poetry, who knew? If you love words, you’ll enjoy this episode.
Paolo Manalo’s first collection Jolography (2003) received recognition from the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature and the UP Diliman Gawad Chancellor. It will be re-issued in a Retconned edition by UP Press this 2019. Manalo has received fellowships from the UP National Writers Workshop, the Taboan Writers Festival, and the MacDowell Colony. He teaches English, literature, and creative writing at UP-Diliman.
#007 – Spreadsheets and Divas with Tara Frejas Season One
This week’s episode features an interview with romance author Tara Frejas. We met over dinner at Barcino on a Sunday night, and she shared with me her writing process and why she writes the stories she does, among a lot of things. We also chat about the upcoming #RomanceClass film project and a romance anthology she’s co-authoring with five other writers. And as a special treat, this episode also includes a recording of a live reading of an excerpt of one of Tara’s books. Check out Tara’s bio below, and further down, the episode shownotes.
Tara Frejasis a cloud-walker who needs caffeine to fuel her travels. When she’s not on work mode, she keeps herself busy by weaving her daydreams into stories.
Aside from her obvious love affair with words and persistent muses, Tara is very passionate about being caffeinated, musical theatre, certain genres of music, dancing, dogs, good food, and romancing Norae, her ukelele. She owns a male bunny named Max who sometimes tries to nibble on her writing notes.
#006 – Pressure to Rep with Chi Yu Rodriguez Season One
I chatted with Chi Yu Rodriguez at Starbucks on Matalino about how she finished a book in full-day writing sessions, and why being an #OwnVoices author writing bisexual characters in romance has its own unique kind of difficulty.
You also get a special treat: at the end of the episode, I’ve added the live reading of an excerpt of “Five Inches Below the Knee”, a short story from her story collection Love and Other Questionable Life Choices. The live reading is performed by Rachel Coates and Sam Aquino.
Chi Yu Rodriguez has many feelings. Sometimes these feelings find their way to paper in the form of short stories and fiction online. Sometimes they don’t come out at all and end up as unresolved sexual tension or terrible internal angst.
She prefers making imaginary people go through these feelings for her pleasure. Her muses hate her for it, and they repay her by being forever fickle.
As you probably know, I have a Patreon. One of the reasons I decided to get one is that I figured it might be an effective way to get me to Make More Stuff. Because if people are giving you money on a regular basis, you will owe them Stuff and you will therefore have to make Stuff. Anyway, that was the theory.
I have a $500 milestone which I’m nowhere near achieving, where I promised a short story a month. And even though will need more than 10 times as many patrons to achieve that milestone, a few months ago I thought I should try it anyway. So I did.
I’d written a short story before but most of my writing portfolio is comprised of novels. Short story requires a different (although probably intersecting) set of skills from those required to write a novel, and I, like every other author, want to keep getting better at Writing Stuff. And since I learned writing novels (mostly) by writing novels, I figured that if I wanted to learn to write short stories, I should just write short stories.
I posted the first part of what was supposed to be a 3,000-word short story on the 19th of November.
It did not go according to plan. Because apparently I cannot plan things and execute them properly to save my life. Like I said, it was supposed to be 3,000 words. But I wrote past 3k, and it still wasn’t finished. So I kept writing. And posting new parts, with no ending in sight. And apologizing.
The final word count was 8,100. I finished it around 6am today*, January 14. It took me two months.
Okay, so ideally I should be able to knock an 8k-word short story in less than two months. Especially if the story requires very little research, which “Dirty Assistant” did. But I gave it a shot, and I’ll keep trying until I get better at it. Which is basically what it means to be a Person Who Writes Stuff.
Anyway, with DA in the can, I can now get started on my next short story. Like DA, it will be a patron-exclusive story — which means it will be available only to my Patreon supporters for a limited time. My goal this time is to finish a short story in a month. Wish me luck!