Monday, June 30, 2008
It's also one of those places that are secluded, perfect for relaxation, and yet, at the same time, it could also get a bit creepy especially if you're all alone. It pretty much felt like some prison escapee could just bumble his way through the trees and fall right into the pool at any dark moment.
But before we could get there, we had some ... setbacks.
A bunch of people met up and took the train over while a handful of us ended up in the car (an hour and half's drive, give or take) so that we can get there earlier to set up and pick up the commuters from the station. A friend drove up to pick us up from the hostess' dorm and we were all set.
Ten minutes in, we got into an accident.
We hit a bus. No joke.
Our friend had tried to pull around a parked bus into the left lane, but just as she edged out into the lane, some guy in a black van suddenly sped up and tried to cut her off. That wouldn't have been so bad if he had just drove past really fast but no, he jerked to a stop, literally hitting the brakes right next to the car and she immediately swerved to avoid him, smashing into the rear of the bus with a sickening crunch. She let out a really sharp gasp, yanking at the wheel to pull around and over into the gas station next to the bus to check the situation.
What had happened was that the whole front right part of the car had picked up a nasty crater dent. Her boyfriend couldn't even get the passenger side door open to get out and had to crawl over out of the driver's door.
Of course, the black van just sped off as fast as possible.
Thankfully, none of us were hurt and the bus was at its final stop or something and stationary so there were no passengers on. We were delayed for a while though, baking in the heat (it was like the one place where Starbucks wasn't around in the immediate vicinity) and getting leered at by the men passing by for the car wash while we waited for the police and the authorities to oversee the exchanging of the insurance information between the bus company and my friend.
Needless to say, the rest of the group waiting at the train station weren't too happy. They sat around for nearly two hours.
On another note that actually has some sort of relation to writing, I'm currently working on the next chapters for Through Me and Unfinished Business. Hopefully, I might get them out (both, either/or) by this weekend. Hopefully.
And False Facades revisions are still under construction.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Also, Unfinished Business Chapter Seven has been added as well. In addition, I reread bits and pieces of it and found that there were parts of it that irked me. I've rewritten it, but for now, I'm posting up the revised version of just Chapter One to it.
I'm also working on the revisions for False Facades, but that will take a bit more time.
Thank you all for the continued support. You're the best.
My brother bought me half a Wii.
Don't ask. We have this system where he pays half of my present and then I pay for the other half for his birthday so that in the end, we both own it. It's the "no hassle shopping" mentality.
But back to the Wii. I figured if my brother was already wasting his life in front of the computer and playing video games, he might as well get some exercise out of the video game experience instead, just like how many thousands of people the Wii has already tricked into some physical exertion. The power it holds, whoa.
It finally got shipped yesterday and my brother clutched the Super Smash Brothers Brawl to his heart (it came with the Toys R Us bundle, not my idea). We created our little Mii people and then - and then - somehow, we found our parents usurping it and my brother and I ended up sitting on the couch, goading them on. As in:
Mom: Come on, I'll beat you anytime.
Dad: Okay, this is messed up. I threw it straight! Why isn't the ball going down straight!
Of course, Mom throws and the bowling ball on the screen sails down smoothly. Cue her maniacal laughter.
Dad: ... Okay, one more game. One more game! I'm getting the hang of this.
Mom: Oh, it's okay, don't worry, I'll let you win one.
Me and Bro: OH! Low blow!
They woke up with sore arms this morning. Mom can't move.
Lesson of the Day: Parents are still kids at heart.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
I'm not much of a birthday person because I tend to get flustered under attention and I'm an extremely indecisive person, as in when people ask "So what do you want to do for your birthday?", I go "I dunno. What do you guys want to do?"
Usually we go back and forth with them protesting "But it's your birthday! You're an adult! Make a decision! We'll do what you want to do!" until they either give up or their cajoling turns into threats.
I think they think that I'm just being easygoing or I'm trying to be a good hostess or whatnot, when in actuality, damn it, I'm really not lying when I say I have no idea what I want to do. I'm not a good planner and I'm ashamed to admit that I like to be a follower; it's a helluva lot easier. I'm up for most things asides from strenuous exertion or bodily damage or roller coasters or waking up freakishly early. I have an insane fear of heights and things that involve plummeting down and yes, I do rank waking up early up there. I wake up early enough for school and work.
So thank goodness I have enough leaders amongst my family and friends.
The day before my birthday, my cousin showed up bearing cake and forced another friend to come with a present: BonChon Chicken a.k.a. heavenly Korean fried chicken. After sitting around watching South Park and those funny fake subbed Bollywood music videos aimlessly, we went to a karaoke place to crash my cousin's friend's party and then somehow, I found myself mumbling Barbie's words to "Barbie Girl" while like eight Kens belted out the rest. It was scarily hilarious - I've never met a bunch of guys so into girly songs like they were. Of course, I've also never seen anyone so into crooning out "Funky Town" - Alvin and the Chipmunks version - quite like my dear cousin either. Such passion.
On the day of my actual birthday, I actually made the decision for my friends to meet up and grab lunch at another Korean restaurant (my life revolves around Korean food, I can't explain my attraction to it). They bought this raspberry mousse/cheesecake from Veniero's which we had to eat with chopsticks, courtesy of our funny not in the good way waiters who also waltzed by later on, holding out a plate and gesturing, if we would mind giving them a slice. We really should have traded it for something. Like forks maybe.
Unfortunately, my skillful nonexistent planning soon led us walking around aimlessly amongst the stores after lunch. Naturally, of course, it started raining. A sunny downpour, if you can believe it.
The day after my birthday after work, my friends took me to a Thai place/bar, where they introduced me to the wonders of sake bombs. I think they just wanted to use me as an excuse to go drinking. Too bad I didn't get my food before we did the first one and the alcohol just went straight to my head. See Helen giggle uncontrollably as she burns her tongue on spicy Roadside Noodles.
After all that, there was just a whole lot of walking. Walking to the piers. Walking to the stores. Walking to the coffee place. Walking to the cupcakes place. Walkwalkwalk.
For some reason, I don't remember it being very strenuous, but once I got back home, there was definitely this burn in the back of my legs.
And hence concludes my 21st birthday. I hadn't really expected it to turn out this way, but this year was definitely a pleasant surprise. Fun. Whatever would I do without my leaders?
Thursday, June 19, 2008
I know my limitations for False Facades and I don't think I'm going to try the traditional securing an agent road for it. I'd probably just crash and burn. That being said, I still want to ensure its copyrights in a way that's somewhat better than Fictionpress' own flimsy mark so I do want to see it in print. Sort of.
I've received a suggestion from a reader to try Lulu.com. I've looked into it and saw that it seems pretty much straightforward - a self-publishing site that doesn't actually ask you to cough up money first thing and it takes its revenues from only the amount of copies people order and what it'd have to print.
Thus, here's the gist of what I've been thinking:
First, I'll revise the crap out of False Facades, which means I'm going to be fixing up all its weak parts and probably fleshing out the beginning, a.k.a. add new chapters. I've looked back and realized that Sammy got off way too easy in her first days at Crestan High and I'm thinking of showing firsthand the kind of antics that Vincent and Tristan got into with terrorizing newcomers before Sammy entered the school. Second, I want to develop all of the characters' relationships further. The plot drove too much of the story and I want to throw in a bit more romance, a bit more character development.
After the revising is done, I plan to fix it up and throw its beautified version on Lulu.com for publishing and marketing - sort of.
That means that readers who want to have their own copies of False Facades or see it in print (early warning: print is super expensive in comparison to e-books) or be able to read the revised version of the story and see new chapters starring the crazy False Facades crew may have the option to purchase it soon and I can finally have some sort of security blanket in knowing that False Facades is in print out there somewhere with my copyrights intact as opposed to people copying and pasting my story off Fictionpress for their own benefits.
That being said, I hate the idea of making people pay for this story as the only option in which they can read it. So, in addition to making the Lulu.com book available, I'm probably going to be reposting the craptastic version, the original first draft of False Facades that was on the site before as a sort of a rough "library" copy for my budget-impaired readers. :)
Hardcore fans get the choice of buying the deluxe edition with its revisions and new chapters (all while supplying me with literally a bit of the revenues and a slightly more stable copyrights, yay :) while financially conscious readers get the option of just reading the original embarrassing version back on fictionpress again. Does this sound fair enough?
But all of this is just brainstorming for now. I have to sit down and sort out all the details first. Until then, I just wanted to keep you guys posted on what I'm thinking of so far.
In addition, I'm working on the next chapter for Through Me. I hope to come out with a new update soon. Thanks for your patience, all.
Hey all! First, I'll like to thank everyone for the support they've shown. I've received many responses and PMs and I'll like to throw in a quick note right now that I'm not ignoring you - I haven't gotten back to anyone yet at all. The reason I've disappeared isn't entirely due to the plagiarism thing - I've been busy getting my butt kicked by biochem. Studying's pretty much taken me hostage these past few weeks and I'm still negotiating the terms for my release.
As a general response though, I've pretty much sorted out the PMs into three categories:
A) I support you! Please keep writing!
Thank you. I never expected the huge encouragement I've received and your messages were incredibly touching. My heart just melted. Into baby applesauce. Or something.
Anyway, thanks for the messages. I haven't given up on writing. I've always been working on pieces privately, things I haven't and probably won't post on fictionpress. However, I do have ideas for more FP stories and there's still Through Me and Unfinished Business. I'm just comatose from studying and that high you get - "Holy shit! Why are there only 24 hours in a day and 24908352664 pages to memorize?!" Yeah. Fun. No worries. I'm not quite dead yet. And I'm still your insanely slow updater.
B) Where can I kick the butt of that person who stole your story! No, seriously. Where?
Haha, it's over and done with. Hopefully. Finally. As for that matter, I'll like to especially thank a certain claraly. I noticed that not only did she bring up the issue on Winglin on my behalf, she also did extensive research into False Facades' background, providing links to this site, to fans' responses, and even to the SKOW award that it had won back in the day. Enough said. I love you, claraly.
And of course, to all those diligent fans who donned their flamer suits to fight the plagiarist ... whoa. You guys even scared me. Thanks for supporting False Facades so readily.
C) Can you please send me a copy of False Facades through email? or WTH happened to the chapters? It broke! Fix it soon and let me read the rest, kthanks.
I'm so glad that there are actually so many readers interested in the story to want to continue reading it or to reread it. Unfortunately, I am not too interested in emailing copies to individuals right now. It's not that I don't trust you - please don't be offended - it's actually more due to the fact that I'm incredibly busy at the mo' and any free time I get, I'd probably want to spend on writing new chapters. However, I am considering certain plans for False Facades and I will announce them soon once I've sorted things out.
Whew, this is gonna be a long note after all. I really have to get one of those blogging thingiemajingies. If this keeps up, I just might get the award for having the longest profile on FP to date.
Or ... I should probably create a website. If not to keep a blogging thing, then to host my writings up there and maybe figure out how to nix the whole copy+paste thing. Right. And as soon as I learn how to create a website in the first place, I'll get right around to that haha.
OH! Speaking of websites, I've been meaning to speak about this ... but yeah, things tend to get away from me, as you see. My homepage currently lists the link to freerice - I know, I know, Maeven can't make her own website so she throws in a fake "homepage" to direct us to, how incredibly pathetic - haha, anyway, the reason I have freerice up there is because I love the whole concept about it. You learn new vocab, someone out there gets free rice. Win, win situation. And for the authors and readers who troll this site, it's perfect. How cool is it to be able to learn new vocabulary that you can use while helping others out?
Random things aside, I still should learn how to make an actual real website for myself anyway. It's a useful skill in this information age of ours, isn't it? Yes, yes.
But I'm lazy so I'll probably end up enlisting someone's help anyway - most likely, my cousins who got all the technical, computer genes. Especially my insanely smart, lovely, endearing, vivacious lawyer cousin. When she reads this. Or when I ask her, after she tries to pretend she didn't read this.
Or maybe my brother, who'd probably end up posting pics of anime girls with huge boobs for decoration.
This isn't a quick note, after all. I'm sorry. Tired brain tends to spew nonsense.
All in all, thanks for the support. Please have a bit more patience and I'll try to keep you guys updated on what's the deal with False Facades and if and when there'll be new chappies for other stories. And I'll try not to write an essay again.
Originally posted on Fictionpress on March 28, 2008.
So apparently, the Winglin incident isn't completely over. I don't know how Winglin dates its stories or maybe it's been around for a while and I just learned about it, but another author (or perhaps it's the same person as before) has posted my story again here, www.winglin.net/fanfic/maeven/, claiming that's she me and that's she "re-casting" the crew with Hong Kong stars this time. As opposed to the person last time who posted with Korean stars and had the nerve to respond to readers' inquiries whether or not she was plagiarizing my story that yes, she was indeed the Maeven from Fictionpress and that "I" just wanted to repost the stories with some favorite celebrities (pfft, yeah right), this person didn't even do a good job in replacing the names. She merely just slapped on a character list in front of the chapters.
Unlike last time, I wasn't nearly as polite in the note I left the person.
All this plagiarism has really bothered me and I'm sorely tempted to just take the story off this site, if not for the fact that keeping this would somehow provide proof that I was and still am the original author. Can you just imagine the wry smile on my face?
Honestly. Honestly, I don't understand this. If people are so interested in reading this, then just come over to this site. I've left this here on this site for your perusal for how many years? And people are still plagiarizing? What's the point? Are they even making any profit from this? Are the few reviews they receive that satisfying to their small egos?
I'm really ... I can't believe I'm so shocked. And surprisingly so hurt by this. I've taken this news even worse than before for some strange reason. Perhaps it's because I just emailed a reader back asserting my faith in all my readers, perhaps it's because I suddenly feel so helpless. Just a month after my announcement to the readers about the last incident and already there's another plagiarizer popping up, it's made me realized just how insecure I really am. This isn't just a one time thing that I'm letting get to me. This has happened, to my knowledge, three times before and it doesn't stop, does it?
It's even brought me to thinking about going to one of those self-publishing places and just edit and publish this damn story once and for all. At least then, I'll be able to retain my rights completely. At least then, even if I miss all the feedback I've received from so many readers, I won't have plagiarizers lurking around as well.
But on a second thought though, I probably won't, simply because I've seen the prices on those books and whoa, some of them tend to be whythehellareyousoexpensivelittleteenybook which doesn't make much sense to me. It doesn't make sense why I would even try to sell something to you guys when, despite it being in its rough draft, it's been offered freely to all of you on this site for all these years.
I write for fun. I post to get feedback. It's been a good relationship. A chapter for the time you take to read and review and to leave me supportive comments and constructive criticism.
It's been great.
But unfortunately, right now, I can't do this anymore. I know I'm probably being really drastic, but ... please understand.
I've regretfully decided to remove most of the chapters from False Facades except for the very first one to leave some indication that I am still the original writer just in case there are those crazy people who've taken the time to copy and paste my chapters and stored or printed them and would be ever so happy to continue plagiarizing on another site.
Please. To readers - I'll like to say that I've only posted my original works on Fictionpress and Writing.com before so if you see any of my works floating around out there, just know that it's some imposter. In addition, to those who've taken to reposting my stories even with an indication that it was originally written by me (I've seen some do so on soompi.net, I believe), please. Just don't. Not that I don't appreciate your efforts, but I'd rather you had just directed readers to my profile in the first place. I don't much like to see my work reposted with the cast replaced by your favorite stars. I don't see the point and you're just undermining my original idea for the characters.
Uncle Frank's passion for Samantha's red hair and Marco Ngai pining for Gillian Chung's black hair don't quite work the same to me.
So I guess that's it. Thank you all for reading and for all the support. With time, I'll consider reposting the chapters and updating again. Maybe I'll even edit them first haha?
Just ... not now. I'm sorry.
This is probably the story that I'm fondest of ... and yet, it's also the piece I'm perhaps the most embarrassed of. Honestly, I'm honored and humbled by the huge positive response I've received for this work and I think I was incredibly lucky to have so much support and encouragement as a new author back then because your feedback motivated me to work harder at improving my writing and, not to mention, to keep up with constant updates. (Until then, I had the tendency to lose stamina halfway and never complete long works so thank you all.)
That being said, long after the story had been completed, I'd received some emails or reviews saying either A) It was an unoriginal story or B) I didn't deserve so many reviews and that frankly, they were surprised that I had managed to get so many reviews in the first place because they didn't like the story at all and that there were other stories that deserved more attention, etc. etc. Okay, fair enough. I, myself, admit that when I look back at the story, I cringe sometimes, wondering what the heck was I thinking haha. And I don't expect everyone to enjoy the way I write; everyone has his own likes and dislikes.
So here, more like a warning rather than a defense, I'd like to inform any future readers that False Facades was first written when I was a high school freshman, back when I was thirteen or fourteen-ish when I was kinda big on anime fanfics, and published on Fictionpress in 2003. Hence, and ouch, you'd see multiple exclamation marks, poor grammar, characters that ran amok in wild antics (well, I still haven't quite lost my taste for those crazy scenes haha), lightning speed character development, and ... okay, I'll throw this one in as well - thoughts in brackets - even though it wasn't my intention. Fictionpress, back in the days, had some weird format thing so instead of italics, I had to put the thoughts in brackets and scene dividers as stars.
However, I do promise, that if you stick with the story, probably past Chapter Twenty or so, you'd hopefully see my writing mature. The format suddenly changes. And this is why I'm so glad I posted False Facades up here, because with you guys as reviewers, as witnesses, as fans, and as critics, I was able to shape the story - and my writing skills - into what they are today. And I hope to keep on improving since I still have quite a lot of things to work on.
Good points to False Facades? It was simple. It was simple and sweet. There's a quality of innocence and reckless style in it that reminds me of my younger days, back when I typed simply for the heck of it. I thought nothing about what would come next and wrote that scene in that moment. Over the top, but it's endearing sometimes and it still brings a smile to my face when I'm not grimacing.
That being said, I'm still quite surprised how there are people who've plagiarized this work - even with all the craptastic writing in the beginning - so many times (The Winglin incident has finally died down. I believe the person or the site admins have finally taken down the story. Thank you all for your support.) and it's unnerved me. I would like to revise this story in the future just to make it less cringe-worthy, but I might not post it. I don't understand the liberties some people have taken with posted fiction online. Just because authors here have chosen to share their writings and their stories online with the community doesn't mean we don't wish to retain our rights. Please be courteous and have respect. Be kind, rewind.
And that ... had absolutely nothing to do with anything, but I thought I might as well throw in something else in my preaching.
Long note, eh? If you stuck through it, more power to you. Thank you for reading.
(March 28 2008: The last 29 chapters were removed from Fictionpress due to the plagiarism incidents. As of now, I am working on certain plans for it and may repost it sometime in the future.)
The title says it all. Sorry! I'm thinking about finishing up Through Me first to see how it goes. I might or might not continue with this. It's been left alone for quite some time already (understatement of the year) and I feel any readers following it might have already gotten fed up and dropped this story.
Update: Thank you for those who suddenly reviewed or sent me Private Messages demanding for another chapter. Haha, I'm so sorry about the wait, but at least, you've refreshed my interest in the story and I'm contemplating about reworking this piece now. We'll see how it goes.
Still in progress. The characters are running me up and down a hill though haha.
Update as of March 10: Through Me Chapter 15 has been posted.
Update as of March 16: Through Me Chapter 16 has been posted.
I write for fun. For relief from reality. For something productive to do beside going blind from textbook worship. I adore thinking up crazy plots and dialogue. I'm an English minor and an insane fictionpress writer by night and an equally insane, but panda eyed comatose med student by day.
What I've been driving myself nuts over is working on actually getting out of med school in one piece. So at times, the workload can get incredibly overbearing and I can be insanely slow with updates. (Most readers know this about me - I'm so sorry!) Yeah, just wait until I hit Gross Anatomy next year. You'll never be hearing from me again.
Writing style wise, I love humor and bantering in my chapters. Weak points wise, I'm not big on descriptions. I'm not saying I don't love descriptions, but I tend to find myself short on time and so, in my rush, I usually just put down two lines rather than two paragraphs if I could, if I deem it not particularly necessary to the story right now. Descriptions, to me, are aesthetic embellishments, and I would so love to be able to work more on them, and I probably would in a second draft or so, but just for now, please please please take it as you will because I do have an exam to study for, probably right after I post up an update. When I have more time, I'll be sure to spend more time on all my weak points accordingly. Thank you for your suggestions.
Understand that my writing style for short pieces in English classes differ highly from my fictionpress writings. I feel that right now, my stories here on fictionpress are still in their first drafts and will definitely need to be tweaked. This is why I appreciate and adore all your constructive criticism, but at the same time, if I don't immediately get to correcting something (like False Facades, still in its full awkward glory), please understand that I did read your comments and I did take them into consideration and that once I get the time, when I remember, I would immediately jump on it. I'm not ignoring you, especially not you right there, sitting in front of your computer with a mug of Lipton tea. Thank you so much for your patience and understanding.
A while back however, I was plagued with several plagiarism incidents with certain individuals taking my story and reposting it on another site. After dealing with this one time too many, I got fed up and I removed most of False Facades in an attempt to protect my copyrights.Since then, I've been concentrating on my studies and reformatting plans for my writings. I've contemplated leaving Fictionpress all together, but to be honest, I've become addicted to its community and the amount of support and response from readers and authors there have made me realize that I can't just pry myself away. I've received messages that have really touched me and they've reminded me of my belief that there is still more good than bad out there in the world.
Thus, I'm establishing this blog to try to keep track of my thoughts and writings and to keep my readers updated on my progress as I try to hone my writing skills and venture back into fictionpress. Wish me luck?
A major factor is because I've finally realized that with the way my fictionpress profile is going, it's going to end up as an encyclopedia rather than a brief bio.
Second, I'll like to keep track of all my past author's notes rather than deleting them all to make space.
Third, most of my notes on fictionpress tend to get away from me and they belong more on a blog than there.
And fourth, this can finally be the outlet where my lil scribblings, writings, and sometimes, my not so lil rants belong. :)
For the following first couple of posts, I'll be importing my recent author's notes from fictionpress to clear up my bio, including the ones regarding the recent plagiarism incidents and my decision to remove False Facades from fictionpress. Please stay tune for new updates on future updates and plans I'm brainstorming for my fictionpress stories including False Facades soon. Much thanks!