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Updated Website Layout & New Short Abstract

I’ve been hit with a bout of inspiration today (or maybe this has been long coming all month). After working on the nitty-gritty “required” writing of the day, i.e., graduate school applications, I went ahead and started writing a short abstract titled “Raw Opening”. After tweaking this a little, I posted it on my Scribd account and finally decided, “Well, hey, time to upload my new website layout.”

So, after several months of not updating my website: Official Website

It’s a little more simple than last time; can’t go wrong with black & white. I keep thinking that I really need to update my skills in Photoshop and XHTML; my “About” page was giving me trouble in the updating process. It looks a little strange, but, for the time being, it’ll have to do.

The background behind the abstract: really, it all started off from a small Facebook status update while I was taking a break from my applications. The “raw” part comes from two origins:

1) The fact that I wrote this point-blank, with no real edits or anybody else viewing the writing beforehand; and

2) The protagonist’s own raw emotions, slowly exposing themselves over the course of the short piece.

Thoughts? Any constructive criticism and/or praise is welcome as always.

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Quiet Writing Days & Muni Diaries Submissions

Things have been relatively quiet on the writing front lately; not much writing in terms of leisure/pleasure, but exercising my writing muscle at work and through academic essays. I’ve been also reading a lot, flying through a book per week on average. Reading for speed isn’t a big goal of mine, but I find myself feeling quite satisfied when I’m able to pick up a book that’s THAT good that I can’t even put it down for a moment.

I’ve had a few of my older blog posts featured over at Muni Diaries, a local flavor blog on the wonderful public transportation system here. It’s been one of my favorite blogs to read ever since I discovered it via Twitter about a month or two ago; it’s just nice and amusing to read what others have to say/think about their daily bus rides. There’s always something new to write about when riding on the bus anyway: new characters for future writing, interesting conversations picked up, etc.

And in other news, I somehow must have missed the sudden increase, but I just checked and found that I had 15 new fans on my Facebook Page. That’s a rather big jump from the last time I visited the page. It’s great to see that people are checking in on my works (albeit, I haven’t posted recently); just 70 more fans to go before I can customize my URL for my page. It’s not so important, but it’ll make my Page a little more personable, right?

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Cell-phone novels: A Fad or More?

I read about cell-phone novels in the latest issue of The Writer Magazine, and honestly, I hadn’t even thought about cell-phone novels before the article (didn’t even know they existed). According to the article, this genre really took off in Japan (not surprised), and is just now starting to catch on in the US (isn’t it always like that when it comes to technology/trends?). The point of a cell-phone novel is material posted serially via, you guessed it, cell-phones. 140 characters per post–sounds like Twitter to me. Two websites, Quillpill and Textnovel have popped up in the US serving this genre: post your clips on the sites, get user feedback, and, possibly win a prize for a well-written cell-phone novel.

I think this genre has potential, but it also seems too early to tell since I had never even heard of this genre before I read the article. Since the article was featured in The Writer Magazine, I’m not sure if non-writing folk know of this genre just yet.

For some people, reading novels on a cellphone works for them; for me, I still prefer to hold an old-fashioned book and read that way. I am sure there is still a considerable number of people who prefer to read books the old-fashioned way.

Also, I took a look at the two websites earlier and my first impression of both places (in terms of layout/usability of the site) was not so great. Quillpill had a cleaner look than Textnovel, but Quillpill was also pretty dark with colors. Textnovel uses lighter colors, but I can’t help but feel like the colors don’t work so well in usability either. The point of the websites is not to show off great layouts, but still…when it comes to drawing people in to use their services, it’d be better to have layouts that are usable and attractive to some sense.

But, that’s besides the point of what Quillpill and Textnovel are offering. Would I consider signing up with one of the websites to try things out? Well, I’d consider it, but I believe I could do the same (write a “cell-phone”/serial novel) via Twitter. The difference between Twitter and the other two sites is that Twitter doesn’t have the votes/feedback options. Textnovel offers a contest for the best written cell-phone novel, and one Textnovel writer is actually in the process of getting her novel published traditionally. Sounds like a good deal, right?

I’ll probably wait on this prospect since I’m already bogged down by my backlog of blog entries and other writing projects. I already post little clips of potential stories to Twitter, so I’m not sure if I’d be able to utilize Quillpill or Textnovel fully. Would you try these services out? Do you think the cell-phone novel can survive?

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Winter Box of Memory Uploaded.

It seems to take me some time to get through revisions for my short stories; tonight I got around to uploading another story to my website and to Scribd. This one is titled “Winter Box of Memory,” and, as you can tell from the title, it has a winter/holiday theme to it since I wrote it in mid-December.

You can view the story either via Scribd (must have iPaper software/application installed) or download it as a PDF from my website. As always, feedback is appreciated at my Comments blog post.

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Featured on Scribd

Well, a pleasant surprise to the start of my Sunday: I usually check my email in the mornings, and today I was greeted with a notification email from Scribd. The email said that four people had indicated that they Liked my short story, “Riches to Rags”; I checked up on my post at the website and saw that somehow my story ended up having 300+ views in the past day. Surprising, until I noticed that the post had been awarded as Featured on the Scribd homepage. Nice, very nice.

So, check out the feature, read it, and if you like it, please let me know. Post some comments as well, let me know what you really think about the story. There’s always room for more improvement.