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Hey there! I’ve been quiet on this little blog here for the past couple of years. Because life. And, also, because I’ve been using some of my spare time to actually work on the novel, now called Because of Palawan, that I started back in 2010 or 2011. And guess what? This past September I finished it. That moment when you write “The End”? It finally happened! Hurray, hurray!

So now the next phase is rewrite, fix the problems*, get beta readers and editors. Fix the problems yet again. And while doing that, decide whether to Indie publish, or seek traditional publishing.

Honestly, I always thought I would Indie publish. I’ve been following the news in books over these past years. As an unknown newbie, my chances of landing a marvelous traditional publishing deal are miniscule. But, this past weekend, events unfolded that led me to attempt the traditional publishing route. So I’ve sent out query letters to several agents. We’ll see where that goes.

Stay tuned. I understand this process involves eons of waiting, and the necessity for thick skin because of probable rejections.

Am I up for that? I don’t know, this is a new journey. But here’s a quote that’s helped me the past few months, as going public with my little project loomed large:

“Scared is what you’re feeling. Brave is what you’re doing.” 

― Emma Donoghue

Cover

It’s fun to try to conceptualize the story through a cover, so I’ve played with Canva.com. You can see two trial efforts here. The one below is based on a photo I took at Nagtabon Beach, with the little outrigger in the foreground. That’s Palawan to me. The more recent one, above, focuses on a pensive girl looking out to sea. What is she looking for, or waiting for?

Title

And over the past years, my book has gone through six titles. Here’s the latest: Because of Palawan. What do you think of this one?

This is the list. . . I started with By the Sulu Sea. I love that one. It’s intriguing, exotic, but I decided I wanted ‘Palawan’ in the title.

So the next was Palawan (mis)Adventures, but I thought that sounded too ‘chick lit’.

So I went on then to Palawan Discoveries. I wasn’t too happy with that, because it sounded like a guidebook.

So moved on to What Happened on Palawan. But if you Google “what happened on Palawan” all the hits refer to the Palawan massacre at the end of World War II. I didn’t think this little book held up to that sobering company.

Next was It Happened on Palawan. But my editor girlfriend said she didn’t like titles starting with ‘it.’ And then when I reflected, it also seemed a bit suggestive.

Now coming around to Because of Palawan. We’ll see if this one sticks!

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*Curious about what the ‘problems’ were that needed fixing? One was names. I put a lot of thought into the main characters’ names, but as I was writing along, I’d come to a minor character, and instead of stopping to craft the right name, I’d just throw a name in there and keep writing. Another was time frame. Did the timeline work? Should she be on the island two months or three months? And a dozen other things. Not to mention grammar and spelling.