#HarryPotter20

My life is marked by so many Harry Potter memories that if you plot them out on a timeline, you would see them spread out through about two-thirds of my life.

I’ve been celebrating the Harry Potter 20th anniversary for two years now (2017 for the UK anniversary, and 2018 for the US anniversary) and the last two years have been no less magical than the moment I read my first Harry Potter book. It’s definitely been a grand adventure, from the Harry Potter pilgrimage that took my friends and I from London to the wilds of Scotland (read: Cursed Child and the House of Minalima, the Warner Brothers London Studio Tour,  and Scotland I will write about for Harry’s birthday this year — come back to read it, please!) down to today’s festivities: a tea party to launch the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary covers by Caldecott award-winning illustrator Brian Selznick.

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Elaine Castillo on America Is Not The Heart, writing, and diversity

I’ve been taking introversion to new levels this year, the but I’m glad I made an exception this weekend, because I got to meet Elaine Castillo, author of “America Is Not The Heart,” who was in Manila for the Philippine International Lit Fest, right in time for the release of her acclaimed debut novel.

So I’m outside of my hidey-hole (and back on my blog, yay!), with a story for ABS-CBN News (here: http://news.abs-cbn.com/life/04/23/18/millennial-fil-am-writer-elaine-castillo-releases-debut-novel), and the interview in full below.

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Well played, Big Bad Wolf

(Wherein resistance is futile)

I thought I was over my book hoarding phase. I mean, I did a major purge of my bookshelves last year and my hallway library was finally beginning to look like it could hold all my books, and then, bam! I met the Big Bad Wolf.

I’ve heard of legends, of course. Myra, my book blogger friend in Singapore, has always raved about her Big Bad Wolf expeditions and her monster hauls. My sister also happened to come across a BBW sale in Penang a few years back, and told me it was created for people like me.

Still, though, I don’t think I was prepared to fail so spectacularly at keeping things in check! Last night our book club descended on the preview, and it was epic — I spent more than five hours in there and still wasn’t completely satisfied, so I actually braved going back this morning, and it was worth it.

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Postscript: You Write To Me, I’ll Write to You

Last year, the Scholastic Asian Book Award (SABA), in partnership with the Philippine Board on Books for Young People  (PBBY), launched “You Write to Me, I’ll Write to You,” a manuscript critique initiative that aspires to motivate Filipino writers while assisting them to get their manuscript in shape and recognizing excellence in Asian writings.

A total of 6 entries (the brief synopses and opening pages of 6 manuscripts) were shortlisted to receive a review and written feedback from Barry Cunningham, discoverer of J.K. Rowling, and managing director of Chicken House UK.

Joel Donato Jacob’s manuscript, “Wing of the Locust” was deemed the most outstanding of all the entries and got the amazing opportunity of a full review from Mr. Cunningham and a Skype chat with the publishing legend.

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