So I’m planning to write (and publish) a book…

A friend of mine, who’s a published author, recently started a “90 days to your book challenge” which aims to help participants write and publish their own books.

I joined, and the first homework is to write your own author’s page.

Here’s mine (which is a modification of the info in this blog’s About Page):

ABOUT ME

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The first thing you should know about me is that I’m a husband and father. I’m married to a beautiful girl named Bel and we have two kids — Luke Thomas, who’s almost 5 years old, as of this writing, and Darci Elizabeth, who recently turned 3. We live in Cebu, an island south of Luzon, Philippines.

I have a crazy dream. Do you want to know what it is? Well, it’s to be a great writer! Crazy, right? Audacious? Bold? Lofty? Yes, yes, and yes. But if you dream, you might as well dream big. And if you want to be a writer, you might as well be a great writer. So my dream is to be no less than a great writer — a great, prolific, best-selling, sought-after, award-winning writer of short stories, flash fiction, essays, poems (maybe), and novels.

So I see this book as a kind of first step to this great dream.

Contained herein are 90 stories I wrote over a 90-day period. That means one story every single day. The rationale behind this is that I wanted to compel myself to write every day (sometimes, you have to force yourself to be creative, otherwise, you will be at the mercy of your ever-shifting passions and moods), and what better way to do that than to challenge yourself to write fiction daily? This book you are now holding is the product of that challenge. I only limited myself to flash fiction, since a full-blown short story will require more time, preparation, and energy to write.

I have published relatively longer short stories in the past, and they have seen print in the pages of the Philippines Graphic, a national newsweekly magazine, and I should add, one of the leading literary magazines in the country. The first appeared in 2013, the second in 2014, and the third in 2016. That’s roughly one short story a year, a rather sad output for a writer who aims to be prolific.

I write poems, too, occasionally, although I’d be shy in showing it to you. I don’t really identify myself as a poet, and I seldom read poetry. Still, one of my poems managed to be included in a poetry anthology called Verses Typhoon Yolanda, which was edited by poet Eileen Tabios and published in the US by Meritage Press.

I write essays, too, every now and again, and I want to be more productive in that respect. I dream of someday having my own column in Inquirer or a local daily.

Didn’t I say my dreams as a writer are lofty? Here’s further proof:

I want to win a few literary awards. Why not, say, the Nick Joaquin Literary Award for Best Short Story? Heck, why not a Palanca, too?

So my ultimate aim is nothing less than writing excellence and greatness. The road before me is extremely long, that’s certain, but I’ll get there eventually. For sure, the journey will be exciting, and I’ll savor every bit of my victories, as well as learn from the defeats.

I invite you to follow me in my road to writing greatness! Tell me what you think of this book. You may email me at dantecualesjr@yahoo.com. I’m also on Twitter as @josephdc22 and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/dante.cuales.jr).

I’m simultaneously excited and terrified.

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