Wednesday, August 30, 2006


"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page." - Saint Augustine

According to my mother, I learned to be creative in my writing style long before I learned my grammar. I won my very 1st writing award in a most unusual of conditions – I was in Grade 1, I was attending a Chinese school, and my award was “Best in Sentence Construction”. I still am amused by the memory.

In medical school, grammar was set aside in favor of long sentences that described the patient’s conditions. It’s like doing a Jose Saramago – sentences without quotation marks, un-hyphenated or sprouting daisy chains of commas designed to further muddle already-dulled senses. Saramago won the Nobel in 1988. Maybe the Committee should start looking into our patient reports.

Last August 26, we had the honor of having Rica Bolipata-Santos as a guest speaker for our first writing workshop entitled An Introduction to Creative Non-Fiction. She was a most exuberant speaker, a virtual waterfall of jokes and laughter, ideas and brain teasers that just won’t run dry. Out of 52 who enlisted, only 39 showed up. Sadly, even though this 1st of a five series of workshops had success written all over it, the low turnout of attendees from SPi is akin to having rain coming down on our parade. Without trying to sound sour, I daresay that the gains of the 39 who attended are the loss of those who didn’t. Some best opportunities come only once and Ms. Santos is a very busy lady. For now, buying a copy of her new book, Love, Desire, Children, Etc.: Reflections of a Young Wife, is the only way to redeem yourselves.

On a happier note, we are finally launching Project R.E.A.D. (Reading as Exploration And self-Development). I have always loved books – we all do, I am sure – and it’s a waste to see books lying about after the first read. We are happy to have friends who have opened their private libraries to us and have their books lent to SPi employees to read and enjoy. We owe them our deepest appreciaton for their generosity.

It has been said many times before that reading is one of the best ways to explore and learn. We hope that you too can benefit in the same manner as we have and take advantage of this exciting offering.

Our 2nd workshop is on September 9. The Alitaptap Storytellers Club will be giving a crash course on writing for, and telling stories to, children. Snacks and lunch are on us. You have absolutely no reason not to come this time.

Best regards,

Dylan Yap Gozum / Editorial Director, BACKSPACE

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