#romanceclass lecture: Journalists (August 6, 2016)
After the great experience with the lecture with the musicians, I decided not to do another lecture until we had just as good a panel. We found out then that we had people coming in from far outside Manila and it had to be worth it. I know how much time is worth and I wasn’t going to ask it of people if it would just be a so-so thing.
But then… Atom Araullo said yes. Haha.
Atom Araullo, if you’re not aware, is a former kid show host, applied physics major, student activist. He works as a journalist, probably now most known for being the guy who covered the storm surge in Tacloban, and does all that and gives us disaster preparedness tips on TV.
He is also–what do they call it these days–an “internet boyfriend.” (Google his name + “sapiosexual”) Since the point of the lectures is to contextualize romance novel characters, he was someone we definitely wanted to invite. It took a while and some scheduling, but he said yes.
Pia Arcangel-Halili is, pardon my language, a badass. We went to college together and I knew she was great at a bunch of things: debate, taekwondo, and the broadcast media coverage she was beginning to do even then. She’s been a host, journalist, and now most often seen as news anchor.
She also said yes.
When I set up this lecture I did not tell them who would be showing up as speakers. I just said stuff like this:
The next #romanceclass lecture will be on Aug 6, Sat, Books and Borders Tomas Morato. Email me to reserve your slot 🙂 More details soon
— Mina V. Esguerra (@minavesguerra) June 20, 2016
Because of the nature of their jobs, the event could be cancelled for any reason. And true enough Atom had sudden changes in his work schedule all the way up to Saturday morning–but he insisted he’d make it.
We didn’t cancel.
We hoped, like when your MC’s plans fall to pieces at the end of Act 2, that it wouldn’t end there — that Act 3 would have your LI (love interest) coming through, making good on his promises. grand gesture and all that.
Obviously, he was there, on time, and all that.
When we invite “guest speakers,” we ask them for their comments on what they think of certain romance tropes. We writers like writing these things, and sometimes we draw from imagination and fiction, but it’s good to check in with people who live these lives to find out if we nailed it, or didn’t.
I’m not the best person to recap the actual discussion, sadly. I was facilitating the thing and I wasn’t taking notes. Atom and Pia shared great answers, and made us aware of a bunch of things:
Their work is hard work. You need to be dedicated.
After a while, the drive and ambition it takes to succeed becomes part of you.
They don’t have time to do anything else, unless they carve out time and sacrifice something else.
They might work in front of the camera but when it comes to their lives they prefer private, personal things. Small gestures. Quiet places. Open spaces.
The #romanceclass authors and readers are a fun group to plan things for. I mean, this shirt was designed without any confirmation of who the guest was. Hope prevailed.
Atom seemed to be okay with it.
It was fun catching up with Pia and “introducing” her in a new way to this group of people. I’ve always thought Pia was Main Character material, and now they know it too!
I realize that when I put out an invite to a “lecture” people probably have a different idea in mind all together. But this is how we do it. Writing and publishing is work, but finding inspiration and “researching” can be fun.
“What’s next?” someone asked me MINUTES after we ended the thing. Honestly? I don’t know. I don’t know if we can operate at this level of nerves/excitement regularly. We’ll take a break for a little bit and see what happens!
Thank you and I hope the support for our books continues!
Video recap by Chi Yu Rodriguez!
Additional support for this event was provided by JMD Copy and Print Shop. Thank you, JMD! Shirt made by WearDPT. Held at Book and Borders Cafe, Tomas Morato, QC. Panel put together by Agay Llanera, Miren B. Flores, and me.