Thursday, March 3, 2011

Friday Field Trip: Big Toes and Boracay Island

“You can tell a lot about a place by how it feels between your toes. Shelley’s ten digits took great pride in their astute ability to judge an area’s character. Her left big toe was an especially thoughtful observer. By instinct, it could tell within seconds of touching the ground if a place was rough, slippery, or soft. Now it decided, as Shelley waded to the shore, that this particular island required a whole different category of praise. Paradise came close, but that rang a bit trite. A happy accident, it thought—a string of mishaps, to be precise—suited it much better. Shelley’s toe was utterly convinced that Boracay had not come about on purpose. If it had, it would be forced to accuse God of favoritism— something that the Catholic in it refused to let it do.”*

p. 260, Before Ever After


Welcome, campers! Glad you could join us for our Friday Field Trip. (I know, I know. It's not Friday yet, but I'll be toiling at the proofreading mines tomorrow so we're borrowing the Tardis and taking a quick trip to the future.) Today we’re headed to one of my personal favorite settings in the book – Boracay!

Boracay is an island in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines and has been named as one of the top ten beaches in the world.

But I won’t waste my breath attempting to describe it to you. Hop on the van, follow the red umbrella, and see it for yourself. (By the way, my eight-year old son took some of the photos in this video. I find that kids really see things from such a different and fascinating perspective. Can you spot which photographs are his?) And while you’re there, make sure you try the Calamansi (Philippine lemon) muffins.


music: "Waiting in Vain" by Annie Lennox

*Copyright © 2011 by Samantha Sotto-Yambao


33 comments:

kellyhashway said...

Great excerpt! And what amazing photos! I'm jealous.

C.M. Villani said...

Ahhhhhh....wow. O_O
Those photos were amazing! The place looks absolutely gorgeous!!! Paradise is right.

As for your son's pictures - I'd have to guess most of the ones that look like they were taken while looking up (mainly in the beginning). :D Oh! and the one of the three footprints in the sand. :D

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Kelly - Thanks! The photos still don't do justice to the island. It's one of those places that need to be on everyone's bucket list. :)

Christina - Wow! You guessed right!!! Take a bow, girl!

meaganfrank said...

Sooo happy to have a moment to feel like I am not holed up in my kitchen here in Minnesota cursing the snow that is falling AGAIN outside my window. Great excerpt...it sounds like a fantastic book!!

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Thanks, Meagan!! I have relatives in Minnesota and they're desperate to thaw out too. Glad the video helped warm you up. :D

Catherine Stine said...

Wow, I'd love a beach right now! Awesome photos.

Deborah Lawrenson said...

You are a terrific writer, Samantha with a lovely toe-touch for quirky detail. Take it easy with the proofs!

KLZ said...

I would LOVE to be sitting on a beach right now.

Cathy Kozak said...

What a wonderful trip and what a fine tour guidess you - excerpts, muffins, world class beaches. How will we ever repay you!
http://cathykozak.com

MuMuGB said...

Impressive! Exactly what I needed in cold London...what are you doing there? And when will your book be published? Can't wait now! Enjoy the beach.
Www.mumuGB.blogspot.com

Elizabeth Young said...

Beautiful blog, beautiful post, beautiful visit!

Jennifer Hillier said...

Great post! I've never been to Boracay (only been to the Philippines once in my life) but I might be going in December if everything works out. Man, that would be awesome. Everybody raves about the beach.

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Catherine - Thanks! Wish I could email you some virtual sun and sand :)
Deborah - Awww...thank you!!!
KLZ - *hands you a mojito* :D
Cathy - Having you guys in the van with me is more than enough :)
MuMuGB - Thanks!! I'm actually not in Boracay right now, but we do hop over there at least once a year. You can usually find me sitting under a palm tree sipping a banana shake around October. Before Ever After is being released on Aug 2 :D
Elizabeth - Thank you! So glad you liked it! :-)
Jennifer -Oh, wow! December is an awesome time to go to Boracay. It's peak season at that time so make sure you book early. Discovery Shores is the BEST place to stay. They anticipate your every need (they even clean your sunglasses while you lounge by the beach!).

Hillary Jacques said...

Oh, this is wonderful. Love the tie-in to the book, and I could fall asleep watching your slide show.

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Hillary - I hope the book doesn't have the same effect as the slide show. LOL ;-)

Kate Evangelista said...

It's nice to find another Filipina about to get published in the States. I'm an agented YA writer. My novel is actually making the rounds to publishers, so I'm waiting too. We should set up an interview some time. I would love to have you over at Reads, Reviews, Recommends.

mymommyconfessions said...

GALING! I LOOOOOVE the excerpt! I had Cupid read it too. All he could say was, "WOW!" I can tell that your novel will be a bestseller, Sam! To say that I am EXCITED is an understatement!

Great Boracay photos too! I really cannot distinguish which ones are yours and which are Nico's. :)

- Mia

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Kate - Hi! *tackle hugs* So nice to meet you! Would love to drop by your site for an interview. Good luck with your submission! Fingers and toes crossed for you :D

Mia - Awwww...thanks Mia!!! I'm super THRILLED that you guys enjoyed it! I hope to share more of the flavor of the book when my "real" website is up and running. Stay tuned! (Nico's pics are the ones taken from unusual angles. He loves taking pictures of small details.) :D

M Kathy Brown said...

Sam ~
First of all, thanks for stopping by my site - I never take it lightly.
Second: It's not fair to keep promoting your book like that when I can't go out and buy it yet! lol
Third: I absolutely love this post!! I could watch your slide show twice a day for a week and it wouldn't be too much - for reals :~)
And last...The kid pics are just as good, just as intriguing, as the rest...another natural born artiste!

(Florida) Girl said...

Beautiful words, my dear. You are indeed talented.

Any words of advice for someone in the editing phase of a first manuscript? My days skip between daunted and joyful...and I endlessly wrestle with "is this good enough."

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Kathy - Thanks for swinging by! :D Feel free to play the slideshow and warm your hands by the computer screen as often as you like (ironically, it's cold and rainy over here as I type this! LOL). ;-) I'll let the kiddo know you like his pics. He'll be thrilled!

Florida Girl - Awww...thanks, sweetie :D If you feel daunted and joyful then i would say that you're absolutely on the right track with your editing ;-) Editing an MS is like eating an ice cream cone - do it when it's cold, from the top to bottom, and lick off the drips as you go along. The only difference is that you can actually finish eating an ice cream cone. A book, however, will never ever be quite done. "“Books are never finished, they are merely abandoned.” Oscar Wilde

Leah said...

Love the excerpt, I can't wait to read your novel! Now if I could just get fast enough internet to be able to watch the whole video...it took about 10 minutes to load the first 35 sec, which was more than enough to make me want to see the whole thing! The computer may just have to think overnight for me ;o) Definitely a wonderful little escape from the snowy Montana winter/spring/mud I'm in at the moment, thanks lady!

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Thanks, Leah! Sorry about the slow download. I'll try to figure out how to post videos that can be viewed faster. I seriously lack YouTube ninja skills. LOL. Sending tropical thoughts your way! :D

Dizzy C said...

lovely excerpt from your book.

enjoy ur weekend
carol

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Thanks,Carol! Have a great one too! :)

Kara said...

I loved the excerpt from your book. When will it be released, because you can sign me up for a copy? And the photos are beautiful. Wish I was there!

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Thanks, Kara! So happy you liked it! The book will be released Aug 2. I hope I don't go crazy before then. LOL. Enjoy your weekend! :D

Deborah Lawrenson said...

Hi Samantha,
Quick message to say I have given you a Lovely Blogger award!

mymommyology said...

Oh my gosh, there's mention of Boracay in the book?! (Happy gasp!)
Na-excite ako lalo, hahaha. I miss Boracay, to be honest. I can't wait to go back.

And the pictures are gorgeous. :)

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Yes!!! And it's not just a "mention" :D Hey, when you get back, we should go to Boracay together. Kris and I have been talking about a joint vacation! :)

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Awww...thanks for the award, Deborah! :D

Sam

ocmominmanila.com said...

Calamansi muffins + Jack's Omelette + Marc Nelson (aka Max of the Philippine Islands)

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

OCMom - OMG. Marc Nelson, if you're reading this, you know where to find me ;-) LOL