wanted to learn it the Thomasian way. Unti l today, even as I write this column, I find that it still rings true to me, perhaps even more so.

The experience of being a campus writer is defi nitely fi lled with a series of ups and downs—of beginnings and endings. Coincidentally, my beginning here at the
Flame started with an ending—a failure. I walked into the exam room thinking I was going to take an exam for the university-wide writers’ guild, an organizati on I had signed up for a few weeks back. To my surprise, a group of unfamiliar faces greeted me as I entered the room, and when I asked them where the writers’ guild exam was, they told me I must have been mistaken, that this was the exam room for the college newsletter. My cheeks burned in embarrassment. Puzzled, I stiffly took an exam sheet and asked them if I could try-out anyway. They nodded and I made my way to the nearest seat and sunk into it.

Being a creati ve writer, first and foremost, I did not understand the nuances of journalistic writing (they informed me that they were not holding exams for literary writers then and would just absorb those who made it into the writers’ guild later on), but I answered the sheet to the best of my ability, which was next
to none. To no one’s surprise, the day the results were put up, my name did not make it in the list of passers.

I learned a valuable lesson there, which I sti ll carry with me as I conti nue to put pen to paper—to always, always, always keep the pen moving—that if one wants to become a writer, then one must learn to live as a writer. One must see things in different shades, colors, and lights; one must have “writer” writt en on the skin of her heart. Luckily, because I kept the pen moving, I got into the writers’ guild, and a
year later, got absorbed into the
Flame by the then-literary editor who became a great friend of mine.

And so it began.

Although I only spent two years working for the
Flame, the college publicati on surely taught me more than I ever bargained to learn. Through it I gained the friendship of other young and talented writers who
have indeed enriched my experience. I learned to listen to their bright ideas and to see the world of writing through their eyes, through their words, and through their styles. I had the privilege to listen to their stories and to learn from them, and I made sure that they too learned from me—we left indelible marks on each other’s hearts and lives, becoming a family in the process, through every cycle sent out.

Flame taught me the meaning of words like discipline, time (deadlines, deadlines, deadlines!), respect, and teamwork— words that oft en take a long ti me to learn. The publicati on indeed pushed me to become a better writer, not to wait for the light of inspirati on to come. It made me come to realize that perhaps, if I searched long and hard enough, the light of inspirati on is just inside, waiti ng to be ignited. Perhaps, I am the light I am waiti ng for. Just maybe.

Flame also taught me the importance of sharing—that writi ng is not an individualisti cart, that my craft and the technique that I learned through my mentors, and that which I will learn, is not mine alone. My craft is to be shared and to be used to mold younger writers who carry the same passion for writing in their hearts. Together we will create the voice of this generation—the voice of a new generation—to say we are here, to say we are indeed, alive.

Like all beginnings, this column ends with a series of thank yous because a writer never stands alone in her success. In fact, she does not own her success. If she does, she owns but a little. No words would have came from me and no ink would have spilled onto my paper if it was not for the people who stood behind me and believed in me when I did not believe in myself.

My deepest gratitude goes out fi rst and foremost to my mother, who is and will always be the light of all my literary undertakings. I love you, mom! To my aunts, uncles, and cousins (whom I have held dear like siblings), thank you for your unending belief in me, despite my craziness! Thank you for filling my heart with love, and my shelves with the magic of books.

To all my literary mothers and fathers, all of you have inspired me to no end to continue on with writing and pursuing the literary discipline so that I might someday follow in the footsteps of your greatness.

To my muses and all those I have loved and writt en for, for those whom my ink have spilled, I thank you for helping me grow both as a writer and as a person.

To my co-editors and writers, thank you so much for putti ng up with me and my errati c musings (ha, ha, ha!). Thank you for the patience and for believing that no matt er how late I (read: my arti cles) will come, I will come, soon! To friendship and to writing! To my circle of friends who have been with me through my
ups and downs and accepted me even at my worst, unending thanks and a free-fl owing sea of love to all of you.

To all the other great young writers whom I had the privilege of meeti ng, conversing, and growing in the craft with through the four years that have passed, thank you for your presence in my life. Let us all remember that this is but the beginning for all of us. Let us conti nue to grow and to make the words dance on the pages we will soon write. And now, it is ti me for me to write a new beginning!
YR 47 Issue 1 2011
Ink and Paper     ZENDY VICTORIA SUE G. VALENCIA, Letters Editor
I begin to write the end
THIS column crawls out of my mind’s corners hesitantly as I wonder how to begin to write the end. In my four years as a campus writer, I have come to realize that it is the end that is hardest to write. It is because in the end, the writer questi ons if it is worth to begin at all. As I look back on my journey into writi ng and becoming a Thomasian writer, I tell the reader of this column (whoever you are), that yes, it is indeed worth it to begin. Perhaps, you should, too.

My journey began with an epiphany—no, a statement—inside the four walls of an English classroom that defi ned my entire stay at the University. The professor asked all of us why we chose to take up Literature. My heart leapt with excitement at the questi on and almost immediately, I had an answer for her, “
Because I want to become a writer, and I do not want to learn the craft any other way but the Thomasian way.’’

I remember saying that with such convicti on back then, not because it seemed like the ideal answer, but because for some unspoken reason, I knew deep inside me  that it was true. I wanted   to become a writer, and I
Year 47 |  Issue 3 |  2011
Year 47 |  Issue 4 |  2012