Feel-Good Writing Moment
The character Frank Navasky (played by Greg Kinnear) in the movie You’ve Got Mail (one of my all-time favorites before this whole Internet thing became so big) says this to Patricia Eden (played by Parker Posey) during a party:
You liked my piece. God, I’m flattered. You know, you write these things and you think someone’s going to mention them and then the whole week goes by and the phone doesn’t ring and you think, “Oh, God, I’m a fraud, a failure.”
I remembered this when Elisha texted me just before I left for Hong Kong that she loved the interview with Genuine Opposition spokesperson Adel Tamano. Coming from a seasoned writer and journalist (Elisha used to work with Businessworld, and you have to be good to be there), that compliment really made my day.
The article, in itself, has a back story. It was supposed to go online the day I left for Hong Kong to cover the Fashion Week. That Sunday, I thought everything was okay (a rare instance, because I usually do some final tweaking on Sundays before the interview goes online). I was even able to go out of town to see relatives (and that rarely happens with the busy schedule I keep). It was when I got home that Noah, our main tech guy, e-mailed me that the WordPress draft didn’t have the entire article.
“How could that happen?!” I wailed. I dug through my laptop files and discovered to my dismay that I had deleted the edited final transcript after copying it online. Brilliant.
I cried. I must have laughed over the stupidity. I got mad thinking I was sabotaged (but who would?). This does not happen to me before a business trip.
So I didn’t sleep the entire night (which is why at the start of Fashion Week, I was already a tired bag lady) and re-edited the transcript all over again. I must have finished it at 2 a.m., and Kiko kept me company online, listening to me wail, then hurl invectives, then laugh. I told him I had gone through a range of emotions in one sitting, a feat worthy of an Academy Award.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed writing the article (and you probably know one of the reasons). The good thing about it is I was basically starting off a clean slate. Very little has been said about Tamano outside of politics and only one other magazine has done a feature on him (Lifestyle Asia, he tells me; the one with Piolo Pascual on the cover, although I have yet to see it), so I never worried about asking him questions that had previously been asked.
On the other hand, the fact that very little has been said about him also proved difficult in that I had nothing specific to ask about (if you notice, most of the questions are quite general; I think I had about 10 general questions on my list and just followed up from there). While there was a ton of quotes to sift through concerning his political existence, nothing has been said about his personal life, his hobbies, or his growing-up years.
The fact that Tamano is quite articulate and a very organized thinker made a big difference because I didn’t have a hard time editing the transcript. I liked the fact that even while he’d segue into other offhand topics, he’d remember to go back to the original thread. Which was very helpful, especially since anybody interviewing would always be at a loss (and I need not say why). Even after I sent that final piece through, I was still kilig about it. Who wouldn’t be?
After the interview, we chatted a bit about my personal woes and seeking child support, and he offered to take on my case for “a very minimal sum.” Wow. That was really heartwarming. I told him I’d think about it (I still am thinking about it, several weeks later!), but my family is a bit concerned how the case will affect everybody involved. It’s still up in the air, but I like the idea that in case I decide to pursue it, I have a really dependable lawyer in my address book.