Tuesday, December 18, 2012


So about the same time last year, I remember being pissed on the HIMYM episode where it was revealed that Robin would never have a child.

Now, I just finished HIMYM's latest episode, a one hour special aptly titled, "The Final Page," and I must say that I'm quite impressed. Though it was quite obvious, (since we already know that Barney and Robin would eventually get married,) I still couldn't help but grip the edge of my seat as Robin tried to reason out to Ted on how she didn't want to make an ass out of herself again... well, we all know what happened next.

I'm honestly more interested about Robin and Barney than meeting Ted's wife, but let's see about that.

What are your thoughts?

Friday, November 23, 2012


If you've been following this blog, I am sure that you're well aware of my obsession for this musical drama series. I loved everything about SMASH, and I couldn't wait to watch season 2 and fall in love with the awesome new song/dance numbers as well as new plot twists and new characters! (Goodbye, Elis!!)

So one could imagine my reaction while watching the trailer for the next season which will premiere on February 5, 2013. (Ahh, come sooner dammit!)

SMASH season 2 sneak peak

But then , as much as I loved the 4 minute pure awesomeness of what's about to come, I couldn't help but feel like I'm starting to like Ivy (Megan Hilty) better than Karen.

Anyway, let's just see what happens. :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Lady Sybil is dead

I know that I've written yesterday that this blog would go on a temporary hiatus, but I decided to write a post since I couldn't accept what I just witnessed-or rather watched! Lady Sybil is dead! And yes, she's just a fictional character but dammit!

I began watching Downton Abbey last month after hearing about the fantastic reviews. I usually watch sitcoms like HIMYM and 30 Rock, though I watch dramas from time to time likewith SMASH and Once Upon A Time.

Anyway, I just finished watching the latest episode (season 3, episode 5) and I immediately logged in here to rant about what just happened! I knew that either Sybil or the baby would die the moment Sir Phillip and Dr. Clarkson were arguing about bringing Sybil to the hospital. But I still couldn't believe that Julian Fellowes really did decide to kill her!!!! It was unnecessary! Granted Jessica Brown Findlay had less airtime this season, but that wasn't enough to kill her off. Also, It was a horrible way to die. She could've died in her sleep. But where's the drama in that?

Anyway, it's done, and we all have to wait for next week's episode.

That's for now.

Oh, and before I forget, please check out my new blog at http://www.successilism.com

PS Still mourning for her death. :(


Saturday, September 22, 2012

My Exile Lifestyle, a short review


Today I'm going to write a book review of Colin Wright's book entitled, My Exile Lifestyle.

For those of you who do not know who Colin Wright is, check out his About page here. But if you're lazy to click that link then here's a short introduction.

Colin Wright is a designer/writer/full time traveler. What makes him different from the usual digital nomad is the fact that he lets his readers choose (or vote) where his next destination would be.

Anyway, that's about it for an introduction.

My Exile Lifestyle is a book that chronicles Colin's adventures, well, not entirely as there are some essays/musings that are really fun to read...and were not actually related to his travels.

What really got me into buying this book was its book cover.

See what I mean?

I don't want to spoil you guys of a great reading experience, so this review will be short and concise. (Okay, maybe not really concise...sorry. I'm not really good with writing book reviews. And it doesn't help that I've read this one last month.)

Throughout the book, Colin gives us a glimpse of what it’s like to be a traveler. A minimalist traveler to be exact. (Speaking of Minimalism, please do check out The Minimalist by Joshua Millburn)

I've always labeled myself as a minimalist, but after reading My Exile Lifestyle, I realized that I'm not even close at being one. Actually, I thought that minimalism only applies to art. I never imagined that it could become a lifestyle.

Quick trivia: Colin only owns about 51 (I have to check if this is still the exact number.) items in the whole world.

Anyway, this book is filled with guides and some tips on travelling, life lessons, and Colin's adventure from different countries like South America, New Zealand and Thailand. I personally enjoyed his Thailand adventures, especially the fish ball incident. (To Colin, if you're reading this, I couldn't stop laughing when I read that entry.)
I have learned a handful of things with this book, not to mention the urge of packing up my stuff and go on a backpack travel. But then I realized that 1. I don't own a backpack, and 2. I'm not financially ready.

I'm not really a fan of travelogues, but I honestly enjoyed reading My Exile Lifestyle. With that, I'm going to end this post by saying that I'm giving it 5 stars and that you should check it out.

That's for now.



PS. AFAWFAY WEEK 16 is out!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Decreased tax withholding rate on royalties for Non-US


I received a letter in my mailbox today from IRS regarding my EIN application. I actually got my EIN the day I called up the IRS Philadelphia office (which was a month ago,) but I still got excited when I read the letter.

Anyway, as you may have guessed from the title of this post, I will be sharing how I got my EIN number, and why you should get one if you’re earning some royalties from the US. I’m not good with writing tutorials, so please bear with me. (I’m more of a creative writer, in fact, my YA novel, PLEASE STAY is now available in digital formats at AMAZON and SMASHWORDS!)

If you have questions, please feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you soon.

So to start…

I’ve been receiving some income from the US since 2008, and those income came from different streams like POD (print on demand business like Zazzle) and recently with self-publishing, (Smashwords and AMAZON KDP)

Since I’m not a US citizen, I am subjected to a 30% withholding rate. You’ve probably heard of this since you’re reading this post. So moving on, I’ve learned that I needed to submit a completed W-8BEN form indicating that I’m not a US citizen (I’m from the Philippines) and that an existing tax treaty between the US and my country states that I’m eligible to apply for a tax deduction. (in my case, my withholding rate decreased down from 30% to 15%, it depends on your country.)

Getting a W-8BEN form is easy, and you can download it from the IRS website here. But the tricky part is obtaining the ITIN that goes with your W-8BEN application. It’s a long process, and there are a bunch of requirements needed. Luckily, I learned that there’s a much easier way to do it. And this is how…


No, it’s different from ITIN since ITIN is a tax identification number, while an EIN is an employer identification number, but it will still get the job done.


1.       Download  an SS4 form from IRS here and fill it up.

SS4 form sample
(you don't have to print this)

2.       When you’re done, call the IRS office in Philadelphia. YES!! LONG DISTANCE!! It’s worth it, I SWEAR!

Internal Revenue Service
Attn:  EIN International Operation
Philadelphia, PA  19255

Tel # +1 267 941 1099 (I used my mobile phone and it took me about 15 min.)
Phone service available from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm (EST) M-F

You will then be asked some questions which are found in the SS4 form you just accomplished. And since this is a telephone exchange, you’ll have to spell out your name and address letter by letter.

You will then be asked for a reason why you’re applying for an EIN, in which case you’ll answer that it’s for online royalties. As for my own experience, I was asked for the kind of royalties I’m receiving and I said it was for e-books. (Though it can also apply for others such as selling shirts, apps etc.)

She then put me on hold for about a minute and she came back with my EIN number! Yes, that’s how fast it was!

After receiving your EIN, you will then proceed with filling up your W-8BEN Form.

W-8BEN form sample
(you have to print it)

Don’t forget to write “SELF” in the blank that says Capacity in which acting below beside the SIGN HERE portion and you’re done.

I haven’t yet submitted my form to Zazzle, but I already did with my Smashwords and Amazon KDP, and they already changed my withholding from 30% to 15%.

Again, the rate of your withholding depends on the tax treaty between your country and the US.


So that’s it! I primarily wrote this post for people looking for a solution for the 30% withholding tax rate, and since there are a few of them, I thought that sharing my own experience would help a lot of people.

Again, if you have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. :D

Thank you and good day!


P.S Don’t forget to checkout my novel PLEASE STAY.

P.P.S I’m on twitter too! @denisewy

Saturday, September 1, 2012

AFAWFAY 13 And Some Musings

I know that I've announced on an earlier post that I wouldn't post updates regarding AFAWFAY in this blog. But I just want to share this week's challenge. :)

Having read some interesting blogs and books these past few days had made me realize something. I WRITE CRAPPY POST along with my weekly design challenge. I know that it’s not an unobvious thing, but I couldn’t help but be ashamed of myself. So that’s why, I’ve decided to write something that would somehow share things that happened to me this week. (Which is something I should’ve done with my earlier posts!)
My week started okay, I finished a project (at work) and went on starting a new one. For some strange reason, there was something about the project that felt uncomfortable to me. I don’t know what it was, but anyway, I was able to pull it off. Then yesterday (Friday) the design came back with A LOT of revisions. Apparently, I wasn’t paying attention to the details that were important to the project. AND I FELT FREAKING BAD.
I wasn’t reprimanded, but that didn’t stop me from feeling bad about myself (as stated above,) and I began asking myself, “What the hell was I thinking?” Which eventually had me thinking if I’m really right for the job I’m currently in. (I do tend to over think stuff.)
My friends think highly of me, and they always think that I’m likely to succeed in whatever endeavors I take. But at that moment, on my way home, I couldn’t stop thinking that I’m nothing but a dreamer, who does nothing to make that dream come true. And I felt like a big fraud.
As for my job, I’m happy with it. I mean, sure I’m not designing products that will change the world, but I’ve learned a lot things both related to design and well… marketing? But I feel that there’s something missing, or perhaps, the problem is just me. I know I can do great things, but somehow, I’m not giving my all. And with that, I think it’s time that I start changing the way how I look at myself, at the world.
Maybe I should start becoming an optimist for a change.
Okay, with that out of the way, let’s move along with this week’s design.
It’s a bench. Well, I kind of envisioned it as a public bench found on a city, but I guess I would have to make some adjustment for the material if that’s the case.


Weaved Rattan
Noticed something? No bamboo. :D
I planned on designing something inspired from a salmon. (My mom made a killer salmon sandwich the other day.) I started playing around with an organic shape until I decided to change the material then SHAZAM!
It’s actually nice, right? Okay, this is my work so I’m biased, but I like how simple it looks and I love designing furniture that feels just like this.
Anyhow… That’s for now, I got a lot of reading and writing stuff waiting for me. See you next week!
PS I’m on twitter too! @denisewy

Monday, August 27, 2012

Identity crisis or just plain uncertainty?


Okay, so I'm not sure why I'm even writing this.

For those people who are following my blog, you may know me as the industrial designer/aspiring writer who is currently working as a graphic designer and had somehow self-published an eBook. That sounds kinda cool isn't it? Well, at least that's what I think...but that's not how I feel.

I mean, I love design, I sure do. Though I can't say that I'm 100% happy with my current job. I mean, I'm an Industrial Design degree holder but I'm working as a graphic designer. But then again, I have no one to blame but myself for choosing this career path. I know I could've gotten a decent job related to industrial design if I just waited. But as I've said in a post I’ve written months ago. Industrial design careers in the Philippines are mostly (Take note that I used the word mostly not entirely,) limited to shelf design and handicrafts. And I don't find that stuff interesting.

As for being an author of a self-published book. Well, I have this not so secret dream of becoming a New York Times Bestselling author, and I realized that it won't happen unless I write and publish a book...or books. And now that I have done it, I realized that I'm happy, but I'm not yet fulfilled. (No, I’m not a New York Times Bestselling author. I have yet to sell a thousand of books to achieve that dream.)

So what's the problem?

I'm not happy. Right now, I keep on fantasizing about my dream job, which happens to be the one Colin Wright is having. (Do check him out. He's awesome. And no, I don't know him personally.) Sure, I could easily pack my stuff and travel somewhere away from home. But I don't think I have enough finances to survive a month in a foreign country.

Then, I also have this other dream of working as a full time author and publish lots and lots of books.

My friends told me, "why not do both?" and my usual reply were either a shrug or a wry smile.

I thought about how I should brand myself. Should I make another website separate from the one I currently have? Or should I just identify myself as designer/author? (If you're wondering what kind of books I write, its fiction. I don't do self-help stuff. Not when I couldn't even help myself decide what I really want to do with my career.)

In the end, I chose the latter and I'm trying to figure out what my next move is going to be.

Sorry for wasting your time. I promise to write something that makes sense next time.



Sunday, August 12, 2012

I kissed self-publishing hello


I've always wanted to publish my own books. As much as I love reading novels, I realized that I enjoy writing them as well. I'm not a great writer, but I'm proud to say that I'm improving. And also, I love telling stories. Actually, people tell me that the stories I come up with are awesome. Well, that or I just have some really GOOD friends.
I tried my hand in self-publishing two years ago, though it was more of an experiment and I didn't take it seriously. But as I began writing more stories, I realized that I really do want to become a designer/writer. For some of you who are new here in my blog, let it be known that I'm a designer by day. An industrial/graphic designer to be exact. And I also love furniture design. I'm actually good at it. If you have any doubts, please visit http://afawfay.tumblr.com and be amazed! (Sorry, I got carried away)

Anyway, back to the topic. The first story I ever wrote was a novella entitled 337 days. It's about this guy who was diagnosed with brain cancer, went into an I-don't-care-about-my-life-anymore sort of depression until he met the woman who would eventually make him love life again. Yes, I know it's a cliché but hey, I've written that story when I was eighteen! And I kind of enjoyed reading tear jerking books, which eventually inspired me to write my own. Now, 3 years later, I've been coming up with more stories that I'm actually having a hard time choosing which one to write first.

I have written a total of five novels. Among those five, two of them were my greatest work. Greatest in a sense that I've improved A LOT ever since writing the first three, and they were the ones I felt truly proud of. I've actually submitted them to some literary agents, and just like my fellow aspiring New York Times bestselling authors, the manuscripts got rejected. I was determined to try again until I came across successful self-published authors. Learning about their success stories greatly inspired me and I decided to take self-publishing seriously. That being said, I unpublished my crappy books (the ones from my experiment escapades) and I plan on publishing the really good ones I wrote.

My book Please Stay is now currently available for online purchase at $0.99 (and no, it's not a promotional gimmick. It shall stay at that price for as long as the book is available for download, which would be...forever?) And I'm currently working for a sequel.

If you are wondering if Please Stay is one of my so-called "greatest works," the answer would be, yes. And if you're asking about the "other" one, well, I've decided not to publish it just yet. Don't ask me why, I'm not certain of the reason either.

The truth is, I have some qualms about getting my hands on self-publishing full-time. I am aware that there are a number of people who look down on self-publishing authors, thinking they're not good enough. That no publishing house would want to take their books, thus they resolved to self-publishing, a.k.a vanity publishing for others. (While there are some who just want to self-publish for fun) As a writer myself, that hurts. I've actually read a lot of self-published works at feed books that are so great I kept on wondering why they're not published under big publishing houses. At the same time, I've also read books that are published traditionally yet they're...uhh, for the lack of euphemism...crappy. Seriously. Have you guys read the works of S.C Stephens? If you hadn't, you should! They're really awesome.

One of the good things about self-published works is the fact that since they're self-published, the books written by these unknown authors have some unique and individual style that's refreshing and entertaining at the same time. Since the manuscript had never fallen to the hands of an editor who would care more about the cash he/she would earn rather than the story itself, the manuscript would never be transformed into a so-called industry standard that might be categorized as something that would "sell." Don't get me wrong, but as I've said earlier, there are a lot of traditionally published books out there in the market that are so terrible they end up on the sale pile just to get rid of them. (And I'm talking about books with 50-70% off price mark!)

Anyway, that's for now. Sorry for the abrupt conclusion but I suddenly remembered that I should be working on something.



P.S. Please Stay is available at Amazon Kindle and Smashwords for $0.99. Don't forget to check it out. :D

Friday, August 10, 2012


I am sad to announce that I won't be posting AFAWFAY weekly updates in this blog. This is to pave way for my journey as a self-published author. Yup, you read that right! So if you want to follow AFAWFAY, you'll have to go to http://afawfay.tumblr.com

That being said, I am happy to announce that my new novel Please Stay is now available for purchase at Smashwords.com for $0.99! Again, you read that right!

That's for now.



PS. more book updates soon!

Saturday, August 4, 2012


This is my first post for this month! Anyway, this design just came up in my mind while I was working on a different project. It’s a simple stool that was supposed to be flat-packed, but then I decided not to because it didn’t look well.

  • Veneered Birch
  • Leather strips for seating



Saturday, July 28, 2012



I’ve always wanted to do some curvy and wavy lounge chair and well… you’re looking at it now.





Saturday, July 21, 2012



Today is my mom’s birthday! Anyway, the inspiration from this week’s design came from a cupcake. I’ve been working on a logo project for a bakeshop and I’ve been seeing a lot of pastries lately. Looking at the design below, I know it might not resemble a cupcake…but it does to me.

·         Bamboo
·         Velvet (or recycled seatbelts perhaps?)




Saturday, July 14, 2012



My week started awful as I recuperated for food poisoning. I even threw up on the street which made realize what it feels like to be wasted while completely sober. Does that make sense? I hope so. Anyway, I’ve intended to design a lounge chair using bent bamboo plywood and this is what I came out with. Not exactly what I had in mind but this one is much better. Actually, this one was a result of an experiment gone great! Though I’m not that satisfied with the 3D renderings.

Materials used:
  • ·         EVER TRUSTED BAMBOO!!!
  • ·         cushion




Saturday, July 7, 2012



How was your 4th of July celebration? Anyway… I decided to try something different for this week’s post. As some of you who may have noticed, the first four designs I created were all chairs. (Kinda obsessed with them) That is why for this week’s showcase (why the hell did I use that word?) I decided to make a coffee table, which in the end also looked like a seat or a bench or something. But then hey, it could be 2-in-1!

Materials used:
  • ·         EVER TRUSTED BAMBOO!!! (Or MDF could be an option as well.)
  • ·         Glass




Sunday, July 1, 2012

How AFAWFAY began...


Sadly, this isn't an early design post for my weekly design challenge. (I just posted one yesterday!) So if you're expecting to see yet another furniture with yet another lame attempt of piecing together a decent paragraph or two about its design process, then this post is not for you. 

In fact, this post serves as a rant, or perhaps a justification on why I've started AFAWFAY, and why I feel like giving up and forgetting all about it whenever I'm getting started on a new project. So without further adieu, I welcome you to a chaotic place that's aptly called "my mind," and torture (or entertain) you for the next ten minutes or so. 

AFAWFAY was born out boredom and excitement. Yes, it's confusing but that's how I see it. It all started about a month ago when I received an e-mail from an international publishing company informing me that they would "like" to include my furniture piece called, TirePaulin Ottoman in a design book they're planning to publish. Of course, flabbergasted and utterly surprised, I consented and gave them the information and images they needed for the said publication. The TirePaulin Ottoman was a design entry for a local furniture competition to which it landed as a finalist. But because of my string of luck (or lack of thereof) the manufacturer assigned to produce a prototype of the unit wasn't able to solve the paint problems, thus TirePaulin Ottoman never made it to the exhibition proper and final judging. In short, TirePaulin Ottoman was forgotten. Or maybe not... 

Accepting the fact that my design would probably never see the light of the day, I began posting it on my online portfolio(s) e.g. my website, cargocollective and behance. Then two months ago, I received an email from an events company based in the US who was interested on buying (or renting) a piece of the TirePaulin Ottoman to be used for ESPN X Games this June or early July. To say that I was uber excited was an understatement. I've even asked my professor (thanks Sir. Butch!) for advice on how I should proceed. And as if to emphasize my string of "luck," (insert thick sarcasm here) the said events company stopped emailing me after they discovered that I'm not from the US. I've even offered to sell them the design rights. (Is that wrong? Please do tell me.) Anyway, I never heard from them after that. Not even a polite email whatsoever. (If you're curious about the identity of the said company, I'm sorry to say that I wouldn't mention it for that would mean free promotion. Something they don't deserve.) I was disappointed of course, but I couldn't help but feel happy at the same time. The fact that someone was interested with my creation made me ecstatic. And it didn't stop there, as you already know, the TirePaulin Ottoman will be published in a book along with other designers all throughout the globe. (I will be posting the details here once it's out. And the reason I'm not mentioning the publisher and the book's name is because of the fear of jinxing it!) 

You might be wondering what's this has have to do with AFAWFAY, so let me cut to the chase. 

The publishing offer made me realize that I really LOVE furniture design and it's something I would love to be paid working for. And it is within this mentality that I started dreaming about starting my own line of furniture collection, or work for big brands and have my creations showcased. Sadly, this dream is easier said than done. First of all, I don't have the financial capability of building my workshop, let alone a studio or the equipments needed. But that doesn't mean that I can't come up with designs. It doesn't mean that I can't come up with a portfolio I can use to land my dream job of becoming a furniture designer. (or get a scholarship for an MA for Furniture Design at SCAD.) So, I thought of challenging myself to come up with A LOT of furniture design concepts I could use. And since I know myself enough to easily give up on self-imposed challenges, I decided to make it public. That way, the fear of humiliating myself for not being able to accomplish the said challenge (should I decide that 48 designs in a year is too much for me) would prevent me on quitting and would eventually encourage me to go on. And that, my dear readers, was how AFAWFAY was born. Now, let's talk about doubt and the constant lure of quitting. 

Right now, I'm working as a Graphic Designer for an awesome company. Anyhow... I know you're wondering why I'm working as a Graphic Designer when I'm an Industrial Design degree holder and I just told you guys how I dreamed of becoming a furniture designer and stuff. Well, actually... I'm still a little bit confused. 

I love Industrial Design, I love Graphic Design, I love furniture design...and I love writing. Actually, I'm in a stage where I want to do just about anything. (And no, I don't want to become a Prima Ballerina!) But let's face it. Pursuing an Industrial Design career here in the Philippines would mean an endless stream of shelf and kiosk design. If one is lucky enough, maybe some design projects for some international clients, or a design career in some multinational companies. But such things are hard to come by, and I wouldn't really trust myself with "luck." In fact, searching the local classified ads and job boards for an Industrial Design career would yield to Graphic Design or Interior Design jobs...or a call center agent at worst! I have nothing against the telemarketing industry, but I am pissed off with employers posting those jobs in a supposedly "Design" category...or any category for that matter to increase exposure. Yes, it's just sad. (we've arrived to the ranting part of this post!) 

Let's get back the real subject...where was I? Oh yes, doubt and the constant lure of quitting. 

Why doubt? 

I don't know. Maybe I'm afraid that I might not be able to reach my 48 design goal. Or if ever that I did, then I doubt if I would feel any satisfaction for accomplishing my goal. Which is really stupid considering anyone would be obviously thrilled to accomplish something...right? 

Why quit? 

Well, what the hell am I doing this for? I could've pick up my sketchpad and my trusty pen and start churning out ideas within the year. Why bother posting it online? (Uh, I think I've answered this question...) Actually, what really gets to me is the fact that there are times that this challenge feels more of a burden than an activity that's supposed to make me happy. But then again, I really do love designing great furniture. Oh well... I guess we'll just have to see what would happen next. 

Thanks for sticking out with me if you reached this conclusion. And yes, my AFAWFAY journey continues!