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DoodleScribbles

Scribblings and scrawls of a hopeless romantic soul

Author

maria

Blog Update: Optimizing absence

Blog updates and work in prgress

I named this blog DOODLESCRIBBLES because that’s what I usually do — mindlessly and carelessly doodling or scribbling my thoughts away. As the years passed, I slowly discovered my own writing voice. My style. My preferences. My weaknesses. My identity as a writer.

But, for the past weeks, it seems to me that writing does not feel right. I have all these thoughts in my head wanting to tell a story or a poem, but I still can’t bring myself to write. So I guess an extended leave of absence is in order.

For now, I’ve decided to shift my focus on two things that I can control:

1) My old blog posts. Last month, I worked on re-categorizing my published posts. This time, I plan on optimizing my blog images. As you know, us freeloaders only have 3 GB of storage limit. We were taught in college about optimized images but I never really mind the file sizes whenever I upload something on WordPress. Whatever is from my phone’s gallery, goes straight to my media (lazy cat). It was only when I reached 93.7% of the storage space that I paid attention on the file sizes. LOL!

I started with travel photos since they eat up most of my storage space. Here’s a list of what I’ve successfully optimized so far.

I’ve managed to lower the data usage down to 69.2%. Still high but we’ll get there. This is not about traffic or rankings but creating a friendly and responsive blog post. Hopefully, loading time won’t bore my visitors anymore. HAHA

2) My Facebook page. I am only using prepaid mobile data which is also the reason why I cannot spend unlimited time on most apps, including WordPress. It would be easier if I opt for a WIFI plan at home but that is also a problem. I do not have a home. I’m a renter and I don’t want to pay thousands to install a WIFI connection only to move out one day.

Thankfully, most prepaid data promos nowadays offer a free access to Facebook. Which is why I am sharing here my pet project that I have been doing on my page. It’s called #WriteMyOwnHeadline. With all the negativity around the world, I’ve decided to write my own headline one day at a time. It’s just little snippets of good news that I’ve seen, heard or encountered in my routinary day. If you want to know more about it or show me your own daily headlines, let’s connect!

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – When patience is not your virtue

Featured quote for Writer's Quote Wednesday

Waiting isn’t an in-between time. Instead, this often-hated and underappreciated time has been a silent force that has shaped our social interactions. Waiting isn’t a hurdle keeping us from intimacy and from living our lives to our fullest. Instead, waiting is essential to how we connect as humans through the messages we send.

Jason Farman, Delayed Response: The Art of Waiting from the Ancient to the Instant World 

“What to do when you start getting impatient with yourself?”

Today, I found myself turning to Google for answers to this question. For reasons I cannot pinpoint, I started feeling impatient with myself. That I have not — cannot — write creatively. That my books lay unopened. That I’m being lousy in managing my blog/IG/Facebook page. And many more.

It scared me that I’m putting the blame on myself again. I know it’s wrong and I know I keep saying that we should take all the time that we need BUT there are just times when you can’t walk the talk. So in my helplessness, I scoured the web to explain this feeling from the medical and literary points of view. My quest for enlightenment led me to an old Brainpickings post, The Art of Waiting: Reclaiming the Pleasures of Durational Being in an Instant Culture of Ceaseless Doing, which inspired this week’s WQW. I hope this helps those who are feeling the same way.

What do you do when patience is not one of your strongest virtues?

The Laughing Heart by Charles Bukowski

Featured poems and spoken word poetry

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.


Had Charles Bukowski lived longer, he would be celebrating his 100th birthday today. This gem of a piece of is one of his simplest yet most powerful. In these trying times, it reminds us to push forward despise life’s inevitable hardships. 💛

Mt. Kalatkat: The things we give and take

The pandemic has opened our eyes to a world that seems to always take. Lives and livelihood are lost. Every day feels like another step away from time, opportunities, relationships, connections, sanity and peace of mind. It’s the ultimate survival test — and the animal in each of us is out.

I honestly never thought we’d get this worse. Our panic and fear turned to greed and selfishness. There is a me-first mentality that runs on a global, national, local and personal scale. We push and shove one another, determined to keep our spot of existence. This is not a health threat anymore. This is a threat to life.

As I started doubting the future, I looked for comfort from the past. I came across old photographs from last year’s hike for a cause that we held in Carcar City. It not only reminded me of our exciting experience in Mt. Kalatkat, but it gave me the much-needed assurance that there is still goodness in people’s hearts. That we are capable of caring and giving, too.

Continue reading “Mt. Kalatkat: The things we give and take”

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Reminder from a classicist

Featured quote for Writer's Quote Wednesday

“The power of good is shown not by triumphantly conquering evil, but by continuing to resist evil while facing certain defeat.”

― Edith Hamilton, Mythology

We remember today the birth of Edith Hamilton, an educator, writer and historian who was a notable popularizer of classical literature. She was a gifted storyteller who brought to life timeless tales of gods and heroes from the Greek, Roman and Norse mythology. Through her books, we got to look at the origins of the universe and beyond. What’s your favorite from her works?

Three days later

tied haired woman wearing top photo – Free Neck Image on Unsplash

I must carry on. Live this life, get up, pick the debris of your memories scattered on the floor. Breathe.

The world has not stopped revolving, I see. And my mom’s bacon and egg smell just the same. She lives with me now — for the mean time — using old age as an excuse to tiptoe into my room and check my chest for a heartbeat at night. Don’t laugh. Don’t make the funny face you always do whenever I tell you about my mother’s excessive paranoia. “I know!” I used to say, eyes rolling as I jump into your arms for comfort.

On the way to work, the old man on the street who once sold us matching rings smiles. I touch a finger which now feels bare. At two minutes past 11 o’clock in the morning, a Fat Man explodes over my life. There you are, laughing from a distance, with a woman whose hands are wrapped around your waist. I never thought the space you asked is meant for somebody else.

The sun shines with a blinding white flash in the sky. What a cruel twist of fate to see you two on the fall of Nagasaki. It’s only been three days.

“Are you crying, child?” the old man asks.

I wipe my mascara-stained tears, take a deep breath and walk away. “This is nothing. The people who experienced the black rain had it worse.”

MS

Two years ago, I wrote a Haibun titled Memories Sting. It was supposed to center on the tragedy of love but it somehow alluded to the ordeals of war. Revisiting my old blog posts reminded me of how I love weaving fiction with real history — of how comfortable it was to write Heritage and Some battles.

This story is my attempt to reconnect with the old me. It is also a commemoration of the Nagasaki bombing which marks its 75th year today.

Image via Unsplash

Book Talk: Bookish Pet Peeves and Fetishes

It’s that time of the year again… Happy Book Lover’s Day, everyone!

August 9 is a day for bibliophiles, bookworms and reading addicts around the world to celebrate their love of books. Although it is an unofficial holiday, people never run out of fun ways to commemorate this day — from visiting libraries and bookstores, re-reading old favorites, hosting parties and book clubs, showcasing awesome bookshelves and book hauls, recommending must-reads, and many more. Did the quarantine help you pursue your bookish delights?

The first two quarters of the year were productive for me. I’ve read more books than I had last year which is an incredible feat. But, halfway through June, work started piling up. It dragged on and to this day, I haven’t had a decent read.

So, for now, I’m sharing my personal pet peeves and fetishes when it comes to reading. Can any of you relate?

Pet Peeves

  1. Interruptions while reading
  2. Having no one to talk to after reading an awesome book
  3. Plot changes in movie adaptations
  4. Careless borrowers
  5. When a book got the movie poster as cover
  6. When someone judges a book without reading it

Festishes

  1. Having your dream bookshelves
  2. Hoarding!
  3. The scent of a book
  4. Paperback copies
  5. Preloved books
  6. Highlighting favorite quotes/intriguing lines
  7. A good book hug after a good read
  8. Making your own bookmarks
  9. When you have a complete copy of your favorite series
  10. Covering books

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Are you a literary parasite?

Writer's Quote Wednesday

“For, substantially, all ideas are second-hand, consciously and unconsciously drawn from a million outside sources.”

— Mark Twain

Mark Twain wrote this in his letter to Helen Keller who was once charged and acquitted of plagiarism.

This quote came to mind when I immersed into Kirby Ferguson’s Everything is a Remix, a four-part documentary about the long history of creativity, originality and copyright. In this series, he gives a contemporary explanation of Twain’s statement. On how ideas are continuously told, retold, combined, alluded and altered in films, music, writings, artwork, technology everything.

I, myself, have been a literary parasite (my own choice of words). There were many times when ideas are scarce and I cannot write from scratch. So I took inspiration from writers of the old and new. I’ve tried writing a poem that molded with Emily Dickinson’s and a fiction that borrowed a fellow blogger’s character.

I used to feel doubtful and fearful of unoriginality but Twain’s words taught me how everything builds on what came before. That it is not a failure of our creative integrity when we take inspiration from others and turn it into something that is unique to our voice. I see this now as a symbiotic relationship instead of creative kleptomania. I believe we can all be humble literary parasites while paying attribution with high regards.

There is a thin line, of course, between brazen plagiarism and honest innovation. Like I said, we should transform it into something that is not a copycat of the original. Find a unique angle, look closer to a specific detail, and from that idea, create an entirely new concept that is yours.

Monday Musings: Let me count the ways

How do you rebuild yourself? Let me count the ways.

You rebuild yourself from the depths of pain and suffering and emptiness — making each a foothold to lift you up to a new height. Your tear-stained pillow, now dry, finds warmth at your bosom, and your hug is as tight as your resolve. You rebuild yourself from bricks of memories that you hold on to when life hits you hard on the face. From every day’s mundane simple things. A cat’s purr. A child’s smile. The smell of coffee. The sunrise. You rebuild yourself with care, as a woman putting cream on her face so gently. You rebuild yourself with care, as a man buying a pair of jeans after a long time. You rebuild yourself from doing things that you love. And from doing nothing at all.

It’s okay if you don’t have the right mind to read or write. If you don’t have the drive to sing or dance. You see, rebuilding yourself is not just about saying YES to life every time. It is saying YES to you first and foremost. So take things slow if you must. Rebuild yourself with patience and forgiveness. With smiles and tears and sighs.


Sharing this Monday musing on a Tuesday. Yesterday, I flung myself into the poetry of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. I specifically went back and forth to her sonnet, How Do I Love Thee? This one question and its five words kept repeating on my mind — not in a romantic way but in an introspective one. How do I love myself? Lately, I’ve been giving myself a hard time by weighing her down with unmanaged emotions, good and bad. Handling depressive episodes, anxiety and overthinking is becoming harder. And I know I’m not alone. We are all struggling here.

So, today I’m forgiving myself for thinking that trying is pointless. It’s a battle, a long and arduous one, but I’m reminding myself that it’s worth the fight. May this personal reminder inspire those who are feeling the same way as I have.

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