Scribblings and scrawls of a hopeless romantic soul



Writer’s Quote Wednesday – THUG LIFE

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“Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”

Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everyone.

Angie Thomas’ novel revolves around this redefined meaning of THUG LIFE by Tupac Shakur, popularly known as 2Pac.

It follows 16-year-old Starr Carter whose uneasy balance between her poor neighborhood and her fancy suburban school is shattered when she witnesses the shooting of her best friend at the hands of a police officer. His name is Khalil, but the world calls him a thug. Everyone wants to know what went down that night. But Starr’s decision to stay silent or to speak comes with a risk for her people and her life.

Some people snicker at the thought of reading books under the young adult genre. They have this stereotyped belief that YA novels are shallow, sappy and superficial. They rarely see it as an avenue for discussing socio-political issues. But Angie Thomas proves these people wrong.

Without mincing her words, she delves into the most delicate and controversial subjects in America and the world today: racism, oppression, privilege and broken justice system. The book is thought-provoking without being preachy. It gave me different perspectives to look into. It made me introspect on what I have done and what I would do when faced with these issues. Other than posting about the hashtags and signing every petition there is, do I have it in me to act against racism, oppression or injustice?

In the end, this novel goes to warn the society that what it gives (hate/violence/injustice) to little infants (the poor/minority/less fortunate) will always come to haunt them. The THUG LIFE cycle continues…

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – We need to be bothered

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There is, I assume most of you would agree, a long list of reasons why physical copies of books are better than their eBook counterparts. However, not everyone can bare the temptation for too long. A peak at a sentence that reads, IT WAS A PLEASURE TO BURN, could lead you to the very last page. And that’s what happened. I read Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 online.

This classic dystopia will take you to a time when books are banned and burned. In Guy Montag’s world, lives are dominated by televisions and literature is on the brink of extinction. Books and freethinkers are burned without a second thought. The storyline is good enough that it could stir the minds of many, but perhaps I was looking for more. More hard-hitting satire, more stimulation. Maybe a stronger revolt.

Nonetheless, it’s still a commendable piece of writing. This quote, for one, is very timely.

“We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?”

Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

With all the happenings in different corners of the world — be it political, moral or environmental concerns — we really need to be bothered.

Writers Quote Wednesday: Freedom

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Last night, I finally finished reading Rabindranath Tagore’s The Home and the World. I’ve had this book for weeks but didn’t want to rush it to end. It was much more than a classic literary masterpiece to me. Each page was an awakening about the fragility of humanity. Each POV from the three central characters brought me to their shoes. I struggled with Nikhil in keeping his morals, I lost my way to sensationalism and terror with Bimala, and I breathed in Sandip’s clouded fanaticism.

This book resonated deeply, especially with what is happening to my country, the Philippines, and to the rest of the world. What is true freedom? How can we truly heal? Here’s an excerpt from the book that hits home:

“Is there any country, sir,” pursued the history student, “where submission to Government is not due to fear?” “The freedom that exists in any country,” I replied, “may be measured by the extent of this reign of fear. Where its threat is confined to those who would hurt or plunder, there the Government may claim to have freed man from the violence of man. But if fear is to regulate how people are to dress, where they shall trade, or what they must eat, then is man’s freedom of will utterly ignored, and manhood destroyed at the root.”

― Rabindranath TagoreThe Home and the World

And to anyone who hasn’t read it yet, I definitely recommend The Home and the World.  ❤ #makelovenotwar




Imagine a vast realm, still and undisturbed, resting on the shelves as books. Each book has a story to tell— a life seen in vivid imagery or told in detailed intricacies. A world of history or fantasy, victory or defeat, research or discovery, questions or answers.

I delight in hopping from one realm to another. Some world I explore in a day while others took longer. But the world I’m in today is quite… puzzling. I set off a journey to the pages filled with outlines of shapes in various sizes.

Then I realize, some realms are not for me.

In response to this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt. Friday Fictioneers is a weekly writing challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields where a photo is used as a prompt for a hundred-word piece of fiction. Thank you!

The photo prompt, a courtesy of Kent Bonham, reminds me of logic shapes and puzzles. Once, I tried to read a book about it back in collage, I ended up staring blankly at the pages. Blame my left side of the brain, please. Nonetheless, I had to read it to pass an exam. LOL. Some memories… ^^

Enjoy more stories here:

Stay: A letter to John


Dear John
Love and Misadventure
Pride and Prejudice
Angels and Demons
Lock and Key
This is What Happy Looks Like
A Catastrophic History of You and Me
Unravel Me
Ignite Me
Shatter Me
I Wrote This For You
For One More Day
Every Day
Stay With Me


I just got back from an awesome out-of-town weekend with friends. YAY! So for the late submission, here’s a little something for Days 9 & 10 of NaPoWriMo. Good  morning! 🙂

Day 9: Today, I challenge you to write a poem that includes a line that you’re afraid to write. This might be because it expresses something very personal that makes you uncomfortable;  something that you’re genuinely a little scared to say.

Day 10: Today’s prompt comes to us from Lillian Hallberg. She challenges us to write a “book spine” poem.

A Letter to a New-found Love

© ertacaltinoz

Dear George R.R. Martin,

How you swept me away with your saga
I cringed to the deaths and gasped to drama
Engrossed— I breathed the song of ice and fire
It’s your world I crave; your words I desire

In my heart grew a massive gratitude
In fascination, you had me all glued
For the ride I took in the game of thrones
I slowly paced to flirt with the unknown

You took the chill higher in the clash of kings
I watched you in awe as you played the strings
A storm of swords set on smoldering heat
In your gripping tales, I rested my heartbeat

Do throw those pessimists— a feast for crows
I live every page; in each leaf time slows
Savor delight and dance with the dragons
Sing with the knights and travel in wagons

Will the dream of spring be a startling end?
My words are not enough to a tale well-penned
Will the winds of winter blow us away?
You were writing life’s metaphor, not just fantasy.

Your newest fangirl,
Maria ❤

Poetry Form:  Quatrain


DAY 3:  Today, let’s turn our vision outward, and write fan letters. I challenge you to write a poem in the form of a fan letter to a celebrity. Now, this could be a celebrity from long ago, and needn’t be an actor or singer (though it could be).  

George R.R. Martin is an American novelist and short story writer in the fantasy, horror, and science fiction genres, a screenwriter, and television producer. He is the man behind the latest addition to my favorites, A Song of Ice and Fire.


Read more 2016 NaPoWriMo entries here!

Imprisoned Souls

(c) pinterest

Stretched across
exposed walls
Shelves filled with
different worlds
Rising like warriors,
they whisper a story
to one’s ears
Thousands of pages
waving to thee

In response to The Daily Post prompt: Shelf

That feeling when you walk in a room full of books. *dreamy eyes*
Let’s set them free, shall we? ❤ ❤ ❤

MV Logos Hope

146 03 March 6th 2016

“Dad! Hurry!” shouted Grae

“Daddy!” yelled Abbey

It was a cloudless day when Danny, along with his kids, drove towards the harbor for a very special event. Docked in the berth of Pier Uno was the world’s largest floating library. Operated by a German charity group, MV Logos Hope has been travelling across the world for forty-five successful years. The ship remains in each port for a month, offering its wide-range of educational materials and over 5,000 titles to thousands of visitors at an affordable price.

As they entered the ship, Danny felt transported to a different world. He couldn’t help but wonder how this warship-looking vessel carried books instead of bombs. Its dark hardwood timbers coated in a flat clear oil-based varnish maintained its antique look. Three cannons are also noticeable in the bow area where Grae has started playing make-believe pirate. Boys, he thought.

Amid the towering bookshelves, Abbey was also immersed in her own world— her little fingers running through the spines of every book. “How’s my sweetheart?” he asked.

“It’s a heaven of books, Daddy!” she beamed.

He smiled then heard Grae roaring from a distance. “BLACK PEARL IS MINEEEEEEE!”

And they both laughed in chorus.

Word Count: 200

Written for Sunday Photo Fiction’s prompt. Another photo that reminds me of a wonderful experience with the world’s largest floating library, MV Logos Hope. It was May 2015 when Cebu, Philippines became one of the chosen stops of this world-travelling bookstore. 😍😍😍

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly writing challenge hosted by Alastair Forbes where a photo is used as a prompt for a piece of fiction using around 200 words. The piece doesn’t have to center around exactly what the photo is, it can be just used as a basis for a story. Thank you, Al!

Enjoy more awesome stories here:


The Great Book of Lists- Chapter 1.4: The Books that Transport You

This week’s The Great Book of Lists’ chapter, suggested by Jartagnan, dives into the list of books that transports you. What’s astonishing when reading a book is that at the moment you open one and sink into it, a new world unveils before your eyes—a world where endless possibility resides. A tale unfolds inside your mind taking you to a journey across the present time. A lot of books have done this to me but if I were to list them all, it may take a lifetime. So for now, here are some I’d like to share and recommend at the same time. 😀

1. Mitch Albom- As much as I would like to list a specific book, I could not bring myself to choose one among Mitch’s heartwarming books. All of them are really close to my heart and have been a refuge whenever my soul is troubled. I hope you read them all. 🙂


Continue reading “The Great Book of Lists- Chapter 1.4: The Books that Transport You”

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