Search

DoodleScribbles

Scribblings and scrawls of a hopeless romantic soul

Tag

creative writing

Monday Musings: Extra Baggage

I remember this climb. In the darkness of the dawn, we hiked in full packs between huffs, pants and coughs. I remember asking myself, why did I have to bring so much load? I should have left that extra shirt. I should have left that extra jacket. Did I really need an extra pair of pants? As the earth gradually piled up under my feet, I realized that climbing mountains is not so different from living life.

Truth is much of what weigh me down are not mine to carry — the troubles of the world, other people’s problems, inexistent futures and such. Like how I pack for a climb, I also tend to carry things that does not fit. Things that I should have outgrown and moved on with. Like emotions and memories.

Some nights, my knees and chin almost touch as I lay curled on the bed. Tired of living. But just like mountain climbing, no matter how hard the climb (and life) is, the peak will always be worth it. Those moments of ups and downs will not be wasted if we take every step by heart.

And I hope what I felt when I ascended 2819.78 MASL to reach the summit of Mt. Wiji — that pure happiness and bliss — will be just the same when I reach the summit of my years. I want to be able to let go of all those extra baggage in the end. Arms wide open, surrendering to the beauty of nature. To the beauty of life.

Wrap-Up | August 2020

Monthly Blog Update

Hello, everyone! A month has passed since my first wrap-up post and finally, we’ve reached the onset of “BER” months. Have you seen early signs of Christmas on your end? 

In the Philippines, we do not only have a Christmas Day. The country celebrates the world’s longest Christmas season, starting as early as September 1. Even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, people have been counting down the days when we can “legally” great each other Merry Christmas.

As for me, I have been contently taking things slow. August was a time for communing with myself and looking inwardly. 🙂

But even with my absence, I can say that it has been a productive month for two main reasons. First, I have mentioned in my last Blog Update: Optimizing absence that I have been working on cleaning up my storage space. It is still ongoing and I have been reading and learning more about optimization too. Second, I find my #WriteMyOwnHeadline project kind of actually fun. 😀 Now, for the recap…

Things I’ve written…

In the early days of August, I found myself writing Three days later, a short story inspired by an old Haibun I wrote about the tragedies of love and war.

But, as this is not a creative month for me, most of my posts were musings and reflections about life, writing and my journey as a writer.

Books I’ve read…

In my previous wrap-up, I shared that my work life has overtaken my reading life. Until now, I have not reopened Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls.

However, I am happy to share that my bookish heart was healed by Mitch Albom’s Human Touch. It is a unique serialized story of hope during the COVID-19 pandemic, set in the present time. Every weekly chapter left me with a much-needed food for the soul. If you have not read it, I highly recommend you give it a try and let me know your thoughts. 😀

August 9 was also a Book Lover’s Day and I wrote about my bookish pet peeves and fetish here: Book Talk: Bookish Pet Peeves and Fetishes.

Despite my reading slump, another book was added to my haul. James gave me Paulo Coelho’s By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept which I am looking forward to read this September. I also bought two pre-loved books online — Thoreau’s Walden & Civil Disobedience and Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe — which are scheduled to arrive this month.

Places I’ve been…

In my inability to travel, I was able to reflect on my previous outdoor experiences. I have taken note on the little things, little moments that truly matter in life. Mt. Kalatkat: The things we give and take is one of the results of this introspection.

Posts I loved…

Truth is I’ve been reading more from Brainpickings and ThoughtCatalog than my Reader tab. I most probably missed a lot of great content from my friends here in WP during the month of August. Apologies. I will be a better virtual neighbor next time.

Still, I’d like to share these great reads that you might like.

Looking back, it’s been productive (and peaceful) month. Here’s to hoping for better days this September! 🌻

Monday Musings: Hey… I love you

She bask in the honey-tinted sunshine. Her hands carefree, her heart light.

Today, I want to tell this beautiful soul that I love her. Not through poetry or paperbacks. Not through comfort food or a good sleep. Not through self-care. Not through deep breaths. I want to hug her and hand these three bold words: I LOVE YOU.

For fighting the battles from within and without. Even if some wounds are self-inflicted.
For trying to figure out the unknown. Even if answers seem nowhere to be found.
For keeping the faith in life. Even if sometimes hope is eclipsed by doubt.

I want to kiss this unsung heroine — gather all the many selves that reside in her little body and give her a hero’s welcome. Because she made it through. Day after day. Night after night.


Today, my country celebrates National Heroes Day. As I commend the great men and women of the past and present, I would also like to take this time to thank the one constant hero in my life. Love you, self. 🥺

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?

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

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.

Wrap-Up | July 2020

Monthly Blog Update

Hey, everyone! Welcome to my first wrap-up post. I don’t normally do this kind of stuff but I’ve been trying a lot of things out these COVID days.

One way that “Dr. Google” suggested to keep my mental health in check is to focus on those that I can control. Trouble is, focus isn’t on my strongest traits. I have a natural tendency  to jump from one task to another and get back on them in a minute, day or never at all. So, I heeded a friend’s advice and started working on a structure/schedule — especially in writing.

A milestone for July is having successfully re-categorized my blog posts. 🎉  Since I still find it hard to write, I focused on improving my blog identity. It’s still a work in progress but we’ll get there. As for the rest…

Things I’ve written…

I’ve written two poems inspired by two opposing feelings. The first one was taken out of a late night conversation I had with James and the other was kind of a rant.

My mishmash of random things, on the other hand, reflected the roller-coaster of emotions I’ve had this month.

Books I’ve read…

Or still reading. Unfortunately, life did not allow me to finish even a single book this month. I have only got past page 63 of Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls and reality sucked me back to its chaotic void again. With reduced workforce, to-dos and to-writes are piling up. When will this end? 😟

Places I’ve been…

Funny that I am including this in my recap. Aside from my everyday WFH  (Walk From Home) route to the office, I haven’t been anywhere. Cebu City has just transitioned to general community quarantine (GCQ) but I doubt if we’d have the opportunity to see the mountains soon. My friends and I just canceled a major climb in Luzon and would most probably be canceling another one in Mindanao come November. Sigh.

Posts I loved…

I’ve been mostly out of blogosphere these days but I still managed to read some remarkable posts in my feed. Go check these links out.

Looking back, it’s been productive month despite life’s mess. As July finally bid its goodbye, here’s to hoping for better days. May our August be filled with happiness and peace. 🌻

Monday Musings: Something beautiful and cruel

The next time you question the existence of love, look into an old photograph. See how love is written from that fading black and white. Travel back in time when love was patient and slow. When you don’t need technology to keep up real time. Listen to an old song. Notice the way your eyes smile or how your heart beats with the music. A once inaudible sound now carries snippets of laughter and tears.

Do you still not see?

Love may have left the front door shut but some fragments will forever remain. Memories. These are our only evidence that something beautiful and cruel like love exist.


I am 99.9% done with re-categorizing my old posts and as I was checking my unpublished tab, I realize that there are still too many scattered thoughts that need my attention.

This one is from 2018 that I wrote for A to Z challenge. For some reason, I dropped the idea (hehe). I’m sharing it now since I have two girlfriends who currently might relate.

Up ↑