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DoodleScribbles

Scribblings and scrawls of a hopeless romantic soul

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Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Break the glass

Featured quote for Writer's Quote Wednesday

“Break the glass, please, and free us from all these damned rules, from needing to find an explanation for everything, from doing only what others approve of.”

― Paulo Coelho, By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept

I shared a shortened version of this quote in my recent post, Book Review: By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept by Paulo Coelho. I love the simplicity and the reality of this line, and it is something that strikes a chord within me. I hope we all find courage in our hearts to be who we are, do what we want, and go wherever we want to be. Carpe diem!

we molded this valley of memories with love

i wouldn’t call us
a mistake
this empty valley
that we left behind
once flourished
with laughter
and though the poppies
were long gone
and the river’s
drained with love
i have memories—
i’d go back to them
as I trudge the earth
until, one day,
the trails lead you
back to me

Quick Notes: The Orphan Choir by Sophie Hannah

Genre: Horror/Paranormal fiction
Copy: Paperback
Rating: 🌕🌕🌓

Quick Notes: After three days dawns, I have finally “completed” my goal which is to read a paranormal fiction.

The Orphan Choir is a very easy read. I don’t have issues with unlikable characters like those of Gillian Flynn’s, but Sophie Hannah’s Louise takes some getting used to. She complains a lot and whines about everything which is borderline irritating. And her husband is… nah, never mind him.

As for the book, I think it was more of a psychological suspense rather than a horror story. More than half of the pages were spent to build a tension that was lost in the end. Although I intentionally picked The Orphan Choir knowing that it is not a hardcore horror novel, I would have like to experience a little more horror and less of Louise. The paranormal encounter (if you consider them ghosts and not hallucinations of a deluded woman) only happened in the last few pages.

Plot-wise, there were inconsistencies and gaps. I believe it’s an OK introduction to the genre — not too creepy for scaredy cats like me. However, I think I still need to try other horror books to confidently say that I have read out of my comfort zone.

Got any book recommendations? 🙂

Wrap-Up | September 2020

Monthly Blog Update

“Wake me up when September ends,” so the song says.

The world felt like it fell into a slumber for the past months. Everything came to halt, a state of inactivity where plans were suspended. Each of us developed our own ways of getting by these COVID days. Some turned to binge-watching, others turned to gardening. Some read, others wrote. Some took the time to clean the dusty corners of their homes, others took the time to cleanse the dusty corners of their minds.

September finally ended. And here we are… awake.

For me, it has been a rollercoaster ride. I’ve had equal parts of ups and downs in life but, overall, I could say that I have slowly learned to adapt and manage my emotions. Work is still work, life is still life. As for my virtual presence here in WordPress, I am guilty of missing out a lot.

Things I’ve written…

Last August, most of my posts were musings about life, writing and my journey as a writer. This month, I wrote pieces that remain incoherent in my drafts. I did manage to share one musing about life and mountains in Monday Musings: Extra Baggage.

Some Mishmash of Random Things:

Books I’ve read…

Remember Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls that I did not finished in July and I skipped in August to read Albom’s Human Touch? Ta da! It remained unopened this September. It did not bore me, it was in fact getting interesting along the way. It’s just that I am having a reading slump, which leads me to another problem (or is it?): BOOK HOARDING.

Book Talk: Forgive me book-god for I have sinned

I did however listed to audiobooks in LibriVox and treat myself to some good ol’ fairytales such as Andersen’s Fairy Tales and Grimms’ Fairy Tales. I’ve also listened to poetry readings in PoemHunter and fell in love with these poems once again:

Places I’ve been…

Early in September, I shared about the most memorable trees I’ve encountered along the trails in When Life Gives You Quarantine, Think Green.

Last week, my friends and I — for the first time — got back on one of those trails after 6 months of hiatus. At last!

Posts I loved…

I’ve been mostly out of WordPress these days but I was able to read some remarkable posts in my feed. Go check these links out.

  • A Reading Writer’s top 10 book covers i love (with quotes!) – a treat for book lovers and hoarders alike! Rosema’s Top Ten Tuesdays are always insightful and she shares a lot of interesting books that you could add on your TBR list.
  • Jade M. Wong’s [Poetry] Bridge – a beautiful poem by a poet who writes from the heart. This piece speaks of hope in the midst of uncertainty. A must-read.
  • Mich’s Who Murders Halloween? – a timely piece for the coming Halloween. This pandemic has completely changed how we view and live life. Mich reminisces the little things that make this occasion fun and the reaper that came to take it all away.

October… will this month be any better? I guess we’ll find that out, one day at a time.

Whispers of the Wind

I wish the wind whispers you the secrets
I’ve been trying to keep.
I hope it tells you that you are not alone—
That I, too, am afraid

Afraid to make another mistake,
Afraid that this is a mistake

Afraid to get wounded all over again.

But for what are the hearts that beat louder than drums
If they can’t be brave?
What’s the point of having hearts that beat?

So, here I am, wishing for the wind to whisper my plea:
Just as the waves stroke the shore,
Just as the setting sun kisses the sea,
Just as the darkness embraces night,
Let us give in to destiny
Without having the fears of the past.


Three years ago, I wrote the Tagalog version of this poem. Back then, I took a writing hiatus too and it was going out in the natural world that awakened my muse. This year, I can’t say how long this break will be. I guess I need another dose of the outdoors! 🌻🍃

A Brave and Startling Truth by Maya Angelou

Featured poems and spoken word poetry

We, this people, on a small and lonely planet
Traveling through casual space
Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns
To a destination where all signs tell us
It is possible and imperative that we learn
A brave and startling truth

And when we come to it
To the day of peacemaking
When we release our fingers
From fists of hostility
And allow the pure air to cool our palms

When we come to it
When the curtain falls on the minstrel show of hate
And faces sooted with scorn are scrubbed clean
When battlefields and coliseum
No longer rake our unique and particular sons and daughters
Up with the bruised and bloody grass
To lie in identical plots in foreign soil

When the rapacious storming of the churches
The screaming racket in the temples have ceased
When the pennants are waving gaily
When the banners of the world tremble
Stoutly in the good, clean breeze

When we come to it
When we let the rifles fall from our shoulders
And children dress their dolls in flags of truce
When land mines of death have been removed
And the aged can walk into evenings of peace
When religious ritual is not perfumed
By the incense of burning flesh
And childhood dreams are not kicked awake
By nightmares of abuse

When we come to it
Then we will confess that not the Pyramids
With their stones set in mysterious perfection
Nor the Gardens of Babylon
Hanging as eternal beauty
In our collective memory
Not the Grand Canyon
Kindled into delicious color
By Western sunsets

Nor the Danube, flowing its blue soul into Europe
Not the sacred peak of Mount Fuji
Stretching to the Rising Sun
Neither Father Amazon nor Mother Mississippi who, without favor,
Nurture all creatures in the depths and on the shores
These are not the only wonders of the world

When we come to it
We, this people, on this minuscule and kithless globe
Who reach daily for the bomb, the blade and the dagger
Yet who petition in the dark for tokens of peace
We, this people on this mote of matter
In whose mouths abide cankerous words
Which challenge our very existence
Yet out of those same mouths
Come songs of such exquisite sweetness
That the heart falters in its labor
And the body is quieted into awe

We, this people, on this small and drifting planet
Whose hands can strike with such abandon
That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living
Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness
That the haughty neck is happy to bow
And the proud back is glad to bend
Out of such chaos, of such contradiction
We learn that we are neither devils nor divines

When we come to it
We, this people, on this wayward, floating body
Created on this earth, of this earth
Have the power to fashion for this earth
A climate where every man and every woman
Can live freely without sanctimonious piety
Without crippling fear

When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world
That is when, and only when
We come to it.


Starting the week with this powerful piece from none other than Maya Angelou. Have you personally uncovered a brave and startling truth in this lifetime — one that forever changed your life?

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?

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?

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