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Scribblings and scrawls of a hopeless romantic soul

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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.

Blog Update: Taming Cats and Categories

Blog updates and work in prgress

Yesterday a black cat ignored me — again. It’s same stray who always lounge by the TGU bench in IT Park during afternoons. I feel envious to the point of sinful watching it laze around, enjoying the silence and cool wind, when we humans are at the end of time’s bending sickle.

If only we could have moments of carelessness too…

For the nth time, I tried to pet her. But she would not be tamed. So I turned to my phone, looked up my blog to see when was the last time I wrote about cats. Then, it dawned on me: I need to fix my site.

When I first started blogging, I didn’t want to be too technical. Never cared much about pages, categories, tags, plugins and whatnots. Even my site identity is slightly sloppy. All I care about was — and still is — the content. Blogging is more like virtual journal for me but as time passed, a lot of things happened. I started joining prompts to hone my writing. I kept adding new stuff to Poetry/Flash Fiction/Musings without caring that some posts might not fit under these three categories.

Which brings me to this project: re-categorizing my posts. Some of you might notice that I’ve added new pages and nested tabs on this site. I basically just added specific categories for poetry and writings for easy navigation, and dumped all posts with unused categories under Mishmash of Random Things. LOL!

As for the really new stuff, I’ve decided to share my bookish thoughts through book reviews and book talks — though I hope laziness won’t get in the way in the future. I’ve also added a main tab for my travels and resurrected (haha) Mouth+Piece where I share my favorite written and spoken poems from around the globe.

Overall, it’s still a work in progress. Now, back to tinkering! Have a great day 🙂

The Unfinished Act

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Art transforms, Billy.

He wakes up, beads of sweat trickle down his temples as Valis’ voice scurries to the back of his mind.

It has been three weeks. The freak who sees murder as a work of art has long been dead. But why does he haunt Billy still?

Drink your tea. Tie your shoes. Go to work. Billy thought his mundane routine could stop his mind’s engine from running withershins. But they don’t. He hates the man’s bloodlust but deep in the recesses of his thoughts, he is fascinated with Valis’ ingenuity. On how he staged those gruesome acts. Billy’s grief for that passion are tentacles taking grasp of his sanity.

He stared at the ceiling. Another day, another ordinary life.

The sun sets and the night rolls in. At midnight, his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream — the performance must be done.


Written Neekneraj’s Wordle and dVerse’s Prosery hosted by Bjorn who asks us to write a piece of prose of exactly 144 words inspired by a line from Maya Angelou’s poem, Caged Bird.

his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream

Today, I finished reading Dean Koontz’s novel, Velocity. This is my twist to the ending of the story.

Head over here to join the prompt!

dverse

Rose Among the Ghosts

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He stared through the dissipating smoke, fascinated how this woman evolved from a wilted rose to a flower in full bloom. She loves silence now —

though there’s never a quiet time when you’re with ghosts.

“What?” Ariella asks.

“What?” He echoes, smiling.

“That look,” she rolled her eyes. “You’re laughing at me.”

“Why? You asked for peace and we left you for three days,” he shrugs, teasing her with a poker face. “Admit it. You missed us.”

Ariella’s eyes widen but her mouth curved to a smile. “Pretend you don’t see me, Gustav.”

“You’re the one who’s pretending, my rose.”

Word Count: 100


Written for Friday Fictioneers, a weekly writing challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields where a photo is used as a prompt for a hundred-word piece of fiction. The photo prompt this week is a courtesy of Dale Rogerson.

Last week’s prompt, I was inspired by Ali and wrote a prequel to his story. This time, I’ve decided to continue being a literary parasite (if the word exist) and take inspiration from another writer. This one is inspired by J.A. Prentice’s flash fiction titled An End to Solitude. I’m normally a scardey cat when it comes to ghosts and not-like-ours but I love how he twisted his story and gave it a lighter angle. 🙂

Head over here to join the prompt!

Hope is an illusion

Hope is an illusion
A lie behind the blinds
It walks you into the wind—
Points you to distant bergs
Where refuge hides

Ask a child from Quneitra
Or the slums of Manila
And both will give you a laugh
For life has taught them what hope is
A vanishing mirage, not an oasis

No food, no water
Not a breath left for a dream
For a deserter trapped in the desert
Does hope even matter?
Does anybody cares?

Tilt those heads slightly
Perhaps, from a different angle, you’ll see
The lives of the lost, last, and least
Trampled down by privilege, indifference, and greed
A scene less click-worthy
Uninteresting for the media frenzy


Day 2 of NaPoWriMo and I am not feeling well. Emotionally, mentally, spiritually – I feel drained. Whenever I mull over something that strikes a chord within me, I experience a relapse of depressive episodes. Now, the obvious reason is the global pandemic COVID-19. And I am not only saddened by the number of deaths it brings but by the extent of hatred and greed it ignites. I need not zoom out because my country itself is thrown in disarray. It hurts. 💔

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At the end of the long road

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Let it be where winds may sweep
Through forest trees soft and deep
The murmur of the giggling brook
Calm every head that shook
And the thriving eastern wood-pewee
Bring broken hearts with glee

Let it be where a bluebird freely flies
Verdant meadows lie before our eyes
Harvest fields reaped and trod
To farmers a gift from God
And falling raindrops sing
For a family hopeful for spring

Let it be where stars may shine
O’er creatures living, peaceful and fine
Where the crescent moon watches over
Longing hearts that look yonder
And the rain once again
Heal the world in pain

Let it be where men breathe with love
And intent is as pure as a dove
Into each life rain must fall
But the sun still shines upon all
At the end of the long road is peace
Let it be where hatred and greed cease


Wordsmiths and poets make a sound, it’s National Poetry Writing Month everyone! Kicking off Day 1 with rhymes instead of today’s optional prompt. What are your  April plans? 🙂

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A Woman’s Bite

There are no apples left for picking
At least not the ones that brought collective sin
So why do we feel like we’ve ruined Eden?
When we weren’t named after Eve

Why do they bar our own progress?
Condemn us when we show our strength
Why can’t we be our own winner?
must thank a man for our gain

denounced
impugned
cut to the quick

Did a bite symbolize the fall of man
or was just that of a woman?


In response to dVerse’s Poetics: Apple! hosted by Ha who asks us to write use apple as a thematic or a metaphorical element in our poem.

This poem is dedicated to all women who have faced and are still battling with inequality, sexism and double standards. Like Bjorn, today’s prompt reminded me of the Forbidden Fruit. And it was thanks to Carol’s End of the Garden for inciting the idea of this piece. Let’s celebrate Women’s Month!

Head over here to join the prompt!

dverse

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – THUG LIFE

Featured quote for Writer's Quote Wednesday

“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…

There are no such thing as tourist spots in Bung-aw

Having spent seven years in the concrete jungles of Cebu gave me a pair of eyes that looks at province life with extra appreciation and love. Like most people around my age, I started craving for the simplicity and warmth that rural places have to offer. Going home for me has become more than just reuniting with my family. It has now become a form of healing.

At the height of ticking off #bucketlists and #travelgoals, more and more places are “discovered” each day, topping the trends on Facebook and Instagram. While this is essentially harmless, I personally don’t like the idea of calling every place a tourist spot. I believe that, in a way, we rob it of its personality.

To set an example, let me take you to my hometown.

Bung-aw is a mountain barangay in the municipality of Hilongos in the province of Leyte. We do not have something elaborate to boast apart from our simple way of life. However, a few years ago, people from far off places started coming. The reason? Didang river.

Continue reading “There are no such thing as tourist spots in Bung-aw”

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