Saturday, May 29, 2010


It's interesting how opportunities for creativity keep coming at you, and when you least expect them to. Apart from continuing to work on "the real thing" ( a novel tentatively titled "Harder Lives To Live"), I've just finished a children's story for Gawad Kalinga called, "A Summer Day of Nothing But Everything". And then of course, there's that other project, "A Chicklit Novel In Your Spare TIme" which needs to be put to bed by the end of June.

And suddenly, there is the opportunity to do an animation script ala Hanna Barbera.

Creativity is flowing in the blood stream.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Status Updates

For Lent, I decided to give up Facebook, and this is no small feat for me. For the past year and a half, I've been pretty much addicted to both the posting and the reading of my friends' day-to-day minutiae, so this is a real sacrifice. Often, throughout the day, a thought will occur to me, and then I will recall the fact that I'm not supposed to even be thinking of it. My online experience the past two days has been monotonous to say the least, when you consider that I have thrived on knowing one person's dinner plans, another's state of mind, or that yet another person did not enjoy x, y, or z, and why. Instead, I must resign myself to my own thoughts for entertainment, my own blog for status updates. Here are a few that took place in the last two days alone. rereading Garp.
...just finished Stephen King's On Writing for the second time in six years. saying a prayer for her son.
...wonders what keeps an eleven year old up at night. hoping that seeing a chiropractor wasn't a mistake. dreaming of Boracay.
...wishes giving up FB were easier.
...wants the youth and energy of a tiger.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

In search of sorts

That's how I've been feeling lately. It used to be that I could will these feelings away. If I was out-of-sorts, it took very little to find my way in again. Not lately. Lately, I'm just scattered. Could it be that I'm 42? Recently, I've become all too aware of how out of control everything is. Things that used to come easy no longer do. Energy that used to be readily available is somehow scarce. I no longer know what to do with myself and it seems to me that whole days pass where I achieve absolutely nothing.

It's not a good feeling.

Now that Lent is here, I feel it is once again a time for resolutions, for retreating from the world in order that I may find myself once more. Today, I have given up FB. I am also committing to two days of fasting until Easter, as well as the usual resolve to exercise and regain the running skills I once had. There is also the writing. Two projects - both old - have been restarted. The goal is Stephen King's habit: 2000 words a day.

And then there are the have-tos. The story for eight to twelve year olds about giving back to the poor. The magazine articles. The things that need to be done for the children. The want-tos and the have-tos that need my attention. The next six weeks need to be more about my work and pushing on, not with desperation but with faithful hope.

Let this season of Lent be one of faithful hope and finding my way back to sorts.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


...a not-so-little boy who can't sleep with the light on but is afraid to sleep in the dark...
It appears that the answer is you sit with him in the dark until he falls asleep.

But realistically, how long can you do that?

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The blessing of parenting

They say parenting is the hardest job in the world, and they are right.

It may be true that everyone, at some point, dreams of being a parent,
but it’s also true that not everyone deserves to be. Parenting is a
privilege, one that really ought to be earned.

I think in particular of people who consider their children insurance
against growing old alone. They believe that with children, at least
there will be "someone" to take care of them when they are old and
decrepit. This is not what parenting is about. Parenting is about
selflessly and with unconditional love, raising decent, empowered
human beings who will make positive contributions to the world and
valuable connections with those around them.

As a parent myself, I know how hard it is. Always I am confronted by
my own failings and imperfections, which get in the way of the good I
wish to achieve in my children. My parenting process is not just about
raising my kids, it is also about raising myself. It is not easy but
the rewards are tremendous and I am humbled with gratitude for them.

Everyone has their own parenting style, and while some take to it with
ease and alacrity, others – like myself - have a more uphill battle.
Without a doubt, my friends fall decisively into the first group.
In the very best sense, they are grown-ups in this world of children.

Together, they are spiritually and emotionally mature and balanced.
They are financially responsible and judicious. They are not just
smart but also sensible. They are not just morally upright but also
God-fearing. Their marriage is not just stable, it is also loving and
based on honesty and mutual respect.

As individuals, they each have these parenting essentials in
abundance: a genuine love for the company of family and friends, a
zest for life, and a sense of humor. More than anyone I kno, they
believe in the goodness of people. They are generous, hopeful and
positive. And their individual personal traits in combination make
them an excellent parenting team. They deserve the privilege of

Even before their son came into their lives, their parenting potential was
self-evident. Seeing them in action today more than confirms this

It’s amazing how she balances that maternal need to shelter and
protect with the equally important need to let go and encourage
independence. As a father, he is affectionate and protective, and
when the time comes, I know he will be a kind but firm disciplinarian,
not to mention a great role model for his son as he ventures into this
fast-paced, rapidly changing world. Beyond blood, their bonding has
made them as naturally organic a family as is possible.

While their family is whole, it is yet complete. It is clear to all
who know them that they should have a second child. They
ought to have a daughter to love and to raise, a little sister for their son.

If only every baby girl out there in need of parents were to be so
lucky as to have her for a mother and role-model, a woman
who is wise beyond her years, strong, gentle and compassionate with
vast reserves of patience and tenderness.

It is true these two have been blessed with their son.
But these wonderful parents - this loving family -
deserves to be twice blessed.

[A character reference letter that I wrote for friends who are
embarking upon their second adoption. My prayers
and good wishes go out to them for this new chapter in their lives.]

Back to business

Is it necessary to account for the absence at all? Isn't it better to just jump right back in, making no noise about it? Just get back into the water without explaining anything? Appear as suddenly as I disappeared?

I think so.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


It's funny how when I was writing MM, the most difficult thing for me was to be funny. "I'm not that funny." I would think to myself. Then I would write a line or two and find it funny, but when I showed it to other people, they would say, "That's not funny." Fortunately, the reviews have called it "sarky" - a brit colloquialism for sarcastic - which at least, relates to humor. So that's a good thing. Even then I knew if I was struggling so hard to be funny, it wouldn't be. I felt like a very bad stand-up comic.

Interestingly, for project 2, funny is not a problem. This protagonist is funny all by herself. She has funny thoughts and says funny things and she makes me laugh all the time. Even in my sleep. She is like the gals I worked for in advertising. They kept me in stitches. Things they said years ago still have me brimming with mirth. And this girl, this heroine, she is like them, and more.

As it is...all these scenes are unfolding and I am constantly reminding myself to keep note of them. Keep catching them. Add them to the list.

In MM, I thought too much. In fact, I over-thought. The result was the heroine was positively annoying in neurotic introspection.
Thankfully, this chick is a breeze. She's laughs at herself and I as a writer laugh with her. I hope she wins out. I hope she stays this way, especially once we start getting on the page.

It would be great to laugh my way through the writing of this book. It's certainly looking that way.

Too long

It's been too long since I've blogged. FB does that to you I guess. But lately, I've been needing the warm-ups as a prelude to the writing I want to do - this as opposed to the writing I have to do. Either way, I need the warm-up. Stretching those muscles - stretching any muscles - is a good thing.

Woody Allen said that the hardest thing about writing is the thinking of it, and I'm starting to agree with him. The funny thing is that I've been doing the thinking of two projects for almost six months now, all the while doing all the things I'm supposed to do. Being a wife. Being a mother. Raising a daughter and a son. Building a house. Keeping a house. Writing to help out. Writing to earn a bit of money. Organizing health issues for the parents and children. Getting a dog. Raising a dog. Keeping healthy. Trying to run. Getting fit. Worrying about the future. Trying not to worry about the future.

All the while, the thinking of it is taking place. It is exciting, but it raises the question, at what point is the thinking enough and when can the writing begin?

The interesting thing is multiplicity of distractions. There is another novel with chicklit tendencies lurking in there. There is also a novel of a more serious, dare I say, literary vein. There is also a children's story as well as a short novel for young adults. And the other day, there was even a musical.

It's important to focus, but I persist in the notion that out of the chaos will come order, and in this multitasking world, it is possible to have a few pots on the stove, a few buns in the oven. The wealth of creative ideas is something to be thankful for. It is a positive.

But clearly, it also means that much of it needs to be sorted out. Ergo the resurrection of this blog that has been dormant for almost six months.

It is active again.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Running with novel ideas

Very constantly, even in the midst of everything that's been keeping me busy, I've been thinking about my next novel. The next one and the one after that. There's the one that has been at chapter five since 2005. There's the one that's actually currently a novelistic short story that's never been published. Whenever I have a spare moment, I'm thinking about it. I'm thinking about what is going to happen in the novel, once I actually sit down to it. And then I think I really need to figure it out before I sit down to it.

And this is why I've been looking forward to my runs in the morning. It's also why I don't run with an ipod or any sort of music stimulant. I use my running to think my through my fiction. That's what I think about when I run. It's true that sometimes, the thinking slows my pace, but the running never slows the thinking. In fact, it stimulates it.

Today, I completed my first 15K run. My time wasn't great; at 2 hours and 20 minutes, you might even call it slow. But I never slowed down as to actually walk throughout the entire thing, which is a good thing.

But the best thing? I know now how my second novel, my first real novel will start, how it will progress and even how it will end.
That's more than just good. It's fantastic.

And It all came together in my mind at the pace of my running feet.

Kids on break

Kids on break
So what are you going to do about it?

Reminder: Buy fruit

Reminder: Buy fruit

Likewise, Quintosians rule

Likewise, Quintosians rule
on with family business


Isang Sandali

Sisterhood rules

Sisterhood rules
Here's to being the best we can be!

Apparently, this is me. Now which card are you?

You are The Wheel of Fortune

Good fortune and happiness but sometimes a species of intoxication with success

The Wheel of Fortune is all about big things, luck, change, fortune. Almost always good fortune. You are lucky in all things that you do and happy with the things that come to you. Be careful that success does not go to your head however. Sometimes luck can change.

What Tarot Card are You?
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