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Posts Tagged ‘writing’


Today I went to the opening of the newest branch of SM, its 60th. As it is just a tricycle ride from our place, I had the chance to witness how people flocked to the shopping mall, jostled with the crowd waiting outside. I got curious.  There was traffic near the place since a lot of vehicles were turning right to occupy the parking spaces still left open at the SM City East Ortigas Mall.  There were high-end shops inside much like you see in their bigger branches. The first thing I went to though was at  National Bookstore.  This was more organized than their previous one in this same place.

I bought some books for our little one and browsed over their bestsellers displayed at the shelves. I saw books by Lang Leav selling at P799 each.  Have you ever had any penchant for pens and pencils? During my college days, I was enamored with  colored pens which I used to plot curves and lines, bar graphs and pie charts in my Economics course.   I still love collecting them until now. Just this morning, I saw this lovely image on my news feed.  I am not sure where it originated but it was such a perfect way to demonstrate how it was years and years ago when personal computers were still unheard of.

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We all learned the art of writing words  and our alphabets through this, right? The ever reliable pencil with an eraser at the tip. I remember when I was in grade one, we used to write  with those black pencils as big as my  fingers.  At some point the eraser comes off because we bite it during those hard times when we can’t follow instructions from our teachers.  Now erasers come in different sizes, in different colors and even in different scents.  They look like candies  to the untrained eye. The pencil   as we know today comes in a protective casing made of wood  or plastic and painted in different colors. Those various shapes and colors of sharpeners are a dream too. Despite the modern technology that we have now, this popular writing tool is still being used. It’s our first computer, so to speak.

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Whoa!

In all my seven years in the blogging world, this is the first time that it happened to me. Yesterday I was so disappointed that I lost a 500-letter blog post because I forgot to save it before copying to another site. It was supposed to be a guest post for a friend here who welcomes other bloggers to share their posts on his site. Just click this link to see his wonderful blog. Hi there Pete, maybe some other time, I’ll share a post  on your wall. Much as I want to reorganize my thoughts and rewrite the whole thing, it’s a futile exercise. Maybe the WordPress app read it as “delete the whole thing” when I shaded off the post, ready to copy it but forgot to save it first.

I have always been careful when it comes to publishing new posts. You have to take everything into consideration, the grammar error mostly because when you’re the one who edits your post, there may be spelling mistakes, tenses that do not go well with what you have in mind, words that are not appropriate to use and such. The downside of using the proofread writing app here is that as long as the words are correctly spelled, it would tell you ” no errors were found”.

But there is  good news.

Last July 7, I received a message from WordPress that says;


On Thursday, July 7, 2016 you surpassed your previous record of most follows in one day for your blog DREAMS AND ESCAPES. Nice!
Most Follows in One Day
Current Record: 7
Old Record: 6

13590418_1222723001085059_4170030454128467523_nWhat a nice surprise! Since the beginning of the month of July, I noticed a trickle of new followers, one or two max within the day but that was okay with me because it is not every day that you get to meet new bloggers who take time to comment and visit your blog. That’s actually a bonus.  Based on my stats, I earned a following of 30 bloggers since the start of July 2016.  Thank you so much, I would love to return the favor one of these days by visiting your blogs too.

I’ve always been conscious of the remaining 29% free space that I could still use here.  Perhaps you have noticed that I don’t post so many photos like I used to  because they eat up the available space when you are using a free theme. I have another blog for photography which I lately updated, a different blog for the grandson, a new blog called Dreams Never End which I would love to use fully once this is filled up. My  gardening posts are quite erratic since they depend on what I find in my small garden that I would love to share.  Although it does not matter much because I would still share my thoughts here even if only a few read it, I am proud to have 1,667 blog followers, 1,819 posts including this one and a total of 413,032 stats at the moment.

Kudos to blogging. We make mistakes sometimes but they are learning curves too.

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This morning, I received these greetings with the same familiar logo of WordPress.

Happy Anniversary with WordPress. com. You registered on WordPress. com 8 years ago. Thanks for  flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.

Thanks WordPress. Has it really been that long? I know I registered eight years ago but  it took me more than a year to actively start blogging. I didn’t know how to customize a theme. I didn’t even know what to blog about even if  back then, I had separate blogs on Multiply and Friendster. Unofficially, Dreams and Escapes  would be turning seven come May.

It’s been a long journey, finding your own niche in the blogging world using a popular site like WordPress. It’s been a long journey, giving a voice to what’s on your mind, tucking the fragments  of time in one’s memory, stringing words to make a long post, creating poems  and being amazed at the joys of taking photos, experimenting on macro photography. It’s been a long journey of faith and  hope.

The pleasure one gets when you publish something, the delight in reading and answering comments, the luxury of having loyal online friends who look forward to every post and the pleasure of  reading other posts and discovering  new blogs and writers – priceless.

I have five blogs in all with separate and different entries on each one.  Obsessed? Not really. Blogging has become a catharsis for me over the years. When life’s angst glares at  you in the face,  writing heals a little of the hurts and pains that it brings. Sharing the joys and inspirations will always be a priority though.  I have a  total of 1,766 posts excluding this one.1,545 followers and a total of 392,386 views as of this writing.  I don’t follow my stats on my other blogs. A while ago, WordPress informed me that I am getting upward spike on my Garden and  Empty Spaces blog. I haven’t updated the site for a long time.

Eight years! Time flies!

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I was quite surprised to see my stats today. For two consecutive days, I received notifications from WordPress that said, “Your stats are booming! DREAMS AND ESCAPES is getting lots of traffic.”  You feel elated when you see something like this and thankful that people read what you write about.  There was an  upswing  on my previous posts as far back as 2011. I don’t know why. Back then, likes and comments were a rarity.  I don’t remember if there were “like” features several years ago but I used to get around 300 to 400 visits a day  back then. Have things changed? I don’t know because lately, that was cut in half but still a sizable figure for an unknown blogger like me. I would still blog even without those likes and comments but then I have to admit that one becomes inspired when fellow bloggers follow your posts and leave wonderful comments in the process.

You might laugh at this but I still use the old format when adding a post. I am not making excuses but it is easier to write and edit your post in the old  format. Don’t make the mistake of re-editing though because it will revert back to the new one.  Maybe, I am really getting old, comfortable with what I am used to. It’s like those rituals that makes life easier – you have perfected waking up early, playing with the dogs at 6am, watering the plants and cleaning the garden of leaves and debris brought about by hanging amihan (northeast monsoons that bring cold dry air from icy Siberia), finding new blooms and wanting to capture them with your camera freezing the images forever, a snip of unwanted branches here and there and yes, getting hold of a good book when the chores are done.  Life is simple and I find joy and happiness in simple things. Even  listening to early morning news or a music program on my transistor radio while I am out in the garden is a bliss. More reasons to smile 🙂

There is an advantage of writing a post every day. You won’t feel that dry spell or what others conveniently calls  writer’s block.  You have all the ideas and words running riot in your head but you can’t seem to create a sentence that would fill the blank page in front of you.  You want to write about this and that but you don’t know where to start.  When you do it every  day, it seems easier though. I don’t think I could duplicate writing  daily. It really is a challenge for me now.

Writing out loud, hearing your voice in cyberspace, making friends, discovering new places, reading interesting blog posts and seeing those meaningful, lovely and beautiful captures shared by other bloggers – these make blogging worthwhile. It’s like writing a book of short stories on different subjects (sometimes emotions are played to the hilt) and sharing how life is in your corner of the world.

Did I say that this is my 1,762nd post?

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Gosh, no matter how careful you are in  editing your blog posts, sometimes there is always an unwanted word  or an unwanted letter that should not be there at all.  Or maybe in your haste to publish what you have written, you don’t see your own mistakes glaring at you in the face. I think the hardest thing to edit is your own work.  I was frowning when I saw these words….when a personS starts….That was the quote I included in my last post. What a shame, personS indeed. It’s the “S” letter and it’s ugly  😦

The proofreader here is not enough because as long as the spelling of the word is correct, even if it was improperly used in a sentence you’ll still get to see “no writing errors were found”.

This reminds me of the late Inday Badiday’s tv program Careful, Careful. 

Even seasoned authors have lapses too in their writings. I see those words especially in e-books. Those memes on Facebook, they make my head ache just reading those things on  my news feed every day, that is why I don’t allow others to post on my wall. No one is allowed to automatically post things on my timeline, I review all tags before I add them up.

How do you use “who” and “that” in your sentence?

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It’s been a while  and that translates  to almost a week without blogging. Here’s one sure proof that a day is not complete without writing those thoughts, some fleeting burst of inspiration but always, always would not come when you’re ready to write them down and immortalize them on paper, that is. Being busy does not help either and it was quite a busy week for me.

I’ve checked my dashboard closely since I got some e-mail updates from about.me , an app which let you make a short introduction about yourself but completely separate from the “about page” of WordPress. You can link it to Facebook, Twitter and WordPress. It helps that every update you post on WordPress is automatically posted as link to your blog. It’s only now that I get to appreciate it after  almost a year of using it and earned views and compliments on the side. Maybe their feature on “Added Me to A Collection”  is equal to the blog follows which they have here at WordPress.  I am not too conscious on how many blog followers I have  since I also carefully choose those that I follow so if you are in my orbit, I find all your blogs interesting, something I come back to now and then for updates and where I learn something too on everything you share. My blog followers increased a little though when I joined the  2011 post a day challenge. And when I think of it, I still can’t believe that I was able to challenge myself to write every day and share it with the world. It was fun and it brought me a very significant upswing in my stats which I think is more important than how many followers one has. It makes me smile when  I encounter people who are not even my  blog followers and yet  make lovely  comments in some of my posts. The last time I looked, WordPress has this update:

1,351  posts (and this is my 1,352nd)

239,378  viewed my page

620  followers

And this is only for my main blog, Dreams and Escapes. I also have three more blogs  which are steadily gaining views/followers/comments but I don’t regularly update them as much as I do with my main blog. And I want to be honest with you, I don’t regularly read Freshly Pressed  but I admire those bloggers whose posts are featured there. And I don’t follow  WordPress’s suggestions on what to write about except for participating in their Weekly Photo Challenge which I haven’t done lately. Four years ago, I started this blog to share my plight as a cancer patient/survivor and over the years it somehow evolved into something more personal than writing about doctor visits, chemotherapy and such.  I am allowed 3,072MB to use but I already used up 1,889.85MB. That’s a total of 62% space used and I am wondering how the remaining 38% would last, always taking into account the pictures I attach on almost all of my blogs. Maybe, I have to cut on posting photos and update my Cams and Photos blog instead. I still picture myself blogging for the next three or four years, making  regular updates on my blog about baby Nate. One thing I learned is this, having so many followers does not equate to more viewers  and  even if your blog has a few followers , if they like the content of your blog, they will always come back and visit you.

What about you? Do you find self-fulfillment in blogging? I do.

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IMG_3427 Then she said:

I have a notebook with me all the time, and I begin scribbling a few words. When things are going well, the walk does not get anywhere; I finally just stop and write.

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I could still remember the very first time I kept a journal –  it was almost 38 years ago. It was a pink, ordinary notebook but on the cover was written Journal in black letters. I still have it until now, all tattered at the edges and the cover is already detached from the spine.  And I wrote these quotes on the first page.

“Your idea of me is fabricated with materials you have borrowed from other people and from yourself. What you think of me depends on what you think of yourself. Perhaps you create your idea of me out of material you would like to eliminate from your own idea of yourself. Perhaps your idea of me is a reflection of what other people think of you. Or perhaps what you think of me is simply what you think I think of you.

These are quotes from Thomas Merton, one of my favorite authors when I was in college. I think it was from the book No Man Is An Island. I am  lucky to have one of his books, Thoughts on Solitude which I received on my birthday together  with nine more books that I have on my wish list.

I digress. That was the start of my love affair with pen and paper.  Back then, snail mail was something to be treasured and writing your thoughts daily was some kind of magic, the magic of stringing words into something  worth-keeping and worth re-reading. The fascination of keeping one never waned all these years and collecting journals became an obsession. I must admit though that I now prefer writing my thoughts through a blog, an easier way  but it has become public.  For the past three years, my daughter has gifted me with those lovely journals from Bank of the Philippine Islands where she works  with pictures of artworks/paintings  in their own collection by world-renowned Filipino artists. Some close friends who know  of my fascination for collecting journals gifted me with some.

You see, I have this ambitious dream of writing (by hand) all the entries I posted here at WordPress, all 1,072 of them and that’s just for Dreams and Escapes. I still have two more blogs that I don’t often update.

There is something nice about writing with pen. Just feel the smooth touch of pen to the pristine pages. It’s more personal and more appealing to one’s eyes and senses. Do you agree?

I remember those years when I used to buy scented pens  and what dreams I have shared  in all those notebooks. I use them now for my reflections and short prayers at our Catholic page and for some quotes that I find worth sharing.

This afternoon, I went to National Bookstore to buy plastic covers for my new books and look what I found, two lovely boxes which I could use for my arts and crafts projects or  maybe  for those stationeries, ribbons and greeting cards that I keep  all year round.

I keep old letters in shoeboxes covered with gift wraps at the sides but these look more sturdy to use and they are more spacious.  I simply can’t resist  these colorful rose designs 🙂

A few years ago,  I found this lovely rattan box in one of my forays at Dapitan Arcade. How I wish I bought more. It is so handy as an organizer for my journals.

October is about to end and I am looking forward to another lovely month of fulfilled dreams and surprises. Happy All SaintsDay everyone!

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What started as a gloomy and depressing morning  was a  delightful day after all. Talk about surprise finds and nice endings. Don’t get me wrong and don’t be mislead by the title. I am just talking about books here, yes books I found this afternoon in one of my rare trips at Booksale. It’s that moment you find something unexpected and you squeal with delight, a scandalous  shout of YES  and people looked at you with indulgent smiles on their faces. One of them said, when I told her that I’ve waited too long to find a copy of this one, “It’s your lucky day.”

A year ago, my daughter borrowed a copy of On Writing (A Memoir of the Craft) by Stephen King and I made a short review in one of my blogs here. Guess what, I found a hardbound copy of the book this afternoon, a  steal at P130.00, it’s brand new complete with a dust jacket. It’s a must-read for those dreaming of writing one day, a lovely companion for those who love the written word.

 

I actually bought four more books, a little over the budget but I simply can’t resist Luanne Rice , Rosamunde Pilcher and Anita Shreve.  I love Anita Shreve in Resistance and The Pilot’s Wife, I hope  All He Ever Wanted won’t disappoint. Here’s a nice quote from the cover of Luanne Rice’s Safe Harbor:  No matter where life takes you, you’ll always come home.” Nice, isn’t it?  And I am lucky to have found Rosamunde Pilcher’s The Rosamunde Pilcher Collection, an omnibus copy of her three novels, one of which I’ve already read but I think is still worth-rereading.  And this is a nice surprise, More Glimpses of Heaven (Inspiring True Stories of Hope and Peace at the End of Life’s Journey). I think this book would help in my reflections for my apostolate work at AFCC.

I was invited by the  Dominican Community (Order of Preachers) as one of the guest speakers in their upcoming Social Media Summit this October. I am keeping my fingers crossed, I hope I would not disappoint them.

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I don’t know why I am even blogging about WordPress themes and such.  Many times in the past (think, a few minutes ago) I was tempted to change the look of this blog  but somehow, after so many  searches, I always end up with this clean, uncluttered and simple style of Misty Look. I remember having this even  when I started blogging at Friendster before.  I would have loved something nice like my Gardens and Escapes blog or my colorful Doutone Cams and  Photo blog, but  there’s that big “but” lurking somehow 🙂 It’s like having your comfort zone suddenly ripped from your sight or your best friend turning her back on you. I am exaggerating here but I guess, it would probably take a long time for me to change the misty look of this blog.

I was thinking, what if a have this included in the Networked Blog at Facebook, will I gain more followers? Although this is a public site, I still prefer that friends  find my writings  here instead of having them see every post I make. I still love the “incognito” feel of blogging at WordPress.

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