Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Last January, I made myself commit to the ambitious pursuit  of posting daily when WordPress challenged its bloggers to post blogs on a daily or a weekly basis.  And I thought, why not although I was not so sure if I’ll be able to come up with a daily blog post. Like all challenges in life, nothing would come out of it if you won’t spend time and  if you are not focused on doing it.  And it was a challenge, right?

There are  times when you could not come up with any blog worthy of being published, at other times though, you are inspired enough to publish at least two posts. When I started with Post a Day Challenge 2011, I only had more than 20,000 page views after more than one year and seven months of blogging. My intention was just to share my journey as a cancer patient/survivor. I told myself that I would be happy if I could encourage and touch one person who was traveling the same journey as I did. I was pleasantly surprised when I received lots of comments and inquiries on how I went about my surgery, chemotherapy and how I coped with the daily pressures of having the most dreaded disease in the planet.  After more than eleven months, my stats did a crazy dance by registering almost 69,000 hits as of this writing. I  can’t believe it, Post a  Day Challenge 2011  helped definitely.  And writing has become a daily habit instead of a challenge to overcome.  The first two months were of course a little difficult but when you come up with a blog every night or at the break of dawn (these are the times that I feel inspired to blog), it becomes easy as one, two, three.

For one thing, my reflections here helped me with administering a Catholic site at our Facebook page.  And it’s not only about meeting the challenge per se, but it is also about the joys of sharing and writing.  It’s about getting in touch with your inner self and reaching your dreams. This is my 744th post,  with 68,915 views all-time.

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I love the topic introduced by WordPress, something like what’s the title of your blog and why you chose it.  Long before I started blogging regularly, I was into keeping journals,  and that was way back in college. Those were the times that I was a little too emotional and  a little insecure so  writing my thoughts was easier than reading a book. I got through college life meeting new friends some of whom had the same idea of keeping one’s self sane – writing. I have the following introductory blog here at WordPress, the very first one I wrote when I began my journey here more than two years ago.

The first time I ever laid my hands on pen and paper, I thought of becoming a writer someday. I was a dreamer – a helpless one. I guess it’s always like that, when one is young, you gaze at the world with childlike wonder, as if you could take it at a mere scoop of the hand. The world was bright, shining with a star-like quality that easily dazzles the eye. I found out later that it was like an icing on a cake, beautiful to look at but you’ll never really know what is inside unless you take a bite…

It comes when one feels quite nostalgic about things, it comes when you think that you just had to stop living in the present (or is it mere existing?) And go back instead…go back to childhood dreams? Maybe! After all, the past still holds some kind of magic, ‘though it’s nothing more now than an obscured vision.

Really, if I have to hold my pen again, I wouldn’t think of writing about love, not anymore. those lofty ideals must somehow be replaced by ongoing reality. The dreamer must somehow face the truth that not all dreams come true. And the writer? I guess, I have to try again, there is still that in-depth feeling to be recognized, anyhow, in any way. And if I have to choose my subject, I’ll write about you instead.

And I remember writing this quote in one of my dilapidated journals, the cover of which is now almost off the pages. It is a quote from Louisa May Alcott.

We all have our own life to pursue, our own kind of dream to be weaving. And we all have some power to make wishes come true, as long as we keep believing.

Life starts with  a beautiful dream. Life starts in somehow believing that one day you’ll get what you wished and prayed for. Life starts with something you believe you can do and dream about.  My entries here are  mostly about my journey as a cancer patient, a cancer survivor, a mother, a wife, a friend, and about the books I read, places I want to visit and have visited, people I want to meet someday and mostly about the daily grind of simple living. Dreams and Escapes is about having enough faith to go on, the will to live no matter how difficult life may seem sometimes and grateful appreciations of all the things one holds dear. It is about the belief that I could share a little of my journey through writing and writing is an escape for me. When things get a little too hard to bear, I put them  into perspective by sharing them here.

Dreams and Escapes, why not?

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I keep coming back, looking at some quotes on her poems, but it is not enough, I want to get hold of one of her books.  This is my second blog on Mary Oliver since I discovered her in another site that I regularly visit. A writer friend commented when I posted some quotes on my wall at Facebook and she gladly provided me with some excerpts from the author’s poems.  I told her I could feel every word Mary O  has written.  There are poets and there are writers but when one is lucky enough to encounter their lovely thoughts, one is transported to another world. I’m quite envious that she could clearly string words that thrill and delight one’s senses.

Welcome to the silly, comforting poem.
It is not the sunrise,
which is a red rinse,
which is flaring all over the eastern sky;
it is not the rain falling out of the purse of God;
it is not the blue helmet of the sky afterward,
or the trees, or the beetle burrowing into the earth;
it is not the mockingbird who, in his own cadence,
will go on sizzling and clapping
from the branches of the catalpa that are thick with blossoms,
that are billowing and shining,
that are shaking in the wind.

You still recall, sometimes, the old barn on your
great-grandfather’s farm, a place you visited once, and
went into, all alone, while the grownups sat and
talked in the house.
It was empty, or almost. Wisps of hay covered the floor,
and some wasps sang at the windows, and maybe there was
a strange fluttering bird high above, disturbed, hoo-ing
a little and staring down from a messy ledge with wild,
binocular eyes.

Mostly, though, it smelled of milk, and the patience of
animals; the give-offs of the body were still in the air,
a vague ammonia, not unpleasant.

Mostly, though, it was restful and secret, the roof high
up and arched, the boards unpainted and plain.
You could have stayed there forever, a small child in a corner,
on the last raft of hay, dazzled by so much space that seemed
empty, but wasn’t.

Then–you still remember–you felt the rap of hunger–it was
noon–and you turned from that twilight dream and hurried back
to the house, where the table was set, where an uncle patted you
on the shoulder for welcome, and there was your place at the table.

Nothing lasts.
There is a graveyard where everything I am talking about is,
I stood there once, on the green grass, scattering flowers.
Nothing is so delicate or so finely hinged as the wings
of the green moth
against the lantern
against its heat
against the beak of the crow
in the early morning.

Yet the moth has trim, and feistiness, and not a drop
of self-pity.
Not in this world.

How I wish I could write my thoughts like she does. Wishful thinking of course, because it will never be, not even in this lifetime. Suffice to say, I enjoy reading every word she writes. I find pleasure in every thought she imparts.  Thank you Mary Oliver!

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I caught a glimpse of you

from some recess of memory

When I woke up, I knew

It was a dream


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This is just one of the topics on the daily digest of WordPress – keeping an idea box. I’ve always thought of doing the same but I  always forget to jot my thoughts down when they are playing in my head. They come at such inopportune moments when I am doing something like gardening or watering the plants or when I am reading. I should have followed one of my friend’s suggestions to have a little notebook  and pen within reach all the time. An idea may be just a word or a sentence or a whole paragraph that simply would not go away right at that moment but when you try to reconstruct it after a while, the nice thought is gone. Does that happen to you too?

I have kept several journals  since my college days, more so nowadays that I need to jot down references and daily Scripture readings for my online apostolate.  And going back to keeping an “idea box”, I think it would really help when you couldn’t find a topic that would inspire. I have a friend who says that he writes even on bus tickets and paper napkins when he has something worth writing about, just the idea and then he’ll expand it later in a blog. Would love to try this starting today.

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Some friends were asking how I’m able to come up with a blog everyday. Am I really that inspired to write about anything? Am I not tired of being in front of the computer screen trying to fill in the empty space?  Well, it’s just like asking, “do you pray everyday” or “do you eat dinner everyday”?  Yes to the last two questions. I would be a hypocrite if I say that I am always inspired because sometimes I couldn’t think of any subject to write about. Blogging everyday can be a bit stressful.  There is always the pressure of  thinking of   a good content which sometimes restricts you in being spontaneous in your writing.  I believe that when you read a lot, be it the daily news or your favorite book, it somehow gives you the idea on what to write about.  Reading other blogs sometimes  helps. Write about the book you have just read, or a quote that touched you, or a conversation with a friend that made your day.  I always find inspiration by staying in our garden for an hour or two everyday.  There was a time when I wondered why ants kiss when they meet and wrote about it. Surprisingly, it is one of my most read blogs.

I just spent the day arranging and uploading pictures in  one of my online sites. Having the Zoom browser of my Canon digital camera does help a lot. I could always edit, crop and put texts in all the shots I’ve done.  It is always nice to maintain your photos in high res. They accord you the joys of seeing them clear and  not grainy.  I’m getting good at macro shots, if I may say.  I am documenting every summer bloom in our mini garden. It always makes me smile to see the pictures I took a few years ago and compare them with what I have now. It’s a nice surprise to see some annuals showing their faces again.

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I’ll give it a GO, posting and writing a blog everyday.  I have seen this WordPress challenge since the start of the new year but I didn’t give  much thought  to subscribe, neither did I check  the various helpful topics they have posted at the site.  For now, there are several subjects and topics to write about.  I just could not organize my thoughts sometimes to make a really interesting blog, but I have just started churning out  sixteen blogs as of yesterday.  I was quite impressed when WordPress sent me those two e-mails about the status of my blogs.  It’s a  “wow” indeed to be noticed  and a little inspiring that a lot of people views your blog everyday and sometimes leave comments.  It would not be all blogging for me though because I also want to catch up on my reading which I have neglected for a while.

So what do you think, let’s give it a try!

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The 2010 In Review really made my day!   What a nice surprise  – a welcome gift for our 29th Wedding Anniversary  today!

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Hubby says, I could make  a book yet and he has been saying that since I started keeping a journal.  An ambition I have nurtured for the past several years but I do think I don’t have that talent to write a book, much less publish one.  My field was in banking and although I majored in Economics, I haven’t lost my love of the written word and I did try to dabble in short story writing and some bits of poetry, mostly about love, some teenage way of  coping with the lonely days of pining for an unreachable star.  Those were the years when almost everyday, I kept my journal updated, and between bouts of crying and mooning over a lost love,  I found that writing was such a sort of catharsis  to get over the sleepless nights and dreamful wakefulness.  Have I been that emotional?  There comes a point in anyone’s life that  one becomes vulnerable, capable of feeling so much pain in the process but growing wiser in the end.

I kept my dream though, and in between raising a family and being busy earning a living,  I nurtured it till I was brave enough to share that journal publicly, through my blog.  About a year ago, I subscribed to the online site of one of the major newspapers, The Philippine Star, since I  was a regular follower of Lucy  Torres’ byline published every Sunday.  The first time I got invited to share my thoughts, it was for their anniversary issue and the question was, “Why do you read Philippine Star?”. That was easy enough so I submitted my entry and luckily it was published  during their anniversary.  My friends and I were so excited seeing my picture and article in print.  How happier could you get?  The second invitation came when Pres. Cory Aquino died.  I felt I could never do justice to a lady revered and respected by many.  Although I wrote a blog about Ninoy before, it was not enough.  Last February 18, I got another invite  via e-mail.  The topic was about OFWs and their families, their rich experiences traversing life with an incomplete family.  I felt I really could relate.  Twenty years of living that kind of life gave me the chance to share, but this time it is a sort of contest entitled  Share Your Story. I asked two of my close friends if I could pull it off if I give it a try. Lovell wrote back,  “Wow, that’s great. Certainly you will”. And Karen texted, “Of course you could. Kaya mo yan, go, go,  go girl. Good luck”. Wow, those words gave me the courage to share my life to the world.

It’s been published and I feel happy that it was.  I posted a link here earlier, Finally home | Home The Filipino Global Community Share Your Story.  Winning in the final judging would be another bonus but win or loss, I feel I’ve achieved something for myself at least. It might not be that gargantuan but it gives me that certain high to see my name again in print, read by many and if I could touch some lives sharing my story, that would be a dream fulfilled for me.

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