Sunday, January 21, 2018

The Goldfish

A skin meant for swimming,
Fins that flip in water,
Eternally looking,
In a color better,
Than the popular stone,
Pleasantly not fully-grown.

But if you laugh at her,
For not having your legs,
Never walking, ever,
Swimming water that eggs
Not close enough to land,
A silly tail like wand.

O her days will be dark,
Nothing can ever spark
Her little, shameful heart.

For she can't walk like you,
She can't leave her water,
O has no hair like you,
She doesn't feel better,
Though she's meant to swish
As the little goldfish.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

The Dragon

Screaming, running of feet,
Slashing sounds of their swords,
In the air of panic,
In the war of the lords.
There are no more children,
No beautiful women.

Just enemies to kill,
Tearing down their pillars.
Gods, worship we will,
But in years of these wars,
They have torn you down, too,
And then she made it through.

Patterns of moving scales,
A jaw flexed in anger,
And ready to breathe fire.

Flames chasing enemies,
Now in their own panic,
Chasing them out so swift,
Without the win they seek,
Out of our tall wall,
And it will never fall.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Learning Google+



I have a confession: I don’t post on Google+ anymore. It is my blog that has automatically posted this to my Google+ profile. The last time I posted on Google+ was when I was promoting my movie reviews from Bubblews in early 2015.

I do not spend time on Google+ because it is hard to load on my computer and I do not understand it. I never comprehended the idea of Circles, Hangouts, and Google’s version of Facebook Pages until I had to meet some of my friends on Google+.

Google+ has some special features that make it different from other social media websites. Join me as I learn to write my first post that’s especially for Google+.


Write a Whole Paragraph

Write a whole paragraph for your Google+ posts. Ask yourself why you are sharing a link and write your answer in the paragraph. Include what you want people to do for you in connection with your post, too. Google+ demands a lot more words than Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. This makes Google+ perfect for times when you want to write way more than one sentence or one hundred forty characters.

You can express so many of your thoughts on Google+ without standing out like a sore thumb. You don’t have to omit sentences just to fit your post into a required word count.

Create a Title

Now, write the title of your Google+ post. Google+ post titles have to start with an asterisk and end with an asterisk. Here’s an example:

*Charlene Learns Google+*

Your title must be catchy and must be relevant to your post.

Never write catchy titles that have no connection to your posts. People may pay attention to your deceivingly catchy title, but the disappointment over the disconnected content will keep them from paying attention to your posts ever again. Online marketing may be controlled by technology, but technology can’t control readers’ emotions.

Add a Subheading

After writing your title, write a subheading below your title. Google+ subheadings must begin with an underscore and end with an underscore to italicize it. Here’s another example:

_And Makes Her First Google+ Mistake_

I usually don’t write subheadings because, in graphic design, they tend to distract the eyes from the title.

According to marketing experts, though, Google+ posts that contain subheadings are way more successful than Google+ posts with only titles. So add a subheading to your post, one that expands your title further to give your readers a clearer idea of your post.

Include an Image

Add an image to your post to make your post “pop.” If the link you are sharing on Google+ leads to an article that has an image, Google+ will automatically fetch its image for you and include it in your post.

People love visuals. A post with an image will get their attention better than a post that has only text. Outside of the lives of writers and readers, nobody really likes to read. Having an image on your post guarantees that several eyes will find it, and maybe they’ll check out the link you shared.

It will also make your post look beautiful. Lots of texts look good.

Google+ may seem extremely confusing because of too much content that is divided into too many sections that have too many colors, but with a little bit of reading, it can be understood. Using Google+ the right way is actually easy. Creating a great Google+ post is so simple.

Photo credit: Pixabay

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Is Writing Really for You?



“You were meant to be a graphic artist, not a writer,” my sister liked to say.

I do sometimes wonder if writing is truly for me. What if I were meant to do something else? What if writing was actually not for me? Maybe I just had no other choice when I started working as a writer in 2009.

The Myers Briggs personality test says my personality type is more for business, but it did suggest writing novels as an alternative.

You will know that writing is truly for you if you possess these four traits of a writer.

An Absent-minded Wish

You have been daydreaming about writing since as far as you can remember. As a child, you daydreamed about writing articles and having people read them. You wanted to inspire people through your words.

Whenever you were writing for a school project, you daydreamed that the whole world would be admiring your writing. Whenever something exciting happened, you planned on your mind how you would write it down and how sharing the story with the world will inspire people to change their lives.

You wanted to be known as a writer. You wanted to change the whole world with your works of literature.

The Endless Perfectionism

You make your writing as perfect as possible. You organize your paragraphs according to their topics. You capitalize wherever there should be capital letters. You put proper punctuation. You remove the words that do not contribute to the overall ideas. You can’t keep yourself from reading again and again to check that there are no wrong commas, no typographical errors, no missing words, etc. Google becomes your constant companion as you research to double check the facts in your writing and also to check which word should be used before which word.

You feel a painful feeling inside you whenever you see bad writing.


Too Much Self-Doubt

You believe you can’t be a writer. You make unattainable measurements to determine whether or not you are a writer, like becoming someone who is way better than you or living in a fairytale kingdom. As long as you don’t have those things, you tell yourself you are not a legitimate writer.

What people see as your published works are less than 1% of your actual works because you have locked most of them up in some hidden archive due to the inner belief that they are all just crap.

When you are given the opportunity to share your writing, you feel dread and absolute fear.

A Need to Just Write

You can’t live without writing. Whenever you have been away from writing for quite some time, you start to feel like something important is missing. You become upset, weird, and miserable. All you want is to write.

Once you get back to writing, you can feel your upset starting to lessen with each word. You end up writing long articles until your upset is gone.

You write to live. Your life is based on writing. Sometimes, you can’t do something without writing about doing it first. There are also simple things you understand only after you write about them. You are alive in your world of words and oblivious to your real world.

Becoming a writer is hard and we have a reason to wonder if we truly were meant to be writers. There are certain traits that make a writer, though. I may be a little bit of a graphic designer or a businesswoman, but I’m still a writer.

Photo credit: Pixabay

Sunday, November 26, 2017

How to Not Improve Your Writing



Someone claimed last year that I’ve been looking for Americans online only to chat with them to learn how to write in English.

So many things are wrong about his claim. The most obvious wrong thing about his claim is that Americans are not the only ones who know English. Some of my African friends actually have perfect English grammar. Another wrong thing about his claim is that I already know how to write in English.

Sometimes, I read the things I wrote when I was 12-years-old and marvel at how my writing was a lot better when I still had no laptop. The internet actually destroys my writing.

Here are more ways to destroy your writing.

Chatting with Jejemons

Spending long sessions of text chat with jejemons will ruin your writing. “Jejemon” is a modern, informal Tagalog word. It is used to denote a person who writes using numbers, capitalizes letters in the middle or at the end of their words, simply capitalizes incorrectly, shortens words by removing vowels or certain syllables, purposefully misspells words for uniqueness, uses punctuation incorrectly, and uses a lot of emojis. Reading their messages can mess up your knowledge of proper writing.

Don’t get me wrong; I have nothing against jejemons. Jejemons make better friends than people who have impressive writing in text chat. Jejemons’ writing is just affecting.

Reading Bad Writing

Reading bad writing, especially common Facebook posts, can destroy your writing. Most people will post anything just to post something. Spending a few minutes in your Facebook News Feed guarantees the discovery of grammatical errors that range from absent-minded mistakes to shocking errors. There are also blogs that contain distracting grammatical errors.

What you see affects you and reading way too much bad writing on the internet can soon ruin your own writing. Bad writing is like a contagious disease and the plague is rampant.

Even the websites of trusted news magazines sometimes contain writing errors when they publish flash news.

Not Writing

Not writing everyday can ruin your ability to write a good story or article. Writing posts on Facebook and other social media websites is not writing because they are too short. Writing is spending hours struggling to construct long words and paragraphs that say what you want to say in a way that your readers can understand.

There is a thing they call the “writing muscle.” Like a real muscle, it must be used often to keep it strong. When you stop using it, you get atrophy. Your ability to write well will degenerate and you will have extreme difficulty once you get back to writing.

Practicing Bad Writing Habits

On the other hand, getting yourself used to writing incorrectly still won’t improve your writing. Many writers keep journals, write notes, and many other forms of private writing. Just because nobody’s watching, they make shortcuts by skipping the proper arrangement of paragraphs or writing “irregardless.” I used to have fun writing weirdly in my journal to celebrate the fact that no one will catch me.

Once you are made to write in an emergency, you will write in public what you have been writing in private.

It is okay to shorten words and make incomplete sentences when writing notes in a hurry, just try to correct them afterwards.

Some of the things you do every day are actually harmful to your writing. Even the people you spend time with can harm your craft. Taking a vacation for too long can also ruin your writing.

Photo credit: Pixabay

Sunday, November 19, 2017

4 Ways to Improve Your Writing



The worst critique I ever received about my writing was nothing at all. The man just finished reading and never said anything ever again. I don’t even know if he managed to finish my book at all.

I did the book as a part of a test and he was supposed to approve it. He did approve it, he just didn’t say anything after that. He used to talk about the creation of the book.

It was upsetting and humiliating. His silence left an empty space that my upset mind filled with all of the worst remarks about my bad writing. On the bright side, that experience challenged me to write better.

Let me share a few tips with you so we can improve our writing together. I hope these tips help you. These are four, simple ways to improve your writing.

Get Rid of Words Nobody Needs

When you are editing your article or book, find the words that it can exist without. Trust me, you will find a lot of unnecessary words from your writing. Do not submit an article or book that take hundreds of words to discuss only one idea.

An article or book that contains only necessary words are pleasing to the eyes and saves people’s time.

A writing style that contains only the necessary words also makes you seem intelligent and pleasant to talk with. It is the form of writing that will be perfect for when you are marketing.

Google Before You Write

Google a fact before you write it. Sometimes, you think you know the truth, but you actually learned about it from an unreliable source.

In this time of fast publications, wrong information is everywhere. Before you post something that you think is a fact, read what reliable sources have to say about it. If it is true, more than one Google result will say that it is so.

There are also special websites that exist to debunk rumors such as Snopes.com.

Do not fall prey to people who only spread wrong information, and do not repeat their actions.

Share, Even Before Your Final Edit

Become a member of a writing workshop. It is intimidating to expose your writing to a group of strangers, especially strangers who could be professional writers, but it will do you good.

Also, it is better to have an exclusive group of writers catch your writing mistakes than to have the whole world - including your (gasp!) potential employer - catch your writing mistakes. Let people in your workshop review your writing and help you become a better writer.

In return, help them improve their writing also.

Express Yourself Fearlessly

Always be yourself, even in writing. Do not be afraid to write your opinions. Open up and tell your true story, including your bad experiences and your precious moments. It will raise the originality factor of your article or book, which both Google and people recognize as quality content.

It will make you stand out as yourself and not disappear into a large group of typical writing that nobody really loves to read.

Writing something unique and unusual will also help people remember you.

Making your writing better involves reading your article or book over and over again to make adjustments. You also need to allow other people to find your writing mistakes for you. Good writing can increase your chances of getting opportunities for collaborations, jobs, and more. Seeing how well-written your articles and book are can make you a happy person who is confident enough to keep writing.

Photo credit: Pixabay

Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Day I Climbed a Cemetery



One of my inspirations to become a writer was my brother, Clarence. I was 1-year-old when he died and I don’t remember him anymore. My only memories of him are stories from my family.

When I was a child, I liked to imagine hard what he looked like and what he was like. I liked to write down who I imagined him to be, and this resulted in the first character I ever created. I soon started to imagine how he would have lived if he hadn’t died, and this resulted in the first story that I wrote.

Clarence died 25 years ago and was buried in a public cemetery called Barangka Cemetery. Barangka Cemetery is located in Barangka, Marikina City. In public cemeteries in the Philippines, tombs are built on top of older tombs. Barangka Cemetery was literally a mountain of tombs.

In 1999, the people who ran Barangka Cemetery removed Clarence from his tomb. They removed him because my family had been unable to pay for his tomb.

The families of dead people had to pay for the area of land that their dead relatives occupy. It cost 50 pesos per year.

They replaced Clarence’s tomb with the tomb of another child whose family lived on T. Joseph Street (a street that was next to the street where my family moved on May 1, 1999.)

While we were living in Barangka, my family visited Barangka Cemetery during the town’s preparations for All Souls’ Day.

The Philippines is one of the only two nations in the whole world that celebrates All Souls’ Day in November. The other is Mexico. It is the day when we remember the dead. On November 2, families camp next to the tombs of their dead relatives. My culture believes dead people’s spirits remain in their tombs, and that we need to visit our dead relatives in the same way that we visit our living relatives on special occasions. People bring flowers, candles, and even foods to their dead relatives. Some of them even bring radios to play music for their dead relatives.

All Souls’ Day is a chance for families to get together. For business owners, it is a chance to earn additional income. On All Souls’ Day, vendors crowd around cemeteries to sell candles, flowers, food, water, and more.

For criminals, All Souls’ Day is a chance to commit crimes. Theft is one of the most common crimes committed in cemeteries on All Souls’ Day. Contraband and illegal weapons have also been found in the luggage of some visitors. It is the reason why policemen, paramedics, and even firemen stand guard and become part of the huge crowd outside cemeteries on All Souls’ Day.

Inside Barangka Cemetery, some of the buildings of tombs were extremely close together. The family members of the dead residents had to squeeze through the narrow alleys between the blocks of tombs to visit their dead relatives.

The dead who had been buried many years ago were already buried beneath hundreds of tombs in the ground. I saw some families digging to find the tombs of their dearly departed. They were using digging materials that looked like axes. They were hitting the ground with those digging materials, sending broken rocks flying to the sides as they dug a hole.

When I first put my foot on a tomb that day, it was disturbing. The tomb felt solid. It was just like climbing up a gigantic step on a huge flight of stairs that had an irregular pattern, except that there was a dead person inside each step. I imagined the dead person lying there beneath my feet, and I was wondering if his ghost noticed me. I was scared that he would haunt me for the rest of my life. As other kids from my neighborhood raced on their way to the top of the cemetery, I started to forget that I was walking on tombs.

After climbing up dozens of tombs for around an hour, we found where they moved Clarence. It was an area of Barangka Cemetery where all of the dead people who had been evicted from their tombs were moved. It was like a cave that had cemented walls, and all of the bones of the dead people were mixed together inside the cave. Clarence’s bones were presumably mixed with those bones.

We stopped next to the families who stood along the walls. They were lighting candles on the walls.

We left the area to continue to the top of Barangka Cemetery. After climbing up more tombs, my family reached the top of the cemetery. There stood a tamarind tree. It wasn’t as peaceful as I had expected. Many other people loved being at the top of the cemetery. Other families were sitting around the tree, watching the people in the town below and the sunset in the nearby Sierra Madre mountain range. From the top of Barangka Cemetery, my town looked like just blocks of square houses beside a road that had moving cars. The lower part of the sun was covered by the mountain range and the sun’s rays were shining on my eyes. My mother told me we should go back.

On our way down, we passed by one of the families who was previously digging. They had already uncovered the tomb of their dead relative and had put the dirt aside. They were painting the tomb to make it look new again.

We hurried down the tombs and left Barangka Cemetery before dark. It had been a difficult climb and I regret stepping on those tombs, but I had found my brother and had seen my town from above.

Photo credit: Pixabay

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Here With Me




Deep in the dark tunnel,
There is a bright lighting
That stays to grow and swell,
Warm, illuminating
Everything that is green,
The blue, and red that scream.

Fine tuning the guitar
To the swaying of voice,
Just harmony, no war,
Although we have a choice,
Smelling like all the powders,
Enhancing the powers.

Pausing for every spice
That make all sides so nice,
Beautiful, no demise.

In every excitement
Of possibility,
There, far on the pavement,
My love waits so sweetly,
If I dance shadows through,
Then I'm dancing with you.

(Photo credit: Pixabay)

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Hero



There is a will that lies
Hidden behind the truth,
Intelligence denies
The likes of a well-trained sleuth,
It's concealed in plain sight,
In feigned weakness hides might.

I could fall and perish,
Defeated by numbers,
Down, but they still punish,
With soil lives my embers,
I have lost everything,
Like a stone on a sling.

Somehow, I am still here,
And everything comes near,
Grabbing me out of fear.

Everything I don't have,
The power I don't own,
Even my one, lost love,
Where my hatred had grown,
The shame and regret dies,
My power's in your eyes.

(Photo credit: Pixabay)

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Mad, Mad Mess: The Comeback




In all of these four years,
Nothing has ever changed,
Amidst the doubts and fears,
The fiery flames have raged,
There was trust and friendship,
We were a makeshift ship.

Nothing has changed with me
In the wildest of hours,
When he won't set me free,
By his words, by his words,
The story did not end,
Even though the twists bend.

For I learned something more,
Things I don't know before,
But was said in their lore.

The truth lies in the heart
Of the person who speaks,
Creating in her art
With a longing that seeks,
For something I now have:
I know nothing of love.

(Photo credit: Pixabay)