Sealed With A Kiss

Love, RosieLove, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

For this book, I loved the way it was told through a collection of letters, email exchanges and chats. The characters felt real and their stories, relatable.

But then, I guess because it felt too real that it made me feel frustrated with Rosie and Alex’s love story. They couldn’t seem to just get there. It took them almost fifty years to finally find their way in each other’s arms. Yes, it was a happy ending, but I still didn’t feel that happy — I’m not sure why.

For the Epilogue, I was expecting Rosie to be grabbing a pen and paper after reading the last letter and then before she ends her reply Alex would knock on her door and instead of writing the words she wanted to say all this time, she would finally say it to him face to face. But that’s just something I imagined. The ending was still romantic.

After finishing the book, I still felt frustrated for all the missed opportunities which presented themselves to the main characters. I was wishing that somehow, they’d get together and finally face some dilemmas “together” instead of facing challenges keeping them apart. I guess that’s why there were some parts (particularly in Parts 4 & 5) that felt a bit dragging because it just presents same problems in different settings all over again. Probably that’s why I felt really frustrated for them.

Also, I can’t stop thinking that Katie and Toby’s love story was told as a wake-up call to the main protagonists. The Katie-Toby story was Rosie and Alex’s could’ve been if only they were brave enough to risk their strongly founded friendship and going beyond one step higher.

I guess, from what I gathered in their story, timing is such a fickle friend. You never really know when it’s going to help you or when it’s going to leave you in a battered state. Anyway, I hope I get to move on quickly from this frustration since Rosie and Alex finally found their happy ending. 😉

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Unfurl Thy Wings

Angelology (Angelology, #1)Angelology by Danielle Trussoni

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Although it took me a long time to finally finish this book — due to always forgetting it at my parents’ house and starting to read other books — I still felt like I have just read it a few days ago.

The day I started reading it, it gave me a renewed interest in reading the Bible’s old testament. I suddenly felt the urge to look for clues regarding the Nephilim and Angelic beings. I was so hooked about Angels that, during my break times at work, I randomly searched for scientific articles and fictional stories about Angels and other celestial beings. Apparently I was deeply absorbed by the subject of the novel that I was inspired to write a story — which I planned to write as a novel but never actually finished — of my own.

Even though there were pretty long breaks between reading certain chapters, every time I open the book once again it felt as if I just stopped reading yesterday. I loved how real the existence of Nephilistic and Angelic beings felt when I read each chapter. As I progress through the story, it feels as if I was riding on a roller coaster — exhilarating, dangerous and magnetic. Even though there were certain revelations which I already assumed will happen, I still felt shocked on how engaging they were executed. Now that I finally finished reading it I suddenly feel the longing for the next book.

I’m giving this book a rating of 8/10 and I highly recommend it to readers who find interest in a science-and-faith sort of thriller books. But just a reminder, readers should be able to appreciate such literature with an open mind.

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Writer’s Block IV – Endings and New Beginnings

The school term is about to end. Year 2013 is about to end. All of the stress from work will soon end. But one thing is not reaching its end for sure, and that is my 2nd Book Project.

Apparently, NaNoWriMo was not enough motivation for me to finish a few chapters in my writing project[s]. The Christmas season is also not very conducive if one wants to simply make time to write for pleasure. However, I wonder if this holiday break will give me ample time to actually focus on this project, or all the stress from the Christmas rush will dawn upon me and activate hibernate mode.

It is probably because I am not a good writer that I can’t find any good motivation to keep me going. Or maybe because my passion and the field of my current profession exist in parallel dimensions. Probably, I’m just speculating a lot of different excuses in my mind which I can use whenever I rant about not finishing this writing project because I’m too shy to admit that I’m just one lazy bloke who could not afford any time to finish the writing projects I started.

Migraine attacks me like a thief in the night — unexpected and very untimely. Right now, I can’t even focus on writing anything (you wouldn’t believe how much effort I’ve spent writing this post).

On the brighter side of things, a new year is about to come and you know what that means. A chance to start anew with things left behind [unintentionally] during the previous year. I am very bad when it comes to being optimistic, but it wouldn’t hurt to hope for a bright sunshiny 2014 and to look forward to more wonderful things that may come with the new year.

Writer’s Block III

Six months have passed and sadly, I have only moved a few sentences forward with my 2nd Book Project. I started this last May in order to have some sort of creative output. This project, which was mentioned in an earlier post, was inspired by some of the books which I [unfortunately] still haven’t finished. Amazingly, my mind subconsciously reminds me of this little writing project that I randomly open the file in my laptop and browse through it then just stare at the half-blank page.

I feel like a failure now after promising myself to not let anything get in the way of finishing this project, not even myself. Sadly, stress has eaten most of me that I resort to doing recreational no-brainer activities — of course, sleeping is number one on that list.

Pressure struck me since November is NaNoWriMo and I am certain that I can’t finish this novel within the month but my mind keeps nagging me that I should at least try to finish half or even just a quarter of it. I’m no expert in writing. Others may see me as a writer-wannabe who pretends he can actually write some good stuff out of his imagination. Probably there is a part of me who thinks that way that I actually am giving in to this pressure (or am I?).

No, I do not intend to finish this project by the end of the month — though that would be amazing if I could — but I do intend to at least make some progress this November. Maybe I should take away some of my leisure activities and just sit on my bed, turn my laptop on and play around with the keyboard until I end up adding even just one sentence to that half-empty space on my screen.

For the Love of Books

It was the second time I indulged myself in this certain book therapy also known as the Manila International Book Fair (MIBF). It’s an annual book fair where bookworms, authors and publishers unite to exchange and share thoughts, love and appreciation for the literary arts. This year, it was held at the SMX Convention Center on September 11 to 15, 2013.

Last year was the first time I ever enjoyed a book fair. That time, I was not yet able to control myself that I forgot about my budget. But can you blame a hardcore book-lover from going crazy over shelf after shelf of books with discounted prices?

Of course this year, I came prepared. I already allocated a budget for this once-in-a-year event so that I can control how much to spend and how many books to buy. And I made sure these books and literary works are all on top of my checklist so that I would be reading them for sure and not get stuck for a while in my book box.

When I learned about it, the first person I automatically thought of inviting was my co-book-lover cousin, Che. Although she recently bought some books — since it’s her birthday month — she still said yes and went to the MIBF with me.

For us, it was such a wonderful sight entering the halls of the venue. Regardless of the crowd, we managed to go around and check out shelves and stacks of books. I almost lost my cool that my insides started to panic. It was so hard to resist buying a lot of good titles. Good thing my cousin was there — she kept getting out of sight that I have to look for her — so that I would stop the urge of picking up another book which I might not be able to read yet.

inside MIBF

I consider books as gateways, a sort of portal. They allow me to travel to different places, to distant lands, through time and space — all of these things without leaving the comfort of my bed. Books sway me, they can make me cry or laugh out loud, or even scare me to the point of insanity. But that’s the wonder I found in books. That’s the luster that captures my eyes. It’s a wonder how books can deceive me, how they can make me believe I am living in the stories they tell instead of just reading them. These are some wonderful treasures, those books. We may find ourselves drowning in each chapter, each page, each word found in books without realizing how deep we had gone.

Books keep me sane when the real world starts to drag me down. A pinch of fantasy, a dash of fiction and a few drops of poetry can turn a frown on my face into a smile. They are like optimism that fuels my mind and body in order to keep going — considering that I am one helluva pessimist.

Personally, I have a lot of reasons why I consider books as my second great love — next to food, of course — and I don’t really think they would all fit in this blog post. I mean, they might but nobody would actually read a very long post, right? Literature is a blessing I would never get tired of receiving. So there, before I start to drag and say a lot more nonsense about how much I love books, I must be off to a brand new world/time/space or whatever and start a new adventure with books I recently purchased. 🙂

When Words Aren’t Cheap

Words. I love them. I really do. As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts in Facebook today, “I believe the best story about unrequited love is this: falling madly in love with WORDS without realizing how deep you’ve gone.”

Words make up our daily connection with mostly everything. They can be tools, materials, even weapons. They can heal you, they can steal from you, they can even inflict a great deal of damage on you without leaving a physical mark on your skin. I believe words have been used and misused by many of us, not excluding myself. That’s probably why there is this saying, “Words are cheap.” They can be used in misconduct and dishonesty. Once you use words to cut someone so deep, even a sorry would not be able to erase those scars.

But ironically and amazingly, words are meant for a lot of wonderful things in life. When used properly, they can motivate you and push you forward. They can even heal your wounds — not entirely erase them but at the very least ease the pain. It can help you grow and make you more knowledgeable of the world. It makes you bigger, it gives you further reach and may even bring you to success. That’s why I consider words not cheap, but rather, priceless.

Of course, we would get the benefits if we use them properly. Just remember that even though some people may be tossing out words as if they’re worth nothing, it’s still our choice if we would treat ours as something worth cherishing.

A Random Anecdote

First of all, this is just a very random anecdote which never happened in real life. Maybe some people would be able to relate or might actually think I am telling their story, but this is a work of fiction so it is purely coincidental if the names of the characters or the plot are existing in the real world. Secondly, I am not a literary artist and I’m not claiming to be a professional. So if you find this work to be something that might have been a homework of a fifth grader, I’m sorry to disappoint you. This is a very random product when I randomly clicked on the Notepad icon on my computer and started typing random words and phrases. Enjoy reading! 🙂
— — — — —

He touched me.

That’s what I wanted to say to my mom who is currently staring down at me while I sit on this stool beside the bar in our kitchen. But I’m afraid to tell her. I know she’s mad at me, I can feel it in her glare. But the man was scary. That man makes me more afraid than her piercing glare. I don’t even know how to tell her how it all began.

I was trying to shift my weight on the stool when mom suddenly grabbed my shoulders and looked at my now sullen face. Her eyes do not feel like sharp knives piercing through me anymore. They are more like crystals now, shimmering in the dark because of the tears welling up. I looked at her and I felt more at ease. I took a deep breath and tried muttering some words. My voice was shaking.

“Just tell me how this happened, Alex. I’m not really mad. I was just worried for you. You could’ve been hurt you know?” said my mom.

I felt both end of my lips twitch drawing a crooked smile on my face.

“He… I…” I couldn’t find the courage neither the words to say things as accurate as possible.

“Alex, look at me.” Her voice sounded more stern. My fist clenched and I felt my body stiffen. Slowly, I raised my head and looked at her eyes which have gone back to their piercing-knives mode. I swallowed hard and kept my eyes on hers. “You know I hate it when you lie. Sweetie, just tell me the truth.”

“I’m scared,” I breathed out the words as if I’m sharing a secret to an ant. She knelt in front of me and leaned forward.

“What was that, honey?”

“I said I’m scared, mom!” I shouted, or more like I exploded. The shocked look on her face made me think I have offended her in the vilest way possible. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for losing it…for losing it to him. He was scary, mom. I felt scared. Whenever he looks at me, it gave me chills. I don’t know why my heart raced when he started walking towards me. He… I… He…” I broke down.

“What, Alex? He did what?” She sounded worried, so worried it broke my heart. I never wanted to make her feel this worried about me. “Just tell me the truth, my baby boy. How did it begin?”

“He touched me.” I finally said it. I then realized my sobbing stopped and I’m finally looking at my mom with a straight face. I saw here eyes widen a bit, as if expecting me to reveal the world’s greatest secrets to her. “He touched me here, then my body shook. I was totally scared.”

“So you’re telling me it’s all his fault?” She stood up her arms crossed in front of her, one eyebrow higher than the other. Once again, her glare pierced through me like a stick forced through a marshmallow. I saw her jaw tighten. Now she’s really mad. “Young man, didn’t I just tell you how I hate it very much when you lie?”

“No! It’s not a lie! It was his fault.” I jumped down from the stool and grabbed the end of my mom’s blouse in an attempt to convince her.

“Alex, if you’re just going to blame your older brother with all of this again…” She cut herself off with a deep sigh. My knees now started to shake. I realized how much I’m afraid of my mom more than my older brother.

“I… He really was the culprit!” I tried once more to convince her, but to no avail.

“Alex, no! Stop blaming Matt when everything you do goes wrong. You have to learn to grow up and take responsibility for your actions. I can’t believe you! You lie just to save you own butt and point fingers at other people? This is not a good attitude, Alex. Your brother touched you? And that’s it? I’m not buying that story, Alex.”

“But, mom.” She stormed out of the kitchen. I hate my brother for all of this. He makes my relationship with mom difficult. She won’t even believe me when I tell the truth.

I don’t know why my brother is such a bully. He keeps doing things that make me look bad. I did it once to him, but now mom thinks I’m the one who always does mischievous things. Now I’m looking at the very root of all this, the empty pack of Skittles in my bag which lies on top of the bar. I know it was my brother who took it from the top shelf and ate it. How could I have done it? It’s too high for me. My mom was furious because I could have fallen if I stood on a high chair in an attempt to get that little devil. But it wasn’t me. It was him. Then why was it in my bag, she asked? Well, I remember earlier today when we were walking home from school. I felt it, my brother’s touch. He touched me on my shoulder and whispered something to me from behind. I thought I heard my bag’s zipper open and close but I wasn’t so sure. Now I know that he slipped it in my bag when he whispered to me, “You are in big trouble, mister.” Then he scurried away laughing his evil laugh.

I hate my brother for doing this to me. I will avenge myself. Just you wait, Matt. Just you wait.

Writer’s Block II

I am not the best writer there is, I admit. I’m probably not even a writer. But I do enjoy writing. For me, it is a form of art, an expression of feelings and ideas. I have written a lot of things for a lot of different reasons. Articles and editorial columns for the school paper, rants and random posts on my blog, even narratives and fan-fiction on online forums. Writing keeps my thoughts in order when they start flying around my mind in utter chaos.

Recently I have started to write a new story. I still haven’t decided whether it should be a fiction novel or a graphic novel, but I’m really driven to finish this project unlike my first try (which I might need to revisit since I still believe the concept is good). However, I got stuck after a few paragraphs and I can’t seem to find the inspiration to keep moving forward.

A lot has happened to me lately. Wave after wave of misfortune came to me like I’m in Lemony Snicket’s book series. These events have shaken me and I’m quite unstable and out-of-balance as of the moment that I can’t seem to push my 2nd Book Project forward.

Looking at it through a positive lens, I keep myself from falling any further and try to find more reasons to hold on to. I am truly stoked in finishing this project and I do hope that nothing, not even myself, can stop me from doing this.

Hopefully, what I’m experiencing now is just a very bad case of writer’s block which I can just shrug off by going out and taking a sip of coffee, or by consuming a tub of vanilla ice cream so I can continue on finishing my little project.

P.S. If you’re wondering why the title is labeled “II”, you may refer to the “I” through an old post in my other blog.