All These Things (6): Writing crap, and Current stuff

So I’ve been trying to write a post for the past few days, but everything I write seems blah. This is also happening in my fiction writing. Are you familiar with that feeling, too? I know what’s going to happen, and it all sounds good in my head but it’s all feels like crap when I write it down. I’ve been rereading some local romance books and some of my favorite books in hopes of making the magic happen, but the words that come out are still awkward. :/

I have several theories why that is happening, though. One, it might be because I am right smack in the middle of the story and we all know how I feel about middles. Two, I’ve been doing a lot of editing at my day job so it’s a bit hard to get rid of my editor mindset — now I understand what my friends who write for a living were saying about writing for a living and writing for fun. And three, I  guess this is the time where I’m supposed to just keep writing, so I’m still trudging on. (It helps when my manager at work actually encouraged me on this.)

There may be other reasons why the novel is so hard to write right now – art imitating life, life imitating art, or the lack of it, that kind of jazz. It could be that the novel is really just making me take my time instead of rushing, but I won’t know until I just keep writing. So I’m going to battle with the writing demons again this weekend (and also work on editing some overdue reflections). Wish me luck.

Onto other stuff, I’m adopting a meme that I found on several blogs, but I think this is the source? It’s not Sunday, though, but I’m going to do it today anyway, because it’s Friday. (Did not make sense, but hey. :P)

Right Here, Right Now.

Reading

unbreakable

(un)breakable by Kesh Tanglao. Rereading, actually, because like I said, I need words. And feels. Also, still reading John Paul the Great: His Five Loves by Jason Evert, which I want to savor. And The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammet, but I am stuck somewhere halfway and I kind of want to quit reading it because I’m just not engaged. The problem is, people say it’s good and I am still curious to how this will end.

Writing

Still Novel # 2. Still at the end of Act 2, and ugh, words. So awkward.

ktf
Spoiler-ish. Or not.

Also need to write a presentation for work and edit a bunch of reflections.

Continue reading All These Things (6): Writing crap, and Current stuff

Let The Music Play

(Image credit.)

And it’s time for the mid-year playlist, aka the 2015 EP! It’s kind of crazy how it’s already July, isn’t it? The first half of 2015 has been something, really, and sometimes I get a bit frightened that everything’s whizzing by, and I don’t get to enjoy every moment that I get to live this year. Do you feel that, too? Like the days just blend into each other? 

I’m writing this post not just to share a song list, but as a reminder for me to take it slow, sometimes. I think, as we grow older, we should learn to start picking what’s worth our time, what’s worth our attention. It can be picking which friends to meet, what things to do, and even what food to eat so your body will take care of you as you take care of it. I haven’t quite mastered that, but I want to learn that, before 2015 ends. (Because hello, I’m almost 30.)

So here’s the first half of 2015, in 7 songs.

(Title credit: Let The Music Play by Chris August)

1. Tell The World of His Love by Trina Belamide

Let us tell the world of His love
The greatest Love the world has known
Search the world for those who have walked astray
And lead them home

The start of 2015 was highlighted by one event: Pope Francis’ Papal Visit to the Philippines. I still haven’t written about this, I know, but this was the most perfect start of my year. It was like a World Youth Day experience at my home city, but I was behind the scenes – writing articles,  doing interviews, losing sleep, and walking in the rain just to be with the Vicar of Christ. What an exhausting weekend, but I will do it all over again. This song is not the official song of the Papal Visit, but this was sung over and over again during the visit, and I kept on crying to this song. That weekend, and this song, was a reminder of how blessed I was to be a part of the Catholic Church, and that I would do anything for His love.

2. Stockholm Syndrome by One Direction

Oh, baby, look what you’ve done to me
Oh, baby, look what you’ve done now

I heard that One Direction was going here last year, but of course I didn’t try to get tickets because everything’s crazy there. Then they opened another night, and one day while I was at Mall of Asia Arena, I sent a text to my friend Grace, and ten minutes later, we have tickets to their second night’s show. It was my birthday concert, and it was absolutely worth it. The rain, the cold was sort of forgotten because the boys (4/5 of them, anyway, because Zayn hasn’t quit the group yet) were amazing. 

Yes, I’m a Directioner, and I am not ashamed. :P

3. Tuloy Pa Rin by Flip Music All Stars

Para lang nawala ang dala dala kong payong
Mauulanan pero muling makakasilong

My friend Alona played this song while we were hanging out at the beach that night at La Union, the birthday beach trip that we had been planning for years (long story why it only happened now). This song was already included in my 2013 playlist, but this version is really cute, plus the rap at the bridge was a nice touch. This is still such a feel-good song, and it’s part of my next novel’s playlist. :)

4. Undeniably You by Avalon

It’s unbelievable, all the things that You do
It’s unexplainable, how Your love pulls me through
And I can’t question, the one thing I’ve found to be true
It’s undeniably You

I loved Avalon when I was in college, but I kind of stopped listening to them for a while. Thanks to Spotify, I found them again, and realized that I actually still know most of their songs. This song is sort of a hidden gem from the album that I really loved, and I found myself humming this truth over and over again in the next days.

5. Set It Off by J. Williams

In this club
Feeling good
We here to set it off

I’m trying to dance more again, now that I actually had time from work, and I loved it so much that I decided to build a Dance Dance Dance playlist. I found a  bunch of Body Jam playlists in Spotify and started hunting for my favorite tracks. This is one of my favorite tracks ever from an old mix, and I love, love, love dancing to this.

6. Lunatic by Andy Grammer

You can do this, you can do this
You are not a lunatic
Crazy would be changing your mind
You can do this, you can do this
You are not a lunatic
Crazy would be leaving it behind

Ah, Andy Grammer. Such a feel-good artist. ♥ I love this entire first album, but this song had me singing and humming it over and over again. It’s such a nice song, too, with doing what is closest to your heart. This song also makes it into one of my future novel’s soundtracks. :)

7. Level Up by Vienna Teng

call it any name you need.
call it your 2.0, your rebirth, whatever –
so long as you can feel it all,
so long as all your doors are flung wide.
call it your day #1 in the rest of forever.

This is actually a song from 2014 that I forgot to include in my 2014 soundtrack.  A friend sent me this song, and I had this on repeat especially when I changed roles at work and faced several difficult challenges. This song still applies now, especially since I started the year with a new job with bigger responsibilities, and also because there’s so many new things in 2015 that requires me to step up and be more. It’s scary exciting, but what’s life without a bit of that? :)

* * *

Based on my last.fm listening history, I realized that I’ve been stuck with my novel playlists for a while. So for the next half of 2015, I want to discover new artists and songs – so here: recommend new artists and songs, please? :)

Here’s to the 2nd half of 2015! :)

To get yourself a new life you’ve got to give the other one away

Change is happening at work right now, and it has been happening since a few months ago. I’m no stranger to it – I’ve witnessed change happen several times in the course of my career, especially in my previous company, but I guess I wasn’t totally affected by it until my last career shift. Now we’re in the thick of it, and I have a completely different set of responsibilities to handle it now. I’m not directly affected, but I have this responsibility to help in making the change easier for everyone else.

It’s sort of funny, how all these changes at work sort of paralleled the changes happening in my personal life. They weren’t exactly life-shattering changes, but still, they were pretty major, and it shook my otherwise comfortable world. And I didn’t like that.

And it’s also a little funny that sometime a year ago, I was experiencing the same thing – except it was entirely different than it is now.

Let me be a bit cliche here for a minute: change really happens everyday. Our new CEO said that during the first time we met him: who you are at this minute is different from who you were five minutes ago. Sometimes we choose to change, and that makes us (painfully) aware about things, but often times, change is thrust towards us, and we have the choice to be agile and jump in, or be in denial until we have no choice to but to move.

I remember sort of going a bit meta a few weeks back when I sat down to look at all of what’s happening in my life. I remember smiling at how things seem to be unfolding, because really, it’s not so bad. But I’m a creature of comfort – so when I went back down to focus on what’s in front of me, I resisted, again. 

I think what scares me – and everyone else, for sure – about changes happening is how it has the tendency to leave us uprooted. I felt like I was losing so many things that I have painstakingly built, everything and everyone that I had invested in because of these changes, and of course I didn’t want that. I deserve these things, I thought. These are mine. I felt – at least, as far as those personal changes were concerned – that I was floating up, up, and away, and I didn’t know where I will end up. I’ve got half the mind to just allow that to happen to me – to go with the flow, so to speak – and see where it will take me.

Except.

The last time I felt uprooted like this was almost two years ago, and it was terrifying in a lot of ways. Looking back at all that, I realized that while there was uprooting, I didn’t exactly float aimlessly. In fact, it was the opposite: I had simply changed direction and I was firmly in the middle of God’s plan.

I am not aimless. It felt like it was, because I didn’t know what was going to happen. But it was never aimless. It might not even be floating, actually. God has me firmly in His hands, and even in the midst of this changes, He has never let me out of His sight.

You know what? Maybe it’s not even really uprooting. I think that I am still rooted – deep in His love, as He had intended it to be. But I think that the changes that came in my life recently – both personal and professional – is some sort of pruning. It’s painful (because hello, you don’t prune without scissors and cutting something), but it’s necessary. Because if you don’t prune, then how will it grow?

I was never aimless.

True, sometimes things at work feel a bit shaky sometimes, and frankly sometimes I still don’t know what to do. But like what my manager tells me, I can take all these by the hands and make deliberate steps to push myself forward. And I believe God is telling me the same thing: after this moment of pruning, I have the ability to move forward and grow, trusting fully in Him who had stitched me together with His love. :)

 

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