Outside My Window

 
Outside my window
the world goes on
the dahlias keep blooming
till each one withers and is gone

The green beetle flutters its wings
humming loudly against my ear
deep inside, I worry about everything
as I do year after year

But life keeps on going
and the dahlias will bloom and go
the sun rises and sets each day
life goes on – that much I know.

Look Who Made It on RT Reviews’ Wattpad Top 5 For July!

 

I woke up this morning to some good news and bad news. The bad news: someone  charged the most awful looking Hugo Boss shoes size 7M to my account which I promptly cancelled as I removed  that darn One-Click option that links your credit cards to your account. 

The good news: my current work-in-progress novel Collateral which I’m serializing on Wattpad live (I write and post as I go) is one of RT Book Reviews Top 5 romance reads for July.  

The bad news? The pressure… eek!

Cecil

  
How do I tell my child that there are people out there who hunt big beautiful animals for sport – shoot them with a bow and arrow and let him suffer for 40 hours before shooting it, skinning it and then chopping its head off as a trophy to hang on his wall? How do I tell him that this big cat’s little cubs, about 10 of them I think,  will be killed by rivals of his father simply for carrying his scent, his DNA? 

I don’t know but I do know that when I ask him if he would ever shoot a beautiful lion for fun, he will say no (and he did), and he will not understand why I even dare ask him such a question.  

Reunited – And It Feels So Good

   

Yesterday I drove past Book Again, a small used bookstore in Redondo Beach that I haven’t been to in a while (constantly rushing with the little one, you see), and finally made it a point to go to before seeing my clients. Now I know why it was meant to be, for who else was waiting for me in the row of shelves outside the store with the sign 15 books for $3 but Baydr Al Fay, uber hot protagonist of Harold Robbins’ The Pirate, someone I’ve been on the hunt for since forever.

This was one book I didn’t want an ebook copy of (like I do for A Stone For Danny Fisher which I discovered doesn’t bring about the same feelings I’d felt then holding the paperback in my hand) and I’m so happy I’ve got my own copy finally. The smell and feel of an old book is downright amazing, and reading the words again feels even better than I expected. At first I thought I’d be disappointed like I read some people are when rereading a book they used to love, but not this one. 

I’ve been reunited with Baydr Al Fay and Jordana and Leila – and it still feels damn good.

 

Muscle Memory: Trash

The first novel I ever read that wasn’t a classic like Black Beauty or Robinson Crusoe was Harold Robbins’ The Adventurers.  It was a book that was hidden in the topmost shelf of this bookshelf inside my bedroom.  I was about 12 when I read The Adventurers and let me tell you, the first chapter alone had rape and murder, things a 12-year old shouldn’t be reading about.  But what did I know?  I devoured that book from cover to cover (actually, it didn’t even have a cover) and fell in love with Diogenes Alejandro Xenos, or Dax.  I thought he was God’s gift to women.

The second novel I read was Shogun by James Clavell.  I was grounded for a week for returning home past curfew and so without TV privileges, I read that 800+ page book in a week.  And I fell in love with John Blackthorne, the English sailor who ends up stranded in 17th century Japan.  I was probably 13 or so then and I remember how my grandfather, a retired judge and mayor, was so proud of the fact that I was apparently reading literary fiction (he had no idea about The Adventurers though).

Then came Harlequin’s Mills & Boon books that were being passed around at school.  I still remember taking one home to read for the night and for some reason I ended up taking it with me to my grandparents’ house next door.  The moment my grandfather saw that book, he grabbed it from my hands and ripped it to shreds.  It was trash, he said, and I should never ever read trash.  He said he would rip every single romance book he would see me read and after that first and last book that he ripped – that I had to pay back my classmate for – I knew better than to bring one to his house.  Or read one out in public.

Fast forward so many decades later, and here I am writing trash.  I write about rich men and not-so-rich women, the damsel in distress and the damsel who’s not so in distress.  The drama, the melodrama, the love triangle, or not-so-love triangle, the tropes (oh, yes, those overused tropes) and cliches.

Funny though, because as long as no one says anything – that such things are over-used or cliche, I’m fine.  I can write 5000 words  a  day – who cares if I haven’t fed my kid his lunch yet?  I’ve got a story to write, damn it.

But have someone say, oh that’s so cliche, or that plot’s so over-used in my comments sectionand they just raised my grandfather from the dead, and here he is now, sitting right next to me, reminding me, no, yelling at me not to read trash, and what the hell am I doing, writing such trash?

It’s amazing, this thing called muscle memory, isn’t it? How simple things trigger them to come up and they won’t let go of you so easily.  Thank goodness for e-books because he has nothing to rip to shreds anymore.

Well, actually, he does.

And that’s the initial motivation to write a good story about identity (mistaken identity, apparently over-used) and relationships (way overused), because now that’s granddaddy’s up and about, I’m really just writing trash. Garbage. Basura (which is Filipino for, you guessed it, trash).

Plain. Old. Trash.

~~~~~~~~

(I’m participating in some Harlequin sponsored writing contest called SYTYCW15 (So You Think You Can Write) and the winner gets a 2-book deal.  It’s not necessarily about good writing because in the end, the winner is the story with the MOST votes on designated voting days.  So why I’m bothering I have no idea.  But with a 14K word manuscript already, guess there’s not turning back – ghost or no ghost.  Trash or no trash.  And yes, this piece is written in response to comments in my story, just from the 100 word pitch alone that my story pitch, while “flawless” is using a plot that’s overused and so cliché.)

Of Writing Prompts & Other Musings

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