On Finding My Unique Writing Voice

I know I’m smart, but I don’t sound smart when I write. I know I’m intelligent, but I don’t want to sound all-knowing or intellectual. I know I’m fun to be with, but I don’t want to sound like fun.

I’m a serious person – but I don’t want to sound too staid or flat when I write. I want my articles to be able to speak to you, move you, make you react or comment. You may give me pointers or feedback or anything as long as we can strike up a conversation. To create a ripple among other readers, I hope.

I want my blog to have a far reach – especially among people my age – but anyone is most welcome. I want my blog not only as a repository of my reflective thoughts on life in general. But of opinions on issues that matter around the world today. More so with the kind of world we have today that abounds with hatred, violence, lack of civility, and the like.

But I don’t want to write about anything political or of current events. Maybe just an opinion or two about some issues. Maybe just to influence some thinking and inspire some deep conversation.

I feel shy or embarrassed whenever I tell people I write in my own blog because I feel my writing lacks something. Perhaps what they say as personality or voice. Hence what I’m doing now is an exercise to find my own voice.

I know I write with sense – but I see now it lacks chutzpah. What can I do to add some life to my pieces?

Okay. I’m writing now to you my dear friend. You know me well enough, and one thing I like is I’m able to make you laugh because I’m witty, smart. There – I’ve just found two adjectives I want my blog to sound like: WITTY, SMART (not trying hard nor trite).

I also wish my blog to sound cool, soft and flowing – peaceful and serene. Because a deep part of myself longs for quiet and calm. Like meditative sounds in the background — that’s how I long my blog to sound like.

I came across this quote; somehow it makes sense.

If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative.”
—Elmore Leonard

Being in the Here-and-Now

Surely most of you have found yourselves at one task, yet your mind was elsewhere. I guess this is a normal part of a busy person’s life. Or of the modern person.

And many of us are not even aware that our thoughts drift, here and there. We seem to be always running after time. Catching our breaths. Cramming so many things within a short span. Mindless doing.

We lack attention. Our focus is elsewhere. We tend to think of what we have to do next.

Such is the illness that plagues our modern times. Our time has become more stressful due to the Noise that comes with our wired space/environment.

Hence, we destroy our bodies. We burden our minds. And we sap our spirit. No wonder why the world seems to experience these health conditions more and more: depression, anxiety, cancer, and other diseases.

We often forget: the best way to heal ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, is in our Being at the moment. In being present in the Here-and Now. In being mindful of our task at hand. Enjoying our life at the moment. Leaving past aches behind. Not worrying about tomorrow.

We are given ONE LIFE to live. We have only this moment — Now. Life becomes more Meaningful; Fruitful; Enriching — if we try to live in the moment. Not rushing headlong into the far unknown, nor being stuck or fixated on the past. (Of course, this does not mean not cherishing good memories and forgetting life’s invaluable lessons gained).

The PRESENT is precious and sacred. We are called by the Almighty God to relish His Gift of Today. To hold and honor it with all the good we can do in the best we can. Before it slips away…

It’s Not How Many That Matters

A lively group discussion, an intimate tête-à-tête, an inner monologue — in your view, when it comes to a good conversation, what’s the ideal number of people?

Thus goes a  writing prompt on Word Press’ The Daily Post sometime ago…and as I ponder, I find not one right number of people to include in a meaningful conversation. It depends perhaps on the purpose or setting.

For instance, in social gatherings in the family, or in school, or at work, the more, the merrier seems to be a good dictum to follow. But then one should not expect a meaningful exchange of ideas, thoughts or feelings…it’s just an avenue to keep up with each other, or feel/pretend like one belongs, not as an intruder or outcast. Sometimes big social events have this intimidating effect on me.

Mostly in this setting, it’s more fun to observe where the ball is rolling. Listen carefully and one isn’t sure if she can get the flow..each seems to be waiting to throw their own ball in this verbal ping-pong interaction that often results in a cacophony of voices that falter to meaningless ‘Ohs’, ‘ahs’ ‘uhmmmms I see’…Anyone can just drift in or out…And no one seems to mind. Have you ever experienced something like this. Did it also make you feel awkward?

A lively group discussion can be had though when there’s a meeting of the minds – no matter what the topic or where the discussion takes place — at home over dinner, in the classroom, in the gym, on the street corner — you can sense people in the group are having a great time debating, arguing, or simply exchanging views, because each one listens and responds accordingly, and each has learned something. That’s the biggest take away.

Hence, I’d say it’s not really how many people that matters to make a conversation good or meaningful. For as long as each participant gets into the flow, each voice speaks up, each gives a listening ear, making everyone feel good about themselves and the interactive moment, then it’s good, for it brings out the best in each in the group.


A Poem at Dawn

Sometimes, the Muses come visiting at unexpected moments, just like in the early hours this morning. Thus this reflection-poem of mine came to be.

I

 Waking up at dawn

 I see darkness around

 Only flickering lights

 Beaming from buildings afar

 Cast a shimmering glow

 to everything below

 For a second I wonder –

Who’d need the stars?

 Nothing ever though

 can Overshadow

 the Wondrous shine from

 Those heavenly bodies…

 Yet

 in that hour,

Blackness covers the sky.

 II

Sleep still tugging at me

 I recline on the seat

 By the window

 and turn my gaze

 at the sleeping city

beneath my feet…

Everything is still

 Everything quiet

 Save for the rumblings

 in my mind

 which I quell

by my Prayers

III

Gazing by the window

I wonder

Could there be any other soul

Brooding as I do

Over the vast view

of our side of the metropolis…

Or perhaps someone

from his own window

Watching me

Watching the world outside?

Finding Beauty in the Mundane

I enjoy looking at beautiful landscapes. They make for great photographs, especially sweeping panoramas – of mountains, fields, the sea.

Yet, as I spend more time developing my photography skills, I discover so much beauty in the mundane as well.

Silver, one among the greens in my tiny garden
Playing with angles and light and texture
While others may pull weeds from their plot, I simply let them be, including the blur.

“I have always been caught by the pull of the unremarkable, by the easily missed, infinitely nourishing beauty of the mundane.”
Tana French, Broken Harbour

 

 

A Piece of Heaven Beneath My Feet

As my response to the weekly photo challenge given two weeks back, I took delight in capturing this piece of heaven beneath my feet — right in my yard. Soon this piece of heaven shall become a wonderful memory of the place that’s been my home for a while, when I move.

Such a joy to see even the lowly weed can offer such dainty pink blooms…
Lovely floral weeds
Muning, my dear stray feline, just got to be there…in the scene.
Pansit-pansitan, an edible herb used in many Asian cuisine as toppings for soups or a salad ingredient.
The pansit-pansitan just sprouts from the ground…
Texture
Rain-soaked ground. After the rain comes the sun.
Red leaves shaped like butterflies — the Shamrock plant…

Even in the mundane, God is present.

We can indeed find our piece of heaven wherever we are, wherever we go. Heaven is in our hearts. God is in our hearts.

 

The Pavement: 3 Perfect Shots

Afternoon Scene — I took this photo of a pavement inside a mall…

Same pavement, another shot…

A different angle shot of the same pavement
Interesting play of light and shadow on the pavement…

Overall, I wanted to capture a sense of motion when I took these shots one after the other. One pavement, three perfect shots, I hope.

Writing 201: Water Haiku

Haiku 1: Moving On

Pen in hand

Day is calm

The blue waters beckon

Pen in hand

Image Source

 Haiku 2: Freshness

early morning dew

Early morning dew

Saddled on life’s newborn leaf

Eaglet in the sky

Image Source

      Haiku 3: Reborn

Heaven’s blessing

Heaven’s blessing

the Waters of Baptism

Soul’s new life

Image Source

 Today’s poetry challenge on The Daily Post’s Writing 201 involves writing about Water (prompt), and/or a haiku (form), and/or use a simile (device).

Silence’s Shadow

Who could ever live with

Sounds that mar the peaceful rhythm of the hours

just before the break of day?

Nary a soul perhaps

Except for one who

at times

seeks to hear again and again

the comforting echo of a

Song’s refrain…

if only to flee

the lingering

Shadow of silence…

Writing Prompt courtesy of The Daily Post’s Ebook: 365 Days of Writing