Month: December 2014

A New Word for the New Year

Originally posted on A Soultender's Journal:
Asking for a word that would provide the direction for one’s life has been a tradition since the time mystics fled to the deserts and mountains to seek enlightenment. These mystics, known as the Desert Fathers and Desert Mothers, were visited by many people who sought their guidance. The practice of asking for a word is closely related to Lectio Divina, an ancient way of praying practiced by Christians. Lectio Divina involves pondering upon a word or phrase from Scripture with the aim of attaining union with God. I never developed the habit of making New Year’s resolutions – it just didn’t appeal to me at all even when I was young. But last year, when I heard of this ancient tradition of asking for a word, I knew it was for me. Thus, I asked for a word, and it flowed to me. The word Peregrinatio was a revelation, and through the days and months, it defined, explained, gave purpose and identified many aspects in my life,…

Birthing a Book

As we approach the end of the Christmas Season and in the spirit of Noel, a word that is rooted in the Latin natalis, which means  “birth,” I felt that this is the proper time to reflect on what I had tried to begin or give birth to this year in my writing life.  This year I embarked on the process of a “birthing” a book. I knew that there were many things I needed to do to be able to write a book, and that it was a process that I did not want to rush.  I wanted to accomplish something, and so I began by (1) identifying the reason why I wanted to undertake this journey. When I knew that I wanted to write a book for adults (I had written two books for children) because I want to experience the process of writing a book for grown ups, I was then able to (2) set a timetable for myself. There was and is no rush, and the project would be done even as I continued with my work, so the timetable I came up with is …

Praying through the Storms in Our Lives

All over our country -the Philippines- the atmosphere reverberates with prayers as millions and millions of Filipinos continue to pray over the weekend. The Philippines is the third largest Catholic country in the world, and millions of Filipinos head for the churches on Sundays. This Sunday though, some of the churches in 47 of the country’s 81 provinces are serving a different purpose, and people are praying specifically for their safety. Thousands have flocked to churches which are stable and sturdy enough to withstand the fury of Typhoon Hagupit. “The strongest storm of the year anywhere on the planet is zeroing in on the Philippines,” a CNN broadcaster announced, “and we’re talking about Super Typhoon Hagupit,” she explained. Foreign correspondents have begun arriving since a few days ago to cover the arrival, stay and departure of Hagupit, which has made its first landfall late Saturday evening. On November last year, millions of Filipinos prayed that they would be spared from the fury of Super Typhoon Haiyan, which, according to meteorologist Jeff Masters, was the strongest typhoon to ever make …

Writers on Writing

“Instinctively, years ago, I knew the part that Work must play in my life. More than twelve years ago I wrote in ink on my typing board at my right hand the words: DON’T THINK!…The time will come when your characters will write your stories for you, when your emotions, free of literary cant and commercial bias, will blast the page and tell the truth. Remember: Plot is no more than foot prints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations. Plot is observed after the fact rather than before. It cannot precede action. It is the chart that remains when an action is through. That is all Plot ever should be. It is human desire let run, running and searching a goal. It cannot b mechanical. It can only be dynamic. So, stand aside, forget targets, let the characters, your fingers, body, blood and heart do.” -Ray Bradbury in Zen in the Art of Writing   “I had learned long before, in my own writing life, …