Questions for my favorite authors

Among the several authors I admire, I have two who have never failed to stir something inside me whenever I read their work. They are Mitch Albom, author of Tuesdays with Morrie, and Maya Angelou, the poetess and writer behind I Know Why the Caged Birds Sings.

The Artsy Reader’s Top Ten Tuesday this week allows us to ask questions to our favorite authors, either still here with us or not, so below are mine.

  1. Why do you or did you write?
  2. What time of the day do you usually write?
  3. Agatha Christie munched on apples while bathing to have plot ideas, do you have a way to call for your “muse”?
  4. Have you encountered writer’s block? How did you overcome it?
  5. Who among the characters you’ve written do you see yourself the most?
  6. What is the first novel or poem you’ve read?
  7. Who are your writing influences?
  8. What makes a powerful read?
  9. What is the most important lesson that you want to impart to your readers?
  10. How can a writer affect their readers as well as you do?

That would be all. Looking forward to reading your TTTs, too!

08.23.2020
©2020 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photos via The Artsy Reader and Google
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

10 books i loved but never reviewed

After a quick check on my Top Ten Tuesday tab, I’ve figured my last entry was June 7, 2016 (four years ago!!!) where I shared the 10 reasons why I love reading. I cannot believe that it has been that long ago as I still vividly have the joyful memory of revisiting the books I’ve read to be able to submit my entry for the week.

Now that I think I have a lot of time (and I need a lot of distraction and source of fun to keep my mind sane), I am going back to this block to make my reading heart happy.

So, after almost 300 books, here are the ten books I loved but never reviewed (some intentionally, some just because I’m pure lazy).

1. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom (The book that changed and will continue to change my life.)
Tuesdays with Morrie

2. Para Kay B (o kung paano dinevastate ng pag-ibig ang 4 out of 5 sa atin) by Ricky Lee (The Filipino writer I look up to.)

3. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (A book that can make you giggle and cry in the gentlest way and with the simplest words possible.)

I’ve shared five quotes I loved from this book here: LINK

4. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Craziest and most unforgettable somehow-whodunnit I’ve ever read.)

Gone Girl

5. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (The best YA I’ve ever read. Tender and odd and warm for the heart.)

6. Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore (Perfect read to get introduced to the epic writers of India. Exquisite poems await those whose willing to travel through time with this book.)

7. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari (Never thought a heavy science non-fiction book can be this engrossing.)

8. Maya Angelou: The Complete Poetry by Maya Angelou (Her words prove that she is a phenomenal woman, through and through.)


9. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (ONE. OF. THE. BEST. BOOK. ONE. CAN. EVER. READ!!!)

10. The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom (My love for this story goes beyond my love for Albom. This book’s twists and turns had me staring at the ceiling for a minute or two, letting what happened sink in. It’s a pure, poignant story.)

Want a sneak peek of this book? You can see my 10 beloved quotes from this book here: LINK.

08.11.2020
©2020 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo via Unsplash
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

In response to That Artsy Ready Girl’s Top Ten Tuesday today:

August 11: Books I Loved but Never Reviewed

6 Lessons I Learned from Little Fighter, Chika Jeune (perhaps a book review)

41UhSvXGagL._SX343_BO1,204,203,200_

Finding Chika: A Little Girl, an Earthquake, and the Making of a Family by  Mitch Albom

Chika Jeune was born three days before the devastating earthquake that decimated Haiti in 2010. She spent her infancy in a landscape of extreme poverty, and when her mother died giving birth to a baby brother, Chika was brought to The Have Faith Haiti Orphanage that Albom operates in Port Au Prince.

With no children of their own, the forty-plus children who live, play, and go to school at the orphanage have become family to Mitch and his wife, Janine. Chika’s arrival makes a quick impression. Brave and self-assured, even as a three-year-old, she delights the other kids and teachers. But at age five, Chika is suddenly diagnosed with something a doctor there says, “No one in Haiti can help you with.”

Mitch and Janine bring Chika to Detroit, hopeful that American medical care can soon return her to her homeland. Instead, Chika becomes a permanent part of their household, and their lives, as they embark on a two-year, around-the-world journey to find a cure. As Chika’s boundless optimism and humor teach Mitch the joys of caring for a child, he learns that a relationship built on love, no matter what blows it takes, can never be lost.

Told in hindsight, and through illuminating conversations with Chika herself, this is Albom at his most poignant and vulnerable. Finding Chika is a celebration of a girl, her adoptive guardians, and the incredible bond they formed—a devastatingly beautiful portrait of what it means to be a family, regardless of how it is made.

Whenever I was asked about the book that has changed my life, my answer has always been Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. It will be followed by the story of how I have read it twice when I was 20 and jobless for almost a year despite my medals, and when I was 25 and drowning in the river called a quarter-life crisis. Both times I have discovered lessons and have found strength on Morrie and Albom’s wisdom.

Fast forward to 2019, after reading all his books in between, Mitch has announced his latest one — Finding Chika. It was launched November last year, but I did not buy it until my husband gave it to me as a surprise gift for his birthday last December. (Yes, it was his birthday and he gave me the gift. HAHA).

Almost a month after I first held this purple-coloured paperback, I found the courage to open it and finally read the story of Chika.

chika_princess_dress

(Photo from https://www.mitchalbom.com/)

I know how special Chika is for Mitch Albom as I follow him on social media (being the fangirl that I am). I have also read about this little girl’s courage and bravery fighting a cruel tumour inside her young brain. Knowing these made me doubt if my heart is ready to read the inside story of their little family. But before Chika’s birthday, which is today January 9, I finally opened its pages and allowed myself to laugh, melt, learn, and weep, for them and with them.

Instead of reviewing the book, how it was written, how the story unfolded, what language was used, I choose to share the six life lessons I have learned from Mitch’s raw and honest anecdote of him, of Chika, and of their family with Janine. I believe they will move you and stir something inside you just like how they did to me.

Before that, if you may, please purchase a copy of the book as proceeds will be for the Have Faith Haiti Mission.

Here are the six lessons from the story of the birthday girl, the little fighter, Chika:

Lesson #1: There are many kinds of selfishness in this world, but the most selfish is hoarding time, because none of us know how much we have, and it is an affront to God to assume there will be more.

Lesson #2: The most precious thing you can give someone is time, Chika, because you can never get it back. When you don’t think about getting it back, you’ve given it in love.

Lesson #3: Everything in this world is music if you can hear it.

Lesson #4: One of the best things a child can do for an adult is to draw them down, closer to the ground, for clearer reception to the voices of the earth.

Lesson #5: There is no affliction like hopelessness. I believe it is worse than anything that strikes the flesh.

Lesson #6: What we carry defines who we are. And the effort we make is our legacy.

Happy birthday, dear Chika. I may not have known you but your story have touched and inspired me. I am sure you will never ever be forgotten. ❤

 

 

 

 

 

army of elements

Naked eyes’re powerless
for they are invisible,
smaller than dust, no less.

Creepy crawlers, void of tiny legs,
bursting from vein to vein
inside a mortal, muscled-keg.

A minuscule army of
Platinum, Fluorine, Arsenic, Boron
haunting for the invading “C”.

With a fatal glow, ‘nother option
is the clear-cut missile of
Cobalt-60 and Nickel-60.

Both weapons attack
with precision after trialled years,
Inside the lab intelligent minds

haunt periodic table for more recruits
in the race against the cursed
maker of crocodile-not tears.

Battles may end six-feet deep
or above, but all are won.

With a sliver of hope,
sunrise remains divine.

01.08.2019
©2020 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo via Unsplash
Inspired by the book I finished last night, my first for 2020, Finding Chika: A Little Girl, an Earthquake, and the Making of a Family.
It is the story of a little Haitian girl named Chika diagnosed with a rare brain tumor. What a brave girl she was and still is.

Finding Chika: A Little Girl, an Earthquake, and the Making of a Family

I will be sharing more about this book in my future posts. 🙂
For dVerse Let’s get elemental!
Tonight, let’s get elementary. Let’s get back to the absolute basics of matter.
For Christmas this year, my son received a copy of Periodic Tales by Hugh Aldersley-Williams. It’s a book of stories about the different elements of the periodic table. I thought it might be fun to write some poems inspired by elements, and that’s what I want you to do tonight. You don’t need to have any knowledge of science to do this – we rub up against the elements every day.
When you stop and think about it, you realise there are so many elements surrounding us all the time. Maybe you’ll write about gold – the ultimate treasure? Or carbon, present in charcoal, coal, but also in diamonds? Maybe oxygen? Maybe you’ll fill a balloon with helium and let it go bobbing off; or give me a poem that’s a neon light in a dark night. Or maybe you’ll head off down into the lower layers of the table where the stranger elements like uranium and polonium lurk.

The Entertainer Book Tag

(Note: This tag is stolen from my dearie Jade. I am guilty beyond reasonable doubt; I am willing to pay the price of this crime. ^___^ )

It’s a Monday morning and my work email is (surprisingly) quiet and empty. Perhaps like a little street in a province at 12:30 AM. So I decided to tag myself on The Entertainer Book Tag which I enjoyed reading in my dearie’s blog! (If you want eloquent and emotive poetry, funny and heartfelt and sometimes grim fan fiction and fiction, you better follow her! Come on! Do it noooow! 😀 )

It has been forever since I wrote for a tag and about books, which is a pity! So here I am! Answering these five bookish questions! Let’s goooo!

1.) Your favorite form of reading (ebook, audiobook, etc.)?

Image result for librocubicularist gif

I’m definitely a librocubicularist. I prefer my bed soft, my coffee hot, and my book printed! (Although majority of my read books are via ebook because I got no book budget before. Please forgive me, books. -_- )

2.) If you could trade places with any other MC in their fictional world facing the same problems as them, who would you trade places with?

(Another confession: I googled MC because, seriously, what is MC? I feel so old. HAHA. For those who are so uninformed like me, it means Main Character. *facepalm* )

I think I would choose to be Annie of The Next Person You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom . I have yet to read this book (courtesy of my dearie Jade!!! ❤ ) but I know Annie is the little child Eddie saved in The Five People You Meet in Heaven .

Image result for the next person you meet in heaven

I am excited to know what happened to her; I am sure she will be someone I can relate with because Mitch has that talent–creating characters that will resound to me. ❤

3.) Favorite Movie?

Geez. I am not a movie person but I really love Anne Hathaway’s Princess Diaries!

Image result for princess diary movie gif

I can’t remember today if this preference has been updated. So please, don’t judge! 😁

4.) What do you wish you could see more of in books?

I want to see more realistic, odd but inspiring and touching characters. Like Alice of Still Alice by Lisa Genova and Ove of A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. 🙂 These books are truthful, funny, and inspiring without bending with common novel cliches. 🙂

5.) Favorite first line from a book?

“When I was three and Bailey four, we had arrived in the musty little town, wearing tags on our wrists which instructed – ‘To Whom It May Concern’ – that we were Marguerite and Bailey Johnson Jr., from Long Beach, California, en route to Stamps, Arkansas, c/o Mrs. Annie Henderson.” – Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

That’s it, friends and poets! You can (also) steal this tag with my consent! 😀 Cheers!

©2018 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo via Unsplash, Google, Goodreads

Shoe Shopping

tattered by sand and mud,
kissed by shrapnels and bombs,
we are always ready
to fight, to shot, to combat.

shined until twinkling as stars,
worn to exude power and class,
we are as high as timeless sky,
ready to slay a gal or guy.

made as comfy as a cloud,
displayed as chic, never proud,
we sneak and squeak in right amount,
as we dance, run, twist, and squat.

i am but bare, no thread, no leather,
just muscles and skin,
such fragile matters,
yet i am but your steps’ master
moving forward or back.
soldiers, executives, hippies,
humans, oh, i know their tracks.

whatever cover they clothed me,
expensive, bare, or just an old sack,
as long as they are chasing
their life’s purpose and meaning,
instead of becoming zombies sleepwalking,
that will be more than, oh, more than enough.

Inspired by this favorite quote of mine:
“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.” 
― Mitch AlbomTuesdays with Morrie

08.30.2017
©2017 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo by Josh Calabrese on Unsplash

In response to Poetics: A Closet Full of Shoes by kim881.
The challenge is to write a poem, of any length or form, about footwear: stilettos, Wellington boots, hobnail boots, sandals, slippers, ballet shoes – it’s up to you, just as long as the poem is new.
dverse

Writing Wells: People Behind My Words

water

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” Louis L’Amour


My mind’s once a desert,
barren and wordless,
until it found its oasis,
with these writing wells:

Personal and Lists Posts

Maya Angelou

Inspiration for: Agony (first post) and Ending Agony.

Mitch Albom

Inspiration forDear Mitch Albom: A Ronsardian Ode*, Top Ten Quotes I Loved From The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch AlbomThings I’ve Learned from Mitch Albom.

Nicholas Sparks

Inspiration forTen Books to Read if you Love Nicholas Sparks, The Best Novels of Nicholas Sparks Part 1 and Part 2.

Fiction and Poetry

Jason Mraz

 

Inspiration for: First Time, My Soul Sings, Fixer.

Sara Bareilles

Inspiration for: Seasons: Epilogue (last part of my FIRST-ever fiction), Used To Be Mine, City Lights, Sweet Sun.

My Family

IMG20151227124445[1]

Inspiration forTo my cook, hair cutter and one and only driver, Nanay, Mother’s ChoicesFirst Forever, Stead, Rainbow Roof, Six Sibs.

My Bestfriends

20150507_210801[1]

Inspiration for: Soulmates.

My Dearest

IMG20150830121213[1]

Inspiration for: Dearest, First Poem, A Senryu for MJ, Conversations, One, The Vow, Taught.

Photo credits: Unsplash


The Great Book of Lists by La duchesse d’Erat

Chapter 5.1– People Who Inspired You

Thank you for a thought-inducing prompt, Jartagnan! And for hosting this awesome list,  Laduchessederat!

~

Ten Inspiring Reads for Every Dream Chaser

12c69-toptentuesday

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer” ― Harriet Tubman


I was born a dream chaser
and so are you,
admit it or not, you know
it’s true.

So here are ten inspiring reads
to uplift your spirits
and boost of moral beads!

1. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

Tuesdays with Morrie

Inspiring words: “So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”

2. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist

Inspiring words: “It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”

3. Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential by Joel Osteen

Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential

Inspiring words: “No matter how many times you get knocked down, keep getting back up. God sees your resolve. He sees your determination. And when you do everything you can do, that’s when God will step in and do what you can’t do.”

4. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Steve Jobs

Inspiring words: “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

5. Three Weeks With My Brother by Nicholas Sparks and Micah Sparks

Three Weeks With My Brother

Inspiring words: “When you chase a dream, you learn about yourself. You learn your capabilities and limitations, and the value of hard work and persistence.”

6. I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

I Am the Messenger

Inspiring words: “I’d rather chase the sun than wait for it.”

7. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Inspiring words: “The scariest moment is always just before you start.”

8. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini 

The Kite Runner

Inspiring words: “And suddenly, just like that, hope became knowledge. I was going to win. It was just a matter of when.”

9. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

All the Light We Cannot See

Inspiring words: “A real diamond is never perfect.”

10. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter, #1) by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)

Inspiring words: “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”

Photo credit: Goodreads


In response to The Broke and the Bookish‘s Top Ten Tuesday today:

April 12: Ten Books Every X Should Read (up to you! Examples: every history nerd, memoir lover, ballet lover, feminist, college student, etc etc.)

P.S. What one book would you add on this list?

Share it to me! 😀

~

Dear Mitch Albom: A Ronsardian Ode*

photo-1455651264681-40d634a35ce4

Dear Mitch Albom: A Ronsardian Ode*

A reader for delight that was once me,
until I stumble
upon your words that made me clearly see
letters tremble.
Tremble with meaning of life, death, beyond,
overflow with truth humans must respond,
touch hearts alive,
old souls revived;
your written words, I will always be fond.

©2016 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.

Photo credit: Anastasia Zhenina


MITCH ALBOM is an internationally renowned and best-selling author, journalist, screenwriter, playwright, radio and television broadcaster and musician. His books have collectively sold more than 35 million copies worldwide; have been published in forty-nine territories and in forty-five languages around the world; and have been made into Emmy Award-winning and critically-acclaimed television movies.


In response to Daily Post: Handwriting and Napowrimo Day 3.

 

Today, let’s turn our vision outward, and write fan letters. I challenge you to write a poem in the form of a fan letter to a celebrity.

*Ronsardian Ode

The Ronsardian Ode is:

  • stanzaic, written in any number of 9 line stanzas.
  • syllabic, 10-4-10-4-10-10-4-4-8 syllables per line.
  • rhymed, rhyme scheme ababccddc.

 

Fave Tearjerker Reads

12c69-toptentuesday

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.” ― Robert Frost


I am admittedly
a dark-writer.
Scribbler of
tragic incidents,
composer of
painful heartaches,
killer of
several lives.

It is then
I realized,
that the books
I loved,
are those which
make me cry,
and those
which dried up
my heart and eyes.


So here are my Five-Star Favorite Tearjerkers of all Time

1. Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks

Message in a Bottle

2. Me Before You (Me Before You, #1) by Jojo Moyes 

Me Before You (Me Before You, #1)

3. If I Stay (If I Stay, #1) by Gayle Forman

If I Stay (If I Stay, #1)

4. Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

Leaving Time

5. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

The Lovely Bones

6. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief

7. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

All the Light We Cannot See

8. The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto

9. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner

10. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

All the Bright Places

Photo credit: Goodreads


In response to The Broke and the Bookish‘s Top Ten Tuesday today:

March 22: Ten Books I Really Love But Feel Like I Haven’t Talked About Enough/In A While

P.S. What are your top tearjerker reads? Or maybe your fave reads recently?

Tell me? 😀

~