Endings and Beginnings (2017 Edition)

Oh, what a rollercoaster you have been, 2017?

The leaves of this year’s calendar is all but gone. With Sara Bareilles “December” playing on my background, with the lyrics:

Distill a whole year down into a day
Act like we all start over with a pristine slate
But to get yourself a new life you’ve got to give the other one away
And I’m starting to believe in the power of a name
‘Cause it can’t be a mistake if I just call it change

let me try to write about this crazy year and what I hope for the next.

The text cursor keeps on blinking, my mind keeps on trying to find the beginning of this post. Where should I start?

So… January 2017 I turned 25 (which I kind of talked about in this poem). It is like 1/3-life-crisis as I remember asking myself, “What have you done? What have you finished? What have you created that you should be proud of?”

It’s a crazy state of asking questions no one can actually answer. So in the end of it all, I let it be. (I’ve been so good at letting things be this year. Not sure if that is good or bad though.)

After the milestone birthday, blog world has been silent while I pour all my energy on Instagram. The camaraderie of the poets there reminded me of how it was here on WordPress, when I was just getting acquainted with my poet-self. I remember being around the awesome group of poets who grew and learned with me. Until one by one they left.

Come May, I released my first poetry collection, Between My Bleeding Lines

BLEEDING LINES

It was exciting to see your words printed and published with a lovely cover by my dear Sarah Doughty. I have honestly no high hopes for this one, and true to “what you think will happen, happens”, it did not soar. Does it matter?

It will be a hypocrite answer to say, “No, book sales doesn’t matter.” Because it does. Who wouldn’t want to hit it big in the first try? Who wouldn’t want to be like Lang Leav and Rupi Kaur? Of course, I do. But I’ve got no expectations and maybe has so little faith. And it showed. It doesn’t make the journey of birthing a book a little less exciting and fulfilling, though. 🙂

Publishing is an uncharted sea I was able to try this year. While the reward isn’t as fruitful, the lessons I learned and the people that made the baby book possible are enough rewards for now. 🙂

In between the hullaballoo of the release and the consistent posting on Instagram, are work tasks which eventually lead me to another “first” of the year which happened last October! My first airplane ride, my first beach experience, and my first out-of-the-country travel trip! (Thailand! :D)

20171012_112933

And 2017 won’t let itself end without a bang as after I went to Thailand for a client’s event, a new job was waiting for me. I was accepted. Considering the family and not myself, I have to accept. Here we go. I have to dive into another uncharted sea.

In between these milestones, I have loved and I have lost. I have given a second chance, and right now, I think that battle is another war that I’ve lost. I want to believe that I’m a brave and not a coward soldier, who knows when to give up. ‘Cause I’m laying down my sword and my armour, it’s time to let people go.

Apologies for such a melancholic post, but believe me, I have a tired heart filled with hope. Like a badly wounded soldier, I’m dusting off my knees and cleaning my wounds.

I am ready for 2018 and the amazing ride it will bring. I am ready to swim the strange sea. I am ready to love and be loved again. I am ready to write and try and try again. I am not at my best position right now, but it doesn’t mean it won’t get better.

It is far better to start the year on bended knee, for that’s the best time to call to the mighty He. I know He will be with me.


HAPPY NEW YEAR, everybody!

Hopeful Desires

The starting point of all achievement is desire. – Napoleon Hill


I started the year with my resolutions, and little by little I hope to change them into realizations.

ICMYI, here are some of my plans I posted last time, and more desires inspired by  Laduchessederat‘s The Great Book of Lists.

READER & WRITER PLANS

1. To (HOPEFULLY) read 50 books this year.

I am ashamed that I was not able to finish the PopSugar 2015 Reading Challenge. 😦 I am two books away from wrapping it up with flying colors… but… I failed.

2. To read more of local books proudly written by Filipinos!

Credit

Patriotic as it may seem, I plan to give local writers a try! It’s because out of 159 reads, only 2 are locals. It’s a shame!

Credit
3. To try new authors!

  Credit

I’ve done that last year and it proved to be exciting! I have stumbled to new found gems and I hope to discover more gems this year! Again, any recommendations?

4. To write book reviews, more book reviews!

Credit

It is a bit of a shame that I have so few reviews here. The writer-part of A Reading Writer is in full force last year but the reader-part isn’t. So I hope to put a balance on it.

PERSONAL PLANS

1. To… lose weight.

Credit

Hopefully!

2. To travel once more!

Credit

Preferably in a sandbar beach like Kalanggaman Island in Leyte!

3. To remain happy and healthy with my soulmates, my dearest, and my family. 🙂

Header photo credit: Clark


The Great Book of Lists by La duchesse d’Erat

Chapter 1.3 – The List of Your Desires

Thank you for the prompt, Laduchessederat!

~

Let’s read classics!

If you’re on a hunt for the best must-read classic novels, then read on! 

Because ‘to read more classic’ has been an infamous bookish resolution last Tuesday, here is a short list of recommendations I got from some awesome book lovers!

I am more than happy to receive all the encouraging comments for my new year’s resolution post last Tuesday! What’s best is that I now have a handful of must-read classics to choose from for this year!

And I am sharing it with you! ❤

From Belinda of Changing my World with Words

“Pride and Prejudice” is a always a good one, but if the 20th century is okay with you, try “To Kill a Mockingbird” or “Rebecca.”

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee  

To Kill a Mockingbird

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Rebecca

From Mandi of Mandibelle Thoughts Expressions and Articles

“Emma is great by Jane Austen, The Scarlet Letter by Nathanial Hawthorne, Alice in Wonderland and Alive Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, The Virgin and the Gypsy by D.H. Lawrence, or Son’s and Lovers by the same. The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald.”

Emma by Jane Austen

Emma

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Scarlet Letter

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Alice in Wonderland (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, #1)

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer & Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer & Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The Virgin and the Gypsy by D.H. Lawrence

The Virgin and the Gipsy

Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence

Sons and Lovers

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby

From Irene of Toodles Irene!

“So far the only classic I’ve really enjoyed has been Of Mice And Men by John Steinbeck.”

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men

From Wendleberry of Marvel at Words

Some off the cuff recommendations:

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diane Wynne Jones

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

I Capture the Castle

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Herland

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray

From Alyssa of Book Club Babe

My fav classics are either romances (Wuthering Heights, Age of Innocence) or dystopia (1984, Brave New World).

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Wuthering Heights

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

The Age of Innocence

1984 by George Orwell

1984

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Brave New World

From Christopher of CLCouch123

“If you’re interested in a kind of classic, I might be able to advise. I happened to buy two new novels while I was away. They are The Fifth Gospel by Ian Caldwell–sort of a Vatican conspiracy-thriller–and The Well by Catherine Chanter, which looks freakish and I trust will be freakishly good.”

The Fifth Gospel by Ian Caldwell

The Fifth Gospel: A Novel

From Lynn of Books and Travelling with Lynn

Lots of great classics out there – I second Wendleberry’s above – particularly Howl’s Moving Castle.

Howl’s Moving Castle (Howl’s Moving Castle, #1) by Diana Wynne Jones

Howl's Moving Castle (Howl's Moving Castle, #1)

Photo credit: Favim and Goodreads

Have you picked your classic now?

Please tell me!

If you have more recommendations, please share! 😀

P.S.

Thank you BelindaMandiIreneWendleberry, AlyssaChristopher, and Lynn for sharing to me your classic insights!

~

Ten Resolutions, Plans & Goals as a Reader, a Writer & a Blogger

12c69-toptentuesday

Am I believer of new year’s resolution? To be honest, I’m not.

For more than two decades, I have not created nor written such. That doesn’t mean I hate them, it’s just that it has never been a habit. 🙂

So for this year, because of The Broke and the Bookish, I would like to give it a try. (Operative word: TRY!) 😀

January 5: Top Ten Resolutions We Have For 2015 (can be bookish, personal resolutions)

I don’t think I can write ten (10) bookish resolutions, so this list will include my plans and hopes and yes, resolutions as a reader, a writer and a blogger. ❤

—Reader—

  1. To (FINALLY) give Harry Potter series a try.
Credit

Please don’t be angry Potter fans. I have nothing against J.K. Rowling or Harry Potter or anyone from this series. It’s not them, it’s me! 😀

  1. To (HOPEFULLY) read 50 books this year.

I am ashamed that I was not able to finish the PopSugar 2015 Reading Challenge. 😦 I am two books away from wrapping it up with flying colors… but… I failed.

  1. To read a classic with a happy heart!

I have proven that I am not an old soul when it comes to books, but this year, I hope to read even just one classic. 🙂 (Hey, I read two classics last year! Maybe three?!) But I admit, I am not happy when I read them. So I hope I will be happy to read one next year. Any recommendations? 🙂

  1. To read more of local books proudly written by Filipinos!

Patriotic as it may seem, I plan to give local writers a try! It’s because out of 159 reads, only 2 are locals. It’s a shame!

Credit
  1. To try new authors!

I’ve done that last year and it proved to be exciting! I have stumbled to new found gems and I hope to discover more gems this year! Again, any recommendations?

—Writer—

  1. To read more!
Credit

A Reading Writer’s tagline is “I read because I write. I write because I read.” So that explains it. 🙂

  1. To go out and write out of the box.

I have tried a lot of new things this year! Thanks to Writing 101 and 201, this blog has been more diverse and exciting to visit. I want to keep the juices flowing and I hope I can write more without sacrificing quality,

  1. To write book reviews, more book reviews!
Credit

It is a bit of a shame that I have so few reviews here. The writer-part of A Reading Writer is in full force last year but the reader-part isn’t. So I hope to put a balance on it.

—Blogger—

  1. To blog more consistently. (Weekly features, ahem!)

I tried so hard to blog and to do that, I set weekly features that I can follow. But still, I failed! So this year, I hope to change that. HOPE!

  1. To follow more, comment more, inspire more, write more!
Credit

It’s self-explanatory, right? 🙂

How about you?

What are your plans, goals and changes that you would want to do this year?

Can you relate?

I would love to talk to you.

YES, you!

😉

~