Friday, December 26, 2008

5 Tips from Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ

5 Tips for Achieving Your Writing Goals
by Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ (mailto:shery@writesparks.com)

1. Make your goals achievable.

By achievable, we mean realistic and attainable. You might unconsciously have set a goal even others will have a hard time achieving, even if they had the means and the time to do so.

Here's what you can do: break down your goals into small, realistic goals set against reasonable time frames. Oftentimes, you'll achieve your bigger goals if you work on achieving the smaller goals leading to those. The important thing is that your make your goals as realistic and as achievable as you can.

2. Believe in your abilities.

Success hugely depends on one and only one person -- you. So, do you believe enough in yourself and in what you can do to achieve your goals? Self-doubt is your biggest adversity and the biggest obstacle on your way to success. Is it possible you lost focus of your goals because you have unconsciously set aside having to deal with your self-doubts?


3. Devise a feasible plan.

You know what you want, but do you know how to get what you want? Do you need technical or artistic training to achieve your goals? Or perhaps further studies? Do you have a set plan of action that will lead to the achievement of your goals? What things, both tangible and intangible, do you need to aid you in reaching your goals?

Take a moment to sit down and list the things you need and make your plan of action. This is a good time to break them down into small, realistic goals and then tackle them one day at a time!


4. Resist spreading yourself too thinly.

Sometimes, it's better to work on one goal at a time, rather than doing and shooting for so many all at the same time. Work on so many goals at one given time and you'll find out you're nowhere near achieving even one goal. You won't be able to focus your full energy on one goal.

Prioritize your goals and start with either your top priority or your most realistic goal. You'll discover you're able to do more and achieve more using this approach.


5. Don't be easily disheartened.

Along with believing in your ability to achieve your goals, this is the second most important thing you need to do. Yes, you do the steps necessary to achieve your goals, but after one or two failures, do you give up and stop trying?

Persistence and patience are the keys to achieving your goals and eventually success. Always remember that it's very rare for people to achieve total success or attain their goals on the first try. If they did, there'll be no need to build self-confidence, patience and persistence.

Now that you've read these five tips, start your way to attaining your writing goals today!


Copyright (c) 2004 Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ

[ And just in case you have a web site or publish an e-zine, feel free to reprint this article. Just don't forget to include my resource box below. And please publish my article as is, without any alteration. ]

=> Resource Box <=

Shery created WriteSparks! - a software that generates over 10 *million* Story Sparkers for Writers. Download WriteSparks! Lite for fr*e - http://writesparks.com
--


Here are 5 prompts to try out this week, Francia. They're from my book, WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss!, which contains over 365 writing activities, prompts and ideas to fill up your journal.

1. List at least 5 situations you hope you never have to find yourself in. Then write the courses of action you would take if you do find yourself in those situations. (Week 14 - Indecision)

2. What are some of the things you expect from yourself? List ten to fifteen of these expectations, pick one and then write about it for ten minutes. (Week 40 - Expectations)

3. Build a story from this weird or absurd news: "In an attempt to get a date, a man in Turin, Italy arranges at least 500 bump-and-stop car accidents with young female drivers." (Week 22 - Absurdities)

4. Create a superstitious society. Invent omens and superstitions and make these the driving forces behind the actions of the people in your society. (Week 38 - Warnings)

5. Someone you have never gotten along with for years suddenly steps up and says hello to you while you are walking in the park, shopping or having coffee. She strikes up a conversation as if the two of you are the best of friends. How would you react? (Week 15 - Reactions)


Lately, I've been receiving inquiries from WriteSparks!(tm) Lite users if I intend to compile the WriteSparks!(tm) articles in an e-book so they'll have one file to open up whenever they feel the need to go back to the articles and inspirations. I always do my best not to disappoint, so compile the articles I did :o)

The previous 27 articles, including the writing sparks, are now in an e-book. It's a PDF and readable using Adobe Acrobat Reader.

=> http://writesparks.com/wsarticles.zip
(Download this file if you have Winzip. Unzip the program to your Desktop.)

=> http://writesparks.com/wsarticles.pdf
(Download this file if you do not have Winzip. Choose to save it to your Desktop.)

And if you want a print copy of the article collection and you're in the US, send $5 to my Paypal address, sheryruss@gmail.com. I'll mail you a print copy and throw in a booklet containing 365 prompts taken from the WriteSparks!(tm) software. If you're outside the US, send $10.

So knock yourself out, Francia... be inspired and motivated, and most of all -- keep on writing!


Best,
Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ
WriteSparks! creator
http://writesparks.com


PS: Start journaling in 2008! My book, The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between, will get you started right away. You'll be journaling all the way through 2008. Order an autographed copy today and receive a bo.nus gift. Shipping is fr.ee anywhere in the US :o).

=> http://writesparks.com/lm/link.php?id=419ba85authenticself

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Forces of Nature in Your Stories by Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ (mailto:shery@writesparks.com)

Nature plays a big role in stories. Nature can make a character more authentic because it can influence his/her action or behavior.

If you ever find yourself stuck on to how to describe one of your characters, add a force of nature in your character description. Describe how your character behaves or reacts during a bad (or good) weather.

Take for example a few movies where forces of nature were vital. Imagine how the characters and the plots would change if the following forces of nature were taken away:

~ the tornado in the Wizard of Oz
~ the lightning in Phenomenon (John Travolta)
~ the volcanic eruption in Dante's Peak (Pierce Brosnan)
~ the icebergs in the Atlantic in Titanic (Leonardo diCaprio)
~ the avalanche in Vertical Limit (Chris O'Donnell)

Try to substitute another force of nature in the examples above and see how it affects the story and the characters.

Try it yourself on the following:

1. Deanna Ball possesses a strong sense of duty. She's stuck in a traffic jam. Force of nature: Earthquake

2. Randall Graves is people-oriented and works well with others. He's in a bar watching afternoon football with friends. Force of nature: Snowstorm

3. Dessa Woods has an intimidating personality. She's on vacation with a couple of friends. Force of nature: Avalanche

4. Geoff Earhart is organized and methodical in his approach to everything. He's been ordered to recover a vital piece of equipment from a capsized ship. Force of nature: Lightning storm

5. Mac Taylor is the persistent type. He's been trailing a woman who looked like his best friend's dead wife. Force of nature: Torrential rain


Copyright 2004 Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ

Friday, October 17, 2008

Here's a very useful article for writers.I am putting it here with permission.

What Writing Is Not
by Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ (mailto:shery@writesparks.com)

Writing isn't a "one size fits all" shirt.

What works for me won't necessarily work for you. Your writing schedule may not be another writer's ideal schedule.

You're productive early mornings; I, late nights. You can write in spurts, can do the chores in between, and still turn in a clean copy and beat your editor's deadline by several hours. I, on the other hand, work best when I write for long hours and don't take breaks. Your way isn't better than mine, and vice versa. At the end of the day, we both come out with something we are proud of.

Some writers write more and finish more quickly if they follow an outline. Others feel stifled and write without one, happy to let their characters reveal the story in the process. Neither approach is wrong.

Maintaining a daily writing habit has worked wonders for me, but writing every day might not be for you.

Some writers are the pen-and-paper type while others can write straight from the computer.

And as one writer writes her masterpiece in solitude, lulled by four walls of silence, another shapes hers in a cafe, among crowds, or right in the center of the city's gut. Both equally feel a sense of belonging.

We each have a unique style; a personal writing rhythm; a customized formula.

Writing isn't a "one size fits all" shirt. Find your own size, the one you're most comfortable in. Whatever your size is...that's the right size. It's the right way of writing -- because it's your way.

You wear it well when you simply write with all your heart.


Copyright 2004 Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ

[ And just in case you have a web site or publish an e-zine, feel free to reprint this article. Just don't forget to include my resource box below. And please publish my article as is, without any alteration. ]

=> Resource Box <=

Shery is the creator of WriteSparks! - a software that generates over 10 *million* Story Sparkers for Writers. Download WriteSparks! Lite for fr*e - http://writesparks.com

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Want to explore a Free Master Course to give you a launching pad for your writing?

Click this link to lead you to the Free Master's Course from SBI!

Site Build It

The Free Masters Course is also in this link. Please just click the link:

https://secure.sitesell.com/prot-bin/affiliatescripts/affiliateClubMoreInfo.pl?bookbuilditnew

Saturday, September 27, 2008

An SBI website owner's moment on the Oprah Winfrey Show

A moment of fame comes when you least expect it. This was what happened to Jill and her husband Jose who were asked to appear on the Oprah Winfrey Show on September 23, 2008. Both husband and wife are SBI website owners of www.your-rv-lifestyle Jill and Jose thought someone was just playing a prank on them. Of course they discovered that the call from the Oprah Winfrey Show was for real.

The show wanted to know the impact of the economy on people's finances and retirement plans. The premise of the show was: Can people continue to have the life that they want like camping trips, extended vacations, a seasonal home and the list continues - given the present financial situation, the economic downturn, the rising cost of fuel, food and almost everything else... and so forth?

And there they were, Jill and Jose, two SBIers telling millions of TV viewers that they are well on the financial road. Their dream life is to continue spending less and living more.

How genuinely customer-friendly and caring indeed this SBI web hosting company is. If Jill and Jose can reach the life of their dreams through SBI!, then the Oprah Winfrey Show tells you and me a lot of things.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

What is bad writing?

"Rob Parnell is the foremost writing guru in the world." Vin Smith,
Midnight Bookworm.

What is Bad Writing?

by Rob Parnell

http://www.easywaytowrite.com/

Let's first decide what is good writing.

Basically, anything that transports you as a reader is good. In a sense, it doesn't matter if the writing has lots of faults. Good writing is that which works for you - even though others might not agree. It's a personal thing.

Bad writing can work for your mother, your spouse or your best friends. They will not see the faults - and neither will you.

But good writing is what moves many people - and for the right reasons. This is why best selling authors are by definition good writers, even though the purists might criticize their style.

I've seen many arguments on writers' groups over the years about JK Rowling. It's fairly widely acknowledged (amongst writers) that her writing style leaves a lot to be desired. She breaks a lot of the rules of good writing but, her fans say, that's not important. Her mission is to tell great stories - which she's clearly very good at - and so who's to say she's a bad writer?

How can millions of readers be wrong?

I used to have this same argument with musicians. It's easy for purists and cynics to say 'Madonna is crap' but I would say that she must be talented and wonderful simply because she's so incredibly popular. To me, success is the benchmark.

If someone can inspire adoration, sales and loyal followers then surely you have to say they are talented.

And writers who can inspire millions with their words must be good at what they do.

You might not like Dan Brown's writing style. I've heard many writers criticize him - but you can't ignore the profound effect his writing has had on the public. I've read all of his books - and I can't believe he's made us wait so long for his next one!

There are many tell tale signs of ineffective writing. Bad grammar, clunky self consciousness, verbosity, authorial intrusion, lack of basic point of view skills - and a hundred and one other things that I cover in many of the 100 or so articles on my website. But don't let the mechanics - or rules - get you down.

Many would be great storytellers get so worried about their writing style, with all its faults, that they stop themselves from writing - for fear of embarrassing themselves.

But this is not productive.

Only writing is productive.

Pick up the rules as you go along - but don't stop yourself from writing. Listen to what others say and make adjustments but never believe you're not as good as anyone else.

Having read a million or so manuscripts in the last 30 years I would say there is only one really bad way to write.

And that is when an author deliberately sets out to write to IMPRESS.

You can tell they're saying, "Look at me, look at my writing! Aren't I great, isn't my writing superb!" Because, ironically this has precisely the opposite effect on the reader.

They might not quite understand why they don't like it - but that niggling feeling that the author wants you to be impressed with them can be very irritating to read.

In a perfect world, the author must disappear from view. The only important thing is the story - or in non fiction, the information.

The interesting thing to me is that once authors grasp this fact, their writing seems to get better on its own.

Because the rules of writing are simply there to help clarify your meaning to readers. And good writing is clear writing.

Bad writing is that which is confusing, deliberately obscure or simply hard to read. It may be perfectly grammatical and error free but, let's face it, if it's dull and uninspiring, it's bad writing.

Best regards and keep writing!

Let's first decide what is good writing.

Basically, anything that transports you as a reader is good. In a sense, it doesn't matter if the writing has lots of faults. Good writing is that which works for you - even though others might not agree. It's a personal thing.

Bad writing can work for your mother, your spouse or your best friends. They will not see the faults - and neither will you.

But good writing is what moves many people - and for the right reasons. This is why best selling authors are by definition good writers, even though the purists might criticize their style.

I've seen many arguments on writers' groups over the years about JK Rowling. It's fairly widely acknowledged (amongst writers) that her writing style leaves a lot to be desired. She breaks a lot of the rules of good writing but, her fans say, that's not important. Her mission is to tell great stories - which she's clearly very good at - and so who's to say she's a bad writer?

How can millions of readers be wrong?

I used to have this same argument with musicians. It's easy for purists and cynics to say 'Madonna is crap' but I would say that she must be talented and wonderful simply because she's so incredibly popular. To me, success is the benchmark.

If someone can inspire adoration, sales and loyal followers then surely you have to say they are talented.

And writers who can inspire millions with their words must be good at what they do.

You might not like Dan Brown's writing style. I've heard many writers criticize him - but you can't ignore the profound effect his writing has had on the public. I've read all of his books - and I can't believe he's made us wait so long for his next one!

There are many tell tale signs of ineffective writing. Bad grammar, clunky self consciousness, verbosity, authorial intrusion, lack of basic point of view skills - and a hundred and one other things that I cover in many of the 100 or so articles on my website. But don't let the mechanics - or rules - get you down.

Many would be great storytellers get so worried about their writing style, with all its faults, that they stop themselves from writing - for fear of embarrassing themselves.

But this is not productive.

Only writing is productive.

Pick up the rules as you go along - but don't stop yourself from writing. Listen to what others say and make adjustments but never believe you're not as good as anyone else.

Having read a million or so manuscripts in the last 30 years I would say there is only one really bad way to write.

And that is when an author deliberately sets out to write to IMPRESS.

You can tell they're saying, "Look at me, look at my writing! Aren't I great, isn't my writing superb!" Because, ironically this has precisely the opposite effect on the reader.

They might not quite understand why they don't like it - but that niggling feeling that the author wants you to be impressed with them can be very irritating to read.

In a perfect world, the author must disappear from view. The only important thing is the story - or in non fiction, the information.

The interesting thing to me is that once authors grasp this fact, their writing seems to get better on its own.

Because the rules of writing are simply there to help clarify your meaning to readers. And good writing is clear writing.

Bad writing is that which is confusing, deliberately obscure or simply hard to read. It may be perfectly grammatical and error free but, let's face it, if it's dull and uninspiring, it's bad writing.

Best regards and keep writing!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Valiente is his name





He could rule the world. He could rule with justice and compassion just like any other human being equipped with the predisposing factors of power, the kind that comes from the finest side of a human being. But this morning, Valiente is in a white coffin at the receiving area of city hall just beside the flagpole where the city’s human power put their right palm on their chest to pledge allegiance to God and country every Monday morning.

“Ang mamatay ng dahil saiyo” sounds perfunctory.

“To die for you, my country” - what does this really mean, murmured the lean and spent warm bodies of about 500 urban poor residents of Barangay Isla Blanca A waiting for the city mayor to answer their demands for the redress of their grievances.

At noontime yesterday, a demolition crew of 300 rushed to Isla Blanca A to forcibly clear the area of what the City Development Authority viewed as nuisance, therefore “eyesores” in the city as the government always referred to the urban poor since Adam. There were 300 families to be driven away purportedly to give way to the construction of a dike and the government brought in an armed demolition team of 300 men.

In less than an hour, the human barricade of protesting citizens of the city was broken and the creaking and cracking sound of backhoes mingled with the sounds of heaving and bursting chests.

“Wala kayong kaluluwa! Hindi niyo iginagalang ang batas!” You have no compassion! You don’t heed what the law says. These words reverberated in Isla Blanca A, an urban village occupied by rural poor migrants for 40 years now. Why this clearing operation happens at a time when there is a rice and oil crisis, the citizens of the city could only make the sign of the cross to explain the situation.

“Ang tao/ Ang bayan/ ngayon ay lumalaban!” The people/ The nation/ Demands redress of grievances now…This chant was repeated like a mantra while the people waited for the mayor to come and meet them.

Valiente’s parents were stone-faced. They exerted a calm appearance. Just two days ago Marianina and Estan were proud parents of Valiente. The young boy could mimic the TV matinee idol to the neighbors’ surprise.He could count from 1 to 50. He could pronounce words with "r" and this amazed the neighbors.

“One day he will be the President of the Philippines,” teased the neighbors who asserted that dreams are freebies so they can dream big with no one stopping them.

At 11:00 in the morning, the mayor finally inched towards the chanting crowd. When the mayor greeted the crowd, the chanting stopped and the group’s spokesperson addressed the mayor courteously.

“We have nowhere to go, Mayor. What remains with us are ourselves and this dead body of 2-year old Valiente in front of us. In the consternation yesterday after the demolition crew fired on the air, he fell on the creek. Valiente’s mother thought the baby was with her older sister but events happened so fast. There is nothing left to us now but our homelessness and our grief. We invoke our rights in Section 28 of the Urban Development and Housing Act. We have rights too under the United Nations Convention on Social and Economic Rights.

”Where are these rights in this city?”

The Mayor displayed his poker face as usual and in a carefully worded pronouncement told the crowd that they should be patient and try to understand that the country wants to move forward. He was sorry that the creek accident happened. Careful not to blame the parents for the death of the baby, he promised that city hall would shoulder the burial expenses.

“What about our homes? “

“What about our livelihood? We are staying on the sidewalk right now. We deserve a relocation site near our sources of livelihood.”

As usual, the Mayor’s answer was a poker face. He promised the group that he would call the City Development Authority and the Public Highways to finalize the subject of resettlement.

The people’s anger showed when the mayor couldn’t make a categorical commitment. The speaker’s fists were clenched as he heaved a sigh.

“Mayor, we are citizens of this city too. We will set up tents on these grounds until we are settled as human beings.”

There was silence like something to be revered or to be feared just whiffed by and people could not move including the mayor.

“You’ll get Isla Blanca B as your resettlement site. That is only a 30-minute ride from city hall. Just wait a bit for the development of the site.”

Nerves started to calm down but someone from the crowd who had seen very little drinking water since their homes were dismantled yesterday said: “Kindly give us a written copy of your commitment, Mayor.”

As some solutions evolved, Valiente’s story is repeated in other areas in the country where dreams of greatness that could be the corner stone of a truly humane society are snuffed out at a flick of a finger.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Rainsong

The sound of paper ashes separating from the flames brought in the memory of an afternoon rain more than two decades ago. Yes, twenty-five years ago, Richard and I were under one umbrella heading to a community meeting. We were both social workers in the city. He sang under the rain. “You’ve got a friend”. Twenty-five years ago to this day, only time and space have changed --- I still hear Richard singing when it rains.

Under the New Year’s Eve sky I watched the pages of letters, photos, book markers and other sheets of scented paper curl and burn.

“This moment has to pass or an infinity of frozen love songs on the guitar would never leave."

The songs that Richard sang to me when he wanted me to laugh needed to burn as I emptied my box of memorabilia on the embers before me.

"How do I burn the songs in my heart?”

I closed my eyes trying to be calm as I performed my ritual of good bye. As I was a struggling prisoner of memory, the New Year was a kind of key that would unlock my door. I needed to do this ritual to move on. After an hour of listening to the sound of ashes separating from sheets of paper, I entered my room promising myself not to cry. I took a pen and a piece of paper and wrote whatever it was that I felt that moment. I traced my own unique map of emotions. Why should that sense of completeness I’ve been running after intensely be always out of my reach? Why have other people been so lucky to catch their special starlight?

I wrote my manifesto of letting go:

“To an all-loving Universe, I know, you are there to support me. I am removing my grip on the memory of Richard that haunted me for twenty-five years. I let that memory go with the flames a while ago. The New Year will find me a free woman –loving but never having a grip on love again. I will be fine.”

The ritual somehow gave me inner peace. The tears that flowed even when unbidden stopped and for the first time I found the energy to surf the internet for dating sites. I surfed and surfed and ended up with a dating site for Capricorns. John Wesley popped up with the profile that attracted me: Independent Consultant on Participatory Processes. Loves poetry and music. Loves to cuddle by the fireplace.

“Ah another Capricorn.”

“What is it in Capricorns that you can’t resist” asked John in one of his emails."

“I don’t know. It’s just that I am surrounded by Capricorns. My best friends are Capricorns. “

John and me wrote lengthy letters to each other. We called our exchange “co-journaling.”

He sent me a poem that I thought had replaced the stubborn song in my heart. I kept this poem in my wallet at the back of John’s photo as a sort of talisman against vulnerability to Richard’s possible return.

In Passing

Do you see
ebb and flow
under
moonshine?
And we
the salts
of
earth and stars;
couched
pensively
textures of each
and
our own
easing magically
sipping spirits
a warm
eternal hearth.

Today is another New Year’s Eve , 5 years after my New Year’s Eve ritual. I heard a familiar voice in the neighborhood. “You’ve Got a Friend”. I couldn’t believe it. It was Richard on the guitar. My neighbor is a former colleague who is now an independent consultant in Indonesia. She was also Richard’s former colleague.

I got news that Richard has been widowed seventeen years ago and never remarried.
I heaved a sigh and saw myself as a bird perched on a dry twig. The twig was about to break but I was not afraid. I could fly.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Mobile Phone Age: Its wonders and blunders

The Mobile Phone Age: Its wonders and blunders

http://maps.google.com/maps/mm?ie=UTF8&hl=en&ll=41.32,-88.2&spn=25.352971,59.765625&t=p&z=4&iwloc=mpl0






Saturday, July 12, 2008

Hilary Clinton and Women's Graying Hair

Hilary Clinton and Women's Graying Hair

http://maps.google.com/maps/mm?ie=UTF8&hl=en&ll=41.32,-88.2&spn=25.352971,59.765625&t=p&z=4&iwloc=mpl0






Wednesday, July 2, 2008

In the news: 500 Starbucks outlets in the US closed down

"What, Starbucks, yeah, it's okay if they close down" would be our initial reaction to the news. But when we realize that the next part of the news is about the the loss of jobs of thousands of workers, it's as if we will just say. "Okay, I'll still go to Starbucks for the sake of those who will lose their jobs." The Starbucks story isn't as simple as that, of course. But that is another story.

Loss of jobs is like loss of one's dignity if we view it from the eyes of the unemployed. In countries like the UK and the Scandinavian countries where those who lose their jobs are given state support, the burden on the jobless seems lighter than the jobless in countries without state support. But whether the unemployed is coming from the UK or another country with state support, the same feeling of bruised dignity is present. The difference is in the degree of pain according to the unemployed from the first world. "In fact, it is better to be unemployed in third world countries because they are many there than to be unemployed in the UK", according to an unemployed British I have talked to. "In poor countries, where almost 50% of the 50% who are poor are unemployed, not many people will look at your joblessness very negatively," this British said. And he continued: "In a first world country, the unemployed are less and their presence therefore are obvious. In fact, there is a denial of the reality of poverty in the first world. This is the burden of the poor in a rich country."

The thought of thousands of Starbucks employees losing their jobs leads me to think of the issues of the unemployed as the issues too of people with secure jobs.Anybody can lose a job any time. Life's surprises can never be predicted despite the extensive studies on the theory of probability.

What are the issues of the unemployed then? As someone like me who have lived and worked up close with the unemployed, the following are their issues:

1) The loss of income comes like the loss of a limb or a loved one. So, the pain of having lost something is ever present.A caring society will not judge the unemployed
harshly when they get some support from friends and family or from the government.If the support comes from the government, there's no reason to be ashamed of it as the taxes that have been deducted from the salaries when the unemployed were still having their jobs came from their sweat. But reality is uglier than the theories of solidarity and a humane environment. Society is very harsh on the unemployed. Distrustful even. It is as if the unemployed suddenly just want to stop working and make themselves a burden to others.The core of the issue of unemployment on the personal side is the bruised dignity of the unemployed.

2)A sagging sense of self-worth grips the unemployed whenever they are in a circle of
employed friends and relatives. Because the structural dimension of unemployment is
seldom the discourse in gatherings, the personal angst of the unemployed manifest
as aggressive behavior.

3)Why it is a common occurrence that the unemployed is perceived as arrogant
and hard-headed and therefore gives rise to more and more new social problems like
drunkenness and unreasonableness is precisely because of the restlessness and inner
"unpeace"caused by a perceived exclusion of what is supposed to be their inner
circle.

Unemployment, more often than not, pulls the floodgate of personal and social
problems. I wish the Starbucks employees in the US will really be taken into the
other branches that the management said can still be taken in.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

ChangingLINKS

This is a time in my writer's notebook that I am placing all kinds of links so that the thoughts that I share with you, dear readers, will be easily spread to the four directions of the wind.ChangingLinks is among the helping hands that will spread my contributions to this planet.


Changing LINKS

Connecting Peoples and Visions



Connecting people is building bridges of communication and solidarity.Search engines perform the task of connecting people.

www.anoox.com


http://www.anoox.com/?sfi=fahszg85mqn4qr90fg73

Saturday, May 3, 2008

A Java Script Site

Here's something about java script:

http://www.javascriptkit.com/

For Freelance Writers

This is part of the ewritersplace website. A very good site for writers:

http://ewritersplace.com/channelfreelancewriting.php

A good resource for writers

Writing is a very important human activity. Without records of the flow of life, history wouldn't be as accurate. Oral tradition is important but without documented
history, facts can be bungled. Interpretations can be too many. With human activity documented, there will be less room for conflicting information.

Here's a good resource for writers:

http://ewritersplace.com/channeltechwriting.php

Friday, May 2, 2008

Sunday, April 27, 2008

fundsforwriters.com

Here's a link to Writers:

http://www.fundsforwriters.com/

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Struggling Writer

Writing is a discipline. That perfect time when you'll have all the time to write
will never come. That time when all the literary energies will just write themselves on paper will never come unless you write everyday. No matter what, you just write. Even if you think you can't be proud of what you have written today. Just write.

I was watching Manny Pacquiao, the Filipino boxer who has garnered a lot of international awards, punching his way everyday always in preparation for a boxing event. He is a good boxer, always a victor, because he rehearses everyday. The writer does the same. There is really no special time to be able to have all the time and inspiration to be able to write flawlessly.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

How to stand the day's stress and be a loving person

Every morning, my ritual is self-healing through EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). After my rhinitis and my asthma subside I create a positive circle of energy surrounding my whole being through EFT. This healing technique has become so much a part of me that I think I am becoming a better human being because of it.

Not many people believe me though, that EFT can heal. I think it's the programming since childhood that makes people suspicious of any healing outside of the mainstream method: that is, going to a medical doctor and buying the prescription from a drugstore, preferably from a drugstore selling medicine from multi-national drug companies. Any deviation from this programming can be called many names: quackery, superstition or ignorance. I risked being called all of the above for the sake of opening new doors to well-being. I have always thought that leaving one's comfort zones once in a while can make the mind sharper and therefore more useful.

The problem with not being able to leave one's comfort zone is that it makes a person
think of his/her thought patterns as the only correct patterns. This makes a person dangerous in the arena of relationships. We become less loving when we think that our thoughts are better than others.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Turn-over Ceremony of the Collected Writings and Memorabilia of Dr. Mary Racelis



Friday, March 7, 2008

Dr. Mary Racelis is a 76-year old Research Scientist and Professor in the Department of Socio-Anthropology of the Ateneo de Manila University. She is not just any research scientist in that she has always presented her findings to both local and international stakeholders to advocate for the well-being of the poorest in society. Dr. Racelis is also a feminist and her advocacy of women and children has caused policy changes in United Nations organizations.

There were tributes from friends who had worked with Dr. Racelis, be they in UNICEF or Civil Society. One tribute I liked was that of Atty. Hec Soliman who said that managing knowledge by preserving implicit knowledge through writing and archiving is providing society with the needed stuff to write history. Without recorded knowledge, there would be no history. What Dr. Racelis has done by way of her writings is providing society, Philippine Society in particular, the materials to continue writing Philippine history from the perspective of women and the poor.


I saw the turn-over ceremony beyond the personal life of Dr. Mary Racelis. I viewed Mary's pro-poor voice embodied in all her writings as a representation of a woman's soul, that soul being the collective energy of women needed in the continuing transformation of society. People die. Mary will one day say "yes" to her own mortality but her contribution to make this world a better world will stay forever.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Why is poverty getting globalized?

Sharing resources and spreading access to different kinds of opportunities is one of the ideals of a just society. When fewer and fewer people share resources and the rest of the world population share only deprivation and misery, this is another trend of a globalizing world.

The trouble with globalizing poverty is that humanity's higher self gets smaller and smaller until it is thrown into stagnation. Who rescues humanity's higher self?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Floods: What do they teach us?

I was in Legazpi on February 21, supposedly to prepare for the facilitation work for the Bicol Regional Rural Congress. It would have been a time to listen to the issues of people's organizations in the rural area.It would have been a time to think seriously of the link of the urban and the rural strategies in community organizing work.

In the afternoon of February 21, the radio blared: Albay is in a semi-state of emergency. Because of the continuous heavy rains since the week that passed flooding couldn't be avoided. This inevitable flooding after a week even with heavy rains didn't happen in the past 15 years. This flooding is the first after Typhoon Reming of December 2006.

Remembering the law of nature that says "Everything must go somewhere" I could only strike my breast in contriteness. Yes, by our silence, action or omission, we have allowed plastic garbage to clog the city's drainage system. We have allowed deforestation. We have allowed the unabetted emission of carbon dioxide into the
atmosphere. All these affirms nature's law: Everything must go somewhere. We have allowed forces to weaken or cut the connectedness of the web of life. Now the floods come to our doorsteps.

More than what we carelessly do to destroy the balance of our ecosystems are the thoughts that we nurture to weaken or destroy our inner person's ecosystem. Quantum Physics teaches us that thoughts are energy. Everything must go somewhere. Where do our thoughts go? Do we let them loose so that they do not return to the home of our human values but to wander in the dimension of human greed and the limitless need to acquire that which would never satisfy the human heart anyway?

Flooding is the universe's way of letting us remember our birthright: We have an individual as well as a universal purpose in life. Our thoughts, contrapuntal, that is, must go somewhere. Unlike the garbage that we throw into the drainage system which brings us floods, our destructive thoughts thrown into the ecosystem of our hearts and minds work inwardly by cutting our connection from the source of all matter, being and intelligence.Everything must go somewhere. If what we do is to turn away from the source we find ourselves somewhere far away from the source. It would take a lot of hard work on our part to go back home to that somewhere, to that place where we will get connected again to everything that is life-giving.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Government Hates "Eyesores".

I was with a group of Thais on an exposure visit to Manila. They wanted to learn why it is so easy for people in power to violate the laws that are supposed to protect the poor in the city. They wanted to learn if people with higher income in the Philippines had it in their sensibilities to see the deprivations and alienation of the poor from the standpoint of the poor. It is not just in their own country that they know of poor people's rights being violated. That's the reason they came. To see how poor people in the city fare in this so-called "pearl of the orient seas".

We went to Tatalon, a place near a waterway that the government wanted cleared of urban poor homes because the sight of shanties offends the eyes of investors. For the city to look seductive there should be no "eyesores".

Narrow views on "eyesores". For an introspecting government, success isn't dispossessing the poor of the city. It is identifying how their human potentials are maximized. This was not so in Tatalon.

Entering the covered basketball court, you see 88 families each occupying around 2 square meters for whatever it is they have in life - a kettle, a frying pan, a disfigured basin, old mats, old pails, a few plates a straw sack of clothes. Not much in terms of acquisition which you would think is actually an indicator of success if you were a philosophy student.

As you set your eyes on the different corners of the covered court, you see a number of women sleeping at a very untimely moment of the day. Because they had nothing to do. Because forcibly evicting them from where they were making a living was reducing them to liabilities. And we complain about poor people becoming social problems.

Talking to some people in the covered area, we were told by one mother that the night before bullies in the neighborhood hurled stones on the door of the covered court.
When their men went out to look for the offenders, a man from nowhere hacked at one man's back, the blade of the big knife used fortunately had not cut the upper back portion of the man. But in the end the hacker had succeeded in hacking at the hand of the intended victim and saw the small finger of his left hand dangling like a doll's finger pulled off by an angry toddler. On another night, the previous night,
another group of bullies came near the door of the covered court. When asked why they were there, they angrily retorted that they were the ones being provoked to anger by the language of their eyes. The wife of the leader of the group was in tears when she was relating what happened two nights before.

You wonder how people in power carry out the oath that they pronounced when they took the responsibility of being a public servant. Oaths are taken always in people's name .But these promises remain empty words.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Google Maps

If you want a bit of "desktop tourism" to stretch your tired back, Google provides net surfers with different types of maps. If it is the "ancient wonders of the world" that you want to trace you can just follow the link on the right side of this blog. The "wonders of the modern world" are also here. Look at the right hand corner of the page where you are and scroll down. Choose what you want to see. Is it the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Brazil that you want to see? Just click the place and the information that you want to know from each country in the world map.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Society Needs Writers

Before I discovered a very good website for writers - http://easywaytowrite.com/ - my writing life
was highlighted by a number of published poems and poetry workshops and friends' impatience at the way I am wasting away my literary gifts by not rushing to publish my poetry.

When I found out about a team of writers in Australia who care for writers, it was as if my writing self gave birth to a new direction for me to take. The panel of writers at the University of the Philippines' Writers' Workshop where I was once a fellow were right when they advised us, struggling writers, that we should always connect with writers wherever we go. Even if the writers we meet are total strangers to us. That's the only way to thrive as a writer. Those seasoned writers were right. Alone, a writer can easily give up on his/ her craft. Because the ink that blots a writer's page imitates life. And when life's layers are peeled off, and it's usually the writers who have the energy to get at the core of meanings, the writer sticks to his truths and doing so usually makes isolation his/her good company.

Writers are usually made of a not-so-ordinary stuff even if they look so ordinary.Why society still strives for higher purposes is from a big part due to the creative spirit that writers feed on. Without these group of people, who will society call to do the so-called menial errand (because society forgets to pay its writers well)of salvaging the broken pieces of a nation's aspirations?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

A Very Good Writing Group

Dear Fellow Writer surfing the web:

There are countless writing sites in the internet and you
can just get dizzy choosing which site you'd visit to really help you be a good writer. I was in a situation like you.I wanted to improve my writing and be inspired. I wanted to go to a site where I would never experience being shortchanged. Thank God, I found a really good writer and teacher. Rob Parnell, you'll find out in the website below, is a great teacher; a writer's friend. He doesn't make you feel you are a kindergarten in the field of writing. Obviously, he could have charged more for any of the courses he teaches. But he's a writer's friend more than a writer earning from his writing and teaching. Take it from me. I got a lot of writing tips and push to write again from the first online course I took under him. In fact, I am saving for another online course with him. I'm interested in the fiction writing course with
him "closely" mentoring the me throughout the learning process.

If you're looking for a teacher who you think you can rely on, you can trust,who will walk with you as you struggle with your writing and who will treat you with respect as a fellow writer, here's the site to visit:


http://easywaytowrite.com/index.html

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Meaning of Life

I didn't have any plans of writing an autobiography. That's only for the VIPs in society, I thought. In my more than four decades of reading autobiographies, and biographical novels too, it never occurred to me to place myself along with "people who matter" in society. In the course of my musings, I remembered the thoughts of Eckhart Tolle, a spiritual teacher who was recently introduced to me by a friend. A New Earth, Awakening to Life's Purpose, Eckhart Tolle's bestselling book given to me by a friend, taught me how to deal with the inner voices or sometimes I wish to call them inner demons that steal my peace of mind.

In my musings about autobiographies and biographies being for VIPs only, I realized that the concept of perceiving myself as less than a VIP is a kind of self-flagellation. By saying this, I don't mean I should steal the limelight being a person as important as the Queen of England. By looking at my real worth and meaning as a human being and therefore feeling just as important as the very important persons in society, I undo layers of false perceptions and concepts about my presence in this planet. In my musings I remembered the teachings of Eckhart Tolle. You may want to visit this site:http://www.eckharttolle.com/

And for help on how to write a sparkling autobiography, you may like to visit this site:http://www.easywaytowrite.com/

Thursday, January 31, 2008

I learned that you can also earn from writing

I have always wanted to write since high school but I always heard from writers that if I didn't like to starve I should rethink my options.

I don't understand though that a sector of society who has a gift of language, dreams and creativity can starve. I kept asking myself where the problem was. The answer: writing has been associated with literary writing time and time again. The technical writer, the crossword puzzle creator, the greeting card writer, the manual and brochure writer, etc. - all these have not been viewed as writing. The problem lied in the perspective of both writers and readers. This view has to end, at least on my side as a writer interested in both practical and ideal things.