Plot Twist: This blog isn’t dead yet.

My ability to procrastinate never fails to amaze me. 

I’m so incredibly good at forgetting priorities and even better at getting preoccupied with distractions and I swear on every poet that ever walked the earth that I am not proud of this.  I wish I have words for the intensity of shame I feel whenever I remember how long since I last wrote an entry, how grotesquely behind I am on my list of book reviews to draft, how I’ve somewhat lost my focus in getting through my reading plans for the year. I am my worst critic and I get so ruthless with myself sometimes that I feel unworthy of catching up and stealing the momentum back, of starting all over again.

Before my eyes, the months waltzed by to the tune of techno-grunge apathy, routines in pop ballad rhythm and anthems of neglect. August, September. I sing in high-pitched nothingness and the concerto of regrets wouldn’t stop replaying. October, November. A crisis of forgetfulness. December. Dear 2016, how the hell would I ever be ready for you?

I keep thinking: this blog deserves a better blogger.  Someone who actually writes book reviews instead of someone who writes about excuses for being unable to do so. Someone consistent, no matter how the world infinitely shows no mercy at shattering schedules to chaos, instead of someone who succumbs to assorted whims on a daily basis. Someone who just keeps going, instead of someone who just keeps going away.

But then there are days like this when I also think about how there are bigger, more urgent things than the torture of being a spectator to your own failure. I think:  what this blogs needs most of all is a resurrection.

I try to coax myself out of this self-induced amnesia to recall the heart of a phrase I have written so many years back. I don’t believe in epilogues because I don’t believe in things ending—everything is an introduction.

So even if the pain of self-scorn burns me raw, I return to the madness of the written word to remember why this is the kind of love I will never let go of: because the pages never runs out for a reader who keeps on reading. Because the ever-after is endless.

Because the fiction goes on forever.

 

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Monthly Wrap-Up: Misfit March

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Fact: I am in love with strangeness.

I am forever fascinated with all things weird mostly because I believe it is everywhere, in everyone.  Sometimes we’re so blinded by our mundane everydays that we fail to see an outrageously simple reality: There’s no one else like you in the world. All the sappy self-help books in the planet would tell you that despite all our similarities, every single one of us is unique.  These days I’ve been finding myself pausing a lot and just mulling over the gravity of that fact and letting it play carousels inside my head.

What makes you weird makes you extraordinary. Hot damn.

For March I have read six wonderful books featuring characters with varying levels of quirk; people who are, in many ways, different from the society or the world they live or grew up in, whether they meant to or not. People who never seemed to fit in or belong anywhere besides the shell of their own selves. People who have stories that transcend the bizaare, the macabre, the wildest of imaginations. People who defied to be forgotten by becoming one-of-a-kind—in good ways, in bad ways, in OMGWTF ways.

You and I, we are all misfits just wanting to find our places under the sun. Some of us find it in the hollows of the high school hierarchy, or a house full of strangers, or in the pursuit of possessing things. Some find it in letters from the future, or an imagined memory of a jungle several oceans away, or even just a place to safely dream of freedom.

Me? I find it in between the pages of books. Continue reading

Perks of Insanity

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“Why are we here? Well, we’re peeking up the skirt of the ineffable now, and the answer is hidden by the poetic panties of language. We can’t formulate an answer because the question is its own answer. What’s going on? What’s going on. Existence exists. Division is a false dichotomy. Why does the universe exist? Because that’s what it does. It exists. It’s like asking why words mean anything, Because that’s what they are, what they do. Because we say so. Why is the universe here? Because it is, because it says so. It is what it is. I am who I am.”

-Tony Vigorito, Just a couple of days

The Game That Plays Us

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I tried looking for the best word that could describe this book yet failed big time not because of my limited vocabulary but because this book resisted, no, defied, being boxed in a one-word description. At first I decided ‘thought-provoking’ is accurate enough because it had me thinking from the first page down to the last, had me conflicted about the multitude of themes it touched on, had me revisiting things I learned from college (I graduated with a degree on Consular and Diplomatic Affairs, what a coincidence!). But then I also like to tell you that it’s also just as equally intense, compelling and just well, for the lack of a cooler adjective, fantastic. So kindly excuse the lengthy, pretentious-sounding review ahead, friends. You are warned. Continue reading

Bittersweet

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“When I crossed the street, according to my mother, I still had to hold someone’s hand. At ten, I would be able to cross streets unhanded. I’d held on to Joseph’s many times before, for many years, but holding his was like holding a plant, and the disappointment of fingers that didn’t grasp back was so acute that at some point I’d opted to take his forearm instead. For the first few street crossings, that’s what I did, but on the corner at Oakwood, on an impulse, I grabbed George’s hand. Right away: fingers, holding back. The sun. More clustery vines of bougainvillea draping over windows in bulges of dark pink. His warm palm. An orange tabby lounging on the sidewalk. People in torn black T-shirts sitting and smoking on steps. The city, opening up. We hit the sidewalk, and dropped hands.

How I wished, right then, that the whole world was a street.”

-Aimee Bender, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

Our lives and other beautiful horrors

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“I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn’t already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race–that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant. None of those things, however, came out of my mouth. All I was able to do was turn to Liesel Meminger and tell her the only truth I truly know. I said it to the book thief and I say it now to you. I am haunted by humans.”

– The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The convenience of fairy tales

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“You think fairy tales are only for girls? Here’s a hint – ask yourself who wrote them. I assure you, it wasn’t just the women. It’s the great male fantasy – all it takes is one dance to know that she’s the one. All it takes is the sound of her song from the tower, or a look at her sleeping face. And right away you know – this is the girl in your head, sleeping or dancing or singing in front of you. Yes, girls want their princes, but boys want their princesses just as much. And they don’t want a very long courtships. They want to know immediately.”

– Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares, Rachel Cohn & David Levithan