Wednesday, April 6, 2016

On creating art that is necessary

I've been working on a novel called Manila 2060, in its present incarnation, since 2012. Four years isn't that bad a number when it comes to working on a novel. However, adding the years even before, circa 2006 or thereabouts, when I first came up with the idea, it does feel that I've been working on this forever.

I've been reading a lot about creativity and writing and making art, notably books by Julia Cameron, Claire Cook, and recently, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. And of course there's the binge-watching of TED Talks.

One message rings loud and clear: there is art that you make because you must.

Now if only I can quiet the voice in my head that complains that I'm too old, I'm taking too much time, I'm never going to finish it, and nobody's ever going to read it anyway.

Even if I am too old and there are tons of books out there, so what? None of them is my book. Part of me would be so relieved to find my book out there, already written for me, but, no, sadly, I have to be the one to do it. (And, yes, there is personal pride there that knows I'm the only one who can write the book in my head.)

So what if no one reads it? I'm writing it for me. It is helping me heal and process what the past four years have meant for me. And nobody will be able to appreciate that book more than I can. (And love it to bits when it's sitting in front of me, ready to be read again and again.)

So, dear me, please be a little more patient. I know it's taking forever. But I'm getting there.

Meantime, enjoy the process. And do what you can. You're getting there. You just have to believe that it's waiting for you at the finish line.

Meantime, keep your nose to the grindstone and good luck.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Altered manila file folders and an art journal page

Altered manila file folders.*

Played around with white manila folders, acrylic paint, watercolors, a black marker, Liquid Paper, and stencils. The lettering for the word "wish" and the word "imagine" in the art journal page below I traced from cardboard letters and a metal sign. The metal sign, I got from Papemelroti.

Art journal page - Imagine*

If you had the space to dream, what would be your dreams? I think I've forgotten mine. Or, at least, I am in search of new ones. I still dream about Manila 2060 and maybe my little bookstore cafe and house by the beach. But, honestly, I think, it seriously hurts when I realize that dreams are just dreams. And sometimes it seems impossible for them to come true. That's why you gotta hold on to the ones that are worth holding onto, the ones that are really important, I know that now. If you give up on everything, you lose hope and faith and meaning in life. It's enough to kill you. So keep on dreaming and holding on, Nina. God wants you to be happy. And, sometimes, with His blessing, you have to work for that happiness.

Don't be afraid.
Hold my hand.
Everything's going to be OKAY.
Just keep praying. And believing.
AR said something the other day that I need to remember.
Sometimes all the little steps are enough.
He said just take it a step at a time.

*Click on the photos to enlarge.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Where the Hell is Matt? 2008

You know those brief but precious moments where you feel that the world comes together and, for a moment, it seems that world peace isn't just a dream? This video is from 2008 but it still makes me teary-eyed. I think I can now declare that this is my favorite song too.

Just wanted to share the lyrics too from HERE.

Bhulbona ar shohojete

Shei praan e mon uthbe mete

Mrittu majhe dhaka ache

je ontohin praan

Bojre tomar baje bashi

She ki shohoj gaan

Shei shurete jagbo ami

(Repeat 2X)

Bojre tomar baje bashi

She ki shohoj gaan

dao more shei gaan

Shei jhor jeno shoi anonde

Chittobinar taare

Shopto-shindhu dosh digonto

Nachao je jhonkare!

Bojre tomar baje bashi

She ki shohoj gaan

Shei shurete jagbo ami

(Repeat 3X)

Bojre tomar baje bashi

She ki shohoj gaan

Shei shurete jagbo ami

Bojre tomar baje bashi

She ki shohoj gaan

dao more shei gaan

English translation:

The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day
runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures.

It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth
in numberless blades of grass
and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers.

It is the same life that is rocked in the ocean-cradle of birth and of death,
in ebb and in flow.

I feel my limbs are made glorious by the touch of this world of life.
And my pride is from the life-throb of ages dancing in my blood this moment.


We attended Komiket 2016 and one of the best things we got to take home was this short graphic novel called 12:01 by Russell Molina and Kajo Baldisimo.

It's a very simple but powerful story about a rock band missing curfew time during the Martial Law years. This small book reminds us of the terror and fight for freedom that happened during that time. A message that I myself somehow have to re-learn and then pass on to Matt.

Here's author Russell Molina who talks about 12:01:

Not sure yet where 12:01 will be available, but I assume you can purchase it directly from Adarna House HERE or at the next Komiket, at Komikon, and at the Manila International Book Fair. I also assume it will be available, if it isn't already, at major bookstores.

For more photos of all the cool stuff we got from Komiket, check out my Instagram account: @manilabookworm.