Weekly Photo Challenge: Winter

Canterbury Cathedral, taken just yesterday

This is my first winter in England for a long, long time and I am completely a little mesmerised by the complete change of scene. I mean, the foggy breaths, the winter shoes and the skeletal trees? What’s not to love? It’s completely different from what I’d be experiencing if I was back in the Philippines. This time last year, I believe I’d be in my shorts and slippers complaining that the air conditioner was weak.

How times change, eh?


Weekly Photo Challenge: Self Portrait

Me, all dressed up for school

Despite going through that phase in which I take the digital camera, place it at arm’s length at a certain degree above my face and take picture after picture (I was thirteen, can you blame me?!), I shy away from having my picture taken, preferring to take pictures of people than vice versa.

Also, contrary to popular belief (that is, no matter what my friends back in the Philippines say), I am not emo. Nor am I goth, rocker or punk. I’m just ME. It just so happens that ‘me’ likes the colour black.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the other colours in the rainbow (apart from pink and orange). It’s just that I find black to be easy to pair with other things. That, and I find it safe. Nothing can harm me when I’m wearing something black, even if it’s just a simple tee.

Anyway, I wouldn’t normally dress like ^that^ in public, but my school was having a non-uniform day for Children in Need and, in exchange for £2, we were allowed to forego our business suits and dress casually. Of course, the only condition was to wear something with spots. You might not see it, but my skirt is polka-dotty.

I took a picture of myself wearing that all-black ensemble because at the last minute, I changed my mind and instead chose to wear something less — I dunno — extreme. I literally had to turn around on the spot, go back into the house and change my clothes, I was that freaked out. It’s petty, I know. But again, can you blame me? I’m still new to the school. Safe to say, I’m entitled to be a bit shy.

So yeah. This is my self portrait

You Know When You’re A Writer When…

It’s amazing how much people can change over the course of a few months. The list below is from the Notes section of my Facebook account — yes, Facebook still has Notes. Reading through it, I realise that my mindset now differed from my mindset then. I’m not saying that I’m a completely different person, just that my priorities changed.

I suppose growing up, even the tiniest bit, can alter a person. Nothing drastic, of course… but it’s enough to be felt. Now, I barely have time to write, let alone think about writing, because I’m concentrating on my courses. Ohh, the easiness of youth. *sigh*

Anyway, below is the list. The ones italicised were true of me seven months ago; the ones underlined are still true of me now. Enjoy!

1) you think of your friends as characters

2) you write them into your story

3) you get revenge on people by basing a mean character off of them in your story

4) you have conversations with your characters — the fictional ones, not your friends in the real world — and, most usually, they hate you for making their life miserable (or WAY too exciting for their liking)

5) you have some books you read for enjoyment, some you read for school, and others you read just to get ideas on how to make your stories flow better

6) everyday, you daydream about how to plug today into your story.

7) the end of your pinky is usually stained with ink (if you’re left-handed) or pencil lead.

8) you have way to many saved Word docs in your computer.

9) your drawer is overflowing with copy-paper of your printed stories/filled notebooks.

10) you mentally correct anything you read subconsciously with better words and phrasing.

11) even in the most dire of situations, you’re thinking about how it would be best written

12) you hear a song on the radio and you automatically think ‘Hey that’s a good plot idea…’

13) you constantly play the same song over and over to get into a ‘mood’ for one of the chapters

14) you wake up in the middle of the night to search for a pen/laptop/notebook to write down a story idea because you’re afraid that you’ll forget it by morning  Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Waiting

I’ve never been good with waiting. Either I’m right on time or slightly late because to stand alone makes me feel like I’m on exhibition or something, and that gives me uncomfortable butterflies in my stomach. It’s an icky feeling I try to avoid. Anyway, the following pictures are of me… waiting.

Waiting for food to arrive, actually. When I’m bored, I take pictures ^__^

So sleepy I can't even sit up... And I don't think the pink helped >_< My first trip to Cebu had me waking up at the earliest hours of the morning.

One of my last family meals in the Philippines. It's in a native restaurant, so the banana leaf place mat is... yeah. Taken in Manila.

Bottle cap rings. In my defence, I was utterly exhausted on the flight arriving here in England. My brain was kind of on 'random' mode. I think I figured myself artistic then... XD




5 Books I Wish I Brought With Me

Moving across the globe can be a tricky thing, and while I am not regretting the decision to move from sunny, humid Philippines to the cold, overcast England, there’s still a part of me wishing I could merge my life there to my life here. I’m not selfish enough to imagine I could pick my friends and family from their lives and dump them in Jolly Old England (Uncle Joe, haha), so instead I am going to write about the books I wish I had brought with me.

Book #1 is Portrait of an Unknown Woman by Vanora Bennett

I’m supposed to be researching for one of my English essays (the role of women in Elizabethan society), but the very first website I went to mentioned Thomas More and I was suddenly reminded of the wonderful books I read a year or so ago. Yes, that book’s title was Portrait of an Unknown Woman. That book instilled some culture in me, let me tell you. Every time Bennett mentioned a painting, I rushed to the nearest computer and searched it up. Ahh, good times… good times.

Book #2 is the Inheritance Trilogy by Christopher Paolini

Yes, I am aware that the series isn’t called the ‘Inheritance Trilogy’ any more, but seeing as I don’t have a copy of the fourth instalment Inheritance,  I am refraining from referring to the ‘Inheritance Cycle’. Make sense? Not really? Too bad. I can’t wait to get my hands on Inheritance, by the way. And that only makes me crave for its predecessors even more. *insert sad face here*

Book #3 is Vampire Darcy’s Desire by Regina Jeffers

Reading Pride and Prejudice for my English Literature class is making me nostalgic for two of my guilty pleasures: vampires and fan fiction. The former is obvious enough to need no explanation, but the latter… well, I suppose Jeffers’ work is far from the typo-filled works of tweens on the internet, but it’s still based from a well-known author. Ergo, it is fan fiction.

Book #4 is Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre

It’s one of my favourite classic novels. ‘Nuff said. I watched the new remake  with Mia Wasikowski and fell absolutely in love.

Lastly, Book #5 is Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt.

This is kinda cheating since I don’t technically have my own copy of this book. I borrowed it from a friend, and let’s just say I wish I owned it so I can read my favourite parts again and again and again. And again. It’s simply one of those stories that you can never get tired of. Much like The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge.

So those are the 5 Books I Wish I Brought With Me, because no matter how many times I could praise my Kindle, it is still no comparison to having an actual book in your hands: the flipping of pages, the dusty smell of an old book, or the scent of a new one… *sigh* Gotta love books, eh?

Breaking Dawn, Part 1 (2011)

It’s no secret that I have a love-hate relationship with the Twilight Saga. When I was younger, I was an avid fan. Years later I admit I’m still a fan, but a small part of me is ashamed because… well, it’s Twilight. Book-wise, I admire Meyer’s poetic prose but abhor the way she made her characters a different version of Mary Sue. Movie-wise, I suppose I loved each and every one when they came out, but I have to say I won’t go rushing to watch them immediately. They were full of bad acting, cringe-worthy dialogue and why on earth do they linger on the kissing scenes/shirtless men?! (Sorry, that’s the prude in me talking xD)

Anyway, I watched Breaking Dawn, Part 1 yesterday with my girls. I was tapping into the fan-girl in me and was completely hyped up and excited for some Jasper love *ahem* Bella/Edward love. If I’m to be honest with myself, I wasn’t putting much hope on the technicalities of the movie. I promised myself that I like Twilight simply for the fan-girl moments, not the ahh-mazing acting or the epic-tastic dialogue… but you know what? The second I laid eyes on that huge screen in the cinema, I was floored.

Well, not literally, but you know what I mean.

  1. First and foremost, I found Kristen Stewart‘s acting more believable. She was wide-eyes and smiling and she rarely stuttered or looked down — and I swear I only saw her mouth open a few times. (And please don’t be harsh to me, I’m a fan of KStew!)
  2. Secondly, the wedding scenes… In the words of Angela Weber all the way back in Twilight: Oh. My. God. I completely loved it! I was afraid that it would be super romantic and so cheesy (and it was in a way), but I just fell in love with — no, not Bella and Edward, but Renée and Charlie. The former was completely harebrained and the latter so dry-humoured, they were just… wow, to me.
  3. The cinematography was amazing. There were parallels with Twilight, such as the bird’s eye view of the forests and stuff, and parallels with New Moon with the gigantic statue of Christ the Redeemer. The various use of camera shots, the one that comes to mind is the boat shot when Bella and Edward were travelling to Isle Esme, definitely kept the movie interesting as well.
  4. Lastly, there was the dialogue. The entire film did not focus on the ‘woe is me, I’m in love with a vampire/in love with a human/in love with a human in love with a vampire’ crap. Because of this, I felt the characters to be more believable. Shocking, right? I mean, Rosalie was actually acting human (in the loosest sense of the word).

Of course, I can’t just shout praises for the movie. It’s wonderful and all, but it’s not perfect. (The horrible, non-Twilight fan part of me is saying “It’s still Twilight, after all… hahaha.)

  • For one thing, I can’t help but wonder that the scene after Bella and Edward’s first night together, when it is revealed to the audience the bruises Edward gave Bella, was slightly promoting abuse. Bella was all “it’s fine” and “they don’t hurt, not compared to the awesome, awesome sex we had last night”. Am I the only one who sees this?
  • And then there’s Edward wanting to abort baby Renesmee. I know it’s for the sake of the plot and everything, but WHOA. I am pro-life, so bad Eddie!
  • Then there’s also Bella’s transformation into a vampire. Could they promote perfection even more?! I mean, I’m happy with the way I am and could not ask for anything better but… even I took a hit for my self-esteem. Damn.
  • Finally, there’s the whole “I’ve imprinted on your vampire-human baby” — some say it’s pedophilia, and the argument there is that the werewolf doesn’t have to be the imprintee’s lover immediately: they could be a friend, a brother, or whatever she wants him to be. But my rebuttal to that is “isn’t that a tad incestuous if you first become her brother and then her lover?” But hey, that’s just my view on things. A plot is a plot, after all.

Overall, I found the movie riveting because if it were otherwise, I won’t still be on this Breaking Dawn high I seem to be on right now. If you’re not a Twilight fan before this movie then perhaps it’s too late for you to convert, but I strongly believe this particular movie has a chance to do so. I’m not putting my hopes up, but that’s just my opinione. Breaking Dawn, Part 1 totally surprised me… but in a good way.

By the way: is it just me or does Peter Facinelli look a bit like Tom Cruise?? o_O Oh, and was it just me or was Stephenie Meyer in the crowd of wedding guests?? Huh…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Windows


I can’t use a better photo because my laptop’s broken down and I don’t know any computer wizards, unfortunately (I’m typing this post up in my phone and I’m half afraid I’d get carpal tunnel syndrome -_-). Anyway, this picture I’ve chosen is of the bus windows on the way back from the World Skills London. It was the only worthwhile picture in my phone gallery.

As you can see, the curtains are blindingly orange. I hate that colour so much it makes my hatred of the colour pink look tame. I suppose I could live with it, though… My school’s assigned planner is blinding orange as well.

Ho hum.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hidden

These pictures were taken yesterday at Mote Park, when my friends and I were hanging out. It was a fun afternoon, experiencing the beauty of nature and the simplicity of just being. We ran around and giggled and jumped and pretty much acted like the giddy schoolgirls that we were.

Oh, and by the way, the birds aren’t fenced away from the public like the picture suggest; it’s just the way I’ve taken the shot. I’m quite proud of these shots, actually. ^_^

My Personal Central Perk

I felt like I’ve been running out of things to write about, so I decided to answer one of Daily Post’s promptsWhat is the most relaxing place in your world? If someone asked me that before today then I would’ve answered with my bed, under the covers with a good story to read. But things change, and my recent experiences with life in general changed my “relaxation zone” from my home to coffee houses. Of course, my home is still in the Top Five, so in the words of the 3 Idiot‘s Rancho: all izz well.

So why coffee houses?? Well, for one thing, they have coffee. For another, the new friends I made here in England all like to hang out in Costa (so do I, for that matter). And lastly, did I mention that they have coffee?!

The New Costa Light

I went out with one of my friends to town today and since it rained sporadically, we decided to take shelter in Costa once we finished shopping. The atmosphere was so warm and the coffee so heavenly, I found myself thinking that I could spend a lot of chilly afternoons here and just relax. Read a book. Write stories. Think.

Costa is somehow becoming the Central Perk for my friends and I. We may not spend all of our time there like what Chandler, Monica, Rachel, Ross, Phoebe and Joey do… but we talk about the place so much we might as well be living there! ^__^

Weekly Photo Challenge: Possibility


It was three years ago when my old school, Bethel International, installed benches for the students to rest and hang around. The moment I first saw them, I remember thinking that it would be incredible to write a story around those benches.

Years later, I still have not written that story. Now, every time I see a bench, I feel like I’m a disappointment. So yeah, benches, to me, have a lot of possibilities.