Day 30: The Eternal Optimist and Notes on a Damaged Culture

If I’m going to be honest with myself, I just know that there’s no way I’d ever find time to write a novel. It’s just not going to happen. Luckily, Nanowrimo has been persistent. I received an email two months ago about potentially participating so I thought I’d do 30 days of blogging in October as a practice run. Now that I achieved that, I think I’ve got a chance!

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Day 30: Random Notes (For Day 11)

So for some reason I skipped a day of blogging and I don’t know why or how. Only that it may have coincided with the time I had to go to the Gold Coast for a work conference. So I was writing this today as I brainstorm the story idea I wanted to write about for Nanowrimo. I do love this idea of making up what life after death looks like. It makes it less scarier that way. I’m also trying to find ways I could introduce death in the part of the novel talking about my character’s death. Anywho, this was what I got up to.

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Day 29: Best part of writing

The best part of the writing process is the first draft. It’s the closest you can get to the writer’s mind in its raw state. Without the trimmings and the technical polish. As a writer, it’s the moment you enjoy an adrenaline rush. No hunger, no thirst, no joy, no pain. Only the superhuman energy to write a thousand words or more in one sitting.

What happens AFTER the first draft is BRUTAL.

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Day 27: We need a resolution

We started with a prayer and we ended with a prayer. Today, 60 people gathered at Sizzling Fillo to decide the fate of 260,000 Filipinos. To be united or not to be united, that is the question.

The drama unfolded back in 2010 when a group of people decided to set up a new association outside of PCC-NSW  (the umbrella association representing Filipinos in NSW). Almost 8 years later, the splinter group – APCO – has grown into an extremely capable and successfull organisation while PCC-NSW has continued on its mandate, albeit arguably, not as successful in reaching out to the mainstream as APCO has since its inception.

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Day 23: The Google and Giggle Economy

Call it the “Have a Giggle Economy”. Many publishers are moving towards the world of memes, satire and ridiculously funny content. That’s because it’s where the eyeballs go. WIth so much pressure in life, we all just want to look at puppies and kittens.

If it’s not viral, it’s fatal. Buying audiences is not as effective as audiences inviting everyone else to the party for you. That’s why Facebook has become an integral part of the publishing industry. It’s like the party ticket that everyone has access to.
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Day 20: Is it a bird?

A bird has decided to set up shop in the balcony. Free accomodation, no bond needed and the best view in town.

That this bird decided to make a nest only spitting distance away from the dining table us beyond me. It would be noisy, there would be the constant flicking of lights, the annoying sound of the coffee grinder and a host of explosions and angry dialogue from the TV. How do you even lay eggs in all that ruckus?

I’d like to think it’s because the bird thinks I’m a lovely human and I wouldn’t harm it. That or I’m the lesser of two evils. In front of me are trees full of magpies.

A magpie did come in a few days ago and looked like it spotted the nest. I even thought the birds wouldn’t come back. But a day later they did. Did you know that the mummy bird and the daddy bird take turns to protect the eggs. Talk about a 50-50 relationship.

I come home these days in fear that I’ll see eggshells on the floor and a grieving bird somewhere out there. I’m afraid that the magpies would come back, just biding their time.

Such is the effect of urbanisation. It leaves very little chance for wildlife to survive. I am hoping that against all odds the birds will complete the cycle. Rear their young and leave the nest when it’s time. The chances are slim but here’s hoping.

I told my mom about it and she said it’s a sign of good luck. She tells me that there’s a good spirit that follows me around, in the same way that there was a bird’s nest in front of out old house and the house back in the Philippines. Trust her to interpret everything as some sort of sign from the netherworld. But hey, I’ll take every ounce of luck I can get!

Day 16: Dear Future Self

At a work conference right now and one of the sessions I attended shared some tips on how a financial adviser can encourage their clients to save more for their future, the theory being that as humans, we are hardwired for instant gratification. We would rather a slice of a chocolate cake if we can have it today than have an entire cake if it means waiting a few days!

The tip? Ask your client to write a letter to their future self. This allows them to visualise the future and make it more real. It’s a scary prospect thinking about where you’re going to be in 10 years but I’m going to step up to the plate and do it. Here goes:

Dear Future Self,

How are you? You are probably incredibly amused that time has passed and you are reading something on a rickety media platform called a ‘blog’. Ten years on, I imagine you working with your virtual assistant who would do the job of cataloguing your ‘Twitter’ moments, your Facebook anniversaries and your ‘blogs’ in ways your 10-years-ago self would not have imagined. One thing I am certain of is that you are … happy! Life will have its ups and downs but you will always find the silver lining.

On the subject of your health, you will be thanking your 10-years-ago self for all those walking exercises, those gym sessions and the occasional beach or bush walk. You’ve always understood the importance of your wellbeing and as tough as your schedules get, you will always find time. Does that mean your insurance premiums are lower than average? Well, that gym membership isn’t cheap.

I hope you are not suffering from any illnesses although as you get older, the chances increase. I’m hoping that medical advances have caught up to your sweet tooth. Do people still suffer from diabetes in your time? I hope not.

On the subject of your wealth, aren’t you glad you have taken time to plan your retirement? Even if it nearly killed you? Even if all you wanted to do with your spare time is bingewatch past seasons of Game of Thrones? By the way, what’s your favourite TV show now? I’m assuming Netflix has been superceded by some other video platform.

You still have a long way to go – but that’s because your paying for your arrogance in your 20s. Traveling trumped saving at the time. Although thinking about it now, I don’t think you would have swapped your adventures in Barcelona, Ireland and France, even if you did so on a backpacker budget just so you were a few years ahead in the mortgage market. No, I didn’t think so.

There are many things I wish I know now about what life would be like in 10 years. But one of the sweetest pleasures in life is the great unknown. Roll the dice. Smell the roses. Life is the memories you make.

P.S. This is a make-up post for Day 13 (I didn’t post a blog because I was so tired that day!) #30daysofblogging