Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Posts tagged ‘reading’

Book Review: Captivated by “Room”

“Today I’m five. I was four last night going to sleep in Wardrobe, but when I wake up in Bed in the dark I’m changed to five, abracadabra.”

Hearing a child speak sounds good to hear. It’s because they see the world as pure and simple, even if it is already hostile from the beginning. That’s how five-year old Jack came to know Room, which ironically was a prison for his Ma. 

Ever since he was born, Jack’s very world is the Room. His friends are Meltedy Spoon, Bed, Duvet, and Wardrobe. Skylight gives him a glimpse of the sky and God’s face (which is the sun and the moon). TV is his only window to the Outside. Besides all these, he has his Ma with whom he shares his love and companionship. 

Because Jack was raised in love and joy, he did not see the horror behind his existence. As soon as he was learning the truth behind his Ma’s story and why mean Old Nick would keep them from Outside, he would not believe it at first. 

This book actually tackles the dire topic of abduction, rape, and slavery, along with recovery and treatment. Bringing it to the voice of an adult would be depressing. But writer Emma Donoghue excellently brought it to light through the voice of a five-year old. The story is very linear yet it is very engaging because one would anticipate what Jack would think and experience on the moment they made their Great Escape. It does not matter if Jack himself may be grammatically incorrect for schooled adults but he was able to communicate the joy, the pain, and the struggles he went through as he finally touches Outside.

I must admit I was captivated by this book. Even as it ends, I want Jack to talk more. I felt attached to Jack while I listened to him recount a story that is riveting and touching as well.

Dare to enter Room. Once you do, you don’t want to get out of it until the last page.

The Hole On the Wall (Short Story on Twitter)

My first attempt to write a short story on Twitter. But not as good as those made by the British novelist David Mitchell. I was inspired by writers like him to put into social media creativity in literature. I was inspired by the gloominess of the weather and the silence in the kitchen. But I think what I’ve done could not keep the momentum I’ve placed on the first tweets for the story. Oh well, I’d be glad to have suggestions and tips on writing a good story on Twitter.

The ChairThe skies outside was becoming gloomier, covering the last hope in her frail, gaunt physique. #storytime

Lauren’s colorless eyes looked beyond the window, hoping for a knock on the door. Instead there was a scratch on her wall. #storytime

She turned and saw nothing, except for a pair of two glass-like eyes through the hole behind the chair where she was sitting. #storytime

As the pair of eyes glistened in the faint light of the dusty, yellow bulb, Lauren clutched the table beside her in shock #storytime

“Why are you afraid?” the voice coming from the hole asked. “I am your friend. I have been watching you.” #storytime

The elderly woman, now trembling, shuddered even more as the cold wind blew through the window. She braved herself to look closer #storytime

“Who…who are you?” Lauren asked, her raspy voice rising from her parched throat #storytime

The eyes drew away from the light as she tried to come near to see them. “I am…a friend.” It answered, its voice almost hallow #storytime

The thunderstorm roared outside. But Lauren’s attention was drawn to the strange hidden creature. “Come nearer.” She pleaded #storytime

“I have seen your tears and your fears.” the voice, hallow just like the hole where it was hidden, echoed in a bizarre tone #storytime

Lauren can’t shove off her attention the strange pair of eyes. Her fingers,like needles hanging loosely on a sewing machine,touched the hole

“Why are you here?” Lauren asked, trying not to hold her breath in her weakened lungs. #storytime

“To set you…free.” The creature said. “I have seen your struggles as you have nothing to pay this house. But I have a deal” #storytime

Oh, yes.Lauren has too old and weak to pay for this old house. They want her out so they can have her house and sell her property #storytime

“What is the deal, then?” Lauren asked, eager to hear the deal she might get. For the sake of freedom #storytime

The voice answered, its voice becoming more eerie, “Give me your reflection.” #storytime

Lauren laughed, struggling for breath in every snicker, “I won’t give youy relection. It’s too beautiful for you to have.” #storytime

The voice snickered in its eerie, hallow tone. “That is the best that you can give. If not, they will come and get your house.” #storytime

“I ain’t got money, I ain’t got anybody, so don’t get mine only face.” Lauren said. But then the pair of eyes slowly vanished. #storytime

“Wait a minute!” She cried, desperately trying to catch the creature as she plunged her fingers into the hole. #storytime

“The deal is done!” The creature said, vanishing from sight. Desperately, Lauren grabbed the kitchen knife. #storytime

For years, Lauren kept care of this reflection admired by the men around her. She would not let anybody have her reflection #storytime

Old as she was, tried to break down the wall as the pair of eyes sunk into darkness. She must force it for a better deal #storytime

But when she tore open quite a large portion of that wooden wall that housed the hole… #storytime

…not a pair of eyes but a piece of a broken mirror, reflecting a sagging, sad, bitter reflection she did not realize to have #storytime

The voice that she had heard was her own. And the eyes were the eyes of the unknown creature she had become. #storytime

At last the knock came upon the door. It was the lawyer she was waiting for. The only hope and salvation to save this house. #storytime

And when the lawyer entered she was nowhere to be found. All that was there was a torn wall and a broken mirror. #storytime

Taking A Peek at “Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children”: A Therapy From Reality’s Bite

Since Thursday, I can't wait to go home just to read where I've stopped. And I'm glad to finish it this Saturday afternoon. If it weren't for work, I could have just finished this in one day :)

Since Thursday, I can’t wait to go home just to read where I’ve stopped. And I’m glad to finish it this Saturday afternoon. If it weren’t for work, I could have just finished this in one day 🙂

These past two weeks had been strenuous for me. So, strenuous, I’ve had dreams (or should I call them gentle nightmares) of my heavy coverages. I couldn’t believe woke up Monday morning from dreaming of Senator Bong Revilla when he surrendered at Sandiganbayan. It did horrified me when I woke up the next day after dreaming of Senator Jinggoy Estrada when he surrendered Camp Crame for the next day. These, the pork barrel scam issue, and other concerns at work, have been ticking me off when I would wake up in the wee hours of the morning.

Even though I’ve been witnessing soon-to-be momentous histories, my job as a journalist is so exhausting and routinary, I’d sometimes think of quitting. If only I’d like to sit down and have a world of my own…or discover an extraordinary life I never had before.

So did Jacob Portman, the main character of a book entitled “Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children”. From a lonely life as a teenager in a well-off family, he did not realize what was in store for him as he discover the strange truth behind his grandfather and his own identity. Thanks to a good friend of mine, this book had been my theraphy after work. “Miss Peregrine’s” has served as an escape for me after the gruelling reality of news and politics. Every page brought me to Jacob’s world of Before and After and its ending made me hooked for what’s next.

Oops…I’ll keep myself from being a spoiler for those who haven’t read the book.

The cover might give the impression of a horror story for those who are not familiar with this book. An old past century photograph of a poker faced girl rising above the ground might give the creeps, add it with a backdrop of a couple of dead trees against an unexplored forest. But when you begin reading, it’s not meant to give you goosebumps with everything peculiar in the story. Rather, it keeps you excited in every mystery answered (and still undiscovered) in Jacob’s trip.

So, what’s up with Miss Peregrine’s House and her peculiar children? What’s Jacob’s doing in this book anyway? You have to read it to find out.

On the other hand, I’d like to commend the author Ransom Riggs for writing “Miss Peregrine’s”. It was very cleverly-made and creatively-rich for being his first book. Impressively, he put together a well-made story from a collection of vintage photos, as they all matched the narrative and the mystery it enclosed.

For those who wonder what “Miss Peregrine” has in store for you, all I can say it got all the mystery that Sherlock Holmes couldn’t beat and the excitement more worth than a 24-hour jet ride to your vacation. Yes, not to mention peculiar people (and children), time travelling, and odd but powerful opposition. Even my mom, a real book lover, couldn’t resist it. Now, she’s demanding for the second book. And yes, it’s published!

Now that I’m done with it, I hope I can begin with its sequel “Hollow City”. I need to convince my friend to lend it to me this week. 🙂

Why I Never Stop Reading?

‎I love to read. Even when I am on the road, I’d never stop reading. It’s like a sort of addiction for me. If I don’t read, I would know nothing.

The love of books was instilled into me when I was a child. My mom would always bring me colored fairy tale books and activity books everytime she comes home from her work as a public school teacher. I would also receive toys, but they would usually be matchboxes, building blocks, or playdoh from my dad who used to work in a Middle East country as an engineer. But my love for books weighed more than my fascination for toys. Because of that, I have would read the stories in my textbooks before they could be used in school. Sometimes, when I cannot find anything to do, I would read anything my eyes land on, even a candy wrapper.

When I was in high school, I was able to finish one book in a day — sometimes not dropping until the last page until the wee hours of the morning.

It has been a practice that stopped when I worked in the BPO industry. The heaviness of the graveyard shift hindered me to read loads of books in a week. But still, I’d force myself to check out the bookstore for good reads. Every pay day, I make sure to buy one paper bound of a fiction, a classic, or a devotional. I had planned before to build a huge library at the back of our house…which has not yet a reality.

I don’t buy as much books as before, but I guess I have been reading much more now than ever. I guess it’s because of my job. I get to read more news everyday as I need it. If I don’t get to read at least the frontage stories of the day, I feel helpless.

And because I have been used to reading, I always look forward to do this especially during waiting periods. I couldn’t even stop myself from opening links from news feeds at twitter while riding home.

But it pains me when I rarely find real bookworms in my generation today. I’m sorely disappointed when my niece loved computer games more than books. In our family, only my mom and I love reading. Usually, we’d trade books and discuss them. I wonder if bookworms are becoming endangered in this generation. This has been a dangerous thing.

A fellow journalist, quoting another source, said that reading newspapers every day in a year makes you three years advanced in thinking from your contemporaries. I guess it has been true for us journalists, sans bragging. But it would be good to see more people explore knowledge by reading.

But by reading, you don’t have to feed yourself everything with what you read. You have to analyze and take things critically (in a positive manner). Reading is a good exercise for your brain. If you’re a student, doing advanced reading helps you understand your lessons. Even at work, reading anything in connection to your skills help you improve in knowledge of what you are doing. But I would suggest that you read news everyday. It would help you analyze everything that is happening today. The big issues, even national ones, have an effect on our daily lives as a citizen of the world we live.

Reading has helped me a lot in my everyday living. I know not everyone’s fond of it but I encourage it as a good practice. Just reading my piece is a good beginning to this practice, I hope. We never stop learning as we grow up. And learning brings us to growth and improvement. 🙂

20140530-145505.jpg These books are from a friend’s office desk. But I love to see books piled up, and wish to borrow even one. I kept mine hidden in a cabinet at home

The Tragedy of Being a News Hunter

Sometimes, there are things you can’t simply let go. No matter how hard you try to scrub them off, the harder they cling to your skin. Goodness…

In my months as a reporter, I’ve learned to love news. I’m sick when I don’t read news in the weekends. I hate to stay clueless to the latest updates.

Even out of the office, I would check my twitter for breaking headlines. But I just realized I was getting too much of it. Therefore, I’m no 16-gig microchip. I’m your usual worker trying to be one.

I tried to stay away from news at the end of the day but goodness, no. Even in the bus, the television is open to Manila’s one of the most comprehensive news stations. And while I tried to turn my full attention to the Bible (which I really want to know more), the news attracted much of my attention. Can’t just they turn off that TV? Deep inside I blamed the driver and the conductor for keeping an unsatisfying 5-minute devotion on the road.

Darn…I need to go deeper with the Good News of my Abba. This is better than world news. God, help me. I don’t want to be lost…I’d rather be tuned in to Your freshest revelations more than at the latest news. Bring me to Your secret place…I just need to be back…O.o

Tag Cloud