Wednesday, March 28, 2018

These Are The Words

It happened on a bright and sunny Saturday.

I remember it because, the night before, I knelt before her and slipped a diamond ring on her finger. I asked her to be mine for all eternity. Luckily, she said yes.

That Saturday, I was getting ready for work while she sat on the edge of the bed, watching me dry my hair with a towel. She then said, “Can I ask you something?”

I nodded without looking at her.

“What will you do if you found out that I cheated on you?”

I stopped running the towel through my damp hair and looked over my shoulder. Our gazes met, with my eyes squinted in utter curiosity. Why was she asking me this? Probably one of those many questions where she just wanted to gauge my reaction towards specific things. Like that one time when she asked me what would I do if she died.

“I don’t know. I’ll get hurt, of course. Terribly hurt... I might even have a hard time forgiving you,” I answered then resumed the drying of my hair. It was still too freaking wet.

She hung her head, speechless.

Worried at her sudden silence, I turned towards her again. “Why?”

Tears began to trickle down her cheeks.

Sobs then followed.

A chill ran down my spine. My soles froze. Every vein in my being turned glacial.

One word escaped from my mouth, through my frigid breath.


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Eighth Day

The national museum was one of Delphine’s favorite haunts. She loved visiting the place once or twice a month even though she already saw each and every exhibit.

But today was a special day as there were a new set of displays made available to the public. She saw the advertisements about this new exhibit and that it was about a very important moment in history.

Delphine went to the museum one Saturday afternoon and headed straight to the new exhibit. It was set in a small room with wooden floors and white walls where framed pictures hung. The air was frigid enough to make her breath seem like she was swallowing a blizzard, and the case that stood in front of her sent a glacial trail down her spine.

The guide gently placed his fat hands on a display case and spoke, "These are some of the husks that were recovered after the Eighth Day."

Memories rushed in as Delphine was but a young girl when the Eighth Day took place. It was a day like no other, bright and sunny with blue skies and monstrous fluffs of clouds.

Until everything became black as night, while the air was filled with a buzzing noise that heralded their arrival...

Legions of winged insects carpeted the green lands where Delphine's family planted their crops and fed their livestock. The horrifying creatures landed everywhere, mandibles gnashing on every surface be it wood or flesh.

There were blood-curdling screams from both man and beast. 

Delphine and her family were lucky enough to have a basement that ensured their safety, while her father and her brother swatted every winged monster that managed to wiggle through the cracks in the walls.

After a nightmarish hour, the insects dispersed in different directions while some fell to the earth as if their life was snuffed out with the snap of a finger. The crops were devoured, the fat cows that Delphine used to ride on were reduced to dry bones. Some of her neighbors, her friends, her classmates, were barely recognizable with the thousands of tiny cuts that ripped their bodies apart.

Before the cataclysm occurred, some of her neighbors reported sightings of a man in black clothes and pale makeup who warned everyone about the impending destruction. But none took heed, thinking that the man was just some nutcase in costume and body paint. Her neighbor told her about a certain librarian who talked to the said man, but she just disappeared one stormy night, never to be seen again.

Now the husks were nothing but lifeless displays on the case, a grim reminder of what almost eradicated every life in this world.

The guide extended an arm towards the entryway to the right which contained more display cases. Delphine moved with the other visitors towards it but, before she could go through the door, she found herself frozen and unable to move. Her limbs stiffened, and she felt this petrifying grip climb up to her shoulders.

Before she lost control of her head, Delphine turned to look over her shoulder and saw the display case opened.

And one of the husks missing.

The prickly sensation on her neck confirmed where it went to.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Three Reasons Why You Might Need A Vision Board

Last December 28, I was sitting face-to-face with the company psychologist as I needed to talk to someone about the difficulties that plagued me. She gave me several assignments at the end of the session, and one of those tasks involved making a vision board. 

Back then, I was not familiar with such a thing. I even doubted its efficacy, I mean how can a bunch of cut-out pictures possibly contribute to my well-being? Nevertheless, I decided to gather the materials, thinking that I’ve got nothing to lose if it turns out to be hogwash.

So off I went to the mall to buy the supplies for this assignment. Since I had no magazines at home, I just grabbed pictures and quotes from the Internet.

Okay… I must confess that I was somewhat excited at this point.

Once I had everything, I went home and pinned the pictures to the corkboard. After some difficulty in determining the positions, I finally succeeded in arranging the images in a not-so-messy way.


The completed board was placed on my table which earned a questionable glance from my mother when she was still here (Who are those people? Who's Liam Blunt?). At first, I didn't feel anything whenever I looked at it. The effects my shrink told me was not kicking in. I asked myself, "What the heck was this for?"

That was until I actually set myself back on track in writing. See, I've had a ridiculously-long spell of a creative drought, exacerbated by a string of circumstances that basically made my life really unpleasant. 'Twas one of the things my psych told me:

Do something about your life. Don't just walk around aimlessly like a wanderer who's got no destination in mind. Be someone who knows where he is going.

I forced myself even though my right hemisphere strongly hesitated. Butt on chair, word processor opened, WRITE. The vision board was just several inches above the laptop, so I could always see it whenever I looked away from the screen.

Then I eventually realized how it worked. If you're curious, then just read on and find out more about why you might need one for yourself:

1. The vision board serves as your map

The vision board is a tool that represents your aspirations. It constantly reminds you of what you want to achieve, or maybe who you want to be like in the future. Perhaps you want to be a successful blogger? Or maybe you want to have your own startup? Or maybe you want to create a platform that helps other people find work on the Internet? Or maybe you want to visit the Bahamas sometime in your life?

Just take images that closely represent these dreams and stick them on your board. With this tool, your goals will become absolutely clear, and you’ll be happier knowing that you are aware of what you truly want to pursue. You're neither lost nor aimlessly trodding the streets with no direction in mind. You are now laser-focused towards a specific location.

In my case, I pinned pictures of my favorite authors, namely Frank Herbert, James Rollins, Michael Crichton, and Steve Berry, because I always wanted to become a successful author like them someday. Bit by bit, day by day, even with baby steps, I try my best in working towards this. Every single day, I work on my projects. Regardless if I penned an entire chapter or just a scene, progress is progress.

Moreover, I deliberately left a lot of vacant spots on the corkboard because I know that I'll need additional space for new objectives and motivators. 

Speaking of motivators.

2. It also triggers your brain to action

Another benefit of the vision board is motivation.

The tool ensures that your goals are always at the top of your mind, that’s why it is integral that you place the corkboard someplace where you’ll see it every day. That way, your brain will always be fired up into chasing your targets by any means necessary.

In this pursuit of your dreams, you might now find yourself doing things you never did before like showing initiative, volunteering, meeting new people, or anything else that lays the foundation for your ambitions.

You can reinforce motivation by placing quotes on your vision board, like how I did with mine. You might notice that one of these said quotes isn't related to writing, and that's okay because fixing things in my life was one of my objectives as well. Ditching the clusterf**k of a past, fixing the messy present, and building the future.

You can also add things like mementos, a picture of someone special who encourages you to do your best, or anything else that serves as an inspiration, be it directly or indirectly.

3. It helps you get out of a rut

You might be wondering why I have pictures of Darren Hayes, Beth Riesgraf (set aside the fact that she’s my celebrity crush), Aaron Paul, and Christian Slater on my board. Do I idolize them? Do I want to be like them too?

The thing is, I always look for celebrities who closely resemble the characters I write, and I'm pretty sure many writers do the same thing.

I treat the pictures of these actors as the actual faces of the fictional characters in my stories. Aaron Paul's look is quite close to the protagonist of my upcoming short story Web, while the other three play a role in my full-length novel (and they're my favorites as well).

So, why are they there exactly?

Their faces remind me that I created them. They have their own lives, aspirations, personalities, quirks, favorite food, loved ones, destinies… Basically, they’re living, breathing human beings even if they just reside in the pages of my stories here on my hard drive.

Whenever I find myself in a creative slump, I look at the board and there they are… My babies.

And if I created them, surely I can create more of them, right? 

So, if you’re stuck in a rut, try placing a picture of something you created. A character? A painting? A beautiful photograph you took yourself? A dish worthy of Gordon Ramsay's praise? Pin away!

In conclusion

Now, keep in mind that the vision board will not grant you supernatural amounts of motivation once you complete it. It is not some ancient puzzle that bestows a boon on your person because you assembled it, nor will it make the planets align and alter your destiny so your dreams will automatically be fulfilled by just waiting for them to arrive on your doorstep.


The vision board is just a map and a motivator for what you want in life. It is also the lifebuoy that keeps you afloat whenever you're about to sink while swimming towards your aspirations.

You still have to take action if you wish to achieve all of your desires. This tool will be useless if you just pinned pictures on it and stared at it every single day without doing anything to attain those things you fastened.

Look at it as your guide. Draw strength from it when you’re down. There will be pitfalls. There will be detours. Hell, you will fall one too many times in this pursuit of your dreams. But, don’t lose hope, as these are inevitable when it comes to going after the things you want.  

Relish the feeling of taking down the pictures because you finally achieved those goals, and savor the moment when you’ll pin new images again.

It means you’re not stuck.

You are freakin’ chasing your dreams.

That, my friend, is how you truly live.

Don’t you want that feeling?

Why don’t you get started now? Get those pictures, grab a corkboard, and start plotting the roadmap to destiny.

While you're still here, check out this video of Steve Harvey talking about his vision board.