Tuesday, December 22, 2009

FREE PICTURES - High End Computer


Photo courtesy of Nikes Alviz


WOOF Winners

WOOF Contest – Top Picks


Poetry

Zorlone – “A Strong Rope - A poem about climbing on a piece of rope called fate.

dragon blogger – “Manichean Monks” - Poem about a battle between monks and a calico dragon.

reyjr – “Contemplation - A poem about being dealing with stress and missing your loved one.


Memoir

Jena Isle – “A True Story: This Could Happen to You - A true story.


Brought to you by PlotDog Press with the Serial Suspense Screenplay "Intervention"


(WOOF participants should re-post all the links above by next Monday. The following links may be excluded as long as you include all the above links.)


Presenting the finest of the writer’s blogs by the bloggers who write them. Highlighting the top posts as chosen by the December 18, 2009 WOOF Contest participants. Want in to join the next WOOF? The next contest ends December 25. Submit a link to your best writing post of the last 3 weeks using the form on this page. Participants, repost the winning link list within a week and you’re all set.


 




Saturday, December 12, 2009

An Invitation to a Book Tour: A Puppy, Not a Guppy



There will be a virtual tour of the book : A Puppy, Not a Guppy by Holly Jahangiri which is scheduled in my other blog Jena Isle’s Random Thoughts on December 15. It's a collector's item, and you'll learn why on December 15.

To make it more exciting, a contest would be held; the detailed mechanics will be posted on December 14, 2009.

There would be four (4) winners of the contest:

1. Two (2) winners of the Contest proper, to be awarded by the book author – Holly Jahangiri.

2. One winner of a $10 prize (thru paypal) to whoever would be asking the book author the most interesting question. I will be sponsoring and selecting this winner. A link back to my blog, ( if you have a blog) would be the only requirement.

3. One free Inspirational Book (Anthology of Bloggers all Over the World) would be awarded to whoever has the most interesting comment on the blog post about the book tour.

More detailed information about the book would be posted at Jena Isle’s Random Thoughts http://www.jenaisleonline.com on the date scheduled.

I look forward to your participation!






Friday, December 11, 2009

A True Story: This Could Happen to You!


“This is my new roaming number, my old number was blocked. How are you?” A text roused me from sleep. It was from my daughter.

“Michelle? How are you?” I texted back.

“Yes, it’s me. I'm fine, how’s everyone?”

“We’re good. Will you be coming home?” I excitedly queried.

“Not sure yet, by the way, someone would like to buy prepaid cards here, and they’ll pay in cash.”

“I’m at work now, will try to send later, love you.”

“I need 6 pieces smart 500 and 8 pieces globe 500. I would sell them for 900 each. Love you," came the quick reply.

I calculated this roughly in my mind, and it was around 7,000. I would have to withdraw from my ATM. The added earnings though, would help a lot with the Christmas
Noche Buena. It was quick and easy money.

I forgot all about it during the course of the day but at around 3:30 pm, my cell phone sounded off again. “Were you able to buy? I will have to sell them today, they might buy somewhere else.”

“Okay, I’ll attend to it as soon as I get off from work.”

After 5, I went home and remembered my crops at Farmville, so I first harvested my sunflowers. I had several perfect bunches and I was thrilled by the thought of buying my own villa before Christmas.

My cell phone beeped again: “I’m still waiting.”

Startled out of my “profound perusal” of my harvests at Farmville, I jumped to my feet and thought how irresponsible I was.

“Jenny, kindly withdraw from my ATM and buy these,” I wrote down the items on a piece of paper.

When Jenny left, the cell beeped again. “How many were you able to buy?” I peered at the text in the approaching dusk.

My hypothalamus was triggered by a stimulus I could not put a finger to. My hands stopped momentarily typing my reply. What the_???

My daughter never pressured me like that, and she had always teased me “old woman”, and would address me mom, at least once or twice, in a 6 message-text. But these texts, never said “mom” even once. Perhaps, it was the hubby texting? I reasoned out. But even then…

I deleted what I was typing, and typed this instead:

“Anak, I’ll be sending a package to your Auntie Mary in the US and I forgot the address. Do you have it?” I pressed send.

My daughter knew that address, so she should not have any problem providing it.

But I received a different reply: “I’m fine, don’t worry.”

She/he did not reply because he/she did not know the address. My heart did a double flip as I haphazardly put aside the lappy and dialed Jenny's number, but I heard her cell phone ringing in the other room. She didn’t bring it!

I didn’t bother to change; I went out in my house clothes and searched for Jenny in the neighboring area. I might not be able to return the cards. What would I do with all of them? I may be able to sell them, but it would take time.

To my dismay, Jenny had bought the cards already.

"We have to return it," I said.

We were lucky the salesperson was kind and had understood our predicament. He returned the money.

I breathed a sigh of relief. Whew! I'm not filthy rich to give out money just like that. I was almost duped out of my cash because I wanted MORE money.lol… Greed is indeed a potential, source of misjudgment.

I thank my lucky stars; I still have my Christmas money intact! Thanks to Farmville, I have been "waylaid" (so to speak). lol.

What about you, did this ever happen to you? Do share similar stories to "inform" our readers.

Merry Christmas in advance!



Friday, December 4, 2009

FREE PICTURES: Rivers


Nature is a beauty to behold!



Photos courtesy of TashaBud


Friday, November 27, 2009

An Immortal Relationship : Friendship




By: Krishna



My Friend when I think of you.
I think of all that we've been through.


I remember that most of the times we argued and fought, ( like kids)
in spite of knowing deep inside that it wasn't right.


We both then felt bad, and in a lot of pain.
It felt like we have fallen from the sky like the rain.


I love you dear friend with all of my heart.
But now that you're gone I've fallen apart.


(I now feel that my friend is no more like she was)

I'm getting better as the days go by.
I wish sometimes this was all a big lie.


I pray to you every night.
It's like you're my fire, a burning light.


My dear friend, I miss you a lot.
I still wonder why you were put in that spot.


I know you're in a place much better than here.
Watching and helping me with all of my fear.

Our friendship, my dear friend, we will have to the end.
Friends till the end is what we will be.

Someday we'll be together, together you and me.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Krishna is the author of Krishna's Musings. He is a public servant in India (meaning - a person of "position"), who has very little time to compose or even update his blog because of his dedication to his work. But today, I'm lucky to have him here as a guest writer.

He composed this poem within 5 minutes (can you beat that?), and I would like to present it as raw as possible so you could see the brilliance in its simplicity. Sometimes, simplicity is beauty.

He had been a true and trusted friend for 4 years now.

Thanks Krish, for this wonderful poem of friendship.



Friday, November 20, 2009

Crafting Poetry

By: HOLLY JAHANGIRI


If you write poetry only for your own personal pleasure--as a way of recording your inner emotions, as therapy, as journaling technique--then please read no further. There is nothing at all wrong with that, and no one can tell you the "right" way to do it. You might, however, want to invest in a good lock for your diary.

If you have a fragile soul or a delicate ego, and you're going to bleed tears at the mere thought of your poems suffering rejection, please don't read this. Even great poets suffer rejection; most have enough rejection slips to wallpaper a small house. They toil in relative obscurity, recognizing that their passion is also hard work. Great poets don't let a little rejection stand in their way.

If you are serious about the art and craft of writing poetry, and hope some day to see your poems in print, then read on. You can, of course, circumvent the whole process and write me off as a crackpot - just go post your poems at Poetry.com and believe those nice folks when they tell you that you are one of the most promising poets to emerge in this decade. Shell out fifty bucks for the beautifully-bound coffee-table anthology and bask in your own glory. Pat yourself on the back, for you have arrived.

Still with me here? Good. Before you begin to write, let me strongly recommend that you not only devour a smorgasbord of great poetry, but that you have handy a good, unabridged rhyming dictionary such as The Complete Rhyming Dictionary: Including the Poet's Craftbook, Clement Wood (Editor), Revised by Ronald J. Bogus (Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, 1992; ISBN: 0440212057). This book is not just a rhyming dictionary; it contains valuable and digestible tips for crafting poems that have wide appeal and are a pleasure to read.

Is Poetry a Dead Language? Basic Do's and Don'ts for Today's Poet

Write in your own natural voice, using fresh language that speaks--or sings--to today's readers. Avoid archaic, outdated, or overly academic words. Run from weird, "poetical" contractions and mechanisms, such as "ne'er" or "ere" or "'gainst" - that is the mark of an amateur, desperately forcing language to conform to an unnatural meter or rhyme scheme. If you attempt to imitate Shakespeare (or anyone else, for that matter), you will sound ridiculous and your poems will appear contrived.

Remember that you are writing for others. If your poetry is full of poignant, sentimental thoughts, does it have universal appeal? Can your readers relate? Poetry that is too deeply personal, too full of "I" and replete with introspection, is generally not marketable poetry. If you are struggling with this, try eliminating the pronoun "I." Try stepping out of yourself; tell the tale as if lived by another, and see what happens. Imagine yourself as the uninvolved reader--what would it take to yank on your heartstrings or ignite your imagination to engage you fully in the poem?

Use words that appeal to and arouse strong emotions. Use words that invoke visual images. Compare the impact of "the night air, filled with the seduction of white ginger" to "the night air, filled with the scent of flowers". Avoid abstractions, such as "truth," "beauty," "freedom," "love," and so on. Be specific. Play with metaphor and simile, always being careful to avoid using allusions that have been done to death by others. How original is your poem if you write that something is as "red as a rose," or "white as snow"? How much emotion will that arouse? Pleasure, in reading poetry, comes from the unexpected. Let's see, "orange as the juicy center of a nectarine" or "black as slush" or "gray as snizzle" might work.

Play with words, but don't mangle or invert them to force-fit a rhyme scheme or metric pattern. Phrases such as "hit he him" are just glaringly distracting and unnecessary. Rework the whole idea, if necessary--choose new words, or choose a whole new rhyme scheme or metric pattern. Sometimes you've just got to let go. When you do, set it aside for a bit and trust that the words will flow again.

In Form, There is Freedom

Learn the basic fixed forms of poetry: the Sonnet, the Sestina, the Triolet, the Rondel, the Ballade, the Limerick, the Chain-Rhyme, the Haiku, the Tanka, and so on. Learning to write within the structural framework of the fixed forms gives you discipline and practice, and prepares you to invent your own rules and framework. I will be the first to admit that I don't fully understand the concepts of "blank verse" and "free verse," and cannot recall reading any that I enjoyed. Although that is a matter of personal taste, I still urge you to study formal verse and master several forms before flying without a net.

Poetry: Therapy or Art?

Ever read a poem that left you speechless? I mean, how can you comment on the utter turmoil of a human soul? When someone is laying their raw emotions out on the dock to dry, do you step over their supine form and say, "Gee, the meter's a little off, and 'angst' doesn't rhyme with 'dagger,' what the hell were you thinking?!" 'Cause you probably don't really want to know, and there are better ways to ask for a lesson in free verse. This is what I call...

Bleeding on the Page
by Holly Jahangiri

Teardrops of blue-black ink fall to the page.
Souls bleed in fourteen lines of tortured verse,
That limps along, five-footed, filled with rage.
What angst! How could it possibly get worse?
But worse it gets - for he's compelled to share,
As literature, the sorrow and the pain.
This solitary madness must ensnare
And captivate, and drive us all insane.
Oh, certainly to this we can relate -
Soul-sucking torment's siren call.
Let's just give in to cruel whims of fate,
Then, pen a poem! Entertain us all!
The poet shares the anguish in his heart;
Some turn away, but others call it art.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Holly Jahangiri is the author of the blog "It's All a Matter of Perspective". She is a professional writer, with 4 books to her name: Trockle, Dealing With the Demon and nine other stories , Mood Swings (A Collection of Poems), and her most recently released book - A Puppy, Not a Guppy.


I find Holly to be a head strong woman, who says what's in her mind candidly but is also a caring and loving friend. She's one of the bloggers that I respect a lot. Thanks, Holly for this guest post. Mabuhay ka!



Sunday, November 15, 2009

Terminus

Spare me the pains of the billowing dust,
in the shadows of the glorious dusk.
Don't sing me songs of adieu
in whispers, that I barely knew.

Rest and let go of the garbled breath,
that wracks your tattered body.
Let go, my love, of the thread
that leads to turmoil and misery.

Go, move on to the sunshine of joy,
and suffer no more my sweet.
gnarled fingers and wrinkles are done now,
and time for your restful sleep.

Don't worry, for in time, I will be,
with you in the folds of your dreams.
Where nothing matters but you and me,
and together we will always be.

...until the end of time.


Hello dear readers, may I request your participation? I know this is a simple poem to interpret, but I'm interested to know if anyone could tell me the specific scenario in this poem. Am I getting through?

Thanks. Anyone who could interpret it correctly will have sizzling sisig waiting for her/him, here in Pampanga. lol, so to claim your prize, you will have to visit me and Roy first.



Saturday, November 14, 2009

Bookshop and Reading

Ask any writer what his hobbies are and one would always be reading. I have never come across a writer who is not a voracious reader. This is because books are vital sources of information and knowledge. They keep us abreast of things we should know. We could travel the world through books. We could learn anything from books: from sewing, to blogging, to carpentry, to physics, to chemistry and many more. Reading would always be a major part of our continuing education.


Even if you’re not a writer, reading books is one hobby that is definitely worth pursuing because of its many positive outcomes. A bookshop therefore, should be one of the places that a person should visit when shopping offline or online.

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the prices of these books on a bookshop online. They’re so cheap yet, very good reads, and there are several options to choose from. There are college ebook and ebook gadgets, fiction and non-fiction, novels and children’s books. There are even audio books. Name it, and they’ll most likely have them.

I had promised myself I’ll be going back to reading again one book within a month. I used to read 1 or 2 books within a week, but blogging and my regular daytime job are just too much to handle. But I’ll surely fulfill this goal from now on.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

WOOF Contest – Top Picks for November 6, 2009

Congratulations Doc Z, for having two of your entries in the Top 3.

WOOF Contest – Top Picks

Poetry


Zorlone – “No Call to Counter Strike” - A poem inspired by the fall of Gondolin.

Jena Isle – “My Painful Past” - What is more excruciating than remembering a painful past?


Fiction

Zorlone – “Diary of a Broken Heart” - A glimpse of an entry in a diary of a man, who once found the love of his life.

Brought to you by PlotDog Press with the Serial Suspense Screenplay "Intervention"

(WOOF participants should re-post all the links above by next Monday. The following links may be excluded as long as you include all the above links.)

Presenting the finest of the writer’s blogs by the bloggers who write them. Highlighting the top posts as chosen by the October 30, 2009 WOOF Contest participants. Want in to join the next WOOF? The next contest ends November 6. Submit a link to your best writing post of the last 3 weeks using the form on this page. Participants, repost the winning link list within a week and you’re all set.

Other WOOF Contestants for 11/06/09

Poetry

Jennifer M Scott – “Myriad” - Free form of thought.

dragon blogger – “Reunited” - Poem about wanted to be reunited with a lost love.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

FREE PICTURES YOU CAN USE - Bumble Bee - The Motorcycle



Photo by Nikes Alviz



Memoir About Genuine Friendship

I oftentimes hear people talking about dogs as their best friends. I could only respond to them half -heartedly, as I did not yet have a first hand experience regarding the matter. But now that I had experienced it, then I could truly say that dogs are indeed, the most faithful friends one could ever encounter. This is the story of my dog- Piper.




Photo by: Nikes Alviz

Piper had been brought home by my husband when she was just several days old. Even then, she was so impish and unruly. She would run around the yard non-stop; toppled everything blocking her path, and bit strange looking things into Kingdom come.

I was irritated at first because of how she was turning the house upside down, so I decided to tie her up. She refused to be restrained, of course, and did all she could to get out of her imprisonment. I had no option but to set her free. By then I was starting to like her cute antics. Perhaps she could be a good pet and so I named her Piper. Yes, after the lovely lady - Piper of the TV series - Charmed!

When I arrived home from work, she would rub her body against my feet and wagged her flurry tail, wanting to be cuddled. There were times that my husband and son were out, so I had to bathe her and feed her myself.

Read the rest of the story here...


Saturday, October 24, 2009

My Painful Past


I stood astride your songs,
In pulchritude we joined.
You with your mellow prongs,
I, with my opened loins.

We earned each accolade.
Our fame is all aflame.
We feasted on the glade.
And wealth we too proclaimed.

Alas, it did not last,
As all would come to pass.
I sit here quite aghast.
You're now under the grass.

I grieve my painful past.
Our days that should have been.
I sigh and say Alas!
We never will be seen.

Oh, Elvis where are you?
I yearn each day for you,
Hopeful that you could play.
My strings again someday!

Photo courtesy of Nikes Alviz

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Arvie Vitente and Warrior is a Child

Arvie, is Sir Arvie to many of his students. He's a brilliant educator, an excellent singer and a wonderful "adopted" son.

Here he is singing one of my favorite songs - The Warrior is a Child". Do play it twice to allow it to load properly, thanks.



I apologize for the wrong spelling. It has to go back to the MMC if I were to edit it again.


Arvie Vitente and Warrior is a Child

Arvie, is Sir Arvie to Many of his students. He's a brilliant educator, an excellent singer and a wonderful son.




Monday, October 5, 2009

WOOF Contest Results for October 2

Congratulations to all winners, especially to Zorlone, Roy, Jenn and Deeptesh. Cheers!

WOOF Contest – Top Picks

Fiction / Drama / Short Story

Roy – "I'm sorry, Matthew" - How long must one carry the guilt for something that was done in the past?

Jennifer M Scott – “Best Friends and the Meaning of It - The beginning of a new series called Dr Simon's Velvet Couch Monologues of Everyday People. In this one September Don confesses she wants to kill her best friend but finds something more important.

Anne Bender – “... the world faded away” - A woman's memory of a morning with her lover.


Memoir

Jena Isle – “I Survived Raising My Teen” - A memorable episode in my life as a mother. The most challenging "career" in life is being a mother.


Poetry

Zorlone – “Ideal Teacher” - An example of Jenanian poetry about the essence of a teacher.

Zorlone – “Brick Wall - Nothing hinders emotions than a cold and unfeeling brick wall.

Roy – “When the flame is dying...” - Do not let hatred burn forever in your heart... it will pass... let it die... let it be... so you can live in peace.

Deeptesh Sen – “An Evening in mercury” - Love in Kolkata.


Brought to you by PlotDog Press with the Serial Suspense Screenplay "Intervention"


(WOOF participants should re-post all the links above by next Monday. The following links may be excluded as long as you include all the above links.)


Presenting the finest of the writer’s blogs by the bloggers who write them. Highlighting the top posts as chosen by the October 2, 2009 WOOF Contest participants. Want in to join the next WOOF? The next contest ends October 9. Submit a link to your best writing post of the last 3 weeks using the form on this page. Participants, repost the winning link list within a week and you’re all set.


Other WOOF Contestants for 10/02/09


Fiction / Drama / Short Story

H. Benjamin Petrie – “A Couple Paragraphs of Sci-Fi War - A very short description of war in the future.


About Writing

H. Benjamin Petrie – “Why We Would Read Something - There's two reasons we would read something: i) it's well-written ii) it has an interesting story.


Poetry

Roy – “Let Go, Let God - A poem about letting go of past pains, hurts and worries... and letting God take care of all our concerns.

Deeptesh Sen – “Parting at Park Street” - Love drifts away at the crossroads of a throbbing city!

Jennifer M Scott – “Autumn” - A poem about autumn written in acrostic form using the word autumn.






Monday, September 28, 2009

My Philosophy in a Couple of Trilogies - Inspirational Book

By: Luke Christian Yu


I first watched Star Wars when I was three or four years old. I do admit that I did not understand much of it at that time. Instead, I kept on asking some of the adults watching along with me about some parts of the plot. Looking back at their answers to my questions, it seems like they did not understand much, either. Some of the scenes I saw at that time, however, made an impression on my young mind. While reviewing Star Wars a number of times decades later, I can still see clearly those scenes and feel the hard wooden chair I sat on when I was a child watching that movie.

For a lot of people, Star Wars is just another science fiction movie that takes place a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away—a movie that justifies teenagers and even those beyond to tell each other “May the Force be with you”. But for me, Star Wars is something deeper and more real. Their galaxy does not seem to be parsecs away, either. It might not even be out of place within the neighborhood.

Additionally, one may not need to look long and hard to find someone in the workplace or school that matches a B1 battle droid in sheer stupidity. (Roger, roger) A tyrant not unlike Emperor Palpatine might even be behind the government of some state or nation. All within the confines of our watery blue planet without having to board the Millennium Falcon and jump to hyperspace.

I view Star Wars as a story about Anakin Skywalker—the chosen one who has the highest midi-chlorian count of any Jedi, was conceived by a virgin and who faced death unflinchingly to end the suffering brought about by Darth Sidious. Star Wars is not about the good and the bad, the light and the dark, nor the yin and the yang.

It is about one man’s struggle for balance. Jedi Master Yoda represents the Light and Sith Lord Darth Sidious represents the Dark; but again, Star Wars is not about them. It is about Jedi Anakin/Darth Vader who represents both the Light and the Dark. While still Anakin, he might have traces of the Dark Side within him masquerading as fear, then anger and hatred; but even when he was transformed into Darth Vader, there was still good left in him. He was a perfect human representation of the Tai Chi symbol.

The story began when the young Anakin Skywalker was discovered by a Jedi Knight; it ended with his death and redemption. You can say that the prequel trilogy is about Anakin and the original trilogy is about Darth Vader. Others would say that Luke is the principal protagonist of the story and Lord Vader, the principal antagonist. Maybe, but in the grand scheme of things, it is more like Anakin Skywalker versus himself. Luke’s role, in my opinion, is just like his mother before him—a pivot in Anakin’s journey, nothing more.

Star Wars is not only my all-time favorite sci-fi/fantasy movie; it also influenced the way I look at things. Why? Honestly, I have not thought of that until now. Maybe it is because I can relate to it or because it is consistent with my own worldview. After all, if something is totally inconsistent with your worldview then it cannot influence you in any way, right? Or could it? But then, you might again ask whether it really is consistent with my worldview or whether it is my worldview that is concordant with Star Wars as it has shaped my worldview in the first place. That question, I cannot answer you. In a parallel plane,

Plato might have asked whether the virtues are good because they are appreciated by the Jedi, or whether they are appreciated by the Jedi because they are good.

Star Wars is deep—even philosophical. And there are many concepts, instances and conflicts in my life which I can deeply relate to the movie. Like I said, it influenced my thoughts in some ways. I will try to look into a few of them here. But understand that dissecting Star Wars like this could fill an entire book of its own. So let me just tell you as much as I can gather in a sitting or two. Why do I make this connections, you ask? Could it be because I am hopelessly addicted to Star Wars or because the conflicts in Star Wars are so much similar to those in real life? Now, I am not formally trained in philosophy or something, but those who know me know that I do tend to ask questions a lot.

First, I will talk about the high degree of contrast in the morals and dogma that I was initiated into. I was born, baptized, and raised as a Roman Catholic. Our family has more than our fair share of religious ministers—not to mention those in various religious organizations which I do not even know the name of.

These guys masquerade as aunts, uncles, cousins, or what have you. Sort of like Darth Sidious hiding behind the Senator Palpatine fa├žade, right? Wrong. I was just kidding you. My point is, I was already shown the distinctively clear line between what is right and what is wrong even at an early age.

The line was so very clear, then. So clear that when one of those relatives stepped inside my room while I was away and found my books, she asked my mother to burn almost a row of them. Why? Like I told you, the line was very clear and those books happen to stand on the other side of that line.

You must be thinking of dark dangerous books, oozing with black magic and demon invocation, by now. That would have been fun but I am sorry to disappoint; those books were about science—prehistoric times, to be exact. You know, dinosaurs, prehistoric man, continental drift and stuff.

My first major is in the field of applied science so I do not think it is that inconceivable to have those sorts of books. However, it seems like some people are still bent on convincing others that the earth is just a couple thousand or so years old despite tons of archeological digs as old as 1.3 million years staring them at the face. Oh, I forgot: Those fossils were planted evidence by a red guy with horns, hooves and a pointy tail and were calculated to deceive mankind. Right. And I thought the Dark Ages was no more.

In the early part of the first episode of the original trilogy, this clear distinction between good and evil was shown when Darth Vader confronted Princess Leia Organa. One was a menacing seven-foot man in pitch-black armor and radiating pure evil; the other was an innocent-looking petite woman dressed in soft, pure-white cloth exuding goodness. A perfect symbolic representation, don’t you think.

But going deeper into the movie, as in life, you will find moral ambiguity and shades of gray in a supposed-to-be-black-and-white world of Star Wars where everyone works either for the Light or the Dark. I’d like to individually enumerate these instances but sadly, I will be quickly running out of space if I do so. I also do not have the luxury of time. So, it might be better to leave that as an exercise to the reader. As a bonus, it will make reviewing the movie that much more exciting.


But the color of my world or the absence thereof is not the only thing that I can relate with Star Wars. Star Wars, you see, has some depth if you look closely enough. The next time you watch Star Wars, watch out for this phrase: “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” In every episode of Star Wars, you will hear at least one of the main characters share this sentiment. I have heard it even in the animated movie and in the television series. Call it a basic expression of existential anxiety. I am sure that at some time in your life, you felt this intuitive response when confronted by an undefined problem. In episode three of the first season of The Clone Wars, the character who said that phrase was, of all things, a B1 battle droid piloting General Grievous’ Ship! Funny; I never thought they were capable of combat without shooting each other, much less existential thought.

Now, Let me share with you a scene from the original trilogy about the possible inconsistency between appearance and reality. When Luke was about to pass out in the planet Hoth (The name is curious as the planet was clearly very, very cold. A contradiction?) because of the cold, Obi-Wan’s Force ghost appeared before him and told him to go to the planet Dagobah and look for a great Jedi Warrior by the name of Yoda. Luke then went to the Dagobah system. What he found in that remote world of swamps and forests is mentally stimulating.

Man is a very visual creature. We lean heavily on what we see. We even demand that “to see is to believe”. I do not think that there is a problem with that unless you already have a preconceived notion of what you should be seeing. Selective perception is problematic, at best.

In a lot times, I find myself in my office when someone comes in looking for me. I would talk to that client and hear her say that she’d rather talk to me. Then I’d say “Oh, sorry. I forgot to introduce myself. I am him.” There would then be that puzzled, unbelieving look in her face that I have seen countless of times in other’s faces. This scenario happens more times than I care to count. Then, my thoughts would wander back to that swampy planet…

When Luke arrived in Dagobah, he was startled by an old, small, green dwarf with large eyes. Being a young warrior, he instinctively aimed his blaster at the little green goblin. The poor thing was now covering his face and whimpering “Away put your weapon! I mean you no harm” Seeing the dwarf as a harmless little creature, he put away his weapon.

Anyway, he thinks, he could probably just kick this thing into the swamp if ever it would try to harm him. After that, the creature acted like a silly, old beggar trying to rummage through Luke’s supplies for food, taste some, and throw away stuff he does not like. Luke had no idea that this thing is the Yoda he has been searching for. When he told the dwarf that he is looking for a great warrior, it just laughed and said “wars not make one great.” Right, and that response came from a Grand Master Jedi whose name, Yoda, means “warrior” in Sanskrit. But surely,
the dwarf does not look like one.

I am not saying that I am a dwarf with large eyes. Neither am I saying that I am a Jedi Master who could wield a lightsaber and do a Form IV as lethally graceful as Yoda does. All I am saying is that it would be a lot better for all if we could only shed our preconceived notions and ideas and freshly perceive the world.

But Star Wars is not only about morality and philosophy; it is also about hope. Since this book is supposed to be an inspirational book rather than a book on the philosophy of some old movie as applied to the life of some obscure person, I saved this part for last.


Darth Vader, as I have said, has been considered by many to be an evil, mean killing machine. That cannot be denied. That said, I hope that all of us can be like Darth Vader. Yes, I said it. You can read that again, if you want.

The truth is that no one in this world could truly claim that he had not gone to the Dark Side or that he will not be seduced by its power. Every breathing human in this world has, at one time, crossed the boundary or will soon be crossing it.

Yes, none of them may have killed another human being for not finishing the Death Star on schedule using the power of the Dark Side in the form of a Force choke to do the deed; but have none of us lied as early as grade school specially during examination time? It would also be very surprising if none of us used or tried to use another person for our own needs, at least once, just like what Vader and Sidious have done.

The problem is, once you have been to the Dark Side, it would be difficult to come back to the Light. And the longer you stay there, the stronger will its hold be on you. Darth Vader declares this difficulty to his son, Luke, when he said, "You don't know the power of the Dark Side, I must obey my master... It is too late for me, son."

Once you have experienced how easy it was to copy your seatmate’s answers during grade school, it would seem to make more sense to do it again than to study diligently. Then, when you get used to it, it would be more difficult to be rid of the habit in your higher years. It goes on in the workplace and the rest of your life. Doing it the right way is almost always harder. Why else do you think would there be spammers in the Internet and unscrupulous businesses and get rich quick schemes?

When Luke asked Yoda whether the Dark Side is stronger, Yoda replied “No, but it is quicker, easier, more seductive.”

But difficult as it is, Vader showed that it can be done. And if we cannot avoid the Dark Side, or if we have already been bathing in its pleasures, I just hope that we can be as strong and courageous like Lord Vader who was able to search within himself and find the key to make it back to the Light.

May the Force be with you!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Luke is called Master Jedi Luke by the Jedi bloggers.

He is also @dezertsnow at Twitter.

His blog is "A Walk in the Dark" or "Law of the Force" which was created when Jan Geronimo of Writing to Exhale insisted that he should have his own blog instead of being a great commentator/commenter.

His first post "About How This Blog Came To Be" earned 77 comments, the first I have seen of its kind yet in blogging. He writes with a discerning and meticulous eye, careful to present the topic at hand in an organized and tapoted manner. Sometimes I imagine him "defragging/defragmenting" his highly technical terms to suit his "technically-challenged" readers - including me.

Each of the Jedi bloggers has a completely unique style of writing that "clicks" with me. For Luke, it is his philosophical mind which tries to merge with his expertise in internet technology and computer science.

By the way, I would like to mention that he is happily married to a lawyer, Dee, who authors another blog - Tales From The Mom Side.

This dynamo of a couple is a tandem to beat in the blogosphere.

A toast for both of you, guys!


Photo by futureatlas.com

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Wall Paper for your Computer



This is a picture for use as a wall paper for your computers. I didn't know to whom I would credit this.




Tuesday, September 22, 2009

PUFFY WHITES



By: Elmot



I saw dancing, sheep
Of puffy irregular whites;
Running, playing, and changing
Shapes with the summer sun.

They run and catch
Each other’s tails,
bump and mate each other’s wool.

Others sleep in the curving
Corner of velvet farm,
Their colors I wonder is
Not of perfect white?
Theirs’ are sleeping colors
Puffy ash?

Then, sheep started to feast
On velvet and changing grass,
They stop, and eat and gently hop;
Till the farm in blowing wind concealed.

All these innocent puffy sheep ate
The changing velvet grass;
Through blowing wind,
Herded happily changing,
To sleep in the edge
of the velvet farmland.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Elmot is the prolific and dynamic writer behind three blogs namely:

PinoySoundingBoard: Commentaries on Socio-Political Issues,
Ani-Mo!: Elmot's Whatever Blog and
Gaudencio Diaz: My Poetry Blog

He is a jovial and cheerful soul, you'd be surprised to find out that he discusses serious socio-economic problems and concerns in his blog.

Read his latest post on the May 2010 Election Concerns: An Online Interview with Mr. James Jimenez


"My Blog is my alter-ego, the online me: where I share some of my rants, senseless commentaries on everything I see, hear and smell..." he says this of his blog.

He is also an incredibly versatile poet who could shift easily from composing an erotic poem to a pristine, virginal poem like this one.

Thanks Elmot for accepting my invitation for a guest post, and for this refreshing and invigorating poem.

Photo by Tumble Fish Studio



Sunday, September 20, 2009

FREE PICTURES - Olalia, Spain