When the weeks roll by

A note from Pinay New Yorker:  Some links in the following post are connected to my Amazon account which might mean a commission for me if you choose to make a purchase based on the links..

One month to the last post here.

I have been coasting by and have been preoccupied by work (moved buildings, still the same job) and life in general..  I promised myself I would post here, come what may.  The spirit is raring to write but the hand is too slow.

The good news is, I’ve been making strides on other fronts.

I have also finished reading Benmosche’s Good for the Money, and now starting JPE’s memoir.  It’s literally a tome, and I discovered today, printed in small type, so this will be quite hefty reading for me.  This will make my third of my six book target for the year and I think I’m ahead of schedule.

Reading again has been a very relaxing task that I am trying to make a habit of, like before.  I am hoping to develop the discipline of actually setting aside time to read from day to day.  While there are the hard copy books I love leading through, I really should try to go back to using my Kindle account which still has at least 3 ebooks waiting for me to read.  The point is, I’m continuing to read.

I’ve also been actively organizing all my supplies — art and craft supplies, in particular, sorting the paper and the pen and the beads.  It’s still a long way from being all set, but I am making progress.

I just wish I could have more time to stop and breathe.

I usually take my morning quiet time as a time to regroup and look at the so-called bigger picture.  I sit at the breakfast nook, and I take the time to go through my magazines which sometimes lie untouched for weeks on end.. or I go through the news feed instead of typing away.  I’ve taken to looking at other Instagram feeds I follow which allow me to sort of get updated with what’s happening in other fronts.  I find that taking the time to sit and do things in a leisurely fashion helps me put my day in focus.

I try my best not to linger, though, and I always make sure I am conscious of the time.  That’s how my typical day starts.

From time to time, I will attempt to begin a post here,  but I have to get the hang of spontaneously writing without the temptation of editing and expanding my posts.  I should start something that I can just write in one sitting.  I wish..

And so I must send this off before I lose track of how long it’s been sitting in my draft folder like I am usually wont to do.  Here’s to a better week ahead — waiting for spring and all.

My Friday Five (on another Saturday)

Last week’s Friday Five went well for the first two but the last three are staying on my list.

1. Create more pieces for the shop and list more items.

I have actually been on a creative streak all week.  It has me all excited because I’m actually being creative and not just pulling things together using the styles I had used through the last couple of years.

New ideas are coming to me which has me looking at the whole process of producing my pieces differently.  More to come in the shop!

Inspiration to create - The previous week has been a buzz of activity as I started experimenting with the materials I already have for pieces to post in the store.  All unfinished pieces but soon to be completed.  #bracelets #agate #etsy #creativity #insp

2. Start reorganizing my supplies according to component type instead of material.

3. Write a letter.

4. Go back to reading the Bible.

5. Finish my Art Journal Every Day post on Mother’s Day. — which was last week, yes, but I had already started it

Hence this week’s Friday Five is as follows:

1. Write a letter.  Why could something be so simple so difficult to do .. hopefully this weekend.  (A loooooong weekend, at that!)

2. Go back to reading the Bible.  I’m actually hoping to tick this off of next week’s list by carving out regular time every day.

3. Finish my Art Journal Every Day post on Mother’s Day. — It comes in stops and starts and I haven’t touched the art journal for a while now.  Hopefully that will change with a three-day weekend just started.  I really can use the extra day to the weekend to recharge.

4.  Sort the clothes that Angelo has outgrown.  Right about the only person who doesn’t realize how much he’s growing up is the boy, and I hate having to make him change from a shirt he’s already obviously outgrown to somethings that fits better.  I’ve been culling the smaller size shirts/jeans from his wardrobe through the winter, but I think I can do another sweep through.  His hand-me-downs go to a box I send home for an impoverished community where my Mom stays most of the year now.

5.  Start reading again.  Where will I find the time, right?  But that was one of the things I wanted to do this year — read more.  Like every year.  And reading the Bible doesn’t count.  There is just so much literature out there — and even on my book shelf and digital library, unread.

It must seem like I keep listing things down and not actually getting things done.  It feels like the last 8 months of my life has had me just in limbo — floating in space.  I feel the ground under my feet most days now.  I can look at the sunset and see beauty instead of sadness that the day has ended or relief that it has.  I haven’t quite landed on my feet solidly just yet.. but maybe soon.  Hopefully soon.

 

A Shared Passion for Reading

One of the things I regretted leaving behind (and having to give away in the process) when I moved to New York in 2000 was my then rather modest library of books I had collected through the years.  I leftthe paperbacks back in San Juan but I selected friends to whom I gave away the hardcover books and CDs I had decided were too cumbersome to bring with me as I moved across the oceans.

I have always loved to read.  My dear Auntie Lydia had turned me on to reading fairy tales and nursery rhymes as soon as I could do my ABCs.  I still remember how she introduced me to Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales by gifting me with a children’s version when I turned 7.  (And that book remains to be one of my most precious possessions, finally making it back to New York with me in 2010.)

She also introduced me to Reader’s Digest when I was in first grade.  Then I discovered Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys sometime in grade school.  I managed to read around 75% of the books on the list and to this day I regret not having completed all the Nancy Drew mysteries.  My encyclopedia set at home came with an accompanying set of children’s books which I loved to peruse and read.  In that series I was introduced not only to our beloved children’s fairy tales but fables and Greek mythology as well.

In high school, I read more purposefully and while reading homework took a lot of my time, I continued to try and read a wide range of books, spurned on primarily by our guidance counsellor’s advise to read and read when I asked about how I can increase my IQ.  (That’s another blogpost altogether.)  But who can forget Antoine de Saint- Exupery’s The Little Prince which I love to this day.

In college, I decided I would start my own collection.  I discovered my now favorite authors Richard Bach (more popularly known for “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” but whose “Illusions”  touched me more profoundly); friends from the service organization I joined in college, Opin and Carol (a.k.a. Beauty)  introduced me to Frederick Forsyth via the The Day of the Jackal and Robert Ludlum via The Bourne Identity.   My bestfriend from high school, Gina, introduced me to  Leo Buscaglia whose “Living Loving and Learning” remains to be one of my favorite gifts to friends.

In this day and age of e-readers, I continue to share my love of reading, giving one of two kindles I received two Christmases ago to my sister, Ofie.  And just recently, I shared the wonders of Kindle for PC with a dear friend who now has the books in my e-library to peruse and pore through.  It’s such joy to find someone who loves the written word as much as I do — sifting through the stories and plots and immersing one’s self in another’s point of view.

I feel like a “Book Santa” who has opened new doors for a friend to continue reading again.  As someone who loves reading and chalking up “books read” on my list, I know what getting to the end of the story feels like — and how it signals you can go to the next book on your list.

Enjoy the books, and when you read them, I hope you feel me right there beside you reading them, too.  I look forward to the conversations on the common books we read — and will read together — in the coming days.

Catching up on the reading: My Bookshelf, My Kindle

I have actually vowed NOT to buy any books until I can jumpstart my reading again, and while I have been cradling my Apple iPad and my Kindle  and keeping them handy in my tote, I haven’t really done much reading in the last couple of months.  Not good, I know.

Right now I have around 5 hard bound books waiting to be read, and I’ve gotten nowhere with Betty White’s “If You Ask Me: (And of Course You Won’t)(Note to self: Hoping to finish THIS weekend!) and I’ve practically given up on Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods: A Novel(One more try?).  What I’m raring to start reading (which is going against what I just said I had vowed) is George R. R. Martin’s third installment of  “A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3) which I just downloaded.

So maybe — just maybe — I’ll finish American Gods.. and get on with reading Agassi’s “Open (which was actually Ofie, my sister’s pick), and get on with catching up with the Grisham books I have yet to read.  (Soooo way behind with that one, too!)  I know I want to read more than I actually manage to.  I can certainly do better.  With theKindle just a touch away, I really have no excuse.  And there are the other books I downloaded which I hope to eventually get to.. if I can get a 48-hour day.  LOL

My books have always been a source of solace and pride for me.  Solace because they have provided me with a place where I can enrich myself without actually going anywhere and spending for more than what the book would’ve cost.  Pride because I count them as a personal accomplishment when I think about the books I HAVE managed to read.  It makes me feel as though I am actually doing something proactive to keep my brain cells alive and kicking. =) Let’s see how many books I will manage to finish reading this 2012. 12? That’s a modest and reasonable goal. Let’s hope I meet it.

And the week has begun..

Mondays are usually good days for me, even if it means going back to the grind.  I’ve been here at  my desk taking care of business so to speak, although I’ve been itching to write for quite a while now.

I’m happy to report that I finally finished A Game of Thrones which is  George R.R. Martin’s first book in his popular series A Song of Ice and Fire.  Today, I move on to the next  book, A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2) and I’m excited to continue the story from where it left off.  Even if there’s no way that I can make it in time for the release of his fifth book in mid-July, I’m reading voraciously to hopefully “catch up” with next year’s Season II on HBO.  (Book signing alert: George R.R. Martin is scheduled to have an author event on July 24, at 7pm at Barnes & Noble in Union Square.)

I am totally hooked!  I’m just happy that I’ve gotten to reading seriously again and adding to my bookshelf.

At the same time, I’ve managed to create a few pieces last night but which somehow got left behind in my rush to leave home today.  (So I guess I’ll be posting them tomorrow.)  I’m hooked on teeny-tiny freshwater pearls that I had acquired from a huge pearl sale here last year and from stocks sent to me by my sister-in-law from Manila.  I sat at my work bench until I realized it was past midnight and sadly, I had to put my pliers down to get some much needed sleep.  * sigh *

I was so happy to find some left over half-drilled freshwater pearls which I glued onto some gold findings I had purchased some months back but the piece actually has a loop for a dangle that I am still trying to make up my mind about.  (I can go the way of more pearls or just a single gemstone brio, perhaps.)  I’m still creating more stack stick dangles — this time using labradorite mini teardrop beads.  I know I have apatite beads with the same cut which I can make into a similar pair but I was hoping to post the labradorites first. =(

Between catching up with some chores yesterday while Alan and the tyke attended a birthday party in Long Island, I had a restful Sunday.  The late night date with my tools, though, has my body screaming for some sleep.  Later — in the bus on the way home.  There will  be time enough to indulge in that.

I think I’m getting on quite fabulously with trying to convert my “dormant” stocks into actual pieces.  Once I make up my mind about design, then it’s easy executing the piece and converting it from a plan to an actual accessory.  I am being drawn towards other possibilities but I am trying to stay focused.

Sadly, I haven’t been able to do anything for my Art Journal Every Day project, and it’ll be July already next week!  =(  Maybe I’ll be luckier in July.  We’ll see…

Kindle with Me: Reading Goals, 2011

I got my Kindle last Christmas and have looked at it with a sense of fulfillment and pride each day, even if I haven’t sat down to earnestly read longer than a half hour. “Dinna’s Kindle.”. (I type that and a smile forms on my face.)

Last year was a big disappointment in the “Catch Up with the Reading” department, so much so that the “Bookshelf” app on my Facebook account seems to have disappeared for being inactive and untouched. (Yes, my El Fili in English has disappeared somewhere in the coat closet as well.).

One month of 2011 has gone and I haven’t chalked up anything read as yet. The good news is, I have quite a few under “being read” so I thought I’d start a widget here on the blog sidebar for books I am reading now. I am hoping that will be a visual reminder of my longstanding goal of getting back to the habit of personal enrichment through reading.

I will not set any goal beyond finishing a book every month. So between this weekend to the end of Feb, the goal is to read two books.  Reasonable enough.

The great thing about Kindle is that its e-book library offers many classics for free, that is why I’ve downloaded Pride And Prejudice and Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe. Thanks to the influence of my friends Fe, Jher and Jerome — I am intrigued by Mr. Darcy.

I am optimistic that this time around next year, I will be able to chalk up 12 books read (AT LEAST), hard copy or otherwise.

Wish me luck!