This is just to say

I like to edit things.

I don’t think I’ve ever said that here before, so there it is: I like editing work. I like it a lot.

I talk about reading and writing all the time, but hardly ever mention editing. Reading, I have loved since I could do it. Writing, I have also come to love, although that doesn’t necessarily mean that it loves me back. And editing? Well, editing sort of just snuck into my life at some point I guess, mostly because people are all like “Oh! You write! Help me write!” — and more often than not, I am quite happy to oblige. But I never really go out looking for editing work…  do people do that? I mean that’s a silly question, isn’t it? I guess they do… Editors. That is a thing.

And yet — I’m not an “editor” by profession or trade. It’s just something I do sometimes for people here and there. Like the academic journal work that falls into my lap on occasion because of my teaching job at a university. Or the book I’m helping my aunt write. Sometimes even the odd business e-mail for my dad. What’s interesting is … I like it all. Tossing words around until I find the perfect one, slashing unnecessary phrases out, breaking too-long paragraphs, and polishing sentences to perfection (or close). I love how I feel when I work with words.

I love words. I love how they make me feel and how I can make them feel. In my hands. In my head. On my tongue. In a line. On a page.

I like to play with words and I really like to edit.

Maybe I should seek it out?

 

 

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Blanks

When I was 20, I wrote a poem titled “Vanity”:

Take the chisel, he tells you. This is how to get it done. Carved in stone, man-made grooves last an eternity; Rosetta, you think — the British Museum. But how crude the thing is, so hard in your hands and you’ve just had a manicure. Metallic blue lacquer makes you smile: grit under your nails does not. At least have a go with the pots? the man appeals. Has he gotten smaller? You’re not sure — this is softer. You look at the hunk of clay sitting on the wheel. It has to be formed… Of course. Terracotta warriors, you think. So long ago, the Qin Dynasty. But against the flecks of your blue, blue nails this is dull. How about this (his voice is soft and he is most certainly smaller now, but you don’t notice at all) and he offers up a paper with a simple pen. It looks pretty, so you take it. Just like in old leather-bound books, you realise. But the ink is soon on your perfect glossy nails and you couldn’t drop the pen faster.

Now the voice is gone — the man is gone. The italics are gone. Placing your fingers on a clean white keyboard with a blank screen before you, you know you had something to say. But you can’t remember.

I wrote Vanity for a poetry class I took in college and it is one of only two poems I’ve ever had successfully published. Getting published is certainly not the be all and end all of writing, but I really have been a sorry excuse for a writer since then. Continue reading “Blanks”

Sick

Yesterday I woke up at 5am with an irritated throat and a slight pounding in my head. Being the hypochondriac that I am, I knew that the feeling would develop into a full head cold if I didn’t choose to sleep in and get lots of rest and water in me throughout the rest of the day. But I had work and other responsibilities to attend to so I got up and just tried to take it easy as I went about things. Still, by 4pm I was not in a good place: my head was pounding and one of my nostrils was fully clogged while the other was an unstoppable leaky faucet (eew).

I will not glorify pushing on in spite of sickness. I don’t see that as an admirable thing to do, although I’ve chosen to do so myself many times over the years (for school, mostly) and it is arguably the “right” thing to do in many a circumstance (depending just how sick you are). It’s a punishment to the body, really. But how much of a choice is there when we choose to bind ourselves to obligations that give us little time to care for ourselves.

That’s all it really boils down to, really: choice. I chose to get on with my day yesterday because I decided that the obligations I had bound myself to were more important than my health at that point in time. That also kinda sorta binds me from feeling angry at my obligations because I and I alone chose them over my health. Still, I can’t help but feel frustrated because this was me in the weeks leading up to this sickness:  Continue reading “Sick”

18: What Matters 

Tam and I caught La La Land at the cinemas last night and without spoiling anything for those of you who haven’t seen it, let me just say that we found ourselves holding each other extra tight by the end of the film. Holding each other quite fiercely, really — and so happy to have chosen this because for us, nothing else in the world matters more. 

There is us; we have this love. Everything else is just everything else. 

10 & 11

I don’t feel like writing today. I’m tired. But here I am with my laptop on my lap and I’m going to let the words go –

I’m tired, and I am so easily tired. I’m not even talking emotionally tired here – just physically. I often wonder how others are able to fit so much in one day (and so energetically). I prefer idle time. Lots of it. There’s a quarterly (?) magazine published in the UK called The Idler dedicated entirely to that sort of lifestyle. I’ve read an issue and it was lovely. Not something you’ll ever come across in Manila, that’s for sure. Don’t we take some kind of twisted pride in being a busy busy city (and we happen to speak English so well too — might as well be American! *eyes rolling*).

Things I want to spend hours with (but haven’t been able to because, well, life):

  • The Boxer Codex (to read, obvs)
  • That Alexander Hamilton bio I picked up (currently a paper weight – that thing is massive)
  • My cacti and other plants
  • My fountain pens, inks, and paper

Instead I’m in a car for two or three hours a day, sitting in traffic. Instead I have to run around like a headless chicken doing brainless things that leave me this damn tired. They say you settle into routines and that’s good. They also say change is good. And I agree to both — but I need time to find and settle into a routine. Time is also what I need to appreciate change. So where does time go. Chasing it around is exhausting. And really: why am I chasing it at all.

Man, I need to relax.