Saturday, April 10, 2010

Taadaaa!!! Mirha

Last week and this week may probably be the most relaxing weeks I've had so far during this first quarter of the year. With last week being the annual Holy week celebration, we had no work starting Wednesday evening. We only came back the following Monday after Easter, and had only four days of work with the 9th of April being another national holiday. 
Before Holy Wednesday, I've been planning to catch up with my paintings, readings, and writings. Alas, the long weekend came and went and came again, and I have done NOTHING. No new painting. No new post. And I haven't been able to follow up on the proceedings of Miles and Sarah's love story in Nicholas Spark's A Bend in the Road. Worse, the lethargy has eaten up my interest in finishing Mirha, the beautiful. 
Although she already showed promise during the early stages of development, I started to feel uncomfortable upon finishing her very ornate headdress. I still am not abandoning my plans to finish the synopsis for the story though. It's just that I've gotten lazy. Anyways, I still owe it to Mirha to showcase her beauty even if I no longer plan to finish her and make her the arch nemesis of the lead character in my story. Like the others, I executed her using colored inks and liquid eraser. Here you can see pictures dating back to the preliminary stages until the present unfinished stage.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I Feel Sick

I'm not feeling good today. Mom and I have come home from my aunt's place because Pop would be away at his province for two weeks. And that's exactly the amount of time we would be spending here after which we would resume our lives back at my aunt's place. I could not tell if the terrible feeling is borne of my sore aching body. Last night had been a close call. I made it to work on the dot just as the bundy clock struck ten. The unexpected stroke of luck had elicited a relieved albeit insane laughter from me for a few secs, as I stood in front of the computer we're we log in for work attendance, reveling at my luck. But the relief was temporary. With only six minutes left before the end of the grace period, I dashed like lightning from the building entrance all the way to the 14th floor office room we occupy. If there were no available elevators open then, I doubt it that I could have been as lucky. But made it I did. 

If ever I arrived a minute later than 10, I would have had no other choice but to go home grumbling--company policy states that we are already absent should we arrive later(even just 1 minute) than the appointed grace period. And all because of one fucking minute. But the intermittent palpitations that started last night when I nearly collapsed from exhaustion upon arriving and persists until now makes me wonder if my decision to do that mad dash had really been advantageous for me. I am hypertensive and I fear that I already have a heart condition, too. The run could have cost me my life. No use making it on the dot if something worse than the palpitations and shortness of breath had occurred. 

Hopefully, tomorrow would find me feeling so much better. No palpitations. No drumming heartbeats. No exhaustion. Not even a trace of sore muscles or body pain. Maybe I just need to sleep. God I should lose weight. My aunt had come into my room this morning intending to pray over me, but she ended up lecturing instead that she had totally forgotten how she was supposed to help me feel well. Nevertheless, it can't be denied that everything she said was true down to the final sentence: You should be mindful of your health. 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Oh, Weekends

My stay at my aunt's place for the past three weeks or maybe an entire month has reacquainted me with the basics of serene living surrounded by books and no internet. I thought it would drive me nuts. But it turned out to be a return to the once blissfully silent existence I had come to love. And as ironic as it seems, given my self-confessed addiction to facebook games, I realized I couldn't be happier.

I have found the heart to finally abandon all facebook games I play but one: Petville. Even if Bartinelli is just a virtual pet, I can't get myself to just leave her locked up behind bars forever(that's what happens to abandoned pets). Fashioning her after my real tomkitty Pao must explain why I am so attached to her. Or it could be that inexplicable mother instinct, which has fueled that secret yearning for my own child ever since, at work. either way, I have decided to just keep her. Even if she ends up being behind bars every week should I neglect to replace her virtual pet food(which I am apt to do given my busy schedule), at least I can say to myself that I still haven't abandoned her. During weekends, just like today, I would have her visit all her pal's homes and continue redecorating her cute and beautiful little home.

In all those weeks I've spent cooped up in the library(that's where me and my mom are now spending the weekdays actually) after coming home from work, I indulged myself by reading. I've already finished Lewis Carol's Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass(original versions courtesy of my uncle's and aunt's ancestral family library where I'm staying), Andrew Davidson's The Gargoyle, and John Harwood's The Seance.  right now, I'm poring over Mitch Albom's Tuesdays with Morrie.

Although I'm happy that I've rediscovered my love for books, I still can't help but regret that I still can't find time to paint and illustrate as I have been wanting to do. There just aren't enough hours in a day to allow me to do all the many wonderful activities so close to my heart. Yes, I enjoy my work, but it just takes up too much of my time that I'm left with barely enough to accommodate my love for reading, creative writing, and illustrating/painting.

Especially these days, my boss has been assigning too much coordinating task that each work day ends with my feeling overly stressed out and harried. Couple this with my usual writing tasks and my weekly commitments to my students before or after office hours, and I wouldn't be surprised to find out that I have already raked up enough heart disease credentials to warrant an impending heart attack any time soon.

I'm sorry if this blog had turned out to be a smorgasbord. I just hope that despite the dizzying variations of art works, poems, fictional works like my post Closing Time, and occasional ramblings about my ever-exciting life as a lonely , lovelorn, secretly depressed professional; you have been provided with a bit of valuable insight, information, or some entertainment perhaps into the workings of this quirky mind from the far east.

Oh, well...I have decided to create another blog site exclusively for my broken-hearted ramblings (As if I have more than enough time to manage all three blogsites as the one I have now lol!).Just in case you're interested, you may want to take a peek into my deplorable lamentations at Insensibilities of the Shattered Heart Chronicles. 

My only regret is that I may not be consistent in my blog posting, which is really nothing new considering how I am doing it now lol. anyways, so Lunatic Dancing would be exclusive to my poetry and artworks and ramblings about my intended story materials. No more would I post anything like love anecdotes hers as they would be intended for Insensibilities, which is an ironic title given the fact that everything there would delve on depressive love or love per se and the every day wisdom that comes from mundane relationship experiences whether hilarious or unusual. Later I might download the unfinished illustration of zulayka before I leave for my aunt's place with my mom. 

Friday, March 12, 2010

Closing Time

As my friends and I got to talking about birthday celebrations, a distinct memory from not so long ago suddenly hit. Although several years have already passed, some people and certain experiences you've had with them just won't go away. Try as I might, I could not bury it from my consciousness. And as the images came flooding back like a torrent of murky flashflood water gushing down, the mixed feelings of sadness, longing, and hilarity came pouring in as well.

It was approximately five or six years ago. A time when I could still pass off as medium in size given that the chest size of the clothes I buy were big enough to accomodate my buxomness. Back then, I used to hang out with my then best friend Beanie.

A guy of distinctive, if not unusual, character, Beanie was no looker--never has been and I guess, never would be. But he's got brains and a similar though differentiated artistic skill like mine. Although we had similar interests and shared a lot of traits in common, we still remained the distinguished individuals we were, differentiated from each other in every which way. Having been together since our mid-college days, we grew so close to the point that we became best buddies.

I didn't realize it then, and it took more than five years of togetherness until I found out that I had fallen for Beannie. However, though I had confirmed my feelings to myself, I was reluctant to divulge it for fear of severing our friendship. So I just left it alone and kept my mouth shut, watching the years slip by which brought us even closer to each other.

But waking up one day, it dawned to me that I could no longer hold my feelings back.

Though I tried to stay strong, my efforts to contain my romantic feelings for Beannie was so thinned out already. I saw no point in holding it in any longer. So, after much deliberation, I finally decided that it was high time I let him know.

Since my birthday was nearing, I planned to stage my revelation by asking Beannie out to dinner to celebrate the occasion with me. My paying for dinner was nothing new between us. As best buddies, each of us took turns in occasionally treating each other whenever we chose to. And doing it during our birthdays was nothing short of typical. He immediately accepted when I invited him. He didn't have the slightest idea that there was more to that particular birthday dinner than it ordinarily was.

A few days passed, my birthday finally came.

Dressed in a beautiful pink dress, I proceeded to meet Beannie at the expensive restaurant where I had made our reservations. Coming in early, I waited for nearly half an hour. When he arrived, his eyes beamed when they  fell upon me. He acknowledged my radiance, "Wow, you have never looked so beautiful." Flattered, I just bowed my head and smiled shyly, thinking, "This is gonna be the most beautiful night of my life."

The dinner proceeded as it should be: we placed our orders, waited a short while, and feasted merrily. As we gorged on expensive steaks and salads, we talked about our jobs and our art and reminisced about the good old college days. After finishing dinner, the waiter came and brought two flutes filled with sparkling red wine. There was no idle minute between us. We revelled in each other's company, laughing and chatting between sips as we indulged in a banter over matters mundane and ridiculous alike.

Although very nervous, I did my best to look naturally calm. I bided my time and waited until the red wine had sunk into my system. I knew how  badly I needed that kick so as to muster the courage to tell him about my long-kept secret. Actually, he did most of the talking that night. Though I tried my best to make it appear as if  there was nothing unusual or special about the occasion, aside from the fact that it was my birthday, I was always bothered by the thought of whether or not he had sensed my nervousness through my idiotic smiles and frequent nodding.

Another half hour later and a couple of flutes of wine each, both of us were already in high spirits. He was talking a little more loudly than usual while I was laughing heartily about anything that he said though I hardly understood the words that came out garbled and slurred from his already reddened mouth. A few minutes more passed. Taking advantage of my new found bravado, I had finally decided that it was the perfect time to execute the last part of my plan to complete that beautiful night.

Because neither of us were alcohol drinkers, two flutes of red wine were enough to make us both feel giddy and braver than we usually were. Grinning widely, I snuggled closer to him. As I had expected, he didn't do so much as to even flinch in his seat. He remained still while holding his empty flute in one hand, fixating his gaze upon me with that queer, intoxicated smile plastered on his shiny face.

I thought, "There could be no better time than this."

My heart felt like it would burst. I was giddy and happy and overflowing with love for him that if I had been more intoxicated, it would be unsurprising if I just jumped at him and planted a big, passionate kiss on his lips. Unfortunately, though I felt totally emboldened, there was still a wee bit of soberness and apprehension left in me to keep my actions in check.

I opened my mouth to speak. But before I could say a word, he raised his finger to my lips and said, "Can I tell you a secret?"

Something at the back of my head suddenly went off. It sounded like a million sirens wailing soundlessly like crazy. I was too surprised with the turn of events that all I could do was gawk at him in anticipation. My mind was floating in the air. I was too overwhelmed with what was going on. While the rest of the restaurant swam in my peripheral vision, I was toying with the fantasy that he had also felt the same way for me all along. 
And as I was about to open up, he had made the first move for me. I couldn't have had a more pleasant birthday gift. No wonder he had brought me none! To think that I had felt a bit frustrated when all he said was a grumpy-sounding, "Happy birthday!" It was the stuff romantic novels are made of, and it was happening to me right then and there.

Fighting hard to contain my excitement, I blinked away the tears of joy that almost slipped out. He averted his eyes and stared at his fumbling hands while he silently struggled to grasp the right words. It took him a few seconds before he turned his attention to me again. When he opened his mouth to talk, I noticed the tears streaming down the sides of his face. I held my breath.

"I...I...I'm gay." Then he turned away and started sobbing.

The blasted sirens that had been wailing out of excitement earlier were suddenly kicked down my throat and got caught in my breath. The air about us went suddenly still as if it had been sucked out of the restaurant. I tried to say something, but no words came. My heart ached. My head ached. Areas in my body were wracked with so much pain, yet I couldn't tell exactly which parts it had been or why they were hurting to begin with. Even if I had painkillers in my purse, I doubted that they would be any good at all. My shoulders slumped and felt so heavy that it hurt too much to even lift my hands off the table. I was glued to my position. Stupefied. Hurt. Lost. Unable to say anything, let alone think of what to do next.

When he turned to me again, his eyes were so red and puffy. Between sniffles, he managed to regain a bit of his composure before speaking in a quivering voice, "I know I should've told you about this a long time ago, but I wasn't so sure of myself. In fact, I don't want to be like this, and my parents would be extremely disappointed should they find out. I know how dispapointed and surprised you are right now. But I know that you understand. You're the only one to whom I could confide. You're the only one whom I could turn to. I know you understand me."

And I did. Damned, if I didn't.

His last words hung in the air, weighing it down with an unspoken agreement that required neither response nor acknowledgment. Through the pain, confusion, and surprise, I knew he demanded my understanding and confidence. And for the man I loved, there was nothing I wouldn't do.

Nothing, even if it killed me.

During the remainder of that beautiful night, as the minutes ticked away leaving off my birthday to proceed to the next day, we just sat in total silence at our dinner table. Neither of us could afford to look at each other. With his head bowed, there was no telling if he was still crying or just fidgeting with his hands like he always did whenever he felt uncomfortable emotionally. As for me, distraction was the only recourse to keep myself from losing my mind.

Blocking out everything else that had previously happened, I watched the waiters bus the tables while the lonely old lady, who accounted for one of the last three customers which included Beannie and I, was being escorted by a handsome, young waiter to the door. With only a few minutes left before midnight, the restaurant was already cleaning up for closing time.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Mira as Promised

I know I failed to live up to my promise again. Nevertheless, due to lethargy and my mom's headache, our scheduled trip to my aunt's place where we would be staying for a week is postponed for tomorrow. Since I've decided to leave my laptop and just rent nearby PCstations, I wouldn't be able to upload new pics of my creations for Lunatica for the rest of the upcoming week. So here I am, blogging and posting the pics I have promised albeit several days later than intended. As they say, better late than never lol. 
Let's get started with these photographs of Mira, the reincarnated form of Ylen. As is my typical style, I used a variety of pens and inks with strategically placed streaks of liquid eraser. Working on a pure white paper with colored inks is something I haven't done before. Ylen was my first creation, and as expected, the colors came out more vibrant. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but the newness of using white paper  made me quite apprehensive at first.  
Logically, since using white papers and canvases is the usual norm for artists, I shouldn't be troubled. Wrong. Actually, even if it is more challenging to use colored papers, for there is no telling how their color would react with the ink pigments, working on white paper bothered me. Colored papers, though tricky to use, are more exciting to manipulate. I can't elucidate how I figure out that the specific colors I choose would be the right one to bring out the desired effect I have in mind. I just know that it would work out. Fortunately for me, my artistic sixth sense has never failed me so far. 
Halfway through working on Ylen, I finally found peace with working on white paper. Until I finished her and made the improvements later on(which is featured below with the progress and finished study of Mira) after I have posted the first set of photographs of her initial appearance, I was already at ease with working on white paper. But when I started doing Mira, rendering her in an effort to achieve a human coloring unlike the mystical Ylen, the apprehension and doubt returned. 
The final outcome of Mira was not half bad. But pressed by the ever-insistent voice that has always prompted me to make her come out no less than perfect, I worked on her too much for too long. The result: she is too mysterious, freaky even, and the quality of her appearance does not exactly fit the bill. I am currently working on Zulayka, her beautiful sister with a serpentine-like lower torso, and like what I did with Mira, I took pictures of my progress. I am thinking of using a real sketch pad or textured paper next time.
These are just studies after all despite their very finished appearances. By next month, I would start making the larger final illustrations on bigger-sized white and colored papers. This means I starting from square one, the first character which is Ylen, again. I would work on these illustrations side by side with the Lunatica synopsis and its plot outline. working on these studies in my journal is just an exercise to fire me up and get my creative juices working for me full force. Even if I had spent more than four hours doing each of these studies--following your artistic intuition alone as you work really means plodding as the whole image comes together bit by bit, I don't find it a waste of my time and effort. I'm going to keep these illustrations as part of my art portfolio. 

Here are the photographs of the improved Ylen. I made her eyes more luminous.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Just a Filler

I know I should have posted the developments of Mira including the final illustration, which took quite a while before it finally satisfied my standards and that indomitable creative sixth sense that tells whether my work is alright or not. I should be in bed in 30 minutes time, for I still have an appointment to keep with my doctor at around four this afternoon. Having absented myself for two consecutive days from work means presenting a medical certificate along with a completed sick leave form. And even if it was nothing more than the usual emotional conundrum inevitably resulting to a self-inflicted migraine attack, I still have to see a doctor and obtain a med cert to show my bosses later during the start of my shift. 
Honestly, I miss work and I miss writing. I have been plodding with the illustrations, working as my imagination and passion dictates, grasping abstract creative possibilities I knew existed, all the while thinking about how in the world  I'm going to work on becoming a duly recognized published author and illustrator. Let this haiku be the filler for today. Tomorrow I would post pictures of Mira from partially finished stages down to the final illustration while talking about the process involved in creating her. Also, I have a new blog post intended for articles on spirituality, creativity, life observations, and the likes. I have just finished posting an introduction and haven't gotten around to actually writing the posts yet. I had been planning to do this for some time now but lethargy and other typical life matters keep cropping up, demanding my immediate attention and/or submission. The posts I would create there are intended to help me and my readers achieve a kind of creative spiritual healing via reflections and exercises in broadening creative and emotional as well as intellectual perspectives. I would share the link to this post by tomorrow once I had posted the first topic. 
Again, I digressed(as usual). So let me not beat around the bush any longer, here is the haiku I have promised.


Looking at the sun
Shining brightly in your eyes
A promise of life

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Introducing Ylen

Here is Ylen rendered in colored inks(ballpens), felt pens, gel pens, and a bit of liquid eraser. I'm doing Mira now who is her Rivezi form. The shots, although clear, are badly positioned and the lighting did not give justice to the true beauty of Ylen. I'm planning to work on Mira now. But I'm getting sleepy. 
Setting Ylen and my story Lunatica aside, my boss talked to me this morning about my supposed promotion? I'm not really sure.From what we discussed, the management is thinking of tapping me to become my boss's assistant. A real privilege indeed, but it's the kind of job I have shied away from many years ago. I know I have what it takes to measure up to the position because after all, advertising and the coordinating that comes with it is what I used to do in my previous works many years back. But it burned me out. And that was when I realized that my real calling is to give concrete forms to my stories by writing and illustrating them. 
I no longer deny my ever-tumultuous emotions. As I got older, I became more sensitive. Thus, I took the bull by the horns by being upfront with what I want and what I am capable of. No pretentiousness, no balderdash. Even if I know that I would manage to step up to the plate and deliver the job well, I am worried about reaching burn out. Working with people, especially when you have to tap into their resources for a specific project, can be hell in itself. People are fickle. Not everyone is true to their word. Half of them are the detestable unprofessional nincompoops I don't want to deal with ever. 
This is not the first time he has told me of the head manager's intention to promote me by assigning me to another post. Actually, this is the third time within the two years I've spent working for our company. And the first two offers went pffftttt...I don't remember slackening, but the previous offers amounted to nothing--gone to oblivion, forgotten. So what are the chances that this one would push through? Let's just wait and see. 
After thanking my boss, I proceeded(although a bit hesitantly) to tell him that I would gladly oblige given two distinct conditions: I would still write and I would not be overtaxed by being burdened with too much work while everyone else is just farting around. I don't want to get burned out anymore. Also, I don't want to get sidetracked again. Writing and my passion for art remain my foremost focus. 
Enough digression, here is Ylen.