Saturday, February 28, 2015

*NEW!* Portia And Nemo Visit The Fun Ranch Playground!

Earlier today my kids went to a dentist in Alabang to get their teeth cleaned.  The experience turned out to be surprisingly brief and painless for them both; as a matter of fact, they thought it tickled.  This sure isn’t how it goes for an office visit in the United States, where dentists often chide their patients for having bad teeth and then proceed with at least an hour’s worth of drilling and picking and pulling.  A piece of advice for all Filipinos:  Do not go to a U.S. dentist unless there is sign on the door that promises No Judgments (you will find these if you’re willing to look just a little bit, trust me).

Oh...I can't wait to see what happens next.

As a treat for surviving the experience, my wife and I took them to a playground near Alabang Town Center mall called Fun Ranch and Big Red Barn.  This is a giant playground/restaurant-type place that kids beg their parents to take them because the pizza and ice tea are so good.  Rigghhht.

I just love the coloring paper

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Novel Excerpt From Yours Truly

December 2015
Hello again everyone and thank you for sticking around.  You guys know the door is always open, right?  Or if it isn't just use a pair of bolt-cutters on the lock.

On Valentine's Day I posted an excerpt from a novel I have already finished, so this morning I find it only fair to post an excerpt from one I'm still working on.  It's called Crystal Grader and will be out this Christmas.  The genre is coming-of-age.  A young girl falls in love with the man who is giving her writing lessons and decides to go after him, full court press.

To set up the scene you're about to read (I hope) let me say that very same girl is tasked to do chores around her tutor's farm as a method of paying for her lessons.  Only today the tutor is off on a book signing tour, which means Crystal (our heroine) is left to complete her chores alone on a dark, windy day in an old, spooky house.  Her mom, whose name is Lucretia, drops her off at the front step.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Cars I Used To Own (part 2!)

As promised, I return this week to provide another installment for the…wait for it…carrrrrrs of yesssssteryeaaarrrrr.

This goes against a major dogma taught to us by Walt Disney—which is to say, keep moving forward.  But on most mornings I find myself too scared to look further ahead than what might be coming in the afternoon, so for now, I place Uncle Walt’s multi-billion dollar advice on the shelf, and take down in its place an old photo of a little car that caused big headaches.

Car Number 3

The 1978 Ford Fiesta

My brother sold me this car, apparently after deciding that he’d been a complete idiot to purchase it in the first place.  Was it any good off the showroom floor?  I don’t know.  My brother bought it 3rd hand and by then it already looked like a prop piece left over from one of the Terminator films.

The Fiesta looks much, much cooler today.  If you don’t believe me go take a peek over at Wikipedia.  My particular Fiesta barely ran at all.  I can’t remember why I bought it (I was working at a grocery store on the north end of town in those days and had a pretty nice mountain bike to take me there), and I didn’t own it for long.  There’s a reason for that.  Death comes to us in many guises.  For the Fiesta, it wore the face of a snowstorm.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

A Valentine's Interlude

As the holiday for lovers is fast approaching I thought I would do a post in relation.
The following short scene is from my novel, Regions of Passion, and involves a boy and a girl sharing their first kiss.  I do hope it inspires you, or at least makes you feel warm and fuzzy for a few minutes.
Happy Valentines Day, everyone.  You set the table and I’ll pour the wine.

Ingrid offered him coffee after the two of them were alone.  There was also a box of plain donuts next to the mirror.  Scott accepted both.  He found that he was ravenously hungry, and had to force himself to eat with some modicum of manners while in the presence of a lady.  He filled the spaces in between bites with the story of how Lisa had gotten him out of the police station.  Ingrid was fazed by none of it.  She was back in her sitting position on the bed, her legs crossed, her fingers spread on the mattress.
When Scott was done with all three of his courses--coffee, donuts, and story--she asked if he wanted a shower.  That welcoming smile, he noticed, was still on her face, but it had softened a little, and her eyes were shining in the light as if the mind behind them had discovered a dream that pleased her.
There was a new toothbrush in a holder under the mirror, as well as a small shaving kit.  With the shower done and a towel around his waist, Scott cleaned his teeth, and had his hand on the razor when Ingrid appeared in the doorway behind him.
"I forbid you to do that," she purred.
"What, shave?"
"Save the stubble, Mr. Johnson.  It's for a good cause."
Scott looked back at himself in the mirror.  "It's getting to be a bit more than stubble I think."
"No.  Let me see."
She came to him.  Her hand, small and soft, rose to touch his face.  A scent of lavender wafted from her hair.  Her fingers traced down his cheek to his chin. 
"It's okay, Scott.  Just right."
"In that case I'm glad you caught me in time."
"I caught you two years ago, didn't I?"  Her finger touched his lower lip and slid gently across it.  "Say it again," she whispered.  "Please."
Scott raised his hand to touch her face in return, brushing away a lock of brown hair.  Her skin felt smooth, delicate.  "What do you want me to say," he whispered back.
"I love you."
These words had never been a problem for him.  Ingrid would always be worth the bravery it took.  He moved closer, putting his other hand on her cheek, so that her face was fully cradled when he said:  "I love you, Ingrid."
It made her beam with joy.  A tiny breath of air slipped from her lungs.  Scott had never seen her smile with such abandon.  It suited her, like a ray of nourishing sunlight over a garden long rained upon.  Her cheeks turned red under his fingers.  She let out another breath, this one more of a laugh.
"You're blushing," he teased.
"Can I hear it one more time?"
"You can hear it as many times as you like.  I love you, Ingrid."
A second, delighted little laugh came.  She stood on tip-toe…
And Scott pressed his lips to hers, kissing her for the very first time.  His hands moved back through her hair, making their way down to her waist.  Ingrid responded by opening her fingers over his shoulder-blades, while her soft lips continued to drink the kiss in.  A sudden burst of sweet breath plumed from her nose, followed by a long gasp.  Scott, still holding his own breath, cautiously reached beneath the hem of her pajama top to caress the small of her back.  Ingrid went with it, arching her spine.  Her fingers found the front of his bare chest and began to rake with the nails.  But as they ventured towards his naval they suddenly froze and retreated with some abruptness, as if in fear of discovery.  Except that they weren't afraid at all.  Rather than moderate her advances, Ingrid arched an eyebrow up at him, and began to unbutton her top...

Tag Cavello is a novelist and short-story writer.
Download his stories (for free!) here and here
Download his novel, Regions of Passion, for only five good American dollars from these same web addresses!


Friday, February 6, 2015

Cars I Used To Own (part one)

Today will begin a series on cars.  Big cars, small cars, old cars, new cars.  Cars of all colors and creeds.  Cars that got me from A to B all of the time…and cars that only did it some of the time.

I’ve been driving since I was sixteen years old.  I’m forty-four now (my birthday isn’t until April, but tant pis, we’re close enough), so this list is going to be long.  With that in mind, I’ve decided to break it down into manageable chunks, like a true Six Sigma Black Belt.

At sixteen I got things started right away with the Dodge Aspen, a 70s something, pine green 6-banger that I will refrain from saying bad things about, because this car was never bad to me (at least not on purpose).  I learned how to change alternators with the Aspen, a skill that would come in handy with a car coming later on this list.  I also learned how to close a door made by Dodge.  Lift and pull!  Is it still like this?  Maybe one of you Viper owners can tell me.

This car excited me, mainly because it was my first.  It had an unkillable slant-six motor, rusty holes all over the body, and a front grill that looked like it had been punched through by Ivan Drago.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Time Will Take You Away From Me

Time will take you away from me.
The ash will fall as you stand
In a place that’s safe to see
The end of my part in your plan.
It cannot be stopped,
Nor changed, this decree:
Time will take you away from me.
Which way will you turn from the lane,
As I watch at the other end?
Such ignorance I do not feign,
Nor wisdom of the calling bend.
For the kitchen table is shed
At midnight of this meal you ate,
And now you’ve turned and gone to bed,
And I sit with the empty plate.
It cannot be stopped,
Nor changed, aye, truly:
Time will take you away from me.
Tomorrow when you wave goodbye
From the door of your school classroom,
The look will be there in your eye,
Of something deeper, something soon.
So you are in the know as well,
I’ve seen that look in passing,
From time to time between the swells
Of tears for mock reasons casting.
It’s coming, you see,
Time will take you away from me.
Time will take you away from me.
We cannot go hand in hand.
Time will take you away from me.
So let’s enjoy time while we can.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Just A Little Something From Ms. M.I.A.

As a lot of you have noticed, I have been missing-in-action for a long time in this blog.  Call it procrastination, writer's block or just plain old laziness, I have been neglecting this page for a long time.

My countless of readers (three but let's pretend I am not so good with numbers, heh) deserve much more than this.  This is why I have tapped my husband, Tag, to help me continue this small space of life that we share with you all.  He will be posting blogs from time to time (who am I kidding, he will most probably be the person writing 90% of the time).  With him I am sure, we will connect with you all more.

Let's talk again soon!  For now...

Take care (Oh, and enjoy the new layout!). :)

-- Rose