Sunday, February 13, 2011


(Mental curiosities of what's around me)
by Sabini Row

-- Why is it that when everything is washed and put away, we have more forks left in the kitchen drawer than spoons?

-- Why is it that when doing laundry one sock tends to go missing from the pair and new ones sprout up, leaving them mismatched and you wondering to whom these belong to?

-- Why is it that when taking some type of medication, the side effects is much worse than the illness it's suppose to heal?

-- Why is it that when we call customer service, we are put on hold and an automated voice comes on saying, "Your call is important to us...."   Now if my call is so darn important, why am I being put on hold?

-- Why do we drive on a parkway and park on a driveway? Shouldn't it be the other way around?

-- Why is it warmer in Iceland, and colder in Greenland?

-- Why is it that when we go to a public restroom, the roll of toilet paper they put in the stalls fight us to a tee? The faster and hurried you go about rolling it, the more it rips?  So you try again...and pray...holding your breath as you slowly stroke the roll for more, coaxing it to share a square.  Then you become excited.  Another square is coming!  And voila!!!   What it gives you out of the painstaking effort is not one but two squares?  Grrrrrrr.  I'm thinking it's an inside job.

-- Why is it that we tend to hold on to the older style clothes we have in our closets as if they'll come back in fashion again? As if they'll fit us again?

-- Why is it that we eat more hot, spicy foods during summer and milder foods during winter?

-- Why is it that we have this thing called the freeway, when all it does is get us stuck in traffic and leave us feeling unfree?

Do you have any such curiosities?  Please share.

Friday, February 11, 2011

When Things Fall on my Lap

I am a collector of great quotes.  I write them all down on a special hard cover journal.  Some of the quotes had fallen on my lap when I least expected it and some shared to me by friends or family.  There was one instance, five months ago, right on my birthday when all the celebrating was done and over,  I sought the quietness of my bedroom.  Feet tucked under me, I sat on the small couch,  the table lamp curiously casting a glow over my shoulder and onto the book I just opened to read. On the first page, I was given the most amazing gift.  It said:

"All life belongs to you, [young novelist] and do not listen either to those who would shut you up into the corners of it and tell you that it is only here and there that art inhabits, or to those who would persuade you that this heavenly messenger wings her way outside of life altogether, breathing a superfine air, and turning her head from the truth of things.  There is no impression of life, no manner of seeing it and feeling it, to which the plan of the novelist may not offer a place."

                                                      - Henry James
                                                        The Art of Fiction

This quote was the glowing candle on my cake of life.  A spark...the most irridescent spark a writer could ever need.  The unexpected boost to push through doubts.  I am grateful for it and  I am blessed. 

To anyone who might chance upon reading this, writer or not, who seem to be doubting what's ahead, I share this with you.  Keep plodding and believe.  

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Last night, a writer friend of mine came over to visit.  Though we kept in touch at least once a month through phone calls or e-mails, the anticipation is never the same as would a visit in person.  She looked well, I thought.  Very well.  And I was glad.

We sat in the dining room, the wide picture window behind her,   and we started with how the family was,  kids,  and what not.   But as minutes ticked by, and as writers, we knew the inevitable question would come:  "How's writing?"  And it did.

"I've decided," I told her, "that I'm going to use a pen name."
"A pen name?"  With bewildered eyes, she looked at me and asked why. 

I think for a minute it threw my friend aback as to why I've made such a decision.  I told her that I am not ashamed of my real name, but there are so many things attach to it that I think won't make me free in my writing.  Has this ever happened to you when finally you felt brave enough to tell a family member about your passion, and all you got was either silence or a scoff?  I got both.  And the feeling was, least to say, not pleasant.

"But don't you want to show to these people, to wave in their faces--once you got your novel published--see I did it!" my friend protested.  "Because if it was me, it would be sort of a revenge."

I do understand my friend's point and I did air the sentiment to her.  But that is not what I am after.  What I am after is the  purpose of being a writer--the freedom to create.  Revenge may be good at first, but I feel it is short lived, and if it is short-lived, would I grow from it?  Would it stunt my growth?

For years now, I always wondered why Samuel Clemens changed his name to Mark Twain.   I never bothered to look into it until now--minutes before I was to write this post.  It said:  In Samuel Clemens' case, the call of "mark twain" projected a sense of comfort and safety and good things to anyone who had ever travelled the Mississippi River.  This is the image he wanted to call up.

To undress myself of my real name was a decision not to hide in a corner, or be ashamed, or be embarrassed.  A.K.A (also known as)  meant for me the freedom to write; and like Mark Twain to call up that sense of comfort.