Friday, June 27, 2014

The Basics of How to Start Creative Writing

When a topic catches your interest, begin writing whatever comes into your mind that you feel passionately about, whether it is a fact, opinion, or emotion. Just keep on doing this. Can be a word, one liner, sentence, phrase, paragraph, pages. When you have gathered substantial materials, organize them chronologically or logically. You will be amazed you already have composed an article, story, or poetry.

This was how I was able to come up recently with a film review of Never Let Me Go on DVD. I recalled I've read about it as novel in Poets & Writers Magazine interview with author Kazuo Ishiguro. Then I viewed the film and was touched by its profound, poignant, beautiful message. For several days, I can't get it off my mind. It was disturbing yet liberating. It obsessed and burdened me into action. I researched about organ transplantation, which became my intro. My title was "Medical Science in a Dystopian Light." I focused on two sub themes-- Parable of Mortality and Parable of Medical Ethics.
I said the film is more valuable for what it left unsaid, which really depends on the viewer because it was like an onion, you peel each layer and you discover something new. I emailed the article to Health & Lifestyle (H&L) magazine, and keep on praying that it gets published. In its Feb 2014 issue, H&L published my article, "Healing in Linac." In recent previous years, it also published my articles about anesthesia, palliative care for terminal patients, and overcoming post partum depression. Most of my articles were published in Philippine Panorama, the Sunday magazine of Manila Bulletin.
How to Stay Creative
Writing is gift from the Highest Power. treasure and cherish it, use it because if you waste it, the gift will be taken away. Reconcile immediately with the divine in you, because without a pure heart, it is difficult to write. Anchor your writing on the truth contained in the greatest book ever written, the Holy Bible.
Immediately capture inspiring thoughts and feelings, write them down, photograph them, draw them, hide them in your heart. Read, travel, make meaning out of daily routine and experiences. These are evanescent gems. Live life to the full. Stay at peace and be joyous. Keep on learning, studying, researching. Never stop the quest for meaning and truth.

I posted this originally on my LinkedIn page; also posted on my FB page.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Healing in Linac

Healing in Linac by Cymbeline Refalda-Villamin
Published by Health & Lifestyle Magazine (FAME Inc.) Feb 2014

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cherished Events in My Writing Life

In August 1990, I participated as one of two official Filipino representatives in the seminar on nuclear science and technology conducted by the IAEA in Canberra, Australia. The other journalist was Ms. Tita Giron of Manila Chronicle. I was then editor-in-chief of the S&T Post, the official newspaper of the Department of Science and Technology. Upon return from Australia, I wrote the editorial that said it was a technological yes but a political no for the Philippine government when it comes to adapting nuclear power as alternative source of energy; and a year later, gave birth to the story "Whom Her Soul Loveth," conceived during the inspiring sojourn, and published by HomeLife in August 1991. This first travel to a foreign country was among my most cherished events. Later I went again on official travels to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (1996) and then to Bangkok, Thailand (2008) to present my technical researches.

Most cherished event in my writing life was when I participated as fellow in the prestigious Summer Writing Workshop of the University of the Philippines- Diliman, in 1976 when I was initiated into the brave, new world of writing for a social cause and not just writing for art's sake. I was senior in college at FEU. I also discovered the beauty of my heart language, Filipino.  After the workshop, I won first prize in a national essay writing contest conducted by Focus magazine.  Eventually I got to work as editorial assistant-writer at Focus, where editor-in-chief was the respected fictionist and essayist Ms. Kerima Polotan-Tuvera. Later, I wrote 11 short stories in Filipino, published mostly in HomeLife and Liwayway magazines, made into a book, Putik sa Tag-ulan at mga iba pang Kuwento by St. Paul Publications (Society of St. Paul- Makati) but for some reason, never got printed.

I am most happy about my essay, "Writing as an Adventure" because it got published in Philippine Studies- Literary Issue in 2005, and is widely indexed by online university libraries, particularly Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University.

Since 2010 when God healed me of breast cancer, I write mostly for Philippine Panorama and sometimes for Health & Lifestyle (H&L). I am excited about H&L Feb 2014 (Valentine) issue because it is publishing my ultimate love essay, "Healing in Linac." This is the best season of my writing career so far and  my cup runneth over...

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Body of Works

I started writing when I was in grade one-- on a diary. I wrote poetry in grade six. I kept journals in high school until now that I'm 58 y.o. but these have become fragmentary writings, no longer chronological, except for the spiritual journal, and can be found in various notebooks, print and digital. I have one now on my smart phone. Those writings when I was young got lost. I left them in my parents'  and grandparents' houses when I got married and was shy about looking for them.

The ones I wrote in later years, some of them were preserved in digital form and I am keeping them here on the blog, not in any cloud drive. 

Because, I am a writer and I want to be read. If I am not writing, I am not living at all...

Wholeheartedly, I thank God for the gift!