I was sorting through the files and folders of my laptop when I came across this question I asked the kids a few years ago. I remember saying and asking this out of the blue while we were discussing courage, then I typed down the lecture/question after class so I wouldn’t forget.
“When we were kids, we’d be the bravest people on the planet. We’d jump from the highest step in the staircase, climb the highest bars, swing from one branch to another; we were never afraid to get our hands dirty and discover. We were never afraid to tell what we feel. We were never afraid to believe– in Peter Pan, in Neverneverland, in Narnia, in magic. When we were kids, it was always so very easy to say the truth, and so very easy to say ‘I love you’, and ‘I hate you’. Then we grew up, and suddenly we start being scared. We develop all these phobias that were never really there when we were children: heights, darkness, water, elevators, enclosed spaces, bugs, and cockroaches… truth and love and commitment and honesty. We start to doubt, and question, and second-guess. We lose hope and faith. Why is it that when we grow older, instead of being braver, we become more afraid?”
And then a few months ago, I came across a(n) (e)book and saw this. I never got to share this with my kids:
“He’d never laid claim to being a brave man and he’d only got more cowardly with age. Strange thing, that — the fewer years you have to lose the more you fear the losing of ’em. Maybe a man just gets a stock of courage when he’s born, and wears it down with each scrape he gets into.”
The Heroes, Joe Abercrombie
I stopped reading after I saw that passage.
But only because I had other work to finish.
Featured image credit: http://i.ytimg.com/vi/qjd_Els_mSo/hqdefault.jpg
Some days, you just want to give up, yeah?
Some days, you’re all fired up and ready to take on the world, and some days you just want to curl up in your bed and just be.
Some days, you’re the hero, while some days you just want to stand still and not give a damn as you watch the whole world burn.
There are days like that, when the wait is long and the spirit is weak; when the heart yearns and the body aches and the mind just wants to shut down. It happens when you look at your dreams and you see that long stretch of road ahead of you, and you’re out of breath and so, so tired — so very tired — but there’s still no sign of the finish line. You look on ahead and you wonder if you’re even getting anywhere, because one step you take after another just leads you nowhere.
And then you see them. All those people running past you, all glowing and happy and energetic and on fire, on brilliant, blinding fire, and you look at yourself and you wonder when it was exactly that your own fire started to flicker, and why hadn’t you noticed it? You didn’t even know that you got dimmer and dimmer until it was too late, until you’ve all but died down.
It’s not cool. Some days, you’re just not cool at all.
Those days, those times when you’re most uncool, those are the times you’d feel like giving up. It’s easiest to give up on those days, when hope is but a flickering flame ready to die at the slightest whisper of the wind, and your body is one push away from keeling over. Oh, how sweet it would be to just stop running, to stop fighting, to stop chasing an impossible, impossible dream.
But then, if you quit, then that’s the end of it. If you quit, then that’s it. It’s over. You’re done.
And that sucks all the more. That’s even sadder. So, very sad.
So I guess, on the days that you are tired and nothing seems to be working anymore — not your dreams, not your plans, not your goals, not even your freaking body weight — stop.
Stop and breathe. Take a minute, or two, or five, or an entire day if it helps you sleep at night, to just rest.
Just rest. And remember. Remember your dreams. Remember who you are. Remember what you’re doing this for.
And if you still see that long stretch of road ahead of you, try not to despair. Look back instead and marvel at the long stretch of road behind you, and give yourself a pat on the back for getting as far as where you are right now.
Because on days you feel like crap, your dreams are crap, your efforts are crap, realize that it’s not really about how far you still have to go. It’s about how far you’ve already come.
Then maybe, just maybe, you realize that it’s not such a bad day, after all.
When I decided to finally write a book, The Lost Chronicles of Eden: Champions wasn’t what I had in mind. At the time, I knew the kinds of books that sell like pancakes, and I’ve had my share of writing and editing those stories. After all, I have edited a number of bestsellers for Summit Pop Fiction before. More than that, the writings of my youth all gear towards the same genre.
Still, when the pen began to move over the paper and the words began to spill on blank Word documents, the book took a different form. Before I could help it, memories of childhood heroes, games, books, and films began to resurface on my mind. It was then that I pulled out a storyline that has been brewing in my heart and soul since college.
Myths and magic. Epic battles. Demons and Warriors of the Light. Wings. Powers. War. Love. Peace. Victories. Defeats. Monsters and men. Heroes who don’t act like heroes and villains who had reasons to become villains.
After many sleepless nights, five versions of the first chapter, the story took on a life of its own, and Champions was born.
This is my first book, but this is our story. Because I believe everyone is called to be a hero—no matter what you did, what you are, or where you’re from. So, come as you are and find out what it means to be a true Champion.
This book is now a fast-selling book here in the Philippines. And our adventure has only just begun.
“Champions” digital edition is on SALE at 20% OFF. If you wish to have a copy of it, simply visit http://ebook.shepherdsvoice.com.ph/product/champions/ now to get your digital copies.
If you wish to buy the PAPERBACK, you can simply go to www.KerygmaBooks.com, choose “Champions”, check out your order, and wait for it (and other titles) to be delivered right to your doorstep*.
*Free delivery within Metro Manila for orders Php 300.00 and up!
You can also look for “Champions” at your favorite bookstores (National Bookstore, Pandayan Bookshop, FullyBooked, St. Paul’s, etc) nationwide.
Champions is also a Featured Story in Wattpad, and is ranked #162 in Fantasy. Your reads and votes are much appreciated! (http://www.wattpad.com/user/KarrenRenzSena)
When we decide to learn new things
We must come into it empty
Ignorant but hungry for learning
Eager but humble for instruction
We fumble, we grapple in the dark
Our movements are stiff, clumsy, awkward
Like children taking their first steps we stumble
And like birds taking first flight we hurdle
But we continue taking one step after another
Until we find our footing
One flap of wings after the next
Until we find our wind
First stance – ma bu
Both feet flat on the ground
Center low, near the earth
Solid. Sturdy. Strong.
We are unmoved.
Second stance – gong bu
Lead foot bent, pointed straight
Trailing foot angled, heel lined up
Pliant. Flexible. Resilient.
We are unbroken.
Third stance – fu hu bu
We tame the tiger by dropping low
Power contained in a tight form
Bated. Quiet. Focused.
We are undefeated.
Fourth stance – zuo pan bu
From the low crouch we twist
We prepare for the next strike
Prepared. Alert. Alive.
We are unafraid.
Fifth stance – xuan ji bu
At times we need to deceive
Make them think we are still
Cunning. Tricky. Ingenious.
We are undaunted.
*wushu wallpaper credit: Wushu by Artanda
I chose that title, if for no other reason than, ‘It sounds badass’.
Right now this post doesn’t mean crap, but someday, I’ll go back to this place and moment, and bop myself in the head for ever feeling like I can’t write another word to my novel.
I mean, SRSLY.
Even that monkey commiserates (BIG WORD).
When I was younger, I used to believe that the reason why I couldn’t write was because my Muse left me, or something as equally asinine as that. But then I grew up, and I committed myself to this book called Champions. And then I realized that writing has very little to do with Muses and inspiration, and lots to do with discipline and commitment.
Carlos Luiz Zafon, author of Angel’s Game and Shadow in the Wind once said, “Inspiration comes when you stick your elbows on the table, your bottom on the chair, and you start sweating. Choose a theme, an idea, and squeeze your brain until it hurts. That’s inspiration.”
None of those fleeting faeries and flights of fancy.
You just sit down and write.