For three years, I'd wake up to a pair of brown closet doors that stood across our bed. They're covered in scratches and wouldn't close on their own. I'd sometimes secure them with a spare hair tie, yet their flaws seem to amplify each time I see it on my way out of my bedroom. No closet has ever left me as grumpy and gloomy as this. Unfortunately, our closet wasn't the only thing that made me want to tear the house down. The walls that surrounded our home were just as ugly. They're painted this ugly off-white/cream combination, they had holes, crayon markings and scraps of paper tacked to them. Sometimes I'd just enter the kids' room and wish the whole thing would magically have flat white walls a brand new closet that's spacious . . .
If something is of no value to me, I throw it out. This is my principle when tidying up the house and, well, pretty much my whole life. It sounds ruthless, but this mindset enables me to throw out trash and give things I don't use away: receipts, expired warranties, badly written books, scented stationery, etc. With the internet, I'm a freaking garbage truck with a Sunday-to-Sunday schedule. My inbox is always empty. I clean up my 1Password vaults every now and then. I remove pseudo-friends on Facebook and noisy people on Twitter every year. If you're special and valuable, you stay. You can already tell hoarding and clutter drive me nuts, and frankly there's not enough effort to get rid of all of the shit around the house. But I . . .
I grew up in a household that loves playing games. Board games, video games, computer games. Anything that has great objectives or a good storyline. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioSaPJHxSkU As a child, I would watch my parents battle it out on our now-ancient Playstation 1. They loved Space Invaders in particular. My dad, however, enjoys other games such as Oddworld: Abe's Odyssey, Crash Bandicoot, and Tomb Raider. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJ4G6WNeNNg&t=26s I loved watching him play, but would hide behind his back whenever jump scares or boss levels came up. "Talawit!" he'd exclaim, laughing. My dad encouraged us to play games. I remember how he'd persist with our search across the city for a second copy of . . .
As soon as morning rose to January 1st, the first thing I did was to create a roadmap for goals I wanted to achieve in the next 3 month. One of these goals is to leave my current job. I was tired of the salary cut, the lack of benefits, being ignored and stuck in the weekly routine. I couldn't take the pressure and the stress of working while I was sick or when I had important errands to attend to. 👎 But before doing so, I should find a job where I knew my contributions would matter, and a company that took good care of its remote and in-office employees. By God's grace I discovered and was accepted by Kayako, a help desk platform that believed in bridging the gap between businesses and its customers through personalized and . . .
This is Diwa Daily, the second and last blog I'll ever make in my lifetime. This is a soundboard for everything and anything to do with my passions and personal stories: games, stationery, being a shitty parent but still trying to get good at it, failure, literature, and more. It's a comeback of what blogging was before—personal, intimate, unique, and shameless of the writer's voice. The Who I'm Stephanie, and it's my birthday today. 🎉 I'm the eldest of four sisters and two half-brothers. It's funny how my parents finally had sons after their split twelve years ago. I was born and raised in Bacolod city in the sugary region of the Visayas. I eventually grew tired of the toxicity of that particular society, so I moved out and . . .
I bought my first domain—stefgonzaga.com—back in 2010. It looks clean and profesh now, but it went through so many identities and changes before this look. From freelancer website to personal blog to creative writing journal, you just couldn't tell what it's meant to be anymore. Getting this domain was a HUGE thing for me though because it's my piece of space on the internet. This tiny thing became a growing excitement over building and designing basic WordPress sites. I bought domains and built sites for creative projects, an online shop, and new blogs. They expired and were deleted eventually, but I made a quick audit of all my active sites before they returned to the digital oblivion. I've been doing this audit since 2012 . . .
1 Loss. When all that’s left are the fleeting memories of tall cups of coffee and literary exchanges, an intertwining of passion and hunger for experience. That thin recalling of how your eyes glistened with pride as you displayed your autographed copy of James Tate’s poetry collection, how you managed to earn an afternoon with him. My hands fumble when writing about loss, but when have I not fallen in my attempts to write? Those pages filled with poems on themes I didn’t understand then, those lines wrought with pure angst and sexual frustration. They wither in my hands as how I withered when I read the notice: “If you would like to send flowers, we request that you please send white flowers.” Read and re-read. Read and . . .
I unearthed a letter from Stephanie of 2009. Written in blue paper and tucked among the letters I kept over the years, she asked the following questions: Did you still look back and wish that things would be different? How is life for you now? Were you able to do what you wanted to do in your life? Did I still wish that things would be different? I’ve three kids, a home, and a daily serving of time to make the most out of my life. I made mistakes. I lost so much. I’ve experienced a lot of physical and emotional pain and frustration. Countless times I’ve lost myself to the dark. But, you know what? I managed to do things that Stephanie of 2009 never would have imagined I could do then. I’m able to send two of my three kids to . . .
Deeply hung over in creativity thanks to Gumroad’s Small Product Lab course, I decided to create, build up, and launch a creative community, an initiative called Makers Club. I thought it would be a fantastic way of continuing the momentum the course had created. On a personal level, creating and fostering a community made up of writers, artists, performers, musicians, and makers has always been a dream of mine. Something I had hoped to realize at that time. Getting this creative community up and running is the easy part. I spend a few hours choosing a platform, shaping the brand, and inviting people to join. It felt right. Like a calling of some sort. I had this deep feeling this was going to turn into something . . .
I’ve been freelancing for seven years. I freelance because it supports both my life and my creative writing. Writing poetry, fiction, fan fiction, game fiction, and everything literary in between has and will always be the end goal. There's this growing frustration, however, towards freelancing that's weighing me down. For two years, I wished, dreamed, and brainstormed for ideas on how to establish a more stable and sustainable source of income where I didn’t need to put in writing hours all the time. My first two products I signed up for an account on a platform called Gumroad, which takes the guesswork out of setting up a product for sale. I jumped at the opportunity and created my first product: Catching the Butterfly: 13 Ways . . .