Archives for posts with tag: writing

I highly recommend “Who’s Pulling Your Strings?” to anyone who is struggling with manipulation.  It is indeed a how-to book on breaking the cycle of manipulation and regaining control of one’s life.

We might think we know how to deal with manipulators, but the experiential knowledge would do well by being augmented with Dr. Briaken’s advice.

For people who have a nagging feeling at the back of their minds that they are being manipulated – this is also a good book to help identify, confirm, or deny whether one is indeed being manipulated.

We’re not talking about criminal or illegal manipulation here, we’re just talking about the garden variety everyday life manipulation which include, but is not limited to, emotional blackmail, passive-aggressive behavior, and the silent treatment.

It would be safe to say that there is at least one (if we are lucky enough for it to be merely one)  character in our life – boss, family member, relative, business partner, romantic partner, spouse – who is prone to exercising tactics of manipulation.

It would also be safe to say that almost everyone has been or is a victim of manipulative behavior at one point or another in their lives.  If you are in such a situation, this book would be invaluable.

If you know of anyone else in this situation, it might be a good idea to share this book with them too.

After all, life is too short to waste being stuck and helpless under someone else’s thumb.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*Applies to the text and not the image of the post

Success has universal appeal.  Most people covet and recognize it; they admire the exceptional people who have managed to achieve exceptional success.

Malcolm Gladwell takes us further into the phenomenon of success and discusses the factors which are crucial for success – using real-life examples:  Bill Gates, the Beatles, and more.

He also writes about the 10,000-hour rule which stipulates that success or expertise is achieved after the 10,000 hour of doing.  He also discusses that timing is critical for success.

Interesting, isn’t it?  It’s a must-read for anyone interested in the inner workings of success.

(c) Niconica 2010*

*Copyright applies to the text and not the image of the blog post.

Let me tell you about this book I “coincidentally” stumbled across in a second hand bookshop.  It’s called “Beyond Coincidence” written by Martin Plimmer and Brian King.  At first I thought it might be just a collection of amusing anecdotes – and I’ve read my fair share of similar accounts – but was surprised (and pleased) to find that it was more than that.

“Beyond Coincidence” is a collection of interesting (and unbelievable) stories which inevitably stretch our belief of the laws of probability.  The accounts are interspersed with philosophical, scientific, and psychological insights, touching on the fascinating field of quantum physics, which inevitably restores our sense of wonder in a universe – a welcome sensation for the exhausted, world-weary and cynical.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*The copyright applies to the text of the blog post, and not the image in the blog post.

Thanks to the folks at and Plinky, I’ve got something new to write about.  Even though I’ve signed up for the weekly posting option, I still would like to post as often as I can.  Heaven knows, writing muscles get toned with frequent exercise… and I could stand being a bit more disciplined in this regard.

And… drumroll, please… my personal preference is…  texting!  Don’t get me wrong, I’m as chatty as the next person when in good company…  However, it still stands that on an average day, my main mode of communication with people would be texting, followed by chatting, and if need be, a phone conversation.

There’s something less intrusive about texting (presuming that the text alert tone is not akin to a siren) – since, it’s basically people leaving messages which we can answer at our own pace, without breaking stride for most part of the day.

Texting is also provides an avenue for us to compose our thoughts properly (if we choose to take the time) instead of just blurting out whatever is on our mind.  It is true that it might lack the level of dynamism, authenticity, connection, and contact of talking, but it provides a safe, manageable, and productive distance which might be more suitable to a faster paced lifestyle.

My preference for texting should not mean that texting should replace phone calls altogether since personal or voice contact is also essential in fostering more authentic human relationships.

(c) Niconica 2010*

*Copyright does not apply to the images, but only to the text of this post

Yes, the title is pretty trite.  I’d have to admit it sounds like those essays assigned to us back in school.  However,  I found the topic interesting.  Thanks to Plinky and for the writing prompt.


Iceland is known as both “The Land of Fire and Ice” with a wonderful presence of both volcanoes and glaciers, and “The Land of the Midnight Sun” with 20 hours of sunlight during the summer.  Not to mention, Iceland’s legislative assembly the Althing (established in 930) is the oldest surviving legislative assembly in the world.  It is also home to the Westfjords, considered to be the most western point of Europe, which were a stronghold for magic and wizardry in the Middle Ages.


Politics and modern sensibilities aside, there has always been something about the grandeur and opulence of Imperial Russia which has captured my imagination.  I’ve always been enthralled by the myth and the magic of the legends which surround Imperial Russia.


Bhutan is known as both “The Land of the Thunder Dragon” and “The Last Shangri-la” with a very Buddhist heritage.  It is also the only country in the world where tobacco sales are banned and where tourists (except the ones from India and Bangladesh) have to pay US$200 for each day they stay in the country.  These factoids taken together strike me as mysterious, intriguing, and interesting.

(c) Niconica 2011

*The copyright only applies to the text, not the images.

*Even though I’ve officially signed up for postaweek2011, I’m trying to keep up with postaday2011 as much as I can.

I’ve chanced upon the WordPress Post-A-Day / Post-A-Week challenge for 2011.  Ideally, I would really like to be able to post daily but realistically, it seems that it would be best if I joined the PostAWeek2011 challenge instead.

Gulp.  I’m feeling a bit nervous about accepting this challenge – but I reckon that perhaps this is the only way that I would be able to discipline myself with posting regularly on my blog and work out those writing muscles.

At any rate, joining the Post-A-Week challenge would cause me to write at least one blog a week – and, hopefully, even more once the juices start flowing.  Here’s to hoping!

Check out for daily writing ideas and suggestions for blogging regularly.  It says on their site that it’s an experiment in blogging motivation from the folks at  I think it’s awesome!

To join the challenge – check out this link:

Best of luck (and hard work) to all of us!


(c) 2011 Niconica*

*Again, this copyright applies to the text of this blog – not the photo.

Being unfamiliar with owls, I was rather worried as to how I would be able to tell one character apart from the other – but during the course of watching The Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole the different characters came alive in a most charming, endearing, and memorable way.  No sooner than in the first few minutes of the movie did the story and the characters come alive and envelope me in their embrace.  It felt like I was there, sharing their struggles and triumph.

It was an enjoyable albeit classic tale of good vs. evil, though this one had the added bitter taste of sibling rivalry and betrayals just to complicate the issue.  Let us not forget that the value of valor, strength of character, and pureness of spirit were reflected as well. The main protagonist Soren embodied all these traits, along with being an adorable dreamer – and though it might sound a bit too good to be true, who doesn’t enjoy a good tale where the good guy is a hero through and through?  We sure need more people who embody Soren’s traits in the world.

The Legend of the Guardians is definitely an amusing and inspiring, feel-good tale for the whole family!

(c) Niconica 2010

Inception” was entertaining and action-packed, though perhaps lacking a certain something to make it poignant.  Nevertheless, it can still be considered at the top of the science fiction field – for the revolutionary concept of dream invasion.  The ending can be slightly frustrating for people who long for a definitive and concrete positive resolution.

The visual effects were amazing and breathtaking for sure, though the length of the film might make some feel that the plot, as brilliant as it is, seemed to have been overstretched.

The movie “Inception” would be worth watching for the stunning imagery and the progressive science fiction concept..  Christopher Nolan‘s idea for Inception is definitely innovative – bring the whole science fiction movie genre into a whole new level.

(c) Niconica 2010

We have now come to the end of an era… as part 1 of Book 7 of the famous Harry Potter series is shown on the big screen.  I had rather thought that it would have a serious action/horror feel about it when I watched it so I found myself pulled in both ways before watching it.  I wanted to watch it because I am a professed Harry Potter fan but at the same time, I dreaded watching it because I knew, from reading the books, that the violence,  casualties and losses were about to mount up and I wasn’t sure whether my nerves could take it all being portrayed on the big screen in a grandiose manner.  I am glad that I was mistaken.

The setting was stark and sombre but without an exaggerated action feel.  One does not feel as though one has been catapulted into a series of pure action sequences, but instead, one finds oneself on a fast-paced subtly sentimental journey in this coming-of-age  film.  The loss of their innocence as they come face to face with very real dangers and consequences signifies a step further into adulthood as they leave child’s play behind.  Decisions must be made in the face of increasing pressure, as the stakes soar higher and higher.

I would have preferred that the movie not have been divided into two parts.  The story would have been more cohesive and been appreciated better in one go, instead of cutting it off just when things were getting good.  I recognize the financial advantages for the producers in splitting it into two  though – as well as the notion of making a good thing last as long as it can, before it inevitably ends. However, as an avid fan, it just feels more disjointed to be watching Part 2 next year – jumping in right in the middle… when the impact of the hefty volume of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows would have been felt more strongly if it had been covered in one go.

Aside from this, it was, all in all, an enjoyable film – poignant but not melodramatic, haunting but not grisly, serious but not severe, and definitely not devoid of some much-needed key moments of humor – altogether fitting for the beginning of the end.

(c) Niconica 2010

So, it has been a rather long week, and the weekend could not have come soon enough!  I’ve managed to come across a major book sale at the Fort/Serendra Branch of A Different Bookstore.

There were books which were up to 80% off.  It turns out that  some of the items  (we’re talking about non-fiction books here) are still around P300 – P600 after that discount – but considering the normal prices of the books there, they aren’t bad deals at all.  I did not browse the fiction section – though I can imagine that the prices might be lower.

If I had stayed longer – I might have ended up buying more books than I had… which would have been good for my brain but not so good for my pocket.  I have a feeling that this won’t be the first and last time I’ll check the sale out.

At any rate, I have no doubt that all serious bookworms in Metro Manila would definitely appreciate this Christmas sale – which apparently would last till the 31st of December 2010, if I am not mistaken.  I don’t know whether the other branches would have a similar sale too – as I have not had the opportunity to be out and about lately.

And no, this is not a paid advertisement or review – in case anyone is wondering.  It’s just one happy bookworm sharing some good news to fellow bookworms.

Happy Browsing/Reading!

(c) Niconica 2010