January 31, 2012

Fictional Love

there should be a statute that every written word must be supported by some fathomable feasible and rational evidence.

but then again, if i were to agree to such a statute, there goes my favourite genre at the bookstore - FICTION.

yes, my love of fictions has been a old kind of love. the enduring kind, because i grew up making stories using a regular school exercise book, with imaginary characters, drawn of course with my own two artsy hands. (yes i consider it artsy because it was rather 'pretty' and 'handsome' at the time - to my eyes, that is)

i grew up with fictions. i have to admit i was into the guy meets girl scene. guy does not know he loves her until much later. girl is too proud to admit that she likes guy as well, because they are friends. or perhaps, the more dramatic one would be, girl and guy were betrothed. yes this would be a historical romance. guy is a pain in the you-know-where because he is older and cynical about the world. guy doesn't mind the betrothal because he thinks he can continue his life as before when he gets married. but then he doesn't plan to fall in love with the girl, whose innocence and optimism win him over. things like that...

i suppose one could easily take a guess on what type of fiction i am into. (i can't write 'was into' at the moment, because i have to confess that i do love to read them still). yes i am in love with romantic fictions, be it the modern day romances or the historical ones. although, i assure you that i am not a romantic fool. that's relative as well!

i am not sure what types of books which have shaped me growing up, but i have read all of my mother's beloved Judith McNaught collection. there were also the occasional Mills and Boons which i would 'borrow' from her - trashy novels when you were a teenager seemed unfailingly rebellious. truth be told, i do not get much of what was written then! 

i also love reading thrillers and crime novels. i have loads of Stephen King and Dean Koontz books. i also read all three Hannibal Lecter series (Thomas Harris). then, there was a phase when i would read a lot of Alex Cross' novels by James Patterson (even before the novels were made into movies). i do not remember reading much while i was studying overseas. except for that one time when i was raring to collect all of the Green Miles series - Stephen King released the book by chapters then, most probably for gimmick reason. i supposed in the United Kingdom, i was either busy watching telly or reading the course books were already too much. not that i read most of my accounting books. i remember i started reading more vigorously again after coming back from the U.K. although the genre would be more varied and focusing on family, relationship and life in general, rather than the airy fairy world of romance. 

i love Wally Lamb's I Know This Much Is True. it struck a chord or two within me because it was essentially a story about twins. i also love Audrey Niffennegger's Time Traveller's Wife. and then, there was Cecilia Ahern period (but all her books after P.S. I Love You were not as comparable). also the Sophia Kinsella's bug. i did read some of Tony Parson's books but none of them were memorable. there was also one of those one-hit-wonders, like Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden) and Prep (Curtis Sittenfeld). and then i got curious about the best-selling self-exploratory book called Eat, Pray, Love (Elizabeth Gilbert) that i had to read it. it was not that bad - was not great either, but it did provoke some thoughts. some are welcomed and some are not. 

although we are discontent about our lives, but we are so used with its regularity and familiarity that we rather leave it as it is - however unhappy we really are. i wonder at times whether that is keeping me from trying out something new which is the unknown. it is not so much of the ambiguity and probability of failure, it is more about not wanting to leave my comfort zone. the next question is how long would i last?

the last great book which i read is called 'One Day' (David Nicholls) which was about a year and a half ago. i love the premise of an enduring friendship between a man and a woman. i love that they could talk about everything except how they felt about each other. i love that friends turned to lovers. maybe i am reaching out for something that is lacking in my own relationship. nonetheless, it is good to be lost in the whole fictional relationship for awhile. consume the unattainable but pleasing to the senses and leave graciously and willingly when it is time. 

hence, the reason why i love fictions. it could not be as factual as real life. it does not need to. it lets you escape for a while into a world that is different from your own. to learn about things which are familiar and yet foreign. and perhaps to learn about yourself as well. if you let it to.

January 27, 2012

750

I was introduced by a friend to 750words.com about two weeks ago and have never looked back.

it is a neat little site to discipline prospective writers to write a little bit of something or in other words, to unload anything which needs to be unload, which ideally should take place early in the morning, in order for writers to be able to write better (that's highly relative, actually) for the rest of the day.

one thing i like about 750 (as i like to call it), is that it's purely personal and private. it is not meant to be shared with others. it is just your own thinking space. the place which you could unload and would not feel judged by the your lack of writing repertoire. write away! it seems to taunt you, because you would need to write until you reach the 750 words mark.

yep, that's why it is called 750words. a personal journal to jot 750 words or roughly about 3 pages of thoughts and ideas. mind you, when i first started, it took me a while to finish the 750 words, because hey, i was not used to be able to write freely. until today i am still self-conscious of what i write in this sphere. there are faceless readers out there, and i don't know who they are, but they still read and judge me from what i have written and/or share.

at 750, i just write what i want to write, share my pains and sufferings. unload all the nasty business which is milling about in my brain. it doesn't actually solve my problems, but it does help me get there. eventually. written words promote clarity of thought. clarity of thought results in clearer path of understanding on actions required.

perhaps, one day when i feel confident enough, i will copy-paste something from 750 to my blogspot. did i tell you that it also runs a competition to see who could write for a whole long month? yes, 30 long days, inclusive of weekends, emergencies and holidays. you just have to muddle through all the inconveniences in your life and write away so that you get the coveted title of 'writer of the month' or something to that effect ( i forgot what it is called at the moment ). also, 750 gives 1 point for finishing the 750 words mark and 2 points for more than 750. you could also get 2 extra points when you write without getting distracted, which means that you do not leave the site for whatever breaks or distractions, for more than 3 whole minutes. (so i cheated by staying on the site and doodled - and deleted afterwards - even if i do not know what to write). it is just a fun way to see how far writers would do to be more disciplined and determined.

but as of now, i am enjoying the freedom and glee that 750 seems to provide. i am yet able to write in consecutive days, but i am persevering to do so in the upcoming month. and February has shorter days anyways.

it just takes sheer discipline. 

actually buckets and loads of it.

January 12, 2012

twenty-twelve

it has been about a month since my last post. 

i had some drafts in between, but i was too downtrodden to finish them. 

i would like to say i was just too tired, but to tell you the truth, i don't feel like writing.

some say the pained, the heartbroken, or just those who are generally facing a bad time in their lives, would write better. it is something akin to release. writing is a release of all their pent up emotions, and these are translated into a poetry, or a sad love song or a best-selling collection of wizard boy adventures.

for me, i don't think i'd write when i'm feeling down. i would just look at the paper/ screen and wonder what is it that would make me feel so good about writing.

nevertheless, writing is also a purification of soul. crying cleanses you, but writing purifies you.

so anyways, i wouldn't write anything more, other than yes, i have been busy since the last time i have written. the things which i was up to and going through in no particular order whatsoever.

1. went to Singapore from the 16 to 18 December weekened for a short holiday. my boys' first holiday during the long school break. we were there for me to watch the musical Wicked (which is still playing at the Marina Bay Sands Grand theatre until this February 2012), and for the boys to swim in the big swimming pool.

2. my parents finally moved out their house in Kota Damansara - our house - which we have been staying since 2002. thats like 10 years. i got married there. two of my other sisters and my brother also got married there. i called it the 'transition house'. the house in which all of the married sisters and brother stayed in, for that short while, before we moved on to our own houses (save for one sister whose husband already have a pad in Ampang at the time of their marriage). it's the house where my first son grew up before moving to our own just before my second son was born. the transition house of all sorts. where we learned to adjust to be a good wife/ husband/mother/father. 

hubby helped a lot with the moving. he even fell twice during cleaning up the house. he was mopping and carrying a bucket of water when he fell once. i was shocked by the loud thud. concerned and alarmed that he might he seriously hurt. actually, it is during these kind of events, that you know how much you care for someone. until he does something stupid like being inconsiderate or insensitive. hohum. 

3. my twin sister came back from Dubai for about 2 weeks of break. although we didnt get to hang out much due to family commitments, but it's good to know that she was back in our Malaysian soil. i did call for a family pot luck dinner on second day of 2012, but she couldnt make it in the end as her daughter contracted chicken pox. as i am expecting, i dont think it's wise for her to bring her daughter to the dinner.

4. our birthday fell on 21st December - we didnt get to spend it together, regardless, due to scheduling conflict, but we hung out a few days later. hubby said my birthday gift was the Singapore and Wicked trip. oh yes, there was a belated birthday treat on the following Sunday. or was it Monday 26th? we went to Ben's Pavilion KL.... again.

5. my 9th year wedding anniversary. i got a card and nothing else, but i know he was saving for the change of maid. so i was kinda okay with it (took me awhile to unpout). i treated him to dinner this time around at a local hotel. suffice to say, we need to go out on our own more.

6. my second son started kindergarten. oh my baby has grown up! *sob* i had (well, am still having) some problem letting go. seeing how good he was at the kindy without me. i did accompany him for the first 2 days of school, in which he was so clingy to me that i was afraid he would not be able to be independent. although, he's the more independent one as compared to my first son, he doesnt want to participate much when i was with him. but he fared much better when his father took him for the 3rd and 4th day. he started taking the transportation on the 5th day and my heart wrenched thinking how a little boy like him could go on to and fro without someone to accompany him. then i realsied that my first son had undergone the same thing. although, the duration was slightly longer, with the maid accompanying him for about two weeks!

7. the agent for Indonesian maids whom i have been in contact for about a month passed away suddenly the day i was supposed to meet her to pass my deposit. what bad luck! it was more eerrie than surreal. apparently it was due to natural causes. i am now without an agent (there is one potential but she charges high). and my current problematic maid's contract/ visa will expire this upcoming Chinese New Year.

8. a dinner with friends on Christmas night. it made me laugh. i realised i am happiest when i get to converse without any prejudice. these are mostly the people whom i am comfortable with. and ironically, they are my hubby's friends.

9. an expected wedding of a pseudo friend. yes, i am not sure that i am even a friend to this person. i know it's coming but it's still a shock. there are things i want to say, but i guess the truth or reality will unveil itself in its own time. well, as Elphaba has famously sung "i hope you're happy now that you're choosing this..." :)

10. i am now almost 20 weeks pregnant, insyaAllah. halfway there little one. i cant wait to meet you. i hope i'm ready for your cries and hunger. and i hope we have patience for one another. :)

that's the gist of what had happened during the past month.

i do hope i will write more often. it's just a matter of willpower. 

after all, one of my favourite authors, Stephen King, has written :

"If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others : READ a lot and WRITE a lot.... reading is the creative center of a writer's life... you cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you."