22.12.14

Monday Blues: The crazy thesis on fiction writing

The contradiction of thinkings and feelings make human unique one from another. As far as fiction goes by, we underestimate humanity and the extent of alternatives in their reactions. Where readers strive to enjoy fiction and relate it to reality, writers seem to have the habit of making it too realistic to the point of idiocy.

Why does the rejected heroine run to other places to recuperate?

Why does the alpha males have to be jerks?

Why do every single sidekicks and minions in the story feel strongly devoted to emotional and obviously irrelevant heroines and try to normalize the mistakes that she does?

There are other options in life that doesn't necessarily mean heartbreaks, happily ever after or doomed tragedies. My interest in fiction, modern ones, dwindle parallel to the staple publications of chic-lits. I do not condemn publications of fictions cause it is good. And great to educate this generation that books may be the only survival item you need upon zombie apocalypse or island strandification. If strandification is even a word. Striving to find great fiction is a great pain in the neck because we have different expectations and writers are humans too. I refrain myself from justifying things I haven't read but I have the dirty habit of opening the last page before buying any books. I am a real sucker for that and I plead guilty to be the walking dictionary of spoilers.

Maybe that is the reason why, I opt to just read online fictions; which I can ditch sooooo easily if I don't like it, and papers or journals; biogeochemistry, trigonometry, etc. I may not be smart, but these are safe reading materials. It's not heart-wrenching but once you get the hang of it, absolutely satisfying and it may have inspired me in some of my writing ventures.

The love for books is something nurtured and if not maintained, can be lost with age and technology. Now, it is all pictures and games and interactive (really) applications. Fictions and adventures become mediocre.

This is a call for all writers.

Do not write just for the sake of it. Do not write just for the drama. Write, cause it's something you want to share. And think when you write. I stopped believing in character's will after I read Jane Austen. Most female writers may worship her, but seriously, subsequent liberation of willful ladies in suffocating world of etiquette became the start of so many fictions trends that are nauseously boring. Lately, I've been accustomed with teenage writers' fascination of building their female characters to be 'bad-ass' or 'sarcastic' or 'loner' or 'bookish'. These common generalization of character that expect the readers to over-simplify the fiction written made the whole writing worth almost close to nothing. Because writing....is not taking the TV series into books. It is about taking YOUR mind and translating it into words.

Who am I to make comments when I clearly don't write fictions, right?

But I'm a reader. And I deserve to be taught something in anything published as fiction. I deserve to buy and read something that doesn't berate my mentality and capability of understanding circumstances of plot. What are writers if not the plotters that only become better when seasoned with time?

I'm just a person who struggles to white reviews. I don't write fictions. And maybe, for the most part, young writers should indulge in something called reviews of facts. It could help you in so many ways than one.

The world is changing and people are smarter. Do not look down of people who reads...cause some of them still love books and good fiction.

Reading:
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte /
The Mischievious Mrs. Maxfield by ninyatippett/
Natural Attenuation of Fuels and Chlorinated Solvents in the Subsurface by Wiedemeier et al.

Listening: ....

Watching: Psycho-Pass

Doing: ...not sleeping....

7.10.14

Salam

Earlier this year, Malaysia had been struck with so many tragedies and deaths. The amount of lives wiped out in a single plane crash was daunting and too shocking to be true. I commented on it, sympathized on it and tried understanding the situation. 

I had a discussion about it with my father a few months back and he gave me his thoughts over the matter. Never the one too shy on concocting conspiracy theory, we talked on such possibilities and I, as usually, am too young to understand how the world really goes. 

Lately, I have been writing my review paper and things had been hectic. Trying to live like a real adult human on my own isn't easy. My father sometimes called around to ask how I was...and it's usually when I'm in the middle of reading or writing. And when he PMed me over the Facebook, I'm boarding on LRT train or struggling to scan my TouchNGo in the bus. I complained of how horribly hard it is to write and he told me to focus slowly on a basic reference and walk from there. 

Years ago, approximately 14 years ago, I talked to my father over Coke and some sweet peanuts, about my tuition classes. Him being worried of how I would do in my UPSR public exam, has opted to send me to tuition classes from 8-10 pm every weekday's night. And when he picked me up, we would buy biscuits or Coke or peanuts from the supermarket and he would talk to me about his day. Mama was always busy, so, he never fail to overtake her share of advising me against procrastination and laziness. 


Last Aidilfitri....we made it the second year of taking family photos ourselves. I forgot my camera and we ended up using our phones to take photos. We laughed and made silly faces. It was fun. My father told me that my make-do Raya dress was pretty and so was my mama. In fact, he thought that we all looked pretty. When we went out to visit some relatives, we girls always go up to him for 'inspection'; lipstick...check. Blusher...check. All so that we won't look like our bare knees....




I do not want to whine about how hard it is to lose someone you love so much. But, I understand why some people have to. I've been writing about the many routine things my father had been so much apart of. He had taken every single living space in our memories that without him around, it feels like he was just somewhere else at the moment. But at a split second of subconsciousness...I remember...that he was no longer around. 

Bapak....thank you so much....for your love and dedication. 

I don't want to say it this way cause it sounded like he'll stop loving us. 

Let me rephrase.

Bapak...my hero, my best friend and most importantly, my precious father. You are so loved, so dearly missed. For these past few days, living without you felt like a surprise everytime we wake up and realize that you're no longer around. It hurts alot and we can't seem to stop crying. But He knows best and I'm glad you've escaped all this worldly worries and disappointments.
Ya Allah....please...give my father some little joy and happiness, some little safety and generosity; the very same he gave to people with his lifetime's kindness and eagerness to live life to the fullest.
May he be in Your care forevermore....

Amin.


Thank you for the many condolences, generosity and prayers received from families and friends, near and far. May Allah bless each and everyone of you with the ease in life and may this be a lesson to us of how brief our life is and how much we can live for each day. 

InShaa Allah.



In the loving memory of 
Abdillah SM
A loving father and husband,
A dedicated writer,
A faithful friend....

 6/8/1949 - 4/10/2014

22.7.14

Black Coffee

Have I achieved a sort of equilibrium with you?
To which, your black is my secret,
And my red is your seal.

Have I achieved the truth?
Where you stop howling to the silver moon
and know that she was just a mirror
that doesn't shine on her own

Have I conquered all?
Your thoughts and longing
and deepest dream of content

Have I seen?
Everything just yet?

This black sweetness on my lips
wasn't chocolate...
It's stale monochrome
Quiet mornings
and cold slumbers

for I
am nothing.



18.7.14

Friday: MH17

Another tragedy has strike Malaysian Airline yet again. This horrible series of unfortunate events seem to be too much within one year. And 2014 isn't over yet.

MH 17 is another 777 Boeing aircraft of Malaysian Airline that had took off from Amsterdam earlier around 12.00 am local Malaysian time and was supposed to have reached Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 6.10 am local Malaysian time. The flight carried 280 passengers with 15 crew. 154 Dutch, 27 Australians, 38 Malaysian (inclusive of crew), 11 Indonesians, 4 Belgian, 4 German, 3 Phillipinos and 1 Canadian. 80 of them are feared children.

A report (The Guardian) had reported that European Air Traffic Control stated that the 17 year old aircraft had been flying at 33 000 ft ground level which was still within surface-to-air missile range. The Ukrainian authorities had barred aircraft from flying within 32 000 ft ground level.

Right about recently, globally, airlines had been reroute and notified not to fly through Crimea, the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov due to the conflicting air traffic controls between Russian and Ukrainian authorities. (Independent) Apparently, Vice President of USA Joe Biden stated that, without all the details the aircraft have seemed to be 'blown out of the sky' and it is not an accident. Relatives of the Amsterdam passengers had been pooled together at Schipol Airport and transported to an unknown location. (Times)Flight will be provided to Kiev for relatives that want to be closer to the crash site.

What has happened is beyond public's understanding and words are spreading fast like wildfire. To troubleshoot the real cause is currently hard due to the heated accusations and defenses held up by authorities. Nevertheless, Malaysia Airline is in hot seat again and the chances of this happening was something no one could've predicted. Conspiracies are rising everywhere and I hope everyone out there act responsibly in posting any news or updates or thoughts about it. I've learned alot from MH370 that you shouldn't really trust immediate news if you're not a relative or the immediate people concern with the tragedy. Words change with the amount of mouths and brains it went through. Please think deeply before posting something over the social media and if you're going to post facts, please add in 'citations' or immediate link to the legitimate source.Conspiracy theories? Take it where it matters. There are websites dedicated to discuss it but to post every single conspiracy that goes through your head wouldn't be welcomed at this time of grief. Be responsible of your thoughts.

Words cannot describe how sorry I am for the loss experienced by the families and relatives of the victims. My condolences to them and I pray they will find strength to go through this tragedy.

Insya Allah...

Internet Powershopping

Internet is the rabbit hole into anything and everything. Literally.

My point of blabbing about this convenience is how I've managed muster the nerve to actually purchase something over the Internet and hope against hope to not be screwed big time.

Alhamdulillah...

What do ya know...I am finally a proud owner of a nice sturdy laptop. Refurbished. Remanufactured. Reused. Just the way I like it. I can go yadda yadda about how it is important to try and recycle electronic (yes...you can, my friend...), but I'm a girl and my achievement in getting a deal is more important. And there are safety measures you have to take when you're buying something that you won't be seeing until you get it at your doorstep a few days later. If you're lucky, you won't have to wait long. 

In Malaysia, people crowd around GroupOns and Lazada to purchase items. 

GroupOn is a site I refer to as a shopping site since it offers deals after deals inclusive of services and vouchers to spas and stuffs. My friends who love pampering themselves hog  alot of these offers and they are available online over a limited time only. They even have the timer to indicate how much days, hours, minutes or seconds before the offer expires. I bought powerbanks for my friends from this site. So and so. 

Lazada in the other hand, is another topic. Although both site is internationally known; I guess...cause they are over the Net, they offer ranges of items, from clothes to baby carriers, smartphones to tablets, blenders to sewing machines, baby bibs to baby blender, blah blah blah. More or less similar with Group On but it is more enriched and you don't go scampering around in dilemma to beat against time; if you're the type that gets uneasy looking at countdown timers. 

They are others, but I'll be talking abouth Lazada cause that's where I purchased by new laptop. 

The site have sellers that sell the items, Lazada seem to be the site that group them all in one and standardize all the services provided with. Free delivery, free return, customer service....the interface says it all. But LO and Behold...PAY ATTENTION TO THESE:

1) Sellers and their websites or contact numbers, emails....
     You gotta know and make sure that they are legit. You can't call, email. You can't email, Whatsapp,
      LINE, WeChat or Yahoo Messenger them. It's not likely that they don't reply you. If they don't, stay 
      away guys. Cause that's an indication that they won't take your future complains seriously. We don't 
      wanna be whiny afterwards cause it'll totally be our fault if we don't take the precautionary act in the 
      first place. Belt out all the customer rights you want, even if you have high likeliness to win in court, 
      you'll suffer the court proceeding fees and lawyer fees over what could've been just trash sold with 
      discounts over the Internet. 

2) Purchase mode
     What I like about Lazada is the fact that it has Cash On Delivery purchase. Meaning, you pay when you
      get your good. This is especially cool cause, you're less likely to suffer loss later. I mean, if you haven't
      paid them, there's no hassle. Just cancel. And it's less of s psychological burden to anticipate the items
      since you haven't really paid for it. 

3) Additional note on warranty and possible exchangeable policies

4) Prices doesn't include shipping...(yeah...I know, why did they say FREE SHIPPING?)

5) Moolah
    It depends on you how you match the value of the stuffs you're about to buy and the money you have in
    hand. As we Malays say it: Tepuk dada, tanya selera (literally meaning: pat your chest and ask your
    preference (?))

There are always risks at the purchase of good over the Internet. Be careful of your privacy and your mode of transaction. It isn't much, but I hope I've shed some light to some newbies in Internet shopping although I'm glad to say that you're among the naturalist that I admire. I've finally succumb to this sort of shopping due to the lack of time and energy to ship myself around in long train journeys and walks to the middle of the crazy Kuala Lumpur Metropolitan City.




12.6.14

Kindness

Kindness is a smile in virtual engrossment,
Kindness is a hand that gives water to the thirsty throat,
Kindness is flapping paper in the heat, then realizing you're fanning someone behind you
Kindness is a stranger asking for your name
Kindness is a running faceless that shrieked 'Sorry!' to a stepped foot
Kindness....is giving, when it's not at all convenient for you...

20.5.14

Review Paper...temporal brain damage

Remember when your parents used to ask you to finish your homework fast and revise 24/7? Well, trust them. Seriously do. 

I wouldn't be in this deep brain-meltdown if I had been more crazy about maintaining my pointer during my degree. Now, I can mentally hear my advisor feeling sorry everytime he inquires my progress with my review paper. 

Regrettable. Kids....stay in school. Literally. Not just go to class. Really really stay back and read, make notes, jolt down questions and if you could read while doing bone-breaking yoga, running on treadmill or pilates, do it. Saves your ass in the near future. That is if you ever want to build greatness as an intellctual academician. Which I'm trying but, strunggling like a chicken put in a wok and asked to be cooked into a rendang within 5 minutes. 

Brain freeze. Coma. Full stop.

My brain just jammed itself. 

I need coffee. Black. Iced.

"(>~<)"


13.5.14

The Truth About Men

That's what I want to know. Whether it's just me or do most of the men seem to be pretending to be supportive when it comes to their girls/wives' intellectual development? And this is not a feminist statement. Cause I'm not feminist for one.

Is it pure coincidence that I become friends to girls who are unfortunate enough to be married to men who seem to say things they don't mean?

Husband: I sokong you sambung belajar. Baguslah tu...bangga I dapat isteri pandai macam you

1 month later....

Husband: Eh! Lagi-lagi turun lab! Tak payah lah! Baby ni siapa nak jaga kat rumah? I busy, ada futsal hari ni dengan boss!

And when you provide solutions...

Husband: Kenapa nak kene hantar ke nursery tu pulak? Mesti ke hantar masuk sampai ke dalam walaupun ade visitor pass? Menyusahkan betol lah. Tak payah lah. Hantar je baby kat nursery belakang tu. Bukan susah pun. Nak tunggu baby umur 2 tahun kan? 9 bulan je lagi kot.

After 9 months....

Husband: Adoi...baru dapat off lepas double shift....takkan awak tak boleh tolong hanta baby ke nursery kot. Lambat sikitlah turun hari ni. Anak awak tu tak penting?

Yes...we love you and we will do what a good wife would; by listening to you and respect you for the husband you are. But as a person, don't you think saying things you don't really mean is a little bit infair? Saying you'll let us be ourselves but then punish us for it when it cramps up your comfort zone.

It would've been better if you stayed honest about your feelings like admiting that you don't want to be troubled with our interests in the first place. We would still love you very much for it. Instead of letting us dream, but crush it with your fist later.

May this be a reflection to some husbands out there. There are wives who care about what you think. We just can't afford to follow all the rules that you change all the time. Aren't we partners in life? Are we not your bestfriends whom you share everything with?

4.4.14

Waiting...

The pleasant feeling of waiting for the future under the bright bright sky...I feel happy.


3.4.14

Charmed


14.3.14

Super smart?


When my eyes start blurring,
My mouth starts muching.

13.3.14

You There?


Needed to know...if you're there...
in my mind.

Needed to know...if I truly exist...

Needed to know...if it's really me...
that you love...

Needed to know...if I'm even real...

12.3.14

Little Treasures: The Yellow Ducky Compact Mirror!


A girl should have a mirror. You don't know when it'll come in handy. Here's a cute one I found! And my sister bought it for me! Reminds me of my primary school days when we bring about just anything that'll gather a crowd. An this, is a head-turner. Not cause it's awfully cute. Just cause it's impossibly YELLOW!


11.3.14

Logic

I believe, if I was to lose someone, I wouldn't attempt to feel anything. Logically, they're over you. And getting emotional is irrelevant. 

I believe, that if I feel something is not right, I shouldn't look too much in it and think logically. 
Just because I have a gut feeling about something doesn't justify my antagonizing it.

I believe, when I feel something, I should think twice before I say it. 
You may feel uncomfortable with it. And it'd be awkward. Even if you love me...you wouldn't be able to breathe.

But, you just made me throw away all of these relevances and fool-proof, non-bias, critical way of thinking, hence resort into a position of a spy trying to see with my own eyes if all of the things I feel are true.

Why, heart dear heart...just when I try...

Shut up.

Thank you. I'll try harder to teach my heart to understand the logic of trust.

9.3.14

I Miss You


I miss you....

#prayforMH370

Dear friends,

Let us extend our sincerest prayers to the safety of the passengers, pilots and cabin crew of MH370; an airplane of Malaysia Airlines that's carrying 227 passengers from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The airplane went missing after it lost communication with Kuala Lumpur airport 2 hours into flight around the Vietnam air, at South China Sea. 

May they be at peace at whatever circumstances they're in and may they get home safely, in whatever way possible.

Innalillahiwa innalillahi rajiun....
Amin.


8.3.14

3 Stooges



3 Stooges

Sisters


Sisters

7.3.14

Home


Home is where the heart is. And I believe, even if we're staggering in the rain, we'll still feel at home. 

A home is not the house you live in. A home is not the place you rather be, or a place you run to to escape. 

It's the sense of pleasure, safety and sanctuary where you're at peace. The feeling of a warm familiarity like you're greeting a stranger that you know, you've met before but have entirely dismissed at the back of your mind. 

And home, is anywhere in anyone at any place and at any time. And the when I find a home in someone, it's because I found You. 

You're my home. And to You, I return with my broken bones, bruised heart and bleeding scars. You, never fail me. You never forget me. 

I'm home......

4.3.14

Crane Mobile


22.1.14

of Good Shoes and Travelling Far



A girl should wear good shoes cause a good pair can take you anywhere. When girls would do just about anything to look pretty, each of them has a sort of significance. And a pair of shoes holds alot of stories about a girl. It didn't have to be a heel-cracking, back-breaking, sky-high heels. It could be a common foam flats and even worn out sneakers. They didn't have to look pretty cause shoes, they can get you anywhere when they're comfy. So, cheers for all the shoes in the world that have served millions of girls around the world and walk them (or dash them) to places of dreams and peace and happiness!

13.1.14

Last Friday's Post: of resigning to fate....

Celebraing one's freedom from employment seems t be a double-edged sword of some sort. It depends on the circumstances of resignation. it could feel like the ultimate liberation from the clutches of irrelevant obedience; bordering violation of humans' rights. And it may feel like total crap entirely.

Resigning from the job you currently hold may root from various problems which deem you unfit for the organization. What could be the problem?

1) You hate your boss cause she/he is a total a**

2) You've been working your butt off but there's no promotion, recognition, acknowledgement or bonus waving your way. They're not even pretending exist for you.

3) You have been spending lesser and lesser time with your kids and spouse. How to know? It's when you dismiss the lipstick stain on your husbands collar (do I have that shade of red?) and write SPSS drafting on your kid's PTA form. Why? Refer to number 2.

4) You pondered and found that a scholarly life suits you more. Fighting for grants, wading through muddy peat swamp, birdwatching from 50m high trees, arguing with lab equipments, tutoring know-it-all undergrads and writing papers that forever needed to be revised are much much more rewarding.

Which one sounds more like you?

Most of the time, we're fired up to resign, had the letter written and printed nicely, but in the end, we had no nerve to just submit it. Maybe cause we have so much at stake; car loan, house loan, kids' tuition fees, the furniture installments...bills that endlessly trail their way to your insides. It's ok to be doubtful cause that is us being careful and calculative, taking 5 steps ahead of our emotions. But at a certain time, you know that you can't wait for the door to close so that other doors will open. You have to close that one door yourself and find other more rewarding opportunities. As we say it in Malay:

"Rezeki di tangan Tuhan. Kita meminta, Tuhan memberi,"

Wealth/Income is in God's hand. We ask for it and God will give.

I found that we have to seek for a place where we can grow to be more disciplined and know what we're worth. I learn that, I should not think so lowly of myself just because someone said so, and just because I'm younger sans less experience. Cause being younger or older in a career path won't mean a thing if you're static and not given that chance to be better than you already are. Don't you think so?


3.1.14

From last Friday: of Facebook and status alerts

What I like about Facebook is how it tweaks the mind to think. I like the fact that when I look at some statements people post, I am moved to say something back. Most of the time, when things that people say, seemed to be smugly said. As though they know everything and have a straight unwavered opinion about anything. I won't say anything against freedom of speech, but people should start thinking deeper before posting their 'honest', 'critically thought of' opinions.

I had the honour of reading lots of status that could easily be long thesis of events, people of certain ethnicity, beliefs and political views...not necessarily in that sequence of importance. Some updates were on every single thing that they do that day.

"Eating cupcakes at Starbucks! Yummy!"

Well, that's fortunate. We can see that all the words were spelled correctly. Though the content won't be that attractive if you're not a seriously pretty selfie photographer and everyone wants to know what you're doing every 30 seconds. The response may vary from funny ones, to some serious offer to pray for one's salvation from narcissism. Let's not forget the haters and trolls. Internet celebrities know these lot the best. And the smart ones just block, block and block these naturally bad tempered tribe. The reactive subjects may, lash out back and initiate an online debate. A simple photo may end up with over a thousand comments. It's a matter of time before a forum feature is promoted for Facebook.

But let's stop being reactive and think proactively. Not for the updaters or photo uploaders only, but also the many commentators. 

Think before you post cause your post undoubtedly reveals the type of person you are. 

If you write your opinion just to criticize other people, I believe many of us would suggest that you aid it with a solution or an alternative. There's no such thing as being cool about blindly shooting your words in the dark, hoping someone would respond aggressively so that you could prove your point. As we Malays say it:

"Bagai melepaskan batuk di tangga,"

It directly means coughing at the stairs. Letting out your cough at the stairs. You know, an act of no effort, or purpose or sincerity. 

And as a note and continuous effort on my behalf, I am working towards refraining myself from posting updates that won't contribute to greater good. Yikes! Easier said that done. But we should try if we really want to make a change. 

What do you guys think?