Monday, July 30, 2012

Busy month ahead

Oreo Cheesecake by rachlyf
Oreo Cheesecake, a photo by rachlyf on Flickr.
PS. Baked this for Joyce's birthday.
August is looking like a busy month but that makes it all the more exciting. Better to be out there doing stimulating things than to be talking to voices in your head. Especially if those voices love cake. But I digress.

1. I'm going to be an intern at The Star, an English-language tabloid newspaper in Malaysia.

2. I've planned out most of what I want to write for my first attempt at Camp NaNoWriMo. Half-expecting to break down mid-way (as seemed the common case) but those voices in my head are still convincing me otherwise.

3. I've been taking classes for Basic Sign Language with Mei Shan. I jumped at the opportunity the moment she asked. Why? (Popular question) It's something I've wanted to check off my list for a long time. Learning languages is an absolute joy and it's fascinating when people communicate in signs and gestures that make all the sense in the world once you understand them.

That's all in the meantime. Now for a Snickers bar.

Monday, July 23, 2012


Leaning Tower of Pisa
Leaning Tower of Pisa, taken in January 2012
Lately I've been trying to keep myself occupied. It's my natural defence against things that annoy or upset me. It's something I realized last year when there were a lot of news to deal with and half the time I thought about what I needed to do so that my work won't be affected. In other words, working to avoid not working.

Some people tell me it's good being productive under unfortunate circumstances. Some people say it's strength. I sense that it is a little unhealthy to treat certain emotions like brats, shut them out and tell them, "Not now. I've got work to do." 

Things don't work out the way you want them to. I understand that. Doesn't mean I approve of it. Over the last few days the world slapped me in the face several times, which got me working on certain things in a mildly obsessive fashion. 

It really is about time I slap back.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Pre-NaNoWrimo Muse

I will soon be taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), a creative writing project where the goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. The website validates the number of words at the end of the month and that determines whether or not you've won. In case you're wondering, it is something people undertake as a personal project. Check it out here.

People ask me why anyone would inflict it on themselves. I admit that being someone who had always been daunted by the idea of writing 1667 words a day, I'd imagine getting through NaNoWriMo would feel pretty awesome.

Plus, it will be my first time in August. When I first heard about it, it only ran in November. That is without doubt the worst time for university students to be thinking about writing novels. I wasn't keen on adding 50,000 more words on top of what I already had to write for my degree. I would have had to give up on one eventually and it would never have been the latter. Earlier last month, I was told that there are now NaNoWriMos in June and August. How could I refuse!

Also, today I did more research for my project. One of the documentaries on it made me tear up. Got me both horrified and excited. 

It's a good thing.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Symptoms include -

When I got back from the UK, I was frazzled and in a bad state. On the 3rd of July, I'd been lugging my suitcase up and down the stairs and trains of London to get to Gatwick Airport. Somehow it didn't sound as bad at first. Learning things the hard way really knocks sense into your head.

Before I go on, you should know that I'm not good with flights. It seems to worsen each time, as if it's this dark passenger that ages with me. Symptoms include migraines, being incapable of proper speech, lack of sleep and a facial expression that says, "Please don't ask me to direct you to your transfer terminal in an airport I've never even seen."

Well, no one catches the last symptom, really. I still help them whilst in my stupor.

Disclaimer: This photo does not belong to me, 
The first flight to Dubai was uneventful, which was good news for me. And the service was great. I remember thinking, "Well it's worth it I guess." (Famous last words.) The second flight home was not as pleasant. It's probably because the flight's terribly long, although I don't quite understand why last year's 20-hour flight wasn't as bad as this 16-hour flight.

Upon reaching KLIA, I approached the payphones to make a call; all were out of order. I walked around to check the rest. After inspecting 3 rows of unfixed payphones, I found 2 phones that worked. Got my bags, got outside and totally emptied my insides out. Way to detox, eh?

At least my jetlag's gone. No more staring at blank walls at 4am, or having no appetite until 2am or having a facial expression in the morning that says, "Please don't ask me to 'just force yourself to sleep'. It doesn't work that way."

Monday, July 2, 2012

No one

Over the few weeks leading up to the 30th of June, I have been packing up my things and storing them in the houses of several friends all over Norwich. And of course my housemates and I had to do a huge clean up on the final few days. After it was all over, we wondered whether the house is way cleaner than when we first moved in. It certainly looked that way. 

I am bunking with a friend until tomorrow, which is when I will be going down to London and back to Malaysia on two 8-hour flights. I'll have a book of short stories, a writing pad, air sick pills and lots of in-flight movies to accompany me.

No one enjoys being locked in a pressurized container for extended periods of time.