Monday, December 30, 2013

2013, I'm thankful for...

The year is coming to an end and I would sum it up as a good year. I remember being a little afraid of stepping into 2013 as I transitioned from being a student to a working adult, but now I realize I actually had nothing to worry about.

Though 2013 had its ups and downs, it was a pleasantly smooth year and I just wanna take this blogpost to list down 10 things I’m thankful for.

Here I go:

#1 I’m thankful to God for helping me pass my driving exam.

#2 I’m thankful to God for giving me a job, then giving me another job closer to home.

#3 I’m thankful for the chance to visit Guilin China. It was a good vacation out of my country.

#5 I’m thankful for e-bay.

#4 I’m thankful to God for saving me money when I had my first car accident.

#6 I’m thankful for my family and friends; all those who have supported me and helped me out throughout the year.

#7 I’m thankful I can live a comfortable life. Though I have yet to achieve my dream as a full time author, life is good so far :)

#8 I’m thankful I managed to write a lot this year. Lets count: 1 novel, 1 novella, 4 novelettes, 1 picture storybook, and a handful of short stories.

#9 I’m thankful for my blog followers on my writer’s blog.

#10 I’m thankful for being alive and having another year to be thankful for. 

2013 was good and I’m sure 2014 would be great. I’m definitely looking forward to bigger adventures and a year full of new experiences!

Happy New Year everyone and all the best in 2014!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Flying Cauldron’s Butterscotch Beer

Let me first make it clear… I did not fancy it. That would explain why I did not fancy Starbucks’ Butterbeer too. They tasted very similar even with different textures.

Flying Cauldron, the ‘fictional’ counterpart to The Three Broomsticks, has been around since 1374. Its ‘fictional’ counterpart to Butterbeer is also known as Butterscotch Beer.

I bought 3 bottles at RM6.99 each from Jaya Grocer in Empire Mall, thinking it would taste much better than the Starbucks version. Little did I know, they tasted the same. They were both sweet, with a strong vanilla and buttery flavour. The only difference is the texture, which changed the density of the drink.

Starbucks’ version was very sweet and rich. Flying Cauldron’s was flat with a tingling sensation from the gas. I would not give the Starbucks version another try because it was too sweet even for a sweet tooth like me. And the last bottle of Butterscotch Beer in my fridge… will be my last.

Yesterday, I gulped down one bottle after dinner while watching Survivor Reunion and at one point, I thought, “This tastes like medicine.”

I like cough syrups, but I won’t drink a whole bottle for fun.

Anyway, I’m not saying Butterbeer is horrible. In fact, I think a lot of people like it and it has an interesting flavour. It’s just not the beverage for me. I am most probably one of those Hogwarts students that only entered The Three Broomsticks for their pies.

That being said, if you are a Harry Potter fan, you HAVE to try Butterbeer or Butterscotch Beer. It is part of the Harry Potter universe and it is your duty to give it a go. Like it or not, at least you can proudly say you have tasted it.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Reader vs Author

When we watch a movie or read a book, we are naturally drawn into the fictional world. The days spent poring over the tiny text and the hours sitting in darkness with popcorn in hand can be emotional experiences. The moment we are glued to a character or a world, we know that we would dread the end of it. Once the cinema lights come back on and the book ends with a full stop, a sad feeling settles upon us.

We are never going to go on another adventure, we will never see more of this fictional world, and we will stop learning more about our favourite characters. The hero becomes a long lost friend and the world becomes a vacation we only have pictures of. Honestly, it sucks.

Of course, we can resort to fan fiction to keep the world alive in us. But we all know, fan fiction is a mirage. It’s not the real deal… because we don’t have the say over our favourite characters and their worlds. We are merely the reader/viewer… and we have no right.

On the other hand, if you’re the author of that particular world, the end of your book or film is not the end. You can ALWAYS return to the world and have coffee with your characters. They are never gone. Every now and then, you learn more about your character and explore a back alley of your different worlds. Yes, the story has ended but your relationship with them will never, ever end.

That’s the joy of being an author. You might grow tired of entering the same worlds over and over again, but you will never stop loving it. You are given the key to return and go on a new adventure anytime, because that’s an author’s privilege. The day your creations die is the day you draw your last breath.

I have been on both sides of the coin, hence I have experienced what it is like to live in a world forever and to see one fading away. I like being able to re-enter my creations and talk to my characters even after their story has ended, but I hate losing touch with my favourite characters from my favourite books.

I don’t know about you, but realizing this fact is like being hit with ‘reality’. Anything that ends that is not mine… ends forever. Nothing will bring it back to the start of the line and there is nothing I can do about it. When it’s the end… it really is the end.

This truth is as painful as it can get. And now… I have to live with it. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Slow Down!

I've been told by different people that some of my works could have been longer. 

Some said I could drag it on a little because it was too fast paced, while others said it could be a trilogy. I agree with them, but once I finish a story it's like a balloon filled with air and tied shut. To untie and add more air is not that easy.

So wanting to decrease those comments, I've decided to slow down and take a breather. You see, I'm the kind of person that loves cliff hangers and fast paced stories, hence I try to end most of my chapters with cliff hangers. I also cut out all the not-so-fast-paced parts and avoid writing them. It's a habit.

Now that I am able to see what I'm doing, always making my stories too snappy, I've learned to add in breather chapters where nothing fast paced happens, simply to give space for characters to grow. Honestly, I dread writing those chapters because they seem so slow and uneventful to me, BUT I'm learning to incorporate them.

I guess this is something all writers should learn to balance in their works. You shouldn't speed like a race car nor should you inch your way like a snail. If you see room for your story to expand, add some breathers. But if you see your story dragging on aimlessly, cut it. A few words extra or less could make your story better.

So, if you're a writer, which one are you? The one that needs to expand your story or the one that needs to cut it? 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Finally, Attending To A Nomination

Over the years of blogging, I’ve received a couple of blog awards on my writer’s blog. But because I wanted to keep my writer’s blog strictly for my written works, I did not do the ‘follow up’ on them.

This time around, I received another Liebster award for my writer’s blog. And since the blogger wrote his post on BlogSpot, I thought I might as well do it on my BlogSpot too. I know, it makes no sense.

Before I go on, I just wanna thank everyone that has nominated me in the past. It means a lot to know you think I am worthy of an award. So thank you so much!

Anyway, I would not be nominating any specific blogger on this post because I’ve read a lot of blogs and I think every blog is unique in its own way. For me to pick is like choosing favourites. Hence I’ve decided to nominate all my readers. If you’ve stumbled upon this, you’ve been nominated!

Now, it’s time to get to the questions I was asked!

#1 Who is your God Father?

I don’t have a godfather. Unless you mean God Father in heaven then it is God himself.

#2 What/Who is your inspiration in writing?

Same answer as above.

#3 Do you like sensibility?

It’s a good value to like. So yes, I suppose.

#4 Have you ever kissed anyone? How does it feel?

Yes. It feels like heaven when you kiss a cute baby.

#5 What do you want to do? Follow? Lead? Play your part?

What I want depends on the situation. I lead when necessary, I follow when necessary, I play my part when necessary.

#6 Are you an open book? Is there any secret about you that no one other than you knows?

I’m not an open book. Like a treasure map, there will always be something you miss out.

#7 Do you believe in voluntary actions or forceful actions?

Voluntary. Forcing makes no difference. The person forced will not have a change of heart anyway.

#8 Who according to you is noble?

Individuals who give their lives to serve others. 

#9 Who is your favourite fictitious character and why?

Draco. He is good looking, misunderstood, and could have been a great wizard if brought up differently.

#10 In whose presence do you feel most comfortable?

My immediate family. We are probably too comfortable among each other.

Now on to the questions for YOU, if you would be so kind to receive this award:

1. If you could be a character in a book, who would you be?
2. If you could fly, where would go?
3. If you were the last person on earth, would you continue living?
4. If you could have one fictional weapon, what would it be?
5. If today repeats itself, what would you do differently?
6. A mansion in the countryside or a studio apartment in the city?
7. Kill or be killed?
8. Zombie apocalypse or alien invasion?
9. Reality or fiction?
10. Immortality or dying rich?

Do leave me a comment if you’ve decided to receive this award! I would love to read your answers :)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A big life in God > A big life on earth

It's o.k to have a small life on earth if your life in God is big. That was a personal discovery I made today.

I've always wanted a big life. One that inspires millions and changes lives, and there is nothing wrong with that. But sometimes, I get so caught up in the idea that I do not realize how it affects the way I look at my life now. There is nothing wrong with my life now, in fact it's pretty good, but me constantly wishing life would shoot into the sky and explode like firework makes me unhappy. I find myself asking God when will my life get bigger and why am I not getting anywhere. Even though I know there's a perfect timing for everything, I rush, I worry, I question, and I'm unsatisfied.

But today, I realized how wrong I was to feel that way.

You see, my life is small now but it is bigger in God. God has been good and I've had him by my side in terms of my job and my dreams. We're working together to write stories that touches lives... even though it's only a few thousand.

I shouldn't be complaining. 

A big life in God is trusting he knows what's best. If it is not in his plans for me to be 'big' then I should be alright with it. Following God's plan means living a great life on earth, after all, earth is only temporary. If my life becomes 'big', great! But if it doesn't, it's no big deal. 

I want to live a bigger life in God, and that should be my priority. Life is easier with him around, and much more fun. It will be a challenge at first, but I am determined to live BIG.. and that is BIG in God!

Sunday, October 27, 2013


I’m backlogging. Starting this new trilogy novelette has caused me to put two of my completed works on hold; my 2nd novel and my novella.

Both books are being illustrated, but I’m too busy right now to edit them. I’ve run through them a few times, but I know its not enough. So hopefully after I finish writing the trilogy, I would have time for them.

My goal is to get everything out by next year, at least my 2nd novel and novella. The trilogy can space out between next year and the year after that. I also have another novelette that I wrote for a competition. If I do not win, I would be self-publishing that one too (hopefully I win, then I don’t have to). So right now, I have a total of 6 works that needs to be released in the next two years.

Honestly, I hate not being able to release everything. Having them sit by my side yearning for attention makes me wish I had more brainpower and time. I wish my eyes could spot more errors with ease and I wish I had an editor to help. Editors are so expensive these days! (If you know anyone, please refer him or her to me. Thanks.)

I think I just need to plan the timing of each release and work according to priority. Now the bigger question remains, which book deserves top priority? All I know is writing new works (novels, novellas, and novelettes) will be at the bottom for a while.

Well, don’t mind me now. I'm just going to desperately pray, “Dear God, please give me an editor!!!”