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.