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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Of not wanting to be the Poster Child for Singlehood

I had a chat with a friend.

An unmarried friend, like myself, if I have to be precise.

And we talk about... what else if not marriage.

Don't get me wrong. We don't do all that mushy stuff about relationship or questioning about this and that all the time. Usually we talk about taxes, and social issues, or politics, occasionally discussing weird topics, like what is the gender of a toothbrush or how much wood would a woodchuck actually chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood.

But this time, we talk about marriage. It was just.... 'an educated discussion'... about marriage, if I can say so myself. I mean, I don't like to continue talking about this, but....

Well... the issue is simple. We're annoyed.

We're annoyed by many things, which include:
1. people thinking that we hate men
2. other single people who wants to be united in some sort of a 'We're single and loving it" kind of way (trust me, there is nothing much more desperate than trying to prove you're an independent woman by announcing how independent you are).
3. people thinking we don't meet men much
4. people thinking we don't socialise with people
5. people think we're complicated
6. girls who just broke up with their significant others who are clearly are not over it trying to make some kind of a 'cool single girls' club
7. girls who broke up with their significant others and use excuses such as 'I want to be single just like you' to mask the actual reason; that they find their boyfriends inadequate to fulfill their needs
8. people who think we're lesbians
9. people who think that we're a bunch of 'tak laku' girls
10. people in general.

Let me simplify your unnecessary concerns with my relationship status with an answer;

Why am I not married?
Answer: It's because I am not married.

If I am married, then I am. But since I am not, then I am not. There is no long essay about financial stability, or needs, or all those mushy stuff about commitment. I have left that part back in the noughties together with the annoying age I was at that  time (when I was in my 20s to be exact)

It's not because I am some sort of a gladiator/independent woman who doesn't need a man in her life or hates men like the trend nowadays. I am just not married because I am not married.

To people who thinks that we hate men
We're not. We have high regards for men. Though... that also depends on what type of men. If you're an addict no-good man yang menghabiskan bogheh mak bapak and has no ambition whatsoever, then no, I have no regards for you. But a man's man who has respect for women and the society as a whole, yes, you deserve every respect that I have.

To people who wants to unite with us in that Beyonce Imma Survivor Independent woman kind of thing
Please don't. I just want to live normally. I am not in some sort of a mission to prove that I can live without man. If I live without a man, well, that's because I can. If I get married, well, that's because I fell in love and wants to be with that particular person. If you want me to go all "Who run dis mutha? Girls!", well,... to the left to the left.

To people who thinks that we don't meet men much
How many men do you want me to meet? I have a life to live and it does not involve finding men to take care of me. The thing about me and my friend is, we are used to being single and we are okay doing things on our own without trying to dial a man's number for anything. You might think it's impossible, but it really is easy to do. You just have to be very confident with your own ability to not ask men to do things for you.

Well,..... unless it involves cars. Because I am shit at that. But then again, I don't drive. So there. Problem solved.

To people thinking we don't socialise with people
I am an introvert. I only socialise with people when I want to, but in the end, I like reading myself to sleep better. Ask every other introverts in this world and they will agree with me. It's not a disease. It's just that our way of life is different than yours. If you can't accept that, well, that's just your issue with society at large. I mean, you want everybody to do things your way because your way is the right way? Well, boo-hoo to you, compadre. People have different priorities in life.

To people think we're complicated
If I am, well, I am not proud of it. I am opinionated, that's for sure. But I can tolerate people. Again, I don't do that "I an an independent woman" chant every day. You know how uncomplicated I am? I don't even have a list of things I want from a man to be my husband. All I want is to fall for someone hard enough that I want to spend the rest of my life with that person, and right now, I am not falling for anything or anyone. That can happen too, you know. Some people just don't fall in love that easily, that's all. All that 'drooling for Leonardo Dicaprio' thing? It's just fun to do, because people think you're weird if you don't talk about recent actors.

(the last time I said I fell in love with an actor, it was Clint Eastwood, and my officemates said, "Wey, just go and fall in love with Justin Timberlake or a K-pop guy or something.... why la that old man...")

To girls who just broke up with their significant others who are clearly are not over it trying to make some kind of an association of 'cool single girls' 
I will punch you in the face and say, "Get over it" if you do that. People who are brokenhearted just needs to experience the patheticness of their feelings until one day you don't feel pathetic anymore. That's life. Don't make me your excuse to feel great when you're seriously jaded inside. Accept your jadedness, and you are going to turn out fine. Every time you try to do that sisterhood-of-travelling-pants shit with me, it just gives me the creeps.

I don't subscribe to the Sex and the City friendship. Please understand that.

To girls who broke up with their significant others and use excuses such as 'I want to be single just like you' to mask the actual reason that they find their boyfriends inadequate for their needs
Stop lying to yourself and stop lying to me in order to lie to yourself. I am not your icon of singleness. Just go and get married or something. Sheesh. Every single time tak puas hati dengan hidup sendiri, mulalah sibuk nak mengagung2kan kehidupan aku tanpa sebab. I am not your icon of excuse, nor am I a poster child for singlehood.

To people who think we're lesbians
I do not fancy a being that has the same set of boobs and vagina like meself.

To people who think that we're a bunch of 'tak laku' girls
You want me to tell you how valuable I am in the dating market? Because that's how we value ourselves? Duuuude, have some self respect.

To people in general
There is more to life than discussing my personal life. Why are you worried about me being single? Is there some sort of a will saying that you will get a million dollars if I get married? (I mean, if that's the case, tell me. I will find a man to marry and we can split the money two ways). Will the country get invaded by aliens if I continue to remain single till the age of 40? If not, then relax. The world doesn't turn to ashes just because I am not married.

In conclusion, pleaaaaase do not try to make me seem like a loser for being single, or to make me seem cooler for being single. I don't need to be empowered, to feel like a cool person, to be identified by my singleness, or to be associated with the world through my relationship status. I just want to live a life without any need to explain myself about things that I do. Please don't make me do that. I am tired of it.

The next time you see me, why don't you ask me, have I donated to charity today, have I done something to change the world (even if it's minor), or if I have performed my salah on time. Because that's kinda more important, don't you think?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

To be the Exception, or to be Exceptional

Sorry, it has been a long while since I last wrote on this. I have been busy with work. Still is... actually... I am currently tengah pandang my translation script going, "I don't want to do this today. I don't want to do this today. I don't want to do this today. I don't want to do this today..." and decided to write here to distract meself for a while (sure, distract diri sendiri.... bos mintak translation siap sebelum tujuh pagi esok, mengular macamlah banyak sangat masa...)

Yes, I got some subtitling work again, I mean, until December that is, because the company I worked with are stacked with too many things, they had to sub some jobs to me. Since they sub A LOT of scripts, I don't even want to know berapa banyak skrip they themselves have to take care of.


I have been having a... (I can't call it mid-life crisis, I'm just 31... though sometimes when people asked me my age, I said '32'... I

...let's just say I have a career crisis.

I am in trouble of not selling my books well. I can be honest with you guys because I really don't have any self-respect about my life (or lack thereof). Haha. AKU KELIRU has not been selling well. It hasn't even broke second print. That's the worst. THE. WORST. (by 'the worst', I mean, "Mehh, typical...", rather than "Oh my God, life is over!"...).

It still hurts me a bit, because I love writing AKU KELIRU, and I put my heart and soul into it, but of course, mana la bleh aku paksa orang suka aku tulis apa... itu istilahnya perasan sendiri. But I love that I have readers who love it (yo te amo mucho mucho). But to tell you the truth, I do not represent the majority of people in Malaysia. My books don't speak to them. I used to think that people, like me, would like to read stories that they can relate to, but according to some unofficial surveys and observations I did on Malaysian readers, most of them don't really want to read something they can relate to, or they just can't relate to what I bring to the table.

In short, my style of writing and majority of readers don't connect.

No, I am not blaming them or anything. Of course, you can't ask people to read something that they can't connect with. For example, I don't care how many people say that Mitch Albom is a great writer, I don't particularly connect with his philosophy. Or, people like John Green, and Nicholas Spark, for example. They may be bestselling authors, but I am not a fan. Not because they don't write good stories, because they do, but because the style, the scene, the atmosphere, the way it is written is not the kind of thing that I like to read.

So, since my hiatus, I have been thinking.

Maybe here is not my market. 

Some people say, "Oh, you just have to tweak your writing to suit readers..."
Well, yeah, I could. But I've tried, and I can't. I just can't do it. Because I believe in the rule, not the exception... and I speak for the RULE, not the EXCEPTION.

For example, majority of CEOs will not marry their own scullery maid. That's the rule. Sometimes, one or two of them did. That's the exception. But I am not the exception, and I don't like to teach people to believe they are going to be an exception. I want them to be exceptional, not waiting to be the exception.

What I meant by that is, happiness to me is knowing what you want, and getting it - THAT, is what it means to be exceptional. For example, Wulan in 3 HATI's happiness is finally knowing what she's good at and aiming for that. So it was a bit frustrating for me when people asked me, "Kenapa dia tak end up dengan Neal?"

But of course, that's not what majority likes to read. Some criticisms that I get from readers, include "It's not cute enough", "it lacks romantic scenes", "there are too many pop culture reference that I don't understand", "takde scene gaduh2 manja sangat"... 
(I tried adding more, but then I delete it, sebab aku memang tak mampu nak tulis scene gaduh2 manja banyak sangat. I mean, even in reality bila tengok orang terlampau gaduh manja on FB pun aku cam,"Ughh get a room." ahahaha. But seriously, though, I will take note on the pop cultural reference thing.)

*Masni (in AKU KELIRU) is the exception though, but that's because I need closure for both Zaniel and Masni... ahahah.

So,  what I'm trying to say is, I think I need to practice what I preach. I have to be exceptional. I must do something to be exceptional, and not waiting for people to recognise me... okay, not ME, persay, but my work.

So, right now... while I am busy with work, and trying to squeeze time to write another manuscript, I am also planning to do something else.

No, not 'adaptasi drama'. Nope. I don't even have a ship in the first place to say that "That ship has sailed".

Something else that I hope I can achieve before I turn 35 (which means I got 4 more years to do it). I am currently looking for some experts in editing to help me with it.

Pray for me, my dearest readers. 

P.S; Thank you for all your positive and supportive comments. It gives me so much pleasure and happiness to know you guys. I will reply to it as soon as I finish translating CORAZON EN CONDOMINIO dan DESTINO that has been giving me headaches. Some 10 to 20 more episodes to go.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

THE SELF-OBSESSED TRIVIA: Things you should know about...

Maafkan saya sebab dah lama tak apdet blog.

Macam biasa, trivia self-obsessed. Untuk baca trivia buku2 yang sebelum ini, you can click this, and this, and this, and that, and this, and that,

i. AKU KELIRU tak ada dalam aku punya perancangan untuk publish. I had several other manuscripts and ideas in queue, and writing a sequel is none of them. Tapi sebab ramai pembaca email aku dan mintak supaya kisah Roul dan Safiah disambung, dan actually senang sangat nak put on my Safiah & Roul hat, I did it. But like I told you guys dalam post sebelum ini, nak yakinkan publisher untuk keluarkan sekuel kepada buku yang takla dalam senarai bestseller, bukan benda senang.

ii. Seperti yang dah pun diketahui, kali ni aku ketengahkan Masni, tapi Masni dah memang ada sejak AKU KAN NOVELIS. Zaniel pulak dari novel PLAIN JANE. Yang lain-lain cam biasa. Ada watak2 lain yang aku amik dari nama orang yang aku kenal (Masni is my longest blogger friend who is now studying in Japan; Iza is my roomy-BFF kat UIA; Jis is also a long-time blogger friend; Arfah adalah ex-officemate masa kerja kat CO; Roul adalah nama gelaran seorang senior kat UIA dan nama penuh dia Zairul adalah nama ustaz Bahasa Arab kat Matrics UIA; Kirby adalah nama bapak sedara marriage I mean... I do not have any English blood in me; Ashiqin atau Sha adalah senior aku kat SMKAKS; Shasha adalah sepupu kepada sepupu aku, dan King is her husband and Juxta Art really does exist and you can check them out here, tapi ada jugak nama-nama yang aku main letak je, like Jane, Eloise, Badariah, Hasrin dan Encik Saleh.

Chaq and I in 2005... on the way to Archery Tournament, by which I mean, lepak makan gula-gula while orang lain memanah
Iza and I in 2006. Sorang grad Psychology, sorang grad Political Science. Sorang jadi lecturer Psychology, sorang buat entah apa-apa entah untuk hidup

Masni and Jis. 2006. Kawan lepak waktu malam kalau ada Frinjan atau those kind of artsy fartsy thing. Ahahaha.
My monster bag, yang aku tempah dari Juxta Arts. Yes, they take orders like this.

iii. That stalker letter sebenarnya aku pernah alami, though aku takleh panggil that person stalker, more like an obsessed guy (dia tatau pun aku novelis) who was angry at me for removing him from Facebook back in 2010 (in my defense, he flooded my posts with unnecessary comments). He wrote me a long private message dengan gaya bahasa yang sama macam yang korang baca dalam surat Zafli.

iv. Perbualan menggunakan Bahasa Kantonis antara Jane dan Eloise is courtesy of my former CO colleague, Wai Ting... aku juga guna nama dia untuk watak colleague Wulan dalam 3 HATI.

v. I got question on why Badariah sangat busuk hati, sebab aku tak explain langsung apa yang dia tak puas hati dengan Masni. Sebenarnya selama aku hidup, aku tak tau apa punca orang busuk hati. Badariah reminds me of someone yang aku pernah jumpa zaman aku kerja dengan CO dulu. Masa tu aku pergi shooting location filem (aku tatau apa jadi kat filem tu. macam tak akan keluar sampai bila-bila je). Antara pelakon yang ada kat location termasuk Yasmin Hani, Rusdi Ramly dan Lana Nordin. This one reporter (I won't say from which publication) sangat benci dengan Lana Nordin that I don't really understand why. Masa tu Lana Nordin was not that famous, dan I know she was trying hard to be nice to everybody, that setiap kali orang interview Yasmin Hani, dia akan mencelah dan bergurau sikit2, which to me, is not a sign of menggedik, but just someone who wants to fit in and show how friendly they are. Tapi entah kenapa, this one female reporter hated her so much, she kept telling us that Lana Nordin gedik, Lana Nordin perasan, Lana Nordin this and that, and saja2 langgar minah tu when she was walking. All the while, Lana cam just senyap dan tak fight back. She looked confused as to why she was treated that way. Which to me, adalah sangat ridiculous, since I was there in every interview, and Lana did nothing wrong at all. It was the female reporter who was exaggerating. So even nowadays, when I saw bad reports about Lana Nordin, I'll be like, "Oh come on. She is not that bad. Don't just make up stuff about her because she is sexy!" and then aku akan teringat about that one female reporter and her treatment of Lana. So, yes. I don't understand why people are being assholes to other people sometimes. And Badariah is like that. Maybe being a bully makes them cool? Maybe they want to fit in? Maybe their life is so miserable that they want to make life miserable for someone else who looks like they are not that miserable?

Kisah Masni juga adalah based pada kisah dua member aku. Diorang tak saling mengenali, tapi kisah diorang seakan sama - which is isu dengan rakan sekerja yang talam dua muka dan kaki bodek.

vi. As you all know, I really hate kisah orang kaya-raya bercinta dengan orang miskin. Senang kata, I hate anything that involves lelaki kaya-raya. Tapi since Zaniel was from buku aku yang kedua, PLAIN JANE dan aku cipta dia sebagai orang kaya dalam novel tu to prove a point about Balkis, I can't actually 'de-wealth' dia.

Bas RapidKL.... the bane of my existence
vii. Dalam satu bab where Masni dan Zaniel berbual dalam bas, dia ada bercerita pasal kaki dia kena sepit dengan pintu bas tapi dia tahankan sepanjang perjalanan sampai bas berhenti kat bust stop berikutnya sekalipun sakit gila. Benda tu sebenarnya jadi kat aku. Masa tu dalam perjalanan balik dari kerja dan bas penuh nak mamp. Tahu tak macam mana sakitnya kaki kena sepit dengan pintu bas? SAKIT. GIL. LE. Tapi sebab masa tu driver awal2 lagi dah warning jangan dekat dengan pintu tapi aku degil sangat, so aku diamkan je kesakitan tu. Aku lebih rela terseksa daripada kena jerit "Kan aku dah kata!" dengan driver. Ahahaha. Dan bas U623 tu memang bas yang aku naik every day back in 2008 masa aku kerja kat CO di Kelana Jaya. Naik kat LRT KJ, turun kat depan Nanyang Siang Pao, go to the opposite road and naik bas U80 balik Shah Alam.

viii. Perbualan Zaniel dengan Masni pasal WWF/WWE adalah disebabkan sehari sebelum tu aku tengok The Rock's return to the match and rasa nostalgic (aku dulu kaki tengok wrestling.... aku pun tatau kenapa... but era The Rock/StoneCold/Triple H was awesome). Dream team WWF aku ialah Chris Jericho dan Hardy Boyz, by the way. Ahahahaha.

because Jericho was awesome. and he wore pants.
ix. Tulis pasal gaya hidup Zaniel memang leceh. Penat aku interview semua member2 yang urban-Bangsar-Subang Jaya style. Nasib baik aku ada member yang memang ada kad keahlian Celebrity Fitness Platinum yang kat Empire tu. Dapatla aku godek dan observe semuanya. Nak masuk gim biasa pun tak mampu apetah lagi yang ada perkataan Platinum.

x. Manuskrip asal ada lebih 800 pages, termasuk a few bit where aku share writing tips (sebab ramai membebel kat internet kata "Tajuk novel, AKU KAN NOVELIS, tapi takde langsung tips penulisan..."). Kali ni aku buat tips penulisan, tapi sebab dah panjang sangat, semua tu aku terpaksa buang. Aku kena buang lebih 150 pages wooo. Ingat senang ke. ahahahaha.

xi. AKU KELIRU ni marks the third time aku mintak cover colour kuning tapi dapat yang tak berapa nak kuning. Aku mintak kuning untuk VALENTINA NERVOSA dapat biru. Aku mintak kuning untuk 3 HATI dapat krim. Aku mintak kuning untuk AKU KELIRU, dapat beige-ish raibow-ish paint color (I love it though, so I am not complaining). Pastu arituh ada novel baru orang lain keluar cover warna kuning yang aku nak, aku cam, "Heyy!!!"...... ahahahahaha, jeles.

xii. Tajuk AKU KELIRU tu an afterthought. Aku tulis citer ni takde tajuk, pastu aku bagi entah apa jela tajuk kat editor aku. Mujur dia memiliki kesabaran.

Scumbag InDesign CS5.5......
xiii. Oh, harap tak ada siapa salahkan editor atas typo error yang berlaku tu. Kisahnya begini. Editor aku tanya kot aku nak slash and hack sendiri manuskrip aku untuk kurangkan jumlah mukasurat. Aku kata, biar aku je yang buat sebab aku tau bahagian mana yang penting and mana yang tak. So dia bagi aku manuskrip yang dia dah selesai edit, and kata "Guna Adobe Indesign CS5, hantar Isnin" (sebab Isnin tu jugak nak masuk printer). Aku pi guna aku punya, CS5.5. Sudahnya, aku hantar Isnin (sebab banyak sgt mukasurat, takleh nak siap edit dalam masa sekejap), diorang takleh bukak (Scumbag Indesign... tambah version .5 kat nama, terus takleh nak bukak). So aku terpaksa convert balik guna Acrobat, and bila sampai kat editor, dia kena convert balik jadi Indesign, and suma susunan dah lari. Kiranya dia terpaksa edit balik everything dalam tempoh yang short sebelum masuk printer tu. So, kalau ada orang yang patut dipersalahkan, sayalah orangnya. Jangan! Jangan baling batu pada saya! I mean, I love working with Sue. She was my first editor, and she is easy to work with.

xiv. Aku tak berniat pun nak buat Chaq menyanyi lagu "Money, Money, Money" masa tunggu Safiah dalam kereta. Tapi aku tengah dengar lagu tu masa tengah menulis scene tu (and the real Chaq pun memang suka dengar lagu-lagu retro)

xv. Untuk mendapatkan AKU KELIRU, sila PM ejen saya Abang Long untuk dapatkan tandatangan berserta exclusive magnet.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The thing about "I" and "Them"

I like writing in a first-person POV. Writing that way gives me the advantage of looking at so many things from so many ways. Some writers might differ though, as they think that writing a novel from the point of view of "I" or "Aku" is only narrowing the scope of views to just one person.

But most of the best writers I know write in a first-person POV. Yann Martel's "Life Of Pi", Tea Obreht's "The Tiger's Wife", Vikas Swarup's "Q&A" (though famously known as "Slumdog Millionaire"), Stephen King's "The Green Mile",... even some of the chic lits such as Sophie Kinsella's and Cecelia Ahern's are written in the first-person POV. My favourite book, "Ayahanda" by Azizi Abdullah was also written from the point of view of a first-person - the son.

What I love most about writing a book using "Aku", is that it helps me describe things and people better. It's like playing FPS (first person shooter). You're not imagining someone else in the picture. You can actually make the character.

Of course, it is quite annoying sometimes. I have found some writers like to ram their way through grammar when they write in such a way, inserting English words, colloquial terms, and three dots (oh I hate three dots when it is not inserted in a correct way) like nobody's business. It's like, hey, I know you're writing as "Aku", but it does not mean you can just shit your way from start to finish. I wrote Roul's POV in his style of words, but he is not the main POV. If I write a whole book in his POV, my editor would have smacked me in the head.

Why the topic of first-person POV? Because a friend of mine says that it limits storytelling and it's a style usually adopted by amateur writers. But just like I said before, some of the greatest piece of writing I have read came in a first-person POV.

And to tell you the truth, from the five books that I have written thus far, it's "Plain Jane" that I love the most. Don't get me wrong. It's neither my best work, nor the biggest selling among all of them. But I love it because it was mine. It was then and there that I found the actual technique and freedom of writing things my own way.

I might not be writing all my books in the first person POV, but truth be told, I much enjoyed writing when I can pose as a judgmental bitch.

(*NSK is currently writing a new novel in a third-person POV... and every day is a struggle of trying to be interested in it)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

An update from a lazy-ass

Aku terlalu sibuk dengan kerja.

Nak update blog tak sempat. Nak balas komen pun kena delay dulu (maafkan sayaaaa....)

Jadual hidup pun berubah ikut Ramadhan. Kalau dulu aku tidur awal, sekarang aku tak tidur langsung. Dari lepas solat, aku menghadap kerja, then cycling setengah jam, mandi, solat, tolong mak masak sahur, makan, solat, hantar kerja, get some nap sebelum bangun balik dan sambung kerja.

Will update something... anything... when this stomach ache is less crappy.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Did I become my own taboo?

The longer I've been in the writing industry (with not much knowledge gained due to my own deteriorating skills of comprehension), the more I realised that I am getting lazier.

Once upon a time, I promised myself that I would not be writing clichés. So I kept pouncing the word out in my books, saying how cliché this and that thing is. But then I realised that I have somehow created my own brand of clichés.

Now, where readers were originally surprised to who the heroine ended with, they anticipated every single supporting characters.

The protagonists were anticipated to be strong-minded, sarcastic females with no-nonsense attitude towards her surroundings.

The men should be weird and out of the norms.

The protagonists would have loyal bestfriends who would be there for her, either to listen to her woes or just giving it straight to her face of how annoying she is.

The girl would not end up with the same guy she was with earlier.

The girl's family members are weirdos consisting of a laidback father, a nagging mother and siblings who sass.

I have realised this while writing VALENTINA NERVOSA, and yet I kept doing it. I think it was both intentional and unintentional. Intentional because I hate weepy do-gooder characters with no sense of self-defence or personal demons. Unintentional because sometimes I work on auto-pilot and my auto-pilot identity is a snarky person who hate weepy do-gooder characters with no sense of self-defence or personal demons.

That's why I love Cecelia Ahern. I know that some are saying that she has not written a book as great as her earlier works like "PS I Love You" and "If You Could See Me Now". But I still love her because she always write different things.

"The Time of My Life" is my personal favourite, not only because it felt like my life, but because of how it was told. Instead of telling a story of how a broken-hearted girl was unable to move on, it takes a perspective of Life itself, that came to see the protagonist as a personification of a sick man (I always imagine my Life as Benedict Cumberbatch) and pressures her to move on with her life.

Every single book has a different concept, though mostly revealed the same message of love and loss, cherishing moments and having no regrets. "PS I Love You" sends the message through post-humous notes, "Where Rainbows End" (also known as "Rosie Dunne") was written in an epistolary technique, "If You Could See Me Now" tells its stories through the existence of an imaginary friend, while "A Place Called Here" realises the mysteries behind our lost items. "The Gift" tells the story through time, "Thanks for the Memories" through blood transfusions, "The Book of Tomorrow" through a padlocked leather-bound book she found in a moving library. Meanwhile, "One Hundred Names" tells it through the experience of several different people, while "How to Fall in Love" uses self-help books as the concept of storytelling.

"Girl in the Mirror"? Well, that story scared me.

But none of the book feels the same despite sending similar messages. It tells you to cherish your life in various ways, various words and multiple philosophies.

And I hope to do the same. NOT copying Cecelia Ahern's style, no. That is the biggest sin in writing - copying other writers. But I hope that I can maintain my trademark, in which readers will know that it's me writing it even if I didn't put my name on it, while at the same time not being too obvious that they are able to tell what will happen next.

I don't want to be the kind of writer who just admit that I write cliches just to justify my lack of creativity or so people would not expect much of me.

Wish me well, O my beloved readers... (ni paksa orang ke ape?)

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Smells like Teen Spirits. I mean, real spirits. Not the deodorant or the motivated feeling.

Jika anda adalah FB friends saya (it's HERE if you are not aware of it), ya, akhir bulan depan Insya-Allah sekuel SEKOLAH BANYAK PENUNGGU akan keluar.

Ini cover-nya:


But that's not the cool part. The cool part is if if you put it next to SEKOLAH BANYAK PENUNGGU, it looks like this:

Awesome, innit?
Tentang apa? Kalau dah baca, senang kata, it's what happened four years since the 'incident' that happened di Bilik 34 (ke 32? Aku sendiri tak ingat apa aku tulis. Haih). Kalau belum baca, well, it's a compilation of ghost stories, some made-up, and some did occur zaman aku sekolah menengah dulu. Dengan erti kata lainnya, kisah-kisah seram asrama.

Well, of course, since it's published under Teenprima (which is the Teen/Kids unit of Buku Prima), penulisannya ada sedikit berbeza dengan buku dewasa. Kurang English, dan lebih mesra remaja. Tapi kalau tanya apa uniknya dengan buku kedua ni, well... dalam buku kedua ada kisah yang berlaku pada aku sendiri masa zaman duk asrama dulu. I even use my own name, though ceritanya aku exaggerate sikit (kalau tak exaggerate, nanti korang macam baca nota kelas pulak...)

excerpt from the book. Click on it untuk besarkan

The cover designer is still the same person, Nina (who did SBP dan AKU KELIRU), while kali ni editor bertukar dari Poja ke Nine (pronounced as Nee-ne, bukan Nain). Yes. It's true. My cover designer dan editor bernama Nina dan Nine. 

Not sure whether akan ada buku ketiga atau tak. I really do want to make it my thing, you know... tulis feel good stories untuk buku dewasa, dan buat seram komedi for teens. But then again, I am not sure yet. Lepas ramai orang kata susah gila nak jumpa buku SEKOLAH BANYAK PENUNGGU kat kedai buku (toksah citer kedai lain la, MPH tak jual langsung), maybe I have to rethink my priority.

Anyway, buku baru ni akan keluar akhir Jun ini. AKHIR Jun... or probably July. Who knows. Tapi kalau susah nak jumpa kat kedai, boleh beli dengan ejen saya, Abang Long di talian 019-2254910 (just SMS him, he'll get right back to you. He's cool, no worries). Dulu ada website-nya, arrazi, tapi sejak akhir-akhir ni problem plak. So you can also visit him HERE instead.

Like always, setiap pembelian through Abang Long will get you ucapan penulis dan signature (if you want. I won't force you to get my signature. It doesn't worth anything in eBay anyway.. ahahaha).


Fadzilah sedang mencari jawapan kepada misteri yang telah berlaku kepada Pak Cik Baie ketika mengalami serangan jantung di Koperasi SMAX. 

Oleh kerana itu, dia sanggup bekerja di SMAX yang terkenal sebagai sekolah banyak penunggu sementara menunggu keputusan SPM. Dalam pencariannya, dia bertemu Muhaimin dan Dinie yang mempunyai banyak kisah seram yang ingin diceritakan. 

Apakah agaknya jawapan kepada pencarian Fadzilah itu? Semuanya akan terjawab dalam Sekolah Banyak Penunggu 2.0.

“Kenapa semua cikgu kat sini sensitif sangat pasal topik hantu?” ¤ Fadzilah

“Seram, kan? Kalau saya nampak, saya pun meracau agaknya.” ¤ Muhaimin

“Sebab ini cerita hantu yang ikhlas. Saya tak suka nak menambah-nambah cerita. Cukuplah pengalaman masa tingkatan satu dulu.” ¤ Dinie

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tiga Tahun Yang Mengelirukan

"Kalau orang suka buku kau, kenapa buku kau tak bestseller?" tanya seorang member.

Aku terpempan kejap, sebelum jawab, "Mungkin orang unik je yang suka buku aku."

Ahahahahaha. Aku memang tak tau nak jawab soalan ni. Ini soalan tentang rezeki Allah. Mungkin kalau buku aku bestseller, aku jadi bongkak tak bayar zakat. Mungkin kalau buku aku bestseller, nanti aku rasa aku paling bagus. Atau mungkin suatu hari nanti buku aku akan bestseller, cuma masanya belum tiba. How would I know?

I adopt the same ideology about jodoh.
Kalau ada, then kahwin. Kalau takde, then tak kahwin.
Kalau laris, Alhamdulillah. Kalau tak laris, well, continue living. Kalau ada orang nak tabur pasir dalam periuk nasik? Well, just punch them in the face and continue writing.

I have promised to write about my experience writing AKU KELIRU dan aku dah delay benda ni tersangatlah lama. I will do my SELF-OBSESSED TRIVIA some other time, when the book's period on the rack dah lama sikit.

For now... let's talk about how weird it is that I wrote the thickest novel that it had to be edited again so that some of my yappings had to be left out. It was 810 pages long when it was changed to InDesign version despite the fact that it was only 560 pages when I sent it to my editor (okay, so it's actually 560 pages yang ditulis guna font saiz 11 dan langkau 1.5 baris, instead of 12 and 2.... so sebenarnya aku rasa kalau aku hantar manuskrip tu dengan format sepatutnya, it would have been over 700)

Truth be told, I hate sequel. Hate it. Sekuel pada aku... macam some sort of a cheap move for orang yang tak ada idea. Kalau dalam industri filem, unless the movie is a trilogy, sekuel hanyalah bukti that the original movie was a huge success and the film studio is just cashing in on the hype.... which usually menghasilkan produk2 tak berkualiti (*cough*Transformers2&3*cough*)

Tapi aku buat jugak sekuel AKU KAN NOVELIS. Why? Sebab gmail aku dipenuhi requests yang bernada "Kak, tak puasla Roul sikit je. Buatlah sekuel."

Satu lagi, mungkin sebab aku memang hipokrit dan cakap tak serupa bikin. Maybe. Ahahahaha.

And the actual reason ialah sebab walaupun pada mulanya aku tak nak buat, one day, I just opened MS Words, and suddenly the words flow macam air terjun Lata Iskandar. It was so easy revisiting Safiah dan Roul and ideas kept flowing. But it still took me three years before I actually finish it. Kenapa?

Sebab aku malas Sebab I had to try to make it stand alone. I know that BUKU PRIMA was not that keen about sequels (especially since AKN pun tak la laris mana pun). You see, kalau nak cuba rationalise pun, you have to understand that Buku Prima, atau induknya, Karangkraf, adalah sebuah syarikat yang buat bisnes. They're not charity organisation. "Ha apa? Kau nak keluarkan novel sesuka hati kau tanpa pikir ada orang nak baca ke tak? Silakan..."

Takde makne la boleh buat macam tu. Ahaha.

So, untuk hasilkan sekuel AKN, aku kena cuba yakinkan yang it can stand alone without its predecessor. Aku perlu yakinkan editor aku yang even if you don't read AKN, you can understand AKU KELIRU. Aku perlu yakinkan dia orang yang kisah Safi, Roul, Iza, Helmi, Masni, Zaniel, Chaq, dan Jis ni worth the attempt. That took me three years. Well, of course, aku takde la mengharap laris juta-juta ke ape ke. I mean, come on. Let's be real. You don't go around saying "That novelist Nurul Syahida" and people say, "Yeah, I know her..." I am not that memorable.

Tiga tahun masa yang aku amik, bayangkan berapa banyak kali aku tekan delete button. I didn't want to make it too dramatic. I didn't want it to turn into some sinetron (masuk hospital, death, amnesia, penculikan, stolen identity, pencakukan ginjal, stuff like that). AKN in a nutshell adalah kisah seorang novelis bajet bagus yang sebenarnya as clueless as anybody else when it comes to relationship. And I want her to keep being that novelis bajet bagus yang sebenarnya clueless about relationship who is slowly learning that relationship is as tough as a rock if you are not willing to bend a little.

That's the whole point of "Teori dan Praktikal dalam Perhubungan adalah Dua Benda Berbeza", because Safiah, like meself, adalah theoretical being. We both suck at practicality. We have answers to others' problems because we understand the theory, but it doesn't mean we would do what we advice others to do.

Dalam masa tiga tahun tu, banyak benda yang berlaku dalam hidup. Aku dan kawan2 aku menang kes di Mahkamah Tinggi, then Mahkamah Rayuan buat taik dengan aku dan kitorang kalah semula. Aku buat bisnes dengan Mun jual Chocolate Strawberry pies, aku berhenti jual Chocolate Strawberry Pies. Aku buat terjemahan, and then aku stop buat terjemahan bila I realised that it took a lot of my time dengan bayaran yang not worth it at all. I met a nice guy, I did a stupid thing by not being ready for a nice guy, I lost a nice guy. I got thinner, I got fatter, I got thinner again, and then I gained weight, in an endless circle of calorie wars. My cousins got married, my cousins got pregnant, my cousins got kids. My two blogger friends got married, my best friend got married, got pregnant, and got a baby boy. I tried to write AK, I stopped a while and write something else, I return to AK. I got sad about things, I became positive about things, I feel nothing about things, and I live an autopilot life later on. I want to be different, then I want to be normal, then I think trying to be anything is just a cliche, and then think that trying not to be cliche is just a cliche in itself, and then think that I need to stop using the word cliche because I am getting sick and tired of the word being used in every day life nowadays and I feel like the monster who vomited that word and make it linger in the book industry and now just want to say, "Okay, I am sorry. Let's not use the word ever again!!!". These things happen in the course of three years of me writing AKU KELIRU. Yes, it all molds perfectly into my realm of thinking.

To sum it up, tajuk novel aku ni sebenarnya sangat sesuai dengan keadaan diri aku sekarang. I am just a confused person trying to make sense of the world around me.....................................................

What the hell am I writing right now?

Friday, May 9, 2014

When people starts war of the words on FB

The older I get, the more annoyed I am with social networking sites.

Just the other day, someone I know was angry at another someone who is also a Facebook friend. The issue was?

A wrote an ambiguous post about her feelings and B thought A was talking about her. So B PM-ed A to ask if she was talking about her, but A did not reply. However, B said she swear A has read her PM because there is that 'seen at' thingy under the message, which shows at what time A has read the PM.

So, angry with A, B decided to write her own ambiguous FB post about dishonesty in friendship, and somehow, C, D, and E began to discuss it, with each and every one of them asking if B was talking about them.

I can imagine what happens next. It's cyclical.

Before I begin babbling about the human interaction in Facebook, I would like to point out several things:

1. Those 'seen at' thing are not to be trusted. 
- I mean, a while ago, Mun was staying overnight at my house, and when I was talking to Nad in our group chat thingy, the thingy wrote "Seen by Munira" despite the fact that Mun is in the toilet. It either means:
a) Someone back home is using her laptop and reading her messages
b) That thing is just stupid 
- I mean, I had trouble with someone last year who called me 'sombong' because I didn't reply to her message when I actually hasn't been reading any messages. She said that I have read it (because of that 'seen at' thing) when the truth is, I have not been on Facebook at all. I don't even have internet on my phone to be able to surf just anywhere.

2. The world does not revolve around you
- I don't know about others, but if you're talking about me, I am just the type of person who would just write ambiguous things because I feel like it, or because I had a chat with someone who told me their problems and I decided to say something about the problem. It doesn't have to be about me or about me having a conflict with anybody. I just like to express stuff because I am a writer. Wordplays are my thing.

Now, back to babbling about Facebook. I mean, seriously? What are you doing on Facebook? Going around reading statuses and making sure that everybody loves you and has nothing bad to say about you? Fine, if someone is actually using your name and say shit about you, but I find it ridiculous for someone to make a big deal about sentences such as "Persahabatan tak bererti tanpa pengorbanan", and saying things like, "I know she is talking about me. What's her problem?"

Well, what's YOUR problem?

Stop reading Facebook posts if you're the type of person who misunderstands easily. I used to feel that way. Whenever someone wrote something about a writer who is this and that, I kept thinking if they are talking about me, but then my friends kinda give me the allegorical slap in the face by saying, "Stop thinking everything is about you. It's not".

So, it doesn't matter if it IS about me. I can't spend much of my time wondering who likes me and who doesn't and why that person can't say shit to my face. It's not healthy. Writing things on Facebook is therapy for some, and unless you really are interested in learning whatever it is they are saying (and not just for the sake of gossiping), stop basing your conflict on every single thing written on FB.

As much as you should never be a bully on Facebook, don't play a victim on it too.

In regards to the A vs B, A was actually lamenting about another friend's conflict with his best friend. It has nothing to do with her friendship with B.

And don't you start on "ini semua agenda yahudi untuk menjatuhkan orang Islam..." because you being overly-sensitive and emotional is not nurtured by any yahudi. It's you.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The thing with the -ISTS

I am reminded of a conversation that I had with my former editor, who was also a former player (now a married man and a father of one, I heard, bless him). It was about the treatment of women by men, and how I am against women being treated like an object, to which he said:

"You and your feminist views."
"I am not a feminist,"
said I.
"You sound like one."

To tell you the truth, it's not about me being a feminist or not being a feminist. I just hate labels. I hate the 'ist' (except for 'novelist', but then again, I prefer the word author/writer). The thing is, sometimes when we label ourselves with the 'ist', we tend to become obsessed with the tag/label and started behaving like the 'ist' we chose.

I am not saying being feminist is bad. Not at all. I, of all people, hate it when women resorted to 'asking men for help because we're just so weak and in need of manly strength...' (Oh come on. I can lift a cupboard on my own...) or the double standard in the corporate world, the mistreatment of rape victims, and all the other sexual harassments cases. I hate it when women think that they can't go far with their brain, or spending an awful lot of time being angry with the world because some other pretty girls get things easier (I will talk about this thing in another entry). I hate it when we are associated with things like "shopping", "shoes" and "make up", as if we're just that (and sadly, some women do attribute themselves with only those things)

In a way, yeah, I have feminist... tendency? thoughts? ideas?

Anyway, what I am saying is, I kept hearing people calling themselves "liberalist", "Islamist", "fundamentalist", neo-progressive thinkers, modernist, and whatever label you can use. Sometimes when people ask me what I am, I just said I am a neo-pseudo-feminist counter liberal antagonist.... it doesn't have any meaning, but it's fun to see people going "oooooo" as if it's a thing.

It's not a thing. I'm just being sarcastic.

Not that I am against the isms. I just hate it when people are sooooo in love with their labels, that they shape every single thing, even things that don't matter, into the kind of label they want to be. It's as annoying as talking to people who said stuff like, "I am a Saggitarean, we like doing things that way" or, "I was born in the year of the Ox, so I am a bit stubborn...", "I am of the O blood type. We're a bit hot-tempered". Seriously, stop blaming the year you were born or the zodiac sign for every effed-up behaviour you have.

It's now "Oh, I am a progressive liberal thinker and I think these people are idiots."

You're an idiot.

In saying this, I am not saying that everybody with the 'isms' are all annoying labelists (is that a thing?). I am just saying that while labeling yourself is fine, don't make it a habit in every conversation. Yes, I know you're a Cancerian/Horse baby/AB-type/neo-conservatist.... don't keep on spewing those words to make you seem unique. You are unique without your label. I can tell you how unique you are from the way you talk, the way you give your opinion, your confidence, and your views about the topics in hand. You don't need to express your political stance to show you're intelligent. Because sometimes, those ideologies you kept vomiting from your mouth are only showing how unintelligent you are.

Anyways, while in that discussion about the objectification of women with my former editor back in 2008, he was then interrupted by a female co-worker, who asked him if her female friends can share a ride with him to another one of our co-worker's wedding. He asked her who the friends are and if there're pretty ones, and she showed him pictures of her friends and ask him to pick his favourites to share the ride. He grinned at me, and said, "See? Now your feministic views are all going down the drain."

Yeah, thanks, women. You guys are very 'helpful' in my cause =_=

"So, in a way, you're an individualist?"
"Don't make it a thing. It's not a thing."

Monday, April 28, 2014

Just me and my cheesecake.

It's my birthday yesterday.

Yay me.... or something in that sense.

But unlike my birthdays every year where I spent the day at the KL International Book Fair and then went to celebrate with friends, this year I decided to just stay at home. Doesn't matter that I missed watching M.Nasir launching RAM's book at the Karangkraf Pavilion and whatnot. The peacefulness of home is better than any stars you bring to the table.

Except for Liam Neeson. For Liam Neeson, I would cross a thousand seas filled with sharks and megalodon (look it up on Google if you don't know what a megalodon is).

So, with my phone on SILENT mode, WIFI off, my birthday celebration consists of me working, watching TV (there's Jason Bateman on HBO, so that's eye candy enough), feeding my cat Mugabe, have some conversat with mum, ate the cheese cake dad bought me, fell asleep while eating cheese cake (what 'the life of a party', I am), and played Doraemon's Repair Shop game on the tab while thinking of nothing.

Then at night, our family went to have a bite at Gangnam Station. Which is in section 13, not actual Gangnam.

Pretty much nothing, you might say, but I enjoyed it. I have always been a person who likes my peace the most, so to get that on my birthday is the best thing ever. The past few weeks had been a bit hectic. With AKU KELIRU already published, I have been going to and fro Karangkraf. Then there's the other freelance work, the second trio in planning with Liza Nur and Zara Amani, and there was those bengkels by Karangkraf (though those workshops are good for me, when your life is a bit here and there, it kinda annoys you a bit that you have to sacrifice your only downtime to go to the office you have been going to for the past few weeks. Ahaha).

Then there's the Facebook thing... you know... debates after debates on peppero, on that old man who made a police report about azan and tahrim being too loud, on water crises, on hudud, on Erma Fatima and her kemban girls, about MH370, about race and religion... so many debates, so many opinions, people calling people sesat, people calling other people sundal and jalang, people saying things that made me feel like... did you really say those things just for several LIKES, LIKES that don't even count when you're dead and alone in your grave?... there were too many of them, that one day I just decided,... you know what, I am just going to stop reading the newsfeed. Shit, if not for a fact that I am not alim, have a lot of mistakes and sins of my own, and have not enough amalan baik to warrant me a piece of heaven, I would have stayed inside the cave like the Sahibul Kahfi. The cave would be awesome. The cave would be peaceful. Throw in *Daryl with me, and I am good to go.

(I want Daryl because he has a crossbow and can hunt for food, not for the other thing you disgusting monkeys are thinking about. And when I said Daryl, I mean Daryl, not Norman Reedus who plays him)

I sound like a woman with depression, don't I? Ahahahahaha.

In short, it has been 'loud', and so I decided that I would rather not do anything at all. You know how sometimes you are so overwhelmed with work and other unimportant things that you just don't give a shit but you had to give a shit just to be human, that you wanted to book a hotel room just to sit down and stare at the blank wall while eating chips?

That's what I did. I sat on the sofa, staring at the pouring rain, while eating cheese cake until I fell asleep. That was the most enjoyable thing I had done for the past few weeks.

Just me. And my cheesecake.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Cover novel is out and I have been staring at it

So, as you all might have already known... or not... I am not sure actually... but... the sequel to AKU KAN NOVELIS will be out in April.

Semalam Buku Prima baru keluarkan cover and it looks like this:

Roul ada dreadlock? Nope. Just model hiasan semata-mata.

Ramai yang cakap kat aku "Kak, nape rambut Roul tak merah?"... tapi sebenarnya aku tak kisah pun pasal gambar lelaki dreadlock tu kat situ walaupun dah macam bekas opismet aku dah rupenye. Ahahaha. I think it's cool that the designer really committed to making it as close as I hope it would be.

Aku bagi tiga suggestions. Aku tak ingat one of them, but the other two is gambar perempuan with pen melirik ke belakang, and satu lagi gambar lelaki rambut panjang with jeans dari pandangan belakang tengah menghadap lukisan, you know, as if he was painting or thinking of things to paint. Though it wasn't sama sebijik macam aku cadangkan, it still has all the elements I asked for - a scruffy guy and a painting.

And hey, look. My name is bigger than the title. Yay! (sebenarnya memang mana2 penulis yang dah ada lebih lima buah buku dengan BP akan dapat font besar by the sixth book. Takyah poyo sangat, Shai. Ko takde la glemer mana...)

Kudos to the designer. I think last time aku tanya editor aku, tak silap aku dia kata designernya Nina (the same person who did SEKOLAH BANYAK PENUNGGU punya cover design). Dan kali ni editor aku bukan Che Puan Echah (yang edit Plain Jane dan Aku Kan Novelis sebelum ni), bukan Anis (yang edit Valentina Nervosa), atau Encik Ali (yang edit 3 Hati).

Editor aku kali ni ialah Sue, which is the person who edited my first book - SOALNYA HATI. So senang kata, I am just returning to day one.

And I like covers. I think I've said it berkali-kali. Aku sangat suka cover novel. Setiap kali lepas siap tulis novel, benda pertama yang paling aku tunggu-tunggu ialah cover novel. Adakalanya aku lupa pasal royalti atau pasal sign agreement. Aku sibuk tunggu cover keluar. Saya hantu cover. There. I said it.

Aku nak reminisce tentang pengalaman menulis AKU KELIRU! tapi sebab buku belum keluar lagi, aku akan save bebelan dan ucapan-ucapan syahdu tentang pengalaman menulis some other time. Right now, I am just going to stare at my book cover sampai muntah darah. Teehee.

Again, it will be out in April. Sebab buku aku salu keluar April. Jangan salah faham. Bukan BP lebihkan aku or anything (kalau BP lebihkan aku dari penulis lain, I would have been living in a bungalow right now... ahahaha). It's just that aku usually hantar manuskrip baru pada bulan Jun/Julai/Ogos. And usually by that time, the latter half of the year punya jadual dah penuh, and most of the earlier months have been taken. So in the end, memang April la jawabnya.

So for those who ask why the hell do I always get lucky and get my book out in April, the answer is: It's not luck. It's technicality. 

Same la macam "Kenapa Shai selalu ada kat event Buku Prima?". It's not because they prefer me over others. It's because I live in Shah Alam and the publishing company is in Shah Alam, son. Sometimes they didn't even ask me to come. I just happened to come. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Adakalanya Aku dan Kau Sama-sama Perlu Ingat

Adakalanya... pehh "adakalanya"...

Okay serius.

Adakalanya, ketika kita berjalan menuju ke satu destinasi, kita terpegun dengan benda-benda yang ada kat tepi-tepi jalan. Mungkin gerai jual rambutan, mungkin kedai kopi, dan kalau jalan tu kat Jogja, mungkin angkringan (Shai is starting to deviate from subject again....)...

Tapi kadang-kadang dalam perjalanan kita tu, kita nampak ada simpang lain. Simpang tu tulis "SHORTCUT", atau simpang tu papan tandanya cantik sangat, atau nama tempat kat papan tanda tu menarik sangat, so kita belok. Instead of ikut jalan yang kita nak, kita melencong ke tempat lain. Mungkin lencongan tu membawa kita ke tempat yang sebenarnya lebih sesuai untuk kita, mungkin shortcut untuk destinasi kita, atau just a place that delay our travel.

Whatever it is yang ada kat lencongan tu, sama ada kita nak belok atau tak, itu semua keputusan yang perlu dibuat di simpang tersebut. Because You won't know if simpang tu kau boleh patah balik atau jalan sehala, dan kau tak tahu sama ada wujudnya simpang lain dan simpang tu akan membawa kau ke tempat yang sama dengan simpang sebelum ni kalau kau teruskan perjalanan ikut destinasi asal. Kat simpang tu la kau kena buat keputusan.

Kenapa aku buat analogi panjang ni?

Sebab adakalanya sebagai penulis, aku rasa aku sesat jalan. Ada banyak sangat simpang untuk penulis ni. Kadang-kadang kau jadi down bila novel kena kritik dan rasa profession ni tak sesuai dengan kau, atau kau jadi overconfident bila dipuji sampai kau rasa kau better than everybody else. Kadang-kadang kau tensen bila royalti tak banyak dan kau lupa apa objektif utama kau turun ke bidang penulisan sebab kau asyik tanya semua pembaca apa diorang nak baca instead of staying true to what you writ. Kadang-kadang kau sibuk mencari penerbit untuk buat adaptasi buku kau.

Tapi sebenarnya, kita irji' semula.

A writer writes.

We write about things that happened, we write experiences, we write lessons, stories, fantasies, imaginations, reality, wonders, sadness, happiness, woes, happily-ever-afters, horrors, thrillers, actions. We write things plainly atau dengan bahasa berbunga-bunga, bahasa pasar atau sastera, bahasa sinis atau ketegasan. Kita guna kata kerja, kata nama, kata sifat, pelbagai jenis bahasa. Kita serius, kita lucu, kita sarkastik...

Tapi yang nyata satu saja. Writers write.

Kita menulis. Itu priority. Kalau tak kita tak dipanggil penulis.

So ingat semula perjalanan kita. Where were we going. Why were we in this. Why did we write in the first place. There are a lot of more interesting things. There are too many things that entice.

But a writer writes.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

SIM card aku rosak, so aku bermonolog tentang kehidupan...

Bila aku kata SIM card aku rosak, member aku cam....

"Nampak sangat ko single."

Ahahahahahahaha. Apa kaitannya? Banyak kaitannya. Hanya orang single yang sangat tenang bila SIM card rosak, fon rosak, atau apa2 hal kerosakan yang berkaitan line of communication.

Tapi it juga sangat berkaitan dengan orang yang kerja freelance-slash-novelist dari rumah macam aku (aku boleh je tulis freelancer/novelist instead of guna perkataan 'slash'.. saje menyusahkan diri).

Truth be told, I hate phones.

Aku terganggu bila dihubungi di telefon. Bila orang call aku, aku jadi blur, I say the stupidest thing that makes Snooki nampak bijak laksana (aku tak tengok "Jersey Shore" atau "Snooki & JWoww" pun untuk buat Snookie reference... which is actually a very very very old reference. I just have weird knowledge about reality shows). Apetah lagi bila aku tengah menulis. Cantik je aku punya flow, sekali tu ada bunyik lagu "Knights of Cydonia" berkumandang dengan dahsyatnya.

Hilang sume flow idea aku.

Satu lagi sebab aku tak suka mengikuti perkembangan zaman (kata seorang bekas student Political Science whose studies are more or less about the political progress of the era). Dulu aku suka tau apa nama model kereta terbaru dan main that game dalam keta with my sister where you pick a car of your choice and kira ada berapa banyak kat jalan raya and whoever pick the most, wins..... well, actually wins nothing except the right untuk berlagak.

Tapi sekarang ni terlampau banyak model kereta yang keluar, aku dah stop paying attention. Imagine playing the same game in this insufferable adult life.

"Itu Honda, kan?"
"How can that not be a Honda?"
"Itu Nissan Altima."
"Looks like a Honda to me."
"How can that look anything like a Honda?"

Yeppp.. I am crap at that.

Sama jugaklah macam brand telefon. A few weeks ago, telefon lama aku rosak, so I used my father's phone instead. Nad tanya aku, phone apa. Aku kata Samsung. Then dia tanya aku Samsung apa.

I don't know. Cheap Samsung?

Then Maxis hantar SMS configuration, saying "TQ, you'll receive settings for your Samsung S3850 Corby II soon..." and aku cam, Oh, so nama kau Corby... mmmkay.

Today, aku baca artikel tentang Chow Yun Fat. Chow Yun Fat is one of the highest earning stars in Hong Kong with wealth over HKD 1 billion... which is bersamaan dengan RM...... eh pi Google sendiri lah. And yet, dia pergi events naik public transport, jarang apdet baju2 yang dia ada, dan pakai henpon cikai. Why? Sebab dia kata dia boleh observe orang kalau naik public transport and people would not realise he's there at all sebab diorang sume busy tunduk tengok fon masing2. And why dia pakai fon cikai? Sebab dia suka fon cikai dia.

So I guess Fat Gor is my idol in that sense.

That brings me to the point... kenapa bila aku hidup dengan dhaif, some successful people kata, "Kau kena berubah" and bagi aku contoh-contoh orang-orang kaya yang berjaya macam Dr. Fazley atau Donald Trump sebab diorang dress and act for the job they want. And yet bila aku kata, "Christopher Nolan takde henpon", sume orang kata, "Kau mana boleh samakan diri ko dengan Christopher Nolan...."

How can you compare me to those other rich people who you think I should take as an example, but when I pick my example, ko kata tak bleh plak?

Jap, apa cerita aku tadi? Aku rasa aku dah keluar topik....

Oh well.

In reality, Fat Gor tak bakar rokok dengan duit though...

Monday, January 13, 2014

Something Borrowed, Something Blue

Selamat Tahun Baru semua!
(Cis... punye la terlambat sampai 13 hari).

Or, more correctly, (sila baca lepas Maghrib) Salam Maulidur Rasul! Sallallahu 'Ala Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam. Semoga kita tak berselawat hanya pada Maulud Nabi.

The new year has not been much different from what other years. I mean, aku masih buat freelance, aku masih seorang novelis, aku masih di Malaysia (walaupun dulu poyo buat plan nak migrate Aussie bila umur 30 tahun. Shai and her plans.....). Ya, not much difference. Aku memang dah berhenti making new year a big deal since I was 23. I found that pretending like I care and making too many resolutions only end up with me not doing any of those resolutions and doing the exact opposite.

Like, that time when I said I am done trying to slim down. Then suddenly aku lost 10kg. Then aku kata "Oh, this year I will work hard so that I can tone my body like those damn KPop girls"..... takde makne. Makin aku makan lagi ade la...

But there are changes among friends. Nad dah start pindah ke rumahnya sendiri. Tim is a mummy to a healthy baby boy. Masni dah married, fly ke Japan pregnant, all in a course of a few months (I assume). Jis pulak akan kahwin Februari ni. Shikin is married and pregnant. Liza beli rumah baru. Mun's catering business dah semakin maju.

Speaking of catering (ada kaitan ke?), Sabtu lepas, aku, Liza (Liza Nur) dan Shikin (Zara Amani) lepak sarapan kat Shah Alam Mall, saja update what's new. And somehow kitorang end up brainstorming dan came up with a new trio project. I am not sure whether GBK would want to publish us, since I don't think they're so keen about 3Hati... ahahaha... but still, we just love the idea so much, we're just going to do it in spite of.

Biasanya aku akan cerita apa the whole project is about, but since nowadays dah banyak sangat kes (yang aku dengar la) this writer curik this other writer's idea, and the whole shabang, aku rasa lebih baik kitorang keep it quiet for a while.

Adakah projek ini sebuah sekuel? NNNNNNope.

Meanwhile, novel sekuel Aku Kan Novelis dikatakan bakal keluar April ini (novel aku asik keluar bulan April. Senang kata, kalau nak novel keluar April, sila hantar around June or July the year before). Novel baru Liza Nur pulak, "Pabila Dia Tersenyum" (tentative title? Not sure) will come out the month before. As for Zara Amani? Entah. Tak siap-siap manuskripnya. Ahahahaha.

Clue for the next project?