Notisbod notis:

Pembelian karya-karya Nurul Syahida kini boleh didapati secara online melalui ejen Mohamed Feroz atau melalui Karangkraf Mall. Setiap pembelian membolehkan anda mendapat tandatangan dan ucapan khas penulis.

Whatsapp/Hubungi: 019-2254910 (Abg Long)
Berikan (nama)(alamat)(nombor telefon)(kuantiti buku)

Friday, December 29, 2017

Ramblings of a Woman Who Finds Herself on a Sudden Break From Work

2017 bakal menutup tirai (bakal menutup tirai? Ini essay Bahasa Melayu tahun 1999 ke?), dan aku tak rasa aku buat apa-apa yang hebat tahun ni. Sure, aku keluarkan dua buah novel, but pfft, who doesn't?

But still, 2017 adalah tahun yang sangat bermakna dalam hidup aku, kerana ada dua ulangtahun yang disambut tahun ni.

1. The tenth anniversary of me working with Cinema Online
2. The tenth anniversary of SOALNYA HATI, my first novel ever.

Aku tak tahu nak cerita apa sebenarnya. Tapi hari ni aku diberi cuti secara willy-nilly oleh editor aku (sebab dia cuti), so aku pun just turn to the blog yang dah bersawang ni. Aku boleh je gunakan masa tu unuk tulis novel, tapi hakikatnya sekarang ni aku memang tak ada mood langsung nak tulis novel. Tahukah anda aku ada lima manuskrip baru, currently in the works? Yes. Lima. L-I-M-A, which is also the capital of Peru.

(you should know by now that this is the kind of blog-writing with no direction at all. I could be talking about the anniversaries of the two things I just mentioned, or it could just be a rambling  about nothing in particular)

I always think I'm this when I write
But I am actually this
 Mari aku ceritakan apa lima manuskrip yang tak siap-siap tu. Pertama, tajuk dia "Si Skema vs. Puan Sabi". Adakah bunyinya idiotic and uninteresting? I bet it is. It sounds awful. But during the process of writing a novel, aku akan letak je apa2 tajuk asalkan aku paham apa bendanya yang aku tengah tulis. Kalau aku letak tajuk "Semerah Darah Cinta" or poetic things like that, nanti esok lusa aku lupa apa benda yang aku tulis. It won't be the final choice of a title though, because I hate it. 

Secondly, sebuah novel bertajuk "Facebook Friend". Ahahahahahahaha. Satu lagi tajuk mengong yang tak melambangkan apa-apa melainkan apa yang perlu aku tahu. It revolves around a divorced couple. I have written four chapters worth, but I kinda hate it at this point.

Thirdly, a project called "Nat", or maybe "Alan", or maybe "That English-Language Project Shai left Halfway Because She Thinks She Needs To Take Literature Classes Before She Can Continue and Boy oh Boy She Should Have Taken ENGLISH LIT When She Was in IIUM Because Seriously...."

Fourth, an anthology called "Night Terrors" yang aku hentikan halfway sebab halfway through I was like, "Who is going to publish an English horror anthology in Malaysia from a writer known for women's journey of self-discovery?"

Fifth, "Bekas Isteri Mr. Darcy". Yet again, a God-awful title banking on the Pride and Prejudice Train. But it's not. Really. It's just a commentary about how people keep wanting their protagonist's love interest to be this wealthy gentleman when truthfully there aren't a lot of wealthy gentlemen in the world. Aku dah tulis separuh, but then again, like always, I fell into the deep ocean of busyness and self-loathing, where I ask questions to meself like, "Do people even care to educate themselves?", "Who are you to think you're good enough to educate people?", "Shai is full of herself again, she needs to go and take a walk at midnight and realise she's just a dust in this universe filled with stars.", "am I a writer? or just an opinionated asshole who luckily gets a platform to be an asshole?"

Oh, by the way, I recently read a comment online about AWAK SUNGGUH PERFECT, where the commenter said that it isn't one of my best work since it's quite dramatic. She said that the way you know how dramatic a book is is when there are airport scenes, and ASP has a lot of it.

Yes, there was Lokman going to UK for the first time and him asking Kat to wait for him.
Then there's Atie leaving Malaysia after her pregnancy.
Also, there's Atie again, going back to the UK to find her kid.
There IS a lot of airport scenes.

So, I told my friend about the comment, and she asked me, "Kau kecik hati ke dengan komen tu?", and I'm like, "What? No! Aku cuma rasa ralat sebab aku tak pernah terfikir pun pasal the whole thing about dramas and airports!"

It was a genius observation, and I am unhappy that I wasn't the one who came up with that. That is sooo true. Why is it that every time ada klimaks to a story, mesti ada karakter yang nak membawa diri ke luar negara? That is soooo cliche! And I am part of that cliche! Damn it, I should have realised that!

Kudos to the commenter!

Hmmm... I think cukuplah ramblings ni. I will now immerse myself in kuaci-eating self-loathing session.

Friday, May 19, 2017

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

Macam dah lama tak buat trivia ni kan? Haha. For the rest, you can just Google the word THE SELF-OBSESSED TRIVIA (and nama buku), and you can find all trivias about my previous books.

1. Tajuk asal yang aku bagi pada editor was "SAYANG KAT", which is a play on the word "Kat" since Khadijah was called Kat and she love cats. It is also the last thing she would always write in her emails and letters to Lokman.

Selain SAYANG KAT, aku bagi sembilan lagi tajuk lain, including AWAK SUNGGUH PURR-FECT, yang ada kaitan dengan bahagian akhir cerita. Tapi SAYANG KAT tak diterima editor (I think probably because ada novel lain bertajuk SAYANGKU COMBI... sila jangan tanya apa kaitannya... ahahah). Pilihan AWAK SUNGGUH PERFECT tu dibuat oleh editor, tapi PURRfect jadi PERFECT sebab editor kata "Purr-fact" is not proper english. Dulu aku rajinlah nak defend tajuk and negotiate dengan editor. Sekarang ni zaman ai malas.
So in case anda ada soalan mengenai "Apa signifikannya Awak Sungguh Perfect dengan jalan cerita....", inilah penjelasannya.

2. Kisah Faiz sebenarnya inspired by this one kid I knew in school (darjah dua kot... aku pun tak ingat). His name is Faiz, dan mak dia dah tak ada. Aku bukan daripada keluarga yang kaya dan sempurna, tapi aku ada mak dan ayah, so at that tender age, he was the first person I met in my life who lost a parent.
At eight, I learned for the first time that death and loss can happen any time to anybody, even to a kid. Aku dah tak ingat lagi rupa dia, but he sat behind me in school. One day, he brought his baby sister to school, and showed her my nails (sebab aku pakai inai at the time) and adiknya sangat takjub tengok inai. That was the only memory I had of him.

3. Semua nama kucing dalam AWAK SUNGGUH PERFECT adalah nama kucing yang aku pernah bela:
i. Chippy, my first cat ever (cuma the real Chippy berwarna kelabu).
ii. Maria Clara is this white kitty yang berbulu lebat with a tinge of grey on her face and tails, aku bela zaman belajar U. Aku namakan dia not based on Jose Rizal's "Noli Me Tangere", but based on the name of character daripada telenovela bodoh bertajuk "Secreto de Amor. Don't get me wrong, I hate that telenovela, but I think the lady who plays Maria Clara is so pretty. And the cat was so pretty to me, like a Maria Clara. But one day, kakak aku hantar mesej kata Maria Clara mati kena serang anjing liar.
Mugabe, A'a, Kimon, in memory
iii. Seru adalah kucing yang adik aku paling sayang dan reason nama dia Seru sama dengan reason yang diberi dalam novel. It went missing.
iv. Kabu dan Koyon sebenarnya adalah dua kucing berbeza. Kabu is this cat yang aku bela in my last year of studies. I loved him so much, but dia mati kena langgar kereta back in 2008. I actually cried and couldn't help myself. I went to work and to the editorial weekly meeting with my eyes all red and bengkak, I think my boss might have thought I had a breakup or something. Koyon was actually this one cat spesis Burmilla yang tiba-tiba muncul depan rumah kitorang. Masa tu kucing aku Phibun baru seminggu mati, and I was deeply affected by it because I wasn't home when he breathed his last. It was as if this cat knew, and he decided to come into our life for a bit. I mean, after a year, he decided not to stay anymore, as if he knew I was okay. You may think I might a bit romantic about the cats in my life, and you think right.
v. Phibun. Just like Kabu, his death really affected me because he's the first cat that was with me all the time (I was home every day sebab aku dah start kerja). He had jaundice sebab dia suka minum air kotor. And the day he died was the same day my best friend got engaged, so I was at her house and couldn't do anything about it. I couldn't even show how upset I was because I didn't want to ruin her happy day. Balik daripada majlis, I realised that nobody actually buried Phibun because he was still inside this plastic bag. In anger, aku amik cangkul dan korek tanah then and there in the rain walaupun my dad halang. I buried him in the rain. That sounds really tragic, yes.
vi. Other cats named in the book belongs to someone or was in my life one way or another. Mika is my neighbour's cat, Blue the stray cat, Wu Ming, Gadang, Ghali, all of em were part of my life in the past.
I wanted to promote ASP by taking my cats Mugabe, A'a, and Kimon everywhere with me, since I was inspired to write a book about cats because of them. But in the course of that two years buku tu dalam editing process, Mugabe died of FIP, while A'a and Kimon went missing.

4. I didn't intend for Atirah to be a pseudo-model. I didn't want to give in to the cliche since most of my model friends (what la 'most model friends. There are only two of them!) are really nice people. I didn't know how it happened. Aku rasa, memang betulla kata Stephen King, that a writer is no 'God', but just a 'secretary' who is reporting on what she sees. Somehow, as the story progresses, I see her getting taller, slender, and beautiful. She was never a pretty girl in school because of her height and now her height suddenly becomes something of a power for her. And suddenly the story happened by itself.

5. I have no similarity to Khadijah except for my love of cats. I have low tolerance on mean people and I don't see myself waiting for a man that long. Haha.

6. Karakter Nurin is based on my junior yang bernama Nurin. Actually, aku nak guna nama Nurin tu daripada time tulis cerita Wulan dalam 3 Hati lagi, tapi aku terlampau suka nama Wulan, aku takleh tunggu sampai novel lain. Ahahahahahahaha.

7. "Successful Story of  A Bright Girl" adalah 'drama pengenalan', the first Korean drama that I watched. Ever. Orang asik rekemen kat aku cerita WINTER SONATA, tapi lepas lima minit pergerakan yang sangat slow dan melancholy yang berlebihan, aku cam.... noppppe. Why are you trying to make me watch sad things? But at the time, kalau kau tak tengok drama Korea, kau macam tak cool, so aku start dgn SSABG. Sebab tu dalam ASP, Khadijah tengok cerita tu. And sebab tu jugak sampai sekarang aku ada soft spot for Jang Nara and Jang Hyuk, even though aku dah tak berapa layan cerita Korea.
(trivia: aku berjaya mempengaruhi roommate aku si Iza (Mahallah Halimah, represent!) untuk tengok SSABG, dia tengok all 13 episodes in a matter of two days.)

8. I partly wrote this book because I actually spent a lot of time watching cat's behaviour. I am not saying I am an expert. no. What I mean to say is I spent a lot of time watching cat's behaviour because I spend more time with cats than with human what with me working freelance from home.

9.  Aku rasa aku manusia pertama yang dedicate novel kepada vets. Ahahaha. But that is because vets played a huge role in my life. Dr Shida from Klinik Haiwan Seksyen 6 rajin tolong lekatkan poster untuk aku bila kucing aku hilang, dan selalu bagi kucing aku benda free, cam loceng for collar atau bola loceng, atau kira sapsapsoi je. Dr Zul's team (or that guy you would recognise from NASI LEMAK KOPI O) gave me a quick feedback when I asked for their help in notifying me if a good samaritan somehow found my cat and sent him to their clinic.

10.Hurayrah in Khadijah Hurayrah's name bermaksud kucing (or anak kucing), bersempena nama sahabat nabi, Abu Hurairah, who was called Abu Hurairah BECAUSE he loved cats so much. I think his real name was Abdul Rahman or something.

If you read it from start to finish, you will realise I wrote a lot of early 90s and early noughties' things dalam ASP. Contohnya:

JEM adalah kartun favourite aku masa kecik-kecik dulu, and one of the most popular cartoons from my childhood. I wrote this book before that damnation of a movie came out. I also thought about making Khadijah watch SAVED BY THE BELL (because Zach Morris was everybody's crush), but lagu tema SBTB tak best macam JEM.

Ini adalah Mrs Pepperpot the cartoon.
"She’s a queen, an angel in the sky a lovely flower in her little world-and she can talk to the animals she is their friend they call her Mrs Spooooooon.." (see, aku ingat lagunya)

Dhaus dipanggil Ushida Uryuu sebab masa kat UIA, BLEACH adalah anime yang paling popular. I stopped after episod 70-something sebab banyak sangat karakter, aku dah konpius. Confusing characters is also the reason why I stop reading CONAN.

13. Yes, Khadijah bekerja di Digital Life, a company belonging to Zaniel (of PLAIN JANE, and AKU KELIRU). But this is not the first time aku masukkan karakter buku lama ke dalam buku baru. I have been doing it since day one:
- Mak Balkis ajak dia pergi kenduri kahwin Pyan and Zulaikha (SOALNYA HATI) in PLAIN JANE
- Safiah saw a girl in a wheelchair tengah bergaduh dengan seorang lelaki dekat dengan taman KLCC masa tunggu Helmi nak pergi PC Fair in AKU KAN NOVELIS. She was indeed, looking at Balkis and Zaniel from PLAIN JANE.
- Soraya bercakap tentang watak "Safiah" from "Aku Kan Novelis" dlam monolognya about Mariyyah in VALENTINA NERVOSA
- Soraya yang Bee mention dalam KAMPUS as one of the lecturers yang ajak dia shopping adalah the same SORAYA in VALENTINA NERVOSA, who sometimes chat with her lecturer friend "Rabi".
Ada banyak lagi, but I can't remember them all.

14. AWAK SUNGGUH PERFECT is the reverse-version of SOALNYA HATI when it comes to the idea of betraying one's friendship. in SH, it was Zulaikha, the protagonist, who betrayed her friend.

15. Khadijah, Atirah dan Lokman belajar di SMKAX, or SMAX, the same haunted school of which the events of my teen horror series, SEKOLAH BANYAK PENUNGGU ditempatkan. Aku ada terfikir nak buat scene Khadijah nampak hantu dan diselamatkan Lokman, but was like, "Mehhhh..."

Untuk pembelian, sila Whatsapp Abang Long di 019-2254910 (sertakan nama, alamat, kuantiti). Setiap pembelian disertai dengan button magnet/bottle opener free dan tandatangan penulis.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

KAMPUS (and why it's quite weird to return to that story at 33)

Today, as I surfed the web ("surfed" the web, how '90s of me...), I realised that I have left this blog to die, like I did with my previous blog (I guess leaving things to die is my thing. Like, my rosemary garden, my kitchen cabinet project, my career as a novelist...).

So in the spirit of trying not to have my tombstone read "Here lies Nurul Syahida, that lazy biatch" (but then again, no Muslim has speeches on their tombstone), let's just try to get this thing alive again by sharing with you about my new book.

Why do you have a new book when you already have a book released last September, you ask? Beats me. I don't even know why. I just got a call, and there it is. New book.

RM27. How awkward it is, to put the price here!

Okay, so it's not exactly a full Nurul Syahida book. It's an anthology, or an omnibus, if you will (I am just using a different term because I am pretentious).

So how did this happen?

Back in January, while I decided not to write anything because I just don't have anything in my head or anything new to bring to the table, my editor sent me a message on Facebook asking me if I could spend some time writing a story, just an itsy bitsy teeny weeny one, for a project that they are trying. I asked what project. She said it's a love anthology revolving around  the life in a campus.

Yes, so I did make my debut with a campus story ten years ago (SOALNYA HATI, everyone?), but I was like, "You know, I am not in my early 20s anymore. I can't be doing cutesy love story like Zulaikha and Pyan and get away with it. It would be awkward. Can I do adult stuff?"
"How adult are we talking?"
"Adult like the age group, not the 50-Shades-of-Grey adult."
"Yeah, sure."

Okay, I lied, The above interaction never happened. In truth, my editor asked me for a quick story, I said yes because I am overconfident that way, then I got panicked two weeks in because... who am I kidding? I am bad at deadlines! Then I remembered my friend Rabi, who is a lecturer, so I was like, "Rabi, help me, pleaaaseeee..." and she was like, "Sure!", and I went back to my editor and was like, "Hey, I am going to write a story about a lecturer instead of a student. Cash me ousside, how bow dah?", and she was like, "Your calll, dude...", and I was like, "Mmmkay!"

and then I sat down in front of my laptop, two hands static on the keyboard, and me, going, "Shiiiizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..."
Cuz, let's be real. I got nothing.

But anyway, as I was sitting around not doing anything because I got no idea, suddenly I remembered something Rabi said back when she just finished her studies and was waiting for the greenlight to come home to Malaysia. It was something about the university making a slip up concerning her ticket home, and she was stranded for a a while overseas. As she shared about how she was arguing on the phone with the person who was supposed to help purchase the ticket, an image of a woman starting to take shape in my mind, and a man, who pretended to listen on the other line while he was actually playing a game on his smartphone.

Then she told me about the time the university forgot to prepare her a room as she returns to work, and one scene over the other began to pour - a nosy mother, a laidback old friend, a room smeared with squirrel's blood, a table by the window with books all over the place.

Then I started to call her Bee, like the insect that never once stopped to smell the flowers.

And that's how the story began.

However, need I remind that this is not like 3 HATI where the stories are both related and unrelated. This time, it's just three writers, sharing three different stories about life in campus.

To order for now, you can either:
1. Whatsapp my agent Abang Long at 019-2254910 (bagi kuantiti buku, your name, address, phone number)
2. buy it online through Karangkraf Mall
3. Wait until Pesta Buku Selangor, which will be held at the SACC Convention Centre from 30 March to 9 April

Till then, nerds!