Saturday, 10 June 2017

The Calming of Nerves aka About Time

And Irving Wallace’s “The writing of one novel” makes it two. The first, and still favourite, being Stephen King’s excellent On Writing.

A pipe smoking author: who wouldn't want to read this?
Both are memoirs and how to books with King edging Wallace in sheer entertainment for me.
Wallace’s “The writing of one novel” is a darn great read for me as it provides the perfect basis for a style of writing which I am familiar; with researched materials being the starting block.

“The writing of one novel” is about the pipe smoking American author’s journey – literal as well as figurative – in writing a fictionalised Nobel Prize winner.

Starting from the sparking of an idea – if I am not mistaken, it was initially for a magazine article – to the digging of details through extensive research including interviews (imagine that!), his outlining of the storyline and characters, the first draft review process, publishing and the controversies that follow.

Is “The Prize” - the novel’s title - a worthy read? I do not know as I have not read it. It occupies a genre which I must admit to being less than enthusiastic to pick up the book and start flipping.

Both Wallace and King are strong proponents of the adage that writers must be voracious readers.

I’ve been stocking my reading materials (heh) and never getting round to doing the tough bit of, urm, reading them.

I keep telling myself that to finally write that novel I’ve always dream of, I need to read, and read a lot. And start writing even as the reading goes on.

By God, I will start the last mentioned act as I have been putting this off for a long, long time. Ideas ready; initial research's done, draft materials in place; so what’s stopping me?


And, oh, I need to find myself a muse. Seems to work best with one around.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Days We Stood Still

I posted this on 29th July 2011 and sadly, five years later, nothing's changed for the people of Syria.

Blessed Surrender

The silence unnerves her
A once bustling boulevard
Thrash strewn amidst jostling crowd
Of whom there were none this day

Slowly she walks
Afraid of hearing her own shuffling
Past what was once, what, a tent?
A smoldering heap, charred tinder

At the centre of the stillness
A hulk of a steely monster stood, once arrogant
A mangled cage, trace echoes of scream
Of its occupants dying a lifetime of death

Pass the iron horror she trudges ahead
Directionless, willed only by the need to move
Somewhere, anywhere
Where there is a soul
Kindred or otherwise
A soul she ask a soul she seeks

Except for the hulking wreckage where she gagged a vomit
The air is pure is clean is sure
A sun soaked clarity of a surround
Alas there was only sight but not a single sound
Except for a rustling of wind ruffled debris
Other than a gust of strewn dust

A square, of tents in people pushed to the brink
Finding their voices found long subdued
Only to be mutedly strangled
Tyrannical hands of vile might

Soon is Ramadhan*
Is it not she thinks?

A month for shackling of lust of pride of desires
A month of peace of penance of repentance
A month of endless joys in blessed surrender
Ten nights of fruitful embracing of faith

If only
There was someone
Anyone to welcome
A month so waited

She trudges
Wondering why there was no scent
When death was too many
Too plenty too heart rending

Perhaps its Syuhada then
She thinks
She walks
She ponders

Dedicated to the lives lost in for making their voices heard.
* Ramadhan will also be upon us soon. I dare not be flippant of such grotesque irony.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Late Evening of A Few Sitting - Whatever that Means..

It's been a long while now that I've been able to finish a book in one sitting.

With Mark Haddon's "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time",  I've managed to do so in three.

Admittedly the book is not that beefy in pages, though it is in content.

The dry, Brit humor present early on somewhat petered off towards the end - which was positive and, well, happy enough - but it had enough to keep me hooked to the end.

Even got to the part about the advertisement on Malaysia at the Tube Stations / Network. 

Since the book was written in 2003, it was still Malaysia Truly Asia.

I've mentioned that the book is beefy in content: it is.

I'm especially drawn to the portions about how the mind works to interpret characters, situations, events and everything else.

The skewed, autistic mindset and logic-based reasoning from main character Christopher makes things so easy when we know full well that isn't the case.

Would I go for a second, third and subsequent read of this as I do some firm favorites? I don't know. Give it time to rest a bit.

As the night was still relatively young when I finished Curious Incident, I started also on Superman Unchained.

(Of course there would a comic thrown in...)

What drew me to this trade paperback was Jim Lee's art and yup, while it all looked so damn familiar, I can't say that I didn't enjoy flipping through the pages.

I'm never a fan of Superman as I think his motivations are suspect, but the storyline itself was quite entertaining since Bats and Wonder Women were in it as well.

Like we Malaysian always say: "Boleh la.."

Contrasting colours.
Until the next few-sitting reads come along, let's continue to enthralled by the shenanigans of 1eMDeeB.