Tuesday, 27 March 2012

It's almost April! The #atozchallenge is coming soon

I kind of woke up to the fact that it's already the end of March and I had better get my butt moving to figure out what I'm doing for the A to Z blogging challenge this year. Well, the poll (now closed) seems to indicate that I should be doing random unrelated flash fiction, and if you remember, I decided that I'm going to be using the last word for each letter in the dictionary as prompts for this year's post. I did cheat a little - for times where the last word happens to be an abbreviation, or a suffix, I used the word directly before it.

So here's my list of words for the month, based on my trusty Oxford from school (oh wait, my brother's Oxford dictionary), 1998 edition:
  1. Azure
  2. Byzantine
  3. Czechoslovak
  4. Dystrophy
  5. Eyrie
  6. Fuzzy
  7. Gyroscope
  8. Hysterical
  9. Ivy
  10. Juxtapose
  11. Kyle
  12. Lysergic acid diethylamide
  13. Myxomatosis
  14. Nymphomania
  15. Ozone layer
  16. Pyx
  17. Qwerty
  18. Ryegrass
  19. Systems analysis
  20. Tzatziki
  21. Uxorious
  22. Vying
  23. Wysiwyg
  24. Xylophone
  25. Yuppie
  26. Zygote
Say it with me, say it with me... LYSERGIC ACID DIETHYLAMIDE?!?!? >.< Ok you know what, I'm cheating on that one. I'll use the word before that, which is lyricist.

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I'm really sorry for the long blog silence. A lot of stuff is going on right now which is taking up a lot of time and effort and energy. To keep it simple, here's an update of what's happening in my life, and what's been happening.

1. MY JOB.
Yes, my job has been happening. I'm not a full time writer or blogger, though I wish I could be, and January to June are the busiest periods of my work. It's sad. Because I think I work too hard and I'm already the laziest person in the office. HA! In fact I have another deadline this Friday, which is actually going to be Thursday, because my boss goes on leave on Friday.

2. AUDITIONS
Yes, we've started auditions for our church musical and so that's been taking up time from my writing weekends. It's exciting - even though sometimes I think we're just winging it like crazy. Well, we have to start somewhere, right? This Sunday we'll be having callbacks to firm up the main cast and then practices are going to start.

3. THE SCRIPT!
I know I've been mentioning this for the longest time ever, but I'm still not quite satisfied with the script. I've been touching up scenes here and there, re-working some bits but my main bugbear is I just don't know how to deal with the ending. If you've read my blog long enough, you'll know that I always have problems with endings and closures. I suppose this... is just another revelation of it. Sigh. *help* And yes, it's HELP! indeed, because PRACTICES ARE GOING TO START!

4. A TO Z
As mentioned above, A to Z is starting. On Sunday. I am not prepared.

5. SHORT + SWEET
For the first time ever, there's going to be a Short + Sweet festival in Penang. Or at least the workshops anyway. So I've signed up for that. It's 3-day workshop on 6-8 April, touching on Playwriting, Acting and Directing. There's also a dance stream, but... that's not quite for me.

6. REVOTOUR PENANG
In my everlasting tendency to overextend myself, when my friend Stella from Project Dance said they are doing a dance for RevoTour in May and wanted to make it an interchurch thing, I said yes. So I'm dancing, contrary to that last sentence in #5 above. My only consolation is that there are children. So I am not the only awkward one. But I am the only one without an excuse. Sigh.

7. HEADSTART
Headstart is starting again - a new batch... we're having an introduction lunch this Saturday (31/3/12) at Harvest In Cafe, Irrawady Road, so if you're a fresh grad, or you know a fresh grad, or you want to feel like a fresh grad, or you're confused as to whether you're a fresh grad, do join us... (e-mail me to tell me you're coming) we'll let you know what Headstart is all about and how you can join us. But since I'm writing this anyway, it's a one year discussion group based on the book "Following Jesus in the Real World" by Richard Lamb, aimed at helping fresh grads transition from university / college into the working world. Yes, so e-mail me. Or comment here so that I can e-mail you back.

8. FAITH, LOVE, HOPE...
Is currently on hold. What's that all about? See - I was working on compiling a set of short stories (10 in total) to publish some time in March, but as is evident, I do not have time to actually sit down and write. Well, I have about 5 stories at the moment but this project will definitely have to be on hold for the moment, at least until I settle the script. (Argh, you script! You! Script!) I'm thinking maybe September. Maybe.

There are probably more miscellaneous pies I have my fingers in (I haven't mentioned attempting to exercise, leading worship once a month, actually writing this blog, writing Fireplaces every Sunday, actually watching movies *more than one! gasp*, supporting local theatre and music, oh-gosh-Israel-Houghton-is-going-to-be-in-KL, cell group meetings, WEDDINGS! work, work, and more work) but this blog post is getting too long already - probably in attempt to make up for all the days I haven't been blogging.

This is where you probably shake your head and say, this girl is crazy.
I am.
I need a life.
LOL!

ALSO, in case you were wondering what happened to the book reviews (hah, not as if anyone was reading them, right) I happen to be on a fiction-reading fast for Lent. IT IS A PAIN. But oh, the amount of TIME it frees up. The only thing that really bugs me about this fast is the sudden need to find a dinner partner... I usually just bring my trusty book along.

Okay, so in signing off, I realise that I just gave you guys a bunch of text. Because I am pretty much a text person. But anyways, here's a little picture that keeps me sane:

Sunday, 25 March 2012

finish.

and where does your heart lie
that it flies and flutters and wheels around
heading nowhere, somewhere, anywhere
broken.
afraid.
alone.
wishing.
and all you are
is not all you wish to be
and everything
is out of your reach
wash.
rinse.
repeat.
hoping.

but You lived with the end in mind, that on this
broken earth, broken people will destroy You
and You live, knowing that all You are, all You were
will end in one night because of this brokenness

and Your heart breaks because You know there
is no other way, the ransom must be paid
the captives, unworthy as they are, must be free
so You pray, on Your knees, on Your face

willing and hoping that there was another way
but knowing You will do it because love binds You
and justice demands it of You and this is all
and always, Your will be done, is done. It is finished.

how do you deal with death?
it has been six years since you've gone
but I remember, because you live in the digital
and memory
reminds
the words
call out
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust
Life's brief candle, go out it must
It wasn't you sitting in that wooden box
I couldn't see your smile that rocks
Without your laugh, your flesh is false
No, oh no, you're somewhere else
I guess I'm glad you found your rest
Though it's hard to say that God knows best
but why recall 
you now
except that death
is on my mind

life is beautiful

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Saturday, 24 March 2012

Dead man's cell phone - WATCH IT NOW!

I've been a pretty bad blogger this past week, and this is also going to be a quickie. 1. YOU MUST WATCH DEAD MAN'S CELL PHONE. There are only three more runs of this in Penang - Saturday 3pm and 8.30pm and Sunday 3pm. The script is by Sarah Ruhl (you can google it) and it features a very solid cast (Alexis Wong, Sandee Chew, Alvin Looi, Payal Vashist, Amir Yunos, Anrie Too). And they are awesome. It's a 90 minute show, no intermission, so if you're late you'll miss quite a lot. DON'T be Malaysian for this one. Tickets are RM33. Details here. 2. THE HUNGER GAMES *squeal!* Nuff said. :) More when I have time. Or when I can actually sit down without thinking about what I need to do next or where I'm supposed to be. Dance practice at 9.30am tomorrow. Urgh.

Friday, 16 March 2012

#fridayflash: Stupid religion (Edmund)

I don’t know what possessed me, allowing Emily this folly.

The boy is not our flesh and blood. He will never amount to anything. Not with this silly God of his. Dammit. Business is business, and it is my business. What right has he to question my dealings?

Religion is the stupidest thing to ever happen to a human being. He has brains. He’s proven it with his endless string of A’s. But common sense? Pah, it all goes out the window whenever he thinks of that God of his. Why me? He could have been the best successor ever - with his brains and my street smarts, we could have built an empire to last generations.

But no. Business is too dirty for him. I don’t know what he wants. To be a monk? Do they even have that anymore?

Pure folly, this thing with the orphan. Emily is too soft.

But god, I miss Matthew. Now, he was a chip off the old block.

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First set of auditions was last Sunday, with the next set this Sunday. After that, we'll be having callbacks and then we'll finalise on casting. I don't know if this is what's actually supposed to happen because we're kind of winging it. Whee (not really).

And... all this is happening... when I can't even finalise the ending.
I know, I suck at endings.
But everything just doesn't seem right.

I think my roadblock is I have this super duper impenetrable wall against doing anything remotely "preachy". But sometimes, that is what you need to do. Or not.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

fireplace: a common mission, a deeper love

Question: What kind of God would put people through such agony? What kind of God would give you families and then ask you to leave them? What kind of God would give you friends and then ask you to say good-bye?
Answer: A God who knows that the deepest love is build not on passion and romance but on a common mission and sacrifice.
Answer: A God who knows that we are only pilgrims and that eternity is so close that any “Good-bye” is in reality a “See you tomorrow.”
Answer: A God who did it himself.
No Wonder They Call Him Saviour, Max Lucado, pg 21.

Maybe this short snippet caught my attention because that’s what I’ve been writing about. Daniel, the protagonist in our church musical, has lost both his parents. Edmund and Emily Lee have lost their only son. I’ve been delving into loss with this story, curling up around hurt and emotional scars on and off for the past three months. There is a lot of loss, but also a lot of hope, because they find a family in each other - at least Daniel and Emily do.

And yet thinking about it again, maybe what really caught me was that first answer which resonated deep within - that the deepest love is not build on passion and romance but on a common mission and sacrifice. I’ve griped often enough that I’m tired of being single. It hurts to be single sometimes when everyone else seems to have a life partner. It’s tiring when people ask something along the lines of “so when are you going to get one?” as if getting a boyfriend is like browsing on the shelves for an eligible guy and picking one. I’ve liked enough guys in my lifetime but it always comes round to the question of where we’re heading.

As picky as it may sound, I would find it very frustrating to live with someone who does not understand music and who does not understand this overwhelming drive for stories. He doesn’t have to be a musician/singer-songwriter/author/actor/dancer for me to fall in love with him (though any one, or a combination, of those would be awesome), but there must be an ability to appreciate these arts, to get it. There must also be a capacity to work at something to its completion, to sacrifice sleep, to keep pressing on in our craft just because “this was what we were made to do”.

I need him to be the flint, the iron that sharpens iron, the deep that calls out to deep, and I want to be the same for him. But this can only work if we are moving in the same direction, with the same calling.

Oh, I want passion and romance as much as the next girl, but somehow, that’s not enough. I want a life partner with whom I can serve. I want someone who I can partner with in ministry. I’ve always thought that husband/wife teams in ministry are the sweetest thing ever - and also the most effective and powerful.

I know I’ve gone off tangent to what Lucado was trying to say, talking of a ministry that drips with the tears of farewell. I’ve known good-byes. I know impermanence, and the feeling of loss even when there is none. But I also know that He has done this so that there is hope and hellos in our future as well, not only the tears of good-bye.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

#fireplace: for the glory of it all

Jeremiah 2:11b (AMP)
But My people have changed their Glory [God] for that which does not profit.
And somewhere in the midst of the dreams, the passion, the pushing on, you have to stop and remember what it’s all for. Because it’s easy to fall into the trap of always wanting more, always wanting the name and the fame, always wanting the glitz and the glam. Then you wake up, with success, but knowing that you’ve still missed it somewhere.
James 4:3(AMP)
[Or] you do ask [God for them] and yet fail to receive, because you ask with wrong purpose and evil, selfish motives. Your intention is [when you get what you desire] to spend it in sensual pleasures.
And maybe because I always second guess myself, always question my motives, sometimes I am still afraid to move on. Even though I have purposed in my heart to go, even though I know why I want to do this, why this is important to me, why I even care, what I believe God is saying about this, there is always this voice that questions:

Do you ask for this mountain purely for yourself?
Do you ask for this because somewhere deep inside, you still desire to be known by man?
Do you ask for this mountain because somewhere inside, you still believe subconsciously that God doesn’t love you enough yet?


So maybe you ask but do not receive, maybe you strive but do not succeed, because you are not yet ready.
But you still press on, because you know He is working in you, and for you.
And His Word does not return void.



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Re: A to Z blogging challenge -  
I reposted the poll on the sidebar to the left.
Please vote! At current count (on the previous form), I should be writing a new short story series.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

#Fridayflash: Emily

Where'd you go?
I miss you so,
Seems like it's been forever,
That you've been gone.
Fort Minor
I don’t know how he let go.

It gratifies me that he calls me mom, but sometimes, I keep seeing him as Matthew. It’s not fair for him. I know that. But I can’t help it.

I merge memories sometimes, enjoying the present with him, but remembering Matthew as a child, remembering his precociousness, his presence, and wanting to share it with him. But he is not Matthew. He will never be Matthew, and I know that.

But I don’t. I can’t. I keep holding on to the past.
I love Daniel, I do. He’s more of a son to me that Matthew ever was. He makes me proud. And I love him I do. But I can’t love him fully. I can’t love him enough because I keep remembering Matthew.

Why can’t I let go?