Monday, 30 June 2014

How many fronts can you have? Of having too many things to update you about

I've been surprisingly productive for a Monday evening, so I thought I'd keep the momentum going by actually blogging something.

On the writing front, I've gotten feedback from my editor for chapters 1 - 6 of my fairy tale (I really should think of a title!) and so I've been doing more edits. I was really afraid she'd hate it, but she likes it so far and most of her comments are in the line of - YOU NEED TO EXPAND THIS/BE MORE DESCRIPTIVE HERE. (I mean, besides fixing my awkward sentences.) I'm just waiting until she gets to the last few chapters and goes "eh, what? End like that one arr?" hahahaha.
Today's the deadline for submissions for the SEA Steampunk thing as well as KL Noir: Yellow and I haven't written anything. Also, I missed the deadline for S+S Penang scripts and probably S+S KL scripts. Meh. Guess it's just not meant to be.

On the editing front, I agreed sometime back to help edit the Charis Hospice 10th year anniversary magazine and I haven't gotten round to it yet. *halp!* I think it's due in August, so I better get my butt in gear, especially seeing that I am such a loyal citizen of Procrasti. =D

On the drama front, we just had a great workshop over the weekend with Shakespeare Demystified. Observation from these drama teachers: when working with Malay actors you have to work hard to get them to cut back; when working with Chinese actors, the main problem is getting them to express more. Hmm... Anyway, this workshop was for those shortlisted for the Hamlet production by USM that's coming up in October ;) Actual roles will apparently only be assigned in August, I think, so we'll see how that goes.
The funny thing about my brain is that when I'm pretty free, it goes into hibernating mode and refuses to think. And now that I'm busy with a lot of work, it decides to wake up and go hey you need to start planning things NOW! So anyway, I kicked my butt into gear this morning and talked to Alvin Looi about the possibility of him running a workshop for our church team this November. So something is starting to move! *little jig*
Ha, random observation while driving this morning: I figure God is just shaking his head at me and heaving huge sighs of frustration because I keep panicking and saying "I don't know what to do/where to go/how to do it" at the same time that I have all these ideas of things to do, but never get round to doing it because I'm uncertain/unsure/afraid/confused/not sure if these people even remember who I am. And it's kind of like *facepalm* where do you think you're getting these ideas from? Why do you think you even know these people in the first place?
Ah, so yes. One step taken today, more to come. And the way to stop the procrastination is really to NOT READ ALL THE BOOKS.

Which leads to the reviewing front, where some lovely random people have contacted me via my facebook page, website and email to give me free books for review! (Also including the awesome Dan Rix who has been letting me gorge on lovely sci-fi/time travel stuff.) *sighs with satisfaction*
That being said, cos I sometimes have a spotty memory, if any of you feel that you've sent me something for review and I never got back to you, please send me an email to bump it to the top of my erratic, neverending TBR list! I know I'm just horrible sometimes and I don't want to feel guilty for taking a free book from you and then forgetting about it.

And finally, on the music front, a song for the week:

You are more thanMy words could ever sayYou are Lord over allOver all of my daysI will see this season throughI will fix my eyes on YouOnly YouOnly You

The God is Able album happened to be one of those that just didn't cut it, for me at least. The songs are exceptionally underwhelming, but for some reason, one line of this song just struck me and has stuck with me all week: I will see this season through. (Partly because I am too lazy to change the CD in my car player so it has been looping in there for quite a while)

In a dual way, it speaks to me of seeing this current season through, of how it feels like it's time to really work at building the creative arts (or as Alvin says it, the performing arts) in the church, but it also somehow speaks of seeing the end of a season, because something has to end before something new can arise. And I've semi-made up my mind after struggling for at least a year (as you can tell it takes forever to move me - I'm coming to understand my pattern) but something has shifted, just as it shifted when I decided to move on from FGA previously. I'm still waiting though - waiting until I am removed from the situation (at least by physical proximity) enough to see if my thoughts clarify further. But as it goes, I think I'm pretty sure. But no, I'm not saying anything now until I am very very sure.

And to conclude, on the travelling front, I will be going to San Jose again in mid-July! It's a business trip to the HQ (which will be just like, meh, boring, hahaha) but I'm looking forward to a couple of things.
First, reconnecting with my cell group over at Ignite/ROLCC, and secondly, the Writer's Digest Novel Writing Conference! Woohoo!! This will be my maiden writing conference and I'M SO EXCITED. Hahahaha. I am also so noob, I don't know what to expect or prepare. I've registered for the conference and booked my hotel, but I have yet to get my flight tickets from San Jose to Los Angeles!
(Anyone else going?? Anyone have any advice to share?)

Okay. I think that's all the updates I have.

Friday, 20 June 2014

#Fridayflash: The Mirror of Erised

The trolls had it wrong, of course. You can't go through time facing backwards. Nothing would make sense. Although, as it often was, nothing ever did make sense. So maybe they had a grain of truth - just a speck.

Jenny thought that life should be an adventure - something that you jumped into without looking, though maybe looking to see that there were no obvious rocks to knock into was quite a smart thing to do if you planned to continue adventuring. So now she looked sideways at the mirror Erised and wondered what she should do with it. Dumbledore had it wrong, of course, as most people around her did.

An enchanted mirror called Desire might show you what you wanted most in life. But with a backwards name like Erised, it was more likely that it would most likely only give you the thing you feared the most. After all, what was the opposite of desire?

What if - she pulled at her pony tail - she faced the mirror Erised with another enchanted mirror? Would the reflection of what she feared then be reflected back into what she desired? Would it keep reflecting until it was distilled into pure desire or pure fear?

She didn't have another enchanted mirror, so she decided that she'd just take whatever she got. Standing in front of the mirror, she looked at her reflection. There was a  ripple and then it went dark. What did that mean? Either she desired the dark or she feared it and she wasn't sure which. Words suddenly filled the screen.

Error. Too many conflicting desires.
Error. Too many conflicting desires.

There, she knew it was a hoax. She walked out of the room, slamming the door behind her.

In her wake, a little mouse creeped out from behind the table it was hiding behind. It peeped into the mirror and saw himself surrounded by chunks of cheese. It sighed happily.


Writing prompt: Mirror

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

#bookreview: Ashlynn's Dreams by Julie C. Gilbert

Ashlynn's DreamsAshlynn's Dreams by Julie C. Gilbert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jillian Marie Antel Blairington (which is a super long name for any kid) is kidnapped and held in a strange facility where she's taught to use her talent of entering and changing people's dreams that she never knew she had. If that isn't freaky enough, she's introduced to a whole new family and is tasked to use her talent to find her missing brother.

The story is written in a series of letters or journals from Jillian and her baby sitter, Danielle, who was kidnapped along with her, with a few letters here and there from other characters.

I kinda liked the story. It wasn't really my kind of thing (I'm increasingly unsure what my kind of thing is now actually). I mean, I've been reading sci-fi a lot more now, but it wasn't as awesome as, say, God's Loophole or Eternity’s End. Maybe it was the style it was written in - the letter/journal type thing isn't normally what I go for. It also takes a way part of the tension of the story (the "kin-cheongness") or the presence of being in that moment.

So I'd give it a 3.5 - somewhere between "yea, I liked it" and "hey it was really good". Maybe if I'd read it when I was much younger I would have liked it better.

View all my reviews

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Because I love

God demonstrates His love
That while we were separated, Christ died for us
God demonstrates His love
Through one man's obedience we're bought back in blood

The thought that accompanied my morning walk today (WOAH ANNA WALKS!) was really that in the light of God's sacrifice, all the things we give up or complain about giving up are small sacrifices in comparison.

And so really, all that we do (or are not supposed to do) aren't really a big deal, in the grand scheme of things.
Because He didn't have to.
But he did anyway.
Because, love.

Yet it's not a selfish kind of love which expects a commensurate return, which puts down your love and sacrifice because they are too small, or not worthy enough, or not sacrificial enough.
It's a love that says it's okay if you can only love me that much because your heart is too small. I still love you and I will love you until your heart starts to grow again.
Because, love.

And so he writes his story over and over again in your heart until one day you realise that your narrative has changed. It's no longer I love because, but because I love.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

#bookreview: Creation by Kat Mellon

So this girl from the Nanowrimo FB page posts and says that her book is free on Amazon for a day, and would we support her by downloading it? And I was like, sure, why not? It's free anyway.

And then I read it. (Which is what I usually do with books. But usually not that fast).

CreationCreation by Kat Mellon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don't know how to review this book, because to write about what the core of what the book meant to me would be to reveal the ending and be extremely spoilerish. And you wouldn't want that with this book, seriously.

I was fascinated with the world Mellon created, the sense of the surreal in her writing and the way it makes you look at the world with fresh new eyes - a little Pratchett-ish in that sense, only not in a humourous way.

It's beautiful prose. *tears*

View all my reviews

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

#bookreview: Eternity's End by Dan Rix

This review should probably have come earlier... except that I got caught up in reading Brandon Sanderson's Words of Radiance.

Eternity’s End (God’s Loophole, #2)Eternity’s End by Dan Rix
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In the gripping sequel to God's Loophole, Dan Rix plunges us into a terrifying time crunch: Gabriel Rockwell has to figure out how to get Raedyn Summers out of the bubble before she runs out of air and water... and before the FBI & U.S. military manage to kill him. Rae was ready to give up - until she inexplicably hears Gabe's voice outside the bubble and discovers that she's not quite ready to lie down and die just yet.

Rix weaves a complex puzzle as Rae circles through the maze of bubbles, trying to maximize the air she has left. (I admit I was too interested in what was going to happen next than to analyse the maze and try to solve the puzzle on my own!) Rae's not the only with a problem to solve - Gabe must learn to control his abilities in order to recreate Rae in the real world. Only, which world and which Rae is the real one now?

There's a cockiness to these two extremely smart teens that, mixed with the vulnerability, stupidity and resilience of youth, makes you start rooting for them and hoping that they'll get through to their happily-ever-after (well, or at least to just stay alive).

Looking forward to the third book, Heaven’s Enigma!

Note: I received a pre-release copy of this book as part of Dan Rix's mailing list.

View all my reviews

My reviews of Dan Rix's other books:
God's Loophole

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

I have an editor!

Okay, I probably shouldn't be so excited since I'm the one hiring an editor. It's not as if I found an agent (do we actually have any in Malaysia?) or signed a book deal (long way more to go).
But well, I realised a while back that an old college friend of mine has struck out on her own as a freelance writer, editor and translator and it took me about... a month (or more... yes I am that indecisive and slow and lazy) to decide that YES, I want to do this. I'm going to hire someone to make sure my words are all sparkly and pretty!

Meet the awesome Chin Pei Ling from Word Espress!

Pei Ling has been writing for as long as she can remember. The SMS was never made for her, because her text messages to friends are always long. Mostly because she has too much to say (and she has a strange liking of typing every word fully). From overwriting in her school essays to graduating with a Journalism Diploma and B.A. in English, with over six years of experience in journalism and publishing, you can say that she's where she's always wanted to be. And you can enrich her journey even more.


Okay. Back to making sure my manuscript does not SUCK SO BAD before she sets her eyes on it. :)

Monday, 2 June 2014

More than enough

And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my border, and that thy hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it be not to my sorrow! And God granted him that which he requested.
1 Chronicles 4:10