Friday, November 30, 2007

I heart my library

Yeah, the messages are cute, aren't they?





So Long, and Thanks for All the Books

Decided to pay a visit yesterday to library@orchard before it's closed down. Taking some photos because I know I shall miss this library. A LOT!!

1. The book drop located near the 3 lifts.

2. Library@orchard exterior wall, near the book drop.

3. Inside, near the borrowing counters. More of the hearts: here.

4. Also near the borrowing counters.

5. The cabinets for novels.

6. The borrowing counters.

7. Exterior wall, near the escalator.

8. The entrance.

9. Part of the entrance.

10. A little stage inside the library, near Cafe Galilee.

11. Cafe Galilee, also inside the library.

12. Quite comprehensive collections of travel guides.

13. Comics@orchard.

14. One of many cozy seats.

15. The help counters.

16. A poster outside the library. Wish to be able to attend. But I have other commitments...

17. Cafe Galilee from another angle. There's another entrance to the library through the cafe.

18. Just another shot of the stage.

19. Another shot of the exterior wall.

20. Ditto.

21. So I wasn't the only one who thought to take photos of the library. =)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"So You Think You Can Write A Novel?"-- Book sharing session at Kinokuniya (24/11/07)

The above is from one of Singapore MLs: sarahcoldheart. (She meant it to be 24/11/07)


A screenshot from Kinokuniya's November 2007 Event.


Another screenshot about the book sharing session on "So You Think You Can Write A Novel?".

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Not really a confidence man, is it?

Got this email & decided to put up the content (to share a laugh).


Leo Chung & Associates,
21 Campshill Road ,
Se13 6qu Lewisham,
London England.
Hello,
I am really very sorry to barge into your privacy in this form.
However i seek your pardon for that, this is because i have know other
alternative than this.
However, I am Barrister Leo Chung from Japan, the Personal
Attorney to one deceased immigrant from your country, who based in
London, Also referred to as my client. On the 12th of July 2003, my
client, his wife and their only Child died in the train bomb blast
along Edgware road UK. Some of his properties, which he put out for sale.
which I monitored the payment as his attorney, has been bought and paid for.
Now the money paid was deposited into his Local account here in London. I
have contacted you to assist in repatriating the money and properties left
behind by my client before they get confiscated or declared unserviceable by his bank
particularly, this is because all effort I made since three years ago to get any of his relation who will stand as a next
of kin was not successful, however in my process of thinking of what to do
in other to make sure his account worth 10 Million Dollars does not get
confiscated or declared unserviceable by his bank, I decided to search
the internet, i then found that their is exact similarity between his
LAST NAME and your surname name, I then concluded to contact you
through email to stand as the next of KIN to my late client, though I doubt if
you are related to him but for the similarities of names this proposal
can be carried out successfully with your kind assistance.
My late client has an account valued at 10 Million Dollars. Since I have been unsuccessful
in locating the relatives for 3years now and the bank has
issued me a notice through a telegram message i received from them
yesterday evening informing me that they want to Audit their accounts by the end
of this month, precisely 29th of November dew to recent development in their
banking policy and if I do not provide the next of kin before this date, they
will confiscated or declare unserviceable the money and property left by my
late client during the process of the Auditing. I now seek your consent to
present you as the next of kin to my late client, so that the proceeds of this
account valued at 10 Million Dollars can be paid to you and then you and I can
share the money. 50% to me and 40% for you and 10% for miscellaneous
expenses that might arise towards this transaction. I have all necessary information/
documents that can be used to back up the claim.
All I require is your honest co-operation to enable us seeing this deal
through. I guarantee that this deal will be executed under a legitimate
arrangement that will Protect you from any breach of the law. Trust me,
as his attorney, this is a Risk free business relationship.
If my humble request is granted, please send the following
information:
{1}. YOUR CONTACT ADDRESS
{2}. YOUR FULL NAME
{3}. YOUR AGE AND YOUR OCCUPATION.
{4}. YOUR IDENTIFICATION
{5}.YOUR PRIVATE TELEPHONE NUMBER.
{6} YOUR PRIVATE EMAIL ADDRESS.
To my Email: leoandthelaw@hotmail.com, and treat this as
a confidential matter.
Best Regards.
Barrister Leo Chung


In short, the above is:
1. A badly written e-mail started with a mere "Hello," eventhough the sender is supposed to know my surname.
2. A badly written e-mail inconsiderately referring to a non-existent train bomb. (At least I fail to google the story about it).
3. A badly written e-mail whose sender seems to confuse the UK currency as Dollars.
4. A badly written e-mail whose sender's email address is hardly professional. (Which Law company uses a web-based free email account?)

PS. And unless he's a Chinese migrating to Japan & became a Japanese citizen, "Leo Chung" is surely not a Japanese name.

Monday, November 19, 2007

NaNoWriMo 2007 - Week 3 Pep Talk by Neil Gaiman (!!!)

The Pep Talks during NaNoWriMo so far had never failed to give me a boost. Let alone this one by Neil Gaiman. ;)



Dear NaNoWriMo Author,

By now you're probably ready to give up. You're past that first fine furious rapture when every character and idea is new and entertaining. You're not yet at the momentous downhill slide to the end, when words and images tumble out of your head sometimes faster than you can get them down on paper. You're in the middle, a little past the half-way point. The glamour has faded, the magic has gone, your back hurts from all the typing, your family, friends and random email acquaintances have gone from being encouraging or at least accepting to now complaining that they never see you any more---and that even when they do you're preoccupied and no fun. You don't know why you started your novel, you no longer remember why you imagined that anyone would want to read it, and you're pretty sure that even if you finish it it won't have been worth the time or energy and every time you stop long enough to compare it to the thing that you had in your head when you began---a glittering, brilliant, wonderful novel, in which every word spits fire and burns, a book as good or better than the best book you ever read---it falls so painfully short that you're pretty sure that it would be a mercy simply to delete the whole thing.

Welcome to the club.

That's how novels get written.

You write. That's the hard bit that nobody sees. You write on the good days and you write on the lousy days. Like a shark, you have to keep moving forward or you die. Writing may or may not be your salvation; it might or might not be your destiny. But that does not matter. What matters right now are the words, one after another. Find the next word. Write it down. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

A dry-stone wall is a lovely thing when you see it bordering a field in the middle of nowhere but becomes more impressive when you realise that it was built without mortar, that the builder needed to choose each interloc king stone and fit it in. Writing is like building a wall. It's a continual search for the word that will fit in the text, in your mind, on the page. Plot and character and metaphor and style, all these become secondary to the words. The wall-builder erects her wall one rock at a time until she reaches the far end of the field. If she doesn't build it it won't be there. So she looks down at her pile of rocks, picks the one that looks like it will best suit her purpose, and puts it in.

The search for the word gets no easier but nobody else is going to write your novel for you.

The last novel I wrote (it was ANANSI BOYS, in case you were wondering) when I got three-quarters of the way through I called my agent. I told her how stupid I felt writing something no-one would ever want to read, how thin the characters were, how pointless the plot. I strongly suggested that I was ready to abandon this book and write something else instead, or perhaps I cou ld abandon the book and take up a new life as a landscape gardener, bank-robber, short-order cook or marine biologist. And instead of sympathising or agreeing with me, or blasting me forward with a wave of enthusiasm---or even arguing with me---she simply said, suspiciously cheerfully, "Oh, you're at that part of the book, are you?"

I was shocked. "You mean I've done this before?"

"You don't remember?"

"Not really."

"Oh yes," she said. "You do this every time you write a novel. But so do all my other clients."

I didn't even get to feel unique in my despair.

So I put down the phone and drove down to the coffee house in which I was writing the book, filled my pen and carried on writing.

One word after another.

That's the only way that novels get written and, short of elves coming in the night and turning your jumbled notes in to Chapter Nine, it's the only way to do it.

So keep on keeping on. Write another word and then another.

Pretty soon you'll be on the downward slide, and it's not impossible that soon you'll be at the end. Good luck...

Neil Gaiman

--

Neil Gaiman is the author of the New York Times bestselling children's book Coraline and of the picture books The Wolves in the Walls and The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish. He is also the author of award-winning novels and short stories for adults, as well as the Sandman series of graphic novels. His most recent novels include InterWorld and Anansi Boys. For more info on Neil, visit www.neilgaiman.com

Peace Concert for Burma

Decided to attend this event, "Peace Concert for Burma" after reading the 17/11/07 Todayonline.com article (Full story: here) which quoted Lee Weng Choy, the Substation artistic co-director saying:

"Such demonstrations of concern by people outside are a vital form of moral support to those in Myanmar. It tells them that the world is watching, that their struggles have registered deeply in our hearts and minds."

That intrigued me. Very much. I really wondered how the level of 'concern' Singaporeans showed about the situation in Myanmar. I would have expected a large turnout. After all it's free, isn't it? You may snigger.

But it's disappointing. The crowds could be counted with fingers. Perhaps less than 20. (No, I didn't count. Me taking the photos already seemed to spook some of the audiences. Heh. But we all sat on the floor & it's not a big theatre.)

Anyway here are some of the photos taken:

1. The slide show at the background.

2. Gene Sha Rudyn, in the center, singing (I like the use of Al-Qur'an verses prior to the song)

3. Just one shot of such songs.

4. Yes, I was not the only one taking the photos.

5. From Indonesia: Laras (A Migrant Voices Band) getting ready to sing and/or dance.

6. Another singer from Laras.

7. Some of the audiences (who didn't move when I took the photo--but it's still blurry. =( Haiz.)

8. Another singer from Laras performing an ever-popular Indonesian song, "Kaulah Segalanya" or "You're everything (for me)". (Note to self: got to translate the song to English. Translation: here.)

9. And I noticed how people (that included me, of course) seemed to take more photos than to enjoy the songs.

10. Laras with the funny, entertaining song "Kuda Lumping".

11. A Burmese student thanked the audience. Impromptu.

12. Dew M. Chaiyanara reciting her poems. I especially like her "Wake Up & Die".

13. The cool & soulful Kevin Mathews.

14. The organizer, whose name I couldn't catch.

15. My shirt with "Free Burma Now" text painted by Zai Kuning.

The concert ended earlier about 4 p.m. & the Burmese student (photo 11) made the name card available (that is, she didn't distribute. You needed to ask before she gave you one. So I guess that had nothing political in it). The name card had the website address of "Overseas Burmese Patriots".

Although the event was not well attended, I believe it has somehow achieved its objective. That is, to raise the awareness. No matter the level is, it's the beginning. And even a humble beginning might one day lead to something big.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Don't challenge this Youth Challenge!

Yes. Youth Challenge. With the new management since May 2007. Thus, it's hardly fair to resurface the issue as it can be considered closed since as early as January 2007, in "THE COMMISSIONER OF CHARITIES RAISES STRONG CONCERNS ON POOR GOVERNANCE AND MANAGEMENT OF YOUTH CHALLENGE - LACK OF TRANSPARENCY AND MISLEADING INFORMATION ON EXECUTIVE PRESIDENT'S REMUNERATION HIGHLIGHTED" (Full article: here)

So, move on, people.

Or at the very least, write about the screw-up but do include as well the subsequent recovery or follow-up action that the organization has implemented.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

"Superfrog (It's Not Easy To Be Green)"

Image (touch-up: contrast, brightness) from here.

I can't stand to swim
Swamps soak right through me
I'm not amphibian
I just play one on TV

I'm more than a sock
I'm more than a frog
I'm more than some banjo player on a log
And it's not easy to be green

Wish that I could say
What's with the
Elmo fuss
Are
Bert and Ernie gay?
Is
Snuffleupagus?

My friends seem bizarre
Perhaps DUI
But even monsters need a sugar high
I'm only a frog
With ping-pong ball eyes
Riding my bicycle with spindly thighs
And it's not easy to be green

Time to put on makeup, light the lights
And dress up right
On
the Muppet Show tonight
I'm not gonzo
But
Gonzo is

Wish that I had taped
Electric Company
Wish I could escape
The pigs that hit on me

I'm only a frog
With sex appeal
Walking 'round naked 'cept for this collar deal
Only a frog
With a licensing fee
Missing
Jim Henson's hand inside of me

Inside of me...

I'm only a frog with styrofoam feet
Workin' the rough side of
Sesame Street
I'm only a frog in the Disney machine
And it's not easy

It's not easy
To be
Green

Lyrics by M. Spaff Sumsion. Recorded by Robert Lund. MP3 here. Copyright 2003+ Spaff.com

PS. LOL. Although I don't get what DUI means. Driving Under Influence? Or something else?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

sunset (negative, mirror)

Saturday, November 03, 2007

"W for...Whatever?!"

Yes, that would be the title for my novel as part of NaNoWriMo 2007. This year, I decide to try the genre "Satire, Humor & Parody" instead of "Science Fiction" (like my choice in 2005) or "Fantasy" (in 2006).

I reckon it's the easy--and safe, without the possibility of being sued. It's a parody, for goodness sake!--way to ridicule the recent happenings. =)

And you won't be lacking ideas! Oh well, as long as you bother to read your newspaper, that is. Heh.