geminianeyes: Cute sisters from PW as kids (Default)

Karcy had a very interesting question the other day. She asked on Facebook, why do the artists on her friends list create?

For me, the art of creation is what keeps me sane. Writing keeps me sane, keeps me alive, keeps me grounded, in a sense. Several years ago, after being out of a job for about 10 months, I began to work full time again. (My venture into freelance is something I’m still highly embarrassed about, mainly because it’s due to my own inadequacies, but that’s a topic for another day).

So when I started working again, I went into social media. It was what I was hired for, what my skillset then was good at. And in the business of it all, I neglected to write. As in write longform, stringing together words to make sentences to turn into essays. I began job-hopping. Then I finally ended up where I am working now, and still I didn’t write.

It took almost 18 months and the realisation I was slipping into depression before I began to take up the pen again. I could write, it seems during Nannowrimo, but I was afraid to write any other time. The sense of failure had resulted in fear, and I was truly afraid that I would fail again.

I tried all sorts of way to write. It wasn’t until this year, when I started submitting stories, that I really felt right about writing. It’s not an indulgent thing, to want to write because I want to. It’s not a matter of bragging about my skills. I’m not an imposter who’s lucky enough to string words together.

I write because I want to live.

And that’s all that matters.

Original entry as appearing at Ink to Screen.

geminianeyes: Fran X Miles Double Team  (Fran X Miles Double Team)

Burning paper money, from Ching Bing
Burning paper money, from Ching Bing

The most intoxicating part of a writing project for me is usually the ideas process. This is also the part that tells me whether or not the book is ever going to be sold, because it shows how attached I am to the words I intend to put out.

I’ve had ideas sit in my head for years. Ideas that come and go within a few days or weeks. The difference between them is how intense these ideas are.

Read the rest of this entry »

Original entry as appearing at Ink to Screen.

Writing again

Monday, March 3rd, 2014 08:11 am
geminianeyes: Fran X Miles Double Team  (Fran X Miles Double Team)

Of everything I have ever learned as a literary agent and as a writer, there is one lesson that I think is more important than any other: you must write for your life.- Holly McGhee, Nanowrimo 2013 Peptalk

Nobita reading a Doraemon comic, from the 100 Years Doraemon Exhibit in Kuala Lumpur
Nobita reading a Doraemon comic, from the 100 Years Doraemon Exhibit

When it comes to writing stories, I’m not the kind that plans. I’m the kind that researches what I need, rolls into what I think I want to happen, and then see if there’s a correlation between what I want to write and the culture I’m taking from. Which is how I usually end up with stories set in different cultures, in piecemeal settings that merely hint at the culture I’ve stolen borrowed from.

So yes, I’m pretty much a pantster, as we’re called in Nanowrimo. It brings to mind one of my favourite mantras, which is “Write Drunk, Edit Sober” (side note: Since I can’t actually consume alcohol, I tend to substitute this with cheap sugar and/or food that loosen my inhibitions. Friends who’ve seen me get “high” know what I mean. No weed involved).

Ever since the submissions for Women Destroy Science Fiction and Buku Fixi’s Lost in Putrajaya anthologies were announced, I’ve been hatching ideas and short stories to submit. None of them though, fit what I wanted to say.

Till, appropriately, the very last minute. I submitted the Science Fiction piece the night before, while Lost In Putrajaya’s was submitted MINUTES before the deadline. I fully expect LIP’s piece to be rejected (received the notice for SF’s piece some time ago) but it’s made me want to write more. To let go and just let the words flow, no matter if they were nonsensical or simply words.

I missed that.

Original entry as appearing at Ink to Screen.

Creative Whine

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014 10:04 am
geminianeyes: Fran X Miles Double Team  (Fran X Miles Double Team)

Then I have too many ideas for three submissions.
- Angels for Lost in Putrajaya
- Circles for Lost in Putrajaya
- Into Hiding for either Lost in Putrajaya or Steampunk
- Need to fix Shakti for Women Destroy Science Fiction!

Original entry as appearing at Ink to Screen.

geminianeyes: Fran X Miles Double Team  (Fran X Miles Double Team)

Image by Ramunas Geciauskas on Flickr
Image by Ramunas Geciauskas on Flickr.

So Rincredulous sent me a link to a very interesting challenge. It was quite simply, 100 topics to write about when you hit a block. However, while chatting with her, she suggested I do both short story and themed blog post (the result of which you can read here) but that’s neither here nor there.

So if you’re wondering, here’s my chosen 100 topics, taken straight from the 100theme challenge on DA. I might add a short story to it, I might not. Or maybe a blog post. We shall see.

Read the rest of this entry »

Original entry as appearing at Ink to Screen.

Hotel packages

Thursday, May 30th, 2013 08:26 am
geminianeyes: Fran X Miles Double Team  (Fran X Miles Double Team)

So I just discovered that my hostel in Japan is fine with receiving packages in my name before we go there. This begs the question; if you can use hotels as drop off points, why don’t most people write these in? Hm…

Mengagumkan

Friday, April 5th, 2013 12:00 am
geminianeyes: Fran X Miles Double Team  (Fran X Miles Double Team)

Kagum.

Mengagumkan.

In English, as a child, I was taught that the two words above meant “awe” and “awesome” respectively (I am aware that DBP says otherwise, but bear with me here). These days, I feel the word awesome is kinda overused, at least among the net generation like myself. We use the word awesome to admire things that are really respectable and admirable, but they don’t often inspire awe. I don’t feel the word “awesome” has as much punch as the word “awe” does these days, and that is rather sad when “awesome” means so much more than just regular “awe.”

Kagum, and mengagumkan, on the other hand to me, still signifies that awe. It’s that moment of wonderment, that moment of discovery, that moment when you can feel, within your entire being, that the world stops and you simply bask in that awesomeness of the moment. It is that moment that takes your breath away, that moment when you learnt the joy of learning, the moment when you see the sun set and you think, “That is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my entire life” and that moment when you feel you have been swept off your feet and the world has simply stopped.

This is in a joyous kind of way, might I add. Kagym inspires a kind of joyful wonder that grows lesser the older we grow.

Kagum can be used in so many different ways too. As the root word, it can also carry the meaning “amazed” if used in the first person perspective.

“Saya kagum,” can mean “I’m amazed/impressed.” Mengagumkan, on the other hand, has just the meanings “Awesome” or “admired.”

“Dia mengagumkan” is “He/she is amazing.” There’s also “Saya mengagumkan dia,” which translates to “I admire him/her.”

Such a simple word that rolls off the tongue. Kagum is pronounced as “KA” as in car with a silent r, and “gun” with a more rolled off M? Not too sure how to describe it, but I’ve always loved the word “kagum” instead of “awesome.” It just… describes things better.

So the next time you see something that’s struck you with awe, try saying “mengagumkan” instead to them, especially if they know Malay. Tell me how it goes.

Original entry as appearing at Ink to Screen.

*poke poke*

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013 11:24 pm
geminianeyes: Fran X Miles Double Team  (Fran X Miles Double Team)

Well, alive for now.

Today is kinda the first time in a long time I’ve been home earlier than 9 and thus I have enough time to actually write, but I’ve been procrastinating by playing games, watching Chinese serials on TV and trying to edit my novel that I don’t think I’ve gotten much done.

I have, however, reached a part in the novel I’m editing to look at it and say, “This does not feel right. Nothing in it does.”

I know what the scene is supposed to do. I know what it leads to. However, it feels very unnatural at this point in time. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I understand how the setting works. I understand why they meet in that particular kind of setting. However, it doesn’t paint the world richly enough.

Hmm… instead of clarifying the details, I should add more dialogue. There’s not enough observation in that scene. Or rather, I forgot how to look out of that character’s eyes. If I’m going to write that scene through her eyes, the first line needs to change.

I think it’s time to make the reader aware of that character from that character’s point of view, not from a third person limited point of view. Nope, not going into first person (I hate that kind of writing, it’s really difficult to get right for me), but I think I’ll need to modify her consciousness a bit.

BBL, playing with brain.

Original entry as appearing at Ink to Screen.

Why I write

Monday, September 17th, 2012 01:13 am
geminianeyes: Fran X Miles Double Team  (Fran X Miles Double Team)

The reason writers must bare their souls on the page is because someone out there in the world desperately needs to hear our story.
- Cherrie Moraga, as quoted by Ollin Morales

Several years ago, I read this particular quote on Facebook, before it got big. And it struck a chord in me. It reminded me of the many times I have read other authors, other writers, and come away far richer than I had been before I read them.

Yet I could not often reply to these authors to thank them. Some I could, because they were still alive and had an email address I could write to. Others were long dead or intimidated me because they had achieved a greatness I could only dream of.

Yet for a very long time, I thought long and hard about the words I wrote. Not about the actual words I wrote, but the reasons for writing. Why spend hours writing when I could be busy gaming, listening to music, checking out Facebook, Twitter and Google+, or even just reading other author’s words?

The answer came back to me as I was looking back on one of my older entries with a reference from another friend.

The words I needed to hear were my own. They are my immortalised dreams, a point of reference to look back on. They remind me of the spirit I had, of the promises I made to myself, of the grandiose statements I made.

Statements which I see, for now, are ashes.

Ashes, however, often hide ember. And ember can be stirred to create new fires. The trick is to get some flammable stuff to catch the fire first, then build it into a long-burning passion.

That starts now. *blows dust from journal*

Hi everyone.

Original entry as appearing at Ink to Screen.

Random musings

Friday, October 14th, 2011 09:54 am
geminianeyes: Fran X Miles Double Team  (Fran X Miles Double Team)

Anything that cannot be experienced through your five senses is open to permanent manipulation.
Unknown Speaker
The Alin’sa Commentaries

Original entry as appearing at Ink to Screen.

geminianeyes: Fran X Miles Double Team  (Fran X Miles Double Team)

When in doubt, seek out that which gives you strength. Let your instincts be your guide.

I kind of miss doing menial work. The kind where you’re required to focus your whole physical attention on what you’re doing. When at that point in time, nothing else matters but the task at hand. It’s partially about getting task done perfectly, but it’s also about rhythm. It’s like when you do something often enough, the task becomes routine. Your body knows what to do without you telling it.

And as it moves, and as it travels, you fall into this simple, joyous existence. A certain calmness comes over you.

Then I sit at the keyboards and let the music in my ears take over my fingers. And all is right in the world.

Listening to Music from Angela Aki’s Home album is wonderfully inspiring. :)

Original entry as appearing at Ink to Screen.

geminianeyes: Cute sisters from PW as kids (Default)

In the past few weeks, I’ve had a number of people ask me why I want a phone with a physical keypad instead of just a regular touchscreen phone. Upon learning the reason why, one of them remarked, “do you write essays on your phone?”

“Something like that” was my answer. I’ve come to realise that I’m happiest writing. Take that away and I shrivel. I become less than who I can be. And I do a disservice to everyone around me. It’s time to go back to my roots. To being who I’m meant to be.

Is this limiting my potential as a human being? Perhaps. But does it make me happy? Deliriously so. 

Original entry as appearing at Ink to Screen.

geminianeyes: Fran X Miles Double Team  (Fran X Miles Double Team)

Can’t believe it’s been more than 6 months since I started this meme. Whoops. Well, I might as well finish it, since it has been bugging my mind.

Have you ever written a character with physical or mental disabilities? Describe them, and if there’s nothing major to speak of, tell us a few smaller ones.
I once considered writing a character who had a learning disability, ala Fei Mau if anyone remembers the TVB drama about the big fat guy who was mentally disabled. Although the idea has been simmering in my mind, I eventually gave up because there was no way I could write/explore him without being condescending, rude and shallow.

How often do you think about writing? Ever come across something IRL that reminds you of your story/characters?
Strangely enough, now that I’m away, yes, I think about it all the time. Very often, it’s not really the act of writing, of exploring the world I’ve created that I miss the most. It’s just the feel of the keys and typing in general. I spend most of my days in front of a computer nowdays, perhaps more than I’ve ever done in years, but I don’t do a lot of typing. Instead, I click on the mouse. And when I do turn to write, it’s only for brief seconds. Sigh.

To answer the second question, yes, sometimes, but what those are, I’m not telling. :P

Final question! Tag someone! And tell us what you like about that person as a writer and/or about one of his/her characters!
Jhameia and Ai, if they’re reading their F-list. Tell me about the character you hate the most in your novel, and why. :P

Read the rest of this entry »

Original entry as appearing at Ink to Screen.

geminianeyes: What the hell did I just write icon (WTH Did I write)

You know, this is really the million-dollar question for me.

Do I love writing, or is it just that tapping on the keys that make me so happy?

What is it about typing on keys physically that give me such joy?

Is it the sounds? The comforting sound as the keys are tapped and words are brought to life?

Is it the act of watching words magically appear as they move from my brain to my hands to my fingertips, to be transmitted electronically to the screen?

Is it the fascination of my own narcissistic tendencies to watch my thoughts take shape? To hear them go out into the world?

I honestly don’t know anymore. I’m not sure whether I’m suffering from withdrawal or if it’s the cruel reality crashing in on me. That I was never that great a writer to begin with. That I don’t have the power nor the attention span this craft demands.

Have I romanticised the writing profession? Have I elevated the craft into something I can no longer reach? Did I do them, so that as a talentless hack I can say that it’s too difficult for me?

I honestly wonder now, how writers whom others consider mediocre, feel about their writing when they write. Do they write with the confidence that there’s always a small audience willing to read them? Do they write because they have that burning passion to? Are they able to release their characters and their stories into the wild, defenceless except for what they hold, and watch those same words be slaughtered beyond all recognition?

How do they find the courage to try again? How do they even get the courage to do it in the first place?

I miss writing. But I wonder, at times, if it misses me.

And that, is a question, that has sparked up another blog post to be posted later.

Original entry as appearing at Ink to Screen.

Hour spent reading

Thursday, May 5th, 2011 11:47 pm
geminianeyes: Fran X Miles Double Team  (Fran X Miles Double Team)

In which I spent about an hour or less (more likely the former) reading about fanfiction.

The summary I’ve been told?

The story about Lovecraft dying due to fanfiction and that Marion Zimmer Bradley not being able to publish her own stories because a fan had developed similar ideas is false. The links are in that post, I’m really too lazy to summarise.

When you have writers like George RR Martin claiming otherwise, well… there’s a reason why Galbadon, Martin and Robin Hobb are NOT on my buying list.

Edit: Jim C Hines, ever so nice author, has a link to the whole Marion Zimmer Bradley case. It’s food for thought, and pretty much the same thought I had about fanfiction as well. Basically don’t see, and don’t tell.

Original entry as appearing at Ink to Screen.

geminianeyes: Fran X Miles Double Team  (Fran X Miles Double Team)

Darling muses

I know that rationally, you’re a part of me and what you express are facets of myself that I can’t consciously be aware of.

But damn Sukina, that was chilling. And yes, I know Naoko, it was cowardly of me to chicken it out that way. But argh.

Depth of mind you terrify me. But still. <3 Thank you all for being patient with me.

This disjointed entry brought to you by terrifying Subconscious Muses (TM).

Original entry as appearing at Ink to Screen.

geminianeyes: Smexy Naoya from SMT Devil Survivor (Naoya Glasses)

Just a quick question for all the scientists, physicists and astronomers on my list. Would the following be an accurate hierarchy of our universe?

Planets => Stars => Systems => Galaxy => Universe?

Original entry as appearing at Ink to Screen.

geminianeyes: Fran X Miles Double Team  (Fran X Miles Double Team)

If writing is an art, it can only be considered an art in the same way as a painter works and a builder constructs. In other words, it’s not so much an art, as it is something you learn. Writing, at the end of the day, is skill, and the flair you exhibit is the part where a person would call it art.

The actual act of writing is quite easy. Someone once wrote that writers spend more time preparing for the actual writing rather than actually writing. It makes a lot of sense. The more prepared you are, the easier the words flow. It’s like building a brick house in that sense; you spend countless times deciding on the rooms, preparing the materials, counting off the measurements and so much more, that when the time comes to actually build the house, you know what to do.

That’s not to say that the process is easy though. Instead of working with your brains though (which is what all the preparatory work is for) you’re now engaging your body. You’re engaging in the senses, in your limbs. As you build the walls of your house, your mind slips into the motions of laying each brick, one at a time, one after the other. It’s a mechanical process.

Which is quite similar to writing. The act of choosing one word after another to make a coherent sentence followed by paragraphs and then passages illustrates the similar process to building a brick house. You string everything together and hopes it realises the vision in your head, in your mind.

This doesn’t just apply to those writers who research meticulously or plan carefully. It also apply to writers who write by the seat of their pants. These writers function on a slightly different level compared to the normal bricklayer; in this case, the bricklayer has an instinctive knowledge of knowing how the house will look like just from the lay of the land and the materials he’s given. It’s the kind of person who functions on abstraction rather than meticulousness.

And you know what? That’s completely fine too. At the end of the day, we’ll end up with houses anyway.

Whether those houses are fit to be inhabited, now THAT’S another matter.

Original entry as appearing at Ink to Screen.

geminianeyes: Cute sisters from PW as kids (Default)

Short meme is short.

How willing are you to kill your characters if the plot so demands it? What’s the most interesting way you’ve killed someone?
Stabbing people straight in the heart. Always works. Though it really depends on the reason they die.

Do any of your characters have pets? Tell us about them.
If you count Spirit animals, then yes they do have pets. Though it tends to be servants rather than pets.

Let’s talk art! Do you draw your characters? Do others draw them? Pick one of your OCs and post your favorite picture of her!
Yes. Annwn’s turning out to be a rather multi-faceted character, which I think is quite a nice and pleasant surprise.

Along similar lines, do appearances play a big role in your stories? Tell us about them, or if not, how you go about designing your characters.

Read the rest of this entry »

Original entry as appearing at Reach Into Your Soul.

geminianeyes: Cute sisters from PW as kids (Default)

Nearly forgot to do this LOL. 4 more questions this time:

What are your favorite character interactions to write?
Arguments usually. Or anything that involves bratty stuff being done. I’m surprised at the amount of brattiness that takes place in the novel; not so much cajoling as sulking and threatening. Also, moe!Elliot is dangerous. Juufy, my characters are now planning to actually pull that stunt on me. T_T

Do any of your characters have children? How well do you write them?
Adopted, yes. Giving birth, only one, and that’s not even well-fleshed out. Geraldine is shaping up to be one of those pretentious kids who’s horribly spoiled. No redemption for her at this point, because when I wrote her, she was being controlled by a demon, so her behaviour was meant to allay suspicion that she was not her usual self. Otherwise, she tends to be rather intelligent and sweet. More like sweet. We’ll see if intelligent panders out later.

Tell us about one scene between your characters that you’ve never written or told anyone about before! Serious or not.
Asad and Chrodechild. In bed. Doing um… adult stuff. Which I could never write because I couldn’t even get the excuses of why they were in bed in the first place right! (and that’s very important to me, though need to note Chrodechild tops Asad).

How long does it usually take you to complete an entire story—from planning to writing to posting (if you post your work)?
Drabbles can take as little as 15 minutes. Shorts at least an hour or so (mainly for spell check purposes). For epic-level stuff like Nano? Try a few years. If that. :P

More tomorrow!

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Original entry as appearing at Reach Into Your Soul.

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