of gatherings, saggy middles and a crush on an author (and yes, pretty faces)

Monday! 

I like to start off the week catching up on blogs. Laini Taylor’s blog is always a mood-lifter: she writes about her travels to exotic places like Morocco and takes beautiful shots of France, and her daughter Clementine is soooooo adorable and happy, and her husband is as creative and fun-loving and sweet as her and they all seem like such Shiny Happy People.

Is it possible to be entirely in love with someone you’ve never met and only know through her writing? Because I am head over heels in love with Laini Taylor and her fabulous, creative, artistic, whimsical life and family.

How I see Laini and her family

And oh, just a little piece of news: SHE’S FINALLY COMPLETED DREAMS OF GODS AND MONSTERS!!!!! 

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APRIL 2014, COME QUICK!!!!!! I need to devour that book now!!!!!!

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Okay. I’m done spazzing.

 

*

 

Literary agent Victoria Marini has some timely advice for this writer struggling with her first draft, the one so raw you can hear it moo or caw or whatever sounds animals make when they’re alive and kicking and not ready to be served on a dish. (It’s also what I like to call Draft Zero – capitalisation for dramatic effect – so raw it’s not even entirely in prose form, just scattered prose and mostly dialogue and stage directions.)

 

“I suspect the main reason that people who wish to write, but fail to write, do so because they want write well. You must, first, be willing to write terribly.  If you want to write a book, your goal should be to write a book. Not a good book. Just a book. Worry about the “good” part later. Ms. (Annie) Lamott is a huge believer in “the shitty first draft.” She argues, rightly if you ask me, that a first draft is just for getting it out of your head an onto the paper. It’s sort of meant to be bad. Just get it out; word vomit! You don’t even need to show anyone (certainly don’t show your agent ;). It’s just getting the bones of your story on paper. Once you have that version done (and most people don’t get THAT far)  you can start to worry about being good.” 


I hate to say this, but it’s become increasingly undeniable that I AM STUCK for Neverland. Ugh. Ugh ugh ugh. The pace is flagging, and I can’t think of a dramatic or emotionally-gratifying way to weave my characters and their dreams and fears and motivations together. Every idea I have just falls flat like the way tepid tea sits on your tongue. Completely disappointing.

Still, I shall take the above advice and plow through the crap. Hopefully, I’ll have made some headway the next time I blog.

 

*

 

So last weekend, I managed to extricate myself from my computer, on which I’ve been watching the old episodes of We Got Married, a Korean “reality TV” show  that brings celebrities together in a make-belief marriage and then chronicles their lives as they do couple-y things that make us sad single people even sadder. I’ve watched the Leeteuk (from Super Junior) and Kang Sora episodes, and now I’m watching the Nichkhun (from 2pm) and Victoria (from f(x)) ones.

Fine. You caught me. I only decided to watch this for the pretty faces. Whatever. Nichkhun is CUUUUTE.

Seriously, who can resist that face? Plus, he’s such a sweetheart to Victoria even when she’s being difficult. 

ANYWAY. That wasn’t my point. My point is that I went out and socialised! Broke out of my isolation! Stuck my head out of my hermit cave! (And other annoying cliches.) And I attended not just one class gathering, but two! So yes, break out the champagne.

There was no champagne at the class barbecue last Saturday at my primary school gathering, but booze was definitely aplenty. Plus, seafood. And chicken. (Oh god, that chicken. It could be the most divine thing I’ve ever tasted.) 

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It’s funny, but I used to get so nervous about attending these class gatherings. After all, these are the people who have known you since you were a kid, and they are the ones who bear witness to the crazy stupid shit you did then. But we do crazy stupid shit now anyway, so I guess  craziness and stupidity isn’t something you leave behind once you cross a certain age threshold.

Here’s a fairly normal shot of us

 

Before we decided normal is over-rated.


Last Friday night rolled out in a similar fashion, despite the drizzle.

 


Socialising is like running – for me, at least. You have to drag yourself to gatherings/events and convince yourself it’ll be fun, but then it turns out to be really rewarding, just like you have to tow your ass to the track (although I don’t run anymore since swimming is my cardio drug of choice) but then you experience runner’s high and it becomes all worth the effort.  

Still, that’s enough human interaction for one week. I shall retreat into my cave now. Merry Christmas!

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The 5 crazy things I did because of my crush

So I came across this post on Material World today, where the beauty/fashion/lifestyle website founder Deborah shared TEN (OMG, I applaud her bravery) of the crazy, silly things she did because of her crush.

So I thought I’d share five (just five – I might die of embarrassment if I reveal any more, though my friends can probably dole out a few more) of mine:

1. Creepy staring
Hear me out. The rational behind this is actually totally sane. It’s an attempt to brainwash the poor guy into thinking he likes me. Like, “Hmm, maybe if I stare long enough he’ll realise what a great catch I am and trip over himself in his hurry to ask me out. You’re in love with me. You’re in love with me. YOU ARE IN LOVE WITH ME, DAMMIT.”

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2. Finding common ground
“He likes fruit juice – I do too! He blinks every five seconds – I do too! He throws his head back when he laughs – that is SO me!”

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So basically, everything we share in common is reason why we are SOULMATES and should totally get together already!

3. Time-table planning
Me to friend: “At 11:05:46 a.m., he will walk through that hallway. So we have to be there at 11:05:47 and look like we just happened to bump into him. Hurryyyy!” Upon which I would drag my friends to that exact spot in the hallway and act all breezy and go:

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And:

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4. Sneaky glances
This is not to be confused with creepy staring. Sneaky glances are when he already knows of your existence and is experiencing that chill down the nape of his neck, so you have to be strategic in your looking. And make sure your friends don’t stare too!

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After you make off with a hard-won glimpse of him, you can share a subtle conspiratorial look with your friend.

Or maybe one that’s not so subtle:

5. Code names
From fruits to anatomical parts (we keep it clean, though), my friends and I give that guy a secret name that only makes sense to us. We DO NOT use his real name. Except in scribbled notes we pass among ourselves in class, and destroy entirely and thoroughly by the time the bell rings.

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* (Bonus) 6. And of course, the requisite freakout session when he replies your text message or says hi to you in the cafeteria.

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Wow. I realise a belated apology is due. To all my ex-crushes (though you may not know who you are because I’m sneaky that way), I’m sorry for the psychological trauma I must have put you through. You gave me sweet, sweet memories of my school life, although I’m the one who has to live with the embarrassment now.