when not writing, I am planning an itinerary

It’s mid-December already?! How did THAT happen? Where did 2014 go??

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Donghae is as amazed as I am. Except consternation looks better on his pretty face.

It’s always as the year wears on that you get more disillusioned. Not only did I not accomplish any of my goals, I’m falling behind on my word count. Why, Joyce, WHY. Procrastination is a terrible colour on you. All those time you were waiting for the muse to strike – keeping unnecessarily busy with creating playlists for your stories, decorating your room, looking for new music, and reading (mean and scary) reviews on Goodreads – you could have plowed through your sucky writing and found a way through your manuscript.

It was around this time last year that I started on Neverland, and I’m STILL writing it, STILL haven’t written its ending even for the first draft.

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Don’t judge me, Siwon!

It’s one thing to write at your own pace, and another to put off writing it because you’re afraid you’ll fail again like you had the first two times (Neverland is at Draft 3 now).

Good thing for good books in the meantime.





Also, I’m planning for a trip back to Korea next spring!!

Truth is, I’m a travel noob. I’ve never travelled free-and-easy before. It’s just easier to have travel agencies plan everything nicely for you. But I really want to learn how to plan a trip from scratch, get around on my own, and explore places I wouldn’t get to see on a package tour. Everyone I know travel on their own in their twenties. I mean, what better time to do that, right?

And where better to visit than the land of K-pop? Yes, I have become a legit fangirl and I’m not going to be ashamed about it. So I like K-pop, I enjoyed Korea the last time I was there, and now I’m going to make this spring 2015 trip happen.

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Donghae approves, obviously

But there are so many sites for flight and accommodation deals and so many places I want to visit and things to take note of (public holidays, for instance – you do not want to jump into the fray at train stations or the airport), transport preparations (e.g. buying train tickets beforehand) that quite frankly I’m getting inundated by it all.

So if you have any tips on flights, accommodation, places of interest, and getting around (we’re planning to travel around Seoul, Busan and Jeju), do share! All help will be greatly appreciated by this travel noob :0)

mid-week moodlifters!

So it’s been more than a week since my splat moment by the pool. Apparently, I landed right on my coccyx (that’s tailbone in layman terms), and a little to the right, so I’m working from home for the entire month. On the plus side, I get to belt out songs like this –

And this –

while I work.

Downside: the lack of company. Skype and Whatsapp and Facebook messaging are just not the same as talking to your colleagues face-to-face or watching the bustle of activity in the office.

And of course, the pain.

The healing is slow going, but stretching and swimming help loads. Thank goodness for swimming. I don’t know what I’d do if I weren’t able to swim. I can’t fold over the way I used to be able to, but, you know, baby steps.

This is probably the reason for the strange bout of wanderlust I’m experiencing right now. I mean, look!

Bagan, Myanmar
Broome, Australia
Santorini, Greece
Oh, Jeju! How I miss you.

Reason to ogle at swoon over appreciate pretty things? I think so. Hence:


by Bae Ha Jin
by Chantel Young

Reason for some happy things? Yes to that, too.

Thank goodness for mood-lifters like these! Happy mid-week, everyone! :0)

and the fangirling continues

This shall be my motivation to write today. Pardon my fangirling, but Donghae and Eunhyuk’s new music video is out, and damn Donghae looks gorgeous. Like, ridiculously so. Those sweet eyes! That bone structure! That hair! (I’m a sucker for guys with bangs.)


Donghae 1076

I am aware I might one day look back on this phase of my life and cringe, just like how I look back on my Twilight (yes, as in Stephenie Meyer) phase and cringe at my adopting Cullen as my second name.

But Amber Deckers did say “never regret something that once made you smile”.

And with a face like that, there is every reason to smile :0)

Watch the video here, if you’re interested.


Aladdin fangirling

Notes from Korea trip

Things note-worthy about the Korea trip:
1. Koreans dress well. Like, seriously. The entire street of Seoul is filled with good-looking, well-dressed, well made-up people. For ladies: stockings, cute boots, coats, scarves, sleek and shiny hair, combed lashes, porcelain complexion. And the guys look spiffy in their sweaters, vests, slim-cut jeans and loafers. Even our coach driver (who’s sort of cute and is very polite and gentlemanly: see picture below) wears a suit to work. Koreans really do seem to put a lot of stock into their appearance, and that’s not a bad thing. Better a whole street of immaculately-dressed people than sloppily-dressed ones, right?
2. Seoul is very much like Singapore, which isn’t surprising, given how both are pretty metropolitan. The traffic in Seoul, however, is far worse than that in Singapore. The jams can last for hours, since the roads are too narrow and there are too many cars on the road.
3. Koreans don’t seem to like Japanese a lot, given their history. Singaporean’s might have been invaded by the Japanese before, but our older generation don’t seem to detest them the way the older generation of Koreans seem to. They seem more receptive towards Chinese than Japanese.
4. Jeju is absolutely delightful. Period. It’s not a UNESCO World Site for no reason. Fields of wildflowers, the expanse of sea and sky stretched out before you, cliffs of basaltic rock (Jeju is a volcanic island), the salty sea breeze in your hair. I enjoyed the four days in Jeju more than in Seoul, since we mostly just shopped in Seoul. And shopping in Seoul in the month of October yields practically nothing. The clothes they sell are winter wear that I can’t possibly wear in sunny Singapore, so I only ended up with a wallet, a watch, some earrings and notebooks.

5. Koreans aren’t really the most well-mannered people in the world. Not at all. They push, they shove, and the don’t apologise for pushing and shoving; they cut queues, they talk loudly; they don’t move out of the way even though they see you coming and they need to move. That said, though, their service staff are friendly and professional; it’s just the people on the street who give them a bad name.
6. Koreans eat a lot of meat. Practically every meal we ate consisted of barbecued pork or chicken, along with seaweed, miso soup and of course, kimchi. Still, given that I’m a meat-lover (can’t help it – it’s just too good), I’m not complaining. Although sometimes it’s nice to go a little light on meals. Good thing we had hotel breakfast on occasion, so I could load up on greens.
7. Koreans take pride in their heritage and identity. They are one of the three “pure blooded” ethnic groups in the world, like the Jews (I forget the last one) – no racial mixing – and they are deeply nationalistic partly because of that. There is discrimination of mixed-bloods, like my tour guide, who’s Korean Chinese – he was passed up for a bank job in favour of a full-blooded Korean, before he went to become a tour guide.
8. Korea is cleaner than Singapore. Even the public toilets are clean, dry and stocked with toilet paper. No questionable grime on the door handle or footprints on the toilet or dirty water on the floor.
9. The cost of living in Korea is ridiculously high. An apple for S$2.50, a box of grapes (less than 500g) for S$5.00, and a typical meal costs at the very least S$7.00, even something from the roadside stalls. My dad and I spent about S$300 in a week on groceries alone.
10. The younger generation of Korean guys are pretty gentlemanly. The older generation might be reputed to be chauvinistic, but the younger guys I’ve come across are affectionate to their girlfriends (this teenage guy piggybacked his girlfriend at the amusement park when she was straining to catch a glimpse of the floats) and filial to their mothers (this guy who couldn’t be older than 20 scrambled to open up his umbrella to shield his mother from the drizzle and put his arm around her to lead her across the road). They’re big on family and responsibility.
I’m trying to upload all the 1000 over photos on Facebook, but ’tis an arduous task and I’ve just about exhausted all my patience after countless failed attempts. So I’m just going to try again tomorrow!