Maybe we should start saying the things we really mean. – Marianna Paige

Maybe we should start saying the things we really mean. - Marianna Paige

When it’s in my hands I can feel her life force curl around my fingers. 24 handbound pages of her notes. There is a lot that is special about this.

I don’t buy many things for myself anymore. I think its because most of what I desire these days cannot be bought. And then I ran into this on Etsy. And I said, hmmmmm, ya I think I deserve a Christmas present from ME. I often run into the work of other authors that I wish I could be more of. But I’ve long learned not to chase these things. Originality cannot be imitated, only appreciated. I shall be me, she shall be she, and the world shall be more colorful for it.

Hands sometimes emerge from nowhere and stop you from falling further

This is a hand drawn sketch that was mailed to me a few months back, all the way from Finland, by  a one Miss Madeleine Midtskogseter. Inscribed on the back are the words, “At last I see you. The boundless ocean of you.”

On a separate note to me, she conveyed that my book Fuel had inspired her to produce this piece. My mind could not compute this, that I was holding in my hands, a person’s raw emotion.

This welcome surprise came at a time when I felt I was going nowhere with the book’s promotions. But something else she said in her note made me feel differently about my nowhereness. “I understand your discouragement about the tough book market. You probably already know that nothing is impossible and that you will receive everything you desire, but let me tell you again; you have already succeeded. Hearts have been, and continue to be touched by you.”

 

Yichalal

yichalal

On days like today I feel like I’m up against the whole world. Instead of conveying my inner landscape with words like I usually do, I hammer-and-nailed-up a graphic representation of my world for you, of what the weight of my destiny feels like.

I think this piece works well on a couple of levels: one, the chess board shares the same colour scheme as my book and, two, half my childhood was spent crouched over a chess board. Them good old days. Every once in a while there were heroic moments, times when I was able to turn dire games around, and lead a depleted army to victory.

Yichalal, the amharic word you’ll find in Fuel, means ‘anything is possible’. Rather frightfully, the context within which this word is uttered, offers a rather accurate measure of one’s sanity, or lack of.

The image above, as I originally intended it to be, was to speak for itself, be a stand alone; at worst, accompanied by no more than a string or two of words. I tell ya, no shutting this author up… ah, the fish that just refuses to drown.

So what have I been up to of late

brewing
A friend of mine said this to me the other day, “You are the most busy non-working guy I know.

I chuckled at the truth in his statement. I typically start my day around 9:30, 10, and normally call it a night at 2am.

I think I worked 50% less when I was working.

One Month Consultancy
For a month I was a consultant at a home grown interactive agency called Integricity. Surprisingly, it wasn’t as much a shock to the system as I had anticipated. In fact I was reminded of how much I loved doing what I was doing before. That when I left that life behind, it wasn’t because I was completely unhappy. I was merely answering that silent knowing that there was something greater I first had to accomplish, something outside the realm of advertising.

New Facebook Page
I’ve been asked a few times why I abandoned my old Facebook fan page for a new one. Believe me, it was a hard decision to make, and costs me the fans that were already following that page.

The problem with the old page was that it was set up some time ago as a community page, which naturally defaulted visitors to ‘The Wall’ (long distance runners cringe at the word). What I wanted was for people to land on a specially prepared page with information on the book.

Facebook users who set up their pages today can change their categorisations, but not those who had set up their page a long time back. To not be dinosaured into Facebook’s old system, I took that leap. And from that we’ve now got www.facebook.com/fueldabook

If you haven’t, please visit the page and be a fan of it. And as you read its contents, pretend that it is Obi Wan Kenobi speaking to you, and do all that it tells you.

(FYI to you developers out there. If you delete your page and try to get the same name back, you’ll never ever ever get it back, ever. To prevent name sitting, FB doesn’t allow it, and that name will be kept in a vault to which only Elvis has the combination.)

Job Hunting
Yup, been looking for a job for a few months now. Have not been getting too many calls though. With jobs being so specialised these days, I think most companies don’t know where to place my bi-polar potpourri  of skills.

StART Society
I’ve cut down on my classes at StART to limit the number of kids who will be affected should I return to full time employment. I miss them O So Dearly.

Recently, StART organised a very interesting event called the XTraMile Run. A runner, Alex Au Yong, volunteered to run 100K to raise RM100K for us. My role was to provide LIVE updates of the event. Never before had I tweeted and Facebooked as much.

55 FB Updates, 98 Tweets, 66 pics and 3 YouTube videos from a moving vehicle.

Over the 17 hours the run lasted, I think it works out to be one piece of communication every 4 minutes. Not too bad coming from a motion sick guy who gets nauseous from a half hour train ride, from one who threw up watching the shaky camera action in Bourne Supremacy.

The event was a great success and we exceeded the amount we aimed to raise.

New Book Website
The official site for when I first launched Fuel was justjezza.com, my blog site. The problem with that was no one could tell from the URL that it was a website for a book called Fuel. With www.fueldabook.com now set up, I’m now able to slap the book’s logo on anything and just include the URL, and people would know what it relates to and be able to find out more.

Fuel Running
The process of writing, publishing and promoting the book landed me neck deep in the world of running. Throughout the journey, almost every day of it actually, new word plays on the subject would appear in my head. Often I’d say to myself, “Hey, this would be great on a shirt.”

I finally got on my ass (I did it all sitting down), and jumpstarted my ideas to life.

I launched the Fuel Running line with 6 Collections. I’ve got dozens of other ideas locked away in this brain of mine, and each is calling out, “Pick me, pick me.”  My goal is to add a new collection each week… till the voices stop.

Go check out the site: www.fuelrunning.com, or be a Facebook fan, www.facebook.com/fuelrunning

What’s on the Horizon?
I really need a job. The hole in my wallet makes the one in the Ozone look like the eye of a needle. Here’s my resume: www.justjezza.com/misc/resumeJeremyChin.pdf

Feel free to pass it to anyone you think might be interested.

On the book front, I’ve yet to get my books out to the newspapers in the UK and Australia, oh, and to Running Magazines. The Star, the nation’s leading paper, promised me a review last Sunday. I nervously flipped through the papers three days back but… nothing. Copies have also shrapnelled across the United States to the 40 largest newspapers. Fingers, toes and eyes crossed on that front. If you happen to have ties with the media anywhere in the world, I hope you’ll help me get my book in.

King for a day

If you are looking for lessons on how to make a person feel special, look no further than the English Society at Sekolah Menengah BU1. This bunch. They are a precious lot.

I arrived to an entourage waiting to escort me in, each holding handmade welcome signs. One of the girls, after she learned who I was, flew like the wind to the canteen and excitedly announced to the rest, “Jeremy Chin is here. Jeremy Chin is here.”

bu1

I received countless offers from one student to carry my bag and my books, but I told him I was fine. I learned soon after that I had to ascend this stairway to heaven to get to the room I was to speak at. Hahaha!

From the school entrance, all the way to the classroom, I was photographed by this girl who, for the longest time, walked backwards. Natural born Paparazzi I tell ya. But you know what? I felt like a celebrity walking down the red carpet.

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After I caught my breath, I started my one hour talk on my journey as a first time self published author. The room was full, with 35 or so in attendance. A mike was set up for me, but it did not work too well, so we did away with it. To be heard, I had to draw on the Southern Baptist Preacher in me. Midway through my sermon, a student brought me a glass of water. He returned 30 seconds later to ask if I’d prefer it in a bottle. It was the sweetest thing ever. We concluded with some Q&A and a book signing session.

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To thank me for coming, I was presented with two gifts. The first was a laminated ‘thank you note’, the most colourful and vibrant I’ve seen in my life. It was beautifully hand drawn and carried the signatures of all the students on it. The second item would be to some an aphrodisiac—a box of chocolates (my wife’s favourite kind… she says thank you).

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On  my way out, I passed several students who were at my session. They had my book in hand and had already started reading it. I was accompanied all the way to the school’s front gate, and was thanked for the umpteenth time for taking the time to share my experiences with everyone. The smile on my face paled to the one I wore inside.

It is one thing to be a King and be treated like one. And a whole other thing to not be one, but be treated as if you were.

Book reading event at MPH for the hearing impaired

None of the media cared to carry this Press Release of my book event at the MPH in MidValley. So I thought I’d just release it here, as a mark of it having taken place.

mphBookReading1

PETALING JAYA.  A book reading session specially targeted at the hearing-impaired was held at the MPH bookstore in MidValley last Saturday. The event was conducted by Jeremy Chin, the self-published author of the fiction novel, Fuel. Sign language interpreters were present to gesture out the important message this new, exciting author had to convey.

Chin made it very clear to the audience the expectations he had for his book, which was for it to be an International Best Seller.

“When you take on a dream this big, it is crucial that you know why you are pursuing it. And those reasons have to be good reasons, reasons you will hold close to your heart till the day you die. Fuel’s success would buy me a golden ticket to continue doing that which I have come to love, which is to write, to share with the world the best that I am capable of. Believing in what you do. That is the most important ingredient towards becoming a great writer.”

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On his journey as a self-published author, Chin inspired the audience by conveying to them how his was an endeavour driven by passion, and he went into intimate detail about his craft and all that went into the effort. Towards the end, he spoke of the importance of getting readers emotionally invested in the book’s characters, and how a writer who achieves that, becomes a puppet master in control of the reader’s strings.

Chin ended on a grim note though, as he ventured into the topic of promoting his book to the masses, of how glowing reviews of the book had thus far had little impact on book sales.

“Friends, my journey as a writer, as enjoyable as it was, has become extremely difficult now that I’ve gotten to the stage of promoting it. I sit here today, battered and bruised, a tired warrior in need of a helping hand. I’ve walked alone for a year and a half, and it is my sincere hope that each of you here would join me for the next leg of my journey. Read my book, and if you think I am someone who deserves to arrive at his dream, please, please, please shout it out to the world.”

“I don’t know any sign language, but I’ll create my own, to convey what it means to me to have you here today.”

He pointed at each member of the audience, and brought his hands close to his heart.

mphBookReading3

The Latest Scoop

dignose

Just a quick update from me on the book. I’ve pushed the second edition of Fuel out on Amazon. E-book versions are also available on The Kindle and The Nook. This new edition contains a number of changes that improves the story’s flow. And because I was rushing the book out for Christmas, I made a number of slipups in the First Edition. Those have been rectified.

I’ve also released a trade paperback edition on Lulu.com. This was an important move for me because I wanted affordable worldwide reach. Although Amazon considers themselves to be international, shipping is pricey. If you live outside the United States, it costs an arm and a healthy testicle. Lulu, on the other hand, from what I understand,  prints the book in the country you are ordering it from, so shipping is a lot less. With all my channels in place, I can now market the book mercilessly.

World domination aside, Fuel is also available at The Bee, my new favourite spot to write (sadly, I don’t write as much as I used to these days). I love the food there, and the music, and the overall atmosphere. An old classmate of mine runs the place, and has granted me use of the stage to promote the book. I just have to think up something good to talk about, that preferably would not scare their customers away. Actually, I’m planning on doing a book reading for the deaf one of these days. Jonah Ong, a huge proponent of the book, is a signer, and he has agreed to do this with me. Maybe, The Bee, Baybee.

Other news. Fuel got its first official review last week. It appeared in the New Straits Times. All the nail chewing have worn my teeth out.

A few weeks before the NST article, I got an unofficial review (more a vote of confidence) from an article that was written by MPH Editor, Alan Wong. This was following a book reading that I had done on my birthday at Readings in Seksan. Another welcomed surpised I had received came when an English professor, Dr Anthony Sibert, was impressed by the book and started a push to have my book incorporated into the curriculum at higher learning institues in Malaysia. Personally, I don’t think my work qualifies. But maybe the level of education really has gone down as much as people have been saying.

Oh, I got a reply from Dato Rais Yatim about my request to place Fuel in all libraries nationwide. His office has referred me on to the Director of the National Library, who will make a decision on how many copies they would like from me. I have my fingers crossed that they would want my remaining stock. The University of Missouri have also promised to stock my book, along with the National University of Singapore.

I’ll be targeting local magazines in the coming week. US magazines and newspapers the week after. The UK after that. Still haven’t figured out how to take on the running community full force.

Will be making an appearance on Feb 26 at MPH bookstore in Midvalley, where I’ll be talking about my journey as a first time author. Fuel will also be featured at the Readings from Readings book launch on Feb 25. On the writing front, I’ve not started on my second book, but have been contributing articles here and there. The latest to be published was in Bettr Magazine. Lastly, I’ve entered Fuel into the Fourth Annual Amazon Breakthrough Award Competition. Winner gets published by Penguin. One can only dream.

Kebiasaan

kebiasaan

My face folded into a curious squint. Two days ago, as I searched the night sky for an answer, this Malay word genied out of this unilingual brain of mine: kebiasaan. It just came out of nowhere.

I did not even know if there was such a word.

“Kebiasaan? Hmmmmm?”

I summoned my eleven years of formal Malaysian education, and concentrated on the word.

“Biasa means normal.”

“Does kebiasaan then mean normalcy?”

“Or does the word mean ‘usual’ as in ‘Jadi satu kebiasaan’, which would mean ‘become routine’?”

“You sure about that?”

“Oh… I don’t know. Really, I don’t.”

“Just curious JC. What did you notch for your Malay language paper?”

“Now, now. Let’s not exhume any dark memories here.”

Like heads on a totem pole having a conversation, a panel discussion took place in my mind, and it led me down a path of self discovery. This was what I unearthed. My Malay is beyond hope.

Normalcy
NORMALCY. In my world, this has become a bit of an estranged word, banished like a leper to its own colony.

Of late, my life has been lived so intently, so intensely, that I now actually long for the opposite. So long it has been since I’ve experienced peace within. Enjoyed any form of normalcy or free abandon. These days, when I’m at rest, I no longer feel restful. But restless. This anxiousness in me that refuses to cease—it is of the sort that builds in the stillness, intensifying as time drains away.

There is a lot to be desired in the new career path I’m on. But a lot of what’s bad is invisible to the naked eye, blanketed by its sheen. So don’t wish for it too hastily. In the life I’ve chosen, I’m no longer subjected to Monday Blues, but I’ve lost one of life’s simple and most fulfilling pleasures… a reason to Thank God It’s Friday. Sure, I do arrive at new milestones, a cause for celebration. But before any corks can be popped, and sips taken, this voice within never fails to remind me, “You’re not there yet. Not even close.”

My Friday may one day come, many years from the last eighty I’ve missed. This hope, this Utopia I’ve envisioned for myself… it is all I have to hold on to.

For now, all I can do is reminisce the days before this innocence was lost. Back when the burden of destiny was left to fate. When happiness was something that happened to me, instead of an active pursuit. At a point in time when I could sit at the fringe of the ocean, watch the sea swell and shrink around my feet, and experience bliss.

A life of sentences? Or a life sentence?
Rome was not built in a day. Neither are successful authors.

International Best Selling Author.

I’ve forged and re-forged these words in my mind, allowed them to steer each of my actions. When I committed myself to this dream, I may have been unaware of what I was committing to. I’ve often asked myself this. Have I subjected on myself, the most ruinous ‘sentence’ in my life? A self-imposed fatwa that could well follow me to the grave, or maybe even expedite my journey there.

Where the writing of Fuel was concerned, I did not merely throw words onto the wind. I made a complete emotional investment, enlisted everything I had. Commitment is when you plant your seeds and your feet on the same patch. I had done that. And I’m not sure if it was a mistake.

To hold or to fold
Just the other day, I was reminded of the words to this song, “Don’t go chasing waterfalls… Please stick to the rivers and lakes that you’re used to.”

With all the turbulence that has entered my life, the question of whether I should stay the course has grown louder in my mind. On one hand, letters are trickling in from readers, telling me how powerful the book is, how it has changed their lives. On another front, there is mounting pressure for me to return to the life I’d left behind. Standing at the centre of the swirling debris, it has become extremely difficult for me to find a way out of the storm. Do I have the strength to weather it? The stomach to turn back? The freedom to ride it? So deep I am in the eye, that I may have lost the ability to differentiate stubbornness from resilience. All I know is this. If I stand too long at a crossroads, I’ll get run over by all sides.

These days, more frequently than before, I catch myself day dreaming of fair weather and wishing for normalcy. I’ve experienced many moments of joy in the last 500 days, but none that I felt I deserved. The strings have cut into my hands, have been stained red, taut in every direction. My grip ungiving, I stand here trapped in the wire, a prisoner in time, detained by the dream I’m trying to attain.

My letter to Rais Yatim

This is the thing about desert rain. Those who experience this rain experience the splendour of a rainbow.

I believe that if you throw enough prayers up in the wind, one will eventually be carried to the right person. One such prayer I had offered up, despite many people telling me it would be longer than a long shot, was a letter to Rais Yatim.

YB Dato’ Seri Utama,

Perkara: Novel FUEL untuk Perpustakaan-Perpustakaan di Malaysia

Dengan hormatnya, inzinkan saya terlebih dahulu melahirkan perasaan kagum saya atas segala yang telah dicapai oleh YB Dato’ Seri dalam mempromosikan tabiat membaca di negara kita ini.

Usaha YB Dato’ Seri sudah tentu akan mendatangkan impak yang positif ke atas negara bagi generasi-generasi yang akan datang, dan menghasilkan negara Malaysia yang lebih progresif.

Saya berbangga menulis surat ini bertujuan memaklumkan YB Dato’ Seri bahawa saya telahpun berjaya menerbitkan sebuah buku yang berjudul FUEL, dan saya berbesar hati menghulurkan YB Dato’ Seri senaskah sebagai hadiah ikhlas daripada saya.

Sekiranya YB merasakan yang buku saya ini ada nilainya, adalah harapan saya agar YB Dato’ Seri mempertimbangkan untuk membekalkannya untuk perpustakaan-perpustakaan di seluruh negara.

Setakat ini buku saya telah mendapat banyak ulasan yang menggalakkan, dan adalah hasrat saya agar setiap warga Malaysia yang mahu membacanya dapat berbuat demikian, namun, sudah tentu ramai di antara mereka mungkin tidak mampu membelinya.

Saya cukup sedar bahawa akses kepada buku FUEL untuk semua terletak di tangan YB Dato’ Seri sendiri dan oleh itu saya menyusun sepuluh jari dan meminta agar YB memutuskan untuk menjadikan akses ini satu kenyataan.

Akhir sekali saya harap YB Dato’ Seri terhibur membaca buku tersebut dan saya akan menunggu jawapan yang positif daripada YB Dato’ Seri.

Terima kasih atas masa yang sudah diluangkan oleh YB Dato’ Seri.

Yang ikhlas,
Jeremy Chin

Sometimes it is important to have a little faith, because that translates into hope. That way, when things are just not going your way, you have something to hold on to, that shred of hope, that prayer in the wind. I await Dato Rais’ answer. I await answers to the 200+ letters I’ve written to individuals and organisations worldwide. This week, I’ll write a hundred more.

One of the first questions I get from people after they’ve read my book is if I’m Timmy. Yes, I am he, that starry eyed dreamer with that undousable fire in his eyes. Often, I believe that to get my book there, I have to pave my own destiny. It’s just a matter of who ends up being a part of the journey.

destiny

Finding my place

This week has allowed me a peek into very different worlds. On Tuesday it was Pecha Kucha, the Japanese fad that has viraled world wide. Wednesday night at Batu Caves exposed me to the colour and fascinating rituals of the Hindu faith. Last night, I explored the meaning of life as a Christian, through the Alpha course. And tonight, I allowed a different kind of spirit pass through me, at Rootz, the most exclusive and expensive nightclub in the city. Tomorrow morning, I had thought of joining a group that gathers each week on a rock in a forest… to read and contemplate a book, A Course in Miracles. But lazy bones here would probably not be able to wake up.

The invitation for tonight came from my friend Derrick, who on discovering I had not clubbed in the metropolis for eons, felt the need to provide me an opportunity to let my proverbial hair down. He had a four-person pass to a cigarette launch organised by Grey Worldwide, the agency I had just applied at for a job. Further provoked by the promise of a free flow of booze for the night, I figured, why not?

Rootz nests on the charming sky garden at Lot 10, in the centre of town. I had been on the rooftop once, but for a very different reason–to attend a play. I had then wondered what it would be like to party on this rooftop, and was glad I got this chance to satisfy that curiosity.

Today, as we walked down the red carpet leading to the club, flash bulbs fired nonstop, from the scores of photographers flanking the walk. Well aware of my ‘nobodyness’, I thought the scene over-manufactured and completely ridiculous.

Promoter girls paraded the new line of cigarettes, chest out, like proud peacocks trying to lure a mate. One of the girls came up to me, and I bought a pack, just so I could shed the guilt I was at the time feeling–that I was free-loading. I have to say, this new cigarette has a really cool feature. If you pinch the filter, you’d be able to feel a little ball embedded in the soft material. Press it harder and the ball pops, and it is the most pleasurable sensation. More addictive than popping bubble wrap, in my opinion. The hidden orb, once burst, releases the mint element of the cigarette.

The interior at Rootz was rather grand; high ceilings, baroque artwork, antique-finished walls, velvet sofas. Having arrived at an early hour, the place had yet to be packed with people, and we were able to  secure a table right in front. The waiters patrolling the floor seemed to be on a mission to de-sober us in the quickest possible time, and efficiently shuttled free whisky and beer to our table. As the club filled up, the music got progressively louder, and more spit gathered on my ear each time someone tried to tell me something. As the DJ pushed the music to a higher tempo, people started to dance all around me, and I gaped at their fluency. Unschooled in modern dance methods, I felt like a rigid obelisk in a sea of fluid anemone.

I had a ball of a time observing. Observing the faces, the fashion, the body language, the hemlines. Oh, and I learned something new. You know that song, Fly like a G6. G6 is actually a plane. I was probably the last person in the room to know that. Been feeling a little too school for cool these days.

My throat was completely raw by the time we called it a night at one. I really enjoyed the music, the people I were with, watching the DJ do an amazing job weaving in and out of songs. This was the funny thing though. It wasn’t until I got into my car and drove through the city that I felt a relationship with the night. It reminded me of this Volkswagen ad.

Acknowledging that nothing could sound as good as the music at Rootz, I opted to not turn on my car radio, to preserve my memory of the club. As I drove, I took in the deadness of the sleeping city, the whir of my four-cylinder, the blur of lights flashing by. I experienced an unmatched solitude as my car gracefully curved and glided through the Smart tunnel at 120. To cap off the symphony of emotions I felt from connecting with the night, I made myself some scrambled eggs when I got home.

After I satisfied my belly, I walked into the bedroom, changed into my bed clothes, and scissored off the wristband the club had cuffed me with. I pondered on things for a bit. And I realised, that life truly is a journey. A search for that sense of place, to discover where you belong. I settled at my desk, my place, and started to write.

Because you told me to ask

Some days, I feel down. Today, I’m out for the count. My emotional fuel is completely depleted, fumes included.

So… what now?

Is it the hour to come to terms? To move on. To move past the past.

They say that when you’re at the end of the rope, tie a knot and hang on. My fingers are slipping. And I have not the strength to climb further. I need a hand here Jez. I need a hand.

Catching the next wave

I remember the first time I launched a website for a client and agapedly viewed it online. My chest swelled with pride, knowing that my creation was out there, for the world to see. It was the same for the next few websites… the one for Weird Al Yankovic, for FOX, iMAX, the Cartoon Network. And then the feeling left. It didn’t matter how big the client was, whether it was Adobe, or Jane Seymour, or Terminator 3… it was just a day at the office.

Downcasts I was, the last 12 years, that this brand of emotions would never again visit me, that the limelight had varnished an impermeable coat of jadedness on me. And then last Sunday happened…  as I watched someone read my book in a public place, her mind glued to every word on the page.

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A Quick And Dirty Update

No… not that type of dirty.

Many have asked me what I’ve been up to the past couple of months. Busy, busy, busy. Because I could not afford an editor, I spent a week poring through my work for one last time. I also could not afford a typesetter, so I spent another 2 weeks typesetting my book. My experience with Quark from over a decade ago came in useful. It was also a nightmare preparing the book to fit the Kindle and other eBook formats. That chewed off another couple weeks of time.

A few days were dedicated to finding the right printer and distributor for my book. I eventually decided on Vinlin to do my printing, and Horizon as a distributor. I made some major eleventh hour changes to the book, and turned 3 chapters into the first person. It flows a lot better I think. After the book was sent to the printer, I made last minute edits to the story following Haile Gebrselassie’s announcement that he was retiring.  My printer wasn’t too happy. At the time, he didn’t know that I was going to make changes another 3 times.

These days, I spend my time trying to line up book readings and book signings, arranging interviews with the media, writing speeches, preparing for my book launch, opening channels to global markets, corresponding with eager fans. I’ve also been reading Fuel… and making changes for the second edition. Anal me just can’t leave it alone.

I’ve currently given away 20 books, and sold 2. US sales for the print-on-demand version is at 14. Have developed a small following in the Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia. Am currently working on making the book available in the UK and Australia. The Kindle and the Nook version will be released following that. A controlled version of the book will be released on Scribd once all my sales channels are in place. In Malaysia, the book will be released in Kinokuniya, and select MPH and Borders stores by the end of the week. So I’ve been told. Will keep you posted.

Out of my hands

I took one last lingering glance, and had to let her go. My baby’s on its way, in bits and bytes to the printer.

Three days ago, as I was going through the book one last time, I made a rather drastic change—I turned three chapters in the middle to first person. I think it helps the story move a little better. God, I hope I’m right. Personally, I feel it could have been the worst or best writing decision I’ve made on the book. Those of you who know me know I’ve given up walking the middle line a long time ago.

Am not sure what I’m feeling right now. It’s a mixture of relief and nervousness I think. A bit of an odd blend don’t you think?

So how long before the book is available? The printer says it will take 2 weeks. When they’ve completed their job, I’d no longer just be a writer, but an author.

“How does one become a butterfly? You must want to fly so
much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.”

- Trina Paulus

Coming to term and coming to terms.

I would push, and urge you to dedicate your life to your craft, but you know, deep inside, I don’t even know if that is the right thing to do. Sometimes I get so absorbed in my own fairy tale that I try to get all my friends to take this same leap of faith with me. The thing is… this is a perilous journey and I think I’ve hurt a lot of people along the way, maybe even damaged ties that time may never be able to repair. Publishing a great work, in my real opinion, is not the end all. In my gut, I feel that there is more to life than that, that your existence here should not merely be summed up by books you’ve written or art you’ve painted, but more of the type of person you have made yourself to be.  Sometimes I’ve even wondered to myself, if the world, if mankind, deserves all that we are capable of.

In college, I was really huge into Marxism. I was known by my peers and teachers (even the principal) as the Young Marxist. This Marxist quote, I’m not sure who it was by (some no name fella), has stuck with me till this day, and to me is the core of all Marxism. It goes, “the ways in which man choose to grapple with the urgent necessity of their survival will determine all that they do.”

Writing has never been my life. And it never will be. Writing this book is merely the mode I’ve elected to urgently grapple with my survival, the vehicle I’ve assigned to bring me closer to the things I really love (my family, travel, learning new languages, learning the piano, helping others, helping others achieve their dreams… I have a whole laundry list) My point is this. I think you merely have to find the most tolerable way to get you to where you’d like to go. And most people don’t do that. I believe that the real journey lies in finding your calling. Once you’ve found it, everything just falls into place. In a Paulo Coelho sort of way, the universe conspires to get you there. Maybe I’ve picked the right path. Maybe not. Only time will tell I guess. Enjoyed the journey though. And that’s what matters.

It started as an idea, that became a movie script, that flared into a book, so that it could be turned into a movie. Will this go down as a wasted year? Maybe, but the fruits of it shall not. All I know is this, that once the book is published and out of my hands, regardless of whether it’s successful, it is out there… for someone to pick up and say, hey, this could be made into a great movie. For every breath forth, maybe even to my last, this book of mine, my baby, shall be to me, my favourite maybe.