I don’t want to look back in time.

They say this is the time to look back and look forward and we all hear the same thing each year or we may even wish the same as we did the previous year. Mistakes would not be repeated and we would do better the coming year. We make that solemn promise to ourselves, we won’t make the same mistakes twice but somehow “never” should never be spoken. We draw up a list of things to do and not to do and we wishfully hope 2010 would be the year things would be different.

Maybe it would, or maybe it would not.

Who knows? We can’t tell the future. And we make the best decisions based on the best and most current information we have at this moment in time. So in fact no decision is a bad decision. Only with hind-sight do we determined based on some form of measure, which is bad and which was good. So can we truly say 2009 was a bad year or not? What may have been a bad choice could lead to a good situation in 2010. We never know.

I am saying this as my friends start wishing each other Happy New Year on Face Book. I am an ass when I start thinking, and I’m treating this day like any other year. And I won’t be promising myself anything neither am I expecting much either.

If you step back and look at days and time and years, EVERY 24 hours we live is the same in terms of measured time. The sun rises and the sun sets.

We (humans that is) invented a form of measurement to quantify and divide time in units we can easily refer too. So today is the 31st of December 2009, and tomorrow is the 1st day of 2010. But what if every month had 40 days? Or 60 days? Or what if we lived in 12 hour days? Then 2010 would have been upon us in half the time.

I don’t want to look back at 2009 because it would mean I have to look back all the way in my own remembered history. 2009 should be looked at in reference to 2008 and so on so forth. And looking forward to 2010, can I safely say I won’t make the same mistakes? After all we humans are creatures of habits.

So don’t live in the past, neither don’t fantasize for the future. Live the NOW and savour every moment lived. Time would move relevant to how you perceive it. You want it to move fast, it would move fast. You want time to move slowly, it will move slowly. Time is relevant to the position of the observer, who stands looking at his watch moving clockwise. Ironically, even if our watches moved anti-clockwise, time would remain the same.

Every minute is a 60 second pulse and every second is a 100 mini-second pulse. So if your clock tick backwards it would still be the same as those ticking forward.

So for tomorrow, I want to create something new. Regardless, if its the new year or not; I choose to create something new. To add to the excitement of a changing universe. To introduce something that would find its place in time and be remembered by those that share the same space with it. I want to add to the jumble of created instances we have crowding our existence.

How do I do that?

By doing what I do best. Writing. Composing. Seeking the story that needs to be told. Adding to the body of stories people carry stored in their minds.

For that, I want to experience life. Each day as if it was my last. To live with urgency. To live as if life dependent on it. To not be afraid to take part in the trickery of life, and be able to say at the end of it.

“I lived my life.”

There’s a story in every moment

You can sit on a plane or at a (boring) meeting and there may be a story lying in wait. All you have to do is turn, smile and talk to those around you. Every one has a story, has a phrase that sticks, has a tale to tell and places they’ve been. All you need to do is turn, smile and start talking. Do not be afraid to strike up a conversation with the ones near you. And above all, after asking, listen to what they have to tell and take note. You never know when that phrase would seem appropriate when you are writing conversation or laying down a plot.

There’s a story in every moment.

Too many times we try too hard to fomulate a great story. We labour over ideas that HAVE to be spectacular, mind blowing and out of this world. We fashion large words and create outlandish worlds to plant our single dimensional characters.

But stop and talk to those you meet on the bus or a plane or sitting at a coffee shop and you’ll gain a wealth of stories. Real stories with real people, living real lives with real problems and moving in real time. You then take on the role of scribe and thus, chronicle the lives of everyday people. It doesn’t have to be outlandish or spectacular, just honest and true.

Try it. talk to someone and listen to the story, yet untold.

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How to choose the RIGHT language to write a novel.

Let’s keep things simple. You want to write and you want to be published. So what language will you write in? It sounds like a dumb question and I can see some of you rolling your eyes and fidgeting in your seat; ready to flame my blog. But hear me out.

Language choice is a BIG decision, primarily because it can determine whether you would actually finish your novel/short story/article or love letter. Anyone can write, thats why we go to school. We learn to spell words and articulate our minds onto a medium called paper.

Yet, language will determine the feel of the story, the life of the story lies not in the writing itself (per say) but rather in the language used. Language determines the way the words are spoken by that invisible story teller, who sits in reading room of our mind and language moves us to think, to dream and to imagine.

Write in the language you think in.
If you think in Chinese, try writing in Chinese and so on so forth. Writing in the language you think creates flair in your stories. It just means, you have mastery over the language. By being a master of the language you can play with words and sentences and allow yourself to speak your mind. Remember, creative writing is about painting your mind onto a printed medium for people to read. Paint using the colors that you are sure of. Write in the language that you think in.

Now, there will come a time when you choose to write in a language you learnt..

Write in a foreign language if you want to reinvent yourself.
When I write in Bahasa Malaysia, my style changes. It becomes dead formal. My sentencing becomes rigid and it takes on an air of formality. Yet, when I do attempt to write in Bahasa Malaysia, I am not govern by the rules of the language because I don’t know them. My writing takes on a flair akin to a mad-man ranting away nonsenses. So, if I ever want to write in Bahasa Malaysia, it’ll probably be poetry or a compilation of short stories by inmates of the local asylum.

Write in the language you read in.
Writers are in part hugely influenced by what they read. We pick up a writer we love and in time our style matches them to a certain degree. We take on some of the way they sentence their words or speak their minds. My own style is (ironically) greatly influenced by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the writer of the Sherlock Holmes series, and lately by Stephen King, Neil Gaiman and Nicholas Sparks. These are the writers I read and they all write in English.

Write in the language you vocalize your stories in.
Writers need to be good story tellers. For example, imagine sitting in a coffee shop with your friends and it’s your turn to tell them your story. You need to grab their attention, keep them hooked, allow them to follow the story, allow them to experience the characters. This imagery is the one I keep in my mind when I write my short stories. I imagine I’m telling the story to a friend. This is what I deem the Voice of the Writer. Every writer has their own unique voice. It’s their fingerprint in the literacy world. We recognize each other by the way we speak on paper. So make it a point to try to translate how you vocalize your stories to people onto paper. Try to mimic the phrasing and sentencing onto paper and you’ll find that your writing has taken on a new dimension.

So why are you still reading this? Go write something.

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Standing Still in Life

Life is life and in life all things are fair. In good and in bad, life is fair because that is life. So we shouldn’t scream over in-perfections of life. We stand still and accept the role life has to play. And it is in times of bad, we stand still and view our life with keener eyes. It is during those times we seek our strengths and gauge the force that pushes us up and down the mountains of life itself.

We stand still even when it hurts or when others view it differently. My view will be different then yours and I stand still base on my view not yours. Should you then judge me for my stand base on your view? Instead, it would be wise to catch a glimpse of my view and align your view to mine. If you still cannot accept it then be it so but allow it to enrich your view. To teach you that in life, views can vary and it can provide us much insight and knowledge. Start a collection of views.

Standing still and allowing life to be life would teach us to live to the fullest.

Sometimes even when standing on the wrong side of things could teach you lessons those who stand on the right; would never learn. Avoidance of life would merely mean your bottle of experience is either half empty or less full. Let life be life, and understand that in life, all things are fair. It is life being life.

Standing still would teach us, life moves to its own beat. And it is a beat that moves the universe. As a writer, it is this beat that we train our ears to hear. We write about life and how life orchestrate peoples’ tempo. We write so others may see the depth of life itself.

As for me, at the end of my time here. I want to be able to say, “Look at my bottle. It is filled with life lived to the extent of its fullness. I have seen things, felt things, said things, thought things; none of you may have known. I have lived life and found it beautiful even when my experiences were ugly. Life is fair. To each his own and to each his lot.”