So you think you can write?

Life is fragile.

What a gross understatement.

Life is a freaky roller-coaster ride I can’t wait for it to end sometimes.

Just when I thought everything is breezy in the office today, so that I could actually put a pencil to real paper, with hope to write a short story or two – Bang! 

Don’t kid yourself, silly woman. 

As of quarter to 12 this morning, I have on my desk: 

1) Three unlisted files at Shah Alam high court because they decided to transfer the files to the new court. Of course, the files went missing in the process. I have no clue what to tell the client.

2) One file got struck off last week because my good-looking-smelling-like-a-million-buck idiot of a clerk forgotten to minute the master diary. Enough said. No further elaboration needed here. Perhaps, I should mention that I probably need to go down on both knees and grovel to the Timbalan Pendaftar to reinstate the case.

3) The four wheeler, which is still in Naza’s garage, will not see any light of the day any time soon since Allianz is not covering the whole damage. Naza and Allianz are trying to shift the blame on “this is not our fault” kind of thing. If you ask me, don’t buy anything (even if it is only a keychain) from Naza or Proton. And sharing car with your spouse is a nightmare.

I have written zero words on the short story except that I have drawn a star, which sadly looks like a flower, on the Moleskine. But, yesterday, when I had all the time in the world to write, I actually baked a cream cheese butter cake from scratch (thanks to Ummi’s blog) and bragged about it to my friends.

Let me put this misery into perspective: like many aspiring authors out there, I write only when my “muse” is around, and this muse (god bless him/her) is a tricky person. The more I chase him, the more elusive he would be.

Now I have unthinkingly written 330 words. Not bad day for my writing aspiration/perspiration. 

Postscript: Can I still interest you to read Hassan’s story? 

Dusk in Teluk Kemang

(Originally written on 25 January 2008, at Guoman, Port Dickson)


“Aku suka senja.” Tiga perkataan keluar dari mulut setelah sejam dia membisu.

“Kenapa?” Aku tanya dia.

“Langit dan laut jadi satu…”

Snippet of that decade-long conversation flashes on my mind as I sit here watching dusk turns itself into night.

Sea of ebony kisses the feet of the sky before my eyes. He is right, after all.

If Port Dickson has ever let you down for being too touristy; or of dying an untimely death for want of better care – spend a night a Guoman and walk down to their privately maintained beach. You would find a long stretch of pearly sand, untainted by human activities.

I could describe this moment until dawn but I am going to pencil off, shut my eyes and breathe this crispy air before it ends. After all, sunset at Teluk Kemang is best immortalized with lenses for mere words could never do justice to this beauty.

Elements of Style

I know of John, while we have never been formally introduced to each other, I often see John at court’s car park, in the courtroom itself, and I once saw John nursing a few glasses of Rosé at La Bodega during office hours (no judgment).

I know few things about John: he is a lawyer with one of largest law firms in Malaysia, he must be in his early forties and he drives an Italian car. Oh, he’s a litigation lawyer since I have been seeing him in court.

Last Wednesday, on a drizzly afternoon, fate sat us next to each other in the same courtroom while waiting for the judge to begin his session. I flipped open a book to avoid making an idle chat with anyone I don’t fancy. John, seated right next to me, was furiously writing clever stuff on his journal. I don’t carry those boring journals; I have a Moleskine. *Smirk*

But everything about John spelt luxury: the gleaming Bell & Ross watch on his wrist, silver Mont Blanc pen clasped firmly between his thumb and index fingers and the crisp, freshly laundered and pressed court robe – while mine looked like Ronald Weasley’s hand-me-down.

A bit too fancy for Malaysian court, John.

But just like me, he was also throwing few inquisitive glances along my way. Not so long after, John gave in to his curiosity. He said to me:

“What is that you are reading? You look so engrossed with it.”

“Really? Oh, I am just pretending to read so that I don’t have to chat with anyone.” I jokingly answered.

“I am so sorry, I don’t mean to intrude… I apologise.” John replied sheepishly.

“It’s a joke, dear…” I cracked a smile to his direction.

“What is it then?” John probed further.

Element of Style by Strunk & White” I answered as a matter of fact.

“You love fashion?” John questioned me as to the contents of the book. I swear I heard a tinge of sarcasm in his voice, if not, of disdain.

“Yes, I love fashion all right, but that’s not what this book is about.” My annoyance, at this point, was thinly veiled.

“Oh? What is about then?” He raised his eyebrows in confusion.

“It’s about writing.”

“If you are a lawyer, why do you need to learn about writing? All lawyers can write.” He said smugly.

“That is a serious misconception, my friend. This is a different kind of writing, not the one that you need to write a submission to court.” I replied to John even though I could sense that this conversation was not going anywhere I like.

“What kind of writing is that?”

Someone please shut this person up!

I relented and handed John the book. Half an hour passed, the judge was nowhere to be found, and John was still reading my book.

“Err, can I have my book back?” I politely asked John.

“My god, this book is awesome!” John exclaimed, “How did you know about this book?”

“An author friend of mine introduced it to me, but he pretends that he is a manager somewhere else”

“Oh? Why is that – 

“I don’t know, my friend, people are weird sometimes.” I gave a dead one-liner answer but John was not done.

“Where did you get it?”

“At Borders… Kinokuniya stocked some, too, but they are in hardcover.”

Element of Style is a must-have for all aspiring authors, however, if you rigidly adhere to the instructions, you’ll risk writing a flawless but stale piece – just my point of view.