Writer’s Writuals

Last night, alone in my secret tree-house, I chanced upon a quote by Virginia Woolf, “a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” With all due respect to Ms. Woolf, the latter I have a plenty but the former I seriously lack! I would venture to conclude that Ms. Woolf did know what she was talking about since literary authors are poorly paid unless you write like J.K. Rowling. And Ms. Woolf also lends me an excuse never to finish the manuscript since I have no money. πŸ™„

In my wildest dream, I attend the Ubud Writers Festival in Bali, preferably as a published author not just as a reader. Literary giants gather every once in a year in Bali – the Island of the Gods. Since that picture remains a dream in my head, let’s talk about where and how you write your piece.

I know, I know that I am untaggable and yet I have the audacity to start this tag. Oh, judge me all you want!

I found the tag at Writer’s Retreat and I hereby tag Mat Salo, Mat Bangkai, Jac, Puteri Kamaliah, Pak Zawi, Ahmad Cendana, Thetha, Kak Teh and Tunku Halim – only if he’s not too busy writing the new book. You don’t have to do it, but you will do it anyway because you love me. πŸ˜†

1. Where are you?

At home, I am always at the 2nd living room which has been converted into a mini library – thank you is long overdueΒ  to Sir Zain, master of the house – where I keep all my books and writing materials. Here’s a little peep at my treasured antique writing desk:

Outside, I write at Starbucks, exclusively Starbucks since I am addicted to that devil of a latte drink.

In my dream, I write in my little retirement home by the fringe ofΒ  the South China Sea or alternatively, at some forgotten motel down the less-travelled path in Wales. Machynlleth, perhaps?

2. What are you writing with?

Pencil on a moleskine. Lately with this awesome ballpoint I found at CZip Lee stationery shop. On an afterthought, Mat Bangkai was absolutely right, fountain pens do make my moleskine bleeds – no to fountain pens then.

3. What is the oddest object in front of you?

I am a boring person, I don’t keep odd stuff.

4. What are you listening to?

The sound of silence. I like it quiet. But sometimes, the sound of Julio Iglesias signing La Carraterra could be darn soothing.

5. Is there anyone else in the room?

No. Absolutely no. What kind of question is this? I thought all aspiring writers like to be left alone, no?

6. What time of the day is it?

The coherent piece usually comes after 2 in the morning. The crappy stuff, oh well, anytime of the day.

7. What do you look at when you are looking for inspiration?

Preferably an ocean but I make do with the skyline at night. The frangipani, the jasmine and the drunken sailor at the garden patch next to the car porch. Above all, the love of my life: Luqman. But right now, given his bouts of screaming and kicking, he’s not much of an inspiration, an intimidation more like it.

8. What is guaranteed to remove your concentration?

Blackberry not on silence mode and the husband asking, “can I use your laptop?”

I open this tag to everyone who feels like doing it, at the very least, your hour will move faster towards 7 p.m. today.


16 thoughts on “Writer’s Writuals

  1. tang “can I use your laptop?” tu macam sangat familiar lah. di rumah ni pon ada sorang camtu.

    selamat hari raya elviza. maaf zahir batin. raya kali ni kat kelantan, yeap hubby’s side. adik dia nak kawin.

    Selamat Hari Raya to you to Anakmami. Travel safely ok?

  2. I don’t understand it – many of my comments to your blog doesn’t make it! Wonder what `sial’ there is on me that’s making it so…

    Ah, don’t worry about it my friend, I check my spam bag everyday lately and I be sure to recover yours every time I sight one, ok?

  3. Hi Elviza

    I have completed the tag. It ain’t much, but I do hope you enjoy it anyhow πŸ™‚

    Hi Mat,

    I am sure whatever you wrote would be “much” in my eyes anyway.

  4. Haha. I can write all the craps just anytime also. Some are extremely stale smelling that I don’t feel like publishing it at all πŸ˜€

    Little Brother Akmal,

    Hahahahaha, I have lots of crap I chucked them all in my “pandora” box. Every once in a while, I opened it, reread it and shudder!! πŸ™‚

  5. I just love your antique writing desk! Very inspirational indeed, unlike both my desks (at work and at home) which are more like menyerabutkan kepala because they ARE so berserabut.

    (But, they say, a tidy desk is a sign of an idle mind, no? ;))

    I bet, despite all the screaming, Luqman still tops the list of your inspiration, huh? πŸ˜‰

    Here’s wishing you and your family a blessed Eid ul Fitri.

    Maaf Zahir Batin.

    And a safe journey balik kampung πŸ™‚

    Dear WanShana,

    You like the desk yeah? I love it to bits. I told the husband that is the best gift he ever gave me – better than diamonds and gold (now I am just being an idiot!).

    Luqman – despite all of his shortcomings – will always be a source of strength in everything I do. Guess, all mothers would have felt the same kan?

    Selamat Hari Raya to you and your family. Have a safe journey wherever you plan to go this holiday season.
    Take care, dear.

  6. Oh my god, so many book….. and I dont even read the newpaper. Me only reads car magazine.

    Looks like I have to start reading to woo you gorgeous!

    Happy hari raya and have a good one kay?

  7. The Blackberry is a real distraction even when you have it in ‘Phone Only” mode as the blinking red LED gets your fingers so itchy that you want to check the incoming mails, PIN messages, BB messenger, YM, Windows Live Messenger, Google Talk etc. After raya got to get my hands on the Bold…if you are any of your friends need one, do tell me…I can get it about RM400 cheaper.

  8. Elviza,
    Out of fatherly love to you I will do it, but at my own time after Raya. I have this Raya post coming so I can’t squeeze anything else befor that.
    Actually I am buying time to see how others do theirs especially the man from the swampyland who will provide me with much needed inspirations.
    Please hug Luqman for me.
    Selamat Hari Raya.

  9. Hi Elviza

    Thanks for thinking of me. An honour indeed (but a little intimidating) to be asked to do this tag along with writers who are truly writers. That said, I will do it because I love you. πŸ˜‰

  10. Elviza I wanted to do it as soon as i read it, but at that time the answer to question number 3 – what is the oddest object infront of you , happened to be my husband! So i’ve got to do it on another day – after raya, ok?

    Selamat Hari Raya to you and yours, from me and mine.

  11. Huh?
    I was already at this site and post on Thursday, but only now am I aware of it – my name is there! (Was more concerned about my previous comments not making it here. Must be due to my flaky connection when posting)

    I’m a bit clueless about this “Writer’s Writuals”. It’s flattering that you have mentioned me.

    BUT you have also frightened me with this!…pulling me out of the shadows of anonymity (Which was how I had missed seeing my own name last Thursday – never expected “such things”!)

    Now how do I try to get out of this… Err, should there be some kind of regulation against having two people from the same district? Mohd Zawi is already mentioned…

    But since I love your writing (which is why I could have come back again to the same post), I will do the best that I can; circumstances permiting, of course (you folks don’t know how “off-mainstream” I am, seriously).

    Pictures – This will be a BIG problem. Will try to see whether one of my wife’s nephews and nieces have a digital camera. If not… And I don’t know who I’d dare to tag (most likely it’ll die with me)

    You mentioned “Ahmad Cendana” – Mat Cendana of Cendana Blues… “the nasty one of pre-2006”? Hmm, the link specifically says WordPress, so it must be Cendana287, the person `brought back from Gambang’, and one I aspire to be…

    Some people here might be thinking, this guy sounds like a mental case… πŸ™‚

  12. Elviza, sorry for the delay in coming up with the Writer’s Writuals. Had intended to write it yesterday, but had spent most of the day sleeping. Even my own post wasn’t completed (but still sent in because a couple of VVIP’s in Kuantan had insisted on seeing it before midnight last night – and they are a lot more important than Pak Lah, Najib etc to me).

    Today (Wed), I’m trying to go meet with Bang Zawi in Pasir Mas. Felt bad that I couldn’t meet with Arep around noon yesterday – someone working in Tawau, who came back for Raya.

    And now, “some people” are asking for a new post at Cendana Blues. Alamak, dah jadi macam kerja pulak that site! And one of my real kerja (something that brings in money-lah) – reviewing books – lies waiting…

    But don’t worry: I will do your assignment:-)

  13. Pingback: Elviza’s "Writer’s Writuals" Assignment « Recovery from Drug Addiction

  14. Elviza – may I know just which ballpen you are using? I have a moleskine to fill up. πŸ™‚ And the answers are a good reminder to people like me to write REGULARLY.

    Eliza, its the blue colour (comes in black as well) with transparent casing at the body and its fountain. The brand is Pilot, Super Grip (M). Retailing at RM3.00 st CZip Lee @ Bangsar.

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