Archive for the ‘Scribble’ Category

It took me a long time to get published because things were different back then in Malaysia. There were very few publishers who would take on works by local writers and generally they preferred nonfiction to fiction. Unlike what writers can do today writers from the pre-internet days had very few options. It was either self publishing, which cost a bomb, or … wait a minute, there is no ‘or’.

There were no local writers I could ask or talk to about pursuing creative writing not only as a career but as my entire lifestyle. Like any other young and emerging writers, I needed some kind of approval or sign to let me know that it was okay to be a writer. That I was not fooling myself with my head in the clouds. That I would be able to get by. That I could cheat death and survive the writing world. With only western world writers to look up to, without hesitation or doubt I wrote to Stephen King. I was 22, I was a little desperate, and I wasn’t expecting a reply. But lo and behold, Stephen King sent me a standard form respond card and some photocopied articles. I mean, who does that? The King of course.

This small act of acknowledgment has taken me a long long way to be where I am today. It may seem like a negligible matter, but to one who has always loved writing with the hope of getting published some day, it meant the world to me.

My first book was published in 2011.
These are the last few copies.
How times flies.

If you ever have the time to sit down and talk with members from Justice for Sisters or PT Foundation or other similar NGOs helping the transgender community you will cringe with fright at how monstrous human beings can be towards the marginalized. You can read more about it in the link below.

https://justiceforsisters.wordpress.com/2014/11/19/reported-murders-of-transgender-persons-in-malaysia/

Although this is a supernatural vengeance, been there-done that plot, there is a twist that involves the mystical powers of the moths.

Four of China’s great folktales: Legend of the White Snake, Lady Meng Jiang, Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai (The Butterfly Lovers), and The Cowherd and the Weaving Maid have a very strong influence on this story. I grew up watching various versions of these folktales and fell deeply in love with them. This is my personal homage to epic tales of love and loss, tragedy and comedy, earthly and heavenly … on a small scale.

The beginning of the story where the protagonist travels to a deserted place somewhere off Kamunting is based on one of my frightful experiences. I took the night train back to Taiping and reached at about three in the morning. There was only one taxi and the driver was an old man who probably had insomnia (I’m guessing that’s why he had his taxi service at that hour). I got in and sat in the back and a brawny man got in to sit in the front. The taxi driver decided to drop the man off first since his destination was closer than mine. It was a nice enough nighttime for all three of us to travel.

The man directed the taxi driver towards Kamunting and then the journey went beyond shop lots, housing areas, and even street lights. Before we knew it we came upon a dirt road and the sides were overgrown with extremely tall lalang grass. I was calm and naive to it all this until I saw the old man’s eyes in the rearview mirror. They told me they could not protect me. They told me he was a frail old man. They told me we were both going to die. I cringed in the backseat thinking I would not live long enough to be a writer to tell this tale.

The brawny man stopped the taxi driver quite abruptly in the middle of nowhere, paid him, and got off in a flash before cold sweat could even take form. I looked around but there was no sign of life except for the grass so tall it could be a corn field. The taxi driver made a quick u-turn, sped us out of the godforsaken place, and we said nothing until I reached home. He made sure I was safely inside, locked the gates, went into the house, and closed the doors before he left.

The danger only dawned on me when I was home and wondering what the hell just happened.

If you have a mother who talks to you when you are busy, taking a shower or a dump, out of ear range and calls your name whenever she needs to find something, missing something, someone is at the door, or when she needs an answer to some vague question then you will easily identify with this horrific tale.

Needless to say, my mother is the source of inspiration for the first half of the story. The second half is just another one of my contorted views of what silly things we promise each other in the name of friendship.

dare

Reincarnation was not an ideology I willingly embraced when I was young. Although I have heard about it in certain practices, I have never given it much thought or care. It was not until I read some of the most remarkable stories about children who transmigrated and identified their murderers that got my attention. If it were possible for all victims to come back and seek justice then no one can get away with murder.

For all murderers out there, if you think you can get away with it, you’d better think again.