31 December 2006

From:that frolicsome kid
To:Whom this may concern
Date:31 December 2006, 23:04
Subject: Bye '06, Hello '07!  

2007 Horray!I myself cannot believe time itself has flown so fast, and I still remember vividly on this very day last year, my family and I were counting down to 2006.

We're going to do the same again, in less than an hour's time. Moving on to January 1, 2007. Time to take down the old calendars. Time to practice writing 2007 instead of 2006 in school exercise books! Time to sober oneself one; never again will I ever repeat the mistakes I made this year (which I can't remember at the moment!). Time to tell myself, "Hey man! It's the new year! Time to turn over a new leaf, into an even better person!"

Hahaha, I have yet to write up my New Year's resolutions! I'll do that on the New Year itself.

I've gained so much this year, MORE THAN EVER in my entire life. Never have I looked at things in such a new, mature perspective. I actually began to learn to value my life and build up and strengthen my self-philosophy and values. I'm really happy and content with myself. I hope you guys are too! =)

Tonight's New Year's Eve BBQ was a total dud, at least that's what I thought unfortunately. The few guests my mom invited weren't the most exciting bunch. They left home before the countdown. Sigh~ But I guess that's okay. I prefer this to be a family event anyway.

I don't know what else to say now. Guess all that I can do now is wait, keep checking on my eBay's sales activity (which is currently only 1, hahaha!) and yeah... waste the final moments of 2006. Not exactly a good idea, but hey, there isn't much I can do now. I think.

45 more minutes to go.

I shall leave you guys here in 2006. I'll wait for everyone in the Western Hemisphere to pass into the New Year, then we can really celebrate. Okay? =P


[+] There's more!

29 December 2006

From:that frolicsome kid
To:Whom this may concern
Date:29 December 2006, 19:15
Subject: Wedged in between Christmas and 2007!  

Christmas is over. It's on to the New Year.Hey guys! I'm finally back at my place now, listening to the pitter-patter of the raindrops. It's that time of the year again when there is heavy rainfall and floods are all too common in my country. Rain can be fun, of course, but having too much is a major bummer!

I'm actually am back home on Christmas Day! Can you believe it? I have to fly so early in the morning at 4 a.m. for goodness sake! I seriously wonder who flies at such an odd hour. Well, my wonder ceased to amazement when I saw the 200 passengers congregating at the airport in the wee hours of the morning, on Christmas Day! Wow. I had tried begging my mom to postpone our trip back home but unfortunately, it wasn't possible as all flights from post-Christmas to the first two weeks of January are fully booked. Not even a seat! That was how terrible the scenario was. Hordes of Australians (or the English) are using our national carrier to go to London from Perth and vice versa, transitting in my country. Apparently it's cheaper by 200 dollars (not so sure about the currency, but it's definitely not in Sterling Pounds!) compared to Qantas or British Airways (if that carrier does fly to Perth), plus with that amount of money, one can stay at my country's most prestigious 5 star hotel for a day. I don't know how true it is, that's what my mom told me. Anyway, on that flight that morning, about 3/4 of the passengers were transiting. I think we were the only local passport holders even!

Now on to the important question. Did I celebrate Christmas?

YES OF COURSE! HORRAY! Technically, that is.

At the stroke of midnight, right before we leave to the airport, my family and I (including my elder brother's girlfriend who I call my sister - she's the bomb!) exchanged gifts! Oh my gosh, I cannot believe I got a Nintendo Wii (How I wish! Hahaha) they like the presents I gave them! Each and every one! I was so happy, I almost wanted to shed a happy tear or two.

Christmas always gets me. It moves me when I show my love through gifts. Okay, that sounds very materialistic, but hey! It's the thought behind that counts! I hugged each and every one of my family member, and deep inside me, I thank them for giving me such a good life and showering me with lots of love, even though I can be a real mischievous and misbehaved son at times =).

It's really cool. The crinkling of present wrappers, the shout of joy when they saw their gifts beyond the wrapping paper. Let's just say the Christmas humbug bit all of us. In short, it was an amazing short time when the family bonded even closer. But then, everything has to end when we have to get to the airport. Everyone stuffed their gifts inside fat and oversized baggages (it was so full, we were worried that it was overweight). Thank goodness our luggage did not exceed the maximum weight imposed by the airport, the weighing scale was being kind to us!

So yeah, my Christmas this year to me seemed so short. We didn't do anything special when we got back home. Everyone was too exhausted from the whole return trip although my brother and I tried on the new video games that we bought back from Australia. (The games they sell in my country are mostly pirated anyway and are not so reliable.) Hehehe...

I'm happy that at least we got to exchange gifts and had an early Christmas dinner at a French restaurant. Damn, I didn't know French can hit the spot in my stomach; yum, yum! No turkey though, haha! We had a jolly good two and a half hours dinner.

I've said it already, and I will say it again. Christmas is AWESOME!

So what have I been up to nowadays? Well, nothing much. Except trying out Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight. I actually wanted to buy its newer version, Flight Simulator X but unfortunately, this game was released too early and only about 5% of the gamers can run it properly. It is too demanding and quite unplayable for modern day computers. According to people's reviews I've read online, they stated that this simulatorwas meant to be played on Windows Vista, with DirectX 10 and well, this system is yet to be released. So staying on the safe side, I purchased the older game which was cheaper and was sold for AUD$10 less. So what the heck! *big toothy grin*

I have this weird fascination for aeroplanes (here we go again!). When I was young, I used to grab a small model of an airline, pretended my bedroom was one big airport and fly the plane, always either taking off or landing. Flying mid-air was too boring for me! Hahahaha! You can imagine me making the sounds of the aeroplane engines and make the aeroplane land or takeoff, and the aeroplane goes zooming by the long runway. Oh yeah, I love it!

The game is fun, but is currently a major bore to me as I need to learn how to fly properly first before landing (Boo!). Hopefully, after I have mastered the controls, I'll fly all over the world and make stops at the world's most busiest airports and admire it's monstrosity and beauty (Changi Airport!). There's something about airports which excites me...

Oh yeah, I've signed up for eBay.com under my "mother's name" since I am underaged. Thought it was high time I got rid of a couple of things around the house and make money out of them instead of feeding them to the dumpster. And that's what I have mainly busied myself these past few days. That explains my inactivity, I guess. It is loads of fun selling! Now I know how it feels like to be a e-seller! If you would like to check out what I am selling, you can ask for my username at eBay by e-mailing me at frolicsomekid at gmail dot com. Reason being my username is easily recognizable by my friends should they stumble into here and find out that I have a secret blog. And my privacy will be shattered... *shudder*

It took me a long time to figure out the mechanics for selling, and I've managed to understand the basics. The hardest part is the shipping, since not many locals will browse at eBay, and international shipping prices don't come in cheap. I was overjoyed when I discovered that a bidder has bid on one of my items! I intend to make the sales to go as smoothly as possible! =)

It's just great that Taiwan had to suffer an earthquake. The Internet connection isn't stable and very slow nowadays, and it will last for a long time until some undersea cable is repaired. What a bummer! At least I still can get online, I heard that our neighbouring countries isn't faring so well. But it's weird that it happened on December 26, eh? Coincidence?


Well, I guess that's that for this blog post. I'll blog more when some random blog-worthy thoughts hit my brain. Heehee. Until then, I wish you guys a very belated Merry Christmas, happy shopping at the after-Christmas sales (and cry when you learn that item you bought for $100 is given a big 50% discount!) and of course...

A very happy, prosperous and healthy New Year! (in advance, in the event that I cannot blog on December 31 - January 1)

And brace yourself for the flurry of SMS-es wishing you a Happy New Year!

Joy to the world! =D

[+] There's more!

20 December 2006

From:that frolicsome kid
To:Whom this may concern
Date:20 December 2006, 23:01
Subject: The Weirdness Meme...Again!  

Hey everyone! Yep, I'm back from Melbourne and am now in my brother's place. The vacation was rather alright, although my family and I could have spent time going to more attractive places. Actually, my mother's friend who resided there brought us around the outskirts of Melbourne since she wasn't familiar with the city (which I couldn't believe at first). She showed us the 'not-so-exciting' places, but still fun. I think.

That was a few days ago. I wasn't in the mood to blog because I blame the weather. *chuckle* It's really hot and dry here in Australia and I feel very drowsy to stay in the "hot oven", despite me coming from an equatorial country. It's the feeling you get when you feel like doing something but you totally do not have the mood to do it. I hope you guys get what I mean! But this does not make me hate summer =).

After a long delay, I now (Finally! Whoops!) present to you the continuation of the Weirdness Meme. Only four more to go!

3. I am organised and neat. I strive for things to be in order, organised, neat and clean before I can do anything about it. Let's take my study folder for an instance. All of my written school notes are arranged by subject, then by chapter, following the syllabus in order. I make sure the notes I write are short, concise and condensed form of the textbook (even though they're still pretty long). I can't read from textbooks. They tend to like jumbling together redundant sentences and important facts, and I cannot regurgitate the more important ones as well as from my own notes.

Also, it makes it easy to search for them too. Without organising and arranging first, I cannot do anything at all. Period. I'll be moaning and complaining about how unorganised things are and how messy it is etc. And I can't work. And that's the greatest downside.

4. And from there comes the rigidity. I DISLIKE strategy games like chess and real-time strategy games. Why? Because I can spend hours and hours of thinking up the perfect plan without anticipating what the opponent can do, and suddenly he can do something surprising. And my plan would be ruined! And I'm doomed. I can't change my strategy and unfortunately, I refuse to do so because I can't bear to see my original plan going down to waste. And that is why unlike most guys, I don't play World of Warcraft. =) And that's a good thing, I think...

Oh yeah, and in Melbourne, I was a pseudo-guide for my family, jotting down the itinerary for the week to places that I would like to go. And suddenly, the whole itinerary was turned upside-down, with my mother's friend criticising most of the tourist attractions I had listed down and therefore, we didn't go to some of them as a result. A big let down. Not surprisingly, I sulked about it for a few days. =( At least half of the trip was going according to plan.

5. I have a phobia of playing the piano in front of other people except my family and teacher. The irony is that I'm a Grade 7 pianist! Argh! It's so bad I actually refuse to let my friends to come to my house, or reject people's invitation to their house which I know has a piano in it. Why? Because I will most probably be playing out a song to them. It's frustrating. I played at recitals before, but I was scared and really nervous. There was once I turned Nostalgia (a Richard Clayderman song) into a screwed up song. An unforgettable one which people would rather forget. And they actually clapped! I thought I would have broke down in front of them.

And also there are many other sour memories that fuelled to my phobia. Like not practising a song and my mom's friend "purposely" humiliating me by "forcing me to play in front of her friends" at her house. Shit! And they were chattering while I was struggling to read the notes and trying to play them. And the other time my mother forced me to play in front of my brother's friend, and all I managed to play out were scales. Not forgetting to mention that I failed my Grade 5 practical.

In other words, I'm a weak Grade 7 pianist, and I'm ashamed of myself to hear my friends who are a few grades below me belting some wonderful song which I couldn't play last time. And I suck at sight reading.


But guess what? I still like playing my piano alone in solitude and am not giving up until I finish Grade 8. Hmm... now that is weird! ;) Unfortunately, this phobia has set me back a lot...

6. I don't conform to my gender stereotype at all. Everyone knows that I'm pretty feminine (or what the guys call me 'gay') for a guy. I remember last time I saw this quiz in a forum which asked how you conform to your gender stereotype. I think I have more defies than conforms. Here's the list for it, there are more though which I could not think up now.

Have a small wardrobe
Can be quite dirty at times
I sound rude without meaning to
Pretty egoistical at times =P
Looks like an ordinary guy
Likes girls, not in a lovey-dovey sense ;)
Lazy to clean up
Loves my own smell - Weirdness #1
Hates sissy things and girly-girly stuffs
Gets pretty nasty when I'm mad
Serious about everything
Gives one-word replies when I'm bored/don't like you enough
Shops like a guy

Hates strategy games - Weirdness #4
More artistic than scientific
Biology > Chemistry & Physics
Not very mathematical
Emotion runs my life and I am very expressive and also experience mood swings easily
Dislike being too bulky and hunky etc.
Loves languages
Have an overactive imagination
More at home with girls than guys
Can be quite vain
Prefers having intimate relationships with few people
Acts rather feminine for guys - gets insulted as "gay"
Hates fantasy genre
Don't swear much
Dislike people who don't show emotion or are too cool
Act before I think
Blur most of the time
Enjoys chick flicks once in a while
I love my life
Loathes deep logical thinking
Timid and easily intimidated
Loves to add some words which girls only use - like "Whatever, It's like, you know" etc.
I don't stare at pretty girls that walk by most of the time!
Keeps a secret blog where I spill out my inner secrets - which you are reading now ^.^
Neat and loves keeping things organised - Weirdness #3
Dislikes hanging out with people who are too pedantic or too engrossed with their games (mostly the guys)
Overuses emoticons
Goodie-goodie two shoes

Phew! That's long.

Congratulations! You reached the end of my weirdness meme! Now to tag my dear victims readers.

Sigh, I can't find six! Everyone has pretty much done it, except for katelyn, so TAG! You're it! csmc as well as jbwritergirl too if you guys want to. =)

I'll blog more soon when I get back home. I'll try my best to wake up early and go online to check up on you guys before I go shopping or something else. Thank goodness I have finished my Christmas shopping! Horray! Although I don't really celebrate it, I love to get into the spirit of Christmas! =D Alrightees, till next time!

[+] There's more!

6 December 2006

From:that frolicsome kid
To:Whom this may concern
Date:6 December 2006, 18:26
Subject: The Weirdness Meme  

I'm tagged by annelisa! Yay! My first meme too! Without further ado, may I present to you my weirdness! :-O

Note: I might not finish this meme and upload it incomplete. I'm sorry, but I'm actually not in my home country now. I'm over at my elder brother's place in Australia, and my flight to Melbourne will be leaving soon. I'll be leaving for 10 days, so there wouldn't be any updates till then. I won't blog over the month of December, but I'll try when opportunity arises =).

1. I smell myself! Seriously, it's my most disgusting, most filthy and weirdest habit of mine. I won't do it in public, of course (no, I don't seek attention THAT way!) Anytime when I'm at home, no matter what I'm doing, be it blogging, chatting with friends on Instant Messengers (IMs), reading books, watching TV... I am very prone to just scratch on whatever areas in my body and just smell my fingers! I'm sorry if I really gross up you guys. It's just too weird! And it's ironic that I'm a neat freak too! Don't tell the whole world about this okay? Please... I don't think the whole world is ready for this!

I also need to watch out. There are already several times I have caught myself doing such a disgusting habit in public. Haven't been caught so far. Whoops! I'm desperate to break this habit, but so far my efforts are in vain, and I didn't try to stop myself from doing so either! Heck, as long as no one sees it!

2. I have a very compulsive behaviour to use emoticons in my blog posts, comments etc. I don't know why I do it though, they do make my blog posts seem a bit informal but it adds a personal touch to them as well. I believe that sometimes words themselves don't do justice to how I am currently feeling now, especially when they're online. And there are also many instances when they could be misinterpreted to be sarcastic or insulting or a bit crude as well. Hence, the emoticons. Especially =) and =P. My use of emoticons is also partly due to the fact that I gesture and make lots of expressions and change my tone whenever I talk. It's al very expressive, not neutral like some of my guy friends. You can't tell whether they are being funny, sarcastic, sad etc.

I guess I still owe you guys 4 more weird points. I got to have dinner now, and then fly off at midnight. So I guess I shall keep this short for the time being. Be back in 10 days! See you guys later, and in the meantime, take care!

[+] There's more!

3 December 2006

From:that frolicsome kid
To:Whom this may concern
Date:3 December 2006, 17:12
Subject: Blogger BETA?  

Frustrated by Blogger BETASo here's my rundown of Blogger BETA. The labels/tags feature introduced by Blogger BETA was the main reason which drove me to switch to it.

One thing good about this new version of Blogger is that your post is published straight away without having to wait for the timer to finish. And there are finally labels which are really long overdue! Unfortunately, I can't make use of it yet as I do have some problems with the template.

For users who are pretty uncomfortable with hordes and hordes of senseless HTML bombarded at him/her, Blogger BETA now allows them to more around their blog content easily by dragging the appropriate page elements using your mouse and place them wherever you want. It's so easy to customise the default Blogger templates by simply dragging and clicking. And you can also add like your Javascript clock, links, archives etc. (those sidebars widgets) into your sidebar very easily.

Unfortunately for amateur HTML tweakers like me, editing the HTML codings are terribly difficult. I have been faithfully using HTML the whole while and suddenly, I have to switch the programming language of my blog to XHTML and XML! I was clueless as to how to tweak my current layout to adapt BETA's new compabilities, because first of all, I have zilch knowledge of those two web programming languages. And that means having to learn everything from scratch once again. And I dread doing that, seriously. It's very time-consuming!

Thank goodness there isn't much to learn for XHTML as it is pretty similar to HTML with a few obvious differences that I can easily adapt to in a relatively short time. Like for instance, the tag elements must be all in lowercase (I have always written them in uppercase). This in my opinion makes tweaking the codings more difficult for me as I cannot really differentiate quickly the tags and the normal text contents.

Hmm, I wonder why Blogger calls it 'Edit HTML'?

It should be Edit XHTML and XML!

And Blogger BETA's default templates is really straining my eyes when I try to refer to them as examples. Everything, or rather most part of the codes are all clustered up together and I have to try and find the end of a particular piece of code and create line breaks just to separate them from the others (it's easier to edit that way).

A sample of the codings cramped together

And Blogger Help wasn't of much help too, especially this piece of article which teaches me how to properly code the widgets code. It's so frustrating trying to make heads or tails of it, and I was really confused after reading that. And the default templates seem to have complicated things.

Why must there be so many new Blogger-specific tags? I don't get it, the old one was so much better and less complicated to do. But this new one makes use of XML, and not only that, it's pretty confusing too.

And that is why I have reverted back to using the classic template instead of the new one. I simply am really clueless to do anything at all. I even spent the whole day yesterday trying to figure out where to put such codings, with no luck. Blogger BETA kept telling me "My XML file is invalid", therefore my template cannot be even previewed at all! Sigh, why bother... I think I am stuck with this for the time being. And probably read up more later.

Overall, I have a pretty sour experience with this new interface of BETA, which spoils the whole image of everything. So should you change to Blogger BETA?

Yes, if you are uncomfortable with HTML and you prefer working with GUIs, then Blogger BETA is for you! It cuts down on your frustrations and confusions by hundreds of percents. If, on the other hand, you are familiar with XHTML and XML, then I'm sure you can quickly implement and harness the new lucrative features offered by Blogger BETA into your blog.

No, if you are like me who dislikes the rigidity of Page Elements and you prefer working with your layout directly. Unfortunately, the whole editing layout thing would further frustrate you if you are foreign to the terms XHTML and XML and you have absolutely no clue on how to tweak your template. I also heard that BETA blogs suffer glitches too, especially the comments, but they should hopefully be quickly resolved.

Other than these, there aren't many noticeable changes in this new version of Blogger.

P.S. This review is written by a HTML purist, who has recently discovered the wonders of XHTML, and he is slowly adapting to it. This review is also focusing on the new template aspects of Blogger BETA. This might be inapplicable to you if you do not bother much about layouts, and if you are so, I suggest you switch to Blogger BETA just to take advantage of the new labels feature.

[+] There's more!

1 December 2006

From:that frolicsome kid
To:Whom this may concern
Date:1 December 2006, 21:06
Subject: Blog Undergoing Construction  

Okay, so I decided to make a switch to Blogger Beta just now, and the blog may be messed up as I do so. I'm currently trying to familiarise myself with the new features, and in my opinion, the Help wasn't very user-friendly. Something tells me those pseudo-code lessons I learned in computer class are going to be of help, I hope. Well, yeah, in the meantime, I hope things around here are navigable.

[+] There's more!

From:that frolicsome kid
To:Whom this may concern
Date:Same date as above, 15:00
Subject: NaNoWriMo Post-Mortem  

Dissecting NaNoWriMoToday is such a joyful day, the bright sunshine brightening up my Friday today. Today's 1st of December, and NaNoWriMo is officially over. I'm really happy that I was able to end up with 50,056 words a few minutes shy of midnight today. I would like to share my NaNoWriMo experience with everyone, and tell you guys my testimony of it.

So, how did I do it?

Honestly, I have no idea myself. I just write spontaneously with a vague plan in my head, and that's it. I also let the story lead me.

I began writing my first 10,000 words during the first week of November, and I wrote my story casually with many pauses and some deep thinking. At the end of the week, I had to go off to Sabah for an excursion trip with fifteen other students which was organised by my teacher. When I came back, I realised I was a few thousand words away from the recommended goal, and I was feeling discouraged. As the days wore on, I watched in horror as the recommended word count goal increased and I was still stuck, roughly about 10,000 words behind. If only I knew I can make myself write 8000 words...

At the end of the two week hiatus, I could not stand not doing anything to my story and NaNoWriMo and I told myself, "Hey, I have written a good beginning to a story, why stop there and moan and groan about how I cannot reach 50,000 words?" So I decided to do something with it and began to pick up my story and continue it. I saw that it still wasn't too late to do catch-up. The total number of words still did not hit the expected word count though.

On the 25th, the NaNoWriMo website has opened to all the word-count verification for the 50k-ers to submit their story and officially claim themselves to be winners. That's when I panicked. I had completed 30% of my goal, and already people have reached the goal! I picked up my writing speed, but at that pace I was going, it still wasn't fast enough to reach the goal.

On the 27th, I took the deep plunge. I literally forced out the 8000 words from my very soul. And I did it! I actually did it! It was incredible, I tell you. It was a feat I never knew I can do it! But I did! Amazing.

And I tried again on the last 3 days. My brain juice was already fizzling out, and that didn't help when parts of my novel are also stagnating (they're mostly the transition parts in between the major scenes of Kinderella).

And I wrote, and I wrote, and I wrote. I participated in 30-minute word wars as well with fellow NaNo writers, as a form of motivation. And guess what? I found out I could type out 600-800 words per session, give or take. I wowed at my own hidden ability and potential.

And finally, at the last day, I wrote full-force and whammed, I slammed my own record. 9371 words in a day! That is really a lot for me. I was so overjoyed when I was able to hit 50,000 words by 11.50++ p.m.

In one word: Incredible.

I have to thank my school for closing down early for renovations, and thus have my holidays early. So I have spent part of my holidays writing out a novel. Yay, talk about being productive! Else, I won't even write at all!

What resources have I used when writing out Kinderella?

The Usborne Illustrated Thesaurus

I really recommend you guys to buy this illustrated thesaurus from Usborne. It's called The Usborne Illustrated Thesaurus and what makes this thesaurus so different from others is that they contain lots of pictures that you know what it is but don't know how it's called. And they also group related words that belong to a certain category, e.g. dance words - boogie, bop, dart, glide etc.

See the sample page here and you'll be the judge.

I wish I read through and briefly study this book before my NaNoWriMo quest. Then I would have more or less some ideas to breath fresh words to dead, boring sentences. Anyway, this book is just amazing, it helped me a lot for NaNoWriMo. I suggest you buy it too, it's worth your every penny and it helps a lot in your writing.

I find myself constantly referring to Wikipedia when it comes to describing a certain event, a scene and even refresh my memory on the story of Cinderella.

What has motivated me to write 50,000 words?

A desktop looking like this:-

My Motivational NaNo-Desktop!

Word wars over at the NaNoWriMo forums and of course, you wonderful blog readers who pushed me and motivated me to write with your words of encouragements. Thank you so much guys! I couldn't do it without you!

Oh yes, and my little brother also played a part. He sneakily took a glance at what I was writing when I was downstairs for dinner. I then asked him for his honest opinion on my novel, and he told me it was "So good, man!" after hearing him saying "That is so lame!( =P )" etc. etc. etc.

Most importantly, did I learn anything out of NaNoWriMo?

Definitely! For one thing, I have gained the sheer experience of rushing against time and came up with an incredible number of words. It was unbelievable! And of course, I discovered that I CAN write. And also, I learned that procrastination was the main obstacle that has nearly caused my downfall, but I have risen against it and have beaten against all odds. I was hoping that NaNoWriMo could help me crush my bad habit of procrastinating. It did, but only a bit. But still, that's great.

Procrastination has its positive effects too, for me. When I decided to write, I realised that time was running short, and the deadline is pressing on me. Because I was placed under the pressure of finishing 50k words, I was able to write a lot more beyond my expectations and definitely well beyond my normal limit. I don't really like doing that though, the quality has suffered in favour of quantity. I find that the later chapters I have done is a little bit messy and "illogical". I need to edit them a bit before uploading them.

Oh yes, from writing so much and with the help of the thesaurus, I learned to make use of new vocabularies along the way and expanded my active vocabulary list. Writing out so many words also make me see that my current vocabulary still has room for expansion, and I will try over these holidays to broaden it.

I also learned a thing or two about describing fashion. Hahahaha! That's really cool.

I've made a mistake in the beginning of the novel though and that is skimping on the description of the main characters' appearances. How they look like, what are they wearing etc. The rest is pretty okay, I guess, at least I did convey their personality out. Self-reminder: describe first!

I have to go out to parties. No wonder I struggled pretty badly with the ballroom scenario. Hahaha!

Ever since experiencing NaNoWriMo, suddenly the 300-600 words compositions that I have to write in school seemed pretty little. And this is good news to me, it boosted my self-esteem a lot! And I wouldn't need to groan so much about the Royal Commonwealth Essay Competition which my English teacher would me to write an essay.

Through NaNoWriMo, my writing style has undergone minor/drastic changes. I don't know whether it's for good or for worse, but I know that I'm writing things a little bit differently now.

This is pretty much what I can think of at the moment to write. My brain is ultra-tired now after writing huge chunks of text the past five days. Sheer terror. But I'm glad I have done it. I feel like an accomplished man! Yahoo!

I shall put my novel aside for a few days and I'll pick it up whenever I am ready. Chapter 7 is found below this post, so check it out!

P.S. Congratulations to Happy and Blue 2 who consistently posted throughout the whole month of November in conjunction with NaBloPoMo. Great work! Take a look at all his November blog posts, starting from November 1st!

[+] There's more!

From:that frolicsome kid
To:Whom this may concern
Date:Same date as above, 14:59
Subject: Kinderella - Chapter 7  

Kinderella - My NovelClick on No. above the Date field to view the story.

If you're eyes tire after reading such long blocks of text, I have divided this chapter into 2 halves for your convenience. Words in bold mark where the anchors lead to.

Quick Jump:
First half
Second half


Chapter 7

Kinderella opened the refrigerator to prepare lunch later for the day. Unfortunately, the refrigerator had very little stocks of food left. He groaned. He hated going back to the marketplace again. The people, the cacophony of loud voices, and the weird odours of food; it was all too much for him to take. But he had to do the job, otherwise who would? Besides, if he did not whip up something for lunch, he will face the wrath of his stepmother, who he began to call Empress Dowager after accidentally encountering the word ‘Dowager’ in a dictionary just now.

Even though he did not go to school, his burning desire of wanting to expand his knowledge did not die down. So he made use of the Internet and followed the University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) Board syllabus for ‘A’ levels as a guide to aid him in his pursuit of knowledge. He hoped that one day, he would be able to sit for the examinations and continue his education up to tertiary level and earn himself that prestigious PhD even though it was not possible now seeing the mental state of his stepmother and stepbrothers. Sometimes, he wished he could step on their heads. That was what good for nothing step-family members are for!

He sighed. He has got approximately an hour, before his stepmother comes home, to rush to the market and get some groceries. Then he has to rush back and prepare at least a simple lunch, all within the allocated time frame. He quickly prepared a mental list of ingredients and food needed and was soon on his way to the marketplace. Luckily for him, he managed to catch the bus at the bus stop which was a few blocks down his street.

Amy and Mary stopped in front of a booth with neon signs glaring “Peripherals Galore!” They both scanned their eyes at the display racks which showcased many different kinds of input and output devices as well as storage mediums. They were awestruck by the vast choices offered by the shop.

“Hi, may I help you two young, fine ladies?” asked a tall man in a business suit. His hair was gelled back meticulously, and he expressed a look of professionalism.

Mary looked up, and saw one of the most handsome guys in the universe. She immediately added him to her Top 10 Hottest Guys list, and was gagaing over him. She whispered into Amy’s ears, “Did you see that? He’s hot!”

Amy nudged her with her elbow, and Mary retaliated silently while rubbing the contact point.

“Hi! I’m looking for a new hard disk drive. Can you show me some of yours that are for sale today?” inquired Amy.

“Certainly, Miss. The rack here has some of them. How many gigabytes do you need?”

“Er…” Amy pondered for a few seconds. “A hundred and above gigs will do. Preferably one that can do perpendicular recording, and also consumes little power.”

“Why, certainly.” The man tried to reach up for the hard disk drives that were displayed at the topmost rack. Amy took the opportunity to question Mary’s immature behaviour just now. “What were you doing?”

Mary smiled sheepishly. “Nothing, My, he’s so gorgeous looking.”

“It’s Zuleikha,” Amy harshly reminded. “But he’s definitely not my type.”

“He so is mine,” mumbled Mary who was now lost in puppy love.

The man cleared his throat. Amy looked up at him, embarrassed and scared that he might overhear their conversation and she apologized. He gave her a grin, and proceeded to tell her that the brands available at the moment that matched her specifications were Seagate, Samsung and Hitachi. Amy thanked him for his help, and politely ushered him away. “I look for you if I need help.”

“No problem.” The man left the two girls alone to do comparisons of the hard disk he gave to the Persian teen while he entertained other customers who were now browsing through the store’s products.

“Mary, you know I’m a sucker for Samsung. But I need your reviews on these hard disks, please,” asked Amy.

Mary flipped back the hard disks and studied the characteristics of the hard disks printed on the stickers. “Well, Zul…Zul…Zuleikha! To me, I prefer Hitachi’s in this case, because it has the highest RPM compared to these two.”

Amy smiled, happy that Mary was finally able to pronounce her personating name properly. She quickly moved that thought back behind and replied, “RPM’s rounds per minute, right?”

“No, technically it’s revolutions per minute, but you can more or less say that.”

Amy tried to spot for the list price of the hardware Mary has helped her to choose. She spied the sticker at the place where the storekeeper got the hard drive from. She reeled back in horror as she learnt the price.

“Amy, what’s wrong?” asked a concerned Mary.

“It’s Zuleikha for you, Mary!” scolded Amy. She moved her friend’s face and pointed out the price to Mary. See? It’s so expensive. It costs higher than the manufacturer price in Japan!”

“And how much is it?”

Amy hesitated to answer her question. Finally she let her breath out. “About ¥30,000.”

Mary converted the yen figure into the local currency figure. She whistled when she heard of the price. “Are you going to buy it?”

“Yea! Of course! This had better worth my money, and 3 years without upgrades,” replied Amy quickly. She called upon the storekeeper who entertained her just now, and requested him to open up a bill for her.

“Your name’s Miss Zuleikha, yes?” asked the man.

“Yes, it is. How do you know?”

“This friend of yours here seems to have difficulty saying your name out,” he replied. He winked at Mary, and Amy could swear small pink hearts began to appear all around her. She cannot believe that guy just turned her on. She drummed her fingers impatiently on the counter while she waited for the man to finish up his writing.

“That would be $575 please,” the man said. He tried his best not to laugh at Mary who was infatuating over him. Unbeknownst to her, she was beginning to act pretty silly.

Amy handed over the paper money to him. The storekeeper counted the money carefully with his callused fingers. He then placed the money under a counterfeit money detector to check for forgery, and he then cashed in the money.

While Amy was waiting for the receipt and the invoice, she could not help but shudder a little. Strange, she thought, why do I have a feeling that someone is watching me? She looked behind her, and she saw June, another friend of hers, waving at her from a distance. She waved back at her. The storekeeper than placed the hard disk drive, the receipt and the invoice in a black plastic bag and presented it Amy. Amy smiled at him and she almost have to drag Mary away from the store. She was rooted to the ground, and she would not even budge if she was to tell her to go.

“Did you look at his eyes? It was baby blue and when it focuses on you, suddenly, your whole world fades away. You find yourself in the arms of a man, so macho, so dreamy, so…perfect…” sighed Mary. She clasped her hands together and thought of her fantasy. She envisioned herself alone with him in a deserted island, where the hot guy would kiss her passionately in the white sandy beach, under the dreamy sun, sea and sand. It was simply a perfect haven for romance.

A loud commanding voice suddenly surrounded mouthed from her lover. “Mary. Mary? Mary! Are you listening to me?”

“Huh? What? Hey, where’s my lover? I need him.” As she drawled on, she embraced herself with her arms, pretending her arms were his arms, hugging her tightly, not wanting to lose her.

Amy shook her friend violently. “Mary, I’m asking you what you want to do now. Are you back to Earth now?”

“I’m always here on Earth! What a stupid question, Zul! Anyway, I think I’m done with shopping here for the day. Hey, Zul, can you bring me to that booth again? I want to exchange telephone numbers with that guy.”

“No?” answered Amy playfully.

Mary shook her friend’s shoulder. “Come on, Zul, please? Pretty please?” begged a pleading Mary.

“I suppose we can, seeing I don’t really have anything to do now,” said Amy. “Do you want to go to the marketplace with me later after that?”

“No! I hate that place! But I shan’t bother you about you-know-who anymore, okay?”

“Come on, girlfriend, you got a serious flirting to do!” Amy grabbed Mary’s arms, and they both walked back to the booth where Amy purchased the hard drive. Little did they know that someone was watching their every move, and he began to do so when Zuleikha bought the computer storage device.

“Hey, ah…ah…ah…, umm…” Amy was surprised that Mary suddenly became tongue tied and she could see her legs becoming wobbly like a jelly. Amy quickly came to her friend’s rescue.

“Hehe. What she means is that she wanted to have your phone number,” said Amy.

“Sure, no problem.” The handsome storekeeper scribbled down his phone number on a small piece of paper. Amy noted his nice penmanship.

Mary suddenly brightened up when she received the paper from her. “Thank you so, so much! Here’s my phone number.”

Mary without thinking grabbed his hand, his warm hand, and wrote her mobile phone number on it. She smiled sheepishly when she realised she had just taken his hand without his consent, but the man smiled anyway. He found her shyness attractive.

“Leon,” he said, extending his hand.

“Ma-ry,” Mary enunciated. She shook his extended hand. “I think you’re hot.”

Leon blushed when he heard her compliment. He replied, “You’re cute when you’re shy.”

Unwarily, they both stared into each other’s eyes, and sparks zapped out from them. Amy thought the couple looked cute and she broke into a smile. Without wanting to disturb the two lovebirds, she walked out of the store, happy that her friend had finally found her first love.

Kinderella stared at the many different kinds of stores set up at the marketplace. Throngs of people dispersed themselves at the marketplace. Cries of discounts, offers and advertisements echoed from one store to another, persuading customers to come and take a look at their goods. A man suddenly extended his arm towards Kinderella, and his hand grabbed a living chicken, desperately flapping its wings in desperation in its futile attempt to escape.

“You want one? Fresh, live chicken, only for ten dollars!” offered the stallholder.

Kinderella ignored the man and walked past the people who were gathering at one particular store selling food and drinks. It was a hot, sweltering day, and close to lunchtime too. The word ‘lunchtime’ reverberated in his brain, prompting him to quicken up his shopping. He wandered around in search for spices; chilli powder, cinnamon, pepper, ginger, garlic and pandan leaf, he recalled. His nose caught the smell of spices and he sneezed. He looked up, and there was the big sign ‘Little India’.

“Yep, this is the place,” he told himself.

He politely asked the Bangladeshi man for the spices that he wanted to buy. The man placed all the containers and cans into a plastic bag, and Kinderella handed his money to him. He merely nodded, and returned to sit on the stool. Kinderella entered a butcher’s shop at one of the blocks of shops by the marketplace.

He was greeted by a vast selection of fresh meat, at least that was what the sign outside says. He asked for some lamb chops. The butcher took his order and asked him to come back later in ten minutes time. Kinderella made a mental note of coming back to the shop, and he wandered off in search of a poultry stall. Once there, he bought a dozen eggs and few pieces of chicken wings.

He then went to the fruits stall and bought oranges and apples that he could serve later as dessert. He thanked the man profusely for helping him to choose the freshest fruits for him. Lucky there were no customers around, and he must be pretty bored himself, he thought. He went to the vegetables stall nearby and bought a few spinaches, cabbages, and other kinds of vegetables.

Kinderella found a bench at the side of a building and rested his sore feet and hands. He heaved a sigh of relief as he was near finishing his shopping. All that was left was to fetch the lamb chops from the butcher. He took in the sight of the busy marketplace buzzing with lots of activity. He spied housewives bargaining heavily over the price of vegetables, children playing hide and seek, and an old elderly man hobbling along in the crowd.

Looking at his watch, he realised he spent more than enough time sitting down, and he will have only got moments to spare to cook before Mdm. Sweet comes back home in a foul mood, as always. She always does that when she is hungry. Hungry and angry, they are not a good combination.

Kinderella heaved up the groceries, and walked like a duck back to the butcher’s store. He tried to retrace his steps back when all of a sudden, a bell began to ring from behind. Kinderella turned and look but it was too late to evade from the bicycle. He was caught in the path of the cyclist, and by instinct, he jumped away from the oncoming bicycle.

Eggs splattered and some of the albumen and egg yolk flowed out from the carton. Shells broke into many fragmented pieces, and cracking sounds followed suit. The fruits landed with a thud, and the oranges rolled out from the plastic bags. The apples, on the other hand, got bruised badly, creating depressions on their smooth and rounded surface. Some of the spices scattered on the streets.

The bicycle stopped just when it was about to hit Kinderella. The bicyclist looked at Kinderella, and began to curse him because he blocked his path. He composed himself and cycled away in the distance. The children laughed at Kinderella, only to be hushed by their parents who appeared to be concerned about Kinderella. At that short time, the whole marketplace ceased its activity when the small accident happened. And very quickly, the pace of activity quickened up and the people resumed to their activities. The scene familiar to Kinderella began once again. People walked past him, too busy to help him. Some curiously looked at the poor boy who had to clean up the mess he created by himself and gave him sympathetic looks, but that was it. Everyone was too busy running their own lives.

Kinderella picked up the containers of spices and shoved them into the plastic bag as he struggled against his embarrassment. He nearly wanted to choke on himself as he overheard a rude comment by a passer-by. “Tsk, careless he is!”

He wiped off the sweat from his face, and continued to pick up the groceries that he dropped. “Of all days. Ma is so going to kill me. Stupid. Stupid me,” he scolded himself.

He was about to pick up the oranges when he realised that they were no longer on the floor, but instead put away into the plastic bag. He stared at the ground, and he slowly looked up, half-expecting to see his step-mother smirking sinisterly. But the image of her quickly dissolved away when he saw the kind, young face of a lady.

Kinderella guessed that she was about of his age as her appearance looked youthful and cheerful. It exhibited the kind of jubilance that can make one smile after a long hard day, and that was what Kinderella did. Her almond brown eyes with eyelashes that curl just nicely, and some light freckles dotting on this woman’s cheek did not fail to escape Kinderella’s vigilant observation of this young, pretty girl. Her lips were as voluptuous as herself, red in a pretty sense, and not very overdone. The few fringes of her hair peeked out from her blue headscarf and it covered part of her forehead, making her beautiful yet mysterious in a way.

“Are you okay?” the girl asked him with utmost concern.

“Umm…yeah. I’m fine now.” Kinderella never took his eyes off her face. “Thanks.”

“Look, let me buy you another carton of eggs,” the Persian girl offered, and without waiting for Kinderella’s answer, she wandered off to buy him another replacement. Kinderella guiltily looked at the floor. He did not have enough money for himself to pay for the replacement, and worse thing, he had to wait for her to come back. He sighed. He would not have sufficient time to even come up with lunch meat sandwiches for lunch, and even that will not meet Empress Dowager’s expectations.

While he was deep in his worry, the girl dressed in a beautiful aquatic Islamic wear handed to him the carton of eggs. Kinderella hung his head in shame, and refused to accept the replacement. “I don’t have enough money with me. I’m sorry.”

“No need. It’s for you. My treat.”

Kinderella bravely look at her face. He felt at ease when he saw the smile, a smile so sincere that he had never seen for many, many years. He wiped away the tears that once again begin to form in his eyes, and uttered a word of thanks. He felt like throwing himself into a hug with this girl here, the girl who saved him heaps from his embarrassment. He really did not want that special moment to fade away just like that, but unfortunately, such good things do not last for long.

“Be careful next time, okay? This part of city has many ruthless cyclist,” said the girl in her melodious voice. “Wa’alaikummusalam.”

She gave a small nod and walked off, leaving Kinderella behind who was still awestruck by her beauty, her charm and her kindness. He thought such things have completely disappeared from his life. One day, he would look back to this day, and thank God that it happened. What was to come was that, his life would begin to change from that on. And it will be for the better.

(Catch Chapter 8 soon! Comments and criticisms very much welcomed =). Thanks for reading!)

[+] There's more!

From:that frolicsome kid
To:Whom this may concern
Date:Same date as above, 00:00
Subject: I DID IT! YAHOO!  

I'm a winner of NaNoWriMo! OMG!I WON! I WON! I WON! I WON!


As I verified my novel, my heart pounded out as I wondered whether I have typed 200 plus words to break 50 000 words. And it really did! Oh my gosh! I tell you, blood rushed up my face and I swear my heart had leaped out from my chest! I have officially reached a state of euphoria. I am now completely bathed in total happiness. The whole National Novel Writing Month is now over, and I have walked out a winner. A winner, ya hear? I'm a winner! Yahoo!

NaNoWriMo Winner is Me!

NaNoWriMo Winner is Me!

NaNoWriMo Winner is Me!

I cannot believe it!!!!!!!!!!!

*calms down*
*takes a deep breath*

I am so proud of myself. I really am! I am lying if I say I wasn't. By the way, I just learned that I am the second person to win in my country (at least that's what NaNoWriMo says when I typed in my country name under Locations). Wow! I cannot believe it!

On the other hand, my Kinderella novel "isn't quite finished" yet. I'm still at the ballroom scene. Hahaha. I'll upload the next chapter tomorrow as I suddenly feel so tired and worn out. And great, I have piano lessons in 8 hours time. So much for the beauty sleep. Never mind. I shall take an afternoon nap.

Tomorrow, I shall blog about a postmortem on NaNoWriMo. Feel free to ask me questions about it if you like. And after that, I'll promise I make no more mention of NaNoWriMo anymore, except for uploading the Kinderella series. Hehehe.

I would like to thank my fellow blog readers, especially Happy and Blue 2, annelisa and madd for giving me words of encouragement and advice throughout the whole NaNoWriMo thing. Thank you so much guys. Without you guys, I don't think I could quite make it today yesterday. Love ya all lots! =)

See you guys tomorrow!

*that frolicsome kid jumps in joy and ecstasy*

P.S. I shall visit you guys' blogs tomorrow and catch up on what's going on. ;)

[+] There's more!