I forgot about work for a while and went out to town to do simple but interesting stuff. To tell you about them, I have grouped the stories into three headings.
When I first started to write this blog three years ago, I wasn't sure if other bloggers would find it interesting enough for them to link me. I registered with the Blog Malaysia directory and started to read some of the other blogs to find ideas on how I could improve mine.
One of the earliest blogs I discovered in that directory belongs to the self-taught illustrator Emila Yusof. I am impressed with her artwork and became a regular commenter. Pretty soon, we linked our blogs and later became friends on FB as well. Emila's creativity comes in many forms. She produces her own greeting cards, handicraft items and also does blog headers for customers. She has now published her own picture-book for young readers. Her style of drawing is unique and distinctive and her popularity improved over the years, to the extent other people have `ciplak' her creations. Copyright infringement is never a good thing, but the fact that it has happened, shows some measure of her success.
When I was at MPH the previous Saturday for Awang Goneng's book signing, I took the chance to pick up a copy of Emila's book called My Mother's Garden. Since I have bought one book written by a blogger, why not get one written by another blogger, I thought. Emila's book would make a great present for my grandniece.
A few days later, Emila posted in her blog of a Picture Book event at Silverfish Books in Bangsar. Her book is part of the promotion ; purchase her book there and buyers would get a free set of flashcards. I commented that I have already bought a copy. She replied that if I turn up, she would give me the free cards anyway.
And so, two days ago I made the trip to Bangsar and met Emila for the first time in person. I asked her to sign the book for my grandniece who I'm sure will be thrilled to read the handwritten message by the book's author. Emila also graciously gave me a few notepads and greeting cards which feature her own drawings. Thank you my friend, for those gifts.
For two consecutive weeks, I had the good fortune of meeting blogger-friends in real-life. It is my hope that I can meet more such friends soon.
|The picture book, flashcards, notepad and greeting cards|
|The author's message and signature|
Every year, when it comes to filing my tax returns at the end of April, I always regret that I have not purchased enough books to make use of the full deduction allowed by the taxman. The following month, I would go on a shopping binge to buy a few books to make full use of the allowance, but then I tend to forget about it towards the end of the year.
As I mentioned above, I bought Awang Goneng's and Emila's book at MPH. While I was browsing at Silverfish Books on Saturday, I picked up a few more. Over two weekends, I have purchased 6 books, enough reading material to last me the next two months.
Silverfish is a small privately-owned bookstore that sells a limited selection, especially titles seldom seen in the larger shops. But it has a reasonable section of books written by local authors. One of those that I bought is a book written by Brian Gomez called Devil's Place. I have never heard of the book or its author before but I decided to buy it after randomly opening a page and reading a few passages. It was a correct decision.
Devil's Place is, or more exactly was, a thrilling read. Yes, I have finished reading it (in two sittings). It is a fiction novel about terrorism, crime and conspiracy set entirely in Kuala Lumpur, but you'd be surprised how the author has included international elements to spice things up. But what makes the book terribly exciting is Gomez's use of local settings and cultural colour to tell his story. His style of writing is crisp and snappy. The text is gross and vulgar but exceedingly funny in most parts. Sometimes you are left wondering if the events he wrote about can actually happen here in Malaysia... but upon pondering about it a bit more, you'll think... heck, kenapa tak boleh?
I had initially thought of writing a book review about it but later changed my mind. Suffice to give you a brief summary, I guess. Makes a refreshing change from reading all those western-based crime thrillers.
|First-time effort by Brian Gomez|
3. Bird's-eye View
I was actually at Borders bookstore at The Gardens Mid-Valley on Sunday to meet up again with Awang Goneng. The purpose this time was to have the author sign another copy of AMoT specially for blogger-friend Pak Zawi, who lives in Kelantan. Pak Zawi plans to come down to KL later this month but by that time Pak Awang would've returned back to London. I thought I could do Pak Zawi a favour by getting the book signed first and handing it over to him later. It gives me good reason to be able to meet another blogosphere friend in person.
After Borders, I drove to the airfield at Sungai Besi to meet up with an old friend and former classmate for a flight over Kuala Lumpur city in a Cessna airplane. My friend, Captain Norhisham Kassim, is a commercial airline pilot who occasionally flies small aircraft for leisure. He had previously offered to take me flying but the timing was always not right. This time around, I didn't want to miss the chance.
It was the experience of a lifetime. We flew over KL at around 1,500 feet, headed out towards the old Subang airport where he did a touch-n-go, and flew back to Sungai Besi. The view of the KL skyscrapers from way up there is indescribable. The weather was a bit hazy but I did manage to capture a few good shots with my camera.
Thanks Captain, for a wonderful afternoon yesterday.
|The Cessna aircraft that we flew in|
|View of KL city centre from high up|
|The pilot and his passenger|