Friday, July 2, 2010

Will You Write ANYTHING Just Because YOU CAN?

The kinds of 'guilty pleasure' stories in the publishing industry and films these days are just too much. They are everywhere. I owned 'Twilight' long before the movie. The edition is the smaller one, the hand holding the red apple cover. And I enjoyed reading it. I even passed it on to my younger sister, who never return it until today eventhough she just visited me yesterday. And I bought and read 'New Moon' and 'Eclipse' long before the movies came out. But when the books became movies, I started backing out. I took my sister's copy of 'Breaking Dawn' (the same sister) and never read it simply because Bella and Edward got married. I said, hey, that's too close to reality - I already know the drill, I'm going to leave this.

Then, hoardes of vampire books invade the market, making me embarressed to own the series. Then, there is this 'immortal' series called 'Evermore' which I owned until the second book. I dropped the third book because I thought the STORY in the second book is not a story. Next, there's the 'fallen angel' book called 'Fallen'. I bought it and then kept it wrapped and unopened because I was trying to finish my sixth novel. You cannot imagine the torture. This beautifully illustrated cover of a gothic girl, crying with her hands covering her face against black-blue background sitting next my computer screen, while I was trying to key in the description of Plato's cave into my computer in Bahasa Melayu! When I finished and posted the whole cave away, I tore open the book and pfff! What a disappointment! The fallen angels are fighting over a girl!

Then  it made me think of me writing one of these gothic novels too. I didn't want vampires, angels, or immortals, because that's just wrong. So, how about a girl whose words turn to reality? It's like a gothic Inkheart (part 2) after the girl Meggie read the words she wrote on the skin of her arms and brought them to reality. And she got visits from a prince whose kingdom was stuck on a verge of war when the writer of a book the kingdom is in dies when she was writing it. And guess what? The dead writer is the heroin's aunt. Something like that. That's going to be delicious. It's like a writer's heaven. Imagine, the whole book about the passion of writing and I'm going to blame it all on her unstable view of reality because she was struggling with guilt of causing the death of her parents. Redemption abound.

And because this is jake gyllenhaal month, I also discovered the script to the film in post-production 'source code'. It's a sci-fi about a dead soldier whose brain is kept alive so the military can send him back to an event of a terrorist attack in the past, so he could find the bomber and stop OTHER attacks from happening, not change the past. Is that even right? The brain kept alive and with its full capacity of thinking while all the sensory receptacles of the human host/body are dead. But it's really tempting. And the soldier asked for death, true death after he completes the mission. His soul finally lives on in the 'source code' dimension with the girl he met and saved on the doomed train. It makes a delicious story, but is it right?

Why all these rantings about stories that are just wrong? Because I have been tempted to do them. Just because words are property of any man/woman, it doesn't mean I can just write anything and everything as I please. There are consequences to what I have written - to my faith, to my morale as a person and writer, and the legacy that I'm going to leave behind.

And if people view me wrongly because of something I have written, yet I didn't intend for it to be viewed wrongly (misinterpretations that lead to slanders that lead to me being condemned), there must be something that I have done using those words that made people believe the way they believe about me. Maybe I should step back and review the whole thing.


  1. Salam Kak Sri.

    Can't wait for your new novel! I'm excited on read which angle of the Allegory of the Cave you're bringing to the world ;)

    I just re-read Daniel Keyes' Flowers for Algernon, and can't get the after-effects of coming into the lights depicted by the author out of my mind.

  2. Hi Rebecca,

    Congrats for being shortlisted in the HSKU 2009. Waiting in bated breath!

    I haven't read Flowers of Algernon. As you can see, my reading preference is very juvenile. Haha.

  3. After I read Warisnya Kalbu, I always wondered how long it took you to do research.

    To produce English poetry (which I assume you wrote them yourself) that rhymes like pantun and perfectly in sync with its Malay version, it takes a certain level of English proficiency. Having read your profile here has answered that question :-)

  4. Salam Juliana,

    I researched the whole year. The English pantuns are of my own manufacture. The book I needed for the Bendahara War was attained only 2 weeks before 31 Dec.

    There are many things that I cannot do, but I can rhyme really well. Haha.

  5. Salam Juliana,

    I researched the whole year. The book needed for the Bendahara War was acquired 2 weeks before 31 Dec.

    The English pantuns are of my own manufacture. There are many things that I cannot do, but I can rhyme really well. Haha.

  6. Salam Juliana,

    I researched WK for a year. The book I needed for Perang Bendahara was acquired 2 weeks before 31 Dec.

    The English pantuns are of my own manufacture. There are many things that I cannot do, but I can rhyme really well. haha.

  7. Salam.

    To be honest, I'm mildly surprised that you enjoyed reading Twilight. This surprise stems from my understanding of you as an author who has always been fair to her fictional characters.

    My 2 cents on Twilight :

  8. Salam Juliana,

    I am guilty as charged! I have read your twilight entry and has left a message there.That hurts!

  9. Ooops, you're the last person on earth I wanna hurt. That ravings were meant for the Twilight author (as if she's gonna read my blog, huh?).

  10. Who knows? I google myself all the time. Kah kah kah.

  11. Interesting, Interesting, Interesting, hermitto! Here's to non-Twilightian novel in the future, and YES, you said you can write anything (cept for the ones with aforesaid limitations). We are merely WORDS, quoth I , quoth I !