lundi, décembre 31, 2012

News on Onangkiu

    Dear Zalina,

Congratulations! The Calistro Prize is pleased to announced that you have won the Runner Up prize for your entry, 'Onangkiu: The Warrior Princess of Gellanggui'. 

Best Wishes,
SCBWI Malaysia
Secretariat to The Calistro Prize

Happy New Year, everyone!

mercredi, décembre 26, 2012

Ikesha's Illustrated Book Of Pi

Ikesha was very taken up by the movie Life Of Pi. Being six years old, she could not read the novel so I agreed to write a simpler Life Of Pi for her to read if she would draw the story.

So here it is, 
Ikesha's Illustrated Book Of Pi
Original Story by Yann Martel
Illustrations by Ikesha

My Name

Pondicherry, India

Moving to Canada

The Storm

Pi escapes

Pi's crew

Richard Parker


The Moon


Goodbye Richard Parker


Between Mac, iPhone and JPG, I could not rotate those two illustrations so I left it until I can do something about it later. Blame it on blogger fatigue.

mardi, décembre 18, 2012

Tragedy and the healing power of the words of Sting

These days, when I hug my children at night I know I hold them tighter, longer and with a depth of feeling that is so profound, I almost cry. I thought I was a poet, a writer - one who could wield and arrange words to reflect what I feel adequately at least.  I could make people feel compassion and nostalgia. Love and hatred. Equally.
But I could not. Not this week.
Neither could Obama.
For words failed us this week to comprehend the tragedy and horror that beheld a small town half a world away. How the lives of little angels were cruelly cut short this week.
Children of America. Children of Gaza.
Children of Myanmar. Children of the world wherever you are
who die of man created violence.
Words failed me.
So I turned to Sting.
And nothing brought this closer to heart and reminded me  how fragile we really are as this simple short song did.
If blood will flow when flesh and steel are one
Drying in the colour of the evening sun
Tomorrow's rain will wash the stains away
But something in our minds will always stay
Perhaps this final act was meant
To clinch a lifetime's argument
That nothing comes from violence and nothing ever could
For all those born beneath an angry star
Lest we forget how fragile we are

On and on the rain will fall
Like tears from a star like tears from a star
On and on the rain will say
How fragile we are how fragile we are

Lloras tu
y lloro yo
y el cielo también
y el cielo también
Lloras tú
y lloro yo
que fragilidad
que fragilidad...
Guns and wars really have no place in our civilian society, do they?
There is no historical precedent
To put the words in the mouth of the President
There's no such thing as a winnable war
It's a lie we don't believe anymore

We share the same biology
Regardless of ideology
What might save us, me, and you
Is if 'we all' love 'our' children too
We try to make sense. But it will never make sense. Deep in our hearts, we do not stop crying.
Would I cry for you

Under the Arctic fire
Over the seas of silence
Hauling on frozen ropes
For all my days remaining
But would north be true?

All colours bleed to red
Asleep on the ocean's bed
Drifting on empty seas
For all my days remaining

But would north be true?
Why should I?
Why should I cry for you?
To try and understand the evil in the world, I try to remember that everyone had a family, a childhood, a love lost and maybe never found. There is a story. A tragedy that begets tragedy.
He deals the cards as a meditation
And those he plays never suspect

He may play the jack of diamonds
He may lay the queen of spades
He may conceal a king in his hand
While the memory of it fades

I know that the spades are the swords of a soldier
know that the clubs are weapons of war
I know that diamonds mean money for this art

But that's not the shape of my heart
That's not the shape, the shape of my heart
The siege guns had been pounding all through the night

And if I built this fortress around your heart
Encircled you in trenches and barbed wire
Then let me build a bridge
For I cannot fill the chasm
And let me set the battlements on fire
Finally, when I can't take all this sadness and need to think of love again, I turn to Sting's 
Though all my kingdoms turn to sand
And fall into the sea
I'm mad about you I'm mad about you

And from the dark secluded valleys
I heard the ancient sighs of sadness
But every step I thought of you

Every footstep only you
And every star a grain of sand
The leavings of a dried up ocean

Tell me, how much longer? How much longer?
Until you love with that kind of ache and longing, perhaps you have not loved enough?
And yet,  while half the world panics and the other half wonders about destruction on 21.12.12 - what is the new wave to hit Mankind? Sting sang of the seventh wave, bringing real hope in his words.
Every ripple on the ocean
Every leaf on every tree
Every sand dune in the desert
Every power we never see
There is a deeper wave than this
Swelling in the world
There is a deeper wave than this
Listen to me girl

Feel it rising in the cities
Feel it sweeping over land
Over borders, over frontiers
Nothing will its power withstand
There is no deeper wave than this
Rising in the world
There is no deeper wave than this
Listen to me girl

All the bloodshed, all the anger
All the weapons, all the greed
All the armies, all the missiles
All the symbols of our fear

There is a deeper wave than this
Rising in the world
There is a deeper wave than this
Listen to me girl

Songs and lyrics by Sting. The man is a genius.


dimanche, décembre 16, 2012

Projects for Little Fingers

The girls and I are always planning some activity of the other. It is a ruse to keep them busy and focused on a project. However, at the back of my mind I am always devising ways to keep my kids creative and innovative while having fun - and some sense of accomplishment.
Last weekend, after a friend had asked what to do with old exercise books from school, I remembered I used make Iman and Inas notebooks. I tore out the used pages, stapled the books together cover to cover and wrapped them in wrapping paper. About five of them did nicely.
Using a cardboard for the cover ensured that it lasted and gave a solid finish to the notebook.
Here is Ikesha's notebook.

We have a lot of old drawing blocks as well. So I taught Ikesha to wrap the drawing block covers with the matching wrapping paper. I made two corner pockets to hold her drawing paper. Ikesha now has a drawing board to match her notebook.

Here are the girls' supplies of colour pencils, scissors, staplers and cellophene tape. 

We saw Life Of Pi over the weekend. Ikesha loves Richard Parker and pretends to read my book Life Of Pi.
This morning, before I left for work, Ikesha asked for a smaller (simplified, I guess)  Life Of Pi book. So  I told her our next project would be to make a Life Of Pi book she can read to herself. I will do the words based on the story using words Ikesha can manage - and Ikesha will do the illustrations.
We will keep you updated.

samedi, décembre 08, 2012

Through thick and thin

My Seri Puteri alumni closest to my heart.

In school, we lived together for five years, longer with Aimy (standing-l) and Famie (sitting 3rd from r). We know each other pretty well and love catching up as plainly seen here. This was the lunch I missed last Friday, having appointments a good part of the day.

We meet quite regularly - and each and every time have a wonderful get away stretching the lunch hour way past the norm.

A friendship of 35 years or so - a treasure indeed !
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