Posted in General, Pictures, Writing

Ramadan Journal and 50th Year Chronicle

My Ramadan 1438 Journal 
My 50th Year Chronicle 

When did I start writing in a journal again? Well, just less than a week ago, actually. I started making a journal to prepare for Ramadan 2 weeks ago, ( Ramadan will start this coming Saturday) however I then realized the content would be somewhat limited to Ramadan and my preparation towards it. In other words it is a religious journal.

Suddenly the urge to have a real notebook to write anything under the sun again, came back. I feel it’s crucial to document the 50th year of my life, but doing it on the phone or computer would somehow limit the contents and the accessibility. 

So I went to the small Tokyu Hands store in Jiyugaoka looking for a suitable notebook. There were all kinds of notebooks, planners and diaries in plain colours, pastel, leather bound, pvc and whatnots.

I had only found out recently that some people are so obsessed with brands. The newly released Traveler’s Notebook Tokyo Station leather cover went out of stock just after its launch even though it costs 4,000 yen. People had to queue and take numbers to enter the shop.

Some notebooks in Tokyu Hands were rather pretty  but then the price did not really appeal to me. So, I went to a 100 yen shop near Toritsu Daigaku station. It’s called Casa. 

There, I found a very plain brown-covered notebook just the right size to carry around in my handbag and I hope thick enough to last until my 50th birthday. Its plainness made it more attractive because that meant I would be able to personalize it and nobody else in the world would have a similar one.

I don’t really hate brands but I have never been keen on following other people’s fashion, trends or brands. I love being the unique me. Yeah, I’m vain in my own special way. 😄 So, I customised the notebook using washi tapes. I had already have a collection of  washi tapes and stickers which I also bought from 100 yen shops.

As for the content, I don’t really write everything under the sun. I censor my own thoughts. I realized being truthful might hurt some people around me. 

When I’m gone, or even when I’m still around, if people read this journal, I don’t want them to feel bad about themselves. 

Whatever negative feelings I have about other people, I hope will be gone soon. I want to forgive people every moment of my life because I don’t know when my time will end. I wish other people will do the same for me. 

The most important thing is, I want God’s mercy and forgiveness. If I don’t forgive other people, how could I expect forgiveness from Allah?

Posted in General, Writing

Welcoming December

Alright, I knew it, you don’t have to tell me. Not only I failed at Nanowrimo but I also failed at rebelling. Ha ha.

I’ve identified my main problem. It’s my accounting and bookkeeping training that was preventing me from just blogging on the go, sneaking in some entries wherever and whenever I could. I kept on thinking of doing the entries chronologically and because many of those entries were supposed to be long, I ended up not blogging at all. I will have to change the way I blog if I want to have regular updates.

Another reason was because we had travelled a lot throughout November since my eldest daughter, Fa was here in Tokyo spending her semester break with us. I didn’t carry the laptop with me and when out of the house, I wanted to conserve the battery on my phone, so I couldn’t use it to update the blog. Taking photos was already enough to drain the battery out.

Anyway, today is Fa’s last day in Tokyo, after being here for 5 weeks. She’s going back to Malaysia tonight because her new semester will begin next Monday. People who celebrate Christmas might find it strange that her college semester begins in December, the time when most people have a long holiday to spend with family. I have had to explain several times that we don’t celebrate Christmas when people ask about my winter plan. No, there is no plan to go back home for Christmas. We went back to Malaysia to celebrate Eid back in June/July.

Christmas is not a big celebration in Malaysia, however December is actually the time when schools have long holiday.  We have had our family time in November. We spent two nights in Kumogawa, Chiba (one night at a ryokan with a private onsen and another night at a typical hotel) during my husband’s company trip,and then last week during the Thanksgiving holiday we stayed at the cheapest Disney hotel available (Disney Celebration Hotel) for 3 nights. We were at Disneysea on the snowy day 24th of November (Tokyo had not have November snow for 54 years!) and Disneyland on the following day.

Actually I have a translation job to complete. It’s due tomorrow but I’m procrastinating by updating this blog. It’s the format of the source document that is putting me off. If it’s just a straightforward word document, it would have been so much easier. I asked but haven’t got the response if I could just type the translation in Microsoft Word, instead of inserting it in the original complicated format.

It’s been a long time since I started considering of getting a paid domain for my blog. But what’s the point of having a paid blog if I wasn’t going to update it regularly. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to update the blog regularly and if I could update at least once a week throughout 2016, maybe by 2017 I could buy the domain. However, I’d failed miserably at it. So I guess I have to postpone the idea. Let’s give it another deadline until my next birthday. That means I have another four months to prove it to myself. On the other hand, it could be a chicken and egg thing. Perhaps, if I’d paid for the domain, I’d be more motivated to update regularly just to make sure it gives a good Return on Investment (ROI). Whatever it is, that will be up to me to challenge myself.

Mel and Ar have two more weeks of school before their winter break. So do I. Yes, I do go to school. I attend Japanese classes twice a week at Meguro School Support Centre. I’m in the B class now, and we have covered up to Chapter 19 of the Minna no Nihongo book 1.

Posted in Writing

Nanowrimo Rebel

 

Dingin November

Jaket berwarna ungu

Langkah diatur

I have been very bad at updating this blog but about a month ago, I signed up for NaNoWriMo. I thought by signing-up I would be more motivated to write. However, since I am not very creative and had never learned creative writing properly (back in May, I started a free online course on Futurelearn but didn’t complete it – yeah, nothing new there), in the end my idea for the novel was not really concrete. I am just not good at writing descriptions be it of people, weather or anything. As for poetry, the only forms that I like are Japanese Haiku and  Malay pantun. I will try to write a Haiku in Malay as part of my blog entries.

I read some novels to get ideas. I borrowed books from the library, even the classic Pulitzer Prize Winner Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird. I also bought Meg Cabot’s Size 14 Is Not Fat Either for 300 yen from a second-hand bookstore. I am entertained by the way Meg Cabot wrote. I tried to motivate myself by reading Gina Yap Lai Yoong’s  A Writer’s Journey. As for To Kill A Mockingbird, it dealt with a heavy issue which is still relevant until now, however I couldn’t finish it even after a month. It is a heavy reading, not meant as something one reads to wind down. I had to return it to the library after receiving a reminder through the phone and also by post. I feel really terrible about it. How could I commit myself to writing a novel when I could not even complete a novel that had been written by someone else?

When the first of November came, I tried to start the novel. However, I could not even feel good with the first sentence. I typed and then deleted it, several times. It was frustrating. Then on the second day, after returning the unfinished books to the library, I made a declaration on Instagram. I announced that I am going to blog this month, instead of writing a novel.

To reach 50,000 words a month, will require 30 very long daily entries or what is more realistic is to have shorter but many entries a day. As of now, I have managed only about 430 words. If I want to succeed, by the end of the 3rd day, I should have reached 5,000 words already. Can I really do this? I believe I can, with a lot of efforts, Insya-Allah. We will find out by the end of this month.