Of drawing personal dreams

Inktober drawing of a standing desk from my Instagram
Inktober drawing of a standing desk from my Instagram

Fear of pain or pursuit of pleasure?

Perhaps these, more than anything else in the world, motivate humans. Our behaviour, our drives, our actions. You either move towards something, or you move away from it. There is no middle path. If you choose to stand still, it will come to you, or it will leave you. Either way, movement is involved, even if you are not providing it.

My desire to be massively accepted and be looked up to is motivated by fear. I don’t want to be alone. I want to avoid the pain of being left behind. I fear being discarded.

Adults are bastards. Adults, especially, who have a grievance against your parents, are especially horrible creatures. In their depraved desire to bring down someone they think unworthy, they scar others. And consider it to be fair game.

I’m still learning to deal with the ghosts of my past. No, it was not especially traumatic, at least not in the physical and emotional abuse sense. However, they did scar me. And the incidents shaped me into who I am today.

Who is quite different from whom I wanted to be. That though, is another post for another day.

I want to talk to you about this picture.

My heart was thumping as I drew it. It took me over 30 minutes to get it right, even though I had a clear image of what I thought it was going to be. However, the reality is different from the image in my head. Lines in my head, for instance, were clearer. Now though, this one’s a bit… fudgy.

And that’s how life works. What you see is not always what you get. Which is kinda fine, unless you’re a designer or an artist who specialises in realism. But I’m disgressing.

Confronting my personal heart has always left me breathless. My heart, unlike the heart of the boy in The Alchemist speaks to me of fear always. Of the need to be cautious. To protect myself from being hurt again, imagined or not.

But there are days, days like these, when my heart encourages me to bare it. When it says to give thanks for the blessings I have received. It’s a gentle nudge, but I often find myself being swept away whenever I listen to my heart then.

So, what’s so personal about this drawing?

It’s the breaking of a chain. The acknowledgement of a way of thinking that has not served me. Or rather, that has held me back.

I have issues with preconceived notions. In that, I form them and don’t let go. This applies mainly to me, and not anyone else. I have a preconceived notion of how I should write. Why I should write. Or how to act. Things I should draw. Things I shouldn’t say.

I allowed my writing, my interests, and perhaps more stupidly, my skills to stagnate because of this. I received a few hard knocks, and then I went into my shell to hide and lick my wounds. I said I would try again, but I never did.

Like almost drowning and then using that as an excuse not to ever learn swimming (which is a true story, by the way).

I’m learning to trust myself again. To allow myself to breathe for myself, and not for others. To take form again.

And hopefully I will get better at it.

Funnily enough, I was inspired to try this after reading the 10 drawing myths that block your progress. Also found Alonso Dunn’s tutorials on drawing with pen and pencil, so that helped a bit.

[Nanowrimo] Bloodsworn Synopsis


This being a synopsis of this year’s Nanovel. Yes, I know it’s a poem rather than an actual synopsis, but this is all I have so far. Let’s hope drafting goes better this year than it did last year.

Secrets unopened
Secrets revealed
Secrets hidden
Secrets unspoken

Blood that binds us all
Blood that holds us all
Blood unquenched
Blood unspilled
In innocence, purify
In sin, destroy.

Tis the end of our journey
Tis the end of our song
Tis a chapter closed
Forgive us all our wrongs.

[Prose-ACK!] WIN FREE BOOKS And Support #MYWriters!

#MYWriters Book Session at Supermart Pop, Publika

Psst! Prose-ACK will be at the Supermart Pop in Publika offering autographed copies of Chap Fan for sale. Depending on space allocations, we may also offer on-the-spot commissions, done on a typewriter! Come one, come all, this 3rd October!

This is part of the month-long #MYWriters Festival. Check out the details below:

Looking for new things to read? Grab some new books and meet the authors behind them this entire October! The #MYWriters Group will be organising a month-long Meet-The-Authors Festival happening in various places around KL and Penang. If you attend at least 3 of our events, you might even get to take home an entirely new shelf of books (shelf not provided)!

Simply pick up a bookmark at our events, and bring it along for a “check-in” stamp at subsequent locations when you attend. To be eligible, you will need at least 3 stamps AND attend the Finale at Dataran KL Underground.

Visit the MYWriters site for more information and locations.

See you there!

Small Blessings

Recently one of my friends asked me how I stayed motivated, beyond the usual drive of routine and necessity (aka I need cash to survive).

Before that, I had another friend asked me how I stayed kind.

I remember babbling on, but I think what helps is being grateful.

I take comfort from small blessings, from the little things that happened throughout the day. I am also learning to let go of “what other people might think about me feeling this way” which is far harder than it sounds.

I make it a point to say “Thank you” to almost everyone I meet (the habit of saying “I’m sorry” when something bad happens is the opposite and is something I’m trying to break).

Shugo the White Seal with a pair of sunglasses on his face
Seeking joy in the little things, like Shugo on top of my head

I find joy in smiling every day. Wearing a mask because of my allergies makes this even easier, because no one can see you smile like a crazy person when the appropriate thought flashes by,

These are all surface habits though. Small things. But they help me make sense of the day, of the moment, of the pain.

Once I became aware and grateful for the little things, it became a habit. And habits are second nature; you will usually find yourself doing things over and over again by routine or by trigger. And they build on each other.

I found an unexpected benefit in this habit. It made me reexamine my own behaviour, my own biases and friendships. The latter is especially important, as I have a tendency to defend my friends blindly.

I am a hoarder. This translates to both physical possessions and intangible ties. There’s a good chance that unless I need to use/contact often, I will forget some things exist. But I’m trying.

Trying to keep alive the friendships that mean a lot to me. To pull away from the things and people that drain me. To find time for myself and genuinely reflect.

Having someone who plays the devil’s advocate and makes me feel uncomfortable in terms of my thinking is an unexpected blessing.

I’m learning, slowly but surely, to let go. To be in this reality and this moment. And the practicalities associated with it.

Like buying a house. Moving out of my comfort zone. Pushing my words out to be published. Making earning money a priority and not think about it as a dirty thing.

I’m still trying.