Brief Update

Nanowrimo 2015 Participant Badge
Nanowrimo 2015 Participant Badge

It’s November! That means Nanowrimo is back~

Which also means I need to take better note of my sleeping patterns because it’s one of the first things that goes out of whack eheh. Unlike previous months though, this year’s Nanovel has gone into dark places I never even planned for, and I’m rediscovering the joy of being a pantster again.

Then today I woke up feeling unwell. Got myself to the office, took a Telfast-D, and then tried to work. I actually skipped my morning coffee, which I rarely, if ever, do on weekdays. Halfway through, I found myself being extremely drowsy and tried to power through with some loud music. Didn’t work.

So I stood instead and stretched, because I needed to go see a colleague. Within 10 seconds, the fatigue disappeared. A brisk walk later and I noticed my nose had stopped running, I wasn’t sleepy anymore and I was very alert. Apparently sitting slows your circulation.

And that’s this week’s brief update. Thanks for reading. Here’s a delicious non-halal treat for reading this far.

Image of crystal char siew

Quick #TILs

Have a longer blog post idea but that one requires more writing and thinking than the brainpower I have right now. Suffice to say it’s about celebrating the small victories and joys in life. Which leads me to yesterday’s TILs:

  • When you learn that Cold Storage in KLCC opens at 9am AND they sell your favourite coffee at RM2 (instead of having to depend on MyNew’s inflated prices)
  • And that Cold Storage has decent food at Obamanotbad.jpg prices
  • Helping a dear friend feel better and help herself
  • Broken reasoning encourages faux anger in me. I just like feeling outraged, which is a sign that I need to find another outlet for my frustrations
  • Apparently, CIMB might reject a housing loan request if the property has a Master Title after 10 years
  • They also want really updated accounts and salary slips
  • Public Bank on the other hand, made me sign a consent form for them to investigate me

There was quite a lot of adulting done. Which means it is appropriate to end this post with this:

Image of bunny snoozing. Caption reads: I do not want to adult today. I don't even want to human today. Today, I want to bunny. From RabbitRescue.Ca
Image from Rabbit Rescue Incorporated

Fiverr: New Level Reached!

I just hit level 1 on Fiverr! That’s a good thing, because I can now offer extras and charge accordingly. Am thinking of making “will translate script from English to Malay” as an extra for my voiceover gig. Done so. If you need a voice over or want a quick translation, hire me!

[Reading] Toshokan Sensō

Toshokan Senso or Library Wars cover
Toshokan Senso or Library Wars cover

Novel title: Toshokan Sensō
Author: Hiro Arikawa
Original Run: 2006 – 2007

Plot: A girl joins the elite Library Task Force to protect books and chase after the man who inspired her to join. Along the way, you realise the kind of concessions one makes to be an adult, and just how refreshing it is to see it being spelled out plainly instead of full of melodrama and long monologues that most people would be out of breath actually practising.

Rating: Five out of Five

Rationale: I’ve read some other Japanese light novels that have been translated. They tend to be error-free, or at least to a minimum, but what usually irks me about them is how unnatural the language is. It is no one’s fault; in most cases, I would usually ascribe it to the translator’s naivete or inexperience. Most translations that irk me either have simple grammar structures or sounds stilted.

The translation I’m reading of Toshokan Sensō is tentatively a fan one. Someone actually took the trouble to get their hands on the original books and then translated them for a manga-reading audience. They also managed to keep, I think, the language of the novel without turning it into something else entirely.

I really enjoy reading this series. Part of it is because I enjoy the characters and the plot. A larger part though, comes from enjoying a well-made book. I love the characters and settings of Arikawa-sensei’s books, but I love melithiel’s translations equally as well.

However, it is the principles that these Librarians stand for that pull me in.

Books are sacred. They contain ideas, thoughts, and perhaps most importantly, experiences wrapped up in stories. A book you read, a book enjoyed, a book savoured, even a book discarded, all of them leave a mark on you. It’s inedible. We may wish that some books were never written, but books, once published, should not be censored.

However, there are those who insist such things should be censored. That all reading materials should be inspected and censored to fit the sensibilities of these small-minded people (I wonder how many of them read for pleasure, as opposed to reading for image?).

It is against this backdrop that Toshokan Sensō takes place. The Librarians defend reading materials against the Media Betterment Committee, which seeks to censor such things. Raids happen unexpectedly, leading to books travelling under armed guards, with attacks on public libraries to remove such books and materials from locations the public could gain access to.

It sounds ridiculous, but it really isn’t. It speaks to me as a reader, of fears what book banning will bring, what it might do to a society. Of a world where “A world where the library didn’t have to take up arms to defend itself.”

Aka a world where the freedom to read, not to express, but merely READ is curtailed so strongly.

Go read Toshokan Sensō. If you love books, you owe it to yourself to do so.