Archive for January, 2013

My first book_415x622

The Stories Of The Scissors Sharpener’s Daughter


Gerry and I.

Okay, okay, I admit it.

I have been procrastinating on my book for the past years.

There are several reasons for this.

I doubt anybody would be interested to read it. I fear people would laugh at my mistakes. I worry over the financial cost involved.

I think many writers shares similar setbacks too.

But all that changed yesterday when I met Gerry Robert, the famous author of the international bestselling “The Millionaire Mindset.” At his preview seminar, Gerry managed to convince me to put aside my doubts, fears and worries.

The Millionaire Mindset

In such a short time, I managed to learn a lot from Gerry. He was such a warm, humorous, cheerful and generous guy. Gerry was unselfish in sharing his expertise with his audience. I am looking forward to learn more from this impressive mentor on the field of writing a book.

After hearing him speak at his preview seminar “Publish A Book and Grow Rich” I think the time has come for me to get my book out and be done with it.

And then move on with life.

“Anybody can write a book. The moment you start writing the first word, you’re already an author” Gerry said. Boy, I love that, because I have always thought you need to write like J.K. Rowling or Margaret Mitchell to be qualified as an author.

“You don’t need to write a blockbuster, a masterpiece or to win a Booker Price, your book does not have to be perfect,” this Canadian author, motivational speaker and trainer said in his preview seminar to a group of budding writers.

“Many Malaysians have got their books written after attending my seminars. One lady even went out to sell her book before she started her first page. You just have to have confidence in yourself.”

“Another lady even asked me, should I use Queen’s English or American English and I told her it doesn’t matter.”

“Move into action. Just write your stuff, get the book out and see the money start rolling in,” he said as a matter of fact.

I have a vast collection of short essays that I have compiled into a little book called The Stories Of the Scissors Sharpener’s Daughter to be on sale soon. It is about growing up in a small tin-mining town called Ipoh where life is simple and innocent.

See My Book’s Preface.

If you are interested to read my first book, drop me an e-mail.

And have I told you that I am going to start on the second one? I assure you it will be sensational.

For me, writing is a passion and I can’t stop…..

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At the preview seminar I met Sharifah, a successful lady from Penang who was inspired by Gerry’s book, The Millionaire Mindset.

Thirteen years ago, she was too broke to attend his seminar but today, she have a bungalow, a car and six schools. It shows that if there is a will, there is a way.
Positive Mind Positive Results !

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Last night, Vicki, my best friend, called to break a very sad news. Her eldest sister had just passed away in the hospital. She cried and cried because she was very close to her sister.

Vicki’s sister died from a hemorrhoidectomy procedure that went wrong. The unfortunate lady was only 59 with two young sons.

Here today, gone tomorrow. Life is so fragile. I know how it was like to lose someone close and dear to your heart.

Time is a good medicine and so are prayers. I told her to recite mantras.

My thoughts and prayers too to this kind and friendly lady whom I do not have the good fortune to know deeply except that she was my best friend’s beloved sister.

As you aged and with your parents no longer around anymore, you will learn to appreciate your siblings more. Rivalry will be replaced by love.

And I told my best friend this…..despite the pain, life have to go on, so live it well.

Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra 般若波羅蜜多心經

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This hilarious but scary incident happened yesterday and here is my daughter’s account when she got home from school.

Alexandra and a few girls from her class were on the school’s stage to rehearse for next Monday’s school concert.

They were all nicely dolled-up in rainbow-colored flowing robes completed with sparkling headgear and colorful make-up on their faces.  Just as they were floating and swirling gracefully like fairies dancing on fake clouds and accompanied by a very soft music in the background when, without any warnings or signs, and all of a sudden, the ceiling above them began to crack. Before you can even say Jack Robinson, a big portion of it gave way and came crashing down on the girls. Pandemonium broke out that very moment. What started as a musical show ended up like a mini war zone.

The flying dusts, floating particles and other small pieces of debris rained on their heads and faces, making them looked very much like a bunch of kids playing in the snow instead of Chinese fairies dancing on the clouds. The startled girls quickly ran scrambling down the stage. Terrified, one or two of them broke down to wail loudly. My daughter did not cry out but she was very badly shaken. Luckily no-one was hurt. I dare not think what will happened to these innocent kids if the impact have been greater than what it was that day.

The school hall had just got a renovation done to it during the recent December holidays. The floor was given new carpets, the wall a new coat of paint and the ceiling some patching-up work. It was less than a month ago and now, something like this had happened.

Obviously the contractor who got this project must be one of those infamous “Kontraktor Kelas F” – a special class of people who can start a business with RM1 as capital, operates without the relevant experience and are not responsible for the outcome.

This is a clear case of what the Chinese would say, “steal the work, reduce the material” or “tow gung kum liew.” You paid RM10,000 for something but got back RM1,000 in value, you know what I mean?

Not only the girls got a terrible shock. A big fat civet cat (musang in Malay) that hides in the space between the ceiling and the roof also got a shock of its life. No-one knows how it got there or how long it has been there. It was tip-toeing around its dark home when the ceiling gave way. Of course it came crashing down along with the dust and debris; landing on all fours on the stage, looking just like a lost alien that had landed in a space ship right in the midst of some stunned earthlings.

Shocked and bewildered, the poor cat looked around with confused eyes before darting off like an arrow released from the bow and surged towards the hall’s exit and ran helter-skelter along the corridor. Clueless as to which direction to go to, it gate-crashed into the nearest classroom where my son was sitting at the front row and the teacher was half-way with their Maths lessons. The students got so excited at the sight of this unexpected intruder. Some boys quickly climbed onto their desks while a few girls screamed hysterically, for how many of us have seen a civet cat running wild in a metropolitan city?

When pursued by other students and the teacher, the frightened animal then ran around the classroom in circles, trying to hide under chairs and desks, and trembling with fear at the commotion its presence had caused. When cornered by some brooms-wielding humans, it finally jumped out the class window and disappeared into the bushes behind the school building.

What a commotion for the school that morning, all because some greedy and irresponsible fellow did not do his job ethically! Stadium in Terengganu collapsed, hospital’s ceiling in Ipoh collapsed and now this. Occurences like this are getting insanely common in this country. 😦

Seriously, how would you feel and what would you do if one of those kids on the stage was your own child and she was hurt in this incident?

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Like how you were being placed into different compartments once you have reached 16.

For scoring A’s in both his Science and Mathematics in last year’s PMR, my son Nicholas was put into a Pure Science class. He is in Form Four this year.

Besides Mathematics and Additional Mathematics, he have to study science subjects like Physics, Chemistry and Biology.

“Mom, I don’t mind doing Additional Mathematics but I hate Biology. I want to drop Biology to do Commerce and Economics but was not allowed to do so,” he complained to me after the first day at school last week.

“Do you want me to see your school principal and talk to her?” I asked him, hoping to help him out of his predicament.

“It’s no use, I’ve seen her this morning. She said the school’s decision is final and we’re not allowed to appeal anymore,” he replied dully.

My son told me he is not keen to study living things like plants and animals. He is more into numbers.

But this year, due to the pressure from the Education Minister, schools are tasked to put more students into Pure Science. Even though you hate certain science subjects, you have to study them.

Each year, since the pre-independence days, right after the examination known as LCE in the early days or SRP during my school days or PMR as it is now known, 16 year olds were placed into different streams based on their results.

For those who did well in Science and Mathematics, to the Science Stream you go where you are expected to end up as doctors, engineers or pharmacists one day.

As for those who did well in languages but not Science and Mathematics, you will be put into the Arts Stream where you can later become writers, artists or fashion designers and etc.

I have nothing against this process. Indeed it had and will continue to serve its purpose of putting students on the right career track.

But I wish as parents and students, we have more say in this streaming instead of taking whatever that is being thrown into our path.

It is too rigid, clear-cut and more to the convenience of the school rather than to the students themselves.

Let me ask this question – at 16, how many of us are so dead sure of being a doctor or a writer one day?

As a student or a parent, do you share my sentiment on this age-old method?

Should the students be consulted on which streams they would like to go to or should their schools make the decisions for them?

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Schools will open tomorrow.

Still remember your first day at school?

Did you cry your eyes out when you saw so many strangers in your midst?

Did you bawl your lungs out when your mother walked out from your classroom leaving you all on your own?

Did you pee on your seat when you can’t hold on to your bladder and was afraid to ask the teacher for permission to visit the loo?

These are some of the dramas seven-year olds will create when they went to school for the first time.

For some, first day at school can be very stressful; for others, it’s like a walk in the park.



Oh yes, by the way, this is the school bag I carried on my first day to school in 1971! 🙂

It was a hand-me-down stuff which I got from my elder sister. It had served me my entire primary school years.

Amazingly, it was still in good shape despite being made from rattan which was such a vulnerable material. The color was much lighter then but over the years, it got dirtied by constant use. I used to put it on the floor. Sometimes it got wet when I was caught in the rain.

My daughter laughed when I shown her this bag. “Nothing will make me carry this type of bag!” she said. But it was popular among school girls at that time.

How about you? What bag did you used on your first day at school?

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