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One lovely blog award

I read something yesterday that totally made my day. It was unexpected and took me completely by surprise. When I finished reading it, I couldn’t stop grinning the rest of the day. And I really want to share my joy with you. So here you go:

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I don’t know Michelle and yet she took the time to nominate me in her blogpost and then left a comment on my blog about how she felt about a post I had written on July 11 (see “Perfect for each other” here). And guess what, I was nominated for this:

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Thank you very much, Michelle. It felt almost as if I had won the Nobel Prize for blogging. It’s an honour to know that there are people out in the world wide web who read my stuff and are willing to take a little time from their busy lives to show their appreciation by leaving comments or liking my posts. You guys make my day every day!

So after radiating a cheery glow the whole of yesterday and today from my swanky new award (I’m a winner, baby!), I dug around a bit for its origin and the rules.

The rules state:

1. I need to thank the person who nominated me.
2. List seven things about me that you still may not know.
3. Nominate 15 bloggers.
4. Notify the aforementioned bloggers you have done so.
5. Put the logo on your blog.

The seven things that you don’t know about me (and you’re going to wish you hadn’t read this list, haha!) are:

1. I made a goal to earn $20,000 a month in five years’ time.

2. I secretly fart in my seat at work or while walking in public spaces and hope that no one heard me.

3. I think about her all the time; wondering if she’s sleeping well, eating well and taking care of herself well.

4. Whenever I meet new people, I mentally evaluate them to see if they’d make good employees for me one day.

5. I badly want a slim oval face, instead of my broad square one (I like to think it’s chiselled but I got mocked at once) so I can look great in any hairstyle.

6. I want to travel to faraway places like Barcelona, Prague, Scotland, Borocay, New York, Tokyo and Brazil and many other cities with the love of my life. Well, if not, someone please give me the courage to do so alone (I’m really afraid of sleeping alone in the dark or in strange hotel rooms). Hehehe.

7. There’s a stack of new clothes and bottoms, and four pairs of new shoes that I haven’t worn because I can’t bear to. I don’t know why!

As for the list of 15 bloggers, I’d like to nominate all of you out there who aren’t afraid to share your deepest darkest thoughts, your buried feelings, your vast knowledge or even just your everyday experiences or the random funny things you see — with us on the Internet. You’re an inspiration. And it’s a pleasure just to be here.

So considered yourself officially notified. Now go forth as One Lovely Blog Award winners and continue blogging. 🙂

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Stieg Larsson, you genius

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A quote taken from the book The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo.

The prior line was “Never engage…” This paragraph had a profound impact on me when I first read it. It made so much sense, even more so when my mentor said almost the same thing to me few days ago over lunch. What an coincidental symmetry.

So I have been reading crime novels written by the late Swedish author and journalist Stieg Larsson recently and I’ve been completely blown away. Which led me to a conundrum about the original books which were published in Swedish. Either he’s such a brilliant writer that his talent shines through despite the languages that the books were published in or he quite simply had a brilliant English translator.

The prose is written in a clear direct style that shows a strong journalistic background – short, direct, active sentences. Yet it also manages to draw the reader in an absorbing and engaging manner without losing its focus. (Remember how I said previously that Larsson managed to weave many layers of puzzles together without sounding confusing?)

The author is also unafraid to throw in big words to educate the reader (it is most likely just me being educated here but hey, I’m proud to admit my vocabulary has expanded from reading his books) or insert social issues to raise the reader’s awareness or add in strong Swedish-centric elements that may alienate non-Swedes. I have never been to Sweden but I feel that I know a bit more about the country now.

What I’m trying to say is Larsson treats his readers as a bunch of intelligent, objective and knowledge-thirsty audience. Which quite frankly is the opposite of what newsrooms and magazine publishers all over the world have been secretly telling journalists for years. Yes, we have been told to always keep our copy simple and treat the readers like idiots. “Explain succinctly, use simple words, don’t overload your readers with too much technical jargon or boring stuff, get right to the issue” are some of the often heard mantras.

So yes, this is refreshing and a style I’d aspire to emulate if I were to write a book.

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Stieg Larsson, you genius

20120306-234826.jpg

A quote taken from the book The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo.

The prior line was “Never engage…” This paragraph had a profound impact on me when I first read it. It made so much sense, even more so when my mentor said almost the same thing to me few days ago over lunch. What an coincidental symmetry.

So I have been reading crime novels written by the late Swedish author and journalist Stieg Larsson recently and I’ve been completely blown away. Which led me to a conundrum about the original books which were published in Swedish. Either he’s such a brilliant writer that his talent shines through despite the languages that the books were published in or he quite simply had a brilliant English translator.

The prose is written in a clear direct style that shows a strong journalistic background – short, direct, active sentences. Yet it also manages to draw the reader in an absorbing and engaging manner without losing its focus. (Remember how I said previously that Larsson managed to weave many layers of puzzles together without sounding confusing?)

The author is also unafraid to throw in big words to educate the reader (it is most likely just me being educated here but hey, I’m proud to admit my vocabulary has expanded from reading his books) or insert social issues to raise the reader’s awareness or add in strong Swedish-centric elements that may alienate non-Swedes. I have never been to Sweden but I feel that I know a bit more about the country now.

What I’m trying to say is Larsson treats his readers as a bunch of intelligent, objective and knowledge-thirsty audience. Which quite frankly is the opposite of what newsrooms and magazine publishers all over the world have been secretly telling journalists for years. Yes, we have been told to always keep our copy simple and treat the readers like idiots. “Explain succinctly, use simple words, don’t overload your readers with too much technical jargon or boring stuff, get right to the issue” are some of the often heard mantras.

So yes, this is refreshing and a style I’d aspire to emulate if I were to write a book.

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Up to snuff

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Finally got my hands on the latest Terry Pratchett novel for the DiscWorld series. Ok it’s been out since October last year but I haven’t had time to read it until today. I’m only about 60 pages into the book and it’s been an absorbing read.

I’ve always loved almost any book by Pratchett and this is no exception. The last book I read was I shall wear midnight, the final book in the Tiffany Aching and Wee Free Men “trilogy”. That made me laugh till my stomach literally ached. So I have high hopes for Snuff.

Ok, and I can’t keep this to myself any further because I want to gloat. I met my idol Pratchett at a book signing many years ago and I asked him politely as how a young besotted fan would while he wrote my name and some well wishes on the books I have proffered to him that if he could possibly publish more books in a year because I really can’t wait to read the next one every time I finished the latest DiscWorld novel. And now you can inhale the sweet oxygen sharply before reading further.

Pratchett replied something along the lines that he would very well like to do that but writing is not easy at all. Considering that I do not know the guy personally, I thought he sounded affronted and I felt almost embarrassed to have asked such a silly question. With that, I ambled on, wondering why I couldn’t have not say anything at all if I couldn’t offer something witty or intelligent. So this memory still haunts me to this day and yet my love for Pratchett’s books remains undiminished.

Personal review of ebook readers for iPhone

By the way, I found a new ebook reader for the iPhone. Yes, I finally discarded Stanza after the latest software update screwed up the app and rendered it completely useless. Maybe it’s Amazon’s way of telling us to get a Kindle. Which I did try to search for the Kindle iPhone reader but nothing turned up.

Anyway, I couldn’t get used to iBook even though its user interface is clean, friendly and oh-so-pretty like all other Apple products. Even the free books downloaded from the store look so classy in their vintage book jackets. And I may be wrong about this but I couldn’t add external ebooks or PDFs onto the app. It only allows books that are from the store. That was a bit awkward because I was looking for a solid ebook reader for every form of online content I may have.

Enter Kobo. It’s everything I want in an ebook reader and more. Clean user interface, minimalistic easy-on-the-eye design and the ability to add as many ebooks or PDFs and even newspapers or magazine subscriptions as you desire. It’s like iBook, but better and dare I say it, yes prettier. Seriously, try it for yourself. Kobo is really up to snuff.

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