Author Archives: rookieMANGAKA

About rookieMANGAKA

I like manga, Marvel Comics and anything comic related. I am also interested in books (stories in general), and K-Pop and K-Drama. Art is my strongest point; I am very confident in it, even though I rarely try my best.

Being old is annoying

Hello,

To all of you little people who wish to grow up: I know you’ve heard this often, but it’s true – growing up is a trap. It’s a cleverly laid out invisible trap that every children falls into…Except for little geniuses who just wouldn’t grow up. I respect those people. It’s true that you’ll get more freedom in your actions but there are heavy restrictions that goes along with that freedom. Education is the most annoying one in my opinion, because education is a social system where it’s been constructed for you instead of you having to construct it yourself, and we all know how hard it is to speak other people’s words instead of your own – it sounds forced and artificial.

I just had my maths test on Tuesday and I was expecting to get my results back today because my maths teacher is a quick marker. Unfortunately, he didn’t get to finish all of the papers, but other sets got their tests back.

In my school, most of the subjects – the main ones, like Maths, English and the three sciences, and also modern languages – are separated into sets. In Maths, the smartest people are in Set 1, while the less fortunate people are in Set 5. Set 3 already got their results back, and they said, and I quote: “Our class average is 34%”

…And I just stood there, processing the words. Set 3’s average mark is 34%. And then I heard that Set 4’s average mark is 33%. What I want to know is what Set 2’s average mark, and then I can finally panic, or vomit. If Set 3 is that bad, how about Set 1? I’m in Set 1, and I found the maths test pretty frustrating in some parts – everybody in the whole year found the paper frustrating. But I never thought that the results would be this bad…

I have Chemistry test tomorrow and I am very sure that I am more than prepared for it…until a few moments ago. I just got back from this quiz evening at my school, called “Are You Smarter Than Year 7?”, to which our team won 3rd place. After the winner announcement, we spotted one of the chemistry teachers and asked him about the test layout. He told us the multiple choice part consists of everything we have learned so far in Year 10, while the written part is all about stoichiometry. Set 1 Chemistry – my class – has been spending a good deal of our revision lessons on stoichiometry, but we didn’t emphasise on other areas. Well, it’s a good thing I did a practice paper on ionic equations and other September topics.

Upcoming tests include Physics and Business Studies, and we are preparing for IGCSE type tests in English Language and English Literature, and we are starting a coursework for French. It’s actually very hectic if you’re not used to the work set out in the classes, but then again I can easily adapt to work conditions. It’s just that I tend to stay up late and relax a bit after doing homework, and then I have to wake up really early to go to school – and then there’s that nagging thought about university choices and the future at the back of my head, banging incessantly whenever I try to forget. Things like scholarship, university place, courses I’ll take…I would love to just go back to the simpler days.

-rookieMANGAKA

Categories: Journal, Uncategorized | Tags: | Leave a comment

Revive – “re-vive” or “re-veev”?

Hello,

So, “revive” – I’ve been having problems saying that word because I just found out that I’ve been pronouncing it wrong for the past years or so. Who knew? Not me. I just wish that there’s a way in which I can know things without learning them – it’s too much of a hassle.

Hey! I haven’t been blogging for a millennium now because you know how I love to procrastinate and stuff. And if you’re reading this, Wendy, I’ll try to go to Facebook and chat. Oh, and Fanninda got her iPod stolen back when we’re still in Indonesia, so that’s why you can’t contact her. She didn’t go on Facebook because she’s been busy with IGCSE mocks and university preparations. Like, wow! Time goes by so fast! Next year, I’ll be doing mocks and then IGCSE exams, though I still feel like a baby.

Up until today, I’ve been doing lots of things, like read books and manga, watch movies and anime, eat, sleep, take a dump, live – you know, the general stuff. I haven’t been reading proper books because there’s this story on the internet which comes in series and they have, like, more than seventy chapters or so, but it’s really addictive.

In addition to that, I’ve decided to watch the 2011 remake of Hunter X Hunter. I watched the 1999 version and, to be honest, that version impressed, scared and annoyed me; it was one of the main highlights of my childhood. I remember watching it with my sister every Sunday morning, because that’s the only time they play anime on this certain channel in Indonesia. There were some major differences between the 1999 and 2011 version, like how there’s no Chimera Ant arc in the 1999 version, but the 1999 version gives more detail in some scenes unlike the 2011 version. One example is at how Kurapika got one of his sword broken from his fight with Hisoka in the Hunter Exam, but in the 2011 version the whole fight scene was totally butchered to just a flashback. And Kurapika still got his swords – he still got it in the Phantom Rouge movie! The most noticeable difference would be the character designs and animation – I prefer the 2011 character designs, even though some completely ruined the original image I had of some characters (e.g.: Shalnark and Machi). To top it off, I dig the 2011 animation! (Duh!)

Nonetheless, love the two versions.

CONFESSION BOOTH: My childhood memory is very hazy so I thought that Kurapika (the blonde one above) was a GIRL, but after watching the 2011 version and reading the manga, it became clear that Kurapika is a BOY. *MINDBLOWN* (My childhood was a lie…-_-)

Aside from Hunter X Hunter, I’ve been reading Oresama Teacher, Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, Arakawa Under the Bridge, Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler), and I’m re-reading D.Gray-Man because I hate waiting and all that shaze. The only anime I’m watching is Hunter X Hunter 2011, though.

I’ll talk about more stuff tomorrow so…yeah…don’t really know what to say…I guess my writing skills are dying…Bottom line: see you later!

-rookieMANGAKA

Categories: Anime, Journal, Manga, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Remembrance Day

Hello,

As many of you know, today is Remembrance Day or, if you’re living in the US, Veteran’s Day – it’s still the same thing, right? You know, with the poppies and a short silence to remember the fallen soldiers. I also found out that today is also Pocky Day…I’m not sure why Pocky decided to match up its celebration day with Remembrance Day but, well, it’s up to them, I guess.

This morning, the school had to line up for longer because we had this poppy ceremony where the teachers and important students (Head Girl and Boy) made speeches – or were they reciting a poem? – and then the important people who were invited stick poppies (fake, of course) onto the ground (again, not real) below a large poppy. Then, there was this familiar trumpet tune that was always played on 11/11 – since Mr. Phil has left the school, the played the song on some kind of music player, so it wasn’t played life. Well, it seemed like it wasn’t played life.

So I made this really short story for Remembrance Day. I always thought wars as something glorious yet horrible at the same time…mostly horrible, but when you win then it’s glorious. Weird, right? When a gruesome deed is deemed heroic just because you have proven yourself to be more powerful than the other side? I think war is basically mass murder under the disguise of “better future project”. Why would anyone do it in the first place? I know, you need to expand to find natural resources so you can survive, and yadda-yadda-yadda…But it’s not necessary to barge into other people’s houses, beat the owners to a pulp, turn the whole house upside-down, steal their food and other belongings, declare their house as you second home and say that what you did was perfectly justified. You just committed trespassing, technically beat the living daylights out of some innocent people, destroyed their home, steal their resources, conquer the place and tell the media that the whole violence was perfectly justified. And if you still don’t get why people hate it when you just appear out of the blue in your country to declare a missile party, then why don’t you host it at your own country? Or maybe some other place that, let’s say, don’t have that many population? I think you all know what I’m talking about.

Bottom line is: war is stupid. Hands down.

Moving on from the rant, here is the short story I prepared for our honourable brave soldiers. It may not be directly relevant to war but, well, it’s relevant in some ways. Enjoy!

 

The King is a Pawn

He’d had enough. All this time he had been pull by the strings by shadows behind the bushes. All this time he had been dancing obliviously while the audience laughed behind his back. All this time he had been riding on the wrong bus to get home for years straight, still not knowing why he hadn’t reached his destination yet. But the driver knew; the audience knew; the shadows knew. He was a puppet – merely a pawn amongst a coalition of kings. He didn’t want this humiliation, and he vowed to change his fate.

So he met up with That Woman. She was sitting down on a plain, single bed in a plain white room, situated at the top most floor of an apartment building, located somewhere near the outskirts of the city. Aside from the bed, there was a pasty blue dinner table with matching chairs – no cushions – and a little coffee table at the corner, at the foot of the bed, where an old TV sat. The kitchenette was located near the front door and in a few feet in front of the dinner table, while next to the kitchenette was the protruding section of the room that housed the bathroom. The place housed no decoration – it was kept trim and austere, just like her.

She didn’t seem to acknowledge him when he had entered the room, even though she was the one who had offered him assistance. He had been standing awkwardly by a dining chair, watching her stare at the wall in front of her. The wall was plain, just like her glassy eyes, just like her whole being. The silence in the confined space was unusual to him; everywhere he went (before all of this happened) was followed by noise – dreadful noise or amicable noise, or just noise. After what seemed like an eon, she inclined her head to him and smiled slightly.

“Good morning, Mr. Woodhink,” she greeted him in a soft yet curt voice. “Please have a seat, if you’d like.”

He nodded stiffly and sat himself upon the chair he had been standing next to. “It was very pleasant of you to offer me this very much needed assistance, Miss Mentir,” he said courteously. “If it weren’t for you, I would not be able to talk, yet along breath, at this very moment.”

“Yes, I have realised what a situation you are in, Mr. Woodhink,” she said in a serious tone, though her mannerisms made it seem as if she said it absentmindedly. She hadn’t made an eye contact yet. Her spin was stiff and rigid under her opaque black suit. She had her hands folded primly on her laps, and her chin was brought up so it was as if she was peering down. Domineering. He fought the urge to clench his fist at her attitude. “Not to be rude or anything, but I’d like to keep this meeting short and straight; I’ll tell you as much details about what you need to do as possible, and then you’ll have to do this as quickly and as soon as you can. No questions, Mr. Woodhink, for my ways are absolutely justified and effective.”

Woodhink clicked his jaws shut once Mentir stated this. He felt the cold sweat pouring down his whole body, drowning him in an ocean of fear and anticipation. “Please, do tell me what it is I need to do,” was all he said before Mentir took the lead.

“I believe your main problem is Mr. Verita Nascosta, correct? If he exists, he is a threat, but if he doesn’t then you wouldn’t need to worry. Simple, right?”

Realisation dawned upon Woodhink’s face. He was about to object to the absurdity and impossibility of the idea, but Mentir cut him to it. “I am not quite done yet, Mr. Woodhink. Although the notion may seem ridiculous, albeit impossibly easy and dangerous, to you, I can assure you that it is the right thing to do. Think about it – freedom, no strings attached! How do you think that will feel like? When was the last time you have looked at yourself in the mirror and be satisfied with what you see?”

Woodhink gulped in all of her words like fresh air. Whenever he saw his reflection, he felt bile rise up his throat. Cuts, bruises, scars – all because of that man. And for what? Service of the country? All he ever did was kill fearful nameless in foreign lands whilst being forced to watch his comrades melt into dirt one by one. And all he got for the trauma was a golden chip with vibrant ribbons attached to it, as well as fleeting praises, and fortune. Oh, the fortune – so pleasurable, yet so ephemeral. It left him with nothing but a transient feeling of joy, and an everlasting emptiness. Meaningless, his life had been. Woodhink lifted his head from his bowed position to finally look at Mentir squarely.

Foggy glass-like eyes, revealing everything but nothing, locked onto his desperate orbs. You cannot tell her age or her experience from her appearance, but her eyes would reveal everything to you. She smiled that patronizing smile once again, and continued. “You see? It will be simple – no fingerprints, no attachments…”

* * *

The gun felt lighter after I had used it. Verita Nascosta’s body was concealed within a potato sack, which had fresh bullet wounds on them. I would love to see his face, to hear more of his agony, but that would risk many things. I looked at my trembling hands, and I dropped the gun. The callused surface of my palm and fingertips looked more pronounced, as if someone had traced them over with a very bold marker. I brought up my shaking hand in front of me, marvelling at the power trapped within it. I smiled, and laughed – I am my own man, a powerful being in his own right! I clenched my hand into a fist and brought it against the nearest wall – no one can control me anymore! The pain that shot up my arm and crawled up my spine was nothing like what I’ve felt before; it felt so fresh, sharp, and real – this hand can do many things, and I, myself, will be the one to control it! I didn’t think I have ever laughed so hard in my life. My head felt so light, I was sure I was flying.

The body was no moving. I briskly paced over to it and gave it a hard strike with my foot. My foot! The same foot that had stepped upon strange lands upon a lunatic’s orders! The same foot that had clobbered the same lunatic that had made me miserable! Free – free at last! The power is mine! I don’t think I can get enough of it!

I was still panting after I was done with my share of kicks. Clicking footsteps were approaching, growing louder as Mentir drew nearer. I turned around to greet her with a grin, and she returned it back with her own secluded smile. “You really are something, Mr. Woodhink – a soldier, indeed,” Mentir commented, eyes glinting with amusement.

“Soldier?” I scoffed. “I am a man! Soldier is a term for those clueless drones that would willingly serve this dolt!” I emphasised the last word with a kick to Verita Nascosta’s head. I cackled as the sack turned over so that its back was facing me. “Well, now that’s settled,” I said. “I think I have a vacation to see to–”

“However, Mr. Woodhink,” Mentir interrupted, blocking my way with her arm. “In order to be properly free, you are required to execute some more tasks.”

I frowned. This was not what she had offered. “What do you mean, Mentir?”

She smiled. Her glassy eyes were focused at Verita Nascosta’s back, at the visible bloodstains on the sack. “Did you know that Verita Nascosta had many alliances with other powerful men? These men I am talking about, according to my information, are willing to continue his ruling even after he has perished. Don’t you think it’s a problem for you, that Verita Nascosta has planned to continue his reign of terror?” Mentir sighed and clicked her tongue. “Such a fickle man, he is. Doing good for the country whilst making dire sacrifices? Are his truths really belieavable? Such a joke…”

Verita Nascosta had men? I did not know that…I was not free yet. In fact, I don’t think I can be free, so long as these men exist. I looked at my trembling hands. The hands that hold so much power. I can do this – for my freedom, for everyone’s freedom.

“For freedom,” I breathed. “Anything for freedom. If I have to kill twelve men, then so be it – so long as it’s for freedom.”

Mentir nodded and stepped aside. Her smile seemed to be more permanent and brighter than before. “And I lay all my trust in you, Mr. Woodhink,” she said. That was the last I saw of her before I received another set of tasks from my earpiece. I didn’t know what she was doing down there with Verita Nascosta’s corpse and though I was curious I didn’t look back. The future was all I see – a future of freedom and self righteousness; a future where there will be no bloodshed or public fallacy. True freedom, it was my future. As I neared the exit, I heard Mentir’s laugh for the first time, low and jubilant.

-rookieMANGAKA

Categories: Journal, Short Stories, Story, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Nightmares…bring inspirations.

Hello,

Okay, first things first – Irene was being a big b***** and somehow managed to go berserk and delete everything. Second – school is also a big b*****. I can’t wait to finish up with school, including college, and finally have time to spare for writing. Once I have Irene fixed, my the stories that I was writing were…You know, what? I don’t even want to talk about Irene. Weirdly enough, I’m using her right now and she’s being awfully quiet. She usually zaps me and all, but now she’s just letting me talk bad about her in front of her face. Maybe Irene is getting old and sick.

Anyways, what I want to say is that I had a nightmare. Well, I’m not sure if you’d call it a nightmare, but it was damn scary. Okay, then – it was a nightmare. I can still remember the last moments of the dream so vividly. It was just so clear that I decided to draw out the figures in the dream before I forget, and now I’m pretty sure my drawing’s cursed.

Okay, so here’s what I remembered: I was in the living room, just lazing around, with my mum and my baby brother. Suddenly, the room turned dark, like the clouds were blocking the sun. I looked out the window and saw black figures. They wore really black robes that covered them from head to toe – for better explanations, you know those abaya that Arab ladies wear? Yeah, it was similar to that, but without the face covering. They had long arms and I could see the spindly hands poking out from their sleeves – their arms were unnaturally long, though, not proportional to their height, but not that long. They just stood outside the window. Just, stood there, as if they were standing on the ground. That was extremely odd because we live in the third floor, and right outside the window is a usually busy road. Then, I found out that these figures were dancing; they were twirling around, making the thin yet opaque material of their robe swish around in the wind like it was in slow motion. That was when I started to notice their faces.

White faces, with circular red eyes and a Cheshire Cat grin. I just can’t get the image out of my head. They just danced around in the wind, like they were in a funeral party. I exclaimed to my mum that there were creepy floating people just outside the window, but my mum just replied aggressively to me. “Stop talking bulls***! There’s nothing outside!”, she said. It seemed like I was the only person who saw them. I just kept on watching them, captivated but frightened by their mannerism, and their faces especially. And then I locked eyes with one of them. Its red-eyes gaze felt so real, I could still feel the paralysing effect on me even after I woke up. It was scaring me very much, like I just saw a bloody murder, but I couldn’t look away. I was extremely frightened, and yet something made me stay and look at the haunting red eyes.

Then the scene cuts to a busy road. I was in a black car (everything about the car was black – the seats, the dashboard, but I can still look out the windows clearly, so I’m guessing the windows weren’t tinted) and there were other anonymous passengers with me. There were other cars and buses on the road, and it was pouring. We reached an intersection where thee roads met. I saw them again. This time, though, there was only one of them. It was also dancing, seemingly unaffected by the rain, since its robes still billowed out like it did outside the window. I told the driver that there was a strange woman in the middle of the road, but the driver responded angrily at me. “Stop talking bulls***! There’s nothing outside!”, he said. He had the same aggressive tone as my mum. No one seemed to acknowledge the figure, but I can clearly tell that all vehicles and my driver was avoiding it like it was dangerous – the intersection became like a makeshift roundabout. Our car drove past it. And then I locked eyes with it. I can’t stop looking at the eyes. Even when the figure was behind our car, I craned my neck and turned around just to watch the red orbs fade into the distance. The strange thing is that whenever I lock eyes with one of them, they would stop dancing and just stand there, as if they were captivated by my stare too. My dream ends here, when I got woken up by my alarm.

I’m not bulls****ing you or anything – I did have this dream. Here is my drawing of the black figure:

ImageImage

I decided not to finish it because I think it’ll curse the drawing. Trust me – this is all real.

And even though I’m scared to sleep now, I’m planning to use this experience as a writing material. How about that? Overcoming you fears by writing.

Have you had any scary nightmares? Have you ever had any nightmares, in fact?

-rookieMANGAKA

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Happy Eid!…Or not…

Hello,

Happy Eid Adha for every Muslims! It’s yesterday, but hey – the message’s sincere! I’ve been trying to write up some stories ever since the start of my one week holiday, and I’ve also been fasting for ten days – sorry I kind of forgot about the blog. I’ve been meaning to post something but just haven’t been getting around to it. Well…here I am! Yay!

I’m having a get together here in my house and even though it’s nearly 8 at night, it still haven’t stopped! It’s not like I hate the company (which I do, a tad bit, only because the kids are so loud and they make a lot of mess) but if they leave so late at night, then I have to stay up late until they’ve gone home so that I can clean up the house. I mean, who in the world would spill noodles and meatballs on a freaking carpet?! It’s like they’re trying to make Gaga art! And not long ago – I think it was last year – my brother had barfed on the carpet before. That just adds to the aroma.

That aside, I need to announce something: I made an Instagram account! Finally! My friends, parents and sister have been telling me about how awesome it is. At first, I thought that taking random pictures and sending it on the internet is plain dumb, but as soon as I posted a few pics and look at others’ pictures…Ah, so this is how it feels like to be young…I haven’t realised how old I’ve been acting. Like, really old. I spend most of my day reading internet stories and books, and I don’t even go to sleepovers, hangouts or parties.

They should call me GRANDMArookie.

Oh, and another thing: I got a new phone! It’s a yellow Nokia Lumia 625! My dad bought it for me because I did so well in my studies and all. I feel sorry for abandoning Skylar, but Daisy is a really great gadget. Did you know that there’s this app called 6Tag which allows you access to Instagram? That’s actually how I’m using Instagram, because Windows Phone doesn’t have Instagram…yet…or maybe never. Anyways, Daisy’s interface is amazing – the screen’s big and comfortable to use and view and it’s just – ! There’s just many features that are better than Skylar’s!

I may or may not be posting a story tomorrow – I’ve made a reminder on my calendar to tell me to post the story I wrote, so it’s a probability that I might. It’s just a one-shot called Spiders, which is inspired by many blood and gore and detective news articles of the past (yes, I read old news articles on the web – that’s just how old and lame I am). Stay tuned!

Oh, and check my Instagram. You know my username!

-rookieMANGAKA

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I’m officially 15!

Hello,

Guess who’s birthday is today…Mine! Duh! Happy Birthday, me!

And let me tell you one thing – it’s not nice having your “red week” during your birthday. I spent most of the morning being grumpy and pissy and all that period stuff, but I quickly calmed down. Well, ladies’ issues aside, it’s been a pretty good day; my friends and family actually remembered my birthday. Like, actually remembered! I thought they didn’t but then they did some awesome things and yeah, it was awesome – like how my homeroom class sang the birthday song, and then my maths class sang the birthday song, and then I got a sticker from my maths teacher, and then I got a candy from my friend (thanks, Razan!) and when I came home from school, my mum had already made nasi tumpeng (Google that) for me! Yay! Blessed me!

Nice things already said, there’s one thing that really bugged me: I broke Tohoku’s screen.

I know, I know. I’m an idiot. I actually broke it yesterday but I just didn’t want to believe that. And then reality b***h slapped me straight in the face not long after. I can’t say it’s not that bad, because it is that bad; almost half of the screen is dead. There’s this huge crack starting from the near middle bottom up until the far left corner – you can’t imagine the rest. I’m seriously sorry, Tohoku. Now, I’m using Irene again. I really miss her and stuff, but I wish I have Tohoku right now because I’ve transferred most of my stories there…Why the hell did I even do that…? Bottom line is, I want to get Tohoku fixed as soon as possible. The young boy’s been through a lot.

Another good thing is I joined MUN – Model United Nation. It’s this debating thing where the students are the delegates of countries…and…they discuss problems at the debate…uh…like the UN…well, it’s hard to explain. You’ll get it. So it’s like we’re representatives of countries and we’re debating about issues like human rights, environment problems and all of those things, like what people do during UN meetings…or something. I don’t actually know what the UN delegates do during meetings but I assume they scream at each other’s faces. Or maybe they do something else like, I don’t know, play GTA 5? Who knows?

Anyways, I got to be a representative of Guatemala and I’ll be working on the issue of human rights. My brother said that Guatemala’s full of gangs and all those urban stuff but I’m not so sure – I’ll be doing extensive research on Guatemala human rights from now on. Where is Guatemala anyway? I’m pretty sure it’s in Africa, maybe to the north.

Oh, wait – it’s in South America. My bad.

So, yeah! Guatemala! They speak Spanish there and the capital is Guatemala City. It looks like a pretty small country, and from what I see in Google Images, it’s pretty neat and cozy, but who knows? You can’t really judge things by its pictures on Google Images.

I’ve never been on MUN before, or been on any debating events, but I’ll try. My school’s hosting afterschool and break time sessions for those who hasn’t been on MUN and I’ll be doing my best so that I’ll be, uh, marvelous. Yeah! Marvelous! I’m also pretty good at making essays and stuff; maybe that’ll help me somehow.

Phew! So much to tell! I have lots of homework and I feel really tire (I’m always tired) because I keep on sleeping at, like, 11 o’clock at night when I’m supposed to wake up at 6 in the morning. Pray for me – say that you hope I’ll be posting something worth reading!

-rookieMANGAKA

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A school poem

Hello,

I underestimated Year 10 – I nearly have no time to satisfy my fun meter. One day has five lessons, and the teachers would give homework every lesson, which will be due on the next time I have the lesson. Now, I think you know where this is going. So as to say sorry, I decided to summarise how tiring and tough it is at school. Enjoy!

School

 

Fumbling and grumbling for my textbooks

In heavy bags – rigid and enough to make me swoop

Backwards until my head touches the dingy floor;

Oh, look! Students’ shoes, all polished and sore.

 

The clock drags numbers and words around,

Taking the air, and my eyes flutter down

Is the lesson finished? I dare not to ask,

For teachers watch, hawk-like, from their nests, up high.

 

Summer, summer – they would never go;

Students sigh – ice creams and water bottles,

The bell rings – quick! We have to go!

“Mum! Dad! The tortures are finally over!”

 

“Now, now, child. Don’t get too excited!

“No TVs, no laptops, no musics or rainbows!

“Homework! Finish them properly and diligently!

“And when you’re finished, then study trigonometry!”

Is your school life like this?

-rookieMANGAKA

Categories: Journal, Poems, Uncategorized | Tags: , | Leave a comment

And yet, another review!

Hello, I know I said I’ll be getting on with my stories but I just can’t resist this! There’s just so much I have to tell about my summer holiday even though it was pretty much eventless (if that’s a word) for most days. The things that entertained me, as I said, were movies and books. And sleep. Sleep is definitely the most entertaining activity in the whole world. This time, the review will be of books I’ve read over the summer, and before summer. Whoopee. So here is the list of the books as well as the comments (SPOILERS WARNING!):

  1. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee: I assume everyone of you know this book or have at least heard of it. If you haven’t then this is a brief summary of what this classic is about: family, friendship, truth, innocence and justice. The story was in the point of view of a woman, Jean Louise “Scout” Finch, who’s recalling the days when she was still a girl, and the moments she was recalling was that of the events that lead up to the accusation of Tom Robinson, a black man accused of rape, and the aftermath. The story was set in Maycomb, a peaceful “tired old town” in Alabama. I’ve read reviewsabout it in the internet, saying it was a great piece of story and very moving – seems like they were right. Since we get to see through Scout’s eyes as a little girl who knew nothing of the law systems and seems to be oblivious to the dangers around her, we can pretty much relate to her throughout the book. The plot of the story was really good because it gives us an overview of how life was back then and the prejudy that was heavily present between the black people and the white people. The theme people-is-not-as-what-they-seem was always present, so as to tell people that we shouldn’t judge people by race, looks, reputation and what-nots. It was an inspirational piece of work, I’d say.
  2. No Second Chance by Harlan Coben: In this story, we get to see the struggles of a surgeon/father, Dr. Marc Seidman, in finding his kidnapped baby daughter after his house had been attacked and his wife murdered. The story mainly revolves around the family, trust and crime themes, as seen at the various times Marc had mysterious encounters with the kidnappers, his emphasises on his hopes on getting his daughter back alive, the FBI’s distrust of Marc because of their suspicions and the behind-the-scenes side plot where we get to see what the bad guys were doing whilst Marc was running around chasing his own tail. Seriously, the criminals were too smart and the FBI was too busy accusing Marc (pfft! Isn’t thatwhat they always do? Suspect the victims?). There was a lot of actions in this book, such as chasing cars and shooting, because that’s what crime is about (if I’m not wrong). I must admit that the ending made me cringe in the inside – I was reading it in class and I nearly cried out in anguish at what I found out. If you want some drama-crime novel, here’s a suggestion for you.
  3. Mockingbird by Katherine Erskine: It’s not even closely related to To Kill A Mockingbird but there are refferences of the novel in this book. Through the point of view of a girl with Asperger’s syndrome, we get to see how Caitlin Ann Smith (the protagonist) and her father cope with the loss of Caitlin’s brother in a school shooting. It was interesting because we get to see how Caitlin’s mind works, like how she precieves objects and situations and how she handled them, as well as her emotions and her ability to sense other people’s emotions. The people in the story seemed to be considerate about Caitlin’s condition, but then again there were people who didn’t understand her views and this often lead to conflict. We get to understand how it felt like to be an outcast because of your disability and because no one understands you, and this novel really touched me. We get a happy ending, thankfully, because Caitlin and her father really needed that. The themes of this book includes family, friendship, loss, grief and closure. Really, very touching.
  4. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: I’ve reviewed the movie for this book but in case you haven’t read that one yet, then here’s what the story is about: a really charming and rich guy – that would be Jay Gatsby – who has been in love with some dumb beauty – that’s Daisy Buchanan – attempts to reconcile with her, even though he knows that she’s already married to Tom Buchanan and has a daughter. And this whole story is seen through the eyes of Nick Carraway, Daisy’s cousin and Gatsby’s neighbour, and the third wheel who would always find himself in the most inconvenient situations. If someone was to ask me how the plot was, I’d say it’s pretty dumb. A dumb stage with dumb ballerinas making dumb pirouettes and all. Gatsby’s dumb. Daisy’s dumb. Everyone’s dumb. Everything’s dumb. And yet, that’s what makes the novel so interesting. Call me a sadist, but I liked it when Gatsby and Daisy struggled through their love – it was entertaining. if Romeo and Juliet is at the top of my “Stupidest and Cheesiest Stories Ever”, this one here would be number 2 or something. Here’s one very cheesy romance novel for you, if you’re into it.
  5. The Enchantress by Michael Scott: The sixth and final book of The Secrets of The Immortal Nicholas Flammel series. I started reading this series two years ago, when I coincidentally found the first book in a bookshop in Singapore. Let’s just say that this series is one of those crazy fantasy/mythology series kids love to read these days. It follows the twins, Sophie and Josh Newman, who one day were swept into the magical world of escaping from evil villains and monsters and coming to terms with their magical abilities, all credits to the immortal Nicholas Flammel and his wife, Perenelle. Oh, look – it’s Harry Potter all over again. At first, I thought that Nicholas Flammel was really cool and all, with the alchemy and stuff. However, I then found out that he and his wife were just as much of a douche as the villains were, but without the murderous and destructive reputation. Despite that, some of the characters here are pretty bland in terms of their siding; they’re either really good or really bad. There are some people who surprised me in the series but of course, they’re the main characters – they need to be amazing and all. Despite my distaste for cliche storylines and characters, I still stuck with this series until the end (unlike the I Am Number Four series, which I abandoned on the second book because the characters were impossibly strong and invincible, and yeah, I hate easy wins). So here’s your dose of fantasy – enjoy!
  6. The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom: It’s a very inspirational piece of work that will make you stay up all night and think about it again and again. I even checked the genre of  this novel and it said “inspirational novel”. The structure of the novel was alien to me, but I went through just fine because it’s not like it was written up-side down and mirrored. The story is about how God had punished Father Time for being the first person to measure time (because of this, the people on Earth always worry about time). When Father Time’s jail period was over, he was tasked to come down to Earth and help two people: a teenage girl who wants to die and a dying elderly businessman who wants to live forever. Can you see where this is going? Still, it’s amazing through and through. If this book was a person, he would have been a world-wide inspiration figure who would have billions of Facebook fan pages and clubs. And not to mention his own TV show and entertainment franchise. If you need a push in your life (basically,if you feel like your life is just full of crap), then read this book.
  7. Divergent and Insurgent by Veronica Roth: I read this book because the girls in my school have been carrying it around and I became curious as to what it was about. I thought it’ll be like any other young adult novels – you know, the “Hey! I’m the awesome hero/heroine who is the centre of everyone’s attention! Oh, and I also get to have a really hot girlfriend/boyfriend and we’re so in love! And did I mention I am so invincible that it would take the whole world to touch my toe?” kind of novel. Yes, the novel contains some of those elements, but I just love the cold-hearted murders and tortures and how some characters were just inhumane. What it’s about? Some girl (Beatrice Prior) who is on her march with a revolution gang to destroy the evil systems of her city. And yes, she has a boyfriend – and he’s said to be really hot. And yes, there are scenes where she’s depicted as more powerful than her other puny friends. But, as the sadist that I am, I still read the series because of the murders. Mwahahaha! If you’ve finished The Hunger Games trilogy and/or The Mortal Instruments series and you liked it, you may want to read this one.

Well, that’s a pretty long list! Or not, depending on who you are.

So, how many books have you read this summer? What were those books? What books will you consider reading?

-rookieMANGAKA

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K-Pop albums/posters reviews

Hello,

Note: I review with no biased feelings or any hate – I try my best to stay neutral and only comment on the facts.

My sister finally got her K-Pop albums yesterday from her friend. As of now, she has Sistar’s Give It To Me, EXO’s XOXO, 2NE1 EP, signed copy of Girls’ Generation’s Run Devil Run and 4Minute’s signed Volume Up. I’ve seen through all of the albums and here’s what I think of each one:

  1. Give It To Me: The photobook was slotted inside a plastic skin, which made it pretty hard to put back in. The whole thing was the size of a small sketchbook and legitimately looked like a real photobook. The pictures were of the members in burlesque-like setting and clothes. The main setting of the photoshoot seemed to be the backstage, like the dressing room and the behind the stage area, but there are some scenes of the girls on the stage or behind the curtains. Most of the photos are of the girls in same clothes and place but with “different” poses, which I’ll admit was a bit usual. I mean, it’s true that the concept was interesting, but the poses in the photobook was not as much. I’m not sure though, because I’m a girl – maybe the boys would like their poses more. The CD was at the very back; it was black with intricate patterns circling the hole in the middle. The overall presentation of the album was good, I think. 4/5.
  2. XOXO: The album was pretty small, compared to the other ones, and it’s purely made of paper. Genius. Anyways, the book was stylised to look like some kind of year book about the EXO class, complete with class photos, pictures of acticities and other bits and pieces depicting the school life of the EXO boys. What I don’t understand is the scribbles in the book – they look like a 3-year-old had randomly scribbled in the whole book or something, judging by the quality of the colourful scribbles. Along with the childish scribbles were random drawings, mostly of wolves (and there’s also a weird-looking werewolf near the end of the photobook). Drawings aside, the pictures in the photobook looked adorable and domestic, as if EXO was really a class. A really lonely class in a really lonely school. Where are the other students and classes? The CD was located at the back of the book, much like Sistar – it was a white CD with scribbles and stuff on it. Again, pre-school work. But in general, the concept of the album and the quality was satisfying and creative. 4/5.
  3. 2NE1: The album was made of acrylic (or so it looked like it) with a plastic CD holder beneath the thin photobook. The thin photobook had pictures of the members in weird psychedelic rooms and had a geometrical concept to it, as proven in the fashion of the photobook and the patterns and fonts throughout the pages. The pictures were old school – like, old K-Pop style where they didn’t have much make up and there’s not much glamour in their poses and setting. The CD was white with geometrical circles on it – simple, really. There’s not much that I can say about this album because there’s not much in it, really. 2/5.
  4. Run Devil Run: The album case is the typical cheap CD casing you’ll get when buying the Sims 3 CDs or other video games or DVDs. There’s a picture of Yoona’s silhouette at the cover along with some glittering golden dust around her. The first glance of it told me that it held not much interesting parts. Sometimes, you can judge a book by its cover. The photobook was thicker than 2NE1’s by a bit, but the pictures in it were only individual pictures that would take two pages (for one picture, one member) and then a group picture at the back, and I’ve noticed that they were wearing the same clothes and had the same hairstyles for the whole photobook. Most of the things in it were full of lyrics and other messages that I don’t understand. The CD was black with Yoona’s high-heel clad shoe and glittering thingies around it – again, simple. I’m sorry, but there’s not much to look at here. 2/5.
  5. Volume Up: Well, here’s something interesting. The album is large and made of cardboard – about the size of a PS2, but thicker and lighter. The photos were a series of cards in a plastic skin similar to Sistar’s album, with pictures on either sides. And with different poses too! The group had three different concepts in the album: the elegant authority, the vampire and the innocent cuties. It’s a weird combination but at least they gave us a pretty reasonable amount of pictures! There are two group pictures, the elegant authority and the vampires, with lyrics at the back. The CD was small, with pink plastic lining at the side to make it seem like a normal-sized CD. There’s some cute patterns on it, like microphones, hearts and pinwheels. I think the only let-down in the album is the cardboard structure because it breaks easily. 3/5.

Which do you think is the best album out of the five? Which album(s) do you like the least?

-rookieMANGAKA

Categories: K-Pop, Uncategorized | Tags: | Leave a comment

First two days of school?

Hello,

Today was my second day at school. And there is one word I can use to describe the two days I’ve been in my school this year: tiring.

It wasn’t this tiring last year! I’m not sure whether it’s because I’ve moved to a breaktime playground that’s morefar away from the main building or if it’s because I’ve gotten more books to carry around or if it’s because the IGCSE lessons were hard, but overall it’s very tiring. Even though I just want to flop straight onto my bed every afterschool, I would always stay awake because I know my mum would need my help later on in the evening, especially the time before my dad gets home, where my mum would cook dinner. Oddly enough, I would often stay up until 11 PM or later despite my fatigue – puberty, maybe? And I would regret my decision of staying up because I have to wake up at 6 in the morning five days a week so I’ll have enough time to get ready for school. So if I were to sleep at 11 or 12 at night, then that means I only got 7 to 6 hours of sleep, which is a definite no-no for me.

If my dad were to find out, he’ll definitely start up on his “healthy student lifestyle” speech again.

But I do love sleeping. On Fridays, the first day of the weekend, I would wake up at 9 AM but I would usually laze around in bed until around 10. But since I’ve got stuff to do now – namely “making sure I attend to my Sims’ needs on the iPad” – I’ve resolved on waking up at around 8 o’clock, so I could get the first access to the iPad. Ha-ha! All of that just for a game! But seriously, the game’s kind of addictive.

I don’t think I’ll be doing anything tomorrow. Since I’m finally (kind of) work-free, I’ll probably be continuing on my stories and such. If not, then that means I’ll be studying or out with my family – both are two of the most hated activities by me. Ah, but I have Chemistry homework… Well, it’s not that long, anyway, and I can finish it quickly. The bottome line is, I’ll work on my story if I’m not busy on the weekends. That finished, see you next time!

-rookieMANGAKA

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