Robot (Short Story)

"You broke her? How could you break the new model so soon?"

Everyone peered at the newest worker. She was sitting at a terminal, methodically transferring names from the list that was faxed over into the system. There had to be over a hundred names in there.

 West went to take a look. The robot was humming as she worked, but there were mistakes. A few names were repeated two or three times.

 “Yup, you definitely broke her,” she said, glaring at her colleague. It wasn’t like they needed confirmation. They had all known that the robot was broken when she typed out a report in binary and didn’t even realize what she wrote. They had to give her another instruction to translate it into Chinese before anything happened.

 “I didn’t think that she would be that weak,” her colleague protested, his mouth turned down at the sides. 

Well, none of them had expected this. She was the latest model after all; and they had custom-ordered her from the maker. Her programming was supposed to b…

Paperbacks Available in Singapore!

Guess what?

I finally found a printer so paperback copies of my books are finally available in Singapore! (If you don't want to pay for shipping from Amazon).

This is how the books look like. They're almost identical to the Amazon versions, only the paper is white and not cream, and there's no barcode. And because I'm selling direct, the prices are slightly lower than they otherwise would be.


If you’re going to self-collect and pay by cash, the books are:

1 book for SGD $8
3 books for SGD $20 (save $4!)

I can hand the books to you at Clementi station, Dover station, or Jurong East station.

If you would like the books to be delivered via registered mail, they’re going to cost a little more:

1 book for SGD $10
3 books for SGD $25 (save $5!)

If you opt to get your books via registered mail, payment will be done via PayPal and I’ll send you an invoice when the books arrive (in two to three weeks time). Payment must be made before I post the books and delivery is only …

Lessons from counselling

I've been going to counseling and today's session made me want to take down notes so that I don't forget. It's a bit of a hodge-podge, but I'm sharing it here in case it can help.

1. What toxic means

The word toxic is bandied around so often that I didn’t really know what it meant. So I asked and was answered:

When you’re in a toxic environment, you come away feeling worse (lower self-esteem, depression) than you did before.

It doesn’t really matter if the people in that environment are nice to you. If you come away from the environment feeling bad, the environment is toxic.

2. Experiences are unique

I was thinking that maybe I’m the weird one because I know a lot of people who like to speak badly about the Japanese as the whole and my experience has been very positive. But my counselor pointed out that I am not those people and they are not me, so we naturally have different experiences.

And it’s not just that. Our personalities shape the experiences we have. So I …

Fire and Ice (Short Story)

One was made from fire, one was made from ice.

That is how our stories start. Our parents were old and childless, they wanted kids, yada yada yada. Long story short, it was a cold winter, dad went out to make a snow baby, mom stayed home near the fire and lo and behold, my sister and I came into this world.

We are opposites, as you can guess. She is beautiful - porcelain-white skin with white hair and ice-clear eyes. I am her opposite with my skin like fired clay and my coal black eyes burning all day.

“Hinoko! Where are you?”

“Right here, Yukiko.”

My sister comes into view, the cart next to her. “Have you forgotten what day it is?”

“Of course not,” I exclaim as I hurry towards her. “Market day is the highlight of my week.”

Together, we make our way to the market, where we will set up store in a little corner. There, we will sell ice from the nearby lake, my sister’s beauty drawing the customers in. Later, we will use the money to buy food for our parents and we will have gotten the w…

Looking Back on 2017

2017 was not a good year for me writing-wise.

There, I said it. I had a bad writing year.

Due to a bunch of factors (lots of changes and a mild depression being the two main culprits), I lost my will to write. It was painful because writing was something I always enjoyed, even though I've never found it easy. I loved to write and I loved the community I found when I wrote.

But this year, I just withdrew.

I could write a lengthy, inspiration post on what I plan to do in 2018 but that would be a lie. I'm not setting any writing or publishing goals like "publish X number of books" or "sell y copies" because I'm afraid of being stuck again if I did. Instead, I would like to spend 2018 focusing on one thing at a time. Finishing one book at a time. Writing one blog post at a time. Sending one email at a time.

In 2018, I'm planning to take it one step at a time. And when I'm better, I'll reconsider the "no goals" thing again.

England Book Haul

Hello everyone! I'm back from England and dealing with the jet-lag(:

It was a really great trip and this time, I decided to get books as souvenirs (since I don't really use traditional souvenir items but love books). So I thought I'd blog about what I got plus a share a few photos from my trip.

From London

I got three books from London! The first is "Heath Robinson's Home Front", which is illustrated by Cecil Hunt. The main "star" of the book are the comics by Heath Robinson. I got this at the Churchill War Rooms, which is a must visit if you like history.

The Churchill War Rooms also contains a lot of cute postcards.

I also got An English Murder by Cyril Hare and The Secret Lives of Cows by Rosamund Young from WHSmith (which my sister describes as 'the Popular of England'). Cyril Hare has been on my TBR list for a while so I was really happy to get it!

Apart from the War Rooms, we also went to Windsor Castle

Saw some of the illuminations


Books I'm Reading Before Going to England

It is a truth almost universally acknowledged that the person planning a trip turns into a tyrant within twenty-four hours. Ok, perhaps tyrant is an overstatement, but I definitely went overboard with a twenty-six page (and counting!) itinerary. Part of the itinerary included reading recommendations and they are growing every single day. So far, the books I've read (that are not travel guides - I've probably gone through three so far) are:

A Curious Guide to London by Simon Leyland: This is not your ordinary travel guide. This book is basically a collection of London lore, organised by geography. If this wasn't a library book, I would bring it with me and open it as I try to rush my family around London (my mom's comment on the itinerary was "isn't there any time to relax?" The answer was "no, there is far too much to see")

Sorry! The English and their Manners by Henry Hitchings: This doesn't really help plan a trip but it was interesting to r…