Friday, September 28, 2007

Writing Togo

I like reading. A lot.

Way back then, I liked to write too. Somehow I ended up writing codes instead, and that love for writing got lost somewhere.

Now the itch is back.

I've been reading some books about words, about people who write, about living the writing life, and the prospect of writing suddenly seemed so interesting again. [What books? Floozy Little Black Dresses! Lost in Words by Lorelei Mathias and Memoirs are made of This by Swan Adamson. Also Marisha Pessl's Special Topics of Calamity Physics - this beautifully composed book can inspire just about anything.]

I'm going to try writing again. The easiest way to write and be published is - do it yourself with a blog! Haha. The easiest things to write about - those dear to your heart.

So I've started a little project on that little tyrant I'm keeping. The site might be liberally strewn with photos but I'm hoping to pen some stuff to brush up on my writing. And one fine day make a book out of it and be a bestseller and make millions (like John Grogan, author of Marley & Me). Ha, dreams.

Some things I've written:
Howling Togo

Do visit Togo the Tyrant's site at

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes

Here's a book with a very attractive title.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Calamity Physics, Ended

Finally! Finished! All 669 wonderful pages of it!

I begun reading this around Juy 24th, see this post. It's been a long read partly because it's very thick (duh), but mostly because it's so beautifully written I keep re-reading sentences and passages.

The words are so beautifully composed, some strains of it made me want to weep with joy. (Think I'm exaggerating? Read it and let me know ;)

This is one of the few books I felt sad to finish reading. I wish there were more of it. Boo hoo.

Marisha Pessl’s Special Topics in Calamity Physics - highly recommended.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Recent Library Additions

Recent additions to my library (and my to-be-read list!)

Gifts from my brother - 2 Little Black Dress books
Pick Me Up by Zoe Rice
I Take This Man by Valerie Frankel

Gifts from Mr.Gila's parents - 2 Amy Tans
Saving Fish From Drowning
The Bonesetter's Daughter

Both gifts were not gift-wrapped, since there's no surprises what the gifts were. Both parties called me up beforehand to check if I already had the titles before buying. Haha.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Book Availibility at MPH

Did you know..

... that you can check for book availability in MPH stores by contacting them at 03- 2938 3818 or 03- 7726 9003, or via email at .

They're very helpful. Good way to check which stores carry the specific title you're looking for. With zillions of stores in the Klang Valley, this certainly helps.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Browse a HarperCollins

Coolness. HarperCollins let's you put their book on your site. Your readers can then browse the book for a peek inside.

A simple copy & paste is all that it takes. Here's an example, this book caught my eye from their 'Most Viewed' list.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


My most recent purchase is this book from MPH Subang Parade.
New Complete Dog Training Manual by Dr Bruce Fogle.

There were many available books on dog training, but I chose this because it has less words and more pictures. I like that the training steps are explained in step-by-step pictures.

Time to try on the little tyrant! Let's try with "Sit"




"Sit" Yippie!!

Now if only I can teach him to understand "Don't bite"
(And "Don't $#@% bite")

Monday, September 17, 2007

Writing - A Quote

This quote tickled me.

Writing books is the closest men ever come to childbearing. Norman Mailer (b. 1923), U.S. author

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Towards 100 Books : 71 !

I've upped my book count with another four tomes, thanks to reading with dog. Yippie.

1) King Solomon's Mines H. Rider Haggard
2) The Accidental Tourist Anne Tyler
3) A Nyonya in Texas Lee Su Kim
4) Lost For Words Lorelei Mathias

p/s - oho. Special Topics in Calamity Physics is still in progress.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Lost For Words

I like the drawing on this cover. Reading, surrounded by books, on a gently swaying swing under a shady tree... bliss.

Cover from Lorelei Mathias' Lost For Words. [ a LittleBlackDress book]

Thursday, September 13, 2007


I want to start writing again. Let's start with something simple.
Oh, no. It's that unfortunate time of the year where we mixed-breeds of discoloured features have a hard time eating in public.
Ho. And there. I've just begun writing again.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Making of Penguin Great Loves

This is the interesting story behind the simple covers of Penguin's Great Loves editions.

David Pearson, Penguin Press Designer explains his design methods for creating the covers of the Great Loves series:

'As with the previous Great Ideas, this series makes use of a seriously-reduced palette to ensure a recognisable, coherent look across all 20 titles.

Design for books on this subject can often appear cliché-ridden and hackneyed so we decided on a more abstract, symbolic approach, using botany as the chief source of inspiration.

I wanted the images to be as evocative as possible so I considered more traditional printing methods such as screen printing or lino cutting. However, the time and budget constraints were such that this wasn’t a realistic option so I began to look for ways to create similar effects at a reduced cost.

The most successful experiment by far consisted of the generation of flat artwork (Pic 01)...

...which could then be made into rubber stamps (Pic 02).

Stamping the images added layers of texture, creating a much more tactile appearance and one more befitting this subject (Pics 03 and 04).

Once the artwork had been stamped, it went back into a layout programme (Pic 05)...

Click on the link to view Pic 05 pdf. that it could be easily assembled into a print-ready graphic (Pic 06).

As with any series, the main challenge was keeping the ideas looking fresh across a range of titles (and not slipping too far into chocolate-box territory). I think I have Sigmund Freud to thank for this!'

Monday, September 10, 2007

Penguin Great Loves

Simple yet so beautiful - covers from Penguin's Great Loves editions.
More here.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

proxemics, haptics, oculesics, kinesics, olfactics

Excerpt from Lee Su Kim's A Nyonya in Texas

"Our sense of proxemics, the non-verbals we employ, our haptics, oculesics, kinesics and olfactics are culture-bound, internalised by us as the result of the cultures we grew up in."

What a mouthful!! Here's the meanings of those big big words.

- Sociology, Psychology. the study of the spatial requirements of humans and animals and the effects of population density on behavior, communication, and social interaction.
- Linguistics. the study of the symbolic and communicative role in a culture of spatial arrangements and variations in distance, as in how far apart individuals engaged in conversation stand depending on the degree of intimacy between the

- the branch of psychology that investigates cutaneous sense data.

- the use of the eyes in a communication setting. Whereas in most Western cultures, the use of direct eye contact symbolises listening and attention, direct eye contact is seen as unfavourable by, for example, various Asian cultures.

the study of body movements, gestures, facial expressions, etc., as a means of communication.

- is the sense of smell driven by the detection of volatile or, in the case of the accessory olfactory system, fluid-phase chemicals. The chemicals themselves, generally at very low concentrations, are called odors.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Reading with dog

I haven't been blogging much, cos this little tyrant has invaded my life and is keeping me away from the computer.

But not the books, I find myself spending more time reading in the early mornings and late evenings, as we spend his play-time in the garden.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

... global case of

Excerpt from Anne Tyler's The Accidental Tourist

"She was obviously intelligent, but she counteracted that with the most global case of superstition that Macon had ever witnessed."

Such a beautifully constructed sentence.

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