I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring (via zeldawilliams)

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Bandung for kids and mommy time

I really haven’t been back to Bandung since I was perhaps in my teens, so coming back now finding cool things about it is almost like a discovery (plus, many things actually weren’t there when I was a kid).

Once we are nicely settled in my cousin’s house, we decided to take things at ease. Daddy has to go back home to work, mommy stays in with the kids but mostly she lets the kids play with the cousins. Yay, free babysitter! Hahaha. My cousin’s kids are 11 and 12 and are wonderful babysitters :)

Anyway, one day we took the kids in an indoor and outdoor play area and just let them enjoy themselves. The next day, I took the morning off to see the old town.

Bandung old town is not as pretty as Jakarta old town, though definitely it is cleaner and better taken cared of.

Jl Braga is worth a closer look by foot. Most of the nice old restaurants and ice cream parlors once known by my parents’ generation are gone but several cute cafés still offered a nice break from the noisy street.

I’ll recommend Kopitiam Oey because they decorated their cafe in the old 30s style. If there isn’t a lot of cars passing by, you could easily imagine you’re back in time. They also served traditional food and beverages.

Afterwards, I tried checking out a new mall that just opened up at the end of the street. I like the idea of this mall as it is not too big nor tall so that it sort of blends in to the old town. Although once inside you’re still getting a shock of modernity (especially after Oey).

They did try hard to make sure the decor features an antique car with wallpapers of black and white pictures of the days gone by of the area. It’s quite fun to compare the shops you just passed by outside to the pictures of the same shops in their heyday.

Afterwards, I sneaked a couple of minutes to visit the famous Gedung Satay.

This is a snippet about it from wiki:
Gedung Sate is a neo-classical building mixed with native elements. Once the seat of the Dutch East Indies department of Transport, Public Works and Water Management, it now serves as the governor’s office of the West Java province in Indonesia. Located in Bandung, it was built in 1920 after a design by Dutch architect J. Gerber.

Its common name, Gedung sate, is a nickname that translates literally from Indonesian to ‘satay building’, which is a reference to the shape of the building’s central pinnacle - which resemble the shape of one of the Indonesian traditional dish called satay.

Please remember that this is a government building. Unfortunately, I forgot, and was kicked out (even from the gardens) for wearing shorts! Oops.

At night, I retrieve my kids and the whole family went to the famous trans studio. Trans studio is an indoor amusement park. While the concept sounds cool, I wasn’t sure my little two years old would enjoy it as much as her brother and the cousins. We ended up only dining in the mall (yes, the indoor amusement park is inside a mall!)

And that’s it. For now, that’s all that we actually do in Bandung. My friends are still screaming at me for not doing any of the wonderful outlet shopping, but I’ll definitely be back to do all of those soon!

(PS yes this is an outdated post but better late than never)

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Here’s an Otocolobus manulnature’s Grumpy Cat — discovering a camera trap outside it’s den. Camera traps are used by biologists to lean about rare animals’ behavior, abundance, and health — just by setting up a solar-powered camera with a motion trigger. No physical trapping necessary.

O. manul (also known as Pallas’s cat) is about the size of a house cat, but you’ll notice has round pupils instead of slits. It lives in western China and the steppes of Central Asia.

You’d think that Pallas’s cat would rule the internet by now - but there aren’t too many photos of them because they are both rare and shy. The IUCN lists them as near-threatened. Just another reason to support species conservation!

You can see the whole video — posted Scarce Worldwidehere.

My kind of cat! It’s surely going to one of my fantasy novel :)

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I’m currently trying to organize my lettering posters into neatly labeled folders and when I get to ‘Nerdfighteria’, let’s just say I am a little bit surprised/amused that it has already been this many.

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The program he uses to churn out thousands of pages of prose is WordStar 4.0, an ultra-minimal word processing application from the ’80s. Unlike some of today’s intentionally bare-bones writing applications, it is minimal due to technological constraints, not by design.
Not Mac. Just minimal. Also, what we believe in.

George R.R. Martin secret to fast writing is a DOS computer. Great. Now where’s book 6???

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We’re so proud to present the collected issues of Valentin Seiche’s (airfortress) WRECKED SHIP in our very first perfect bound book. It’s a beauty! 84 pages, riso-printed in two colors and the cover in four colors, all issues #1- #5. It will premiere at the Stockholm International Comic Festival (SiS) this weekend and next week it’ll be up for sale in our online store. 

Can’t wait to order a copy!

Looks beautiful!

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Penguin English Library

Cool covers that is right now asking me to buy more classical books… That I already owned…

(Source: penguinenglishlibrary.com)

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Logic in fantasy writing

Just a little note on how hard it is to make sense and keep logic intact when writing fantasy or scifi fiction.

I recently was asked to join my group of writer friends for an anthology of revamped Indonesian legends and folklore. It is a fun project and my first ever short story in Indonesian since secondary school (I was 15!)

First of all, my Indonesian grammar definitely needed some revisiting. I had to edit the script several times to get it right - and I certainly hope I’ve created something good enough to be published :)

The hardest part however, is trying yo create a plot that still makes sense even though my story is set in an alternate reality and included many steampunk elements. The antagonist’s motive, for example, could be questioned in so many ways. Why is he evil? Does he know what he’s doing is evil. It has to make sense why he’s doing what he’s doing to our protagonist.

Then there are all the questions of why the protagonist gets involved in this situation. Can she avoid it? Etc.

Which brings me to the second part of this post… Does anyone watch Once Upon A Time in Wonderland? The OUAT series and the comic Fables (plus many Japanese mangas) are the reason why we started our anthology project. The idea of rewriting childhood stories into something more exciting sounds both fun and challenging.

It’s just that after spending a month worrying about my plot hole, I rewarded myself by watching a four of the latest episodes of OUATiWonderland…

Instead of feeling rewarded I’m a bit annoyed. How can they getaway with so many plot holes?

Just two examples out of a lot… Spoiler ahead:

- Jabberwocky can read people’s fear and use it to scare them to death. She showed this power to Jaffar the first time they met and Jaffar almost choke to dead (remembering his drowning). Instead of taking away the only blade that can hurt her (while he’s dying), she let him go and ended up being enslaved to his will. Better yet, why didn’t she just kill him?

- Alice found Will’s heart before Jaffar does. She got Rabbit that can take her to any dimension. Instead of just hiding it in a galaxy far far away… she took it back to Wonderland where Jaffar simply waits for her to come back and take it. Huh??

These are very simple and not so important details in the main story but it bugs me. I have read some writing tips about making it ‘real’ and was always a bit unsure about this, since I always write scifi and fantasy. Now I really do get it.

Let’s just hope my piece in anthology will get published so I can write more about that world I created. I promise, there’ll be a certain logic implemented lovingly in each chapter! :)