Raving about makeup, skincare, hair and other little obsessions... A Beauty Blog

Friday, September 19, 2008

Brisbane Writers Festival

I got to go to the Brisbane's Writers Festival today!!! It was fun and great!! Well, to some of you, it might have been boring but for a die-hard writer like me...

Well, the fest is situated right next to Southbank, which is in the city. There was a group of us: 15 students & 2 teachers. We took the bus and got there in approximately half an hour's time. Anyway, when we got there, we were told we're allowed to choose three sessions out of six sessions that was running for the duration of our visit.

The first session that we attend was Libby Gleeson's. Here's a photo of her...

Pretty interesting lady, listening to her talk. Her talk was more enlightening than humorous... In fact, the session was kind of sombre. You'll see why...

Libby's latest novel... Here's a summary:
Mahtab and her family are forced to leave their home in Herat and journey secretly through the rocky mountains to Pakistan and from there to faraway Australia. Months go by, months of waiting, months of dread. Will they ever be reunited with their father, will they ever find a home?

This compelling novel by one of Australia's best-loved children's authors is based on the true story of one girl's voyage to Australia with her family.

She told us about her encounter with Afghanistan families, who she interviewed them and asked them if it was okay if she wrote a novel based on their story... I'll definitely be hunting for a copy of this novel at my local library. She read two sections of her novel aloud. The first one was thrilling, gripping and full of tension and suspense. The second one was enjoyable, funny but later on a bit sad...

Then, Lori's bf, Liam arrived. He's 18 and out of school. So he had to take the train there himself although he took the bus with us later when we headed back to school. Anyway, we had planned to attend Alice Kuipers's session together. Lori had insisted that she didn't have breakfast and that she was really hungry. So, Liam took her to Southbank to grab a bite. JR & I kinda promised them that we'd save them seats...

But it turned out... Alice was a hit... By the time JR & I made it back to the auditorium where the session was held, the auditorium was almost full and JR & I were lucky enough to have two seats together at the front row... Lori and Liam missed out... Oh well, at least they had the lunch that Lori wanted...

This is Alice Kuipers...

I know it's small but I opted for a colour photo instead of a big black and white one...

Anyway, she is my favourite author by far at the fest. Alice Kuipers was born and raised in London, England. She now lives in Saskatoon, Canada. Life on the Refrigerator Door is her first novel. www.harpercollins.com

Claire and her mother are running out of time, but they don't know it. Not yet. Claire is wrapped up with the difficulties of her bourgeoning adulthood—boys, school, friends, identity; Claire's mother, a single mom, is rushed off her feet both at work and at home. They rarely find themselves in the same room at the same time, and it often seems that the only thing they can count on are notes to each other on the refrigerator door. When home is threatened by a crisis, their relationship experiences a momentous change. Forced to reevaluate the delicate balance between their personal lives and their bond as mother and daughter, Claire and her mother find new love and devotion for one another deeper than anything they had ever imagined.

Heartfelt, touching, and unforgettable, Life on the Refrigerator Door is a glimpse into the lives of mothers and daughters everywhere. In this deeply touching novel told through a series of notes written from a loving mother and her devoted fifteen-year-old daughter, debut author Alice Kuipers deftly captures the impenetrable fabric that connects mothers and daughters throughout the world. Moving and rich with emotion, Life on the Refrigerator Door delivers universal lessons about love in a wonderfully simple and poignant narrative.

It was really entertaining to listen to Alice talk about the process of writing and her debut novel... In some ways, I can relate to her... And when she read a section of her novel as an opening to her session, it was just wonderful! Everyone had a good laugh! Her novel was good fun! Well, she read the nice bits... Apparently, this novel can make guys weep too!!

And guess what? I got her autograph!! *grins*

Well, I'll type it out for you just in case you want to read it:

To Dana,
Thanks for coming to the BWF! (Brisbane Writers Festival)
Good to see you at the session.
Keep writing, reading, enjoying literature...

Before she wrote the last sentence, she asked me if I write and I said yes. Then, she asked me what I write. I replied, fantasy, fiction and a bit of poetry. She said that I pretty much covered the whole lot.

If I had the time, I would have been able to stand there and talk to her more but I didn't. I was running late for the next session. Well, thankfully the author was caught in traffic and was late himself! JR & I thought that there weren't anymore seats and we were prepared to sit outside of the Marquee when I spotted Lori and Liam. Liam turned around, saw us waving at him and indicated that they saved us seats. We settled ourselves next to them. It was a while before John Marsden arrived.

This is John Marsden...

He has written over 40 novels... And last term, I had to read one of his book for English, Tomorrow, When The War Began. I admit that it wasn't my cup of tea and it was a bit boring for me but nevertheless, it was a good book. His latest book was an adaption of Shakespeare's Hamlet:A Novel...

As in... He translated the original Hamlet, which was in Elizabethan English, into modern English... Which makes it more interesting and easier to understand for teenagers who are studying Hamlet for English...

Hamlet, the Danish prince, is brooding in the wake of his father’s death. His mother barely waited for the king to go cold before marrying Hamlet’s uncle, Claudius, and their perfidious union is driving Hamlet mad. Not even the arresting Ophelia can console him. The new regime simmers until the ghost of Hamlet’s murdered father visits the young prince, calling on him to avenge his death. Then we watch the kingdom unravel. Marsden’s bold and playful novel beautifully captures the teasing innuendo, the restlessness and the maddening frustration of the classic tale.

Staying close to Shakespeare’s play, Marsden only detours to condense the plot in parts, make a playful nod to the Bard or delve further into these intriguing characters. We find Hamlet is his ever-hesitant self, but Ophelia is hungry for sexual discovery, and Horatio quite adores the beautiful young prince. Although we sometimes feel at risk of slipping into the modern day, Marsden breathes new life into the characters of this accessible read and will thus be forever loved by high-school students everywhere.

John Marsden is a funny, nice and interesting man. He's an English and Drama teacher and started teaching Maths three years ago. Now, he enjoys teaching Math so much that he's hoping to drop his English classes to teach more Math... His fans kept asking him if he'd continue to write even though he's switching to being a Math teacher... He said that he doesn't have the urge to write anymore but he says you never know...

The Brisbane's Writers Festival was a great experience for me. I picked up quite a few tips from Alice Kuipers and John Marsden. Not so much from Libby Gleeson, though. And JR bought Life on the Refrigerator Door for me. Well, I was short on ten dollars and I plan to return him the twenty-five dollars although he insisted it was a present and that he won't accept any money from me. As if! Watch me!

This is the Australian cover...

You guys really should read this book if you can get your hands on a copy... It's published in over 38 countries... Hopefully, Malaysia is one of the countries...

I am definitely going to Brisbane's Writers Festival 2009!!

A Hundred Questions

I've been tagged by Chris... Thus, being a good friend that's sporting and a bit bored... I'm gonna do it...

A) People who have been tagged must write their answers on their blogs.

B) Tag 8 people to do this quiz & those who are tagged cannot refuse. (SO WHAT IF I REFUSE?!?!) These people must state who they were tagged by & cannot tag the person whom they were tagged by.

C) Continue this game by sending it to other people.

I'm just doing this for fun... And I am NOT gonna torture anyone by tagging them...

01. What have you been doing recently?
Went to the Brisbane's Writers Festival, reading Angels & Demons...

02. Do you ever turn your cell phone off?

03. What happened at 10.00am today?
I was at the Writers Festival listening to Libby Gleeson talk...

04. When did you last cry?
Do I really have to tell you when?

05. Believe in fate/destiny?
Yea, I'd like to...

06. What do you want in your life right now?

07. Do you carry an umbrella when it rains, or just put up your hood?

08. What's your favourite thing to have on your bed?

09. What bottom are you wearing now?
Erm... Is this even a question?

10. What's the nicest text in your inbox say?
Marj: Naww i didnt knw that. Yepp =]were cool (Y) no were awesome lol.

11. Do you tend to make a relationship complicated?
Seriously? Who'd want to?

12. Are you wearing anything you borrowed from someone?

13. What was the last movie you caught?
Erm... I think it was Prince Caspian if you're talking abt the cinemas...

14. What are you proud of?
Erm... My achievements?

15. What does the oldest text message in your inbox say?
Refer to Question 10...

16. What was the last song you sang out loud?
Inseparable-Jonas Brothers

17.Do you have any nicknames?
Yea... I don't have to list 'em right?

18. What does your last received text message say?
Marj: Was jst gona txt practice now.
Why so KPC abt text messages?

19. What time did you go to bed last night?

20. Are you currently happy?
Hmm... Is this a trick question? Cuz I have two answers...

21. Who gives you best advice?
I think that award would got to Chris... No. I am serious...

22. Do you eat whipped cream straight from the can?
Yuck. No thanks.

23. Who did you talk on phone last night?
No one. Althought I wish I did talk to someone...

24. Is anything bugging you right now?
Erm, do 2 science write-ups and a science booklet due in two weeks time count?

25. What/who was the last thing/person to make you laugh?
Chris & Myra's latest blog entry...

26. Do you wear toe socks?
No. Who does?

27. Who was the last person you missed a call from?
Liam, Lori's bf, looking for JR & I at the Writers Fest.

28. Have you ever had your heart broken?
Er, yea...

29. What annoys you most in a person?
Rudeness, ignorance, lackadaisical attitude...

30. Do you have a crush on anyone?
Need I say it?

31. Have you ever done cocaine?
Do I look like a drug addict?

32. What is the colour of your room?

33. Would you kill someone you hate for a billion dollars?
Arguably possible... It all depends...

34. Do you believe in the saying of :talk is cheap?
What are you implying?

35. Who was the last person to lie in your bed?
My Edward Cullen... I wish... (I don't literally mean that Edward Cullen is mine... I mean something else...)

36. Who was the last person to hug you?
I think you have a pretty good idea who...

37. Did anyone see the last person you kissed?
I hope not!

38. Do you have a life?
As if I'd be here doing this dumb survey if I didn't have a life...

39. Have you ever think someone died, when they really didn't die?
I think so...

40. What is the reason behind your profile song?
Don't even have one...

41. Who was the last person you saw in your dream?
Hmm... I think it was... (Not gonna finish that sentence)

42. Last time you smiled?
Was I supposed to keep track?

43. Have you changed this year?
I honestly don't know... But I am crossing my fingers that I have changed for the better...

44. What are you listening right now?
What I Go To School For-Jonas Brothers

45. Are you talking to someone when you doing this?

46. Do you walk with your eyes open or closed?

47. Is there a quote you live by?
I live by too many quotes... Thx to Chris's "influence"...

48. Do you want someone you cannot have?

49. Have you ever played an instrument?
Piano (a bit) & Guitar (a tiny bit)

50. What was the worst idea you've had in this week?
It'd probably be killing someone...... Hey! It's just an idea...

51. What were you doing last night at 11.00pm?
Staying up attempting to create a master piece...

52. Are you happy with your love life right now?

53. What song best describe your love life?
Inseparable-Jonas Brothers

54. Does the person know that you like him/her?

55. Who always make you laugh?
My best friends and good friends...

56. Do you speak other language other than English?
Chinese, Bahasa Malaysia... dialect - Hokkien... maybe I can count Japanese as well...

57. favourite website(s)?

58. What's your middle name?
Tze... Don't even try to pronounce it! But it means knowledge/smart...

59. What are you doing tomorrow?

60. What do you think you are like?
Erm... Need I say it again? Hot-headed, impatient... bla bla bla... Get the picture yet?

61. Who will you choose to die with?
Uhm... My soulmate?

62. Where have you been today?
Southbank, where the Festival was held...

63. What game do you play often?

64. Who are you missing right now?

65. If you have to choose between friend n loves, who will you choose?
What kind of question is this? Wait don't tell me. A dumb one... Seriously, do you want me to be bias or what?

66. What are you doing right now?
WTH? What else?

67. Which primary school are you from?
SRJK(C)Hun Bin... You're not planning on digging up my old exam results, are you?

68. Name 3 colours that you like?
Purple, Green, Black...

69. What emotion you like to show?
I think I'd rather remain impassive... Of course, HAPPINESS! Sheesh...

70. What is your life to you?
Meaningless without the people who make it meaningful... Get my dirft? *sigh*

71. If you have something troubling you, what will you do?
Fume and rage inwardly... I'd scream out loud if I could...

72. Who did you last chat with in msn today?

73. Who do you admire most?
Edward Cullen...

74. Which month are you born in?

75. How are you feeling right now?

76. What is the time now?
It's time to get a watch...

77. What kind of person do u think the one who tagged u is?
Erm, a perfectionist...

78.What colour did you use to dye hair?
It was black, it is black and it will stay black. Didn't dye my hair, am not dyeing my hair and probably will not dye my hair in the near future...

79. Why are you doing this test?
Because Chris tagged me!!!

80. What do you do when you're moody?
Go really quiet and snap at who ever who pushes the worng button...

81. At which age you wish to get married?
Dunno... It really depends... I think before thirty but after twenty-five...

82.Who is more important to you? boyfriend or friends?

83. If today is the last day of your life, what will YOU DO?
Let me get back to you on that when you can actually tell me when the last day of my life will be...

84. Who is the person you trust the most?
Hm... Tough question... I think it'll have to be My best friends and JR...

85. Do you believe in seeing a rainbow after a rain?
Yea, I guess I do.

86. If you have a dream come true, what would it be?
ONE dream? I have heaps of dreams... And I want all of them to come true...

87. What is your goal for this year?
Erm, to publish a novel? But kinda unlikely now... Will never be able to meet the deadline...

88. Do you believe in eternity love?
I'd love to...

89. What feeling do you love most?
Love? Satisfaction? Joy?

90. Do you really think its Global Warming now?

91.What feeling you hate the most?
Jealousy. Hatred. Anger. Sadness.

92. Do you cherish every single friendship of yours?
Yea, as long as it's genuine.

93. Do you believe in God?

94. Who cares for you most?
Erm, althought it doesn't seem like it to me, I think it'd be my parents.
But definitely my grandma too.
And JR.

95. What do you think is the most important thing in your life?

96. What will you bring when you fight?
I'll definitely bring it on...

97. What have you done regretted doing in your whole life?
Making the wrong decisions...

98. What would you feel if no one no longer cares for you?
Hm, that's hypothetically impossible. Thus, I am not answering this question...

99. What if your boyfriend/girlfriend two-timed you?
Huh! We'll see what happens...

Ridiculous... Why did I even bother with this survey?! This must be the worst survey that I've ever done!

I apologise if this was boring, inappropriate and ludicrous for you to read... Not my fault...
Friday, September 12, 2008

National Tree Day Poem Competition

I entered a National Tree Day Poem Competition in July. Yes, all you have to do is stare at trees and be inspired. Technically, I didn't stare at trees when I wrote my poem. I was imagining them. Sitting at my study table with nothing but a patch of blue sky, a part of a house and a wooden fence to gaze at out of my window, I began writing my poem...

Please, Grow, Live and Be Free

Please, great oak tree,
I wish you could live, grow and be free;
I know how cruel this world can be;
Amputating parts of your body with menacing tools;
Carelessly transforming them into tables, books and stools.

Please, great mahogany tree,
The world would be lifeless without you, literally.
The world would suffer with you, excruciatingly.
The world would fall without your support, horribly.
The world would cease to exist without you, unfortunately.

Please, great eucalyptus tree,
May the most mellifluous voice sing for you.
May the most glorious sunshine shine upon you.
May ample amount of water quench you.
May you grow, live and be free.

By Dana P.

Guess what? I won something! I just received the prize and cert yesterday. Yeah, go ahead and laugh. This poem wasn't all that good. But the cert says: Highly Commended Awarded to ...(Insert my name)... for her outstanding poem.

I was actually surprised that I even got a cert. I mean, seriously, when you read that poem, did you think it was good? I didn't think it was that good at all... Anyway, I was freaking out when they called out my name during assembly. The person pronounced my name as "Da-na Fang". Go figure. Lori, who was sitting beside me was like: "Dana! That's you! Go!" I was like: "What?" and I got up. It was scary on stage. All eyes were on you. It was a good thing Lori's best friend Zoe got a cert as well, so she was standing next to me. The top three winners were three kiddos younger than me. I wasn't insulted. I simply admire their capability... Anyway, I guess this whole thing was an encouragement 'cause I haven't been feeling confident about my writing...