Sunday, May 31, 2009

Revisiting & Reuniting

Last week when I dropped by at my publisher's place, he asked if I would be interested to read through a collection of short stories' drafts submitted by my co-author & comment on the logic, as well as language. Yeah, he beat me to it, so it looks like I would the last to publish my solo book, among the three of us. LOL!

I had to attend a dry 2-day course so I brought the drafts along. I actually finished reading & commenting on all his 20 stories in 2 days. I have to say that his type of stories are not in the local market yet. He had found his niche - surreal/fantasy element mixed with another element eg relationship, crime, etc. However, this batch is not as gripping and shocking as his previously published bunch. Nevertheless, I think they would appeal to a wider group of readers, and not upset so many people. LOL!

As for me, I am nearly done with my first drafts. I have 22 complete stories, these are enough & they meet the minimum number of words given by my publisher at 60,000. However, I would like to squeeze in at least 2 more because these are different ie Hide & Seek and The Kid.

Fate also had it that I reunited with a friend from boarding school whom I have not met in 20 years. He had a solo exhibition recently, his third. He paints as part of a therapy for his schizoprenic and bipolar disorder. Coincidentally, his favourite painting matches the title of one of my stories - Hide & Seek. I requested to use it for my book cover and he agreed. He wants royalty should I sell more than 100,000 copies though, LOL! Later on, my publisher advised me to go for a more abstract piece. I found a simple but yet distinct one using the 3 primary colours only. Mr Designer is working on the cover design right now. I can't wait to see it.

The story below is not part of the last 2, I am still not sure of it. I first started writing it around 2 years ago, during Raya holiday. Those who follow my blog would know who inspired it. I had a problem continuing it though. I only picked it up around 2 weeks ago and re-wrote it completely. The cotton castle of Pamukkale, Turkey had inspired the background of this fantasy world. Yeah, it had turned into something else. No more a simple alien-psychology story. I didn't plan for it to be a romance - fantasy/sci-fi - psychology piece, but it became that way, LOL! It may still not have the element of a romance, who knows, I still have a long way to go:)

A Liar's Brain - 2nd Cut

Today is the last day I am allowed to walk around on my own. Tomorrow, I will become someone’s wife. The realisation hits me, as much as I try to ignore it. Nervousness, fear, doubt and all sorts of feelings force its way into my mind.

“The stranger whom you will marry is due to arrive soon.” That’s what The Hat announced during the people’s assembly last week. The human has been identified from a foreign land and will be brought here to enrich our community. As curious as I am, I dare not question his decision. He has led our land for many centuries, he knows best.

I use a plastic basin to scoop the chalky mineral water and pour it onto my Hat. After repeating it a few times and ensure that I have covered my whole body, I lay in the deep and narrow calcium pot for a while. The top comes up to my shoulders. The snowy sand stretching for miles and miles away was breathtaking. Ivory mountains wave at me. The equally white trees dance around me. “Good morning,” I shout out to them and laugh when my voice echoes back at me.

I squeeze out some fragrant algae powder and shampoo my hair. I reach for another container and pour out some star fish powder. I use it to scrub my body. Several more scoops of chalky water and I am done. I climb out of the pot and sit on the sand, allowing the cool breeze to dry my body. I run the tortoise comb along my hair. Being early means that I have the whole bath to myself. And I love the calmness of the dawn, it is so quiet.

I wonder what my husband to be is like. I shall find out soon. The Hat had asked me to be at the People's Hall to welcome him when he gets here later.



arsaili said...

salam..akak sorang penulis?

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Hazia, wow! You a writer? Wayyyyy to go! Outstanding.
I have always admired someone like you, putting thoughts to paper.
Here's wishing you million sellers. Good luck.
Best regards, Lee.

Hezreen Abdul Rashid said...

very well written dear!

Hazia said...

Thanks all, for visiting. Yes, I'm a writer. Just started writing short fiction seriously more than 2 years ago:)