Blindness has always been a great fear of mine. So much in my life depends on my eye sight that I feel I would be completely lost without it – writing, reading, translating, chatting with my fiancé over IM, staying in touch with my overseas friends, even watching TV and going to the movies… or just simply going about my normal life unassisted. I know these might sound like mundane things in the grand scheme of things, and I know there are probably alternatives, but these mundane things are an essential to me, and losing any of them would send me spiraling down a bottomless pit of depression.
Before I say anything else… no, don’t worry – I’m not going blind. However, during this past week, I’ve been forced to live like a blind person for a couple of days. It wasn’t some sort of dare or social experiment… but rather a result of my severe clumsiness syndrome; basically, I accidentally scratched my cornea with a pen.
Yes, it is as painful as it sounds. Continue reading
Last year I said something about the need for birthdays to be official holidays. I would like to amend that statement a bit, because my wish was granted – or rather, twisted a bit – this year. Rather than be a holiday of its own, my birthday fell on an actual (lunar) holiday, and that was a bit annoying. It’s kinda like having a birthday on Christmas; everybody’s so busy with everything they don’t have time for the birthday boy or girl, and that’s sad-making. So… bottom line; birthdays should be official holidays, AND should not fall on official holidays. There has to be some law regarding that.
From the above and other miscellaneous things that happened, you might’ve guessed that my actual birthday wasn’t so good, so I decided to have a birthday week instead. Yep, you heard me – I spent the entire week doing things in the name of my birthday! You will notice an underlying theme in the pictures below. Click for captions!
I think this is a good birthday haul. I’ve read snippets from the bottom book – they are hilarious! I’ll be sure to share some day. =D
A chocolate cake coated with thick chocolate sauce, baked by the mother unit!
An Oreo cheesecake! Devoured during a gift exchange with my friend whose birthday is a few days after mine.
A trip to Cinnabon resulted in an Oreo Chillata, a red velvet cupcake, a dulce de leche cupcake and a sugar high!
A double chocolate cupcake and a vanilla milkshake, courtesy of the library where I sat and worked a bit on characters from the game.
Chocolate bars I received from my co-workers. They know me well. ;)
This is Barry from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. He is the cutest strawberry ever, and the movie was just too adorable. I really recommend it!
I cannot resist a new chocolate bar when I see it. This was very delicious. =D
I feel like I need to apologize again for being so MIA these past couple of months. Every time I try to be active again I end up getting caught in something else. During the last two weeks I’ve had to design more than 20 characters and come up with five storylines, and I cannot begin to tell you how tiring that has been. Even moreso when I developed Writer’s Block – a very inopportune time! I promise to get back into the swing of things soon. I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do. =[
That said, how have you all been? How was your weekend?
My default modes during the last couple of week have ranged between excited, stressed, busy and just plain out frazzled. I’ve also gone through short bouts of total confusion, but those generally tend to come up after I’ve fallen victim to that evil, unproductive thing known as sleep.
Mostly, however, I have been excited. It bears repeating, but I am really excited that I will finally be able to reveal the video game I’ve been working on next week. So many things have happened already, and every time a character of mine transforms into lines and colours instead of mere images in my head, my excitement levels rise to dangerous levels. There’s also the fact that I am finally replacing my four-year-old laptop with a cool new laptop in the next few days. Continue reading
One of the perks of being a game writer is that I actually look forward to going to the office in the morning, as compared to my old job where I practically had to forcibly roll myself out of bed. It feels more like a fun activity than an actual job, which I really like; I don’t feel stifled or suffocated by the tasks assigned to me, and I’m having so much fun writing up characters and histories and story lines. Plus, for the first time ever, I was finally able to see one of my characters brought to life by the hand of an artist – I cannot tell you how loudly I squealed when I received the first sketches, haha.
However, the one downside is now I find myself behind on quite a few things, including reading, social media, blogging, writing and editing. I actually deactivated my Facebook because it was proving such a huge distraction, and I all but completely forgot about my Twitter. It’s been ages since I sat before my reader and checked out the posts on my feed (and I feel so guilty about that and promise I will try my best to catch up!). Any writing goes to the game instead of my actual novels, and the editing of The Muse Bunny is currently on hold.
I actually don’t remember the last time I was this busy, and yet at the same time I don’t mind because it’s the kind of busy that is fun and productive and involves really friendly people who I enjoy working with. Pretty soon I will able to reveal more about the game; I’m actually excited to let you all in on the details! =D I’m just so proud of how it’s all coming along so nicely.
So… basically this is a post to let you know that I’m alive and haven’t forgotten about this blog or the blogs I follow. Hopefully I can work out some sort of schedule eventually that allows me to juggle everything without any trouble. That said… how are you all doing? Have you been caught up in any projects of your own too? =]
When it comes to celebrating, I tend to go for chocolate and all kinds of different desserts. The most important thing to me is stuffing myself full of sugar in order to perfectly savour my celebratory moment. However, I realised I’d been overlooking one very important treat – ice cream.
I have had reason to celebrate recently. Some of you have seen me complain about work, and the past few weeks have been so rough and stressful, and I’ve fallen behind on everything from reading to blogging… but all that should change very soon. I’m happy to report that today I signed a contract for a brand new (and very fantastic) job as a game writer. Squee. Instead of spending eight hours a day slaving over laws and legal documents, I now get to write a story, complete with dialogue, character backgrounds, etc. and get paid for it. How cool is that?
Doesn’t look as attractive as described, but you’ll just have to trust me on this. I know my ice cream.
To celebrate this joyous event, I went and treated myself to four scoops of ice cream – dark chocolate, caramel wafer, crème caramel and tiramisu – topped with caramel sauce and chocolate chips. It was all so delicious and nice to have on such a hot day, and I was simply in heaven. However, it was incredibly sweet. Next time I’m going for fruity flavours!
Okay, okay, I’ll come clean – I’m not here to talk about ice cream; I’m merely using that as a thin disguise to tell you about my job. I was never good at being subtle, but I’m just so happy and excited right now!
Do you celebrate with ice cream or cake? Or something else altogether? Have you ever worked as a game writer before? What was the experience like?
I met the love of my life online over a mutual chocolate obsession.
It wasn’t love at sight of each other’s pixels kind of thing; rather, it was a friendship that grew into something more. When I met him, I thought I had found a new best friend; I had no idea we would get to where we are now. This wasn’t your typical boy-meet-girl… unless your idea of a typical boy-meet-girl starts out with a quote from Mary Poppins and a discussion on jelly-infused doughnuts.
We were friends for seven months before we finally got together, and come December we’ll have been a couple for four years. We have not seen each other in person, not even once, due to the 7470.5 miles between us. Our relationship hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows, we have arguments, and sometimes these are made worse by distance and the inability to communicate tones and expressions properly over instant messaging, but we persevered. There are times when we’re both so mad at each other to the point where we can’t talk, but we eventually break our silence. We’re still in love. Continue reading
I don’t know about you, but when life stresses me out – and it has been doing that a lot lately – I find the best way to unwind is by spending a little money on things that make me happy. Well, all right, I’ll come clean; I spent more than a little, but today’s retail therapy did wonders to me. Wonders I tell you. With the overwhelming amount of work at the office, my recent escapade of paranoia, and my still-persistent headaches, it was nice to go out and have fun… and celebrate my recent Freshly Pressed status (I may sound all casual about it now but I was squealing my head off when I found out!).
So yes, retail therapy! What is it without sweets? If you’re on a diet the following pictures may be bad for you. I should know. I’m on a diet. But I do not regret what I ate! No, every single dish was completely worth it. I took my sister with me and between the two of us we shared three desserts, the first being a delectable (and extremely rich) Nutella pie.
I have never eaten so much Nutella in one sitting!
That’s my official name on paper, the name I sign my credit card purchases with, the name I give when somebody wants to list me down for something; however, I go by a different name among my inner circles – Zen. In a way it feels like having a double identity. Formally I’m Zeinab, a quiet, reserved girl who never toes the line and stays behind her books. Informally I’m Zen, a clumsy dork who enjoys childish things and eats more chocolate than is healthy.
My parents gave me the first name that occurred to them. Maybe if they had slept on it instead of naming me within the hour of my birth, they would’ve realized I’m not much of a Zeinab. It’s not that I dislike it, but I’m just not sure if it suits me. To be honest, I don’t even know what other name I would’ve chosen for myself instead, but I would’ve definitely preferred something less common. It’s a bit discomfiting when one out of 10-20 girls bears my name… at least where I live. If you stand on a crowded street and call that name, you will be sure to turn the heads of a considerable number of girls.
What does it mean? Zeinab is an Arabic name that stands for “Daddy’s precious jewel” or “a fragrant plant”, though my parents didn’t choose it for its meaning – even though dad did spoil me a lot and mum did make sure I always smelled nice - but rather because it’s the name of an important historical character. It’s been also said that Zeinabs are associated with chubby, rosy cheeks, so I guess that part hits the mark, haha. How do you pronounce it? Zay-nab. Incidentally, my new “identity” came about because my little cousin found it difficult to pronounce it and took to calling me “Zen”. I didn’t mind it; in fact, I felt more at home with it. My friends thought it was cool, and the name stuck and expanded to include variations like Zenny and ZenZen. Some people called me ZeeZee Za Zombie (and still do)… but that’s a story for another time.
That’s just wrong on so many levels. Pizza is the kind of sustenance that you need to get right. You just can’t give the client something they didn’t order and expect them to go along with it! I was craving pizza today, and even though I have some ready-made pizza dough at home that I could’ve layered with some toppings and stuck in the oven, there’s something “special” about ordering a pizza and having it delivered to your home steaming and ready for eating.
I went with an extra cheesy Margherita and waited
impatiently until it arrived. When the delivery boy, I snatched it a little too eagerly out of his hands, paid him and sent him off on his way. It was just me and my pizza! I got a tall glass of Pepsi and opened the box, only to be met with disappointment.
What was supposed to be a large Margherita ended up being a vegetarian pizza that looked anything but large. The next few moments were spent in contemplation. I could:
a) call the pizza place and demand a new pizza.
b) call the pizza place, demand a refund and make my own pizza.
c) just settle for my vegetarian pizza. Continue reading