My Love For Weird Fiction


For some reason, I feel like I am going to make a confession, and a sinful one at that.

After being aspersed for most of my life for being ‘strange’, ‘abnormal’ and ‘eccentric’, it’s hard to de-wire the internalization that being weird isn’t a bad thing.

So. Here is my sin. I adore weird fiction.

Like, the psychedelic kind.

Surreal imagery. Grotesque descriptions. Outlandish, creepy concepts.

Animals turned inside out, suspended in amniotic fluid basins. Flowers that chew the fingers off children. People that weather and disintegrate into hollow skeletons by the end of the merry ground ride. Bugs that slither tongues into mouths and feed off dreams. A mother with button eyes. Dolls that come to life, bloom to full-size, and traverse the floorboards at night, enormous woolen heads nodding, knitted mouths hungry.

My favorite book as a child was Alice in Wonderland.

My favorite writers are Ray Bradbury, Neil Gaiman, Edgar Allen Poe, Paul Jennings, John Collier, China Melville, H.P Lovecraft and Roald Dahl, all of whom are a dab hand at penning bizarre, off-beat tales.  

I find the odd, alien and peculiar absolutely fascinating. Perhaps it’s because I’m odd myself. Or maybe reality is too normal for me, so I seek the abnormality I crave in other, more fantastical realms. I don’t see, and this is just my opinion, the point of writing stories which involve real life, with real people, with no touch of fantasy. Hasn’t reality got enough of that? Instead, my imagination only likes to twist and distort and venture out into strange territory. Let the shoes of inspiration take me where they may.

So what’s the big deal? It’s hardly immoral, right? I used to spout off freakish ideas that sprouted in my mind like gloriously fetid blooms of dream-fungus in the middle of conversations, simply because it struck my fancy and sometimes the ideas were to strange and wonderful to be savored alone. To my horror, I received pointed looks, even reactions of disgust.

It may sound trivial, but as a painfully sensitive and introverted person, further social rejection in response to an aspect of my being was torture.

So. Here’s my confession. I’m an avid reader, love and writer of weird fiction. I’m not twisted or sick. I’m just an average person with an above-average imagination. And I’m going to see where it leads me, whether people in my life accept my eccentricity or not.

What about you? I’d love to hear from anyone who is also a fan of weird fiction. Or have any of you harbored a secret love for something which was unconventional and therefore shunned for it?


People Don’t Appreciate You. And That’s Okay.


We dreamers have a lot to give to the world.

After all, so many of history’s painters, writers, dancers, leaders, scientists and inventors have been idealistic. Not trying to toot my own horn and proclaim that only idealists are talented: one, that’s not true, and two, it’s usually not talent that matters the most, but persistence. And what fuels drive? A vision. A dream. An ideal.

But despite the enormous barge of gifts that the shimmery minds of humanity have bestowed, often crossing turbulent fords along the way, many weren’t appreciated in their lifetime.

Have you noticed this? Scientists that died without their theories accepted, painters buried before their artworks were acknowledged. Writers, like Edgar Allen Poe, whose works only rose in fame after he had been tossed into the grave, or Emily Dickinson, who had trouble getting poems published and whose oeuvre, reams and reams of poetry, were only discovered after her beautiful spirit whistled out of her body.

Can you imagine the loathsome, crushing defeat, to not have your genius recognized by your contemporaries, knowing that you have something wonderful to offer but not being given the opportunity to give it, or being rejected? That’s a kind of bitterness that no other experience can parallel. Though I don’t believe in life after death personally, sometimes, I wish it did exist just so those unappreciated souls could be acknowledged, praised. I’d love to shove a published volume of Emily’s poems in her ghostly hands and see the joy in her face or grab Edgar by his thin, inchoate shoulders and say to him, my voice wild, that you made it, you’re famous, you’re a genius, do you see, do you see? Your mind was beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

It makes my heart hurt just to think about it.

This got me thinking about the unappreciated in our generation. In this age. Now.

All the introverted, sensitive, lovely, talented dreamers scattered over the globe, with flowers blooming in their hearts and nightingales singing from nerve-synapse branches inside their brains. Though we’re not all devastatingly talented as Emily Dickinson or Edgar Allen Poe, and perhaps there are many talented people who have simply faded into the wash of time without ever receiving recognition (Oh, the suffering!), we have lots to offer. Lots to give.

As much as I disparage myself and my own talents, as much as I hate my own writing and scorn my own meager abilities, I still think I have something to offer, no matter how small or poor. We all want to put our own special, handcrafted gifts underneath the Christmas Tree of Humanity, to be opened and enjoyed by posterity for as long as people exist.

But we’re not heard, are we?

When I think of society, I see a raucous party, a clashing, banging march, a psychedelic celebration of artificial color and synthetic smells, everything bright, metallic, cold, dead, everything beautiful in a horrible way, a phantasmagoria of shiny lips and shiny teeth and shiny eyes, laughing, cheering, giggling, on and on, senselessly, like a bunch of chattering sugar skulls, winking in the light, disgustingly saccharine.  

We don’t belong in it. Sure, we can pretend to belong. We can polish our eyes and teeth, stretch the face muscles in a plasticine resemblance of happiness. But that’s not real and it makes us feel awful. And because we don’t belong, we’re often not heard by the people in it. People like people who are like them, so they don’t want to hear our quiet, solemn little voices speaking pearls of truth, they don’t know how to hear or they can’t.

I remember sitting in class as a student in high school, putting up my hand, trying to add my own touch of wonder to the classroom discussion even though it was terrifying for me, and then being ignored by the energetic teacher or having my voices drowned out by my vivacious, extroverted contemporaries. I tried to hard to express who I was, to tie a ribbon of my own to the gift, but I was drowned out, the present snatched from my hands, the festive tree felled to the ground, left in the cold snow.  

I wanted people to see me, but they wouldn’t, couldn’t. It wasn’t just in school – it was at work, at home, at family gatherings, with friends. I tried so hard. I even tried pretending to be an extrovert, putting on a cloak of authority and confidence while my bones shivered underneath my skin, trying so hard to say, here I am, this is me, these are my thoughts, these are my works, these are my ideas, can I be listened to, acknowledged? Just because I don’t have the gift of the gab doesn’t mean my inputs are worthless. Just because I’m not charismatic, it doesn’t mean I don’t have something worth listening to.

It was like talking to a wall. No. A wall that had transformed into the dark void of space, glittering with faraway stars, an emptiness took away the sound of my voice before it left my lips.

It hurt me. Because I’m human just like you. I yearn to be acknowledged, appreciated, listened to. I know I have things worth sharing. And though they’re pitiful compared to the gifts of distinguished creators of art, it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be appreciated.

I’m here to tell you that you don’t need people to appreciate you.

All you need to do is appreciate yourself. It’s the only way. You know your own worth. Be objective about it. You know you have these wonderful thoughts that bubble like champagne in your mind which no-one has heard, appreciated or listened to. You know your work, your efforts, mean something. Whether you are introverted, sensitive and idealistic or not, you have a voice.

But you don’t need others to applaud that voice. It’s so hard, I know. Sometimes, we don’t feel like real people unless other people tell us we are. As much as we try to dismiss it, our worth is often based on the opinions of others. But it can’t go on like this, because it just makes existence miserable, shouting into that void again and again until your throat is hoarse, with the stars only floating towards you and coalescing in glittery appreciation after you’ve stopped screaming, or maybe never at all.

Instead, just be happy in creating your gifts. Tying and snipping the shiny ribbon. Selecting the perfect wrapping. Rejoice in the joy of the experience, no matter what you are giving to the world, art, hope, monetary donations, dreams, aid.

Place it under the tree. Then walk away. And leave with a smile, because you gave, and the creation of the gift made you happy, the giving made you happy, and maybe one day it will make others happy, and that’s all that matters.

How To Break The Magic


Reality sucks, right? I know. I feel you.

It’s why books, movies and television shows are so popular. You know the old deal. Escapism. And escapism is good in small doses. But sometimes, we can get lost in the wonder of a fictional world. We’re not just lured in by the perfect people in stories with their perfect problems. We like to see suffering, we like to be scared, so that we can feel a tad better about our own often excruciatingly imperfect lives with problems that can’t be solved with a kiss or a lucky save or final showdown.

I’ve fallen down the hole of fiction many times. I’m a huge fan of imagination. I feed on stardust and magic and fantasy. It rejuvenates me, gives me a reason to live in this world.

Thing is, though I don’t feel too guilty about reading books as a form of escapism, because any kind of reading is good, every time I watch a movie or television show, I feel like a child sticking her hand into a jar of forbidden treats, knowing I might get caught and the sweets will make me sick but doing it anyway.

I feel guilty. I feel like I’m wasting my life, the seconds, minutes and hours swirling down the drain of my limited existence. And yet, sometimes, I can’t stop.

You know what I mean.

You come home, tired of reality and the daily drudgery of existence. You want to forget you are you, you want to forget your problems, even if momentarily. Of course, you don’t want to drink yourself into oblivion – that would be reckless. So. You sit down before your television or computer screen. And you watch. You watch, knowing that work is piling up, that you should be doing other things, knowing you should be working towards your dreams, working towards making life better, solving your problems in the real world.

But you don’t want to face it, damn it. You just want to wallow in the beauty of what is on the screen, cry, laugh, let your heart crack open and unleash forth a brief glimmer of joy through a slit that reality normally stitches tight.

But the difficulty of life isn’t the only reason we want to escape. It’s also because we’re bored. Reality is boring as hell. Though we want to solve our problems, we want the solutions to come in a big bang and trumpet of fanfare. We don’t want to talk over relationship issues with our spouse in a silent kitchen sitting opposite each other – we want him or her to clasp us in their arms and profess their love to the sky. We want it to be dramatic, interesting, for the blood to pump in our veins, to live our lives vivaciously.

But most of our lives revolve around work and school, with the occasional holiday and break. It’s painfully dull.

So. Life is hard and boring. Talk about a double whammy. It’s no wonder we want to escape. Reality pumps us full of toxins that only fiction can cleanse us of.

But you’ve got to cling on.

I know. I know. I know. It sucks. It sucks, sucks, sucks.

But don’t let yourself became a slave to fiction. Don’t become an addict dependent on your daily shot of soap operas and Nicolas Sparks novels. It’s easy to, especially if you’re a dreamer or idealistic –  escapism runs in your blood. Heck, your own imagination is a portable form of escapism.

Here’s one of the best ways I broke the magic of television shows and movies. It might not work for you, but it did wonders in helping me break free.

Watch videos of the making of the films. Watch the behind-the-scenes footage. It’s like seeing the hands at a puppet show, knowing how a magician did a trick. It loses all of its magic once you realize it was planned, constructed, not real, not real.

What I’m saying is, you can watch your shows. Read your books. But don’t overdose. Force yourself to walk away after the fifth episode. Turn off the computer. Force yourself to turn away from the screen and do something else.

Spend your time wisely. You have less of it than you think. It’s so little – you can’t imagine how little time you truly have in the full scheme of things. Chase your dreams. Work hard. Procrastinate, have fun, waste time here and there, but bounce back. Always bounce back. Step away. Learn to control yourself.

Break the magic and cultivate your own brand of magic in the real world.

Why Do We Want Romantic Love?


Romantic love permeates every pore of our society.

Almost every movie has a romantic element. Every single song under the planet seems to be about love.

It’s pretty universal. And as a species, we’re pretty obsessed with it.

This got me thinking about the reasons we crave romantic love so desperately.

Maybe it’s because we’ve been brainwashed by the true love stories in movies and books. It’s a fantasy cooked up and served to us by Hollywood and now we’re all addicts.

Maybe it’s just biology, a deep-rooted desire ingrained in our DNA for the purpose of procreation.

Maybe we’re all just lonely, in some dark recess of our hearts, and want more human company and love in general, and we direct all this emptiness towards a desire for a significant other.

Maybe we feel like life is meaningless and love would plug up the hole of existence with sparkles and butterflies.

Maybe we want a partner just to feel good about ourselves. To validate our own being, stroke our own egos. Look, I am attractive enough to have someone love me! Or to have someone there to invariably support us and believe in us, when life has shaken our very souls and laughed us to the ground.  

Maybe we just want to be understood and believe that our true love will be the one glorious human being who will truly know us.

Maybe we think romantic love will make us happy. Love is a drug, right? It can make our lives deliriously blissful. At least temporarily.

I think that we want romantic love for a combination of these reasons. Maybe an amalgamation of them all. Maybe life and love are forever entwined in a romance of their own, like two snakes that occasionally stop spitting venom and flash their emerald scales and dazzle us, hypnotize us, leave us wanting more. The perfect chicanery.

Maybe there’s no reason. Maybe it just is, the same way we exist simply because we do. There’s no reason, no up, down, left or right. It’s an uncharted dimension and we just have to explore it without ever knowing where we are or why we are there.

Or maybe I want romantic love because I just want a shoulder to cry on. A pair of eyes to stare tearfully into that reflects our own misery. A hand to hold. A warm body to hug when a cat won’t suffice. Someone who can hold me tight and tell me that everything is going to be okay even when it’s a lie, even when they know themselves that life is never just okay, but not bad or good either, just changing, just life. Maybe I’m searching for a home for my heart, body and soul. A place where I can feel safe and peaceful. A place where someone will stroke my head and sing me to sleep after my parents no longer have the special touch, no longer have hands big enough to hold up the moon and stars.




Too Impractical

Dreamers have their heads up in the clouds, right?

But we all have to come back to earth sometimes.

Some dreamers simply sigh and float back down to suffer the drudgery of everyday existence, eyes lifted to the heavens, waiting for their next moment of escape.

For others, it takes a good deal of tugging and screaming, as if their necks are clamped in the bivalves of a cirrus cloud, and even then, a clean break can’t be guaranteed. Those dreamers might still have disturbing wisps of pearly candy floss twirling round the rim of their skulls like cartoon, chirrupy birds as they clomp about on land.

As you can probably tell by now, I fall squarely into the second category. Sometimes, it feels like, instead of a wrinkled-walnut brain, the cavern of my skull is stuffed full of cloud puffs, my own tiny, portable heaven between my ears.

And it makes me impractical. Impractical? Please. The word doesn’t even cover it. I bumble through life. If life were a path (astoundingly original, I know), everyone else would be strolling along, breathing the salubrious air, while I tripped and stumbled over rocks, howled and pulled in frustration at my hair and brambles snagged and tore at my clothes, looking like a half-crazed, disheveled maniac who had inadvertently escaped a tussle with a mountain bear the entire way. That’s the kind of impractical I am.  

I mean, I’ll just give you an idea of how much of a floundering fool I am when it comes to interacting and surviving in the plane of reality. You’ll all scoff at your computer screens.

1. I lose everything. Everything. EVERYTHING. Every material possession that I have ever owned, I have lost. I thought I was exaggerating when I typed that line, but, you know what, that’s not even an exaggeration. I lose books, I lose the ubiquitously lost keys, I lose my phone, I lose papers, I lose clothes. In fact, it’s not just material possessions. I even lost my sister once when I was younger at a shopping mall. I left her behind in the store.

2. I can’t navigate places to save my life. I am terrible at driving because, unless the route is short, simple and I’ve gone over it several times, I won’t know where I am. I hate using a GPS – the electronic voice is annoyingly calm and placid while my car trundles off into the middle of nowhere. I can’t read directions. Maps, keys and compass directions don’t make any sense to me. They’re just squiggly messes of confusion; even if I place it on the ground facing the right direction and imagine myself walking down the streets, it isn’t less incomprehensible. I even get lost along streets I am familiar with, because I get entangled in my thoughts and before I know it, I’m walking down unfamiliar territory and engulfed with panic at the strangeness of my surroundings.

3. I have a phobia of engagements. When I’m given doctor appointments, or times and dates at which I need to be at places, I encode the date and time into my phone, I stick it on my fridge, I write it on my hand, I write down in a notebook, I beg and claw at the shirts of my family members and friends to remind me. I do everything except shave off my hair and sear the very time and date into the back of my head using a hot poker. Otherwise, I will forget. I will forget. Seriously. I will.

4. I am always late. All throughout my schooling life, I have shuffled into classes out of breath while everyone was seated. Even if I woke up at the right time, I dawdled my way to the great institution of learning, lost in my own learning, daydreaming and philosophizing.

5. Don’t tell me to build anything. I am the antithesis of a handyman. I can’t build an IKEA chair to save my life. I can’t fix that light bulb, the tenuous glass globe will just crack to pieces in my hand (that actually happened). Hell, I could barely find the plastic niche in my clock to change the batteries yesterday.

6. I don’t pack well. Camps. Sleepovers. I pack half a library in my bag but forget my toothbrush.

7. Order and I don’t mix. Everything I touch turns into what looks like the wake of a tornado. I don’t plan, I ‘improvise’. I’ve never had a set timetable. I shudder at the thought of organizing the logistics of holidays and moving houses. If the backdrop of one’s existence were an abstract painting, practical people would have nice, colorful circles twirling around them while I would have a blurred, synesthesia-like mess of swirls and squiggles and curly shapes that would occasionally prod me and then rebound, giggling to themselves. Yes, they would giggle. That’s how weird it would be.

8. I would be the worst person to help anyone in a crisis. Level-headedness is not in my genes. I won’t scream, but I’ll breathe rapidly with maniacal, unblinking eyes and if you ask me to throw you a rubber ring while you’re drowning or put out a fire, I’ll end up dumping sugar packets over the flames or scattering fish from a nearby crate in the sea in the hopes that my silvery friends will band together and save you from a watery death, never mind the fact that they themselves are dead.

9. I make people think I’m retarded. I’m not dumb. At least, I don’t think I am. But sometimes, I appear intellectually incapacitated. I had a logical, play-by-the-rules friend who never looked at me the same after I built a model for an assignment back in highschool out of edible materials, with honey and everything, then wondered the next day why it was collapsing in the heat and half of it was chewed away by ants and other inquisitive insect-folk.

10. Just overall strange ways of thinking. If a painting shows a woman kissing a rose and it’s even slightly abstract, with a faint warping of lines and shapes, I will first see a meadow with a bunny hopping in it, then a girl with a dress made of thunderstorms and then, after much squinting, see the actual picture. In fact, I make pictures out of everything, not just the usual clouds. I make them out of stains, molds, chewing gum blobs (I once saw a wad of pink chewing gum that looked like a portly man’s face, all jiggling cheeks and laughing mouth. Suffice to say, mentioning this to my friend did not increase my sanity level in her eyes).  

11. What are these paper notes with numbers scrawled on them? Banks will always be a mystery. My family had to force me to open an account and deposit special papers which then turned into electronic numbers. Great. Numbers on a screen. That’s what I traded hours of my life for. Don’t talk to me about superannuation, mortgages, assets, loans and shares. Now that’s witchcraft, though the non-exciting kind.

I know, I know, I ask myself the same question everyday. I honestly don’t know how I’ve been able to survive so far. I’m too impractical to exist in this realistic world. I should just deport my mind and soul into a virtual reality the moment it is possible.

I should be reborn as a fairy in my next life.

What about you? Are any of you lovely fellow human beings as impractical as I am? Or have I made your mind broil in disbelief at my utter incompetency?

PS: Decided to start posting more frequently. So, like, there will always be at least two new posts every week, possibly more. Not that this is a renowned blog, that I have to make a grand announcement like this, but, yeah. Okay. Bye.


Those Moments


I feel like there are a lot of moments in life which are neglected.

I mean, we celebrate the birthdays, the graduations, the marriages, all the hullaballoo, bursting-with-joy, fireworks of sprinklers and confetti moments, but no-one ever talks about the small moments in life.

Some of them are sweet, joyful.  

Some of them are sad.

But they play just as large a part in our lives as those moments filled with fanfare, perhaps even more so, because they’re quiet and simple and behind closed doors, no trumpets, no glitter, no cameras, and are about just you and existence and people and life.

Here are some of those moments.

1. When it’s almost evening and the house is quiet and you’re bored and everything seems to be veiled in a grey pall and even the air seems to flow sluggishly and life doesn’t look so good, at least until dinner rolls around and you get a burst of energy as the sun sets.

2. When you’re in a crowd and you suddenly feel all alone and then you start thinking about just how many people there are in the world and how you are only a single organism in a sea of so many and that unsettles you for some reason though you decide not to dwell on it too much.

3. When you’re driving or sitting in a car late at night and you watch the moon seemingly follow you as the vehicle trundles down the road and it makes you really happy for some reason, like the moon is some celestial puppy bounding along and being your pal for the night journey.

4. When you’re sitting at your desk working and suddenly you decide to look up and just at that moment the sun is setting outside, casting gorgeous pinky-orange rays and turning the edges of clouds purplish and your heart just fills with the wonder and beauty of it all until it feels like it’s about to burst and you’ll cry and suddenly you don’t feel so stressed or bad about the day or your life anymore, because, look, that sunset is so damn pretty.

5. When you wake up one morning, thinking you have to go to school or work and then realize it’s the weekend and a smile spreads across your face and your head hits the pillow and your entire mind and body relaxes in relief at the feeling of freedom, the chance for reprise.

6. When it’s late at night and you decide to watch a movie by yourself and it turns out to be romantic and you go to sleep with your heart aching for an ideal and illusion that will never be yours because it is fabricated by the movie industry.

7. When it’s the middle of the night and your mind is roiling with thoughts and you can’t get to sleep and it seems like you’re the only one suffering while everyone else has floated off to blissful dreamland and you start reliving cringe-worthy memories or playing scenarios out in your head and thinking about really weird stuff like what is consciousness and is the butterfly effect real and try to imagine the full extent of the universe but can’t fit the thought inside your head because it’s just too big.

8. When you’ve been optimistic about your life and where you’re headed and your own abilities for days and you suddenly plummet and the self-doubt gnaws away at you and your productivity decreases as you question the worth of yourself and everyone and the world but then you decide to just plow on because being worried and depressed does nothing and somehow life always goes on anyway.

9. When you pause during your day and wonder if there truly is someone out there who is your soul mate and can understand your every atom and if so, whether you will ever meet that person and suddenly you start panicking, like, what if I never meet that person, what if there are thousands of pairs of people who are perfect for each in the world but because of time or space or distance they never cross paths?

10. When you read a beautiful line in a book or see a beautiful piece of art and hear an exquisite strand of music and it’s like for one moment life is oh-so-worth living because it’s life and it’s awesome and it has such awesome stuff and such awesome people and it’s like something deep inside you is plucked and thrummed and your soul vibrates and evaporates out of your chest in sheer joy and floats up to the heavens to bob like a balloon.