Monthly Archives: January 2013

Book Review #6: Forever by Judy Blume.

I rate this book 3/5 stars.
It was an average, easy to read book.

This book is about how a young couple’s sexual relationship develops. With the boy, Michael, rushing and pushing for sex. Although to give him credit he actually cares for the girl and respects her enough to wait until she’s ready.

Katherine wants her ‘first time’ to be special. She explains that she needs to be both mentally and physically ready for the moment. The book keeps reminding the reader about safe sex and I guess to some extent we know from both a stereotypical male AND females’ perspective on sex.

I loved the way the book rushed through a year in a teenager’s life. How a relationship can easily feel like it will last ‘Forever’ but can just as quickly fall apart.

The thing I disliked most about this book is the abrupt and rushed ending. I don’t want to spoil this for anyone who hasn’t read the book yet but I had hoped for something more to happen.

Nothing has changed. Usually I read a book and wonder about a lot of things. The way people act, the way people do things, the things that happen. But this book left me feeling nothing. No smile, nothing to wonder, nothing to wish would continue or develop.

I wouldn’t really recommend this book to anyone. But if anyone asked for an opinion, I guess I would just say it’s an ok book and not have much else to add.

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Book Review #5: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

I rate this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

(Book ratings should really be out of 10. There’s a BIG difference between 4 and 5 stars. Or you should be able to give out half stars. Sometimes a book is really good, but there’s something missing to make it the perfect 5. I like to save the 5’s for my all time favourite books that I would probably read again.)

This book is about a young girl, Hazel Grace, who has an incurable cancer. She needs an oxygen tank to aid her breathing. Anything as simple as standing for too long can make her feel exhausted.

The book circles 3 main locations. The Support Group Centre for the youngsters who are diagnosed with cancer, the cancer patients’ homes and the hospital. We meet a circle of friends who are drawn together because of their illnesses. Isaac, who loses his eyesight. Augustus who loses a leg and Hazel Grace.

The reader is drawn into their circle. You watch their friendships develop and see how they support one another when each are in need. Neither of the patients want to be pitied by other people. They just want to live their lives as best they can like any other healthy person.

We watch how Augustus and Hazel encourage one another to stay positive through the bad times. Hazel Grace describes herself as a grenade. She means that when she dies (which is inevitable), she will destroy all those closest to her.

It’s difficult to write this review without spoiling the book for other readers. It’s a simple story but very well written. It is definately about illness, but it focuses on how each character expresses themselves and deals with their situations. The author writes the story as it is, all the truths and the suffering that the youngsters experience.

I would recommend this book to my friends and it deserves it’s place in the “list of books to read before you die”.

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The Deadline Rush: Story Extract

“Caffeine deprived. My body sure knows how to remind me, with a mind shattering headache. I guess the strain from dealing with real life issues doesn’t help either. Hour after hour on the computer, arms-a-flailing designing and crazy button bash typing, to meet the latest deadline. I feel a heavy tension in my lower abdomen as I desperately clench my bladder muscles. I need to go, but I can’t get distracted. Must. Finish. Final. Layout. Or at least until my next scheduled break alerts me.

My phone finally bleeps. Another countdown reminder that my deadline is in 1hr 59minutes and 13seconds. I have 5 minutes to search for my next dose of caffeine and to relieve my poor bladder before it explodes. Optimistically I could even squeeze in finding a chocolate bar or anything else edible to kill that growl rumbling in my stomach.

Rushing into the hallway, I scroll through messages with my right hand and search for change in my pocket with the left. All the while heading for the ladies room. Turning the corner I crash head on, straight into his chest. A flurry of hands try, and fail, to catch the folders, my phone and the change that’s flying out of my pocket. I grab my phone, shout an incredibly loud apology and dash into the ladies room before I burst.

I check the time again and dash back out only to find, the man I so embarrassingly almost knocked down, was standing with a pile of folders in one arm and an outstretched hand at me. He seems amused and says “Where’s the fire little lady?” as he hands me a fistful of change and winks at me.

My eyes meet his and he is (mouth drop open) gorgeous…”

Written by Ling Lee (26/01/13).

I had so much more to write but I must rush off. Time for a job that’s a means to an end. When can I be part of my dream and never have to look back?

Happy reading and have a wonderful relaxing weekend all. ūüôā

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A Little Bit Of Magic or A Soul: Story Extract

“I remember wandering into a shop filled with tranquil sounds. A shelf full of magic spell books and tarot cards. Each and every item leaps out, waiting to share its knowledge and power with someone serene. The smell of sandelwood infused with rose incense sticks burn away on a small shelf behind the till. Jagged crystals and coloured stones laid out in baskets, each with a label and a description of it’s power. My two favourites are tiger’s eye (for luck) and rose quartz (for love). There’s never enough of either to go round.

I remember a lady with her watchful eye looking at us, stopping to entice us into buying some things from her cozy store. She appears beside me and picks up a heart shaped stone, which she informed me was rose quartz. I remember her saying to me:-

‘Let the moonlight fill these stones with enough strength to protect you.’

I ask her what she means. Without answering, she tells me the way to generate power into the stones. She tells me to wait until nightfall, rinse and/or wash my hands and the stone, wash it of impurities and the evil that surrounds us all. She reminds me from this point onwards I am not to touch the stones, otherwise I will drain it’s energy and leave them useless.

I scoop up the stone with a spoon and place it in a small yet fancy box. The stone should rest under direct moonlight, preferably on the windowsill closest to where you sleep. Moonlight enhances and awakens the element of the stone, moonlight is magical.

Beware of magic. Magic is wonderful in small bursts when under control. Only those who are pure hearted will enjoy its effects. Twisted minds produce twisted magic, known as dark magic, but I want nothing to do with that. To be drawn into the darkness you trade your soul for a power that consumes you. In turn you become the dark ones puppet for all eternity.

I don’t remember how I came to hear this. I just remember knowing. It feels like I’m supposed to help bewitch the innocent people. I feel a pressure, so intense that draws me to the stones. I hear the message loud and clear. Urging me to touch the charged stones and to reap its rewards. My inner strength roots me. Keeping me in control.

Too many temptations in a confined space. The books all call out to be used. The smell of new books mingled with a sort of sooty, charcoal fragrance.

A small tattered, leather bound book finds me. Tingling with excitement I think it wants to grant me power. I stroke the books’ cover and feel a slight tremble, I hear a faint sigh, I think I’m going crazy but I think it was the book.

A whispering voice warns me ‘Dark magic’s price is a soul’. I ram the book back on the shelf, rearranging the others so between them, they cover up the leather bound spell book.

I head out of the strange shop clutching a Tiger’s eye in one hand and a rose quartz in my other. A sprinkle of luck and love is all I need. For now…”

Written by Ling Lee (25/01/13).

I believe in magic. Always have and always will. I still await the day when I stumble into a spiritual shop and be presented with an offer for my soul, or just a sprinkle of magic in the stones.

Magic must be almost non existent in to this day an age. Remember, just because you can’t see magic, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

Have a happy day all. Remember to believe. ūüôā x

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Fresh Snow and My Fresh Start: Story Extract

“Waking up void of feeling, empty eyes, existing in this shell of a body, waiting to be freed. I think I’m finally ready. I just realised that I don’t have to be strong. I just have to take control.

Running out into the cold, every breath visible in the smoky air surrounding me. White trees, white hills,¬†white rooftops, everything I see is covered in whiteness. A purity that I didn’t even realise was falling on the outside. I’m hoping¬†tranquility will reach¬†out and free me from my torturous life.

I¬†turn around¬†to see¬†the first steps I took onto fresh fallen snow. The steps of destruction onto new territory, new grounds and a new path. Today I am the destroyer and no longer the one being destroyed. Determination courses through me, as¬†I stand hidden within my hooded jumper. I want to be unknown, unrecognised, I am starting anew. My new life begins with these footprints in the snow. I wonder if I will have to run this life alone, or if he’s almost¬†caught up with¬†me¬†ready to¬†carry me through this pain.

Footsteps pounding into the snow. With every step, a little puff of whiteness explodes around my feet. The cold is seeping into me through the soles of my feet and the palms of my hand. I don’t let this stop me from pushing forward. I focus on the warmth in my cheeks, and the heat in my body.¬†Every stride brings a searing pain into my lungs, cutting each breath short as I struggle on. But I will not stop. I’m never giving up, he wont be the one to hurt me again.

Today is a new day. Today I am alive. Today I will begin to live…”

Written by Ling Lee (24/01/13).

I know this isn’t one of my best pieces of work, but still I would like to share my first attempt at picking myself up. Needing¬†no one to help me, relying only on my instincts and running from the one that keeps hurting my main character.

It can only improve from this moment on. I realise my book will not work without goodness, hope and happiness. This is the most difficult subject for me to tackle. Pain seems to seep from every pore of me, but happiness is a rarity that is almost impossible to keep hold of.

Keep reading, keep inspiring me, and most of all keep supporting me. Without you all I will never become the writer that I want to be, because every writer needs an audience to read their heart felt words.

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This Time It’s Different, I’m Stronger: Story Extract

I’ve cried so many tears over him, but this time it’s different. This time I’m stronger, this time I refuse to cry until my tears dry out. This time I’m not drinking until I’m wasted from morning until night. I’m not staying in bed sulking or pining for him. Not this time, not ever again because I’ve had enough.

Right, getting out of the house, where shall I go? Food shopping is always good. Ice cream, pancakes, french toast, chocolate, today I deserve it all. I take a deep breath, I plaster a smile on my face, hold my head high and walk in. My smile begins to tremble, but I’m not giving in.

First aisle fruit and veg, I guess I’ll pass on that today. What was the point in dieting and calorie counting when size 0 doesn’t even keep him. Aisle 2, toiletries. Must be time for a nice long bubble bath. I love the honey and milk flavour stuff. Sweet smelling and makes my skin so lovely and soft. A little bit of music, a little bit of relaxation and a lot of bubbles.

He’s here. I just smelt his cologne as he walked on by. I drop the bubble bath into the basket and stumble after him, calling out his name. He’s ignoring me, what am I doing? But it’s too late to stop myself, I grasp him by the crook of the elbow and feel my whole world fall back into place. “Can I help you hun?” and to my crushing disappointment, it’s not him. “Uh, um…” I mumble an apology and disappear into the next aisle. Not before seeing his amused grin, mocking my mistake.

I inwardly curse myself for even hoping it was him. Frustration and anger churns within me as I see that guy’s face taunting me. I’m so stupid but I’m also strong. I want to go home, but I’m staying. I haven’t even bought the good stuff yet. All my favourite desserts.

Aisle 3, medications, Aisle 4 tea and coffee… Aisle 7 dessert. Finally there. Arctic roll, straight in my basket, new york vanilla cheesecake, gorgeous and in my basket. Yogurt, too healthy, tiramisu, that brand is gross…

Apple strudel.

What the hell. Why do people even sell apple strudel? It’s like a cross between an apple turnover and an apple lattice tart. But you told me it’s delicious and it was the first time I had it. It was yummy except for the manky raisins. He loved me then, at least I thought he did, as he picked them out one by one, in between feeding me pieces of raisin free pastry. Those were my happy days.

Who cares about the stupid apple f*cking strudel? But apparently I care. Something clatters to the floor breaking my train of thought. I turn around and the honey and milk gel is spilling onto the floor. I drop to the floor and I don’t know what to do. My eyes start to fill up and I realise I’ve been beaten again. I know I need him to survive. I can’t even do food shopping when he’s gone. I welcome the tears, and feel relief as they spill from my eyes. I leave the mess behind, drag my sorry self to Aisle 9, pick up a bottle of Bailey’s and hit the self service till.

I head on outside, wipe my sleeve across my face and climb onto the nearest bus. “Where to?” I throw a load of change in the coin tray and tell him “I don’t care, wherever this bus goes to.” I head to the back of the bus, crawl onto a seat as I unscrew the Bailey’s and swig from the bottle.

I stare at my reflection in the window blurred with dirty finger prints. I scowl at the stupid girl who can’t even be strong just this once. I watch as she drinks from the bottle and I turn from her in disgust at the sight of her…”

Written by Ling Lee (24/01/13).

I’m not sure what triggered me to write this. But then I could well be bending the truth. I went to the supermarket today, wandering around in a daze. I found that I was staring at something that reminded me of you. But I smiled at that thought, because one day I got stronger.

Tomorrow is a better day. Leave the sad times in your yesterdays. Live today filled with hope for your better tomorrows.

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Anime: Something different to my normal writing…

Something completely different to my normal posts. A new past time to occupy myself during writer’s block and break time’s from either reading or writing.

I started watching anime again. (Japanese hand drawn or computer animated productions). Most of them are magnificently drawn, with vibrant colours. The facial features are amazing and the stories are usually very interesting, although quite often beyond bizzare.

Currently I am watching “Say I Love You”. It is about a teenage girl, Mei Tachibana, who is extremely shy, introverted and has no friends. The boy, Yamato Kurosawa, is the most handsome and popular guy in school. He finds himself drawn to this one girl. The story is about love and Yamato’s determination to win Mei over.

My all time favourite so far is Hunter X Hunter, which is about a young boy called Gon who is on a quest to find his father. He finds out that his father is a “Hunter” by profession and to follow in his footsteps Gon must pass the exams to get his license. There are MANY obstacles on the way. This series includes a lot of fighting and gaming. There are too many interesting characters to describe, but most are cunning and devious and all want to win the game that has never been beaten.

Yakitate Japan was also a very good series. About a bakery boy who travels to learn new techniques and participates in tournaments to be the best baker. An unusual storyline yet somehow it works. You constantly wish you could take a bite of the pastries and cakes and buns.

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Headache Fuelled by Pain: Story Extract

“A shooting pain resonates through my temple, behind my eyes. Every moment I open my eyes I feel that throbbing beat, punching a rhythm inside my head. Tears pool and threaten to spill. I chide myself for being weak but the tears still fall, one silent tear after the other.

I can’t focus through the pain that’s pounding at me. A terrible pressure against my eyes. It feels like something inside my head trying to push out my eyeballs both at the same time. Blinding me so I never have to look you in the eye and let you deceive me ever again.

I know you so well that even if I were to be blind, I would know you by your footsteps, the rhythm of your breath and the scent of you as you walk past.

Who am I kidding? I let you walk all over me, lie to me, cheat on me, yet I still love you and would forgive whatever it is that you do. I believe one day you can change. After every mistake, every ounce of pain I endure, I know that people learn from their mistakes…”

Written by Ling Lee (22/01/13).

I really do have a headache. I also really do want to write. Every word that I get onto the page makes me feel like I’m doing something right. I feel like I was born to write. I just need to find the right path and look for support and guidance wherever I can.

Thank you so much for staying with me. Today I would like to thank CT, JS, Carli and Charlie C! The support you have shown me in the last 48hrs have been noted and much appreciated.

PS I wonder when I will stop myself from falling for the same mistakes that cause me pain? Yet without the pain in my life, I wouldn’t be able to express myself with so much passion.

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Book Review #4: Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson

I rate this book 3.5/5 stars.
I loved the ending, this is what made the book worthwhile I guess.

The book is about a woman called Christine, who is in her 50’s. Every morning she wakes up having little or no recollection of her life over the last 20yrs or more.

She has a husband who lives with her and helps her survive with the condition that she’s in. He tells her a simplified version of her past with very little detail. But he has to explain to her day after day, that she has amnesia.

Some days she remembers very important flashbacks of her past. Leaving her more confused and doubtful of herself. Unsure of whether they are real memories or if her mind has been ‘creating’ memories to fill the void in her past.

Christine secretly communicates with, and sees Dr Nash on a regular basis. He is trying to help her regain her memories and recover from the accident that caused this. He encourages her to keep a journal so that she has ‘memories’ of her own to help guide her through her days. Dr Nash calls Christine to remind her of their meetings and to write in her journal. That way, when she wakes up remembering nothing, she can see for herself what progress she has been making.

She soon begins to doubt her husband. She believes that he lies to her and she can’t decide if it’s because he loves her or because it’s just easier to erase the bad parts of her life to make their daily routine more bearable.

With her condition slowly improving, along with her memories and her past, she finds that the few people she comes to rely on are all trying to protect her in different ways.

She needs to work out who to trust, who to believe and what is real in her life.

I would recommend this book because it has a lovely twist. The author made the book easy to read but I personally wouldn’t include this book on a list of books to read before you die. It’s a good book yet I can’t say that it will be on my favourites list.

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For You… Back From My Past: Story Extract

“A time in my past that I regret with all my heart. I never ment to hurt you for you deserved nothing but the best. You were good to me for the whole of our brief encounter.

As I write these words, my heart aches with the sorrow that I left you feeling. A pain that should be born upon me and my life only. With words on a page, and a memory so few. I walked out of your life but lived on in your memories.

As a teenager I was a wild one. Balancing on the threshold of rebellion and always testing the boundaries.

No matter how many times I say I am sorry, it will never be enough to compensate for my mistakes.

Here’s a moment that I’m sure no one else knows. Today I share a secret. You were the first to ever give me flowers. I’m sorry I was afraid to keep them, I wasn’t supposed to be dating. I always remembered because you were such a romantic. Just as I was and I still yearn, for romance to be a big part of my life.

You wanted to protect me from day one. I remember when you used to carry my bag and walked me to every class. I remember wondering how you managed to get to my classes before I left the room. Were you always late for your own classes? You used to smile that radiant smile and wanted nothing but to make me happy. You were quiet and shy in front of me, but well loved and full of energy among your knit of friends. They were right to judge me, to dislike me, because they saw how I didn’t just make you smile. I managed to not only hurt you. I left you with nothing but words on a page. Yet the angel that you are never once said an unkind word to me. Instead you keep those words hidden from the rest of the world and cherish a moment from our childhood days.

Upon looking back, I wish you had fought for me and kept me from making more mistakes. I wish you had held me from falling into the darkness. I wish you didn’t love me enough to let me walk away. I guess I never deserved to have you.

Now you are back to keep me from giving up on what matters. Now you stand by my side and help me fight for my dreams, fight to be happy. As I rest my head upon your shoulder, I relax because I know you will hold me through this night. Keep me from the dark, the bad and the loneliness.

Will I ever be satisfied with what I have? As right now I need to hear your voice remind me of the love once shared. To be taken back to the time when a kiss wasn’t just a kiss, but a whole moment that would stand still in our lives. Like a photograph etched in our minds, on the day you gave me flowers. Sitting there on that market bench, that moment, we shared a kiss, our kiss for life.”

Written by Ling Lee (21/01/13).

Although these words are written by me, more importantly they were given as a gift of inspiration.

I see flashes of beauty and light in my life again. I thank you for your forgiveness, for your love, your protection and more importantly for your friendship and your arms to fall into when I am not strong enough to fight. Thank you for your kindness and your romantic nature.

A note for my readers: Never forget that my life is a blur. Any moment or any part could be completely made up or so real that I write through tear filled eyes and an aching heart.

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