This is the official blog of Winna Efendi, author of several bestselling Indonesian novels.

Sabtu, 29 Desember 2007

About Love (movie)

I recently catch a movie named About Love just because the synopsis seems interesting enough. There are 3 stories involving two languages: Japanese and Mandarin. Three couples are divided between three stages of the movie: Tokyo, Taipei, Shanghai.

My favorite is the first one. The first half hour is so interesting that I fall in love with the qui
etness of the movie, the beautiful landscape and the way the movie is made. Simple, nothing outrageous, with quiet soundtracks, little dialogues and lots of silent sweet gestures. Misaki Ito as the painter and Wilson Chen, a Chinese cartoonist living in Tokyo, act exceptionally well.

The second one is the least interesting but the one that gets me laughing the most. A reckless Japanese man helps a woman get over her broken heart, but he doesn't really know how to. They go through a painful conversation - painful because they cannot understand what each other is speaking.

The last one is teary and beautiful. The daughter of the shopkeeper who rents the house to a Japanese teacher falls in love with him. But her love seems unrequited, and he does not even know she loves him until he comes back a year later. Out of every Japanese movie ever made, I think this is the best one. I love it!

Selasa, 25 Desember 2007

A Little Romance (movie)

Director: George Roy Hill
Studio: Warner Bros.
Rating: PG
Genre: Comedy / Romance
Release Date: April 27, 1979
Sandwiched between Slap Shot and The World According to Garp, George Roy Hill made this effervescent film about first love. A sharp American girl (Diane Lane, in her debut) and a film-loving Parisian boy (Thelonious Bernard, in his only film) fall innocently in love. When the girl's zealous mother (Sally Kellerman) goes ballistic, the young couple fall under the spell of a curious gentleman (none other than Laurence Olivier), who plants the seed to make their love last forever: to kiss under a Venetian bridge at sunset. As the love story becomes an adventure with the young lovers crossing France and Italy, Allan Burns's Oscar-nominated script and Hill's deft touch turn this into a romance for the ages and a movie to smile about. George Delerue's Oscar-winning score and the picturesque European scenery don't hurt either. --Doug Thomas

Track listing
1. Main Title (03:13)
2. Love's Not Like That (01:04)
3. Paris Montage (02:34)
4. Julius Edmond Santorin (03:45)
5. The Young Lovers (01:50)
6. Off to Italy (02:17)
7. Birthday Party (02:40)
8. Outdoor Cafe (02:47)
9. Moving On (00:28)
10. A Little Romance (01:31)
11. The Bicycle Race (04:29)
12. The Lovers' Decision (01:03)
13. Venice (01:26)
14. Hiding in the Movies (02:24)
15. No Turning Back (01:12)
16. The Gondola (02:00)
17. Farewell ... For Now (03:16)
18. End Title (02:15)

Total Duration: 00:40:14

I first saw the movie when I was fourteen, and no movie had ever charmed me the way this one did. I bought the original DVD via Amazon.com around seven years later, since the title is always stuck in the back of my mind. It is worth every dollar, every minute, every laughter.

The romantic movie brings a smile to my face everytime I make time to watch it. Plain good fun. A story of teenage love has always bowled me over, and the performances of all three main characters are so believable and real. Diane Lane and Thelonius Bernard make a cute couple, although there are moments of stiff chemistry and bad acting, I am still utterly convinced and I love it just the same.

One man who makes this movie even more worth watching is Sir Laurence Olivier, whose character we all adore and sympathize in. He makes the movie more fun and suspenseful on its part, with little twists and romance in the very end.

Watch this movie, buy the DVD. You will never regret it.

Senin, 24 Desember 2007

Sleigh Ride

Just hear those sleigh bells jingling,
Ring-ting tingling too.
Come on, it's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you.
Outside the snow is falling and friends are calling "yoo-hoo!",
Come on, it's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you.
Giddy-up, giddy-up, giddy-up, let's go,
Let's look at the show.
We're riding in a wonderland of snow.
Giddy-up, giddy-up, giddy-up, it's grand,
Just holding your hand.
We're riding along with a song of a wintry fairy land.
Our cheeks are nice and rosy and comfy cozy are we,
We're snuggled close together like two birds of a feather would be.
Let's take that road before us and sing a chorus or two.
Come on, it's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you.
There's a birthday party at the home of Farmer Gray,
It'll be the perfect ending of a perfect day.
We'll be singing the songs we love to sing without a single stop.
At the fireplace where we'll watch the chestnuts pop. ("pop-pop-pop")
There's a happy feeling nothing in the world can buy,
As they pass around the coffee and the pumpkin pie.
It'll nearly be like a picture print by Currier & Ives.
These wonderful things are the things we remember all through our lives.
Just hear those sleigh bells jingling
Ring-ting tingling too.
Come on, it's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you.
Outside the snow is falling and friends are calling "yoo-hoo!",
Come on, it's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you.
Giddy-up, giddy-up, giddy-up, let's go,
Let's look at the show.
We're riding in a wonderland of snow.
Giddy-up, giddy-up, giddy-up, it's grand,
Just holding your hand.
We're riding along with a song of a wintry fairy land.
Our cheeks are nice and rosy and comfy cozy are we,
We're snuggled close together like two birds of a feather would be.
Let's take that road before us and sing a chorus or two.
Come on, it's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you.
My Christmas song - my favorite ever :) Have a happy Christmas everyone!!!

Rabu, 19 Desember 2007

Pretty in Pink

Udah lama ga nulis ttg fashion inspiration dan reference. Well when I woke up this morning a wonderful movie started screening on HBO. The title is Pretty in Pink. You might've heard of it. It's a classic teen love story made in the 1986 (when I was born, so it's a good 21 years ago), starring the fashionista actress Molly Ringwald and the cute actor Andrew McCarthy.

The story revolves around the life of a 18 years old girl (Andie) whose mom walked out on her and her unemployed father. She lives in this cute little house with an attic room that she is embarrassed to be seen in. Well you see, she's poor. And she makes do by buying secondhands and fixing them with her sewing machine, so they look as gorgeous as ever. Kebanyakan temen2nya di sekolah elite menghina Andie karena kemiskinan dan bajunya yang nyentrik. Her only best friends are Jenna (who died soon after the movie), and Duckie (a boy who has a big crush on her). She falls in love with a 'richie' named Blane, but they have status difference so everyone does not accept their relationship.

Standard story made into such a nice plot with clever conversations and cute girlish drama. I love the movie! At first I don't really feel like watching an oldies movie, but it turns out to be such a pleasure.

Now the fashion things. I gotta say, baju2nya bener2 top banget.. which is also why I keep watching the movie. Andie makes her clothes: T front black tank top topped with ivory crocheted sweater, pointy shoes and big trapeze dresses, big bags and swingy hairs.. I notice Andie wears a lot of hats - these plain big ones with a flower perched on the sides. Or the girls wear baggy dresses in stripy patterns. They look fantastic! Beberapa pakai jaket kegedean yang super trendy dipadukan dengan dalaman mini dress. Juga jaket polos dengan enamel brooch warna-warni. Iona, who plays Andie's best friend, wears a man's cropped jacket with high waisted pants. So cool!

They also wear a lot of leggings and tights, or skinny pants with flowery patterns. They look gorgeous. I wish I have pictures, but I dont have a lot. The attire is so inspiring though, I wish I still lived in the 80s.

Watch the movie if you have a chance. You'll love it.

Minggu, 09 Desember 2007


I feel like hibernating....
Waiting until forces come back
and I can start writing again

those lively words that make up my fantasy world
I miss them :)

Kamis, 06 Desember 2007

My version of 2007 and 2008

things to look forward to in 2007:
Atonement: the movie and the book
Colorcloud Palace (saiunkoku monogatari) season 1
Amazing Race Asia cycle 2
America's Next Top Model cycle 8
Stephenie Meyer's Twilight books
Kenangan Abu-Abu being published
Joining Fasity.com
Finishing Ai the novel
Collecting Sweet Valley High Senior Year
Coffee Prince
House tv series
Things to look forward to next year:
Twilight the movie
Breaking Dawn the novel
Remember Me the novel
Gossip Girl tv series


I don't know what possesses me to write this - a chapter of my new project..

It is one fine autumn day when the strangest thing happens.

I am sitting in one of the swings in the park, not far from my neighborhood, reading a book. It is one of those days when I do not feel like doing my homework, and I am just too lazy to do my daily chores. Instead I slip through the back kitchen door and pretend I am still napping. Mother will never know as long as I do not make noise.

It is almost twilight, but the sunshine is still warm on my face. I rock myself back and forth on the swing, barely concentrating on the words blurring in front of my eyes. Orange leaves flutter down to my hair, my hands, my book, my lap, and I watch them in silence.

Suddenly I feel Daichi’s little whisper. Right then I know that it is not meant for me, but I cannot help penetrating his thoughts and seeing more. His wall of defense crumbles, provoking me to do my part of swimming into his mind. I sit still on my swing and listen closely, opening my mind to a scene.

I close my eyes.

Two figures stand close together, facing each other. The girl’s long hair is softly blown by the breeze, and she is smiling. The boy has one hand on her hand, another resting on her cheek. The sky seems a combination of magenta and purple behind them, tinged with orange and blues. I watch, careful not to make a sound. This kind of thing has never happened to me before, unlike the usual telepathy whispers and mind reading. This is new.

Slowly but quickly, the boy leans forward.

I feel nearly unconscious, feeling the mix of emotions that probably belongs to the boy, a shadow I cannot see clearly but know who he is. I can sense his heartbeat, his nervous smile, and his love. As for the girl, she is a big blur of happiness that I cannot help noticing.

I do not know how to describe what I am feeling the moment it happens. I simply feel numb, my head tilts slightly as I count to three.

When it is all over, I open my eyes and see Tetsuya in front of me, looking deeply concerned.

“Are you alright?”

I give him a slow nod, unable to stop bewilderment from showing on my face.

“What happened? It looks as if you lost yourself there.”

“I did,” I say breathlessly.

Tetsuya is still watching me intently, but I can only stare back at him, utterly speechless, as the kiss that Daichi and Sumire shared still burning on my lips.



This movie has my immediate attention the moment I saw the trailer. It has everything I ever want in a movie:

- Keira Knightley
- James McAvoy: I like his performance in Becoming Jane.
- Classic style and interior
- Based on a bestselling book by Ian McEwan
- Great crew: directors of Pride and Prejudice
- Excellent reviews

It began screening in Venice Film Festival, and everywhere in UK last September, and now in Jiffest (which I missed). But why isn't it on DVD in Amazon.com yet? Grrr! I haven't even seen the movie yet, and I've bought the book (haven't read it yet), but the premise of it is so captivating.

I will definitely watch the movie. Call me a freak but I will watch this movie.

No two-hour film could ever capture all the riches of McEwan's masterly novel. But Wright and Hampton's Atonement comes tantalizingly close, while adding sensual delights all its own.
- NewsWeek -

Atonement is everything a true lover of literature and movies could possibly hope for. It is unquestionably, without any reservations, my favorite film of the year.
- New York Observer -

Rabu, 05 Desember 2007


Saya selalu menunggu mood untuk melakukan segala sesuatu. Mood harus OK kalau mau pake baju baru. Mood harus pas untuk nulis chapter baru. Tergantung mood. Mood yang pilih buku apa yang harus dibaca hari ini, film apa yang enak ditonton malem ini. Mood juga yang pilih baju-baju saya di pagi hari, warna apa yang bagus dipakai.

Heran, wanita banget ya kalau membiarkan mood. Akhir-akhir ini Mama suka ribut, kenapa tas baru gak dipakai? Padahal hampir 2 minggu dibeli (setelah 2 minggu pikir-pikir), dan tas lama udah pada jelek.

Jawaban saya: Belum kepengen.

Mood. Saya sedang menunggu mood saya memaksa saya menulis lagi. Sampai sekarang mood saya masih naik turun, bikin deg-degan, bikin stres, dan akhir-akhir ini saya makin malas. Negatif, cuek, malas, ngantuk, gak enak badan, penasaran. Dan semuanya gak bikin saya mau menulis.

Huks. Moga-moga mood saya cerah lagi :)

Project, project

I am writing a new novel now. it's not a permanent project and I kind of want to see how it develops halfway. I've written 6 chapters in English and so far it's got the weird style Haruki Murakami and Banana Yoshimoto use. I feel that it's okay, because I don't wish to write just for the sake of it.

I want to write a personal story that is amazing in the process of writing. Something enlightening. I think for that reason I dont post it up on the web and tell anyone about it.

A celebrity is in the office right now for a photo shoot but I'm at home, resting. I dont feel well and there is a severe flood this morning, my parents insist i go back to bad, which is cool. I've lacked sleep for weeks.

I also get a lot of books (and buy a lot too). I can never seem to stop book hunting, or book shopping. Lately my greatest desire is a limited collection Vintage books set. I already have one set, planning to collect the rest :)

Reliving the good times

There used to be good days when I spent days reading my Sweet Valley books. I'm crazy over Senior Year and Junior High.

And there used to be good days when I just sat back and enjoyed watching Fushigi Yuugi, like in high school. I used to tape them on VHS just for sake of it.

Now I miss those old times.

So here I am, watching endless reruns and reading all the books I've missed. I go hunting for OSTs too, to download while I watch anime. Here's a good one: Colorcloud Palace the OST (1 and 2). I just love the entire collection! The opening song and ending theme are equally mesmerizing, the insert songs relaxing to listen to. I love the anime as well, watching it in Animax once in a while.

If only life can get this good everytime. But it isn't, so I might as well stop dreaming the impossible. But life's good, sometimes.

Please let it be Atonement...

Things that make me so psyched today:

- I won Jiffest tickets (again). I did, last year and watched All The King's Men. This year no movie catches my eyes but Atonement. It's simply the best movie ever made this year - according to reviews. I've been waiting for it ever since I watched Becoming Jane, and it was screening last September. When the DVD is out in Amazon (I'm on the list), I'll surely buy it.

I have no idea what I'll watch this year in Jiffest, but I sincerely and desperately hope it's Atonement. I hope RDI chooses this movie for the free tickets. Fingers crossed.

- I get Jane Green's Straight Talking via Fedex today, for free :) Chris, the giver from USA was really nice. Speedy service too, since it's Fedex. The book is near perfect.

- Someone mooched for my book collections :) I now have almost 30 points on BookMooch. I will exceed 30 by this month, because someone promised me to mooch for 2 more books ASAP. This bookmooch thingie is getting really fun. I dont have a single book I want right now though. Except a Certain Slant of Light, which I might get via Amazon.

My little book world

Chick lits I want:

- Remember Me? – the latest novel by Sophie Kinsella

- Something Borrowed – Emily Giffin – heard rave reviews and mooched it immediately.

- Something Blue – sequel to the above, but currently unavailable for mooch.

- Divine Secrets of Ya Ya Sisterhood – mmm still in doubt

- Cocktails for Three

Real books I want:

- One True Thing

- A certain slant of light – I so want this book!

- How the Garcia girls lose their accent

Somehow I feel that I read more ‘real’ books than chick lits these days. Don’t get me wrong, I adore and enjoy the latter profusely. It’s just that I let these good literatures and real stories get to me. It’s a nice thing to read classics instead of only reading feel good novels.

It makes me understand a lot of other things too.

The only drawback to reading is, I don’t have time to write my new novel.

Currently reading: Perfect Strangers by Robyn Sisman. I collect all her books.

Minggu, 18 November 2007

Change of Plans

Hmmm. I spent ages reading Sweet Valley books, and lately they are slowly rubbing on me too much.

I try writing London Blues again, and although it is going fine, slowly but fine, I think I want to take a little break. I don't feel like writing my old characters now, and I want to write something new. So in about ten minutes of napping around today, I get this new idea, and it's so strong as usual that I want to jump in as soon as possible.

It's about two best friends living in a small city by the sea.. and..

I don't want to spoil anything. After all, I might not finish it anytime soon. I want to take my time and not feel pressured, since all pressure does is rub off on me and make me hurry and make my stories turn bad.

OK. Deep breath, slow steps, one by one.

I figure it's much better writing for myself than writing for other people. Not for my publisher, not for fame, not for aiming to get it published (although it's a nice perk and I hope it will be published), not for anyone else. Writing earns me inner pleasure, and it always turns out better and more natural than forced stories. So I hope this one will be better too :)

By the way, it is also in English. I haven't written in English for a long time, and I miss it.

Rabu, 14 November 2007

What am I?

I have written reviews

knick knacks

insignificant facts about me

raves and cravings

a little about life

but what about myself?

I guess so far I just have not written much about myself. I'm an introvert by nature - physically, mentally, socially. But then, when it comes to writing, I realize I'm also not very open.

I guess it is only when writing books and novels that you do not see the real me. And even if you do, you would not know which one of my experiences is real, and which part is actually me.

Jumat, 02 November 2007

(movie) Closer

If you believe in love at first sight, take a closer look.

Itu adalah tagline film Closer yang saya tonton semalam *akhirnya... karena DVD sebelumnya rusak*

Closer adalah film sederhana yang ternyata 'rumit', tentang empat orang yang sebelumnya tidak mengenal satu sama lain, lalu menjadi terhubung oleh suatu benang merah yang bernama cinta.

Daniel (Jude Law) adalah seorang penulis obituary yang jatuh cinta pada gadis stripper bernama Alice (Natalie Portman), yang ditemuinya di jalan. Tapi Daniel kembali jatuh cinta pada Anna (Julia Roberts), fotografer yang memotret foto diri untuk buku pertamanya.

Daniel secara tidak sengaja mempertemukan Anna dengan Larry (Clive Owen), dan keduanya menikah walau Anna masih mencintai Daniel. Dan mereka pun terlibat dalam affair-affair yang melukai pasangan mereka, dibalut dengan dendam, kesedihan, dan sakit hati yang akhirnya melukai diri mereka sendiri.

Beautiful movie. We cannot understand it without really paying attention and getting in the flow. I like the acting, everyone is very brilliant and engaging. Every scene makes me so touched, and every fight scene makes me.. want to cry because it is so believable.

Rabu, 17 Oktober 2007

Eight little facts about me

I was tagged by Vilia to write about my eight habits or facts.

Here comes the set of rules:
(1) Each Blogger starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves
(2) Blogger that are tagged need to write on their own blog about their eight things and post these rules. At the end of your blog,
(3) You need to choose 8 people to get tag and list their names
(4) Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they've been tagged to read your blog.

I will start with the most random eight facts about me first.. I'll pick those that come first in mind.

1. I was born on 6 January 1986, at 7:30 in the morning, under the star sign of Capricorn and Chinese sign of Ox.

Which simply means I am a hard worker (ox working in the morning), responsible, uptight and a born leader (all traits that belong to Capricorn). The above is true, although not a hundred percent correct. I am not very flexible, I am complicated to understand, and I am not a social butterfly. I have the Capricorn traits rooted deeply in my flesh, that's why I'm a little upset when they say there is gonna be a change in the star signs and I'm going to be something else than Capricorn. LOL.

2. I am insane about good books and movies.

Whenever I see a book or a movie that I like, I simply grab it and buy it. As simple as that. My mind seems to go blank whenever I go gaga over books. Well, it's just a habit I'm accustomed to, since someone pointed it out for me I might as well realize it. I've been a bookworm since I was little, there was nothing that pleased me more than go shopping for books and unwrapping the plastic, then actually smelling the new paperback scent, and flipping the pages one by one. Pure pleasure.

3. I am not allowed to drink coffee.

My poor gastric condition does not allow me to drink as many cups as I would like. Not that I like coffee though. I only like the scent, but I don't like its bitter taste in my mouth. I do not like cappuccino, espresso, whatever. The ones I like are strictly blended frappuccino, or Starbucks hot chocolate (which, has nothing to do with coffee). I prefer tea.

4. I toured around Europe when I was eleven.

I wish I can repeat the experience. Crossing the territory of Germany, visiting the Bridge of Sighs in Venice, and zooming in Eiffel Tower with my camera. Plus, I'd like to step foot on London, it's such a mysterious city to me.

5. I used to hate sushi.

Yep, I was against eating everything raw and slimy, I even refused to eat nori because of the smell. But then my first sushi experience was not bad, and now I am a sushi addict. Even sashimi!

6. I am very, very, very moody.

I was born with it, the moodiness I mean. I can be mean one day, then happy and bubbly the next. Every little thing affects my mood, from a single scold from the boss, the breakdown of the computer, the stupid thing I do or someone says, my mood swings higher than ever :) that's just me, and strangely writing or shopping always makes me feel better.

7. I am a perfectionist.

Being a Capricorn also means I am a perfectionist, although I shouldn't blame my star sign for that. I keep a schedule - sometimes blow it, though - on my writing, my tasks, whatever it is. I always keep a book or my schedule on my phone, and feel pressured whenever they are not finished yet.

8. I have never bungee-jumped before.

Not that I would want to. The adrenaline is too much for me. I am a little scared of height. And I have no intention of throwing myself over a bridge to the scary river below me. No. Not a chance. Nil.

OK now I have to pass this to eight people:
1. Ayu
2. Windry
3. Wien
4. Mirna
5. Niska
6. Mitsuko
7. Tania
8. Luke

Whew. I'm done spilling secrets about me :)

Selasa, 16 Oktober 2007


My grandfather just died.

I've never had other grandfathers since I was around three, since my grandfather from my dad's side died and I could not remember him.

This was the man who took me to the zoo and gave me birthday gifts.
This was the same man with whom I took pictures with, and in our last photograph together he was smiling.
This was the man I respected.

He's gone.

I wish I could talk to him one last time.

(dorama) Nobuta wo Produce

I first saw an episode of this dorama when I was in Hong Ko ng, and I think it was quite interesting. I finally bought the DVD a month later and spend my holiday watching it in only 2 days (well it's short, only 10 eps).

The story revolves around Shuji (a popular guy who has a pretty girlfriend, liked by everyone and never gets anyone upset), Akira (talks and laughs funny, very weird), and a new girl Nobuko (very shy, dirty looking, the centre of school bullying). These three students strangely become friends and meet regularly at the rooftop, and suddenly there is this plan to 'produce' Nobuko and make her popular.

At first I thought Shuji was just a conceited guy, who pretends everything is alright and masks himself, while Akira and Nobuko are just plain strange. The characters at first do not fall perfectly in place, the scenes are twisted in a way that many stories are irrelevant. It frustrates me to some point, and I cannot see why Kamenashi Kazuya and Horikita Maki are made best actor and supporting actress in this super famous drama.

But soon I guess my disappointment fades. The friendship story flows smoothly, although there are still some impossibly unrealistic scenes. I am still watching the entire last episode, but I will give a 7.5/10 for the dorama :) I have to agree Horikita Maki plays out a good Nobuko after all. My favorite character is Mariko Uehara, the pretty girl who is supposedly Shuji's girlfriend.

My holiday checklist

This holiday season I finally got to catch up with a stack of DVDs i never have time to watch. Checklist:

(dvd) Alone in Love
(dvd) Nobuta wo Produce - done
(dvd) Gokusen 2
(dvd) Green Rose
(dvd) Ima, Ai Ni Yukimasu - done
(book) Forever... - done
(book) New Moon
(book) Eclipse
and a few others more

I got DVDs for Becoming Jane (finally!), Priceless, Family Stone, and a few others I had watched and wanted to collect. :) In the meantime I'll be watching them, and I haven't written anything in a while since I feel that it is best to rest and take my time. Yay!

Jumat, 12 Oktober 2007


When I'm actually writing here, I have no idea what to write.

Happy Idul Fitri to those who celebrate.

There are a couple of news I might share:

- I've finished (sort of) editing Ai. I edited most of the latter chapters and made a surprising change in the last one. Whoa. All thanks to my super friend Vilia, who has given me more insights and inspirations without complaining about how stressful I have been! :D

- I know who I will dedicate this second novel for. I am not sure if it is what publishers would like to publish though, a semi dark dramatic novel set in Japan, talking about death and the classic love triangle. But I had so much fun writing it, and it was a very very very BIG challenge for me. It made me squirm and get stressed while writing the second part for Ai. Writing for Sei was so much more easier, but writing for Ai was a totally different experience that I was left not knowing what to do. I hope it is not too dramatic.

- I dedicate my book to my grandfather. He is in the hospital right now, and I dont know what else I can do for him. So I write.

- Currently watching: Ima Ai ni Yukimasu. the best dorama I have ever watched, and I am not kidding. Will write reviews once I'm done.

Jumat, 05 Oktober 2007

The Gift

Baru saja tadi pagi, saya mendapatkan email dari salah seorang yang membaca karya Kenangan Abu-Abu via K.com. Judul emailnya adalah Secret Admirer - mulai berpikir yang aneh-aneh, bahkan mengira email itu spam, lalu pas membuka ternyata adalah seseorang yang sangat menarik. Namanya Jessica, tinggal di London (kota favorit saya!!). Isi email itu singkat - dia mendapat link Kenangan Abu-Abu dari seorang teman, lalu mulai membaca dan menunggu endingnya (yang memang gak di publish online for many reasons). Jess bilang, dia suka karya saya itu.

Beberapa hari sebelumnya juga, seorang member K.com Atha yang tinggal di Jerman juga mengemail saya dengan isi serupa. Saya jadi merasa bersalah sudah menghapus semua isi Kenangan Abu-Abu di K.com (maaf ya, karena novelnya akan terbit).

Sebelumnya, saya selalu menganggap kenangan abu-abu adalah karya fantasi saya, tempat saya pergi ketika saya sedang merenung, ingin sendirian, dan melepas kepenatan hanya dengan menuliskan kesepian dan fiksi yang hidup di kepala. Tapi ternyata setelah menjadi konsumsi umum, karya ini bukan saja menjadi milik saya sendiri tapi juga teman-teman yang menyukainya.

I'm glad people like my writing - to me it's the best gift anyone can give an author.

Jumat, 28 September 2007

(movie) Secret

This is Jay Chou's directorial debut in a movie - he writes the script and directs the movie. This is a story of a music student named Xiang Lun (Lun), who meets a girl named Xiao Yu (which means rain) on his first day in a new school. He hears a music playing and he is immediately attracted to her - who's playing the piano. However, she keeps the song title a secret to him. They begin spending time together, and fall in love, but one day she goes missing after a misunderstanding and comes back on his graduation day. Then secrets begin spilling - he has to choose which path to take.

Of couse I won't spoil the ending here, but I will comment on the movie, which is hard to review, actually. The movie is not bad. I give an A to the cinematography, the way the camera moves, the way things are zoomed in, the location and setting, all are way smooth and very nice on the eyes. However, at the beginning there is no chemistry between Lun and Yu (they attract each other but the audience CANNOT feel it). The dialogues are a little twisted - sweet, but often a little twisted. Mei Guey, who played Yu, cannot transform herself to become the character (she's OK after a while though), and the character is a little annoying to me. She's agressive but she's fragile, it's very ironic. Jay keeps a straight, expresionless face throughout the entire movie.

Enough critics, moving on with the good stuffs. The music is beautiful, and the plot is OK (although very jumpy from one scene to the next). The whole movie itself is worth watching.

Rating: 8/10

Selasa, 25 September 2007

(movie) Somewhere in Time

I was intrigued when a friend of mine recommended this movie in EVE magazine. I bought it via Amazon.com (kicked myself when I passed the DVD in Hong Kong Airport), and had a good watch with yogurt and Rocky snacks last weekend.

Somewhere in Time was a romantic classic, with Christopher Reeve as young scriptwriter Richard Collier, and Jane Seymour as Elisa McKenna, an actress. Richard is approached by an elderly lady after his play, and she gives him an antique watch and says, "Come back to me."

Years later Richard finds a photograph of a beautiful girl in a hotel and falls in love with her - only to find out from the girl's later photographs that she is the woman who gave him the pocket watch before. Richard is determined to go back in time, and he sacrifices everything in the present to find the girl in the past.

The ending is sad and wavering enough to make us imagine a happier ending. I like both characters, each of them develops with a chemistry so good that it is believable. I think this classic deserves all my trouble looking for a collector's edition version :)

Rating: 8/10

Senin, 24 September 2007

(anime) Paradise Kiss

This anime was recommended by Wien, and I am a fan of Nana and Ai Yazawa so I decided to give it a shot. I love it!

A rollercoaster ride - both mellow and fun to watch. I like seeing Yukari grow up from a negative thinking simple girl (with plain pretty looks) to a tough and mature model. She meets a couple of friends: Miwako, Isabella the drag queen, and scary looking Arashi who's actually kind hearted. And there is George, who she finds herself falling for despite his insensitivity and carefree personality. She discovers a new world when she chooses to quit school and become the model of their Paradise Kiss designs, aiming to win a grand prize in design school.
The soundtracks are catchy, the drawing a little old fashioned and classy, but very detailed. I love the ending, although George and Yukari do not end up together. This is a story that has ups and downs, but probably one that touches the hearts of many people with the same experience as Yukari - one of them most probably is me.

Do watch the anime when you feel like something different - not just drama but a whole load of life.

Rating: 9/10

Euphoria and a supermarket list

Euphoria - a happiness that exaggerates - more like a burst of hyper energies.
That's what I'm feeling right now. I just got back from Glodok, bought a new DVD player (not for me), and a couple of DVDs (for me):
- Secrets (Jay Chou. I've wanted to see the movie for so long, since I saw the poster in Hong Kong. This is his debut in directing a movie).
- Elizabethtown (watched it with my best friend before I went back from Aussie, years ago, and I felt like collecting it as a memento).
- Candy Candy (say, childhood memories?)
Last night I actually finished writing Ai. I was so scared I would disappoint, because I am not sure which ending will satisfy everyone. I did my best, and I realized I really liked all the characters while writing their stories, each one absorbed my energy and soul when I tried pouring down their feelings. Ordinary human beings with emotions and love - a story on friendship. I am currently editing the whole draft, adding research and stuffs.
I went down to the minimarket during the weekend. It's been a long time since I did my grocery shopping alone. When I was living alone in Brisbane, I did my shopping at least weekly, snatching junk foods on sale. And then I am reminded of the old times, of my precious weekly supermarket list.
- two bars of Dove (dark chocolate, please).
- a bag of marshmallows
- M&M's (peanut and original)
- a bottle of milk/yogurt/water
- a magazine, sometimes
- a bag of Doritos
- a box of Cheezels
- a pack of instant Miso Soups
- a few Indomie or ramen
- a Hallmark card
- mudcake for breakfast
um... there must be at least a few healthy things on my list, right? but no.. there aren't really.
Those bring back memories :)

Jumat, 21 September 2007

(dorama) Gokusen 1

I finished the whole first season last night, before midnight :) it took me two days. At first I did not feel like watching the dorama, I thought it was going to be a cliched sort of series. But I was wrong, I'm glad they proved me wrong!

A teacher with a yakuza background meets a handful of students with bad academical performance, bad attitude and scary appearances. Comedical scenes ensue, followed by touching stories involving families, friendships and love.

Like with Coffee Prince, I like every single character, from Minoru and Tetsu as Kumiko's yakuza friends, Yankumi the teacher, the teachers of the school, and the students (Sawada Shin - the quiet cool guy, Uchi - the hot tempered and high spirited student, Kuma - the big kind guy, Minami - the rejected playboy, and Noda - the stocky simple guy).Not forgetting the detective Shinohara-san.

Simply said, I will be looking for the second season soon :)

Rating: 8.5/10

Buku-buku kesayangan

Kemarin saya mendapatkan sebuah paket berisi DVD e-book yang lengkap. Isinya ada buku-buku virtual karya Oscar Wilde (karyanya, Picture of Dorian Gray, adalah salah satu klasik yang saya cintai sejak saya baca ceritanya waktu SD), Jane Austen, John Wyndham (lagi-lagi hasil didikan guru literature saya saat SMP), hingga karya fenomenal JK Rowling, kartun Garfield, audio book fabel dan cerita sebelum tidur, dan karya-karya Enid Blyton.

Mengingat kecintaan saya pada membaca - yes I'm ecstatic.

Kemarin saya juga mendapatkan hadiah sebuah buku travel London dan buku ketiga dari seri Twilight yang berjudul Eclipse. Belum lagi, hari Kamis kemarin saya baru saja menyelesaikan Stardust karya Neil Gaiman, yang notabene merupakan salah satu buku terbaik yang pernah saya baca.

Lalu, lagi-lagi saya menggeser CD, kaset dan pernak-pernik lain di rak kamar saya untuk berganti fungsi menjadi rak buku. I always feel happy doing that, it means my book collection is adding.

Rabu, 19 September 2007


Ai artinya cinta. Sekarang ini saya sedang cukup sibuk menulis draft novel ini. Ceritanya simpel, terinspirasi oleh buku Goodbye Tsugumi dan anime Honey and Clover, juga puluhan manga dan dorama yang saya lalap :P namun begitu, suasana Jepang yang saya gunakan hanya sebagai background dan masih dalam tahap editing dan research sehingga masih belum rapi.

Ai adalah kisah tentang 3 remaja - Ai Nakaji (bayangkan gadis petit kurus dan mungil, pendek dengan kulit terbakar matahari, rambut kriwil ikal dan mata biru gelap), Sei Matsumoto (cowok tinggi kurus berkulit keemasan, dengan rambut hitam yang mencuat menyentuh kerah baju, tampan dan cool), Shinichi Matsuoka (tinggi, besar, kulit pucat, mata sipit dan rambut dihighlight dengan tint keemasan dan sebuah anting kecil di telinga). Mereka bertiga bersahabat, hingga Sei menyadari dia jatuh cinta pada Ai, sedangkan Ai dan Shin akan bertunangan. Kisah kehidupan kecil di desa berlaut, lalu Tokyo, lalu dipenuhi aura kesedihan, kematian, dan pencarian jati diri.

Setelah pulang dari Hong Kong saya mengalami writer's block parah yang menghambat jalannya Ai. Saya bingung ke mana harus melangkah, apa yang harus ditulis dan kenapa. Akhirnya saya terus maju setiap kali ada inspirasi.

Statusnya adalah: bagian pertama telah tamat, bagian kedua seharusnya tamat tapi saya berusaha mengedit seluruh bagian kedua dan mengubah beberapa bagian penting, juga menambah halaman. Setelah selesai saya akan mengedit bahasa, struktur dan menambah aksen Jepang di sana sini, baru menyerahkan kepada penerbit.

Saya tidak mampu menulis karya lain di saat konsen mengerjakan Ai. Sebenarnya sebuah ide menulis karya lain (karya semi Inggris-Indonesia) sempat muncul dan malas pergi, tapi saya ingin menyelesaikan Ai dulu sebelum mulai lagi.. setengah-setengah nanti bingung :) selain itu saya ingin menyelesaikan kumpulan cerpen saya sebagai karya ketiga, dan menulis novel berbahasa Inggris. Karena belum sempat, saya bertekad menulis Ai sampai selesai baru beralih.

Semoga writer's block pergi dan saya bisa menulis dengan lancar, sembari menunggu Kenangan Abu-Abu terbit.

picture credit: www.luckyoliver.com

(K-drama) Coffee Prince

This must be my current addiction right now - watching the K-drama series and listening to the OST. At first I bought it since I wanted to see Gong Yoo and Yoon Eun Hye. They are a strange couple somehow, but as I watch more, it dawns to me that they really have chemistry. Whenever I see her cling to him and hugs him, it seems that she is really happy to be doing it :) it's so sweet.

Coffee Prince is about a tough tomboyish woman Go Eun Chan, who has to do hard jobs every day (delivering milk, skinning cashews and chesnuts, teaching a Taekwondo class, sewing doll's eyes, delivering noodles) in order for her family to survive. One day she meets Choi Han Kyul, an adopted son of a rich family who is in his thirties and has not found a single thing he likes to do. Han Kyul thinks she is a man so he uses her to solve his blind dates that his grandmother sets up for him. In the end Han Kyul has to manage a coffee shop and employs Eun Chan and several other men. He begins to love her, but he questions his sexuality and thinks he's gay. Eun Chan cannot reveal the truth in fear of getting fired.

The plot is nicely structured, although a little illogical on the boy-girl pretending side, but it's amusing and highly refreshing. I like this kind of light drama - funny and easy but meaningful. I personally like the story of Yoo Joo and Han Seong (Han Kyul's cousin) best. They have survived 9 years together until she leaves him, and then comes back, but Han Seong is tempted to fall in love with Eun Chan. I like how the story progresses, I like how their chemistries just blend together, I like the newcomers all acting so naturally. I even like every single character, it's like they're each made for the roles.

Simple questions of life being put forth here: love, life, career, surviving, broken hearts, deceits, and family. I really really like this drama.

Rating: 9/10

Senin, 10 September 2007

Satu Menit

Dalam semenit
.. ada berapa kenangan yang muncul
menyeruak dalam benak
lalu meleleh.. dalam senyum dan air mata

Minggu, 09 September 2007


Expiry Dates. Tanggal kadaluwarsa. Aku memandang tanggal yang tertera di karton susu dengan muak, lalu membuangnya ke dalam tong sampah di sebelah kakiku. Barang ini sudah tidak ada gunanya, bukan? Jika dipaksa diminum, bikin diare. Jika tidak dibuang, akan meracuni seluruh kulkas dengan bau dan kuman.

Kenapa sih segala sesuatu di dunia ini harus ada tanggal kadaluwarsa? Tanggal pembuatan, lalu kehidupan, lalu dengan cepat, tanggal berakhir. Manusia lahir, hidup sebentar lalu mati. Tanggalnya sudah ditentukan dari sananya, tidak bisa ditawar lagi. Begitu pula dengan makanan, minuman, kosmetik, benda mati, baju-baju, cinta sekali pun.

Ya, cinta. Suatu hari bisa tumbuh, lalu berkembang, lalu seperti bunga yang layu, habis kadaluwarsa. Segala sesuatu yang sudah habis masa pakai, harus mengucapkan selamat tinggal, tidak bisa tidak. Kasihan sekali hidup ini bukan, jika kita cuma bisa hidup dalam jangka waktu yang ditentukan?

“Kamu kenapa, kok memaki-maki sendiri?” Suara Ibu mengejutkanku, dan aku baru sadar dari tadi aku berkomat-kamit dengan sumpah serapah itu.

“Ah, tidak, Bu. Susu ini sudah.. kadaluwarsa.” Aku beringsut naik, menutupi air mata dengan sebelah tangan.

Ibu mendesah. “Ya sudah, nanti kita beli yang baru. Jangan menangis.” Heh, ternyata mata Ibu masih tajam juga – atau mungkin pendengarannya, yang menangkap nada bindeng itu walau sedikit. “Sudah lewat lima bulan, nak. Masih mengingatnya lagi?”

Masih. Mengingat dia yang sudah kadaluwarsa. Di hatiku mungkin masa pakainya tidak lekang oleh waktu. Tapi ternyata, akhirnya aku juga yang sudah mati di hatinya.

“Adakah sesuatu yang tidak bisa kadaluwarsa, Bu?” aku balik bertanya dengan suara kecil, lalu menyesal telah mengatakannya. Terlanjur, Ibu sudah duduk di atas kursi sambil tersenyum. Pertanyaan kanak-kanak yang bodoh. Ibu bukannya akan menjelaskan proses kimia dan metafisika, kan?

“Barang bisa rusak. Udara bisa kadaluwarsa – dengan polusi. Rambut bisa rontok. Air bisa tercemar. Cinta.. sayangnya ada beberapa jenis cinta yang juga begitu.”

Aku tidak mau menjawab apa-apa, reaksiku bisa sangat berlebihan.

“Yah.. bukankah baik juga mereka bisa habis masa? Karena itu kita bisa menyingkirkannya, dan memulai baru.”
Aku tidak ingin menyingkirkan kamu. Kamu yang ingin memulai baru – lalu menyingkirkanku.

“Lalu bagaimana dengan cinta yang tidak bisa kadaluwarsa, Bu?”

Ibu tersenyum lagi. “Apakah cintamu sudah kadaluwarsa?” beliau bertanya kembali, lalu menutup mata. Keriput di ujung matanya bergerak oleh tarikan bibirnya.

Aku diam. Tidak, sampai sekarang cintaku padamu belum kadaluwarsa. Dan seberapa pun aku mencoba, kamu… tidak pernah habis di hatiku. Aku ikut memejamkan mata, dan aku tahu Ibu sedang membayangkan Ayah, yang lima tahun lalu meninggal karena stroke.


While I was thinking
Why does one’s life has to be branded with a certain expiry date?And worse, why does love have to bear an expiry date..?

Sabtu, 08 September 2007

(dorama) Teppan Girl Akane

Teppan Girl Akane is about three things: finding the true meaning of family, cooking, and culinary battles.

Kagura Akane is the daughter of the famous chef Kagura Tetsuma, who goes missing after his wife dies in a sea accident. Akane runs their teppan restaurant Chiyuki - but when the store is being threatened to be closed down by a large company, Akane is determined to find her father. However, she also has to face a competition in 3 months to save the store. During her journey with her father's old rival and her childhood friend Shinta, she encounters a few culinary battles to shape her skills.

I bought the DVDs specifically to see Horikita Maki, who was cute when she starred in Hana Kimi (For You in Full Blossom) and Nobuta wo Produce. But in her early filming of this dorama, I have to say I'm disappointed. Not only her acting is a bit stiff, she seems to ruin it for everyone else who has acted brilliantly. I don't like the circling and boring plot, I only look forward to the end of the episode for the battle result. Akane is weak in character, but Horikita Maki shows flat expression in almost every scene. I only seem convinced when she is in a crying scene.

Rating: 6.5/10

(movie) Seducing Mr. Perfect

Everyone is after this Korean movie for Daniel Henney. But for me, it is the rave that attracts me to buy the DVD in the first place. Heck, it's worth it.

I thought this was supposed to be a cliched romance movie. But it is not. It's about a sensitive woman named June (Kim Min Joon), who falls in love and gets dumped thrice. She's wondering what's wrong and whether there is a love that will last - warm and fuzzy. She meets her new boss from the States, Robin Heiden, by accident, and she pretends she cannot speak a word of English. Robin blows her cover and critizes her for being a doormat, that's why every man treats her like trash. They make a bet that he should apologize if in the end he falls for her.
He does, of course. But this movie is special not because it is an ordinary comedical romance. It's a movie about finding yourself in the course of discovering true love. I think Eom Jeung Hwa (people complain about her being old enough to suit the role) plays her part perfectly. She's ordinary, stubborn, but is the next door girl who wishes for true love so desperately. I feel like.. seeing myself through her eyes.
Get yourself this movie if you are going through a breakup. Or just wishing to see a good romantic chick flick. What I adore the most is the soundtrack, jazz, blues, swing all mashed up into one making it the most elegant movie with the best soundtrack I have ever seen.
Great cinematography too, good chemistry between the characters, and nice outfits on June. :)
Rating: 8.5 / 10

Jumat, 07 September 2007

Closing Cycles

One always has to know when a stage comes to an end. If we insist on staying longer than the necessary time, we lose the happiness and the meaning of the other stages we have to go through. Closing cycles, shutting doors, ending chapters - whatever name we give it, what matters is to leave in the past the moments of life that have finished.

Did you lose your job? Has a loving relationship come to an end? Did you leave your parents' house? Gone to live abroad? Has a long-lasting friendship ended all of a sudden? You can spend a long time wondering why this has happened. You can tell yourself you won't take another step until you find out why certain things that were so important and so solid in your life have turned into dust, just like that. But such an attitude will be awfully stressing for everyone involved: your parents, your husband or wife, your friends, your children, your sister, everyone will be finishing chapters, turning over new leaves, getting on with life, and they will all feel bad seeing you at a standstill.

None of us can be in the present and the past at the same time, not even when we try to understand the things that happen to us. What has passed will not return: we cannot for ever be children, late adolescents, sons that feel guilt or rancor towards our parents, lovers who day and night relive an affair with someone who has gone away and has not the least intention of coming back.

Things pass, and the best we can do is to let them really go away. That is why it is so important (however painful it may be!) to destroy souvenirs, move, give lots of things away to orphanages, sell or donate the books you have at home.
Everything in this visible world is a manifestation of the invisible world, of what is going on in our hearts - and getting rid of certain memories also means making some room for other memories to take their place.

Let things go. Release them. Detach yourself from them. Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood. Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows how much you suffered from a certain loss: that is only poisoning you, nothing else.

Nothing is more dangerous than not accepting love relationships that are broken off, work that is promised but there is no starting date, decisions that are always put off waiting for the "ideal moment." Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished: tell yourself that what has passed will never come back. Remember that there was a time when you could live without that thing or that person - nothing is irreplaceable, a habit is not a need. This may sound so obvious, it may even be difficult, but it is very important.

Closing cycles. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because that no longer fits your life. Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust. Stop being who you were, and change into who you are.

original: Paulo Coelho

Kamis, 06 September 2007


Does a dragonfly always fly alone?
Does it socialize?
Does it feel lonely?
picture credit: Sue Anna Joe.com