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

Selasa, 29 Desember 2009

2009: Lost and Found

2009 is a year when:

- I don't update my blogs as much as I'd like.
- I publish three novels in a row and get sick just as much because of the deadlines (and cheer three times louder when they hit the shelves).
- I go through an emotional turmoil.
- I grow a back bone and then some.
- I make adult decisions.
- I decide to go in search of myself and discover a lot of things in the process.
- I try to figure out what it is I want in life, relationships, career, and myself.
- I let other people know that what we expect is sometimes unexpected.
- I break hearts and get my heart broken over and over again.
but then trying to love like I've never been hurt before.
- I finally decide deadlines aren't worth it and that I need to create my own pace. Thus, the long absence and the break.
- I gain weight
and take up tennis lessons. and stop.
- I don't meet a lot of new people but maintain relationships with old friends.
- a year of change, both good and bad.
- I meet someone and fall in love hard.
- I say goodbyes.
but also hellos.
- I change.
and grow up.

It is time I say goodbye to 2009. Bittersweet moments - they will forever be memories.

Senin, 16 November 2009

Glam Girls Unbelievable - coming soon this December!

Buku keempatku akan segera terbit di awal Desember 2009 :) judulnya Glam Girls Unbelievable, instalasi ketiga serial Glam Girls, versi Maybella.

Ini sinopsisnya:

In the world of popularity, being perfect is everything. Kamu adalah pusat perhatian, jadi pastikan kamu memang layak mendapatkannya.

Kamu juga harus mengerti, tujuan tampil sempurna adalah demi dibenci. Di dunia kami, dibenci dan dicemburui adalah sebuah pujian. So true, Dahling! Orang-orang seperti tak bosan bergosip tentang Paris Hilton, tetapi apa yang dia dapat di kemudian hari? Kontrak reality show sendiri dan signature perfume yang dijual di seluruh dunia.

Cantik itu wajib hukumnya dan kesempurnaan adalah segalanya. Pastikan kau selalu tampil memesona dan bungkam mereka dengan senyuman terbaikmu. Satu kesalahan kecil saja - voila! - bibir-bibir ber-lipgloss itu pasti ramai menghabisimu...



Senin, 09 November 2009

Months After

Soo.. what's up with me?

Haven't been online for nearly weeks. Been busy with this new project, which turns out pretty well because next month my fourth book will hit the stores. It's the latest installment to a series by Gagas Media, my beloved publisher.

Other things that revolve around my life lately are work, work, work. I'm more immersed in my job lately.

A lot has changed. Not just my relationship status. Not just matters of the heart, dreams, obsessions, needs and desires. Not just my personality. EVERYTHING changes - my life changes, hopefully to the better.

Overall, I am doing okay. I am happy. I am alive.

It feels good to be back :) how are you guys?

Jumat, 02 Oktober 2009

a small reminder

Blog EntryRule of ThumbMay 19, '09 1:30 AM
for everyone
Writing rule # 1..
write only what you like. what you want. what you love.

Looked back to what I wrote a couple of months ago.
Now I realized how wrong I had been.
Mistakes, mistakes.
You learn from them, don't you?

Kamis, 10 September 2009

Dapatkan Refrain di toko buku online (discount up to 25%)

Berhubung Refrain sudah masuk toko buku Jakarta dan sekarang sedang didistribusikan ke luar Jakarta, saya juga menemukan beberapa link toko buku online yang menjual Refrain, dengan harga diskon tentunya :)

Lebih mudah dan nggak perlu keluar rumah untuk beli hehehe. Berikut linknya (langsung klik di nama tokonya ya):

Selamat berbelanja, dan terima kasih jika kamu membeli Refrain :)

Selasa, 01 September 2009

Meet Refrain - my third novel, now in stores :)

Aahhhhhh baru dapet kabar kalau novel baruku sudah duduk manis di Gramedia :) senangnya.
Meet my third book - Refrain.

Ini sinopsisnya:

Tidak ada persahabatan yang sempurna di dunia ini, yang ada hanya orang-orang yang berusaha sebisa mungkin untuk mempertahankannya.


Ini bisa jadi sebuah kisah cinta biasa. Tentang sahabat sejak kecil, yang kemudian jatuh cinta kepada sahabatnya sendiri. Sayangnya, di setiap cinta harus ada yang terluka.

Ini barangkali hanya sebuah kisah cinta sederhana. Tentang tiga sahabat yang merasa saling memiliki meskipun diam-diam saling melukai.

Ini kisah tentang harapan yang hampir hilang. Sebuah kisah tentang cinta yang nyaris sempurna, kecuali rasa sakit karena persahabatan itu sendiri.


Novelku kali ini tone-nya lebih ceria :) I think it's the most cheerful book I've ever written. Hihihi. I really hope my readers will like (love!) it.

Kamis, 27 Agustus 2009

Pemenang Kontes #3 dan #4

Setelah telat seminggu *maap!!*, pemenang kontes TREAT YOURSELF dan TREAT A FRIEND diumumkan juga. Jreng jrengg.... drumrolls.

Pemenang kontes #3 alias TREAT A FRIEND adalah Regina yang ingin memberikan novel Ai kepada sahabatnya, Monica.

Pemenang kontes #4 alias TREAT YOURSELF adalah Lifang.

Kedua pemenang akan mendapatkan novel Ai yang sudah ditandatangani :) novelnya akan kukirim ke alamat masing-masing paling lambat minggu depan ya.. Selamattt!

*mikir ide baru buat kontes lain ahh* :P

Senin, 17 Agustus 2009

Pemenang Kontes #1 dan #2

Berhubung kedua kontes sudah ditutup, saya akan mengumumkan pemenangnya :)


Novel ketiga saya sudah resmi dinamakan. Judul yang dipilih oleh penerbit adalah REFRAIN. Karena itu, pemenang kontes #1 saya pilih berdasarkan favorit dan yang memenuhi syarat ya :)

Pemenangnya adalah: Alexa Fia dari Jakarta, yang mengusulkan judul Dream on Your Song

Kontes #2: KISS AND TELL

Banyak yang sudah mengemail saya dengan kisah mereka.. fiuh, bingung memilih karena semuanya seru.. tapi karena harus memilih satu, pemenangnya adalah: Lyna dari Denpasar

Selamat untuk kedua pemenang... novel ketiga saya beserta 1 surprise akan dikirimkan ke alamat masing-masing. Pemenang akan dihubungi via email. Karena novel ketiga belum terbit, hadiah baru bisa dikirim setelah saya mendapatkan bukunya dari penerbit (maaf ya nggak bisa langsung..).

Terima kasih buat semua yang udah berpartisipasi yaa.. dan kontes TREAT A FRIEND juga TREAT YOURSELF masih berlangsung sampai tanggal 20 Agustus lhoo :)

Sabtu, 08 Agustus 2009

Upcoming and Anticipated Movies

A few movies I can't wait to see:

The Last Airbender

I have yet to watch the entire animation series but have watched a few and loved them. There's something creative about the whole series, and the animation is really lovely. They're casting Dev Patel, the star of Slumdog Millionaire, Jackson (Jasper from Twilight!) and a few newcomers for the live action movie. The boy who plays Aang looks very much like the animation character does :) Plus, M Night Shyamalan is directing!!


My favorite young adult book by Wendelin van Draanen made into a movie. I wish they're making Stargirl and Love, Stargirl too! This movie is about a girl who is slightly obsessed with Bryce, her neighbor. Bryce, on the other hand, tries to avoid her dutifully, and might just be intimidated by her quirkiness. This is a nice story of love and friendship.

Shutter Island

I always love pyschological thrillers such as this. Just saw the trailer the other day and thought it might be interesting, even though the whole movie's review will depend almost entirely on how the ending turns out. Even if it's disappointing, let's hope the process of watching is enjoyable and scary.

My Sister's Keeper

One of my favorite Jodi Picoult's books, although I like the Pact and Nineteen Minutes better. I hope they're making Nineteen Minutes the movie soon, it'll be heartbreaking and very complicated, bringing back painful memories of school shootings that have happened a few years back. The Pact and the Tenth Circle are already made into movies, so fingers crossed. I am pretty happy they're casting Abigail Breslin instead of the Fanning sisters, and that (SPOILERS, but I'm going to make it subtle) -- they're altering some parts of the book.

the Book Thief

Ah. I was blown away by the book. Much like The Boy in Striped Pajamas, I have a feeling the movie is going to be beautiful. I hope they're casting a newcomer for the part of Liesel. Can't wait! This is coming out in 2010-2011, I suppose?

Crossing Over

I've already seen the trailer. It looks neat. The dillema, the complication, and various related characters. Overall I'm happy to see old faces back - Harrison Ford, Jim Sturgess, Ashley Judd, and a few rather new faces.


This is a Korean disaster movie. I think this might be the first one for Korea, since Japan has its own Sinking of Japan.. starring the much-missed Ha Ji Won, this movie has already hit box office. It's gonna be interesting, I can tell.


This is supposed to be a musical. Nicole Kidman, Marion Cottilaard, amongst others.

Coco Avant Chanel

Audrey Tautou as Coco Chanel. There hasn't been a lot of good fashion movies lately, so this one must be it. I'm happy they're casting Tautou instead of Keira Knightley, and that this is a French movie.. I haven't seen one for ages :)

What about you? What's your version of upcoming, anticipated movies?

Jumat, 07 Agustus 2009

More contests to win autographed copies!

Iseng mau bikin kontes lagi ah, sekalian buat ngerayain naik cetaknya Ai :) thanks buat semua temen-temen yang bikin kesampean..

Contest nomor 1 FIND THE PERFECT TITLE masih belum bisa diumumkan pemenangnya (walau sudah ada calon juara), karena penerbitannya agak diundur berhubung masih mencari judul yang tepat dan belum diputuskan judul mana yang akan dipilih.. Contest nomor 2 KISS AND TELL masih berlangsung hingga 15 Agustus, jadi bagi yang mau ikutan masih ada waktu :)

Bukan berarti nggak ada pemenangnya ya untuk kontes sebelumnya.. jadi jangan ragu ikutan kontes lagi, iseng-iseng berhadiah :D


Suka novel Ai dan pengen ngasih Ai ke temen, pacar, atau someone special? Pengen kasih surprise manis buat seseorang?

Treat a friend to a book - saya akan mengirimkan 1 novel Ai yang sudah ditandatangani, gift-wrapped, berserta pesan khusus dari kamu untuk sang penerima - be it a love letter, a thank you note, anything! kepada seseorang yang ditunjuk oleh satu pemenang kontes ini. Caranya gampang kok, cuma kirimkan email berisi alasan kenapa kamu ingin memberikan Ai kepada orang tersebut.

Kirim emailnya ke: winna.efendi@gmail.com sebelum tanggal 20 Agustus 2009 :)

Kepingin menghadiahi diri sendiri novel Ai? Boleh kok.. CONTEST #4: TREAT YOURSELF, cukup kirimkan email jawaban atas pertanyaan:

- Karakter mana yang paling kamu sukai dalam buku Ai dan kenapa?
- Apa yang paling kamu suka, dan tidak suka, dari novel Ai?

Kirimkan ke winna.efendi@gmail.com
1 pemenang akan mendapatkan paket berisi novel Ai yang sudah ditandatangani :)

Semua kontes berlaku untuk daerah Sumatra-Jawa-Kalimantan-Sulawesi saja ya.. terima kasihh..

Kamis, 06 Agustus 2009


Let’s say we’ve never met. Let’s say you, or I, never bought a ticket that brought us to a fateful day. Fateful. I scowl at the word; it sounded so corny, and I don’t like being called that.

But let’s say I was never there, on a small red bus to Tokyo, along with twenty other over-enthusiastic tourists in Hawaiian shirts and straw hats.

I was minding my own business. You were, too, slouching and leaning against the cracked window, your sunglasses perched down on your nose. Your skin was too tan, your face too plain, that at first I did not take notice. And then you took off those glasses and looked straight at me.

I didn’t expect you to smile. I let you glance at me and formulate a first impression, as I was doing the same thing. My stomach lurched out of habit, and it was not because of the breakfast I missed.

I didn’t invite you to sit on my chair the next time we were on the wheels again, after a lengthy and fussy toilet stop. You smiled easily and said hi. I was flustered but I knew I did not look so clumsy. I just looked at you, and when you did not make an apologetic gesture or go away, we started talking.

It was easy talking to you. We had nothing in common, for that I was glad. You were a stranger on a strange trip, something I took out of sheer insanity. I did not plan on being fired. I did not plan on going to Japan. I did not plan meeting you.

You called me a misantrophe. I knew what the word meant. Dislike of people in general. Maybe that is true, I never really have a fondness for people. But the grace with which you said that made me smile, as if it was a joke.

Jokes are often the truth, though.

We spent nights in bars at Ginza, slugging down overpriced cocktails until I began laughing uncontrollably. You told me I loosened up, and I laughed more. At least I remembered that part, and the part in which I desperately wanted to kiss you – wrap my fingers around yours – ripped off your clothes – uncharacteristic thoughts that made me blush in shame.

We just talked, though. Spent the night in my hotel room, just talking under warm blankets. The warm air suited my mood. Sometimes you said something funny, and I remembered not having laughed in a very long time. Sometimes I was able to say my own jokes out loud.

I wasn’t myself, but I didn’t let you see that. Who knew, that girl back there might have been the girl I was deep inside, whom I never let out in public.

You were the best thing that happened to me that year. Between losing a job I was in for five years, between finding out my life was a big fat lie, you were the only thing good, even if just for ten days.

We did say goodbye, though. You were waving kind of sadly at me. I was smiling, but let that smile be my sadness. You took your duffel bag and slung it over your shoulder, looked back twice, before disappearing into the crowd. I turned on my heels, never looked back, poof, a shadow in your past.

Let’s say we’ve never met. Let’s say you, or I, never became friends.

Misantrophe. The word hangs in the air. I smile. And remember you.

6 August 2000 - inspired by the song in Lock and Key, a word I looked up in the dictionary

Rabu, 05 Agustus 2009

Everything about writing, I learn from Roald Dahl

I do, indeed.

When I was eleven, I read my first real novel in the school library. The book title was pale yellow, with an illustration of a long haired girl sitting on a stack of books. That was the story of Matilda, one of Roald Dahl's bestselling books, also my all time favorite. I remember photocopying the book to document it, and then buying an English copy for myself. When I lived in KL, I bought most of his books and read the rest in my school library. Oh, how I loved his stories.

I read a book he wrote about how to become an author, excerpted in his Chocolate book (which really smelled of delicious cocoa). He mentioned a good writer should have a good sense of humor (don't take yourself so seriously), and you must be a perfectionist (edit, edit). Plus, the discipline to do it all. I think he's right.

I was older when I read his anthology of short stories, the Umbrella Man. It was so beautiful. I lost the book when I lent it to a friend, though. The stories were very weird, in some way, but just so amazing. They were quirky, they were fun to read. I could practically see the man's logic being twisted this way or another, creating something jus simply... brilliant.

The man is brilliant.

I was rereading Matilda the other day. I loved every second and bit of it. I practically had some lines memorized without meaning to. Till today, he's still my most favorite author :)

Jumat, 31 Juli 2009

Contests! Menangkan buku terbaru Winna Efendi

Dear friends,

Berhubung buku ketiga saya akan diterbitkan pada bulan Agustus 2009, saya ingin mengadakan beberapa kontes kecil untuk para pembaca dan teman-teman sekalian.


Walaupun bukunya sudah akan naik cetak, saya masih belum ketemu judul yang tepat, padahal judul yang sempurna sangat penting untuk sebuah buku. Judul sementaranya adalah NIGHT MUSIC, dengan pilihan kedua LULLABY, tapi saya masih ingin mencari kandidat lain untuk calon judul.


Ini adalah cerita tentang persahabatan. Nathaniel Wirawan (Nata) dan Nikola Ciputra (Niki) sudah berteman dekat sejak kecil, walaupun sifat mereka bertolak belakang (Niki bilang Nata sering nyolot, dan Nata suka sebel kalau Niki mulai terlalu girly dan cerewet). Hobi mereka adalah menghabiskan sore hari di atas trampoline kebun belakang Nata, sambil mendengarkan gubahan musik cowok itu dan menunggu matahari terbenam. Dan ada sosok Annalise, sang murid baru yang selalu tampak kesepian, menyembunyikan rahasia tentang keluarganya… sampai dia bertemu dengan Nata dan Niki.

Ini adalah cerita tentang cinta pertama. Sejak masuk SMU, Nata mulai menyadari perubahan pada diri Niki (atau justru dia yang berubah?). Ketika Nata sibuk menekan dan menyangkal perasaannya, Niki justru mencari cinta lain yang sempurna.

Ini adalah cerita tentang impian. Ini adalah cerita tentang masa lalu, masa kini, dan masa depan. Ini adalah cerita tentang kita.

Hadiah: 1 buku ketiga Winna Efendi yang ditandatangani, plus souvenir (it's a surprise) :)

Syarat dan ketentuan:

- Teman-teman sekalian dapat mengusulkan maksimal 3 rekomendasi judul untuk buku ketiga saya.
- Judul-judul tersebut akan dipilih berdasarkan: ketepatan dan korelasinya dengan isi, menarik dan catchy, mudah diingat, dan mencerminkan karakter maupun cerita dengan baik, juga belum pernah digunakan sebelumnya.
- Rekomendasi judul yang terpilih menjadi pemenang adalah judul yang dianggap terbaik dan paling cocok untuk buku ketiga saya, baik rekomendasi tersebut akan menjadi judul yang diterima penerbit maupun tidak.
- Karena keputusan penerbit tidak dapat diganggu-gugat, saya tidak dapat menjanjikan bahwa judul yang menjadi juara akan menjadi judul terpilih untuk buku saya. Rekomendasi judul akan dijadikan kandidat untuk saya usulkan ke pihak penerbit, yang memiliki keputusan mutlak untuk menerima maupun menolak rekomendasi tersebut.
- Jika ada teman-teman yang mengusulkan judul yang sama (great minds think alike, yes?), dan jika judul tersebut terpilih menjadi juaranya, maka hadiah akan jatuh kepada yang lebih dulu mengusulkan judul tersebut.
- Kontes akan ditutup pada jam 12:00 siang, hari Senin tanggal 3 Agustus 2009 (karena buku sudah akan naik cetak).
- Teman-teman dapat mengirimkan nama, alamat, nomor telepon dan email beserta judul yang diusulkan ke winna.efendi@gmail.com atau meninggalkan pesan atau komentar di inbox Facebook Winna Efendi dan blog saya (http://winna-efendi.blogspot.com). Pemenang akan dihubungi melalui email.

Kontes #2: KISS AND TELL

Pernah punya pengalaman konyol, lucu, manis, atau haru semasa remaja? Ingin supaya cerita kamu dijadikan inspirasi untuk buku fiksi? Atau sekadar ingin curhat?

I want to hear your story! Cerita di novel-novel saya selalu berkisar mengenai cinta, persahabatan, keluarga dan kehidupan sehari-hari, dan biasanya terinspirasi oleh kisah pribadi maupun pengalaman teman-teman dekat. Saya akan senang sekali kalau bisa mendengar feedback dan kisah hidup teman-teman sekalian. Bukan nggak mungkin lho kalau cerita itu lalu menjadi inspirasi buku berikutnya

Hadiah: 1 buku ketiga Winna Efendi bertandatangan dan souvenir khusus.

Syarat dan ketentuan:

- Email cerita kamu beserta dengan nama dan nomor telepon ke winna.efendi@gmail.com

- Cerita dapat berupa apa saja: persahabatan, cinta pertama, kehidupan, keluarga, dan lain-lain yang inspiratif dan bermakna untuk kamu.

- Email ditunggu hingga tanggal 15 Agustus 2009.

- Pemenang akan dihubungi via email.

I’ll be waiting!

Kamis, 30 Juli 2009

the Title

I just got a call from my publisher. Buku ketiga akan naik cetak tanggal 10 Agustus 2009!! Yay yay yippie yay!

I'm still short of the perfect title though. A title is almost as important as the cover design and the story, if not more. It's what people buy the book for - they look at the cover first, then the title, and it should convey something about the story. It should be dreamy if the story is dreamy, it should be fun if the story is fun, it should be catchy, it should be perfect.

My third book is about three high school teenagers - Nata, Niki and Annalise. Nata and Niki have been good friends since they were kids - being neighbors and all. Nata's slightly sarcastic, in a good way, he sounds annoying but has a good heart. He loves playing the guitar, and always spends time with Niki together on their backyard, making music and singing. Niki, on the other hand, is a cheerful, optimistic cheerleader. She's always fun to be with, but often very naive.. that she doesn't realize that her best friend might be falling for her. Annalise is a new student, she comes from a broken home and is often very lonely and sad. She doesn't have a lot of friends, but finds herself attached to Nata and Niki.

It's about the bonds of friendship, first loves, betrayal, family and dreams.

It has a different style compared to Ai and Kenangan Abu-Abu, and I think it has the most cheerful tone of the three. I really hope my readers will like it.

Back to the title. A small poll, please.. I really need suggestions :) I will give the person with the winning title suggestion an autographed book of my third book, when it's published.

So far my picks are:

Night Music

This small poll ends on Monday, 3 August. I look forward to some catchy titles.. Thank you..

Kamis, 23 Juli 2009

Life's too short for boring books

I caught up with my reading, less with my writing. Here are the books I'm currently devouring:

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey
Thornton Lee Stewart
how I love the series! Much better than other fantasy and young adult adventure books I've read. Suspenseful, and I don't always feel like a grown up in a child's world of puzzle solving.

The Luxe Novel: Envy
I'm going to read the third book in the series, which just came out in paperback. I enjoyed the second book, but found the first one almost unbearable. Hope this one's much better. It's like Gossip Girl in Victorian era, so much juicier and more elegant.

the Secret Garden
Found a still plastic-wrapped Penguin Classics copy in my shelf after watching the movie last Sunday. I loved A Little Princess, and let's hope I enjoy this one as well.

100 classic fairy tales
I've always liked fairy tales about princesses, dragons, handsome princes, witches. The book is packed with 100 abridged versions of these classic tales, filled with beautiful illustrations. One worth collecting.

Lonely Planet Citiescape Asia
I found much use of the Tokyo series. I am reading the Singapore, Hong Kong and Sydney next. I'm not fond of traveling, but I do like reading about it. Strange fascination.

I still have a couple of YA fiction and magazines to read. It's my fault I bought too many books in Singapore. Still have a few wishlisted books to buy :)

picture credit: artsjournal.com

Sabtu, 18 Juli 2009

long time no see?

So, after these weeks of not writing, lounging around doing nothing (mostly reading endless books and watching endless movies..), I'm unofficially back. A few resolutions I haven't kept:

shop less, window shop more (they don't exactly go hand in hand)
write a couple more good pages (hard to do, and I have so many different projects to work on)
see more movies and read more books for reference (already on progress)
go out more, need a social life (I'm still antisocial most of the time)
read magazines to catch up with things
avoiding big places and splurging on things
attending wedding and engagement parties of friends (did that)
watch Harry Potter (been there, done that)
watch Public Enemies (yay, next week, OK?)
meet my Fasity friends for a Lancome mascara launching event (yes!)
work, work, work (haven't I done that these recent months!?)

As you can see... I'm deliriously busy, yet so deliriously free. But it's good to be back.

Jumat, 03 Juli 2009

the power of readers

Belakangan ini saya menerima banyak sekali feedback dan komentar dari teman-teman dan kenalan baru, kebanyakan sudah membaca Ai. Seneng banget mendengar komentar tentang Ai, Sei, dan terutama Shin dan Natsu, yang ternyata lebih disukai daripada karakter utamanya :P

Membaca puluhan komen dan status di Facebook, email yang menumpuk belum terbalas di Gmail, dan beberapa lainnya membuat saya tersenyum dan terharu.. ternyata banyak yang suka dengan karya saya, bahkan ketika saya sering berpikir cuma saya saja yang jatuh cinta luar dalam dengan karakter-karakter saya. Seneng kalo denger ada yang sampe menangis setelah membaca Ai, juga senyum-senyum melihat kekonyolan dan keromantisan yang saya kreasikan.

:) it acts as a fuel, really. For no reason why, I always - always being the definite word - smile whenever I read and reply each comment.

Terima kasih ya, teman-teman yang sudah membaca buku-buku saya. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.

Jumat, 12 Juni 2009

Kisah Putri Duyung dan Happily Ever After

Dalam kisah putri duyung karya Andersen, pada akhirnya sang putri yang telah berubah menjadi manusia terpaksa menjadi buih demi kebahagiaan pangerannya. Ending yang tidak bahagia, walau dia diubah menjadi salah satu dari jiwa-jiwa yang mengambang di udara, sebagai karma atas kebaikan hatinya.

Pagi tadi, tiba-tiba saya ingin tahu... itu kan cuma ending sementara saja, ending dari sepotong kisah hidup. Bagaimana kalau suatu hari nanti sang pangeran tahu bahwa putri yang dinikahinya bukanlah penyelamat hidupnya, tapi hanya seorang gadis yang kebetulan lewat di pantai tempatnya terdampar? Apakah sang putri akan bungkam seumur hidup bahwa dia bukanlah putri duyung yang berenang untuk menyelamatkan pangeran dari maut di laut sana? Apakah pernikahan mereka bahagia? Apakah sang putri duyung masih memikirkan pangerannya, nun jauh di sana?

Setiap cerita - baik cerita pendek maupun novella, hanya memaparkan ending dari sebuah potongan kisah. Bukan ending yang sebenarnya, karena kisah hidup seseorang terlalu panjang, dan cerita hanya memetik yang penting dan menarik saja. Tapi bukankah naif untuk menulis and they live happily ever after setelah sebuah adegan berakhir baik?

Sang putri yang menikah dengan pangeran idamannya setelah ciuman yang membangunkan dari tidur seratus tahun.

Putri dan raksasa berwajah seram yang melepaskan kutukan nenek sihir dan berubah menjadi pangeran.

Si tudung merah yang berkumpul kembali dengan neneknya, setelah melepaskan diri dari cengkeraman serigala berbulu domba.

Happily ever after sedikit naif, bukan? Hidup seseorang tidak bisa selamanya berujung di sana. Tapi tentunya kita semua mempercayai konsep itu - bahwa jauh di sana, hal semacam itu eksis. Memupuk harapan. Kadang salah berasumsi kalau menemukan pasangan hidup, dan berkeluarga adalah definisi paling tepat dari happily ever after.

And it sometimes is, really. Sometimes, you need to believe in something in order to feel it.

Selasa, 09 Juni 2009

Suddenly missing something

I suddenly, desperately miss it.

the quiet dance of nimble fingers
the tips touching the keypads, just with the right pressure
and the simple, pure joy after a good chapter or two
and those characters speak.. inside my mind

they've been so quiet lately

Sabtu, 30 Mei 2009


30 May 2009
6:19 p.m.

On the back seat of my car is a wedding dress. I’m picking it out for last minute alteration; the sleeve was slightly too tight for me. But as I drive back to my old apartment for one, last night, I cannot help but think of you.

I’m playing Andrea Bocelli on the tape. Do you remember how much we loved singing out of tune to ‘Time to Say Goodbye’? They were some of the happiest days of my life. Yet here I am, composing a letter for you in my mind, driving in the eerie silence of the night, anxious to get home? I’m not even thinking of tomorrow morning – my wedding day, for God’s sake. I’m intent on sipping dark coffee, looming in the darkness of the home I’ve spent so many years living in.

I miss you.

Don’t you wish that sometimes you could rewind time, and then hit the pause button? I wish I can. I wish that I can rewind my years and go back to the ancient time, when we, in our naivette, still belonged to each other.

You know, it’s funny that I still remember which side of the bed you used to sleep on. On my left, with one arm always hanging on my waist, spreading your palm on the surface of my stomach. How it felt, somewhat ticklish, but I also got that pleasant tingling feeling when you touched me there.

Do you remember how infatuated I was with you? I do. Peter was always saying that maybe, maybe there was no such thing as love. Maybe it was obsession, maybe it was just a crush, or lust, disguised as love. He was right. It was more than just love for me; I was obsessed. I was lustful. I had a big crush. I was in love. With you.

Sometimes I think you never did realize it. How I would stare at you with such longing, as you talked and laughed. Peter noticed. Even I noticed myself. In the height of his anger, Peter once said that I was a pathetic little girl, wanting something I couldn’t have. I had you, once. I just didn’t have you forever.

Pause. Rewind. Pause. To the years of college. To the first day I met you. I was furiously punching the buttons of the vending machine with my thumb. You passed by, gave the thing a strong shake, and swooped down to pick up a can of soda. That smile. I couldn’t remember whether I smiled back.

I miss you.

I miss walking along the banks of the river, hand in hand. I miss late nights, sipping on latte, sneaking to the corners of the dark library, cuddling. I miss sitting on the rooftops, smelling what Peter and Lisa were cooking for dinner, cold beers in hand. I miss talking, about dreams and wants and needs. I never realized once those dreams came true, you would be slipping away from me as well.

I used to know your sorrows, even though you hid your tears from me. I wasn’t that introverted about myself. I cried, I yelled. I think maybe they were the things you couldn’t stand. You just wanted to be sucked into your silence, without anyone, as much as a shadow, waiting in the distance. You could not stand having your fears known. You could not have yourself exposed.

But what if? What if I didn’t walk away from you that day? What if I never chose to go in the first place, looked back, turned around and came back? What if you had not let me go? What if you begged me to stay?

None of us did any of the above. But what if? Tomorrow could be our wedding day. I could be the mother of your children, the one to love you for always.

No. That wouldn’t work. You never wanted that, did you?

The track stops. Our song just ended. It brings me back to reality, the harsh light of the streetlights, the quiet screech of my car, the echo of loneliness. I’m here. Without you.

Tomorrow I’m going to marry Peter. I thought you would not come, but I wanted to send you an invitation.

In the end I changed my mind and never mailed the card. I hope you understand. Somewhere out there, you’re doing what you like best, you’re on an adventure, you’re discovering the new world, you’re breaking hearts, you’re falling in love. I think I’ll do the same, in my own small globe of space.

After all, nothing can be fixed if there were no mistakes, right? No more what-ifs.

I love you. I will always do.


inspired by a blog entry by Angela, and the movie Evening.

Senin, 18 Mei 2009

Rule of Thumb

Writing rule # 1..
write only what you like. what you want. what you love.

Minggu, 03 Mei 2009

on risks

Well, you don't get ahead if you don't take risks
-Heidi Klum-
from Project Runway's season 4, episode 11, on Rami's draped Aphrodite dress.

I think that applies to writing, too. I need to stop playing on the safe side, and take risks to do something else entirely different.

Selasa, 21 April 2009

Writing is...

... like a relationship
you either love it or hate it
it makes you either deliriously happy, or miserable
you want to be in it, or best be without it

it requires effort and love
in the end it becomes a habit
it also takes commitment

since it has become more of a commitment than I could take right now
I'm taking it slow, one step at a time
because a novel has proven to be bigger than I thought I could handle
I'm starting with short stories instead

(I happen to have a rather large collection of unfinished short stories that go limp without endings, so every evening after work, I'm gonna listen to My Vintage Romance and edit it one by one).

I know I might not be able to finish everything, not to mention finding a solution to those loose endings.. but I'll work on it.

I promise myself that.

Senin, 20 April 2009

what next?

pertanyaan yang kerap kali saya tanyakan pada diri sendiri
sepertinya bahkan sudah ditanyakan dua kali di blog ini

akhirnya selesai menulis dan mengedit sesuatu
lalu stagnan beberapa bulan

bertukar email mengenai penulisan prosa dan skenario dengan seorang teman pena di Amerika
saya belajar tapi tidak berbuat

saya memulai
tapi tidak menyelesaikan

hari ini,
saya menulis, mengedit dan mengubah sepotong cerpen
berhasil, berhasil, berhasil :)

Minggu, 19 April 2009


The sky was a palette of blue

unsuitable for someone like me

The air was cold when I got near

it always was, I didn’t see the need to change

The soul shivered when I extracted it

looked me in the eye

and smiled one last human smile

she did not say goodbye

I said, embrace me

and come with me


the sky was still a canvas of blue

I took her with me

She held my hand

Saying, I have always been expecting you

I said,

I am death

and I am haunted by humans

inspired by Markus Zusak's the Book Thief

Senin, 13 April 2009

Interview @ Radio A Jakarta

Interviewnya hari Rabu tanggal 8 April 2009, jam tujuh sampai delapan malam. Studionya di Tebet, mungil tapi apik :) di sana saya ketemu dengan mbak Hanny, produser radio A, sekaligus Amanda, sang penyiar yang ternyata juga ingin jadi penulis dan sedang menulis buku. Saya juga ketemu Yulius dari bagian promosi di Gagas Media.

Sebelum mulai, kita ngobrol-ngobrol tentang nulis, Jepang, Zimbabwe (loh?) dan tema-tema novel yang baru. Saya baru tahu kalau Ai sudah sold out dalam tiga minggu, dan sekarang sedang naik cetak kedua. Wow! Rasanya senang sekali :D

Jadi sebelum interview mulai, saya sudah nggak terlalu gugup lagi. Berikut obrolan singkat kita selama satu jam..

Sejak kapan dan mengapa menulis?

Saya sudah suka menulis sejak kecil, tapi baru mulai menekuni sejak tiga tahun yang lalu, saat saya bergabung dengan sebuah komunitas online. Sejak saat itu, saya mulai menulis cerpen, artikel, dan menerbitkan novel-novel saya.


Novel ini bercerita mengenai persahabat dua remaja Jepang, Sei dan Ai. Suatu hari, pemuda Tokyo bernama Shin datang ke desa mereka. Mereka bertiga mulai bersahabat dan akhirnya pindah ke Tokyo. Sei baru menyadari perasaannya untuk Ai saat sahabatnya ini bertunangan dengan Shin.

Apa yang menginspirasi untuk menulis novel ini?

Pada awalnya saya terinspirasi untuk menulis tentang Jepang setelah membaca novel karangan Banana Yoshimoto, seorang penulis Jepang yang sangat berbakat. Selain itu, saya ingin menulis tema dengan latar belakang baru yang belum pernah saya tulis sebelumnya.

Lalu kenapa Jepang?

Saya selalu kagum pada penggambaran Jepang yang ada dalam buku, manga, anime dan film-film Jepang, mulai dari bahasa yang mereka gunakan, pop culture, hingga kebiasaan sehari-hari. Latar Tokyo yang dibumbui dengan tradisi khas Jepang, serta tema yang diangkat dalam novel ini menjadi tantangan tersendiri bagi saya saat menulis.

Nuansa Jepang di novel ini sangat kental, apakah mbak Winna pernah tinggal di Jepang?

Sebenarnya, saya sama-sekali belum pernah menginjakkan kaki di Jepang. Suatu hari nanti saya bercita-cita untuk traveling ke sana dan melihat sendiri keindahan hanami.

Kenapa judul novel ini Ai, bukan Sei?

Ai dalam bahasa Jepang bermakna ‘cinta’, dan juga merupakan nama karakter utama novel ini. Bagi saya, Ai adalah penggerak novel ini, seseorang yang menginspirasi seluruh karakter dan adegan dalam buku. Selain itu, Ai mewakili emosi serta perasaan yang ingin saya sampaikan.

Gaya penulisan novel ini sangat ringan, apakah sengaja dibuat demikian agar mudah dimengerti?

Saya menggunakan bahasa baku yang ringan dan gaya menulis yang sederhana supaya cerita Ai mudah dicerna, tanpa harus mengurangi esensi Jepangnya.

Kenapa memberi nama tokoh utamanya Ai dan Sei?

Sebelum menulis, bagian favorit saya adalah menimbang-nimbang karakter yang akan saya ciptakan, dan saya tidak pernah memulai sebuah cerita sebelum menemukan nama-nama yang sempurna untuk mereka. Bagi saya, Ai dan Sei adalah nama yang tepat untuk kedua karakter utama novel ini. Tidak ada alasan khusus, saat sebuah nama terasa sreg dengan karakternya, biasanya saya akan terus menggunakannya.

Apakah penokohan (watak) Ai dan Sei terinspirasi dari pribadi orang-orang terdekat? Kalau iya, siapakah orang-orang terdekat itu?

Tokoh Ai pada awalnya terinspirasi oleh seorang teman pena bermata biru keturunan Jepang yang tinggal di Amerika, kebetulan namanya juga Ai. Kemudian, karakter Ai dan Sei terbentuk dan hidup dalam pikiran saya, menjadi dua karakter utama yang kini dituangkan dalam novel.

Apakah ada survey khusus (tentang Jepang, misalnya) sebelum menulis novel ini? Kalau ada, berapa lama mbak Winna melakukan survey?

Ya, karena saya belum pernah ke Jepang. Riset ini saya lakukan selama kurang lebih tiga bulan, berbarengan dengan proses menulis. Sumber informasinya dari artikel di Internet, blog orang Jepang, teman-teman yang tinggal di Jepang, juga melalui kedutaan, film, manga dan buku, terutama buku traveling.

Berapa lama mbak Winna mengerjakan novel Ai?

Proses menulis draft awalnya sekitar tiga bulan, lalu saya merombak ulang beberapa adegan dan melakukan editing menyeluruh sekitar tiga bulan. Dari proses awal hingga selesai, kira-kira memakan waktu enam bulan.

Sering merasa jenuh ketika menulis novel? Kenapa dan bagaimana menyiasatinya?

Kadang-kadang, ya. Saya berusaha menulis setiap hari untuk mempertahankan konsistensi dan ritme. Tapi jika sedang benar-benar jenuh, saya akan beralih sejenak untuk menonton film dan membaca buku yang inspiratif, lalu kembali menulis. Intinya, saya tidak ingin membiarkan tulisan saya ‘mendingin’ terlalu lama, supaya tidak kehilangan semangat untuk menyelesaikannya.

Menurut mbak Winna, kelebihan dan kekurangan novel ini apa ya?

Menurut saya, novel Ai dapat memberikan informasi baru mengenai Jepang kepada pembaca Indonesia melalui sebuah bacaan yang ringan. Beberapa pembaca juga mengatakan bahwa karakter-karakter di dalam novel ini kuat dan alur ceritanya sangat menarik.

Tips dan trik mbak Winna dalam menulis novel dan mengirimkannya ke penerbit, hingga diterbitkan?

Pertama kita harus mencari penerbit yang sesuai dengan genre kita, lalu kita bisa coba mengirimkan naskah kepada mereka, sekaligus dengan sinopsis cerita dan data diri. Kita bisa menunggu kabar mereka selama 3-6 bulan.

Saran saya, ciptakan tema yang segar dan lain dari yang lain. Juga lakukan editing menyeluruh dari segi adegan, pengembangan karakter, struktur cerita, dialog dan ejaan sebelum menyerahkan naskah ke penerbit. Saat mengirim naskah, jangan lupa sertakan sinopsis cerita (yang dibuat semenarik mungkin) dan data lengkap. Sambil menunggu keputusan penerbit, jangan putus asa dan terus berkarya.

Ada niat untuk menulis novel lagi? Kalau iya, apakah temanya masih sama (cinta)?

Sekarang ini saya sedang menulis novel untuk audience yang lebih dewasa. Inginnya sih, menulis tentang sesuatu yang sama-sekali berbeda dari tulisan saya selama ini.

Apakah ada pesan khusus di dalam novel ini?

Novel ini mengusung tema yang sederhana: makna persahabatan, keberanian untuk merelakan dan melepaskan masa lalu, juga menggapai kebahagiaan. Bahwa tidak pernah ada kata terlambat dalam cinta sejati.

Teka-teki yang bikin pembaca penasaran untuk baca sampai akhir?

Di tengah cerita, ada sesuatu yang terjadi pada Shin dan Ai, yang membuat persahabatan mereka jadi kacau..

Cerita yang paling gila dan seru.

Selama menulis novel Ai dan melakukan riset, saya jadi nambah kenalan dan perbendaharaan kata dalam bahasa Jepang.

Bagian favorit saya yang seru adalah hal-hal seru yang dialami Sei, Shin dan Ai, dari saat mereka ketemu, mulai bersahabat, lalu lulus bersama dan pindah ke Tokyo untuk kuliah. Ada bagian yang lucu, seru, sedih.. Dalam buku ini juga ada adegan festival musim panas dan festival hanami, yaitu melihat bunga sakura, yang menurut saya seru banget.

Tips dalam menulis

- Menulis apa yang kita tahu, atau riset menyeluruh sebelum menulis

- Plot mengalir, karakter yang konsisten, ide yang segar

- Self editing, dan terus menulis.

Selamat juga buat Ella yang dapetin paket buku dari Gagas senilai Rp. 100 000,- :)

Minggu, 12 April 2009

Long weekend

very tired

had tennis and was especially exhausted

talkshow, late dinner at that new Italian place at Sudirman

Thursday, Friday, Saturday..
hanging out, movies, games at TimeZone, both brunch and dinner with you, barbecue parties, late night movies.

some me-time with a few books and good movies. Catching up on Boys Over Flowers :) family dinner.

Jumat, 27 Maret 2009

with you

someday we'll do this together regularly, on the back terrace of our own house.
no talking, no laughter, just sitting back there with one cigarette and a sip of hot chocolate.

Someday, you promised me once, over dinner, when you asked me something important. Your fingers wrapped in mine, enclosing the finger with the glistening diamond, and I felt the warmth, the genuineness of your words. Indeed I did, because I said yes. Maybe I was overwhelmed, but I liked to launch into self denial and simply said, I was in love.

We never talked about forever, but I had to admit I envisioned one. One long journey of togetherness. I kept talking and convincing myself, long enough to finally realize that you had never spoken about it at all.


Sometimes I found you there, crouching with a light cigarette resting between your fingers, blackened by ash. You were staring into space, as if wishing you would vanish with it. But honey, space was always present, just like the lingering breath of air, just like the unspoken words between us. We could never disappear, just like entities did not just disappear into nothing.

You held a cup of hot chocolate, cradling the handle gently. Most of the time, the drink turned bitter and cold, almost tasting like stale coffee. I knew because I once took a sip, just to feel the coolness of the touch of your lips there, just to feel your loneliness.

You never spoke about what it was that haunted you. Was it just me, incapable of being someone you could love and love you back. Or was it someone else entirely, someone I never knew, but felt like having known forever. Or was she such a big part of you, that I could feel her being, closer and closer.

Was I not enough, or was I not because she was not here?


We had our first fight last night. I pretended not knowing you pretended not hearing me cry. I pretended not noticing you had retreated into your personal nook there, in the back of the terrace, watching fireworks blow off in the first full minute of the new year.

What we were arguing about, I was not sure. Neither were you, I was certain, because you kept looking at me with blank stares, and the words you spoke meant nothing. I recalled calling you selfish, and you admitted it. I did not want you to admit it. I did not need you to tell me something I already knew.

I asked quietly, later when I found my composure back. It was never me you wanted, wasn’t it?

It hurt when I said it. It hurt more when you didn’t answer. It hurt most when I heard you say, wanting is not the same as needing.

And then you lighted up another cigarette.


It was dawn when I was jolted awake by a sound. It was not unlike the noise a child made. I rubbed sleep from my eyes, stood up and found you there.

I took your feverish body in my arms. I felt your shiver, I heard your sobs, I touched your tears. You looked up at me, and I cried with you. I uttered a promise of my own, I will be with you.

someday we'll do this together regularly, on the back terrace of our own house.
no talk, no laugh, just sit back there with one cigarette and a sip of hot chocolate. And I will be with you.

time 21:59, song Snow on Sahara, inspired by Saskia's blog entry. Thanks, dear

Selasa, 17 Maret 2009

Book Shopping March 2009

Gara-gara SIMcard XL saya eror sejak hari Minggu, saya terpaksa gigit jari tanpa bunyi SMS yang menyebalkan itu, dan menghabiskan beberapa hari tanpa menelepon. Akhirnya pergilah saya ke Plaza Indonesia sekalian belanja buku, yang sudah diidamkan berminggu-minggu lamanya.

Coraline: Neil Gaiman
Who's that Girl: Alexandra Potter (saya mengoleksi semua bukunya sejak Calling Romeo)
Love the one you're with: Emily Giffin (Something Blue dan Something Borrowed-nya seru)
The Reader: Bernard Schlink (pengen baca sejak nonton filmnya)
Kira Kira: Cynthia Kadohata (menang Newberry award euy. Pengen banget baca)
The Book Thief: Markus Zusak (selalu suka buku bertema perang dunia)
Rumours: Luxe Novel (sayang belum dapat buku pertamanya)

Ahh. Bukannya riset untuk tulisan baru, malah borong buku.

BTW, ada yang mau beli the Book Thief dan the Reader? Masih segel, baru. Kebetulan baru saja dibelikan Papa di Hong Kong, padahal udah keburu beli di PI.

Senin, 16 Maret 2009

Poetic Experience

gURL.comI took the "If You Were a Poet..." quiz on gURL.com
I am...
Emily Dickinson

Do you have a 19th century sensibility? Or are you an intellectual? Do you write a lot? Because it seems like you have a lot in common with classic American poet, Emily Dickinson. Read more...

Which poet are you?

My handwriting analysis

gURL.comI took the "handwriting personality" quiz on gURL.com
my handwriting personality is...
sensitive scripter

Your handwriting reveals you as a thoughtful, intellectual type who avoids fake people and places where there's lots of noise and crowds. You're probably the one people go to when they're feeling super sad. Read more...

What does your handwriting reveal about you?

Minggu, 15 Maret 2009


Her face haunts me even in my sleep. Her expression is one androgyny mask of emotions – loneliness, fear, sadness. But in the photograph of the wall; the only picture of her in the house, she is actually smiling. A happy, serene smile that reaches her eyes, wrinkling the corners of her lips. She wore a kimono of purple silk, a color contrasting her fair complexion, her two fingers holding an uncut stem of a white rose.

Her name is Sumire. Takagawa told me that. On the first day I arrived at the house, I bent slightly in my wheelchair and stared at her, taking in her graceful features; her dark hair falling loosely on thin shoulders, delicate lashes framing her eyes, the slight dimples of her cheeks, and the nook of her neck, connecting with her collarbones. She is beautiful, but she makes me feel unsettled, just a little. Takagawa likes to have her photograph hung on the wall, even though I prefer paintings of sceneries. Sea, rain, mountains, anything else but her.

It is not that I am afraid of her. I just feel an aching tug in my chest every time I look at her. It is like she can see through me, the lies and the pain I try to cast away. It feels like knowing that one person is less miserable than I am, and that causes me terrible anger. Tagakawa says she must have looked familiar to me, because I always sit across her photograph, doing nothing but look at her all day. It is not that, too, exactly. The words I speak to myself when I look at her seem truer than a lie that someone will tell you when you ask.

Who is she? I once asked Takagawa. He was rinsing plates in the kitchen. I heard him stop, then spoke without looking at me.

The woman I love.

Takagawa has a hint of a smile every time he talks about her, how well she cooks, the songs she always hums to him, the color of her eyes. He becomes animated when he speaks her name; invisible tiny sparks surge like fairy dusts when he remembers her. I sit unmoved, listening to his monologue. Sometimes he asks me why I am so bitter. I say it is because I do not feel anything anymore, and it hurts me more to admit so out loud.

Tell me about you, he often prompts. But my memory has failed me, I am frail and old and unhappy. I tell him everything that I remember, fuzzy images of a children’s playground, swinging in old swingchairs with a man whose face I can’t remember. I am sorry, I can’t remember, is what I always say, after awkward silence that lasts a second too long. Takagawa looks sad afterwards, then changes the subject.

It is true. There are times when my mind blurs with unknown memories – those that probably belong to someone else’s. I do not know who I am anymore, yet I am acutely aware that I am present, watching my own move like a puppet on strings. When that happens, I vaguely remember someone’s voice. Look in the mirror and you see who you are. But there are no mirrors in this house. I have always thought that maybe Takagawa is afraid of his own reflection, so he stacks away everything that will cast a reading into his own face.

There is something else about the man I am living with. Takagawa never brings anyone to his home, I notice that. It seems his world consists of only Sumire, a woman he married almost fifteen years ago. Whether she leaves or dies, I am not certain. Neither am I certain that he appreciates my presence, because I always feel I burden him. He draws a sharp breath every time he looks at me, as if he were uneasy, and perhaps slightly surprised. So I tiptoe around like a cat, which is hard to do considering I am stuck in a wheelchair. For as far as I can remember, I try to appear invisible.

There is only one time that Takagawa lost his temper. It happened a month ago. We had a few cups of sake for New Year’s Eve, and while cooking for dinner, he cut his thumb. He cursed loudly, slightly panicky at the sight of blood. I watched him wordlessly, and he moved towards me, apparently forgetting his bloody finger, bent down and peered into my face.

Sumire. He said. His face was pale, his lips quivering. I could smell the alcohol on his breath.


With that answer, he exploded. He grabbed both my shoulders and shook me, shouting slurred words I could not understand. And then he took one look at my face and his whole body sagged, crouching on the floor beside me, sobbing silently.

We both pretended it never happened.

To say the least, life with him is good. We never cross each other’s path and silence dominates our conversations, just the way I like it. He becomes my sole caretaker, and I grow more comfortable around him each day. But I never forget, never miss the shadow of Sumire in his eyes.

I want to look at myself, I tell him for the third time this week. He casts me a pained look. He does not understand. My skin has turned dry. Sometimes I feel as if each layer is peeling off to reveal someone I no longer recognize.


Takagawa sighs. I grow impatient with him. I am not a child, why am I treated like one? I circle around the house, getting angrier with each step. At last, he relents, opening the door to a room I have never entered before. I barge in before he lets me in. This must be Sumire’s room. This must be a room that used to fill with sunshine, but all I can smell is dust and powdery loneliness. He hesitates, takes the corner of a white cloth and pulls, revealing a large mirror. And then, he steps back.

I look up and stiffen. My fingers automatically reach up for my face, touching the scarred tissue of skin. The traces of where a straight nose and the folding of the lips used to be. I look at myself hard, look at myself closely for the very first time. The unrecognizable monster that stares back at me gapes in horror in response.

At first there is a scream. And then it turns to a wail. It breaks my heart.

Do you remember? Takagawa asks in a whisper. Yes, I remember tires screeching. I remember fire. I remember waking up in a place I do not recognize. I remember the songs Sumire used to hum. I remember, I remember.

Sumire. He calls.

This time I understand. That is my name. Sumire.


-udah lama nggak menulis cerpen. tepatnya, udah lama nggak menulis apa-apa. ini karya pertama di tahun 2009. a birthday present for someone, happy birthday, hun, 12 March 2009-


The red light of the sun,
Slowly descending.
The sky is all I see,
It's never ending.

We could fly,
You and I.
On a cloud,
Kissing, kissing.

The wind plays with the leaves,
The weather turns colder.
But as long as we believe,
Love doesn't get older.

We could fly,
You and I.
On a cloud,
Kissing, kissing.

On a journey of the heart,
There's so much to see.
And when the sky is dark,
You'll be right here,
Right here with me.

Right here with me.

(Kissing, kissing)
(A journey of the heart)

song by Bliss

If I Fell

Sejak denger versinya Jason Castro di American Idol tahun lalu, saya jatuh cinta dengan lagu ini. Saya bukan fans the Beatles, tapi saya suka beberapa lagu jadulnya. Saya lebih suka dengan remake lagu-lagu mereka di soundtrack Across the Universe :) dan juga yang dinyanyikan ulang oleh kontestan American Idol.

If I fell in love with you
Would you promise to be true
And help me understand
'cause I've been in love before
And I found that love was more
Than just holding hands

If I give my heart to you
I must be sure
From the very start
That you would love me more than her

If I trust in you, oh please
Don't run and hide
If I love you too, oh please
Don't hurt my pride like her
'cause I couldn't stand the pain
And I would be sad if our new love was in vain

So I hope you see that I
Would love to love you
And that she will cry
When she learns we are two
cause I couldn't stand the pain
and I would be sad if our new love was in vain

so I hope you see that I
would love to love you
and that she will cry when she learns we are two.

If I fell in love with you

Sleepless in Seattle and Lovely Duets

Ngobrak-abrik koleksi lama dan habis membeli DVD Sleepless in Seattle juga. Waktu yang harusnya dibuat untuk riset, menulis dan mengembangkan karakter dikorbankan demi 2 jam nonton film jadul ini, melihat Tom Hanks dan Meg Ryan, dua aktor favorit saya, yang chemistry-nya undeniable walau dalam screen mereka nggak banyak ketemu.

I can't tell you how much I heart this movie.

Lalu setelahnya, jadi kepingin dengerin lagu When I Fall in Love. Jadi, saya memutar CD lama Lovely Duets. It feels wonderful :) I'm feeling the romance.

Am I Passionate?

You define passion for yourself

Key Traits: self-effacing, no-nonsense, outgoing, active, private, selective You're big on "chemistry." You either share it with someone or you don't, and there's no in between. Others can really tell you have a zest for life. As a result of this, you tend to be outgoing and friendly in social settings and many would consider you the life of the party. Deep down inside though, you're actually very reserved when it comes to your true feelings. With the right person or situation, the real romantic in you starts to emerge. You don't appreciate huge public displays of affection. When you're really into someone, you prefer your feelings to be kept just between you two, as it is more special that way. It's that significant person in your life who truly knows just how passionate you can be. As for every one else, well, what they don't know can't hurt them.

Embracing Change

A blog post from March 4, 2009

Recently there are major changes in our office, from new and resigning staffs, rearranging of departments, new heads, new rules. Even my own little department is undergoing subtle change, finally, after major blowups here and there that left me devastated, and partially hurt.

The thing is, people don't like change. People love their puddles of comfort zone, seeing the same people everyday, eating lunch at the exact same time, going home through the same routine. I, too, am the same. In fact, I went through so much change from the 1998's, moving homes, changing countries, schools, languages, friends. It was a major construction of life. And then in 2000 I had to do it over again, and once more in 2004. It was exhausting, and a part of me kept having to pick up the pieces the rest of me left.

The only constant is change. Perhaps, we should make peace with it. I am trying to do that, a little at a time. Slowly, I welcome change without drastic measures (even if it is drastic, what choice do I have but to cope with it?). After all, good change is good for you, right?

Night Music

A blog post from March 3, 2009

: is the title of my third, and latest novella
: tells the story of three high school teenagers; Nata, Niki and Annalise
: is about dream, the present, the past and the future, love and true friendships

: was first written nearly a year ago
: edited and finished around two months ago
: is going to be published soon *fingers crossed, as always* - got a call this morning!!! yay.

: makes me happy
: is probably the one novel that makes me really fall in love with the characters

: it makes me wonder.. what should I write next? I've been idle for nearly eight weeks, yet I'm still enjoying my grace period. I always allow a long break after the completion of every book.
: sigh. I will definitely start writing my fourth soon.
: I already know what it's called :)


A blog post from February 22, 2009

Tiba-tiba jadi ingin menulis
tapi entah apa
tiba-tiba ingin tertidur dalam dekapan selimut hangat
sedangkan langit riuh-rendah, hujan tumpah ruah
tiba-tiba ingin menghidu aroma dia
menyimpannya mungkin selamanya
tiba-tiba ingin
hanya ingin

*apa karena habis ikutan membahas buku puisi dua penyair hebat ya, jadi begini? hmmmm*


A blog post from February 19, 2009 - taken from my Multiply page when the blog import function ceases working :(

The next time you want to laugh or make cruel jokes about someone... remember.

You might not be better than them. Remember how it feels to be ridiculed at. Place yourself in their shoes.

- a reminder after one of my colleagues made a horrible and unfunny jokes about our phone operator. no, it's not funny at all -

pictures from here

Love and Obsession

What is the difference between love and obsession? Didn't both make you stay up all night, wandering the streets, a victim of your own imagination, your own heartbeat? Didn't you fall into both, headfirst into quicksand? Wasn't every man in love a fool and every woman a slave?

Love was like rain: it turned to ice, or it disappeared. Now you saw it, now you couldn't find it no matter how hard you might search. Love evaporated; obsession was realer; it hurt, like a pin in your bottom, a stone in your shoe. It didn't go away in the blink of an eye. A morning phone call filled with regret. A letter that said, Dear you, goodbye from me. Obsession tasted like something familiar. Something you'd known your whole life. It settled and lurked; it stayed with you.

-taken from Alice Hoffman's the Ice Queen, my latest possession-

Reading Alice Hoffman's prose always makes me feel sentimental, and wants desperately to write. Yet my fingers are numb with invisible pain, each stroke tired and lifeless. Each word means nothing, like evaporating air. A shadow that is not visible, the scent and sound of rain pelting in the background.

Isn't love correlated to obsession? Either you fall into obsession first, and then it grows to something more like love. Or you fall in love first, and then you become obsessed with the individual, or the charm of love itself. Hoffman is right, you fall right into both, at different times, perhaps, but both. It is inevitable, that streak of possessiveness, that pain of love, that need to own, the urge to have.

But isn't it okay, though? Because with a little of both, love should be balanced. Isn't it boring to have love be so selfless all the time?

picture taken from here

Sabtu, 14 Februari 2009

A mini announcement

.. that my official blog for the novel Ai is active.


Add me there :-)

thank you!

Rabu, 11 Februari 2009

on making mistakes

Setelah menyesal karena tadi hanya melihat separuh dari film Evening yang sepertinya sangat menarik (saya memutuskannya dari scene Claire Danes dan Patrick Wilson bertukar kalimat terakhir dengan ekspresi sedih), ada beberapa quote mengenai mistakes yang bagus untuk dirujuk.

Ray: Mistakes are beautiful, baby. Mistakes are part of the fun.
Ann Grant Lord: There's no such thing as a mistake.

Manusia berusaha sebisa mungkin untuk tidak melakukan kesalahan, lalu berusaha memperbaikinya setengah mati saat mereka tahu telah melakukannya. Kata orang, sudah terlambat memperbaiki sesuatu yang sudah menjadi sebuah kesalahan. Kesalahan dalam apa saja bentuknya, misalnya melepaskan kesempatan berharga, salah memilih teman, salah mengambil keputusan, dan lain-lain.

Setelahnya, manusia menyalahkan diri sendiri karena kesalahan tersebut. Ada yang menyalahkan faktor-faktor lain di sekelilingnya, misalnya si anu yang menyebabkan kesalahan terjadi, faktor cuaca, faktor lupa, dan lain-lain. Saya jadi salah-satu orang yang serupa, menyalahkan diri sendiri dengan keras kepala, mati-matian beranggapan segala konsekuensi sebuah kesalahan adalah tanggung jawab saya seorang. Lalu hari ini, saya mendengar quote tersebut:

There's no such thing as a mistake.

Faktanya, konsekuensi dari sebuah kesalahan adalah kesedihan, kemarahan, kerugian, sakit hati. Lalu kita move on, lalu kita maju terus, dan biasanya menjadikan 'kesalahan' itu sebuah pembelajaran. Seperti kata Vilia, I get something, you get nothing.

Jadi kesimpulannya, kesalahan mungkin hanya bisa dibilang sebagai sebuah kesalahan jika kita benar-benar menganggapnya begitu. Kalau saya lebih positif, kesalahan-kesalahan yang saya buat akan saya anggap sebagai kendala sementara saja.

... because life has to go on.
and there are better things to think about.

Rabu, 04 Februari 2009

(yippee!) Ai sudah terbit!

Berawal dari tadi siang (saat lagi suntuk-suntuknya siang hari berkabut dan hujan deras), Windry meng-SMS saya dan mengabari bahwa Ai sudah terbit. Begitu pula dengan Ayu yang ternyata sudah membeli buku tersebut.

*what a wonderful surprise!*

Terima kasih kepada teman-teman sekalian yang sudah mendukung proyek ini.

so.. officially, my second book Ai has hit the stores!

Selasa, 27 Januari 2009

Crazy about...

... Bath and Body Works products.

I'm rather new to them, actually. Just tried one moisturizing hand gel when a friend from the US gave one to me, and I loved it so much that I washed my hands thoroughly every night before going to bed :D

The first scent I bought for myself was Sweet Pea - sweet, like its name, and then Cherry Blossom - because it smelled almost like clean water at first spray but in a few minutes it changed to a nice, slight floral scent. Loved it.

Then I went gaga over Cotton Blossom, Sea Island Cotton, and Rainkissed Leaves. I was thinking of starting a collection. I'm already counting my favorites :D

Soon to fall in love with: Juniper Breeze, and perhaps Country Apple. I haven't sampled them yet.

courtesy of bathandbodyworks.com

Senin, 26 Januari 2009

Broken Strings

James Morrison featuring Nelly Furtado - Broken Strings

Let me hold you
For the last time
It’s the last chance to feel again
But you broke me
Now I can’t feel anything

When I love you
It’s so untrue
I can’t even convince myself
When I’m speaking
It’s the voice of someone else

Oh it tears me up
I tried to hold but it hurts too much
I tried to forgive but it’s not enough
To make it all okay

You can’t play on broken strings
You can’t feel anything
That your heart don’t want to feel
I can’t tell you something that ain’t real

Oh the truth hurts
A lie is worse
I can’t like it anymore
And I love you a little less than before

Oh what are we doing
We are turning into dust
Playing house in the ruins of us

Running back through the fire
When there’s nothing left to save
It’s like chasing the very last train
When it’s too late

Oh it tears me up
I tried to hold but it hurts too much
I tried to forgive but it’s not enough
To make it all okay

You can’t play our broken strings
You can’t feel anything
That your heart don’t want to feel
I can’t tell you something that ain’t real

Oh the truth hurts
And lies worse
I can’t like it anymore
And I love you a little less than before

But we’re running through the fire
When there’s nothing left to say
It’s like chasing the very last train
When we both know it’s too late

You can’t play our broken strings
You can’t feel anything
That your heart don’t want to feel
I can’t tell you something that ain’t real

Oh the truth hurts
And lies worse
I can’t like it anymore
And I love you a little less than before
Oh and I love you a little less than before

Let me hold you for the last time
It’s the last change to feel again

Minggu, 25 Januari 2009

Wishing you...

a prosperous year of the ox!!!

Sabtu, 24 Januari 2009

Weekend Me Time

Friday i'm still blue...

6 p.m. Went to visit my BFF Vie's house. Saw her two little kids Angel and Bryan. The boy was very much attached to me, even though I didn't visit often. He called me Tante Luna, even though I did not resemble the Luna Maya he saw on TV at all (har har har, you wish!).

9 p.m. Still there. Watched Barney and sang along to the songs with the little boy, watched him run around the house, sneaking grapefruits and chocolate cookies to everyone's hand. Felt a pang knowing how blessed this little family really was, and how happy they would be. I was happy for them.

11 p.m. Fell asleep feeling blue.

Saturday knowing I would be exhausted.

7 p.m. Woke up before the alarm hit, which was pretty rare. Forced my limbs to work and hoist me off the bed, forced my eyes open and my system to work again.

8 p.m. Had breakfast and was ready at the tennis court waiting for my friends.

9 p.m. Still clumsily swaying the racket during my first ever tennis lesson. Felt arm slightly sore. Knew I would suck at this game, much as I did at everything else.

10 p.m. Took a quick shower, drove with my parents to the mall. I needed cheering up, and cutting my hair for a second time that week. Dang.

11 p.m. Still no sign the queue would diminish soon. Walked around and browsed at the department stores. Fell in love with a few stuffs, walked four times to the dressing room to try them on, only walking out with one item to purchase.

1 p.m. Had my hair cut by my favorite stylist. Told her to chop the whole thing off coz I was sick of it. Then backed off when I saw the culprit of cut strands on the floor, and begged for the hair to be cut less severely. Stylist smiled and told me why did you change your mind. Had the best cut in a year. Hadn't felt this light and fresh before, with glossy tinted ash dye. Feeling less blue now.

2 p.m. Did my own manicure with ELF light pink polish. Did it twice, screwed two nails twice. Cleaned room, wrote on journal, read the latest edition of EVE magazine, fell asleep until boyfriend called to drop some things off.

7 p.m. Had dinner, browsed online. Watched Paprika.

I haven't had a me-time in a while. It's quite relaxing.

9 p.m. I knew I had a good time. But.. somehow I still wish you were here doing our rituals with me ;)