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

Sabtu, 23 Juni 2012

Spaghetti and Brisbane Nostalgias

photo credit: Andak Cebu Adventures

This afternoon I'm having a takeaway spaghetti bolognaise from our local Pizza chain delivery service. It's been a long time, years, to be exact, that I've had their spaghetti, and the taste brings back so many fond memories.

Years ago, back when I was still a college student in Brisbane, I lived homestay with a friend's family. Her mother used to cook spaghettis weekly, or bi-weekly, when she didn't run out of recipes. Her spaghetti was special, so similar to the restaurant's special pasta, that all of us devoured it for breakfast, dinner and winter.

Lately, I've also been having flashbacks about Brisbane. The spaghetti reminded me of a cold winter day in July, stepping out of my room and finding a bowl of cold, cooked plain spaghetti. Beside the bowl was always another bowl containing Bolognaise sauce. Winter made me hungry and I ate a few times daily, so I would always microwave it with a large slice of cheddar so it would melt all over the minced beef. That was how I liked it.

Her pasta was cooked with perfect timing, not too mushy and not too hard. The minced beef was straight out of a supermarket butcher, the sauce out of canned instant sauce available just as easily. But there was something about the taste, that one thing that reminded me of home when I was so far away.

So today, when I bit into my lunch and immediately felt every memory flood back... it's like sometimes I miss those years when I was just a kid, dressed in brights and pastels for summers, and hoodies and jackets for winters, walking to the bus stop every morning, with an umbrella in my bag, and cold spaghetti on the dining table. I was also home, in Brisbane, more than I realized it.

Rabu, 20 Juni 2012

(book) Insurgent

 To be honest, I like Divergent more than Insurgent. This one's about rebellion, more on Tris and Tobias's relationship, and defining and discovering oneself outside the factions.

It's still action packed and pretty gripping, though it bothers me that Tris seems to be crying most of the time. It is also annoying to see how much she has changed, more of that noble idiocy (I'm doing this to save you so you don't need to know), and so much secrets Tris is keeping from Tobias, and vice versa. It's really frustrating to see how much they bottle emotions inside and that flaws the strength of their relationship, to a point it crumbles and brings weakness to both sides instead of support.

It's a year till the third book comes out. I honestly don't know what to expect. A war, maybe? I'm glad we get to see more of Candor and Amity in the second book, after being coccooned in the three other factions in the previous book.

Feelings about Truth or Dare

Semalam saya duduk dan kembali membaca Truth or Dare. Ini adalah kebiasaan saya - begitu naskah selesai dan dikirim ke penerbit, saya tidak pernah menyentuhnya lagi sampai tiba versi cetaknya di atas meja. Begitu menerima versi cetaknya, saya akan menghabiskan beberapa jam membaca ulang seluruhnya, meresapi kembali. Ini artinya, kadang sampai berbulan-bulan saya merindukan naskah itu dan ingin membacanya lagi. Dalam kasus Truth or Dare, persisnya 6 bulan sejak terakhir saya melihatnya.

Jadi, saya pun mengunjungi Alice. Alice adalah salah satu karakter yang saya sukai. Tidak sepenuhnya otentik, saya melihat jejak Freya, Annalise, bahkan Abigail dalam dirinya. Tapi Alice sepenuhnya milik saya - dia gadis berperingai aneh yang terlihat seperti elf bermata hijau dan berambut pirang putih... sejak lama saya ingin menulis tentang dia.

Saat membaca, saya pun merasakan perasaan-perasaan itu kembali. Rasa saat memenakan Ai, saat mengetik lembaran Refrain, Remember When... mungkin karena temanya persahabatan, saya pun merasa seperti kembali pada saat-saat menyenangkan saat menulis naskah awal saya yang terdahulu. Mungkin pembaca akan mengeluh bahwa ceritanya terlalu familier, terlalu sama dan formulaik, tapi buat saya, I always try to insert something new. Walau saya akui dalam Truth or Dare, saya terlalu terlena dalam kebiasaan-kebiasaan lama sehingga ada beberapa yang mungkin terkesan daur ulang.

Bulan Desember itu, saya menulis setiap hari. Merangkum kisah Alice dan Catherine, juga Julian. Beberapa adegan mungkin akan terasa terburu-buru, tapi saya punya alasan untuk itu.. kami memiliki keterbatasan jumlah halaman. Karenanya, saya akan memposting deleted scene yang terpaksa saya buang agar tidak terlalu panjang.

It's just that I miss writing about them. Tentang persahabatan sejati, tentang cinta pertama. Jadi, apa pun komentar kalian tentang Truth or Dare, saya sungguh berharap kalian pun merasa kembali dalam memory lane bersama saya.

In my next books, I will always challenge myself and rise to that. It's just that this one book might be my guilty pleasure ;)

Bagi yang sudah baca, ditunggu feedbacknya!

Jumat, 15 Juni 2012

(movie) Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted

I like animation movies, and I like Madagascar. It's been a long time since I watched one, though, so when Prometheus wasn't screening at our local theatre, we chose this for some laughs instead, and boy we weren't disappointed. The theatre was packed with kids, and at first I thought it would be a cheesy kid movie with kid jokes and everything, but it's not.

It's fun, it's colorful, it's hilarious, and it's wonderful. I got goosebumps, I was smiling, I laughed at their jokes, and it was quite touching but also being subtle about it. So Madagascar proved to be quite a ride, for both children and adults alike.


(book) Divergent

Have I mentioned how much I love dystopian novels?

That's why I bought this book, despite not being entirely interested in it in the first place. Many compare it to the Hunger Games series, but really it is more similar to Delirium (the aptitude test, the romance, the society, though not the cure).

I like it. I keep thinking about it, wanting to finish it, and it sticks to my mind for a long, long time. I enjoy the book, although there are some parts I find a bit boring, but I can see how they fit and are necessary. The pace is not sluggish, it's not fast either, and the one thing that's so amazing about it is the characters. We see black and white characters, good and evil, but the best is that the main characters are not built that way. We see grey areas, guilt, confusion, disappointment, flaws, and that makes everything real.

I also love the video-game-like action, it's like watching an action movie. Sometimes Dauntless is a bit too gritty for my taste, and if I could belong in a faction I'm probably in Amity or Candor or Erudite (or I could be Divergent, ha!). That being said, I don't entirely support Tris and her peers' actions sometimes, but I can understand them or why they do so.

I also enjoy how relationships unfurl. I especially like the author interview, we can see how passionate and deliberate she planned her book, how intelligent she is. I'm so glad I have Insurgent so I can devour it next. Viva dystopian novels!

Giveaway: Truth or Dare Spotting!

Untuk merayakan terbitnya novel Truth or Dare, aku mengadakan giveaway kedua yang dinamakan Truth or Dare Spotting. Caranya mudah banget.. kalau kamu menemukan novel Truth or Dare di toko buku, snap a photo dan tweet atau posting di Facebook. Jangan lupa tag Winna Efendi (FB) atau @WinnaEfendi (Twitter), gunakan hashtag #truthordare dan sebutkan nama toko bukunya :-) nggak ada batasan jumlah foto, dan kamu boleh berpose dengan novelnya atau memotret buku di rak.. it's up to you, selama yang difoto adalah novel fisiknya, bukan file image.

Have fun Truth or Dare spotting! 1 pemenang akan mendapatkan paket spesial yang dikirim langsung ke alamat, tanpa biaya apa pun.

Winna Efendi

Rabu, 06 Juni 2012

A post in June

Howdy. It's been ages since I last updated.

The latest news:
  • Sebentar lagi, Truth or Dare akan masuk toko buku :-) yippee!! Buat yang belum lihat book trailernya bisa meluncur ke sini
  • Upcoming project: buku nonfiksi.
  • Pesta Buku 2012! Tahun-tahun lalu sempat ikutan talkshow dan acara, tapi sayangnya tahun ini sepertinya berhalangan.. ada yang ikutan Pesta Buku di Istora Senayan?
Summer reads.. belakangan lagi ngumpulin bacaan seru:

  • Slated
  • The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict
  • A Stolen Life (autobiography)
  • Jellicoe Road
  • Entwined
  • The Naughtiest Girl series
So, how have you been?