Friday, 27 February 2009

Friends and Friendships

The concept of friends and friendships always change throughout our lives..

When we were babies, friends mostly mean the people we had around us when we were awake; parents, grandparents, siblings, nannies.. Friends made us laugh, gave us food when we were hungry and lulled us to sleep when we were tired.

When we were toddlers, friends meant the people we played with; shared their toys with us, and enjoyed the toys we shared with them.

As we entered pre-school, our friends were our classmates and other kids in the same year with us. We would do activities in groups and visit places together in outing days.

During school years, our friends were the ones we discussed school assignments with, talked about teachers, and shared thoughts or problems we had with our parents, and confided in about our crushes.

Once we started working, friends were the colleagues who often have lunch with us and could occassionally go into discussions about matters outside work.

Finally, when we have a family of our own, friends are the people we can call up to say 'hi' to every once in a while.. or other parents in our kids' school who we can talk about our kids and school events with..

Friends may come in different shapes and sizes, but they always make us happy just because of their presence. Even before they lend out an ear to listen to us, or a hand to reach out to us.

A lot of people would think that school friends are the ones they rememberred the for the longest time.. because most changes that we experience happened during school years.. but, it doesn't close the possibility that we come across best friends outside school years.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that whenever we remember that we need a friend, there is always someone who might need us to be a friend too; to listen and to reach out.

Sometimes it is hard to keep a close contact with all our friends all the time, so it is worth to remember that saying 'hi, how are you? haven't seen you for a long time' is always better than saying 'why should I care, when you haven't called for so long!"

Growing up makes me understand that life often requires me to focus on myself and let others follow at their own paces. This makes friends become smiling images on the back of my mind during my hard time, as being away from them saddens me and shaping me to be a stronger person at the same time.

Therefore, friends.. never give up on me, because I never give up on you.. I might come in and out of your lives every so often, not because I forget, but because I love you and don't want to lose you..

-27 February 2009-

Sunday, 22 February 2009

When You Don't Want to Give Up

You could try to stand still..
Hold your feet on the ground for balance
And you might still get shaken..

You could look so far ahead..
Covering your eyes from the blinding sun
And you might still see nothing..

You could run as fast as you can..
Leaving everything behind in hope to start anew
And you might still end up getting lost in the way..

When things go dark and all hopes seem to fade before your eyes..
It is not a struggle or a fight that you have to put up
Often.. faith, determination and endurance, are the friends you have to keep with you

- 22 February 2009 -

Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Series: Personal Review

Didn’t really think that my most current status on Facebook would attract any comments more than little acknowledgements... But I really appreciate those comments...

No need to be tensed, guys... I will admit that my biggest reason for reading those novels in a very fast speed was because I was desperate for ideas and motivations to start thinking creative again! I had been feeling numb the last couple of weeks, and that definitely was not fine!

I finished the four novels in only three days, which I could never do with any novel in the Harry Potter series... but, I did find some things that are different and distinct about the way the Twilight novels were written, which actually created some sparks in my mind to start writing again.

Firstly, as I have mentioned in my FB notes, the flow in the first part of the first novel was quite slow, which made me to consider putting the novel down altogether and tried to find something else to do or read. However, the fact that something in that novel caught my brain’s attention, I decided to keep reading.

I was reading the novel and downloading the movie trailers at the same time, meaning, I tried to absorb the feel that the story wanted to convey and I found it (pretty much).. I read the novel, NOT to challenge my sense of imagination in the literature sense, but to try to listen to what the author might have been feeling about life as she was writing the book.

And I succeeded!

Twilight is not meant to be compared to Interview with The Vampire, Harry Potter or even, Buffy, because the author is not trying to make you drawn into her ‘world of imagination’; she was really trying to project her own ideas of the imagination (the story).

The audience targeting for the novels might be slightly off, as I don’t think it was the main focus of the author when writing the series. The language of the story and the moral lessons, were more suitable for young teenagers (11 – 15 years old), however, the problems and mind conflicts presented in the story would need a little more mature understanding, although for adults, the outcomes would look a little oversimplified.

The best moral lessons that could be learned from the story were; we should stick to our family no matter how difficult the situation is, we have to always strive to differentiate the right from the wrong and to be strong in standing our ground in fighting for the right, and lastly, when we keep our head straight, we can overcome even the most difficult issues or problems in our life without involving prejudice or war, as neither is a good way of resolving problems.

These moral lessons are good ones to be taught to young teenagers to prepare them for entering high school (joining the bigger world). Therefore, if you were reading the novels expecting something more complex, it is understandable that you were disappointed.

However, I am in a completely different situation, which made me glad that I read those novels. I am currently brushing up my own story that is targeted for young teenagers which convey similar moral lessons. It is definitely not about Vampires, Shapeshifters and Humans (my story is completely about humans only), but I need to find the best possible way to deliver the lessons in the correct way for the targeted audience.

While Harry Potter might have the better story structure, still it does not offer the same moral lessons that I prepare for my story (Harry Potter is more about friendship, accepting and loving ourselves and others, and not giving up).. Therefore, I needed a different kind of story to relate to, and Twilight series gave me a clearer idea of how I could proceed.

NO... I don’t necessarily think that you would find my story interesting for you (I could tell you that!), as it was never intended to be intricate enough to entertain mature minds :-) So, I definitely won’t take any offence if one day you come across my story and you put it down and say “How Lame!”

Different people have different ways of looking at life. Stephenie Meyer, with all due respect, is not J. K. Rowling, but in my personal opinion, she has a great way of looking at life and tries to put a balance between the ‘old ways’ and the ‘new ways’ to introduce young teenagers to the bigger life.

If vegetarian vampires, shapeshifters who by lack of knowledge thought of themselves as werewolves, and humans could live peacefully together... then, why humans cannot try to make compromises to try to live more peacefully together?

After all, we were created to be different, so that we could learn, understand and respect each other, with all the differences...

One interesting point I found in the ‘Breaking Dawn’... if the Shapeshifters could, for centuries, mistakenly thought of themselves as werewolves, how mistakenly can people think of themselves and others, and have problems created because of that?

Anyway... my sister, Vina, always says that I am a mother of two with a mind of an early teenager (you can ask her about my choices of books to read, songs to listen and movies to watch to support her statement).. So, please put up with my ‘strange’ mind and just love me for the person I am... :-)

Finally, for Stephenie Meyer... despite what some people say, I believe your Twilight series was a good read.

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