Building writing stamina with blogging

I view writing the way I look at exercise; it's all of the above and more. Writing regularly, honing my craft, allows me to not just sharpen my skills, but to be in a better place, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. To write daily, or even a few times a week requires discipline and commitment, so I cannot go off track, or be lazy. I try to free up enough time to be able to write without stopping for at least three hours a day before I have to do something else, like cooking or tending to the cats.

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Framing a life for public consumption

Framing a life for public consumption is exhausting; especially if you are doing everything yourself. But now, everybody is doing it, even if they are not as famous as the Kardashians or Paris Hilton. This was unthinkable in 2001 when I was working for that design and lifestyle magazine. At the time, Mark Zuckerberg was still in high school and Facebook was still a few years away from being launched in 2004, followed by YouTube a year later.

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The 5 AM Writer’s Club

I woke up at 5am this morning. I set my alarm for 4.45am and gave myself permission to lie in bed for another 15 minutes and then woke up to do my ablutions and so on, performed Isya' prayers (should have actually done this before I go to bed), and then made myself a mug... Continue Reading →

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Who deserves the last Brownie?

Who deserves the last brownie? In the “Last Brownie Game’, the person with the saddest life wins. I do not know whether there is a game like this in the real world. I first saw this game being played by a group of friends (and love interest) at a dinner party in the movie ‘Notting... Continue Reading →

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Merdeka Day not for all Malaysians?

It is the 31st of August. Merdeka. Independence Day. On Twitter, people are arguing about whether to call it Hari Kemerdekaan for Tanah Melayu or Malaya, which is Peninsular Malaysia before it merged with Sabah and Sarawak, or to call it Malaysia's Independence Day. I value historical accuracy and I believe the government should put... Continue Reading →

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The Story of Az Podcast

Okay, so I started ANOTHER podcast. But this one is just for this blog, The Story of Az. I wanted to know how the WordPress-Anchor.fm tie in works. So I tried it and it is very easy. You can choose to have Anchor read your blog for you. There are two voices you can choose... Continue Reading →

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My Poetry Podcast

Yesterday, I signed up for a podcast on Anchor.fm. Achievement unlocked. I have always wanted a podcast but was clueless about how to go about it. Anchor.fm has made it easy. Well, easy for me. I watched one or two instructional videos on YouTube and thought perhaps I could have a go. Initially, I wanted... Continue Reading →

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Trick yourself into writing

When Sherry Ellis asked Binnie Kirshenbaum about her personal ritual for an interview in the Writer's Chronicle, the novelist said, "Get out of bed, make coffee, stumble into my office, turn on the computer, and I sort of get started before I'm fully awake. It's a way of tricking myself so that I don't get... Continue Reading →

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Tuesday Blues and Olympic Gold

I went to sleep worried and woke up feeling, yes, shitty. Then I saw this post on two athletes sharing first place for Olympic high jump. I read it and thought: WHAT?

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Welcome August, my old friend

It is the first of August. Yes, August 1, 2021. Are you satisfied with how your half year had gone or do you wish you could turn back time to New Year's Eve 2020?

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Not too old to learn something new

I am now a YouTuber. Okay a very, very new YouTuber. Actually, I don't know whether I can claim to be a YouTuber if I only have three videos uploaded. And one is actually a subset of the other. I have started a podcast called Az@TheProcess, where I will discuss "creativity, the process of creating... Continue Reading →

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Source: Writing Alone and with Others by Pat Schneider, Oxford University Press.

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Create to find clarity

I have always believed this: "When the world gets too confusing, you might as well start creating." I write to make sense of the world, to make sense of what I feel, to make sense of what I believe. I was always the odd one out in my family, the one that was a bit... Continue Reading →

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If you really have to go

don’t resist the revolution of a mind seeking a solution life is more simple than giving up the world that you know don’t pack up; seek peace inside don’t go too far away; don’t hide complications are really the result of inaction and passivity so don’t run away; don’t disappear please stay just face your... Continue Reading →

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Love, Marriage, Divorce

The first flush or romance is wonderful, the reality of relationships may not be as rosy. Relationships are hard work, marriage even more so. The K-Drama Love ft Marriage & Divorce reminded me of a poem I wrote a long time ago.

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What a woman wants

you want someone who understands you without a 50-page explanation on your likes and dislikes your life philosophy and how you’d like your coffee no sugar just milk but the problem with someone who understands how much you hate taugeh in your fried mee is that he also understands a lot of women; instinctively he... Continue Reading →

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Down the WordPress Rabbit Hole

I had just spent about three hours going down the Rabbit Hole that is the WordPress Reader. I'll be honest. I have not really delved into the amazing world that exists on WordPress. So when I decided to write a blog post every day, I also felt that I should explore this platform that I... Continue Reading →

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On Commitment and Daily Blogging

I have to write a report, which I have been putting off for ages (yes, AGES), and submit it by tomorrow morning. Before I can do that, I have to clean my tiny home office. This is routine for me. I have to do this because my office normally looks like a hurricane has hit... Continue Reading →

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Fiction, Time, Death

"The ultimate subject of fiction is time, which is to say death. Until I see a thing stand in relief against the backdrop of death, I don’t understand what its value is." STERLING HOLYWHITEMOUNTAIN Source: ADVICETOWRITERS.COM

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Writing is a Religious Act

Writing is a religious act: it is an ordering, a reforming, a relearning and reloving of people and the world as they are and as they might be. A shaping which does not pass away like a day of typing or a day of teaching. The writing lasts: it goes about on its own in... Continue Reading →

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The Write Situation

Do you think being in a more quiet or peaceful environment would help you to write your novel? This is not necessarily so, in my experience. I spent 5 years in Brunei, the Abode of Peace, and did not write even one short story. Perhaps it's more willpower/desire than place which is the most important factor.

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Honouring Ramadan

God loves beauty. So, celebrate Ramadan with beauty and beautiful things. An article I wrote in 2014 about welcoming Ramadan and celebrating it the way we welcome Eid.

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April Poetry Month 2021

A collection of my favourite poems to commemorate National Poetry Month including those by Dylan Thomas, Sylvia Plath and Rita Dove.

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Ethan Hawke on why creativity matters

I loved Ethan Hawke in Before Sunrise. I watched it when I was in my 20s, more than two decades ago. And I was delighted that Richard Linklater continued with Before Sunset and Before Midnight. I read that there might be a fourth Before movie. I hope so. I like to see Jesse and Celine... Continue Reading →

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World Poetry Day 2021

If I am stripped of everything that I have accumulated these past 48 years, stripped of the material, stripped of my masks, my skills, my experience and everything that I had to be to navigate this world, to be dependable, to keep myself afloat ... If I am stripped of everything, I would still remain... Continue Reading →

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Blind Faith

light from a single lamp muted; shadows where meaning dwell the monsoon rain it cools the night from heaven; the stars shine bright with secrets that refuse to hide from he that sails in search of sight his eyes; they do not see the pleasures of this world; a memory from left to right and... Continue Reading →

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thirst

I can’t write poetry If it feels like it’s being forced out of me It has to be spontaneous Like in the middle of the night When I need to connect In a way only angels understand The best poem is one That I can’t contain It just flows out of me Like the way... Continue Reading →

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the poet

i need to be somewhere by the sea where children can pick seashells and make them into bracelets i need to run free i can’t live without the sun sea breeze on my face i need to tell stories that transcend time and space i’m just a poet i see what you don’t and sometimes... Continue Reading →

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the thing about poets

the thing about poets is they love to sing about the moon and the stars and the sky and the rain and summer and spring when everything’s fine and winter             to die ☆ Az Karim London | 13.12.2002 @moorstreetpoet

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Balm

my poetry comes when it comes in the twinkling of the night when i need to connect with the Light upon Light my poetry comes when it comes between wake and dream with the early morning breeze a whisper in the trees my poetry comes when it comes like a bubbling brook it flows there... Continue Reading →

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Vocation

I'm only good for writing, for writing and loving ... poetry is my religion, my spirituality.

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Writer on Another Lockdown

So over the past 24 hours, I have managed to reorganise the first part of the novel which consists of 7 chapters and wrote one fresh chapter. I have to say, I am quite pleased with myself.

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The Write Tea

Obviously, I can never be in the same league as Jorge Luis Borges. But I do enjoy a good cuppa now and again, especially when I am writing. And you know what? This serves as inspiration. I would want to write prose as poetic as the ones by Borges. I love tea. It is my... Continue Reading →

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Happy Chinese New Year to all of those out there celebrating, especially the writers and creators here on WordPress. I hope you will have a wonderful year filled with happiness, prosperity and continuous good health. And if you are a writer, I hope you can start or finish your writing project this year. May The... Continue Reading →

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Another

I turned 48 recently. And so I pulled out this poem I had written sometime on New Year's Day a few years ago. Another another day, another year another sun, another moon the seconds fly like quicksilver the hours unfold like the mighty sea another life, another love? how certain is time? time is the... Continue Reading →

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Clean & Write

I'll be honest. I have taken almost a month's break from writing. Initially, it was just going to be a week. Well, two weeks at the most, preparing for Hari Raya (which really was a bit of a disaster, but I have to keep this to myself) and then recovering post-Raya ... Plus there were... Continue Reading →

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I see writing as …

"I see writing as an inevitable and ordinary way to spend one's hours." - Jonathan Lethem Source: thejohnfox.com

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The C-Plague – Malaysia Update 2025

Malaysia has lost 15 million people since 2020. We are back to the mid-80s in terms of populations numbers, said an UMNO veteran who had served in the government. We were in a better situation then, he said. The recession lasted only a year with a 10 percent contraction. The Asian Financial Crisis of the 90s was terrible, but I have never experienced anything like the present, he added.

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Ku Doa (I Pray)

I wrote the lyrics to this song in September 2018. I remember more or less when I did it. I was washing the dishes at The Shoebox when this melody came to me. And I got the words, the lyrics, almost all at once. This is a song in Malay (in fact the few songs... Continue Reading →

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Extracted from The Waves by Virginia Woolf:  Solitude "Heaven be praised for solitude. Let me be alone. Let me cast and throw away this veil of being, the cloud that changes with the least breath, night and day, and all night and all day. While I sat here I have been changing. I have watched... Continue Reading →

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You don’t start out writing good stuff.

“You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.” ― Octavia E. Butler Source: writingcooperative.com

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Writer on Lockdown

I know it's not the most popular opinion in the world if I say that the COVID19 situation has been a blessing in disguise. Without this reprieve from the pressures of the REAL WORLD, I wouldn't have been able to focus solely on writing fiction. When the Malaysian government announced that we had to go... Continue Reading →

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Rain

Beginnings and endings Like laughter and sadness Turned inside out Overlap with alarming frequency When one least expect it To be as calm as the aftermath Of a tropical rain

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Packing

It has been two weeks since I last wrote on this blog. It wasn't because I was too lazy. I have been busy -- with packing. We will be moving by end of the year. We do not know where yet. We will only look for a place in October. But what's important right now... Continue Reading →

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