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INTRODUCTION About Me Hiii everyone, I'm Etheray! I'm a teenage girl who loves writing more than anything  in the entire ...

Monday, 8 January 2018

IMAGINED LIVES 2: When I Watch America's Got Talent

What actually happens when I watch America's Got Talent on YouTube?

Up till now, while everyone had had so much exposure to so many things in this world, while everyone had facebook accounts since the ripe age of nine, were constantly updated on the latest of just about everything, gossiped, played video games, watched k-pop, japanese animes, and korean and hong kong dramas, gushed about the handsome guys in korean boy bands, and were busy being teenagers, I was holed up at home, studying my head off, and dreaming about the sparkling moment when I'll fling away my history textbook, pick up a feather pen between my dainty fingers, and smile as people fought for my author's autograph.

Okay, so that isn't exactly the reason why I'm finally here today. I'm sorry I haven't posted here in weeks! I just couldn't bring myself to start on anything, I'm so lazy, so unfit to be a true author.

But hey, I'm still gonna try.

Wow! BTS? What song is that?
Oops. No. It's some korean boy band.

I don't really know much about all these weird trends that bounced around in class like a beach ball. Unfortunately, that makes me ignorant to a lot of other stuff that "I should know by now", too. So I occasionally I spend some time randomly surfing the Internet, Youtube, etc, see if I can gain some general knowledge about our world. I want to learn new things, I want to let interesting things that I never knew of before amaze me and bring me contentment.

So through that, I learnt about the existence of this huge and significant contest, American's Got Talent, which I realize must be yet another something that I should have known about but didn't till now. It's been on for more than 10 years, and the contestants and judges are really funny and... yeah, basically it's different and exciting because I get to see people from various backgrounds and cultures and who have varying personalities. I'm almost addicted now to watching three particular young prodigies that competed on AGT, two in 2017 and one in 2016. Their singing is just so fantastic and amazing. I especially like Grace Vanderwaal, who sang songs she wrote herself in the contest, and whose songs had a voice so strong and unique; and my favourite is Angelica Hale. In all those interviews, she speaks like an innocent, playful and giggly nine-year-old, but when she sings she's like a different person. She sings her whole heart out and with a lot of genuine emotion, and although I know she's still young and mustn't truly understand the meaning of the things she sings, her focused and serious expression really makes people believe those words.

I really like watching the slideshow of emotions in the AGT videos. I like watching the judges sarcasm, the contestants nervousness, and their joy after that when they receive four yeses! Especially when the gold buzzer is pressed, the gold streamers explode all around the contestant, like their world just burst into flowers, and it really does seem that way according to their faces. I like all these scenes of happiness and excitement and especially that kind of omigosh-I-can't-believe-I-did-it surprise. I love all the emotions shown in the contestants' singing and when they get accepted into the next round, and the smile on the judges faces saying the talented children deserve it.

I don't know why, I just love watching all their emotions. And I keep watching and re-watching the auditions and quarter and semi finals again and again and watch all the details in their emotions - OK, I must seem really weird now - and I feel like I'm experiencing each and every of their feelings, and it's like I would really like to feel like that someday. Not by singing, but maybe an achievement in writing. It would be so wonderful to feel that kind of inexpressible joy, pushing out in all directions and threatening to burst out of you in an amazing way.

Of course, I would have to work hard for that, because nothing drops from the sky. I resolve to work really hard on improving my writing, on getting more writing practice, and conquering my weaknesses - lack of patience and focus, which are essential in being a successful writer. I'll keep watching America's Got Talent on YouTube, as a reminder how success feels like. From this day onward, that reminder will be my motivation to never stop writing and pursuing my dreams, as well as well a drive to do everything in my life well, so as to feel like that - accomplished and happy - in the future.

create word background on wooden blocks
Picture credit: @Shutterstock

-By Writer Etheray.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Lost Interest In Writing?

Recently, I've lost the interest and patience to start writing anything.

What now? Am I just another teenager with ever-changing interests? Is my love for writing ending already?

I'd really hate to admit that. It happens really often, actually. I seem to lose the interest to write at random times for no apparent reason, and my love for writing comes back again later. That usually happens when I force myself to start writing after a long time of not doing so, and I start and then realize that yeah, I always loved writing, and I still do now that I've "re-warmed" up the engine in me. But yet I'm always thinking, will it one day leave and never return?
A man running down the airstrip at Burlington Executive Airpark Airport
Picture credit: @Unsplash

I've been singing a lot these days, even trying to train myself to sing vibrato :P I have a really artsy personality, and so I enjoy writing, singing, playing the piano, drawing and dancing, even though I really am not exceptionally good at any. I have a special liking for things that are mediums of expressing myself, and those mentioned above are to me all actually five different and wonderful ways of telling stories. And this is why I chose to be a writer, the most direct way of telling a story! Though since I'm not all that awesome in any of these, my footsteps are a bit wobbly and uncertain, because I'm not even sure if I want to walk straight or left or right, or if I even intend to begin walking.

But for now I'm still sticking to being a writer and not a singer. I tried imagining it before, me being an item of entertainment and scrutiny on stage, like a bright yellow CD player on auction. And while I belt out the songs programmed into me, my sole purpose only to awe the listeners, the audience points and whispers, criticizing my voice and my figure. Then they devise a Secret Mission to steal my shoes or my lipstick, perhaps, and tries to sell it for a billion dollars.

I am never blinded by only the pros. I always look for cons in everything. Sometimes maybe a little too often!

I'm not saying being a writer is easy, either. I'm singing a lot these days because it deceptively seems so much easier, all you have to do is open your mouth and sing, while writing takes ages of planning and thinking and editing. Writing takes a lot of patience, and my busy schedule doesn't allow hours of just thinking. Sometimes I wish I had more time to write, so that my love for writing may be given its chance to develop properly. Perhaps that is why I "derail" so easily - I am not right on track in the first place.

For now, I'm happy that my writing love still comes back. I hope to keep writing to maintain my passion for it. May I always love writing and achieve my big dreams someday! And may inspiration always be with me. :P

To all those amazing writers out there: if writing was meant for you, your love for it will always stay, no matter how huge the pressure of racking your brains, editing and finding the right publisher :D

Picture credit:@Unsplash

-By Writer Etheray.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

MICRO STORY #28: How Fashion Trends Came To Be

Hey guys! If you've read some of my previous posts, you'll know that I occasionally write for charity anthologies featuring micro stories written by 100 different people. These anthologies are based on various writing challenges, which are really fun to do.

Today, the challenge I will be doing is the Preposition challenge, and our task is to write a 100 word story, ending every sentence with a preposition. The proceeds from the sales of this anthology will be donated to Caring In Bristol, a charity working to deliver support to homeless and vulnerable people in the city of Bristol in the UK. Below is my finished piece of work! I hope you find it weird and funny, because it really is. :P

#28: How Fashion Trends Came To Be 
In the land Jeanes, wearing dresses was looked down upon.

When children asked about this, adults would tell the myth used to brush annoying pests aside. "We live in Jeanes, child, so it's no question that we should always wear jeans, not silly dresses that induce falls from which you cannot get up."

There was Beth, innocent she was but mind agile; she gathered long leaves, bound them with rope and dressed up. Jeans she wore underneath. "Perhaps this'll do?" she quipped, "Not really a dress, but looks better than before."

And all fashion trends began from that day onwards.

Copyright Rachel Tan, 19 Dec 2017.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

POEM @8: Convinced

Hi everyone! I'm sorry I haven't updated my blog in almost 5 weeks. :P I have been pretty busy, and I admit a bit lazy as well. Writing is still my biggest love! But the down side of that is that writing isn't a relaxing hobby like singing or reading. It takes patience to sit down in front of the computer and ignore other beckoning temptations, which are "easy fun", as I call it - writing takes some time to get into, but once you're onto it, you truly enjoy yourself. The fun just takes time to come!

So now today I have finally defeated that thing that's holding me back, and here I am, five weeks later. I hope to get back on track! :P

Here's my new poem, titled Convinced. :)

@8: Convinced  
Laughter and snickers a sum,
Mocking sneakers on bum, 
Mutters and whispers 
"She's dumb". 

Finally I run 

It's not a bit fun
But to my absolute horror
The same snickers and sneakers 
Still loiter 
In this new foyer 
So similar to days former.

Cynical a person you've made me 

Through deliberate deception 
You gave me this conception 
That heartlessness prevails in all the world.
Now all I see
Is a sea 
Made of identical cruelty 
And that's always meant to be. 

So don't gawk at me

When I'm tempted to flee
For a recluse's life is free.

Don't speculate

When I hesitate 
To even try brewing 
Normal, natural friendships
For all the way hitherto 
Never you failed in a convince so true
That thoughtlessness in cauldrons 
Are in abundance, 
And will destroy the potion of friendship. 

For you've made me believe

That evil makes up all the world.

Copyright Rachel Tan, 16 Dec 2017.

Friday, 3 November 2017

SHORT STORY #27: Best Friends At Heart

Best friends can be bonded by conversation, 
but also be linked by heart.
Although, frankly, by heart's a complication, 
And chatting is always the start.

My younger brother and I came up with these six random words, with which we have tried to come up with a story incorporating all of them. My brother came up with the playful sounding beginning, which inspired me to write the rest. I hope this cliche but cute story of friendship between animals will inspire you! :D

The Six Words:
Rooster, Fan, Dog, Clothes, Hungry, Funny

This story was coincidentally finished on my friend Pruinille's birthday, so I would like to present this to her as a birthday present.
I put this up on the class notice board on your birthday in March, and took it down about a week before our major exam in October. You never bothered to read it... I remember how you were too busy talking to someone else. It hurt a little, but that's okay, I understand "writing" isn't everyone's interest. I just thought you could come take a look at something that makes me truly happy. But if you really don't want to, that's alright. It's okay. 
Happy birthday! Never stop being your pretty, funny and always-laughing self. :)

And, don't forget to see beauty in life and in the world. 

#27: Best Friends At Heart
Rooster said hi to his best friend Dog's Clothes. The dog watched this in silent jealousy. He wanted to have a chat with Rooster, but due to his sore throat, he couldn't really speak properly. So when the Rooster said hi to the dog's clothes, the dog was not happy. Suddenly, the fan blew at the dog's clothes. Dog's Clothes flew away. The dog was glad because he wouldn't need to be jealous of Dog's Clothes anymore. Unfortunately to the dog's dismay and to the rooster's delight, Dog's Clothes came floating down, a second after their far-too-momentary excitement and grief.

"Yay!" said Rooster.
"Ugh," said Dog.
"You're back!" cried Rooster!
"Get lost!" yelled Dog (despite his terrible sore throat).

After a moment of awkward silence, the dog growled, his hoarse voice crackling: "Get lost now. I don't need you hogging my friendship with Rooster."

"Oh... I'm sorry that I made you feel so, Dog. I did not mean it. You can always be friends with Rooster too, right, Rooster?" said Dog's Clothes.

"Right," said the rooster.

However, Dog knew the rooster was inclined towards Dog's Clothes, as they were the best of friends. The dog glared at them. But deep down, he felt hurt, a strong pang of jealousy hitting his hard in the chest.

"I don't need you."

Later, near a bunch of trash cans in a dark alley, the dog was seen rummaging among the trash cans for food. "No food... need food... where's food......"

Dog started to feel cold. He wedged himself  between two rubbish bins and shivered. The steely, metallic surface of the trash cans against his body sent chills down his spine.

"If only I had something to keep me warm," thought the dog. "A warm fire, some warm food, or, or......"

Dog was suddenly reminded of Dog's Clothes. He started to miss him. He didn't want to admit it, but he wished he could see him again. He regretted walking out on Dog's Clothes.

"Dog! Dog! Where are you?"

It was Rooster. He soon appeared, red feathers strikingly noticeable. "Dog's Clothes and I have been searching for you for hours," said Rooster. "We've found you at last! Dog's Clothes!"

Dog's Clothes came hurrying towards Dog. "We've finally found you!" he exclaimed. "We've been looking high and low for you...... what are you doing here? Let's go home. Come on, put me on, I've been flopping around and looking horribly shapeless all afternoon. Isn't that so, Rooster?" He laughed. "You should have seen my sloppy look. I looked so awfully ridiculous......"

And Dog's Clothes went on and on and on. For the first time ever, Dog didn't mind Dog's Clothes' excited chatter. Instead, in only five hours, he had already started to miss it. He smiled at Dog's Clothes, his funny bosom buddy, and with his stumpy paws scrambled into him. They talked and talked. For a moment, both of them completely forgot about Rooster. He stood by them - their calm, quiet, content and ever-caring friend. Although he did not appear much in this story, Rooster knew and saw a lot more than anyone would imagine he did. Watching his friends, he beamed.

"Ah! Finally, I don't have to slop around shapelessly," grinned Dog's Clothes.

"Ah! Finally, I don't have to seek warmth in the midst of trash cans," cheered Dog.

And Rooster thought: Ah, the three of us, always happy together.

Copyright Rachel Tan, 13 March 2017. 

Thursday, 2 November 2017

MICRO POEM @7: You Don't See

I wrote this micro poem as a reminder to all of us that we should always be tactful towards others. Don't forget to look closer and seek to understand!

@7: You Don't See
Friendships are merely fairy tales,
For so often for me they fail.
Today, fellow classmate, 
Controlled by me shall be your fate -
Pardon me, for my tear-filled hate.
Deserved punishment you shall have,
You shall taste my broken soul,
To finally put you in the know.
Do you know how it feels to have
Nothing left?

Thanks a ton
For the hurt you've done to me.
You don't know, for you don't see.

Copyright Rachel Tan, 24 October 2017.

SHORT STORY #26: The Cure

This, very surprisingly, is one of the most original stories I have ever written. I wanted to write this story for my friend's birthday, which was two days ago on 31 October 2017, and this was what I came up with! Guess spontaneous stories have great potential too sometimes!

I wish a happy birthday to my friend Radea! I hope you will like the story I wrote for your birthday. I tried my best to write a story that fits your cheerful personality. Never stop being your full-of-energy, healthy and funny self. If we get a chance, let's go to that book fair together, hahaha!

Although this was originally written for Radea, I would also like to present this to Saffire, whose birthday was yesterday on 1 November. Stay happy, always :)

#26: The Cure

Six octopuses swam hesitantly towards the peculiar plastic bag. It was bright pink. Black spots flicker weakly; not upon its frail surface, but not exactly hovering around it either. Sort of like an illusion... in a soapy bubble.

Their leader, Jackudo, stuck one tentacle into the floating mass and touched a black spot. Immediately, poison shot so rapidly from the tip of his tentacle throughout his body that he was thrown two metres behind.

He was dead.

The five other octopuses recoiled in shock. No one rushed to their beloved leader's side. They were much too busy staring at The Deadly Plastic Bag to do so. 

A curious octopus reached for the plastic bag. 

"Don't be a fool!" the others shout - but too late, though. The Fool's tentacles came into contact with the smooth, silky surface of the plastic bag. 

And then something unbelievable happened. A beautiful, evergreen wreath grew magically around his head.


"Awesome!" said another. He stuck two tentacles into the bubble of illusion, avoiding the black spots like The Fool did. A wreath of pretty, multicoloured flowers instantly dotted his wrinkly head. 

"This is a special plastic bag," concluded Wise One. "The poison in the plastic has been focused very hard on a few points, causing the rest of the plastic bag to be pristine. But why invent such a bag?"

"It's a test," said Clever One.

Everyone followed his gaze to the colossal shadow hovering about them - a humongous ship. 

"A test," confirmed another. 

"So poison and purity will counter-act upon each other and become neutral!" Rash One exclaimed. He snatched it and swallowed it down in a single gulp. The others screamed in horror.

Nothing happened.

"Interesting!" cried Rash One. "Tastes blend, though. Bleh."

Atop the ship, some water pollution researchers gave each other high fives.

"From now on," announced their leader, holding up a list of priceless formulas that would soon change the world, "there will never be such a thing as pollution again. We have found The Cure." 

Copyright Rachel Tan, 2 November 2017.