So I haven’t really written about the book launch at all, and that is due to two things; I had been crazy occupied and I also wanted to get some feedback from others who were there as to how they thought it went. For all I know I could be the only one who thought it went okay whereas everyone else had a snoozefest!
There were in general three groups of people present – family, friends, and other avid readers/writers. We cleared the center of the MPH bookstore in One Utama, and created a little cosy area for everyone to settle in. Most of the guests had never been to a book reading event before, so we wanted to make it as nice as possible so more people would go to more book readings!
For this purpose, I decided to interview M, a good friend of mine, who was there for the whole event. That way, you can get the feel of what it was like to be present!
What was the first thing you noticed when you arrived at the book launch?
The poster! The large poster where all guests can sign or give any well wishes.
*We also had a big world map, with pictures of the book being all over the world. They are from readers who travel with the book. Alright the one with the pile of books is obviously mine. #narcissistic
How did I appear? Nervous? Uneasy?
You looked so happy! I also thought you were a really good host. You greeted everyone and you made sure you talked to everyone.
*The truth is I was dead nervous. I didn’t even sleep well the night before. I was anxious about everything that might go wrong – what if the mic doesn’t work? What if no one shows up? What if I have diarrhea?
Is this your first book-reading event?
What did you think about my book reading?
Since I’ve never actually been to a book reading session before, I kind of expected it to be boring and dull. Instead I thought it was really funny! It was interactive, and everyone was in a good mood and responded well. And did you see Yu He and Ruzzana reading the book as you went on?
Did you like the game we played? What was your general observation of the crowd?
I did! The part where everyone has a chance to read an excerpt of the book was quite fun. It was good to see everyone’s different reactions while reading it. And you elaborated the back story of each excerpt, so that it becomes relatable. Did I think it went too long? Maybe a little bit. But overall it was okay.
*Everyone who volunteered got a gift voucher. We also had a game where you submit the best breakup story you’ve ever heard, and the top three winners get a mystery gift!
Were there a lot of people during the book signing? Did you have fun mingling?
There was a line to get the book signed. I definitely had fun, but that’s probably because I know you, so it meant something a little extra.
Did you like the book? Why?
I did, but I actually haven’t even finished reading it hahaha. But so far I like it because I thought it offered a different perspective on things, and I thought it was extremely intimate the way you wrote it.
Did you talk to my family? What did they say?
Your Mom said she read it twice and your Dad said he hasn’t finished reading it.
*My cousins showed up as well! It was awesome. And aside from my friends, my friends’ parents came too!
What was your main takeaway from the whole event?
A lot of people came, more than I expected. It was obvious that you have an amazing support system. I was also impressed to see other readers show up as well!
This week I wrote about my trip to the local animal shelter. And guys, I can't stress this enough - if you're thinking about getting a pet, please adopt instead of buying.
There are so many crazy kinds of cute at the animal shelter, I promise!
By Amal Ghazali
I’ve had pets all through my childhood. My Mom loves cats, so we’ve always had cats around the house. There was even a point when we had seven cats at one time, and it started to feel like we were running a cat farming center. Then we had a bird, but my brother, a toddler at the time, took it out of the cage and stepped on it. That was the end of our pet bird era.
We also had tortoises, but they needed cleaning too often. We had fish too, but they ended up dying one by one and down the toilet they went.
There was a sugar glider that died due to a mystery cause, and when we buried it my brother was so sad he placed a Ben 10 figurine in the grave so that it will never get lonely.
And of course, there was also a pet duck that ended up becoming our neighbor’s meal. But that’s a story for another day.
Re-Igniting a Lost Love
As an adult I have never had pets. I bought a cactus and it died in three days, so suffice to say I have no talent in taking care of another living thing, hence the decision to not have a pet. And if my childhood animal-caring experience had taught me anything, it is that sooner or later they will all die and I will have to go through the anguish of losing something I am emotionally attached to. When animals die it is a strange feeling of sadness. You remember how innocent they are and how joyfully sincere they are in wanting your affection, and so when they are gone it’s another emotional baggage to bear. I didn’t want that anymore.
So for the likes of me, people who love animals but for some reason are not able to care for them at home, there are other alternatives to obtain this therapy. If you’re an animal lover you’ll probably understand what I’m talking about. After all, research had shown that people who bond with animals are a lot less stressful and lead healthier lives. Although it’s great to vent to another human being about bad traffic or a colleague at the office who is being a witch, there is great comfort in indulging in some time with a pet whose life concepts are a lot simpler – eating, playing, napping or cuddling.
So after doing some background research, my friends and I decided to pay a visit to an animal shelter nearby. I have actually never been to one before, and in my mind I had painted a picture of what it might look like; a dark dungeon with a permanent smell of poop, with floor-to-ceiling metal cages filled with cats and dogs with dull fur and rabies.
In fact, it was quite the contrary.
I dare to go on and say that the place looks like it was fit to be an animal sanctuary for suicidal people.
First of all, it was such a happy place. The area was large an open, the staff were warm and friendly and obviously loved all the animals they were caring for. All the cats and dogs were well-fed, clean and well-behaved, and there were trees, grass and murals on the walls. I was also surprised to see so many volunteers. There were people volunteering to play with the cats and take the dogs out for walks. One of the staff at the place, Ariff, also told me that all the animals were trained, vaccinated and neutered. The whole place was far from the abandoned nightmare I had in my mind.
Selfless Love Is The Best Therapy
During my visit we met a family who was there to adopt two cats. I was informed that the shelter sees up to twelve dog adoptions and twenty cat adoptions each month, which is a pretty good rate. It seems that there are a lot of people out there willing to share a home with these lovable, furry creatures.
Sometimes, what your mind needs is a break from constantly calculating what your end of a bargain is. That is to say that sometimes, giving love instead of expecting anything in return is the best kind of relief you need. Some people find it through doing charities for the less privileged, and some people find it through connecting with other living things in this world, such as animals.
It was a day well-spent at the animal shelter. Although from the outside it seemed like I was doing the animals a favor by investing some time and affection for these homeless strays, but in truth it was the furry friends that made me come home a lot happier and in better spirits after it all.
If you’re interested in volunteering or even adopting a pet, visit www.spca.org.my for details.