A Comment On You:Obsessive and Chilling

Hi, Nerdies!

This one is a novel. About a stalker. By Caroline Kepnes.

Nothing gory, only crazy and disturbing. If you are into psychotic stuff like me, then this novel is definitely for you.

I read this novel being enticed by its numerous good reviews which were literally strewn everywhere I looked. I found one or two bad reviews, but mostly those were because the reviewers couldn’t stand the level of creepiness.

I think this book is ingenious. The story is narrated by its villain, Joe, which makes it such a riveting account. I feel like it’s kinda fun and exciting and creepy of course to know what’s actually going on in his mind and to sort of peek into why he does what he does.  I am sure there are stalkers like Joe out there that actually have immediate access to our daily life. And to just think that any of us can easily be a Beck (the girl in the story) is insane. 

In short, I thought I knew what a stalker is, but really, I didn’t. You want to know what a stalker is, you must read this book.

And by the way. If you want a maximum level of creepiness, I suggest you to watch Nightcrawler right after you finish the book. It is a movie starring and produced by Jake Gyllenhaal. Don’t ask why. Watch it and you’ll know why.

Thank you for reading, and if you like my writing even a bit, please share, or follow, or comment, or like. But even if you do nothing, I still thank you!

Here is a synopsis from Scribd:

When aspiring writer Guinevere Beck strides into the bookstore where Joe works he is instantly smitten.

But there’s more to Joe than Beck realizes and much more to Beck than her perfect façade. And the obsessive relationship quickly spirals into a whirlwind of deadly consequences.

A chilling account o fun relenting, terrifying deceit, Caroline Kepnes’ You is a thriller more perversely clever and dangerously twisted than any YOU have ever read.

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This Writing Technique Will Make Your Readers Fall in Love With Your Sentences — The Write Practice

Two of the most vital skills you should focus on as a writer are how to tell a story that works and how to develop compelling characters. But once you’ve got that figured out, aren’t there other writing techniques, more subtle perhaps, that draw readers in and make stories shine? There are. And one of…

via This Writing Technique Will Make Your Readers Fall in Love With Your Sentences — The Write Practice

How To Set Goals That Hype You Up

BACKGROUND - GOALS WITH QUOTESHi Neighbors!

How are you? I hope everyone is well and happy.

Year 2018 is near its end and I hope you are excited about the new year.

Now is that time of the year for us to buy a new journal, how exciting, right?? and start the first and foremost page, the goal page!

You open your new journal and you surely don’t want to mess it up. You want to write down goals but you’re still not sure what to pick as your goals because one or another reason. Then I hope these four major keys can help you set goals that will get you hyped!

Focus

Focus is not just mere one point out of four, but it is the main reason why you need goals at all. In fact, it is what gives means to your life.

Focus here is your raison d’etre. Sometimes you call it passion, or dream, or vision, or anything that basically means what you want to do or to be desperately in life.

If you already know what your life passion is, then skip this and go to the next point. But some of you probably still haven’t figured out what it is that you want to do in life. You want to be a singer yet you are intensely attracted to photography. You want to be a top chef yet you love beauty stuff just as much.

First of all, it is okay to love many things in life. It is more than okay to dream as many things as you want. However, let’s face it, we don’t have all the time in the world to do everything.

Let’s say you want to run a business and you also want to be a singer at the same time. Chances are, your business won’t run, and you won’t be a singer at the end of the day. Why? Because by targeting more than one thing, you will do everything half way.

Let me explain.

To run a business, you need to do a market research, to plan on your product specifications, to establish a supply network, and many other things. To be a professional singer, you need to practice to perfect your pitch, to build your audience, perhaps even to write your own songs. You end up having too many things to do in your 24/7. You need to prioritize, so you do. You then choose to do product planning while practice singing. With this priorities, what will you end up with? A product plan without a market and manufacturing plan and a singer without audience and songs.

See the problem?  Yes, that’s why you need one dream. Don’t dream many. But dream as big as you possibly can.

But if you’re like beyond not sure how to choose between passions, ask this question to yourself. What is the one thing that you’ve never stopped doing?

Be Specific

You discover your passion. Good. Now make it specific. You want to be a singer. That’s your dream. But it’s highly likely you won’t get there in a day or a year. So break it down to a more specific goals.

Here’s some examples.

You want to have 100k followers on your musical instagram account. Or you want to have 100k listeners on your spotify account. Or you want to have 100k followers on your youtube account.

You can’t imagine being a professional singer, or you are not even sure what constitute a professional singer. But you can clearly see that 100k number on your account. And that’s why you need the small specific goals. Because they are clearer to see therefore to reach.

Break your big final goal into several specific goals. Think of the specific goals as small steps toward one big house you want to stay in.

Measurable Actions

Now you can start designing those specific goals on your journal. and don’t forget to doodle on the page too!

But you know what, even those small steps are not close-up enough for you to see everyday. That’s why you need to break those steps even smaller into direct and measurable actions.

For instance, you have put 100k followers on youtube as your yearly goal. You surely won’t get those 100k without doing anything, right? So you need to do something. And that something can be making and uploading a high quality video every week. Or it can also be practicing your singing for 6 hours everyday. Or it can be other things related to singing that you know and I don’t. Cause I am not a singer and not planning to be one any soon. 😛 

Your actions need to be self-imposed. You don’t need anyone’s help or interference to make a video each week, and you surely don’t need anyone’s presence to help you practice your singing.

These actions will help you to focus on what you can do and what you can control instead of focusing on something that you can’t control like how people react to your efforts. Having goals is important, but it is dangerous to be too caught up with something that’s out of your control. Like whether there are 100k people who are willing to follow you on a social media.

You can come back to and check your goals by the end of the year, and when that happens, you’ll know whether the actions you choose are effective.

To Avoid List

I put this as the last point. But it surely is not the least.

People often overlook what to avoid. But I suggest you don’t.

It’s vital to concentrate on the essential things that direct you to your goals. But it’s just as important to put aside every distraction that hinders you.

There are two kinds of distraction that you should remember to avoid. All the time. First kind is the petty ones, like games, tv series, and dramas, and those sort of things. You know what I mean. Second kind is the must to avoid one which is your second passion.

When you decide to pick singing over business, you don’t only need to focus on singing, you also need to focus on avoiding business with all your might. Any small thing related to business that you do will seriously delay you getting closer to be a singer.

A year is a short time yet a long time when you think about it. You will forget about your focus now and then. And that’s when to avoid list is most needed, it will constantly remind you of your dream. The dream that you choose for yourself.

Thank you for reading, and if you like it even a bit, please share, or follow, or comment, or like. But even if you do nothing, I still thank you!

How to Take Stock of Your Writing Goals This Year — The Write Practice

The new year is almost here, and for most people that means setting new writing goals and pushing themselves to be better, more productive, and happier. Before you dive into setting big writing plans for 2019, I urge you to take time out to look at your accomplishments and evaluate the writing goals you set…

via How to Take Stock of Your Writing Goals This Year — The Write Practice

IT – Book Review

IT

A thriller novel by Stephen King, rated 4.5/5 in Amazon.

Synopsis

On one stormy day in Derry, a boy in a yellow slicker and red galoshes goes out of his house to sail his newly made paper boat in the rain. Not long after, he lost his beloved boat to the pouring rain. While searching for his boat, an eerie voice inside a storm drain calls his name. He peeks into the storm drain and he sees a clown with silver eyes holding his boat. It invites him to come to the sewer to get his boat. The next thing happens is the kid discovered lifeless by the storm drain with one of his arm ripped off.

Georgie is not the only victim. Kids are mysteriously disappearing in Derry. There are children who witness a ghostly clown claiming those kids’ lives, but no adult believes in ghosts.

But Bill, Georgie’s big brother, believes in It. He knows that It kills his brother and other kids in Derry. It senses kids’ fears, and devours scared children. Only fearless Bill and his loser friends are willing to challenge It. They believe in It, they chase It and they fight It.

Comments:

SPOILER ALERT!

Huge fan of the story.

First, I think the idea of Pennywise (the clown) taking different shapes depending on kids’ fears and phobias is genius. It shows that the war they’re fighting is in fact an imagination war. This makes perfect sense because we are talking about kids here. Kids are innocent and imagining is what they master at. All confrontations happen in reality as Pennywise actually kills the kids yet all of them happen in thoughts keeping the adults out of the picture. (Because of course adults are not capable of imagination) Children’s naive boldness makes the battle they’re exclusively fighting without adults intensely dangerous.

Suspense-wise, I think killing kids is never NOT scary. Kids and blood are just two perfect elements of great suspense. OMG, I can’t believe I said that. And as if slaughtering children is not scary enough, the bullies in the story do some real gory stuff like they are not only 11 year olds. Henry actually carves a letter using a knife on Ben’s belly. And he initially plans to carve not just A letter but letterS! I even needed to pause at the moment Henry poisons Mike’s dog.

About the ending, I can’t say I am stunned by the idea of a transcendent gigantic spider villain, perchance because I am not a fan of spiders. But, considering how unreasonable my partial judgment is, the ending is otherwise impeccable. At the beginning of the story Pennywise appears as a clown, but going towards the end of the story, it is gradually revealed that Pennywise is in fact not a human being. Pennywise’s real form turning out to be a divine entity is the perfect culmination of the supernatural events that have been happening like when Bev’s crazy dad not seeing all the blood splattered in their bathroom or when the kids’ scars coming back after Mike’s call.

Fan of the characters.

Stuttering Bill is truly one exceptional character. For starter, he stutters and you supposedly can’t be a cool kid that way yet he is the coolest one to his gang. And also King portrays him as a precociously mature kid. You can see he is indeed a grown up when he decides not to show his fear because he’s afraid it will shake his already scared friends. (Referring to when they get lost on their way home from It’s nest) He is the same age with the others yet he is distinctly and specially different. He leads his friends and he decides on matters, he is essentially the losers’ foundation.

Other than Bill’s rare personality, the team’s chemistry is also worth pointing out. The admirable trust among them is specifically shown in every situation they get themselves in. I especially adore how they constantly amuse and consistently love one another. My most memorable love moment is when Bev and Ben hiding from the three idiotic bullies in the clubhouse. There, I can feel Bev loves Ben deeply, acknowledging yet ignoring Ben’s love for her. I find the love between them is quite indescribable yet fascinating. Though, I do feel strange that King picks sex as a way to picture the supposedly unbreakable bond among them. I hope I read it wrong, but in case I got the right idea, near the end of the book Bev has sex with literally everyone in the team. And isn’t that quite extreme for 11-year-olds? But again, I am probably a prude.

There is this one small hitch though. Several characters felt a little bit unnecessary to me. I am specifically talking about Audra and Tom, and probably Patrick Hockstetter. Audra and Tom appear like in one chapter, do almost nothing and straight away get killed. And Patrick’s lunacy can perhaps be bestowed to one of the other three idiots. I just can’t imagine the story being different without them.

Not a fan of the length.

The book contains 1600ish pages on Scribd, the longest novel I’ve ever read to this day. Not that it’s a bad thing, but the thing is I don’t feel like it’s needed.

Maybe you’d tell me that I should not be the one talking considering this lengthy review. But well, this is my turn to judge, so I am going to judge AWAAYY ..

King spent some first chapters to narrate a couple of murder cases, such as Adrian Mellon’s case and Black Club case. I was a bit disappointed that many pages are written about people who are not going to show for the second time for the rest of the story. And all of those pages only to make a point that a massacre happens every 27 years in Derry. Now don’t get me wrong, I completely get it that you need some pages to build a strong base to the story, but I am just saying maybe fewer pages will make do.

Generally I love this book. King is a remarkable thriller writer. Both the story and the characters are meticulously detailed written and King patiently builds the suspense ensuring readers engagement. If the novel didn’t scare me enough, I would totally blame my age. Other than that, I will definitely read King’s other pieces and I obviously will recommend IT to others.

Muhammad: The Prophet for Our Time

Muhammad_ Prophet for Our Time cover

A book by Karen Armstrong

In 2018, many people perceive Islam as a fearsome and provoking religion, which its believers are alleged of incorporating terror and atrocity into their creed. With this kind of worrisome yet prevailing accusation it’s only natural that Muhammad as the chief figure of Islam to be perceived as a man of war. Although Muhammad’s life story tells a different tale.

Muhammad: The Prophet for Our Time is a remarkable book. For what its worth, this book immediately made to my lifetime must read list (without question!).

Writing my opinion about this book I realize that it’s only right for me to confer both my personal conviction and creed of my environs first. I reside in Indonesia, a country which Islam is a major religion (above 90% of citizens are Muslims). Yet I was raised as a Christian (10% of citizens). These two facts have essentially shaped my faith by inducing myself to contemplate the one right belief to follow. And as of today, I am by all means agnostic.

Karen Amstrong wrote her book addressing Western world which is deeply affected by thus skeptic of Islam. Indonesia is not a Western country yet the context Karen brought in fits perfectly in this nation. Our politicians exploit religion based chasm among citizens to manipulate poll results all the time. As I write this article, people are ubiquitously insulting each other by offensively defending each religion on and offline.

Recently, a governor won his position by convincing otherwise neutral Muslims that it’s a reprehensible sin for a Muslim to vote for a Christian. This record belies the fact that one’s religion is totally irrelevant with his integrity. This event naturally spread insecurity among Christians in the nation hence the hatred in the air. This hostile situation is evidently tough to straighten out.

If you have ever read any of Karen Amstrong’s books, you would have known that Karen constantly asserts that Muhammad himself is not a man of war. Muhammad is in fact (she argues), a man of peace. I imagine that if people tried to understand Muhammad as hard as Karen did, we would have been able to avoid this debacle. It’s greatly ironic to think that Muhammad had strived for peace which many people who profess to be his believers had made it hard to achieve.

I suppose this book would be perfect for both Muslims and non-Muslims. Reading this book would help to emphatize with the Prophet, to rectify erroneous allegation, and eventually to establish harmony. Harmony which until today, has been nothing but utopic.

-Sky-

The Kite Runner Review

The Kite Runner cover

A historical drama novel by Khaled Hosseini.

The Kite Runner tells a heart throbbing story of unusual friendship of Amir and his servant Hassan. They were two teenagers from Kabul, Afghanistan who grew up, and spent all their childhood and adolescence together. Yet there were so many differences between them. Amir was a rich scholar while Hassan was an uneducated poor boy. Amir was a soft kid while Hassan was always the courageous one. And most importantly, Amir was a Pashtun while Hassan was a Hazara. Hazara was a peripheral ethnic minority in Afghanistan which later would be genocidal massacred by Taliban. Amir delighted Hassan’s company yet it was painfully shameful for a Pashtun like him to admit that the Hazara was like a brother to him. On one fateful day, Amir consciously left his brother to be persecuted by another Pashtun, an unjustifiable decision which soon would change their relationship forever.

Later on, when Russia invaded Afghanistan and plundered its freedom and peace, fate decided the two boys to be separated. Amir moved to the great United States while Hassan stayed behind. Notwithstanding the detachment from his sinful and gratuitous past, Amir could never find closure of what he did in Afghanistan.

Besides the great story the novel narrates, it also recounts historical moments that took place in Afghanistan. It describes the peaceful Afghanistan before all the invasions and the uninhabitable dilapidated Afghanistan after all the bombings. I very much believe it includes the actual depiction of Afghans current dreary condition. The Kite Runner will not just put you in a roller coaster of feelings but it will also arouse deep condolences towards the wretched Afghans. As a matter of fact, the novel is a product of an appalling trip to Afghanistan which eventually turned the author an activist himself. Khaled established a foundation which aims to help building schools and hospitals for people in Afghanistan.

Commentary:

Story-wise, I was completely engrossed in the plot. Khaled has this exquisitely captivating writing style, it almost convinced me that his tale is intertwined with poems. As to the main character, Amir, Khaled precisely made him a human. Amir is not a wicked person indeed, but he is a human who makes foul and revolting decisions now and then. To me personally, a human chief character gives the story a realistic notion which I prefer to one dimensional narrative where a good character equals to a no flaw personality. Khaled has managed to convey a fictitious story as if it’s a true one.

Totally unrelated, I am an Indonesian. And I am astounded by how much I can relate to Afghans’ customs. I recognize several Farsi words albeit I barely know anything about Farsi language. We also practice some of their traditions here in Indonesia. Even we also make similar jokes to theirs. Thus I think The Kite Runner would perhaps offer more fulfilment to Indonesians.

– Sky –