Month: July 2007

My Collection of 16 Word Short Stories

Inspired by Hemmingway’s 6 word short story:

“For sale, baby shoes. Never used.”

I challenged myself to ApostropheGallery’s 16 word short story writing contest. Top 6 winners get sent on an all-expenses paid trip to Bali for a writer’s festival. How cool is that.

(This is an excellent initiative by DiGi, which earns my respect for creative marketing.)

This Is My Strategy To Win This…

Firstly, I tried to understand how they would judge a winning entry. Since there are no details on the site, I made some simple assumptions on the winning criteria.

A winning short story…

  • Should affect me emotionally
  • Should be able to tell itself beyond the 16 words

Based on these two criteria alone, I hope my entires can stand out.

To meet the criteria of stirring up emotions, I decided to choose some extreme, vivid emotions. Preferably take them where they don’t normally go…. I went for either

  • Disgust, Anger, Shock… tackling morbid themes like death, obsession, perversion, and subjects like cannibalism, gay hate crimes, and tragedy.
  • Unexpectedness… a plot twist in 16 words? haha
  • Laughs, giggles… using ticklish puns, irony, and some lame jokes.

I ended up with 9 short stories. Some leave more to interpretation than others. Some are not direct.

Some of these might be real crap. But smile politely and give me the thumbs up of good intentions anyway 🙂

I really want to win!

Would love to go to Bali and meet all sorts of new people. Especially if they’re writers, they must be quite interesting.

I confess to hidden passions to write haunting short stories, a la Edgar Allen Poe, or at least children’s short stories. I wrote a children’s story once, about a Hippo who chased ranbows. Will share that with you one day…

For now I may have exceeded my word count ;P

Career Advice From Dilbert

No, not Dilbert… Scott Adams, the man behind Dilbert Comics. His blog is the awesomest for good reasons, check it out.

But check this first…

If you want an average successful life, it doesn’t take much planning. Just stay out of trouble, go to school, and apply for jobs you might like.

But if you want something extraordinary, you have two paths… Read more

Along these lines, let me show you Angeli (the one who doesn’t look like me in the picture).

A good friend of mine from Philippines. She struck me as a really smart, personable girl, full of energy. Very much in a privileged position to have many choices…

She made a decision to be extraordinary a few days ago.

Long story short: She left a job she didn’t feel for to pursue her passions.

Angeli, I’m not entirely sure what you’re up to next. But I trust it will be excellent. And though unlikely, if you do end up a homeless madwoman talking to strangers on the bus, at least you’d have a cool story to tell.

All the best!

UPDATE:

Her letter about her personal struggle to leave a great job was published in a Filipino newspaper

Finally, I came to the conclusion that being a management trainee in that company was indeed a dream job, but it just was not mine. And I decided that I would eventually have to grow up and not let myself be bothered about what other people think or say.

… Read More

TEDtalks In Malaysia?

TED is described as “Inspired talks by the world’s greatest thinkers and doers”. They’re recorded from the actual conference in California, free for you to download as audio / video here.

Is Malaysia getting a piece of the action?

Sort of.

Watch these guys in action. Live. For free.

From the left:

This is NOT TED – but it is still awesome. The initiative is called

Register right now – first come first serve.

And they let you on only 3. But I may be going for all of them under a media pass from theCICAK.