The Clock’s Ticking

July 5, 2015 in Blogging, Misc, Novel, On Writing


Is it just me or is time flying? Can’t believe it’s been more than two weeks since my last post. Health issues, visiting relatives, family roadtrips, work, freelance gigs, NBA free agency and general laziness have kept me from being more active than I should be. Hopefully, that is about to change.

About a year ago I made a pact with a friend, a bit of a dreamer like me but with more outlandish ideas about doing something with their lives to get out of the rat race and make the world a better place. We like to dream big, but like most people, seem to lack the persistence and resolve to follow through. So we decided to promise each other to take the initiative to get something done. Set a goal and work towards it. We decided six months or even a year was too short to get our butts moving, so we aimed for 18 months — the end of this year.

My goal was simple: to complete a first draft of something, be it a novel or a screenplay. There were times throughout the past 12 months where I have gotten into a couple of my pet projects, with great passion and enthusiasm, but never for very long. And now I don’t have very long left. Six months to produce something so I can keep up my end of the bargain.

To be honest I’m not optimistic. I was wrong in thinking that starting is the hardest part. The hardest part is always keeping it up the next day, and the day after, and the day after that. I’ve started so many times over the past year, only to stop after a day or two for whatever reason. The key is to not view that as a stoppage, but a bump in the road before getting back on track again.

Here goes. I’ve got a whole bunch of posts lined up and almost ready to post, so I’ll spread them out over the next week or two to give myself some breathing room to get into it without neglecting this blog. I’m still watching movies so reviews will keep coming.

Wish me luck.

Recurring Nightmares

July 8, 2012 in Blogging, Misc, Novel, On Writing, Paranormal, Study

I’m not so sure about dream interpretation. It is possible that some dreams might have meanings, but most of mine (the ones I can remember, at least) are incoherent and senseless.

In recent times, however, I have been experiencing a couple of recurring dreams. Not the exact same dream, but dreams with the same theme. I wonder what they could mean.

In the first, which have been happening for quite some time now and come back every now and then, I would get the feeling that I have a loose tooth. It could be a wobbly front tooth that I can twist around, or it could be a dislodging molar with a gap I can play around with using my tongue. It’s a sensation I haven’t had since all my baby teeth fell out, and it absolutely freaks me out, every time.

The tooth could be looser in some dreams than others. Sometimes, it could be more than one tooth. Occasionally, I might even twist and pull the tooth enough that it comes off, and I would distinctively recall licking that empty space on my gums, horrified and panicking. I suppose with modern technology I could just get a fake tooth that probably looks better than the one it is replacing, but it’s never something I think of during the dream. I simply remember being saturated in fear.

In the second recurring dream, which only started in the last few months, I would find myself suddenly realizing that I have a major exam the next day, or the next couple of days, and it would be on a subject I know absolutely nothing about. It never occurs to me that I haven’t sat an examination for three years, or that I never studied the subject before. In that moment, I feel as though I had either never attended my classes or never paid attention, and certainly didn’t do any of the readings.

If the realization comes the night before or several nights before the exam, my initial reaction would usually be — you’ll be okay, you have essentially crammed entire subjects for exams the night before. It’ll just be another all-nighter, which is nothing new for you. But the fear of not being able to study everything in time is still there.

More recently, the timing of the exam has gotten closer and closer, and hence the fear has gotten greater and greater. A few weeks ago, I dreamed that I was on the way to the examination location and I still had no idea what I was doing. Last night, I actually dreamed that I had already missed an exam. I had three exams and I somehow “forgot” about the first one, and I still had two more in the next three days. Lucky I woke up from fright, or else there might have been a wet patch on the bed.

So what could these nightmares mean? Surely there has to be something in my subconscious stirring things up.

For the tooth dream, my guess is that I have a fear of losing my teeth. No offence to anyone out there, but I kind of do have an obsession with clean teeth. I brush religiously and can’t stand the sight of stains and discolourations. Could that be it?

As for the exam dream, it could be any number of things. It could be the deeply-seeded guilt I have accumulated over the years from doing relatively well in exams without genuinely understanding the subject. It could be from the fact that I tend to forget just about everything about a subject almost immediately after the exam finishes. But I have a feeling this is quite common.

It could be another thing. When I studying for my master’s finals  in Cambridge three years ago, it was the first time I ever felt I could not possibly complete by preparations in time, or at least not up to a level that was satisfactory to me. These final exams accounted for 100% of the grade and were all three-hour monsters. A big part of the lack of preparation was because I had spent the better part of the year working on this blog and my novels. A second reason was because I spent about half the pre-exam holiday period travelling around Europe. A third reason was probably laziness and not wanting to miss out on any sleep (I was getting soft).

I ended up doing pretty well in the end, but I do remember a pang of regret because I knew I probably could have and should have done better. So to cut a long story short, maybe it was the subconscious realization that I didn’t give it my all that continues to haunt me.

I’d like to think it’s something else: that I need to finish my novels so that the grades would not have been sacrificed in vain. Yes, and maybe do something about this blog too.


TV is affecting my crazy dreams!

October 3, 2010 in Blogging, On Writing, Shows, Study

Lately all I had been dreaming about was my writing assignments.  However, the other night I had a most unusual dream that felt frighteningly real.  I dreamed that I was living in a house very similar to the one I lived in as a young child.  It had a big backyard, and somehow I was the owner of about 10 dogs, which all lived in a garage behind a 12-foot fence.  Adjacent to it was a swimming pool area, which may or may not have had a lion living in it.

It was late at night and one of my dogs leapt over the fence right in front of me.  I could tell it was desperate to tell me something.  I followed it into the garage to see all the other dogs, whimpering and in concern over one of their mates, who seemed to be badly hurt and was dying.  It was a Saturday or Sunday night, so I knew the vets wouldn’t be open, but I desperately needed to find an animal hospital (do they even have those?).

It then suddenly occurred to me that I had been neglecting these dogs for months (I don’t know why, but it felt so real), meaning I hadn’t fed them or anything, and they had just lived on their own.  A sickening thought crossed my mind as I wondered how they had survived this whole time — perhaps they were eating their own shit, or worse, each other.  And what about the poor lion?  Should I check on him?  Would he eat me?

I panicked as I flicked through the yellow pages, and it was around this time that I woke up in a cold sweat.

Isn’t it funny how dreams that seem so real when you’re in them instantly become silly when you wake up?  I was trying to figure out what it all meant when I suddenly realised where the dream had come from.  A few nights ago, I stumbled across an episode of Top Gear (for the first time), where these guys were riding through a safari with these little battery-powered cars.  I remember thinking how terrifying it was as these massive lions ran alongside them and kept bumping into their extremely lightweight vehicles, threatening to tip them over.

And on the night of the dream, for some reason I watched this show called Bondi Vet (also for the first time), which featured this poor dog that was hit by a car and a snake in a suburban swimming pool.

Threre, dream explained.  Injured dog, swimming pool and lion.  I need to watch happier shows.