Truth & Books: the pain of pricing

Well, the saying goes, don’t judge a book by its cover. Part of it is true. We are attracted by it, or not. The cover can sometimes make or break a customer’s decision to purchase it, or put it back on the shelf.

The part I find the hardest as a writer is not however to do with the cover. It’s more to do with the value we are expected to put on our work nowadays, on ourself. In this day and age of digital books, works from emerging authors are pitted against best-sellers from authors who get away with charging full price they normally charge for hard copy even for their ebooks; or against heavily discounted books and free works.

As writers, we spend very long time to write the first draft, followed by painstaking hours/days/months/years of editing it, perfecting it. Then we spend what little money we have left (let’s face it, artists are broke for a long time before anything happens).

It took me years as a distracted teen to finish writing my first novel. Then few more years of on-off editing, and battling with myself because I wasn’t confident enough to let the work out to the world. It feels like a betrayal to give the work away, after all the hours that has gone into making it.

Either way, makes me wonder where the life of an author heads these days. Somewhere good I hope. In the meantime, we have to do all we can to promote our works, to mention it, whether it’s noticed or not. Lol

This is my bit. I’m no good at self-promotion.

In Strange Company is now reduced to $0.99 (USD) for a limited time. Haven’t grabbed it? You’ll find few reviews on Amazon US, Amazon Australia, and Amazon Japan to help you decide whether it’s something you’d like.

Thanks muchly. :)


This Heat

Under the glaring sky,
patches brown seen
dust swirling like a hazy dream
teasing weary travelers
parched of a single drop
or shade from the beaming sun
tired eyes struggle against the strain for the hour of light to leave.



How the years flow by
a kite carried through the wind
free, falling deeper into the blue
faintly then the string tugs
forever clipping the wings.


Unkempt years

I wish to see the Earth bloom
as the flowers of spring
on the wild hillside
rustic and unkempt
nay a human hand lay upon it
nor the touch that destroys
like a symphony
the music that collides
speaking of tongues forgotten
the sheer joy of design
by which the earthen ware can never combine
the magic calm
the calm of years gone by.


Specially for you!

Guess what? For a limited time only, something like a couple of weeks, I am reducing my book’s price from $2.99 to $0.99 on Amazon Kindle.

For those who are new to Papermashed, and for those who are constant supporters, find my awesome novel (as reviews say it!), In Strange Company and read it on your lunch breaks, before you go to sleep, or over the weekends.

It’s something I started writing at the age of 14, and it took me years before I could let others read it. :) and now, I realise I should have let it out years ago for people to enjoy.

Here’s the link:


A thought that remains.

I just heard somewhere about white ribbon day coming up here in Australia. White ribbon day is to raise awareness of violence against women, and on this occasion, I’ve written a short piece of poetry (instead of working on my UNI assignment). It’s about the depression some might go through, and suicide prevention in worst cases. I hadn’t intended the subject to be dark. Just went with the words.

Please enjoy, and spare a thought for those who might be going through this battle and many more on their own.

Here is: A Thought that remains.

Might have been tomorrow
or the next day
the sun would have risen the same way
warm, caring and bright
as the burning of a flame.
What’s become, oh great one
you dear one,
for today, the light leaves the sky
as if for the last time.
Why have the smiles smudged
stained as if by pain, red and raw,
where are the stars that twinkle in those eyes
might they have run off
at some ugly sight?
What’s become of you, once alive
with unbound life
where every day, even in hail
you stood, with a smile.
Might have been tomorrow babe,
the set sun would rise,
might have been tomorrow,
all would have been all right…

…where is the life gone? The life once full of joy?
Under some greens, awful, beautiful greens.

Pray, oh heartless one, what of me right here,
waiting for footsteps gone, gone somewhere…

…not a thought of world remained, I bet,
with that last moment of goodbye.
Forgotten, and left behind to search stranger face for like smile.



Just checking in briefly to say ‘hi’ and that I still exist and the world hasn’t swallowed me whole. :)

It looks like it may be a good two weeks before I can properly get back to you. Yes, that means I have two more weeks of my first ever prac teaching. Not too bad I have to say. An incredible learning curve I have to say.

So what’s this post about. Nothing much. Just to let you know you won’t get another installment of A Million Smiles for June for still some weeks. I know there are already fans out there for this novel-in-progress.

Here’s a link to the lastest chapter: A Million Smiles for June: Chapter 8 | Papermashed

Click on it. Click on it!

Hope you enjoy! And if you haven’t read it yet, I’ll be inclined to say start from Chapter 1 and work your way through. :) it’s a charming story thus far.



Back to school!

How does a writer survive going back to high school? Ever wondered that? No? Well, let me tell you anyway. They survive by one, imagining that it’s all part of research, or two, imagine they are in a story that’s unfolding very slowly!


Well, I’m doing my first practical teaching placement at a high school in one of the country towns in NSW. It’s been interesting to say the least. It’s the reason why you’ve been seeing a tumbleweed-blows-past-the-deserted-old-country-western feel from my blog these past weeks. I’m unable to frequent my own blog! What horror!

What am I teaching? Not English, that’s for sure. No, I’m doing science/biology. There are times when the experience is painless, other times, I feel like I’m at the wrong place, doing the wrong thing.

Some teachers and students have already asked me what am I doing teaching if I’m a writer, or a filmmaker? Good question. Very good question. But sometimes, life demands things and we do it, however much we wish we could be doing something else.

Alas, 2 weeks done, 3 more weeks to go. Let’s see what mad state I reach by end of this road.



Count one two three
there is nothing,
no nothing, for free.
Shine a light for me
ahead where the ground steeps
and in darkness it ends, or seems.
Find me that reflection
not a glass that sees through
but within.
Count one to three
and no one will notice the difference
no difference you and I see.
Such is.


Come fly

Come fly with me
spread those arms as if wings
run shall we through knee high grass
as if birds through the leaves.
We will feel the wind kiss our cheeks
tender as she lifts and beneath, the ground slips
and in such a moment, leave all worries
rising higher than we dreamed.


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