Sunday, September 09, 2007

Write Right

Through blogging, I have the good fortune of making many, many great friends…a few I have met and had the pleasure of enjoying ice-creams, kopi-oh and yummylicious food and of course, good company. A few more, I have spoken to, but never met and many others, never spoken and never met but we ‘connect’ in our blogs…..just like some old friends. I always look forward to read their updates (and then will try to give my 5 sens worth of comments) as much as I look forward to their comments in mine.

I am no writer and I have to confess that doing essays was not one of my favourite subjects in school. Gimme my folk dancing class and I’ll be more than happy to be hopping and kicking and twirling around with my dance partner in the school hall. But writing essays? Oh gawd…help me! Teacher would write a title on the blackboard and I would be stumped….head bent down, pen in the hand…doodles and more doodles and before I knew it, class was over.

Thank God, I had good and dedicated teachers then. Teacher repeated a thousand times… and read and read summore. Books, magazines, newspapers…just grab something. Read for content, read for structure and read for styles and always keep it simple and sweet. The easiest to ‘grab’ then, was the daily newspapers and I found a column that I like very much and I read without fail – a dose by the late S.H. Tan. This prolific writer….. his keen observations…his wicked sense of humour…his quick-witted repartee - one of his favourites was “include me out” hahahah….his hilarious takes and fluid style, all make for good light-hearted reading. He wrote about simple everyday things/events that we could relate to and he was good in his words what our present Datuk Lat is good in his sketches.

S.H. Tan had a few books published but I have none in my collection and for the past couple of years I have been looking for his books. Imagine my elation when a very kind friend recently sent me a copy. So I have been indulging myself these past few evenings thumbing through the book and enjoying S.H. Tan’s writings once again…savouring his every word and letting out a few hearty chuckles and hope that it may help to jolt, inspire and motivate me to write a little better.

And of course, I am learning lots too, from my more experienced blog friends here. What will I be without all of you guiding and helping me along? Just keep them coming, ya! I may be slow but I am learning...okie, I promise to be a good student and I wanna WRITE RIGHT.

posted by nyonyapenang at 1:43 AM, |


  At 6:51 AM Blogger U.Lee said:
Hello Nyonya, you are doing fine in your many eloquent postings. Yes, by all means we pick up, we learn, we improve from others, but it is still your heart that moves your pen. Write from your heart, Nyonya. Let not the spelling, the punctuation slow you down. The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.
When something can be read without effort, great effort has gone into its writing.
Your many beautiful postings is like a warm fireplace on a cold winter night. It warms us all.
I used to read SH Tan's articles for many years and one day was privilaged to have met him over coffee.
He was a real gentleman, one of a kind. I have all this years known only three such gentlemen, HE was one of them.
Keep well, Nyonya, UL.
  At 8:35 AM Blogger ehon said:
i've never heard of SH Tan. But yeah, I really think writing is a skill. And a skill is something you improve and get better as you learn. :) And practise. :D

i also duno wad to say liao but happy sunday, nyonya! :D
just keep writing nyonyapenang! u write, and i'll read :) whether ure writing right or left, i know for sure i'm going to enjoy :)

have a great week nyonyapenang!
  At 10:20 AM Blogger Chen said:
IMHO, u already have nice and skillful writing and postings. btw, i hope u don't pengsan reading my writing, cos of the rojak language. Hahaha...

Hope to meet up with u soon :)
  At 2:49 PM Blogger Pi Bani said:
Just write from your heart lah. I personally write to express, not to impress. But I have to admit, way back in school, karangan was one of my favourite subjects. The difference was that time got to use proper language, Malay or English. Nowadays I simply hantam whatever language I wanna use!
SH Tan must be smiling now from heaven reading your post. he is someone who is 'never' angry or the type to blow his top. quite a gentleman. he finds humour in almost everything. cool guy. :)
i take this opportunity to thank you for this kind post of him. i am sure he will want me to too!
and unker lee sent me today! haha. unker is also quite a gentleman. if i meet him one day, i think i will swoon straight... into his arms? hahaha
  At 8:52 PM Blogger U.Lee said:
Hello Nyonya, Can rent some real estate from you here to say something to two ladies here? Buy you coffee and donuts before we board Penang ferry Dec 31st at 11.45pm.
Pi Bani, I like the way you say, 'simply hantam'. Your 'simply hantam' over at your place betul terus from your heart, makes me feel emotional when I read. You're very good.
Mistipurple, don't you dare 'swoon' and fall into my arms, I'm not a strong 35 year old anymore, you know. Nanti we both fall on the grass next to Orchard road, very lecheh. Then someone come to help, kena parking ticket, got to go to court. How? End up buy shoes for the wife. How? Arhaaa ha ha.
I am so thrilled to know S.H.Tan's cousin. Incidentally he was very good friends with an uncle of mine who was in the film industry then. Thats how I got to know him.
He is that kind of gentleman, if introduce a girlfriend to him, she might switch camps, arhaaa ha ha. He can charm a bird to come down from the tree, sing a song, then go back up. Me? I frighten the birds away with my snakes I catch. Ha ha.
Thanks Nyonya, see you at the Ferry. UL.
Hi Uncle Lee,
I always look forward to read your most beautifully written comments - you always make my day, Uncle Lee. What can I say but that I am truly humbled that I can elicit such heart-warming response from you, a wordsmith par excellence and I have to confess too, that I have learned alot from you and am still learning.

Yes, your writings can be read without effort and I know, you have put in great effort, no less. Thanks so much for going that extra mile, Uncle Lee.

I remember seeing S.H. Tan's tiny photo next to his daily column and if I had chanced upon him in person, I would have recognised him. I would certainly not hesitate to extend my hand and introduced myself. Incidentally, he was staying in SS2, PJ, just a few corners away from my place.
He is in a better place now....

Have a great Sunday, Uncle Lee.
Hi Ehon,
S.H. Tan was one of the top newspaper journalists of his time and he had a strong following from people from all walks of life. Now even years after his passing, mentioned his name and those who read him can't help recall with fondness of a simple and down-to-earth gentleman who brought us many smiles.

Writers are trained and their skills honed over time. As a part-time blogger, I can only try my level best to string a sentence coherently and hope that through practice and picking up tips from more experienced bloggers, I learn bit by bit along the way.

Have a wonderful week ahead, Ehon.
Hi Winniethepooh, are always so sweet and kind and I can never thank you enough for your warm and encouraging words.

Your comments always perk me up and make me feel that I can touch the stars. Thank you, Winnie.

Have a wonderful week ahead!
Hi Dr Chen,
Thank you...thank you....your kind words made me feel 10 feet tall. hahahaha....

No, I definitely won't pengsan reading your many nice-nice food pictures....gua busy drooling over the cannot pengsan.
**pour cold water over my head...**

You have the most enjoyable week.
Hi Pi Bani,
Ya....I like your take - "write to express and not to impress" - and now, I also want to take it as my guide. you said you 'simply hentam'...but I have to tell you this:-


I enjoy your writings.
Hi Mistipurple,
Really wished I had met S.H.Tan.
I used to follow his columns very closely and I knew he stayed in SS2 area and he frequented the morning market. Well, he is in a happy place now and may he keep smiling at us from above.

S.H. Tan was a gentleman, so is our favourite Uncle Lee. You afraid you will swoon straight into his arms? hahahaha....No worries, let me know when you are going to meet him...I'll stand by to help to support you. hahahah...

Have a great week, Mistipurple.
Hi Uncle Lee,
No problemos....remember, you have Permanent Resident status.
"Pay No Rent, Come Live Here"

Just bring the coffee and donut and let's indulge.

  At 12:27 AM Blogger Will said:
khai ma, don't use the word "guide"... i'd say it's more of "we're all learning through each other" every day. see ya!
  At 3:38 AM Blogger PEARLY said:
nyonya penang dear :
Your post is one of my regular must read bog I will miss you when you didn't write . but I will pentien to wait for your return ... yeah you are right write do need a skill but you have it ,, as for me I tottly useless ..... now since I am blogg I read from everyone here I am learning for everyone too ,,,, I love to read every blog ...
thank so much for sharing with me nyonya and every one too xxxxx
  At 6:35 AM Anonymous kat said:
nyonya dear, how can you say you cannot write right?? You write perfectly fine. In fact better than fine, you write with class! One of the few classy dames around. And I am extremely fortunate to have made your acquaintance! All thanks to a little angel... :)
  At 10:31 AM Blogger J.T. said:
Hi Nyonya

Essay-writing was never my favourite in school. Until today, I find it so hard to write a story unless I have a guideline.

When I attended BM tuition classes, the teacher told me read lots of newspapers in that language. Also, encouraged me to listen to news in BM to enhance my knowledge. I employed the same technique for English. My dad drowned me with subscriptions from Reader's Digest, Time, Newsweek and of course the daily newspapers. Though I am still far from being an excellent writer, I am thankful that my dad ingrained the habit of reading and learning from it.

Nowadays, I pressure myself too much when it comes to blogging. I have this habit of editing and re-editing my entries. I have to remind myself that blogging is for fun. I am not submitting papers for exams. haha

Nyonya, I do enjoy reading your postings. You have a flair for writing, believe me. To me, you write from your heart. That grabs my attention. :)
  At 10:40 AM Anonymous suituapui said:
I love writing!!! Guess I have to cos I'm an English teacher (Well, at least for a couple of months more!). How can anyone teach anybody to do something he/she doesn't love himself/herself? BTW, who's that "very kind friend" who sent u a copy of S H Tan's book? LOL!
  At 10:43 AM Blogger Nightwing said:
Me too, i also enjoy ur writing. Like JT mentioned, you write from your heart. That is something no one can take away from...:)

You have a great week ahead..Cheers.
  At 11:37 AM Anonymous Dawn said:
Nyonya, you write really well. I do believe that a person should write from the heart especially in informal writing. I, like Pi Bani, write to express, not to impress, I will try my best to write at least with proper grammar. At least I am writing better since I started school.
I like your writing with touches of humor in them. So, keep them coming, Nyonya!
  At 4:44 PM Blogger JoMel said:
I echo the sentiments of many here. You write very very well Nyonya. You write from the heart.. and I appreciate that so much. I may not comment but I always read.. and I know that I should comment more since you look forward to feedback from your readers (my bad!) and I shall endeavour to. :)
Hi Will,
You are so humble and kind. It's true, Will, and you know you have helped and guided me along, many times. Thank you so much.
Hi Pearly,
It's always good to have you here and your comments, I value them lots. You are sincere, honest and true; what more can I ask? And with these qualities, whatever you write and post up, always comes out fragrant as a rose. Keep writing and of course keep posting up your yummylicious food pictures.....always make me drool on my keyboard. hahahha....

Thank you so much for your encouragement. It means alot to me, Pearly.

You have a nice day.
Hi Kat,
Wow....I am so happy you pop by. I miss you already. hahahah....

You are so kind and generous with your words and I am all motivated and ready to bang on the keyboards. hahahaha... Thank you so much.

Do you know, your's is one of the many blogs I peep into ever so often to learn and study your styles? You are one eloquent lady.

Have a nice day, Kat.
Hi j.t.
Thank you...thank you.
The kind words and sincere encouragement from friends like you really motivate me and make my day and make me wanna do better.

And when I hop over your place and see your fluid style, I am motivated learn and pick up some valuable pointers and I have learned quite a fair bit.
Thanks for sharing, j.t.
Hi Suituapui,
I already know you love to write and I know you can write very well AND I AM WAITING TO READ YOUR BLOG!

And BTW, you do teach 'over-age' students English? heheheh...

Oh ya, that kind friend who sent me the book, I am not too sure if that friend feels good about me telling the name to the world. What say you?
Hi Nightwing,
Thank you for your kind words.

Re: writing from my heart, I guess its true. If not, how else can I explain how come I just could not write a word of what my English teacher wants. hehehehe...

You have a nice day.
Hi Dawn,
Thank you...thank you.
I am happy I got your vote and it really means a lot to me. I believe Pi Bani and others too write from the heart to EXPRESS. Writing from the head would be to IMPRESS, no? hahahah...

You have a pleasant day.
Hi Jomel,
Thank you for your kind encouragement and oh yes...I need loads of it.

You write very, very well too...straight and simple and always polite to a 'T'. I like that.

Same goes here, Jomel... I do peep and peek at your place and once a long while, I'd leave a word or two but most times 'diam-diam' saja. :P

Have a great day.
  At 11:22 PM Blogger Marsha M said:
humble-nya! actually, anytime you can beat me hands down. just that my face got very thick-skin lah!
  At 1:51 AM Blogger Jonzz said:
Your writing is witty, heartfelt and flows very smoothly. It's not easy to write that way at all.
  At 7:10 AM Anonymous suituapui said:
U're one smart lady, nyonya! No wonder so pandai do bizniz!!! Must learn from u cos after retire, I oredi pokai!!!
Hi Marsha,
Thank you for your kind words.

You are the one who is more humble, Marsha. You ARE NOT thick-skinned BUT a very confident lady who can hold your own, anytime. Hats off to you!

You write very well and you can make a living out of it.
Me? I am trying to string some words together and hopefully it turns out coherent.
And your blog...I peep quite often to learn a bit about your style.

Have a pleasant day, Marsha.
Hi Jonzz,
Thank you...thank you...

I am so happy you gave me your vote and I assure you, I will try to improve further along the way. All these encouragements means a lot to me.

You have a great day.
Hi Suituapui,
Thank you.

Come to think of it, compliments go to you too. I have smart friends like you and I believe I kinda picked up the 'smartness' from generous people like you who are ever willing to help and share.

You are actually in a very good are never short of clients and moreover, in your line, your 'value' goes up with tell your clients, "I eat salt more than you eat rice. So sit up and listen."

Have a nice day.
  At 10:37 AM Anonymous Angeleyes said:
Aw... Nyonya... I really miss reading your blog lar... Sollie for not commenting as my PC has been sot-sot lately... but I do drop by :)

And I've awarded you with this...
Hi Angeleyes,
Wah...another award for me? I am delighted and honoured to receive this 'Nice Matters Award' from a wonderful friend like you.

Thank you so much for keeping me in your thoughts.

Have a great day.
  At 4:10 PM Anonymous JL said:
but but but... no one to check my essay wor...
Hi jl,
Awww.....come...come....bring your essay...gua help you to check BUT if your cigku fail you, then please don't mention my name, okie?

Have a nice day, jl.