123 Countries…And Counting!

photo for blog

Did you know that my blog has been read by 123 countries and counting till date? Unbelievable, right? There are a total of 195 countries in the whole world, and 123 of them have read my humble blog!

I started blogging way back in 2015 at the age of 9. I’ve been through such a long journey since I started, and learnt so much along the way! For as long as I can remember, I have always loved to write. I recall writing from as young as the age of 4! And before I could even write, I expressed my passion of writing through drawing! From there, I built up my skill in writing. I can see now why Mrs Mom says I was ‘BORN TO WRITE!’

The main purpose of me launching this blog was to encourage more people to read and write. Reading and writing open up the imagination and increase creativity, which is why I think it is very vital in today’s modern society. It’s important to challenge ourselves to read every day, however much you do, because reading leads to writing. Whether you read one page a day or one chapter, you just need to remember to keep it consistent, the same way with writing too.

I Thank God for blessing me with my greatest skill, writing, because without it, I wouldn’t be who I am today! Also, I want to take the opportunity to THANK all the people who have been reading my blog and showing me immense support! I mean, 123 countries? I couldn’t ask for more! I can still remember when I went for my interview at King Edward’s School, the interviewers were surprised to find out that an 11-year old boy could attract readers from all over the world! To be able to write is one thing, to get people from over 100 countries to read your work is a completely different story!

Without my family, teachers, friends, and of course, you PAWSOME readers, I wouldn’t be where I am today! I really appreciate all your kindness and PAWSOME support. Keep calm and carry on reading so that TOGETHER WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD!

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Into The Forest, But Never Out…

spooky forest background

The sun was high in the sky, but did not illuminate the dismal forest much, as its shine was filtered through the foliage of the dense forest canopy, leaving only a few rays of light touching the ground. Even so, there were many things to keep me relaxed while walking through such a place. The psithurism, for instance, was very calming as it travelled into my ears. The sweet scent of flowers and wild berries was quite soothing too. Other than the fact that the rest of the forest was not quite pleasant, one could agree that it was quite an enjoyable walk.

But, there is always a chance of an unexpected event ( a abad one, too, that is) happening at a time like this. And so that was the case for me. I realised that the air wasn’t quite as warm as it was before. I pulled my coat tighter around my body. The lovely aroma which had so wonderfully tantalised my nose whilst wafting through the air no longer lingered near me. It seemed unearthly for everything to change so suddenly. But then, I was walking through the forest in the middle of nowhere; anything could happen, what with the lack of light and vast air space. I told myself that I was just imagining things. I shook the thought off.

I continued on my journey for about 10 minutes, maybe 20, and just when I thought everything was going fine, I came face to face with another obstruction, the biggest one of all.

CRUNCH! The leaves behind me rustled. A few bushes shook. Somewhere in the forest, I heard the unmistakeable cry of a human. Now I was worried. My rapid breathing filled the air: it seemed to encourage the trees to whisper back. SNAP! A twig broke. Another scream. All my surroundings seemed to revolved around me, and just as I was about to turn and run, I met the worst thing I could have ever imagined: Him…

The Wake

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Lightning never strikes twice, does it? Well, that was just the problem: he needed it to strike twice. It was nearly done, nearly done – it just needed energy. Enough energy to break a pylon, enough to make it come alive. Two strikes of lightning was all it needed. Nothing else could replace that, but he kept asking the same question:

“How do I replace that?”

He had already made a seemingly perfect contraption – a forked metal rod pointing downwards, its bottom pointed out of the skylight to attract lightning. If the lightning travelled down the rod, it would be split in two and weave its way down the two cables connected to the rod that led to a pair of power banks. The power banks would send the electricity to the machine, giving it power in the form of two artificial lightning bolts. It was too risky, though. A malfunction could go badly wrong, but there was no turning back now. The storm was upon them, and the lightning would strike any moment soon.

Crack! A bright white flash lit up the room. He jumped back as sparks of electricity bounced across the floor. The power banks whirred, and the thing on the table slowly lit up. He chuckled as the creaks of gears travelled into his ears. He had just gotten up, only to jump back down again. Another deafening crack filled the room. The glass in the open skylight shattered. It was another lighting bolt, and another lightning bolt wasn’t the best thing it needed right now. He had made the contraption with the power banks storing energy to make that one lightning bolt turn into two, but now his machine had been given four bolts to charge it up. The thing on the table jerked up, glowing brightly. Then the lightbulb in the lamp next it popped. The power banks exploded. As it turned around, he could see its eyes shining, but it wasn’t warming. This was it. This was the wake of the automaton.

*Inspired by Pobble 365*

Lemony Snicket’s ‘A Series Of Unfortunate Events’

a series of unfortunate events

Many people have requested me to share what books I like to read. Well, over a period of time, I will be posting my favourite books on my blog. I’ll start off today with something written by one of my favourite authors.

‘A Series Of Unfortunate Events’ is written by Daniel Handler under his pen name ‘Lemony Snicket’. It is one of the best fictional works I’ve ever read! Mystery is one of my favourite genres, and here, Snicket has really pulled it off.

lemony snicket

There’s just the right amount of action, suspense and humour, making it an enjoyable experience to read. There’s clear distinction between the characters, so you’ll know who’s like what without having to struggle. ‘A Series Of Unfortunate Events’ also contains surprising plot twists, guaranteed to make the story even more interesting! It’s also similar to a dictionary because of its high vocabulary, and it will enrich your word bank! Here’s part of one of Snicket’s books:

“My, my, my, my, my,” said a voice from behind them, and the Baudelaire orphans turned to find Stephano standing there, the black suitcase with the shiny silver padlock in his hands and a look of brummagem surprise on his face. “Brummagem” is such a rare word for “fake” that even Klaus didn’t know what it meant[…].

-The Reptile Room (2 of 13 books)

Chapter 7

You can see an example of his use of rare words in this part of a book. So if you haven’t heard of ‘brummagem’ before, you’ll find it in ‘A Series Of Unfortunate Events’! Another impressive aspect of Snicket’s writing is the figurative language. This feature really paints a clear image in the reader’s head, adding to the brilliance of the story.

The illustrator Lemony Snicket worked with, Brett Helquist, also produced stunning drawings, so we have a better understanding of what things look like in the story. The pair make a story that is truly unforgettable!

movie poster

Other than reading the books, I have also watched both the movie and the TV series adaptions. However, I prefer the books over the movies as they have much more detail. It’s easier to understand what the characters are thinking and better to incorporate suspense as it is told from certain characters’ perspective. In the movie, you would be able to know what was happening as you could see all around. There are also more ways that humour can be incorporated in through the narration, not just the action of the characters.

book collection

Overall, ‘A Series Of Unfortunate Events’ is a great collection of books and if you’re looking for something adventurous to read, it is definitely the best to start with. It’s not too fast, not too slow, and there are some brilliant writing ideas to find! Lemony Snicket has nailed mystery and dark comedy with this story – out of 5, I would rate it 5 stars! Watch out for my next posts: I’ll be sharing more on what books I’ve read!

“There are those who say that life is like a book, with chapters for each event in your life and a limited amount of pages on which you can spend your time. But I prefer to think that a book is like a life, particularly a good one, which is well worth staying up all night to finish.”

-Lemony Snicket

*Media Source: Google Images*

Under The Lake

under the lake photo

Every day is just about the same for me. Wake up, brush my teeth, wash my face, grab an apple and walk straight into that 300-foot deep lake outside.

I work under the surface – well, when I say under, I mean on the other side. There’s plenty of other people that come too, it’s part of life for us. We work for Death, writing reports on certain people that are assigned to us, then calculating their life expectancy. Death has less on his plate because of us, so all he needs to do is fix his schedule.

Everything we do, think and feel is written on our bodies as soon as we pass through the portal. When we resurface, the writing disappears. Death pays us quite a fair salary each week, so life is sweet. There’s just one catch: whenever I start work, my skin is empty.

Death doesn’t favour me as much as the others, even though my wages are the same. There was another one like me, but she died sometime before I started. They call us Outsiders, which is pretty rude, but I don’t care.

I was always empty-skinned until that one day when my life seemed to change forever. I went through the same morning routine: brush teeth, wash face, eat apple, walk into lake. I just didn’t know that under the lake, it would be different.

The first few steps in are through the water barrier, then we should arrive on the other side. This time around, though, the journey seemed longer, and as I delved deeper and deeper, I could make out the distinctive shape of a person in the distance, a man, tall and skinny. He gradually came closer and closer, until I could see his face. It was Death himself, and he had grabbed hold of my hand. Before he pushed me up to the surface, he uttered four words: “You, master of me.”

And suddenly I was floating back up, and I flew out of the lake, landing on my feet. I wasn’t the slightest bit wet, as always. There was a piece of paper in my hand, reading:

Take my place under the lake.

Yours,

D.

And on my hand was a single word, as if written in black ink. ‘No need to ask for wages anymore.’ I thought to myself as I walked back to my cosy little home, smiling at my own hand, reading over and over again ‘Death’.

Pawsome Book Club: Dear Olly by Michael Morpurgo

WARNING: MAY CAUSE HYSTERICAL CRYING

Hey there pawsome peeps! Long time no see…

This post is going to be another book review for a different book that I read for the BFR. If you read the warning above, then you will know that this book is very emotional! Anyway, the book that I have chosen for today is called…Dear Olly by Michael Morpurgo! FYI, Michael Morpurgo is an award-winning author! This story is told by three voices and I had tears in my eyes whilst I was reading it!

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The main characters in this book are called Olly, Matt and Hero (a swallow). Olly is waiting for her brother, Matt, to come back home as she watches the swallows leaving for Africa. When Hero the scarlet-ringed swallow journeys to where his companions are, he has to dodge numerous obstacles. And Matt could never have imagined what was going to happen to him at the African orphanage. Will he be able to travel back to England, his home country?

I am going to stop right there! I don’t want to go too far! This book is a truly soul-gripping tale. I would recommend it to people who are into thrills, family and love. It is definitely a must-read. That’s why I’m rating it…4 stars!! There is just one thing I would change about it. I personally think that it would be better if it was written in the first person. But overall, it was an excellent book! If you would like to get your hands on this book, visit your local library today to read it!

Wow! Is that the time already? I’m afraid I’m going to have to say goodbye pawsome peeps! But don’t worry, I’m just around the corner! Look out for more book reviews from my Pawsome Book Club and see you soon!

p/s: Please kindly visit my YouTube channel – The Pawsome Lion to watch my Pawsome Book Club videos & don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE!