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*

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Want To Write? Start With Reading!

I’ve received many requests to share my writing tips. Well, to be honest, I don’t really have any, but I’ve always loved to read. It’s been a major part of developing my writing skills and I have to admit, I have ORD – Obsessive Reading Disorder! Just one book a day can stimulate my mind into creative mode and get those imaginative juices flowing. So no, I don’t really have any tips, but I believe there is one core, essential practice which is the foundation of writing.

You. Need. To. READ.

Seem daunting? It might sound like that at first, but it is the key to writing. You’ll need to read to find ideas and check your work. It happens whilst you’re writing! When I say read, I don’t mean read for a day or two then stop, I mean read everyday! Make it part of your daily routine. Make it part of your LIFE! Keep a book close wherever you go, so if you have spare time, you can open it up and peruse with ease.

At an early age, we all learn to read and as we get older, we start to read more difficult texts. We’ve been reading naturally all this time, and yet some people sweat at the thought of having to read something. If you could do it so young, why can’t you do it now?

The action of reading has many benefits. Books can teach us grammar and punctuation skills and language basics. Your vocabulary will be enriched too. Books are like dictionaries – there’s bound to be new words on show! The human brain is similar to a sponge, so it will absorb everything it reads. For me, reading also enlarges my imagination and stimulates my creativity. Books have many other benefits, such as improving your health, helping growth and much more. It’s clear that books are a writer’s best friends!

So now you see why reading is so crucial. We shouldn’t just give up reading because it seems hard or boring. If you did, you wouldn’t be reading this right now! But then there’s the choice of what to read and what’s good to read and what’s bad. Well, like I have said in the previous post, there is nothing good or bad, it’s just what you personally prefer! I love reading science fiction and fantasy, but other people might not. However, even though I like these specific genres, I still read a broad range of books. It’s great to read many books, but if you want, you can find the genre that suits you. The best way to find your perfect genre is to read a range of them, and work out their pros and cons so you will be able to find the one that you like the most. Once that’s done, you can read with relaxation and soon write! Remember, reading is an important step towards making yourself a better writer!

Yes, I think it’s great to read, but when I say ‘read’, I don’t mean just in English. You can read in your own mother tongue or your preferred language! Be it Malay, Urdu, Thai, Arabic, Gaelic, Chinese…you can read in any language you want! Don’t let language be a barrier that stops you from reading! And of course, remember to be bold, be brave, challenge yourself to read, readREAD and never stop reading! Now, if you’ve managed to read up to this point, then you’ve successfully read 581 words! So that’s me sharing my experience with you. Hope you find it useful.

Keep calm and carry on reading so that TOGETHER WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD!

“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.”

– Lemony Snicket

mukhtar book in park.jpg

The Others – Part 1

the others doodle.jpg

March 20th, 1998. 3:15pm in Oppicretum, the only city known to be inhabited on planet Griseoculum. There was a Blemiyeh sat to Jake’s left, a Cockatrice to his right, a dwarf sat in his lap, a Brownie on his arm and a gargoyle perched on his head. Outside the bus stop he was sitting in was a sphinx, one of the few creatures in Oppicretum that spoke English and Grisian, babbling away with riddles and puzzles.

“Ooh, what about this one? What can you catch, but never throw? Hmm? A cold! Hahaha! Come on, try this! What binds two people together yet touches only one? A wedding ring! Oh, my Anubis, you’re worse than you look, you little toad!”

Jake was a 28-year-old man transferred to Griseoculum from Planet 56-B. He lived alone, and had no family that he knew of. He was the only human there – that is to say, part-human. Jake was also half-Kappa, because of the depression on the top of his head. A Kappa, as you might know, is a creature that resides in rivers, originating in Japan, Earth, around 3 million light years or so away from Griseoculum. Jake never needed to pour water into the depression, as he was able to perform magical feats without it. He was, however, able to breathe underwater.

Jake wasn’t planning to get on the hoverbus that afternoon. He had no idea why he was sat there. He was one of those people who did things for no reason at all. One minute had passed, and the Blemiyeh, Cockatrice, dwarf, Brownie and gargoyle, with the sphinx following behind the bus, had all boarded, leaving Jack on his own. He sat there for a few moments more, and snapped his fingers, conjuring a Snackable Delicator – a type of chocolate biscuit with food crystals eaten in Oppicretum. As he devoured the Delicator, he looked back towards the plaza behind him. There, he noticed a figure in the distance, a figure with a suitcase, a figure wearing a brown trilby hat, a figure in a tweed suit, a figure that slowly became clearer and clearer until Jake could see that it was not just a figure, but a man, a human.

Jake jumped up, which was also for no particular reason, and threw the Snackable Delicator aside, shortly glimpsing it disappearing with a pop. As he and the man drew closer, Jake shuddered slightly, which was another action with no reason (I told you Jake was one of those people who do irrational things), then stopped beside the clanktern, which was not really making any noise apart from the occasional tick, waiting for the man to arrive at the same point. When he did, the man dropped his suitcase, looking as if he was going to collapse. “Hello,” he said feebly, stretching out his hand so as to shake Jake’s, “My name’s Stephen, I’m 27 and-oh! I forgot! You, um, you do speak English, don’t you? Everything else I’ve come across talks some newfangled language, something like-”

“What, like ‘Bookoo zabar brakay zeebee’? I’m Jack, 28, the only part-human here – well, one of them.”

Stephen seemed to squeal with delight for a moment. “Oh, great! Could you support me for a few days? I don’t have any money, I don’t know the language and I only have two outfits, including my pyjamas!”

“Of course.” Jake picked up his suitcase, doing it reluctantly, which was yet something else without a reason, and asked, “Want a drink?”

Stephen, who was now sweating heavily, nodded, and Jake rubbed his fingers together, making a bottle of a type of fluid appear, handing it to Stephen.

“Asphod-Aqua.” Jake said, “Enriched with aloe vera, Purgatio minerals and Recuntills. Very healthy.”

“Oh, thank you.” Stephen said whilst taking a swig, then suddenly started babbling about anything that came to his mind.

“This planet is amazing! All these different creatures, they’re really cool. The sphinx caught my eye, all those clever riddles, and then you’ve got the hinkypunks, and Arabian agreets too! I must say, those Brownies are fascinating too, they’re purely brilliant…”

And as he rambled on, Jake decided that he would have some fun just this once, and with a short clap, there was a squelch, and Stephen was covered in custard. He spluttered out from behind the thick layer:

“Then, of course, we’ve got you.”

To be continued…

Create A Story – 11 Reasons Why I Love It

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As a writer, I’m always looking for ways to improve, however I need to. Then I came across Create A Story, a children’s creative writing book in the making, and guess what? They asked me to review their early preview of the book! It was an honour to be offered something such as this! I agreed and tried it out, and let me tell you this: it was PAWSOME! Create A Story is definitely the go-to book for children between 7-11 who are new to the world of writing, but even kids who have been writing stories for a long time will benefit from it! I must admit, even I did! And, as promised, I am sharing my thoughts on the early preview book. Below are the 11 reasons why I love Create A Story!

  1. A writing topic is given and clearly explained so you have a better image in your head of what you are going to be writing about.
  2. The story is split into sections, making it easier for you to plan each part.
  3. Examples of main characters, villains and optional pets are shown so you have more ideas about your own characters.
  4. Once you choose a main character, you analyse them step by step, from their personality to the items that they are carrying. Very helpful so you know what your character is going to do in the story.
  5. Powerful vocabulary is used in the explanations to enrich knowledge and tricky words are underlined with meanings given beside them.
  6. To prompt setting descriptions, small spaces for the five senses are used so you can note down what you see, smell, taste, feel and hear.
  7. A space for drawing the setting can be used so that you have a clearer image of it in your head.
  8. The book gives examples of high-level grammar features that could be used in the story. These features are practised in short learning activities.
  9. At the end of the planning, a tick list is shown for you to be able to check that you have everything for your story.
  10. Before beginning writing, fun facts about the writing topic are given so that they can be used in the story, bringing it more to life.
  11. And most importantly, it makes writing fun!

Once again, I would like to say that I definitely recommend Create A Story to children writer wannabes and those who want to improve their writing! Parents can buy this book for their children as its features are hugely beneficial , and I have enjoyed writing with it! Keep an eye out for its launch very soon!

p/s: Special thanks to Andrew Massingham for honouring me with the early preview of the book!

Create A Story

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11 Things To Do in a Tech-free World…

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Technology is a wonderful thing and is probably the vital core of today’s society. It has many great features and has helped innovate scientific progress; Thomas Alva Edison couldn’t have invented the light bulb without a little (or maybe a lot) of knowledge in this great scientific study! But tonight, Mrs Mom asked me an unexpected question:

“What would you do if you woke up one day and technology was gone?”

Now this was a very interesting question, and I replied, “For this, I will give you not one, but 11 answers!”, and so here they are!

  1. Convince my friends that they are not living in a nightmare
  2. Run for Prime Minister
  3.  If I do become Prime Minister, create a new law that states:     “Subjects are required to partake in a daily writing session of 5 minutes (or, in some cases, less) in length. If the subject is unable to write, they may read as another option, or vice versa.” ———–Gov. Law Act No. 105
  4. Interview Raymond Briggs
  5. Vote for free Harry Potter books
  6. Cross-breed an apple with a peach
  7. Adopt a pet panda and name him Noodles
  8. Sleep with a book in my bed
  9. Mail my friends a book each month
  10. Add an extra September to the calendar
  11. Devote a room to stationery

These are the 11 things I would do if there was no technology in this world. What about you? Share your 11 things and don’t forget to use the hashtag #my11things .