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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My PAWSOME Mother!

mothers day

Let’s face it: without mothers, we wouldn’t be where we are today. They’ve been there from the start and they’ll be there till the end! They’re always there to help, purely out of love! And that’s what Mother’s Day is all about – celebrating just how great mums are.

Mrs Mom is a great example of a brilliant mum! She was always there by my side, helping me as I went along. I could never forget all those moments we spent together! She would always get me involved with things around the house, like cooking up some new dishes with her or making a brainstorm of story ideas to tell to each other. That’s really why I’ve been blessed with the talent of writing right now, because it was Mrs Mom who spotted my passion, and she guided me through the steps! So, I have her to thank for getting me where I am today. Sure, may be the writer behind this blog, a journalist for my school newspaper and Pobble’s youngest ever guest blogger, but remember, behind every great star, there’s a mother with double the greatness!

As I mentioned, it’s Mother’s Day, and I think a gift is due for all of Mrs Mom’s brilliance! We should all be celebrating our mothers every day, but I guess Mother’s Day is just that big marker for every year. So on that note, here’s my marker.

A Little Ditty For My Mother Witty

By Omar Mukhtar The Pawsome Lion

Dedicated to Mrs Mom for Mother’s Day

You’ve put up with all the Mother’s Day gifts,

The pink and purple hearts,

You’ve shouted “Yay!” for – ahem – dandelions,

And all my meSSy arts,

Yes, I may have hated all those greens,

I may not be the cleanest,

But can you forgive me after I say your homemade mop’s ingenious!

My exercise books might be shoddy,

On every page’s a

DOODLE

But still you had a heart so big to keep the whole caboodle

And so today, I say “Hooray!” for now it’s MOTHER’S DAY!

For years of love and thought and care, like this I will repay…

Happy Mother’s Day, Mrs Mom! You’re absolutely PAWSOME!

p/s: What does YOUR mother do that makes her so special to you? Share in the comments below!

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…

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*

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

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’.