Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Broken Bits

I am writing this while in the midst of sickness, stricken by cough, headache, fever, and nausea. For one who loves to write and can't not write, this may be moments a writer thinks best, the right time to pen down thoughts in forms and angles which may never be penned again.

Here's a peek to the broken bits of thoughts as I took a long walk into the world of nature this morning … a realm within a puzzle, needing to be pieced together. If you can still your heart and picture what I saw and succeed in assembling the pieces together in an understandable manner, you will have accomplished something.

… birds of different types chirping … crickets sounding … butterflies surrounding … insects of different types making noises … dragonflies buzzing … waters running … leaves falling … multitude of trees standing tall … trees with leafy arms and branches … leaves of different shades and colours … leaves of trees moving where the wind flows ... a leave caught within a spider web … a chameleon running across the grass … flowers in magnificence … fragrance of flowers … smell of nature … wind and breeze … trees and plants … red, violet, yellow, and pink … branches and twigs … strong and the weak … calmness against roaring waves … calmness as I've never felt before ... sea breeze blowing at my face ... sounds of waters hitting shore … train of ants marching on the floor … moments of reflection … nature in its beauty … a second Eden … spoilt only by vandalism and waste surrounding the shore … motor boats passing … coconut trees … sparkling waters … shining sun … barbecue pits … couples and families … people running … tai-chi displaying
Words of disparities can seem astounding. The truth is, many of us are too organized and structured for our own good. Spurring moments like these help inspire creativity. If you can read my thoughts and piece together my feelings from the bits above, you are a step closer to knowing me from within.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Fond Memories of the National Library

A chapter of Singapore history ended when the National Library at Stamford closes recently.

The National Library building at Stamford Road which celebrated its ground breaking in 1957 and officially opened for service in 1960 has now moved on to the next chapter in acquiring a new spot at Victoria Street that boasts state-of-the-art facilities and information hub to serve a wide area of services to its publics.

In commemorating the end of a chapter, the National Library Board (NLB) has invited the Singapore public with fond memories of the place to submit their reminiscences in the form of short write-up, photography, drawing or cartoon. The outcome of these submissions is a coffee table book entitled, Moments in Time: Memories of the National Library, which will be launched on December 9, 2004 at the library in Esplanade. It is therefore my privilege to be invited for the book launch and for the opportunity to contribute one of the many articles in the book.

The National Library building at Stamford holds a very important place in my heart because it was there that I first found my love in writing, as a result of organized group meetings introduced by the library under the flagship of the Young Writers' Circle. These meetings are held regularly on a monthly basis for the purpose of promoting local literature writing in prose, poem, freelance, and short stories. It is therefore with heart-felt sadness that I bid farewell to the many fond memories of this building as it vanish into yet another chapter in the Singapore history.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

News Reporting: The Inverted Pyramid

News Reporting
Anyone who reads newspaper would know how hard news is written. The intro or lead paragraph always starts off with a summary of the whole news story, answering at least three of five Ws and a H on what, who, where, when, why, and how. The subsequent paragraphs expand on the summary and provide details of the news starting with the important at the top and the less important at the bottom. This is called the inverted pyramid.

Writing hard news is very different from writing features because it does not contain content of ideologies, anecdotes, or thoughts. It is not an editorial of opinions. It is all about facts.

The purpose of the inverted pyramid style of writing primarily serves the audiences and editors in the ways they read and edit articles. For the journalist, this method of writing reduces the time in processing thoughts and planning of how a story needs to be written. To the editors and gatekeepers, it allows a quick cut-off of content at the lower end of the story to fit the availability of space for print. To the readers, it allows quick content reading at a glance, with the gist of the story starting right from the beginning of the story, allowing them to move on to the next story even before the article is fully read.

For easier visualisation of how hard news is written, read my article on a court judgement at