Tuesday, January 1, 2008

I Have A Dream

Awang Goneng (W A Hulaimi) took blogging to a new height by compiling his blogs into a book. The book Growing Up In Trengganu (GUIT) was published by Monsoon Books and so well received that it set some wannabe writers like me who only started blogging as recently as July 2007 dreaming of becoming one. Latest news about his book is that the publishers are going for a reprint.
Dreaming is easy of course but writing isn't. Supposing that you have managed to compile a heap of your blogs which when turned into hard copies do you think it is easy to get somebody to publish it? It maybe easy if you are Awang Goneng who had been been in the print business as a reporter or something for sometimes. Who would know of Zawi? Now lets go one step further and I did manage to get my book published, how would I sell it? Even a well known blogger like Awang Goneng had a tough time initially. Most book stores in the major towns looked in askance when asked for the book called Growing Up In Trengganu by Awang Goneng. They would know of the latest book by Sydney Sheldon but not by Awang Goneng. Thanks to the regular requests by fellow bloggers book stores by the names of Kinokuniya, MPH and Popular in KL are able to identify the name of the book even if you mention the name GUIT.
So far I have only managed to put in a miserly 44 blogs. Compare that to Pak Idrus's 1,000 blogs thus far! Out of the 44 how many will be worthy enough to be put in a book? Could even be none at all. Some of them are just mere ramblings put in just to make sure that a new post be put in once in every 7 to 10 days just to keep it alive. That was the advice given my first guru H J Angus. H J Angus was one of the two bloggers who spurred me on to go beyond the first blog. Rocky was the other one. To the two of them I will be forever feel indebted. Due to sheer ignorance I deleted my first blog thinking that it will go to the archive box. With that goes their two most valuable comments.Without their comments by blog would have remained with just the one and only post as content.
There are other blogs by others though that truly deserve reading by any readers who understand English. These are gems that are true life stories that deserve to be turned into books. Turning them into a book is important in order to reach the other readers who do not have access to the internet due to various reasons. Even those with internet connections don't read blogs sometimes. I was one of them before I started reading Malaysia-today. The few blogs that I know before that put me off from reading them as they tend to be self centred stories about what they do from day to day which was of course boring.
Among the blogs of note is the one by Pi Bani who twists her stories around people involved with HIV and AIDS through no fault of theirs. So Pi Bani can easily turn her story into a book. The problem is how to end her book when the story she is writing about will continue till eternity? It can be turned into a serial I guess. Each book will be very thick indeed.
Next on my dream list is a book by this man who spent his life on a drilling barge in the backwaters of Kalimantan.That is his latest site, the barge can be towed to anywhere in the world though. He used to drill for oil in Sudan before and I often wondered whether a barge was used to drill for oil there as Sudan is neaver near to any seas. The sight of AK47 in the hands of juveniles scared the shit out of him and he left Africa in quite a hurry but lived to write about it. His story of his Palace adventures in Burma (now Myanmar) is another story that keeps playing back in my mind. He was out with his boss with the intention of drilling other holes of pleasures in mind. Later he turned out to be the gallant knight in shining armour when he came to the rescue an Australian lass from her misery from being neglected by the other knights. I would tell all and sundry to buy his book should it ever be published. This story teller extraordinaire goes by the Name of Mat Salo.
Next on my list of authors who can produce books by just compiling their blogs is a journalist working for a mainstream media. In her blog she didn't write about what her employer asked her to write for the assignment. Instead she writes on how she goes about to various parts of the world to cover events that will be sent back home to be printed in the media. I guess you have read her stories in her blogsite as she is non other than Fauziah Ismail.
For a start I have created a new site called Stories From The Blogs which is accessible at http://StoriesFromBlogs.blogspot.com/. I have posted several URLs to the stories by the above writers. From time to time more URLs will be added to the list either by the same writers or from other writers depending on the latest information as to the discovery of new interesting blogs based on seemingly true lifestories (who could really tell huh?).
I would be most grateful if some kind souls out there could scout for more of such gems to be put on the list. In due course when we have ample number of permanent helps, more people will be given the password to operate the site to add to the list and write a brief excerpts to the story to guide readers on the sort of story they like to read.
It is next to impossible for me to search all the blogs and read all the stories written as there are so many of them. Currently no parameters is set other than that it has to be based on truelife stories. No absolute proof needed to be seeked though and it will be taken at face value. Am I infringing on any copyright rules here?
Those who are interested to be involved in the project, please email me at mohdzawi@gmail.com.


Fauziah Ismail said...

Salam Pak Zawi
Thank you for such compliments.
I am honoured to make it to your blog roll.
Honestly, if you ask me, blogging is not about how many postings your do but it is about what you share with the readers.
You'll get return visitors if these visitors like what you write and the experiences you share with them.
I've just discovered your blog and I like what you write. So,please continue with your blogging.

Zawi said...

Thanks for the comment. Please help me to spot more stories to list them in the Stories From The Blogs. That is the project I was trying to tell your ealier. Hope you will be on my team to work on the project so that we can help people to read stories that we think people will enjoy reading, sharing with them whatever gems we find.
Sinceely I hope you will agree to the proposal.

Nightwing said...

Helo Pak Zawi,

Like what Fauziah had mentioned 'blogging is not about how many postings you do but it is about what you share with the readers'

I m sure all your readers like what you have shared/posted.

As for the project u have started, will let u know if i come across any interesting stories.

There is one from my blog roll, Zach...

If u have not visited his blog...please have a look see.

Zawi said...

Producing 1000 blogs is considered an achievement itself as it involve lots of patience, passion and hardwork.
In all my humility I will be too happy even if one reader reads what I write. As it is, I am more than happy knowing that you will always be around to read it.
I tried the URL that you wrote up there but it didn't lead to any story. What I need is an URL leading to the exact story as I wont have the time to read all the postings to find the story. Thank you for the tip anyway. Keep tipping me please.

H J Angus said...

What a nice New Year present to be mentioned in your blog.

I believe each one of us has an interesting life story if only we bother to take a few minutes to write something about our thoughts, the family happenings and what goes on in the country.

No one has a monopoly and we should encourage more people to put pen to paper.

Best Wishes for 2008!

cakapaje said...

Salam Pak Zawi,

I have not visited the new site yet, but would like to wish you the best. InsyAllah, if I have find the criteria you mentioned, I will inform you.

Akmal said...

Salam Pak Zawi,
Roll on, right on(",). Should I come across any interesting post, I'll be sure to let you know(",). But for the time being, we are sharing most of the sites. But don't worry. In due time, I will sure come across some new ones.
Should you need any mean of aid, just tell me Pak Zawi. I'll try whatever I can do on this project. I have a picture in my mind that this online project will eventually become hard copy.
Take care.

U.Lee said...

Hi Zawi, thank you for your kind mention re my blog, but would appreciate you clear with my Canadian immigration and customs first please re anything you interested as I have personal reasons.
But yours is a good idea in compiling interesting stories. I'm sure it will be a success with your own contributions and humour.
Best regards for the new year, Lee.

Zawi said...

h j angus,
I am indebted to you for that motivating comment. For that I will never forget you and Rocky. That blog telling the world why I blog with the comments from the two of you will be etched forever in my memory. I am glad you are back making your comment here.
No doubt it is the sharing that matters. It is up to the individual reader to glean whatever lesson can be learnt from what we wrote.
Hope the new year brings more meaning to your life.

Zawi said...

I know I can rely on you to provide the link. What I did for that site is just an example. Hopefully it will set as an example for another computer wizard to come up with a better site that belongs to all. A common forum for people to paste a link to a great read.
Soon I will be combing thrugh your blogsite and who knows what gems lies in there?

Zawi said...

Consider yourself enlisted to the team. I will let you have the password in due course and when your exam is over or when you have some free time you can help improve the new site or even redo it. Next thing I want to redo is categorize it under the writers name and remove the URLs and instead use links which will make the site look neater.
If ever it becomes a hard copy, then my dream will be fulfilled. The proceeds can go to charity.
Thanks for the offer of help.

Zawi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kak Teh said...

zawi, what a wonderful idea - listing interesting stories from the blogs. But let me tel you how difficult it was to get GUiT noticed. I was disheartened when not many bookstores stock the GUiT. Many people were asking, many booksellers had not even heard of it. Thanks to blogs, GUiT got noticed and thanks to a very kind and helpful MPH manager who listened to this desperate wife of struggling author, who wanted to know how do we put books on racks. His one phonecall did that. and the rest is history. GUiT started as a blog and GUiT owes a lot to fellow bloggers.Thank you.

U.Lee said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
U.Lee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pi Bani said...

Thanks for the mention, but as you said, it will be difficult to get the ending for my stories. Even after the main casts die, somehow the stories continue with problems faced by those left behind.

uncleawang said...

Salam Pak Zawi,
If we have dream & aspiration,we always think are not possible so why not resolve to make them come true.We must have confidence & faith to give it a go.
"To accomplish great thins,we must not only act,but also DREAM,not only plan but also believe"-Anatole France.
I wish your dream come true & Happy New Year.

Zawi said...

Kak Teh,
GUIT was the milestone. I suggest Awang Goneng being a name playing on the lips of many readers now should be the doing the compilation riding on his popularity. I just broach the idea which doesnt mean that I will be the one doing it. Some of the stories may need professional editing which only people like you and W A Hulaimi can do it. Further more both of you are close to prefessional editors incase you need further backup or polishing.
Reading from your blogs we know it wasn't easy to go about it unlike the eastablished authors who can grab the attention of such personalities as Oprah Winfrey who can just display a book on her talk show just to sell abook. What more if she can say a good word about it.
I am just dreaming and I am glad what I wrote caught your attention. At least I am in touch with reality.
Thanks Kak Teh.

Zawi said...

U Lee,
As requested I have done the needful in respect to your request. I will respect it for whatever the reasons for the request. I would like to apologize to you if what I did could have brought any problems to you as I have done everything in good faith.

Zawi said...

Since the real happening will continue till perpetuity, continue writing about it as it carries very high human interest.
One day you may find it too tiring too write, then you can end the story.
Carry on the goodwork.

Zawi said...

Everything start from a dream. It all depends on how passionate we are to achieve the dreams. God willing, if we choose to pursue it, success will be the reward and it will be a sweet success.
Hopefully more people will come forth with links to great stories and it will be posted on Stories From The Blogs. It is just a collection of URLs leading to the stories. Just a help to those who dont have the luxury of time to browse the millions of posts posted in the blogspere everyday.

elviza said...


I agree with you 100% on the score about Mat Salo. He should be published.

I ll go to the newsite and hope to help you there in due course. And Pak, I agree with Fauziah X matter, its not the amount of the posting but what you share with other people.

Zabs said...

Salam Zawi,
Saya bersetuju dengan pandangan Fauziah, tulisan yang baik akan mengundang pembaca untuk sentiasa datang semula. Seperti blog anda ini.
Mengumpul cerita menarik dari blog ini satu usaha yang perlu disokong. Ia boleh menggalakkan pembacaan dari ramai pengunjung. Seperti "one stop centre", untuk yang tidak banyak masa untuk membuat "perayauaan".
Tahniah Zawi atas usaha ini. Saya akan membantu bila berkesempatan. InsyaAlla.

Zawi said...

In your wonderings around the blogs I guess you must have found many wonderful gems that is worth sharing or at least letting others reach for it. Just like book reviews, we need to be told what is a good read rather than reading all books.
I guess many concurr with Fauziah's view of things. By
the way my bundle of joy will be coming back from Labuan this Sunday for me to shower and pamper with grandfather's love and affection for six months while the mother attend KPLI course in Keningau, Sabah. Kiss Luqman for me when you get home.

U.Lee said...

Hello Zawi, thank you for dealing me out.
My request to you is due certain circumstances as well personal reasons.
I certainly wish you well in your 'dream' project.
There are many good posts out there to be in your 'hall of fame'.
Thank you for your kind consideration. You keep well, Lee.

Zawi said...

Komen anda amat memberangsangkan. Terima kasih atas sokongan untuk membantu dalam pembangunan site ini seperti mana ianya adalah seperti sebuah perpustakaan. Cuma cerita terpilih sahaja yang akan disenaraikan. Cuma satu langkah lagi yang perlu diambil ialah mendapat izin dari tuan punya artikel. Walaupun apa yang dilakukan adalah juga seperti membantu mempopularkan blog mereka ada juga empunya blog yang merasa kurang selesa dan perasaan mereka perlu di hormati kerana mereka pasti ada sebab-sebab tertentu.
Sekali lagi terima kasih saya ucapkan.

Zawi said...

I appreciate your concern about the links and I have done whatever you have requested. I hope you have no hardfeeling whatsoever.
Please accept my unreserved apology.

Pak Idrus said...

zawi, thanks for mentioning my blog. I blog first because the mere posting is already a satisfaction to me. It keep my mental faculty healthy and sharing my thoughts with the world which is a passion that I enjoyed.

Like you there is always that dream of writing a book. First we must dream and then work toward achieving our dream, for nothing is impossible to a willing mind.

Have a nice day.

Zawi said...

Pak Idrus,
Am I right in the number of posts in your blogsite? I guess it has exceeded the 1,000 posts mark now.
Everything begins from a dream. Let us all dream of whatever we want to dream after all it is something free and wonderful dreams can lead to wonderful things.
With the kind and number of books in your study, no wonder you are so knowledgeable about almost everything. Books are the best source of knowledge. Or is the internet a better alternative now? I guess so since it is faster to retrieve informations too. I remember once when you told me that sometimes the very informations that you posted comes back to you when when you did the search.

Anonymous said...

Salam Pak Zawi,
This is a great idea. I have started to read:
"Jejak Misr - The Journey Begins
Dok TA's journey to Mesir"
gosh, it's beautifully written and makes me want to pack my bags and follow. Thanks again, Pak Zawi and Dok TA for sharing.
P.S. A very happy and joyous New Year to you.

Puteri said...


It's your book, that means you can write just about anything in your book! Just spice it up litte la, with some sex and humor, guaranteed to get readers!!

Now with self-publishing, you do not have to worry about finding a publisher. The trick is to market your book .. carry them around with you, ask bookstores for some shelf space, and give them away free to some of your blogger friends who will write positive reviews about it, and definitely help you sell the book! Heheh.

I don't like blogs who scrap off the content from other people's blogs esp those that hope to gain traffic and some advertising dollars from visitors to their blog. I am a regular victim of blog scrapers.

I am not sure if what you do is considered scraping because you do have an personal intro and a link to the original blog, and your motive is to get other people to read the whole content at the original blog. I guess I don't mind that.

Happy New Year to you and your family! Hope it will be a prosperous one for you!

IBU said...

Salam 'Pak'Zawi ...

Haven't been here for a long time. A worthy dream indeed, especially for people like you who I reckon must have reached the highest level of maslow's hierarchy of needs. Sometimes people like to laugh off at our 'dreams'. But hey... if we want to realize our dream, first thing first - we've got to start dreaming! Kan? Well..here's wishing you a happy & blessed new year, and may all your dreams come true.

p/s Ohhh.... u like Jeffrey Archer & Arthur Hailey too? Wuhu... what can I say? great minds think alike.
p/s err.. sorry I addressed you as 'Pak'. Helps me to feel safer! hehehe!!!

jaflam said...

Salam Zawi,
I have always enjoyed your postings and writing. You may have not publish yet but actually your cyber book (CB) is already in progress and you have thousand readers reading your CB. You have all it takes to be a good writer.... and the hard copy will come sonner or later.

I remember my wife used to find it almost impossible to publish her first article in a journal ... which is compulsory for her confirmation in job. Today she is publishing two to three educational & learning books per year and most importantly she is contributing in developing young lecturers to publih and write.

My contribution is merely moral support; words of encouragement and helping her publish her first article. All the best.... and you sure will make it brother Zawi.

Rita Ho said...

Zawi ... In chatting with a world renown music producer not too long ago, he said, "If not for dreamers, nothing ever will come true." He was born a miner's son.

So, congratulations on starting this project. An excellent idea and useful to blog readers. I have been blog-hopping in the hope of finding some good stories to read but it wasn't as easy as I thought. Every 4 or 5 scrolls, an X-rated advertising site or the likes will pop-up and stop my track!

Like Puteri, I dislike bloggers who "borrow" contents without any citation or references. It borders on plagiarism. But yours is clearly not. It is more like a directory of blog stories. :)

Please count me in as one of your helpers when you begin recruiting. :)

Zawi said...

I am just happy to find you so happy reading Dok TA's Jejak Misr series. Anyway he is Tokasid from the blog Ikan Pekasam, Cencalok dan Kepoklekor.
If you are thinking of going to Egypt let us join up and go together. My wife and me has been dreaming of going there too. Its better to go in a small group of 8 for easy movement in a van. I dont like to join a tour group which is bigger than 10 as the chances of getting a laggard in the group is even higher. I prefer flexibility too.
If you find any gems in any of the blogs that you read, please let me know. Just send me the URL to the story via email and I will put them in The Stories From The Blogs.
Thank you for visiting Yasmin.

Zawi said...

Earlier I was dreaming of writing a book. Now the dream is twisting itself into producing a compilation of stories from the blogs as the idea is to promote those bloggers who produces gems that are worthy of being shared and read by others. I will go back to dreaming of writing a book later when I get this current project going and somebody else will man the counter for me to posts the URL's to great stories in the other blog. Would you like to be on the team? It would be great if you are willing.
I am not in this for the money that is why I amd not so keen to be paid for blogging in whatever way. I find the pops up in paying blogs as to be very irritating and set my pop up blocker to on all the time.
The new site Stories From The Blogs (SFB) will only lead you to the original site and I have put the comment mode to not allow and encourage readers to comment in the original site so that the authors to the stories will get the satisfaction of his story being appreciated. Ain't that great?
Thank you for the wishes. May the New Year be a happy one to you and your family too.

Zawi said...

I hope you don't mind me calling you Ibu though you maybe younger than me hehehehe. You may call me anything you like and Pak Zawi will be fine with me.
Welcome back then. I guess this is the first time that you have left your mark, I must thank you profusely for that.
Me reaching reaching the zenith of maslow's hierachy of need? I am human too and human's needs are many. Even the ex-minister from Johor still find the need to have some extra marital fun hehehehe.Even Bill Gates have unfulfilled needs.
Everything begins with a dream. Ask Enstein, Picasso or even Mat salo. If the previous too could answer you, they would tell you they started by dreaming. I will tell Mat Salo to answer you personnaly in your site.
Any new titles from Arthur Hailey ofr Jeffery Archer? I love Hailey's more as his book is very well researched and very enriching in knowledge. Just read anyone of his books and you will know the subject inside out as if you have studied for the subject. I would recconmend his books anytime. Did lend someone one of his books once but unfortunately the borrower didn't find the book interesting enough to go beyond the first page. One man's meat is another man's poison I guess.
Email me any new gems you find in the blogs.
Though I am very friendly with U Lee and learnt a lot of Ninjalogy from him, I have yet to apply it on anyone yet. As long as I am not dreaming of applying the new found skill on anyone, I guess you will be safe hahahaha.
have a good day Ibu.

Zawi said...

Waduh, seram bulu roma saya Jaff bila baca komen you. I guess with the encouragement of people like you and other fellow bloggers I may achieve my dream of writing a book printed on my own computer, bound in a spiral binder and distributed for free to all those blogger friends who wants it. If your good wife think it is good enough to be published then god willing it will go to the next level. For the moment let me start writing more materials that is worthy for inclusion in even a cyber book. Too much praise may make my brain swell so much that it may not fit into my small skull. I thank you for the sincere encouragement.
Have a good day brother Jaff Sir.

Zawi said...

You are accepted. You are the first to offer me help. You will find my password in your mail after I come back from visiting Tesco's newest outlet in Kota Baru which is another topic which I am going to blog about. Its the latest happening in Kota Bharu today. It is the newest outlet in Malaysia and they deemed it fit to have one here despite the others already being there. Parkson opened their outlet once only to close it later. There are other malls such as KB Mall, Billion Shopping Mall and Pantai Timor and various smaller shopping places.
I am currently at Toyota Service center which is an ultra modern center with free internet and hotspot. What a convenient place to be when servicing your car. They will be servicing the aircond of the car and wil take a whole day. The place is nice I feel like blogging about it too.
I will not discuss about dreams here as it is confirmed that we must dream first before doing anything. The dream is called planning hehehehe.
I am glad you embrace the idea. The project is more or less a directory to good stories from the blogs. That way readers wont have to waste time browsing and getting irritating pops up like you and Puteri said. I guess this is not Scraping as Puteri term it. just a directory.
So Rita, welcome on board.

tokasid said...

Salam Pak ZAwi:

A very brilliant idea you have over here. Its gonna be a lot of work, to scout and source aroubd.

I am honoured Pak for you have put up Jejak al-Misri at the new site. I don't write well but but as long as others can understand and feel my experiences,that okay with me.

Apart from Fauziah and Mat Salo, the other person who should come up with a bok is Bergen.

And Pak Zawi, Mrs TA really like your blog.Your subjects and English is very good( bukan saya puji,but thats what she said)

Have a nice weekend pak.

Zawi said...

The work can be made very easy if everyone including you chip in. All we need everyone to do is to email me the URL to the story and all I need to do is to paste it in in TSFTB and Rita Ho already agreed to do the abstracts.
A pleasure to hear that Mrs TA appreciate the site. Convey my thanks to Mrs TA.
Yasmin from Singapore love Jejak Misr and even think of visiting the place after reading it.
I am exploring Bergens site now and pretty soon will put up his URLs there. Thanks for the tips anyway.
Selamat Malam Pak.