Ni hao. Jin nian, wo kai shi xue pu tong hua.

No, this does not mean I will be blogging now in Chinese but one day, hopefully, I will be able to do so without referencing three dictionaries at once.

Today, my online classes have started and assignments are due in two days. What the hell have I gotten myself into? Tomorrow, my evening Math class commences as well. This is going to be interesting.

Where did the hols go??

Anyway, my sister and her boyfriend, the fabulous George, visited from Australia. Here’s a picture:

The sisters and Sky

Isn’t she beautiful?

And that’s Sky, taking her billionth picture for the week.

I miss my sis already. Hopefully it won’t be another three years before we see each other. The girls love her so much, especially Rae. I could tell when she was saying goodbye. She avoided looking at her or George, and distracted herself with the TV and her books, the sweet girl.

I’ve also submitted another story to another of MPH’s short story collections, this time entitled Urban Odyssey. They’ve extended submission deadlines to Jan 31st. Here’s the prompt that Janet Tay sent me a few months ago (yea I was keeping it all to myself!):

MPH GROUP PUBLISHING is pleased to announce an open call for submissions of short fiction and creative non-fiction for an anthology tentatively entitled Urban Odysseys: KL Stories. We aim to publish the anthology in 2008, depending on the number of submissions that we receive.

The theme of the anthology will focus on life in the city, specifically Kuala Lumpur, with writings that show images of the new juxtaposed against the old, urban living with contrasting bright lights and shadowy realities and other short fiction or creative non-fiction which best encapsulate the spirit of the national capital. This is not a travel book but an anthology of literary writings about the city.

Stories must be original, between 3,000 and 5,000 words, and must not have been previously published. We invite submissions from both emerging and established writers. Stories for children are not eligible for this compilation. Manuscripts must be edited, typed double-spaced with 12pt font and e-mailed to mphpublishing@mph.com.my. Please include your name, address, telephone number and e-mail address. You may submit as many stories as you wish. Faxed or handwritten submissions will not be entertained and manuscripts will not be returned. We will contact you only if your piece has been selected for inclusion in the compilation. Writers whose submissions are selected will be expected to work with the editors to fine tune their stories.

Deadline: 31 January 2008
Payment: A small flat fee and two copies of the anthology

Sorry Janet, I tend to be a tad dense sometimes.

Well, off to class again. Did I say I was doing English 101 as well? The instructor already sounds very promising (as far as one can tell from emails, discussion boards and online chatting). I can’t wait to see what she thinks of my written expression.

I leave you with a Raevenism, already two days old and retold several times around the block:

"Why is Daddy the Lord of the World? Why is he the Ruler of the Universe?" 
Rae’s sullen response to my remark that the decision to watch fireworks at midnight on New Year’s Eve was her daddy’s to make.

Ah, the naivete of five-year-olds. As long as Daddy knows who the REAL ruler of the universe is, I’m down with it.