I almost launched a book this Christmas

: on ditching ideas that don’t serve your why, a new haiku (poem), new drawings. And I did want to launch my book.

HopeMail #121 | HopeMail is a newsletter where I share one new drawing and writing about life for each newsletter issue. 24 new drawings in a year. If a friend shared this with you, and you'd like to subscribe, c'mon in.

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Hi there,

Our side of the world—Kuala Lumpur and Selangor (Malaysia) has reopened to people who are fully vaccinated.

Ladies are rushing into beauty salons for their facials, men are having their haircut by someone other than their wives, the early adopters (as I would call them) are gingerly walking into restaurants, dining in, but not before taking selfies with their food.

I’m writing this in my home office. For me, the pandemic has taken away my sense of ease in spending some hours working in a cafe [which I hardly do pre-pandemic, by the way].

Either I’m considerate of taking up valuable table space from other patrons, or I’m wary of inhaling mutated virus from being in an air-conditioned environment for hours. 

But I’m fairly optimistic that someone or some company would come up with a virus-zapping solution that can be affordably installed in air-conditioners and air vents in homes, offices and public premises. Perhaps, someone did. I should read the news more. 

Speaking of reading, yes, I almost launched a book this Christmas!

I have the manuscript ready for an illustrated poems book. All it needed is for me to illustrate the poems. And market. Publish. Launch. 

I’m a “ready-fire-aim, let’s do it and sweep off the debris from the experiment later” kinda person. Though at times, for certain things, I’m a ready-aim-aim-aim-aim-aim…

Ooh, but I was excited at the prospect of pursuing this project! I started reading up on self-publishing, comparing different platforms and their fees. I drafted a marketing campaign plan. I started ticking items off the launch checklist. I even had an idea for a launch deal.

Oh, and if I want to allow delivery time for Christmas, I’d have to launch in six weeks. In six weeks.

I still wanted to push it through. I know it’s gonna be an intense bam, bam, bam, bam, kind of execution. But, I wanted to chase after it. It can be done. 

It was only during a quieter moment when a small voice asked, “You are pushing this for what purpose? At what and whose expense?”

That question caught my attention. 

What I thought was excitement (or confirmation to push this through) was actually an adrenalin rush.

It is me wanting what I wanted, sparing no expense going after it.
It is me in my startup days, me in my entrepreneurial mode. 
It is also me having slim margins for anything else in my life. 

The questions continued searching my heart.

For what purpose? At what and whose expense?

Having completed one after another project throughout this year, do I want to continue to be this stressed and deadline-driven?

Being constantly in a producing mode, do I even have the space to explore my drawing? To create?

Gasp. In the area of work, am I—addicted to mental stimulation? Is that why I can’t stop doing?

And a practical, tangible question too—after all the effort, would I be able to launch well?

If not, why do it?

Above all, I can’t confidently answer the question of “for what purpose” I am pushing for an early launch. 

So, it’s a no go. An ellipsis… for now. 

As much as I’m convinced I want to share my story and message through the book, and as much as I love the idea of having the book launched for Christmas 2021, I don’t want to be in love with my ideas, nor to be enslaved by them.

Launch it, I will. Hopefully at the right time. 

By the way, the illustrated poem book is titled “Hope Through The Seasons”.

Are you comfortable dropping ideas/plans that don’t serve your why, or are you prone to clinging on?

Leave a comment

What I’m drawing | Meditations in Nature

Nature offers a refuge for quiet meditation. These artworks were drawn when I was feeling blue during the pandemic. I found solace from quietly observing my surrounding. And was delighted to notice the details of the trees, some flowers blooming and birds flying in the sky.

Tree branches and seven birds | Meditations in Nature| Line drawing of trees and birds.

Tree branches and seven birds | Meditations in Nature| Line drawing of trees and birds fine art print
Using binoculars, I focused on one part of the trees and made it the star of the artwork. As I looked through the lens, a flock of birds were flying around, it was an amazing feeling, and I decided to capture that moment.


Also adorning these drinkware, accessories and stationery. 

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Some of my joyful moments recently.

Ever since I wrote about jotting down three joyful moments daily in my previous HopeMail issue, I’ve been putting it into action.

Remembering to bring my notebook (instead of multiple notebooks, I have one notebook for everything) into my bedroom is the key! Is it a habit yet? I don’t know. But, I’ll keep going. 

Joyful moments:

  1. *Woke up earlier than usual. Spent some quiet time with the Lord (reading the Bible, praying).

  2. Sketches. Lots.

  3. Dinner by the window at dusk. 

Here’s a haiku *inspired by waking up to the rain.

Woke up to the rain
I inhaled the scent of dawn—
quietness, promise. 

What’s a haiku?1

If you’ve missed it, links to…

HopeMail #120 about noticing joyful moments daily

HopeMail #106 with a poem

That’s all for now, folks. Hope you’ve enjoyed the read. This newsletter is free for anyone to read. If you’d like to support my work, you can share this post with one person (or the whole world, umkay). For the price of buying me a cup of coffee, you can also donate and keep me going.

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💖 Melinda


A type of short-form poetry originally from Japan. Loosely speaking, traditional haiku consists of three lines, with a 5, 7, 5 syllables pattern.