Writer Friends

I wont write book review or something here, there are other people who will do that. I just want to tell you the story how I met the writer of these stack of books below.

Shita Hapsari & Randu both are my friend, from different chunk of time :)

I’ve been known Shita for more than ten years. We went to the same architecture school together, in Jogjakarta.

I remember the first conversation I had with Shita.

It was one of my fist weeks of school. I sat at the parapet, waiting for a class. Book in my hand. A fiction.

Shita who sat not far from me asked, “What book is it?”

I look at my hand, “Oh this? It’s Harry Potter.”

“What is it about?” She asked more.

It was the first Harry Potter book, Philosopher’s Stone. Not so many person read or know the book yet.

I looked at her. I didn’t know how to explain.

“Do you know Malory Towers series?” I asked.

Her eyes lit. And she said, “Yes! I read Malory Towers in elementary school!”

I smiled. Her answer makes my explanation easier.

“Well, it’s like Malory Towers for Wizard!” I said.

Fast Forward to now.

She is one of very few person I know obsessed with harry Potter and JK.Rowling. :)

On her blog she once said, I was sort of her writing mentor. On which I think a little bit exaggerated. (Yes we did been struggled together, writing stuff for Montase (short story collection) which ended self published. And we feel we grow so much as writer sinced. But…) Rather than writing mentor, I will happily mentioned as a person who introduced her to JK.Rowling’s and her obsession to Harry Potter heheh…  ;)

She wrote this two book: Sequence (Bentang) & Dangerously Perfect (Gagasmedia)


Shita’s book

I met Randu, nine years after I met Shita for the first time.

He had published one book, and I published two books. We were invited as speakers for a Writing Seminar for teacher in Banjarmasin (South Borneo).

Although we never went to the same school or worked at the same place together but we maintain a very good communication through email and social media. We met several times after, mostly talking about writing and books, our shared interest.

He wrote a lot of books, but the two in the picture are the latest published: Galuh Hati (Mokamedia) & Liberty (Muara-KPG)


Randu’s book

January 2015

Hello January 31st. First blog of 2015. Hooray! :)

So what’s happen in my January?

New years eve, I slept. Yeah, I am very mainstream :)

First weekend of January, I watched movies. The mix of vintage & candy colour picture of Paddington was wonderful.


source: paddington.com

Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 2.05.07 PM  I’m definitely waiting for the DVD.

And Big Hero 6 was also wonderful.

big hero 6

source: lifehacker.com

San Fransokyo!

big hero 6 - San Fransokyo

source: lifehacker.com


I love animation movies. (And yes off course, I watched them with my son.)

Weekdays were hazy. Just worked my stuff up. Editing manuscripts for this year publication.

Second weekend I was in my hometown Banjarmasin, for a wedding.

Before the wedding, as soon as I landed in Banjarmasin, at 9 pm, I brought my books and visited local newspaper for an interview. And they write me as a profile a week after.

Third weekend, families from Banjarmasin stay at my house. And I drove around cities for them.

Fourth weekend, I was in Bandung (3 hours drive from Jakarta) for Sunday morning radio interview. We talked about my new book Jejak Hati at Car Free Cay Dago Bandung

Morning was sunny. We eat & shopping. 1 pm Bandung was started raining buckets. That’s when we drove back home to Jakarta. At the freeway, I felt like we drove trough clouds because it’s very dark and wet outside. And the rain hit windshield hard.

And today, fifth weekend.

I sipped my peppermint tea and blogs. :)

Welcome February, I hope this year continue to be wonderful.

Behind the Story

Before I close this year. Let me update my blog.

So this year I published a new novel: Jejak Hati (Gagasmedia) and 2 new stories (Je Danse Avec Le Vent & Pertanyaan) in an anthology: Kelana (Grasindo) with my fellow Ranesi Literature Competition finalists.

Pertanyaan & Je Danse Avec Le Vent, (on Kelana anthology) are two stories with one main character. It probably seems like two chapter of a novel. But it’s not. actually I was submitted other story along with ‘Pertanyaan’ to my editor. But she rejected that. So I had to write new story for the anthology. And it became ‘Je Danse Avec Le Vent’ that i wrote in 2 days.

Kelana (Grasindo, 2014)

Kelana (Grasindo, 2014)

The tittle ‘Je Danse Avec Le Vent’ I took from Indilla’s song lyric Darniere Danse.

Why French song? Well, because the setting of the story is in Jiyugaoka, Tokyo.

Yes. Tokyo. As in Japan.

First time I visited Jiyugaoka was  June 2013. My friend and I set a meeting around the station.

Crowd in front of  Jyugaoka Station

Bus Stop across Jiyugaoka Train Station

I came an hour early, so I spent the time strolling around the district.

Oh look there's Mozart Cafe

Oh look there’s Mozart Cafe. (First opened in 1981) One of many cake shop with their too-pretty-to-eat cakes in Tokyo

That experience took me by surprise because every store I walked in at Jiyugaoka was playing French song. Even Book Off (a chain bookstore for used book) here had a lot of book in French language.

I thought, okay probably it’s just a coincidence.

But I visited Jiyugaoka several times after and get to know the place more, and those French atmosphere was there.

This is a picture from the last time I went on rue Marie Claire, Jiyugaoka in January 2014.

2014 Jan 25th  at Rue Marie Claire

Rue Marie Claire, Jyugaoka on January 2014

Yup, rue Marie Claire, or Marie Claire Street, or Japanese called Marie Claire Dori.

Japanese peep doesn’t actually used to name their street.

In mailing address for example, they only use block number and building name. But for a shopping district they usually named them dori / street / rue / strasse, depends on where they took the inspiration as the name for the district. (I myself lived 10 meters from shopping street called Bremen Strasse. If you think Strasse is very Germany. Yes German was where they took the inspiration. They had German beer festival when I was there)

Talking about Bremen Strasse, I haven’t really made this place as a setting for any of my story yet. But I wrote half of ‘Pertanyaan’ on this little warm café named ‘Precious Coffee Moment’ at Bremen Strasse.

Precious Cafe Moment, Bremen Street, Kawasaki one night in January 2014

Precious Coffee Moment, Bremen Street, Kawasaki one night in January 2014

They had the best coffee i ever tasted. yet. (especially if you compare them to starbucks. Duh! )

Can you spot the café on this Bremen Street  picture?

Bremen Strasse, Kawasaki, Summer morning 2013

Bremen Strasse, Kawasaki, Summer morning 2013

(ps. I will write about ‘Jejak Hati’ in another post)