Author Archive

Monday, April 7, 2014

Burnt Out (With Luggage)

by Leanne Yong

Dillinger Days - Tucson

Burn-out has always been one of those things that happens to other people, not me. The kind of situation where you shake your head and say, “Well, I saw that coming, they were doing too much and it was bound to happen sooner or later. So-and-so really needs to learn to take care of themselves.”

I, on the other hand, was someone with a good balance. Sure, there was a full-time job and an increasing amount of family-related responsibilities to deal with, but passion, people, passion. It’s what you do to reach those lofty heights of something you love.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Art of Self-Restraint

by Leanne Yong

Twain

It’s 10:30pm. I have to get up early for work tomorrow, so it’s time for bed. I’ve heard a lot of people say that it’s bad for your sleep if you’re on the computer before you go to bed, so I decide to read a bit before I go to sleep. I grab my e-book reader, pick a new book, and get going.

It’s 11pm. This is about the time I should be going to bed. I’ve even reached the end of a chapter that isn’t a cliffhanger. I reach to flick the switch on my e-book reader, then in a flash of brilliance decide that a peek at the start of the next chapter won’t hurt. After all, I’ll only take five more minutes, then I’ll go to sleep.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Project Jargon Explained

by Leanne Yong

"Whiteboard"

For my day job as an IT consultant, I sit in an office all day, either in meetings or in front of a computer. I’ve picked up a lot of corporate jargon over the years, the type you hear all the time from business schmucks like me who don’t have much of a life outside work. So without further ado, I hereby present Leanne’s official guide to office speak.

Meeting: A chance for all the stakeholders to get together, disagree and get confused for 80% of it, then spend the last 20% agreeing that everyone is on different pages and they all need to go away and do more research.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

An Open Letter to Ally Condie

by Leanne Yong

Night Shots - Windows

An open letter to Ally Condie, author of the “Matched” trilogy (Matched, Crossed, Reached).

Dear Ms. Condie,

I’ll admit, until the day of the big Kobo sale, I had no intention of picking up your books. I’d had my fill of YA dystopian novels, and yours seemed to be just another drop in the flood that followed the Hunger Games. But your trilogy happened to be part of the mass of books I bought, and I am so, so glad they were.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Driver’s Seat

by Leanne Yong

IMG_5875.jpg

The driver’s seat of my car is a place of infinite possibility. When I’m behind the wheel, when the eucalyptus and acacias pass by in a blur and the winding white highway seems to stretch on into eternity, the low, constant rumble of the engine is a promise of freedom. With the aroma of steaming coffee in a travel mug and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra alternately whispering and thundering through the speakers, my cares shrink to the confines of my little blue Honda.

There are no maps, no directions, no destinations. I wend my way through Queensland’s mountainous rainforest regions where sunlight dapples the road through the overhanging vines and branches. I meander along the coastline where the sea is almost indistinguishable from the sky, but for the small white streaks of rolling waves near the shore. I detour at the whim of my capricious fancies, be it a secluded abbey tucked away in the mountains or a rest stop along the highway overlooking a verdant green valley and roads that disappear into unexplored horizons.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Drowning in Notebooks

by Leanne Yong

Moleskine is half (full|empty)

I’m drowning in notebooks. As I type, four of them are littered across my desk. A large, faux-leather covered notebook is sitting on my carpet, surrounded by little black dots that look like insects, but upon closer inspection turn out to be faux-leather droppings. There’s a notebook that permanently rides in my work backpack, another in my handbag, and a few more stockpiled in my writing box for good measure.

Part of it is my fault. I’m irresistibly drawn to thick, creamy paper that oozes class–or an overly romantic desire to return to an age where quills and inkpots were the norm. (Take your pick.) I don’t care so much for what the notebook looks like, but if it produces a Hollywood-style sound of a pen on paper when I use my fountain pen, and holds the ink without running… I’m head-over-heels in love. (Don’t get me started on my other love of inky pens.)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Rice Cooker Chronicles

by Leanne Yong

Papery edge of the stuff at the bottom of the rice cooker

Our rice cooker broke two weeks ago. I’m not quite sure why it gave up the ghost–perhaps it simply tired of being a one-trick pony. More likely it’s because it was a $15 bargain from the local department story.

If you live in an Asian family, you’ll know what a disaster a broken rice cooker is. We don’t have the first clue how to cook rice in anything else. A saucepan on the stove? Is that even possible? So we borrowed a spare from my aunt–all good Asians should have a back-up. (We are not good Asians.) Then we went off in search of a new rice cooker.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Conversations With My Cat

by Leanne Yong

100_2196.JPG

Duke noses my bedroom door open and slips inside. I turn from my computer screen, and he trots up to my chair and returns my gaze with wide eyes.

“Meow.” What are you up to?

“I’m trying to write this week’s article, and procrastinating by researching Germany’s tactics during WWII for my next novel. Have been all afternoon, actually.”

He cocks his head to one side and meows again. You have better things to do than that. Time spent with me is a much better form of procrastination.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A History of Games

by Leanne Yong

ZOMG, Nostalgia

The first time I played a computer game was around 1990, when computers still had 5 ¼ inch floppy disk drives alongside the newfangled 3.5-inch ones. Windows didn’t exist yet, which meant navigating the computer required mastery of a whole series of DOS commands. “dir/w” and “cd…” are two I still fondly remember to this day.

The game I played consisted of a dartboard composed of large white, black and cyan pixels, though I can’t quite remember the mechanics. Something to do with stopping a slider for aim and throwing strength, perhaps. Such was my introduction to the world of video gaming.

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Fake It Till You Make It

by Leanne Yong

ROFLCon: The Internet Cult Leaders- Talk - 4 . 27 . 08

Fake it till you make it. It’s such a common saying. If you don’t know what you’re saying, or what you’re doing, just pretend you do. Pretend you’re in control… and surely, at some point, you really will be. Everything will fall into place if only you keep bluffing your way through.

I’ve been playing a lot of Phoenix Wright: Dual Destinies lately on the Nintendo 3DS. This game with two main phases can best be described as a cross between a murder mystery and a lawyer simulator. There’s the investigation phase, where you poke around crime scenes and talk to witnesses. Then there’s the trial phase, where you’re in a courtroom and have to cross-examine witnesses. You poke holes in their testimony, using evidence you picked up in the investigation phase.

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