It’s December 30th 2016 in Indonesia, I think a proper time for me to post this. Why today and not tomorrow when the year truly ends?
Because today is the most precious day in my life since three years ago. Today in 2013 was when my dearest grandfather answered the call of his creator, Allah SWT. My grandfather was a veteran soldier, he spent his youth fought for Indonesia’s independence and after that he still fought for provincial rebellion in his hometown. He always recalled that day as one of his most precious memories, when his captain prized his quick wits and go to the river to catch fishes for his starving brothers or when he got his medal after helping his brothers sneak out into a safer route–back then they were accustomed to fight with guerilla tactics where extensive knowledge of forest’s terrain is a must.
So you see, I was so enamored by my grandfather’s live that even now after three years I still got misty eyes and knotted hearts when I remembered him. Part of the reason I became a writer were also because of the stories my grandfather told me when I lay my head on his knee, with his gnarled hand softly stroked my hair and his smoky breath pervade my nostrils. He make the story of his adventure seemed so vivid and kicking I would dream it for days. But back then I couldn’t meet him as much as I want, because we lived in different provinces and my parents have to safe a lot of money just to buy us tickets to get there.
Not until this year when I dived into PitchWars did I realize that the way my grandfather related his story covered in a genre called magical realism and the stories I’ve wrote so far were also heading there. So this year I wanted to thank my grandfather and the PitchWars team for showing me that I’m not crazy for attempting something beyond normal.
Although the first half of the year opened with string of upsetting news for my family, the latter part–Alhamdulillah–ended with some great news. I got two new members in my family this year too–my nephew, Gasya and my brother in law, Ammar. In work level as a public official, I transported into a new office–the Plannning and Development Division–my new work environment filled with laughter and quirky bosses. ^^
I also put an end to another first draft this year–a story currently titled “The Time Bender’s Protege”–and making new edits for my PitchWars subs “One Hope”. I also tried to finish the story I brewed in NaNoWriMo 2016–which I then shelved because my new work demanded a huge attention. So I guess one of my 2017 resolution will be to put “THE END” in the last page of this three stories’ polished and complete version.
During 2016 I found a lot of friend to share laughter, cheeky lines, rages of agreement and swoon worthy moments. From the friends I found because of we shared common fave actors and dramas, to writing advisers and amazonian knights who showed me that literary world was just and always encouraging no matter where you came from and what language you spoke.
So if I have to sum up my 2016, I will do it with one word…
And for 2017 that is only a day away, despite all the gloomy foreshadowing events appeared from around the world in 2016–particularly in literary world–I am hoping for a brighter horizon, changeable perceptions, and answering prayers (especially from many POC, marginalized and Own Voices writers).