Rethinking Business Towards Sustainable Development

I chanced upon a free business seminar for SMEs in Putrajaya on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in evenbrite.com one day in 2017, and signed up to find out what it was about. I was not an SME, but an independent self-employed writer, but I went anyway.

It was good that the organiser made it a point to organise such an event to increase awareness about the SDGs. At least the SMEs who made it to the event could learn more about them and how they could benefit from the SDGs as well.

After that, I wrote an article that was published in the Malaysian Naturalist, 71-3, March-May 2018, on pages 44-45. It’s called ‘Rethinking Business Towards Sustainable Development’.

Here is my published article in the Malaysian Naturalist for your reading pleasure.

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#Fairies, #Myths, & #Magic 2018 AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT GUEST POSTS: “Poems of Nature & Life,” by Khor Hui-Min

I am excited to announce that I have finally published my first poetry book on 27 April 2018. It’s called Poems of Nature & Life and available in paperback and Kindle ebook format on most Amazon sites. You can see it at Amazon UK and Amazon US, to name just a few.

After I published it, I did my first ever guest post at Colleen Chesebro ~ The Fairy Whisperer’s blog. It was fun to write the guest post. Here it is. Hope you like it. 🙂

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Welcome to my author spotlight guest posts where I introduce you to independent authors from various genres from around the globe. You never know. You might meet your new favorite author!

My guest today is Khor Hui-Min. We met through Twitter and share a love of poetry. I always marvel at how our blogs allow us to connect with people from all over the world. Khor lives in Malaysia and her blog is called Project Prose. She also writes about meditation, and the environment, all things dear to my heart.

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Poet & Author, Khor Hui-Min

Khor Hui Min thinks of life as a continuous learning process and believes in a healthy balance between work and life. She is a freelance writer, who is active in publishing poems and short stories. She moonlights as a face painter for the Malaysian Nature Society and also enjoys creating and carving pottery. She has a Bachelor of Computer Science and Master of Science (Environmental Science). You can read more of her writing at https://projectprose.wordpress.com/ and https://huiminskitchen.wordpress.com/

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Meet Khor Hui-Min:

I have always loved to write. In my student days, I would write perhaps one poem a year. But in 2014, I attended a writing workshop by author Zen Cho at the Cooler Lumpur Festival, entitled ‘Inspiration, Influence, and Interaction’. I wrote a poem as an assignment at the end of the workshop.

Something in me changed. I decided that I would start a writing blog, and post something once a week. It turned out that when I sat down to write, what invariable came out was poetry. I wrote poetry every week. To find inspiration to keep the momentum going, I searched on the Internet for writing prompts, and those have been very helpful, even if the prompt was just a single word. I would challenge myself to think of something to write, anything. What came out was, of course, poetry.

I also liked to read about stories of myths, legends, and magic finding them very interesting. They are a source of inspiration to me too. That was how I came across Colleen’s blog, which I follow with interest. I also follow her on Twitter.

“I told myself that at the rate I’m going, in a few years’ time, I would have enough material to produce a book.”

In 2017, I took a leap of faith – I quit my editorial job in the educational publishing industry to become a self-employed writer. For a few months, busy with my new direction, I forgot about my intention to publish. But in April 2018, as the dust settled, my dream of publishing surfaced again. It just so happened that a friend in a writers group had published with Kindle in Amazon.com, so I asked her how to do it, and she patiently answered all my questions.

So, I published on 27 April 2018. The book has a collection of 53 poems, mainly focusing on nature and life. Nature has always been the No.1 inspiration for me, and it is reflected in my poems and articles. I also write poems on life.

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I have always wondered why there are so many unhappy poems out there – people write poetry on heartbreak, general unhappiness, and as an outlet to vent their frustration and dissatisfaction. I, on the other hand, like to write happy, positive and uplifting poetry. There is so much negativity in the world. Why add to it?

Instead, I want to bring more light and joy into the world instead. When people are down, they can pick up my book, flip to a random page, and read something that makes them feel better.

Here is a poem about forest folk from the book, which I hope you will like.

MOON DANCE

Dancing, twirling, in the moonlight
Skirts of petals, shimmering bright
Light as air; fluttering, gliding
Pleasant laughter like bells, tinkling
Twirling round in a ring, so wide
Graceful and lively, side by side
Dancing and singing, with delight
Pretty elves and nymphs, what a sight
Springtime homage to mother moon
So alluring; makes young hearts swoon

© Khor Hui Min, 20 May 2015

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Here’s how to find Khor Hui-Min:

Facebook at Khor Hui Min

Twitter at @MinKhor

Blogs: projectprose.wordpress.com and huiminskitchen.wordpress.com

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Poems of Nature & Life is available in paperback and Kindle ebook format from Amazon.

You can see the paperback version here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1980944490

And you can see the ebook version here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CPBLK63

bluebird morning Thanks for stopping by to meet Khor Hui-Min. I look forward to reviewing her debut poetry novel, “Poems of Nature & Life.” ❤

 

via #Fairies, #Myths, & #Magic 2018 AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT GUEST POSTS: “Poems of Nature & Life,” by Khor Hui-Min

My first volunteer experience with the Nature Guides

In September 2017, I volunteered with the Nature Guides for the first time, helping them to conduct nature walks in the gardens of Carcosa Seri Negara, as part of the Jalan Merdeka programme in conjunction with Malaysia’s Independence Day 2017 celebrations. I wrote an article about my experience, and it was published in the Pencinta Alam November 2017 issue.

Here is the article, as published in the newsletter. Pencinta Alam is the national monthly newsletter of the Malaysian Nature Society.

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Here is the text version for easy reading:

On the Trail as a Nature Guide

Article by Khor Hui Min
Photos by Angeline Siok and Norazmir Mustapha

In all the years I have been a member and volunteer of the Malaysian Nature Society, I had never volunteered to be a nature guide. I had joined various walks conducted by nature guides once in a while, and found it interesting. The wealth of information about nature, beneficial plants and animals the nature guides had was enough to fill volumes of books, I imagined.

At last in September 2017, I finally volunteered myself to assist the nature guides to conduct walks as part of the Jalan Merdeka programme at Carcosa Seri Negara.

I missed the initial briefing for volunteers on 19 August due to other commitments, but reported for duty on 16 September, which was Malaysia Day.

‘Jalan Merdeka – Traversing the routes to Merdeka’ was an exhibition on our country’s journey towards Merdeka from 1896 to 1957, showcasing the historical Carcosa and Seri Negara buildings, which were next to the Lake Gardens, Kuala Lumpur. Jalan Merdeka was organised by the Asian Heritage Museum, and ran from 1 September till 31 October 2017.

Being a nature guide is not easy. There are a lot of plants and trees to recognise and remember, and we have to memorise their special qualities, medicinal uses, as well as other interesting facts, all of which are supposed to be interesting to the visitors joining the walks. After my briefing on 16 September, I could only remember half the plants, to my disappointment.

After some revision, and following on guided tours conducted by seasoned nature guides, with notes in hand, I finally conducted my first tour on 22 September, which was the following weekend. I was finally like, “What the heck. Just do it.”

It went rather well, which was a pleasant surprise for me. The large group of visitors, consisting of a mixed crowd of nature enthusiasts and casual drop-in visitors to the
exhibitions at Carcosa Seri Negara, spread out rather too much somewhere in the middle of the walk, so I had to wait for the people at the back to catch up with the people in front, but the weather was good for a walk, and I thought they rather enjoyed the fresh air and their morning exercise.

There was no prepared script, and we decided whether to share more detailed information or stick to the basics, or even shorten the walk, depending on the interest
shown by the visitors who joined each walk and whether they were in a hurry. Furthermore, I was not naturally good at public speaking, and did not need to speak to
customers at work, so this volunteer opportunity took me out of my comfort zone and forced me to talk (albeit rather loudly) to strangers. Thus, it was an opportunity
for personal growth and development, which was beneficial to me.

By taking the effort to recognise and remember plants, their flowers and fruits, and to memorise interesting information about them, I learnt so much more about our
garden plants over two weekends than I had ever done so in school. All in all, it was a good learning experience for me, I enjoyed spending time with the nature guides,
and I would definitely do it again.

🙂

Journey to Shangri-La

I have been publishing articles in bodymindsoul magazine in the last few issues. In Vol.13, an article on my most memorable adventure to date in Shangri-La county, Yunnan, China was published. You can find it from page 38 to 42 in the magazine.

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Shangri-La county in autumn time is cold and beautiful, especially in the Mount Meili National Park. We hiked 24km uphill in one day to reach our lodging for the night. After 2 days, we hiked 20km back out. It was the hardest physical challenge for me, which made it all the more memorable.

 

Photography trip to Kuala Kurau

In early September 2017, I joined a photography trip to Kuala Kurau, Perak organised by the Selangor Branch Photogroup of the Malaysian Nature Society. I then wrote an article about it, and it was published in the October issue of the Pencinta Alam, which was the national newsletter of the Malaysian Nature Society.

Here is the article published in the newsletter:

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Here is the article text in plain HTML format:

Photographing Fishing Villages, Paddy Fields and Wildlife
By Khor Hui Min

The last time I joined a photography trip organised by the MNS Selangor Branch Photogroup was many years ago. We took photos for Dr. Ruth Kiew’s plant book in 2010. At that time, I did not have a DSLR camera yet, and the coordinator Alex Foong was wondering aloud when I was going to get one.

Then, in early 2017, I bumped into Alex Foong in Ikea, of all places. He asked me if I had sent in photos to be considered for the first-ever Photogroup exhibition at WhiteBox, Publika in June 2017. I said that even though I had put it into the Pencinta Alam while editing it, I had forgotten about the deadline. I asked him when the deadline was, and he said the deadline had already passed, but the committee was still looking for more photos to add to the pool for consideration. Please send by tomorrow, he said. So, I went home and looked inside the folders of my hard disk and managed to find a few to submit. Three were selected for the exhibition and the rest was history.

The natural progression of things led me to join a photography trip to Kuala Kurau (8-10 Sept), organised by KK, George and Alex. The trip had about 24 participants, mostly with assorted DSLRs.  Our trip started with a visit to the Taiping Zoo and Lake Gardens.  Although it rained at the zoo, I was lucky enough to get a few good shots of the beautiful animals, before the rain became too heavy. My favourites for the day were the Baby Hippo, Crowned Crane, Flamingos, African Spoonbill, Milky Stork, Juvenile Black-Crowned Night Heron, Lions, Axis Deer, Bawean Deer and Sambar Deer.

After we all arrived at the meeting point, we proceeded to Kurau Inn Homestay, which was about an hour’s drive from Lake Gardens. It was a lovely place to stay in the middle of a traditional village and surrounded by paddy fields. My room upstairs was spacious and had nice comfortable beds, fans, air-con, as well as a little pantry with electric kettle, mugs, forks and spoons, mini fridge, small dining table and chairs. The common area upstairs was big and airy, and our trip participants would gather for evening chit-chat after dinner there.

The next day, we drove out at 6.15am to set up our tripods for a sunrise photo shoot at the nearby bridge. In fact, we set up on both mornings there, but since it was the rainy season, there was thick cloud cover that blocked most of the sunrise. It was nice on the bridge, and I particularly enjoyed the blue hour before the sunrise. Besides setting up to snap photos of the sunrise, we also busied ourselves taking photos of the fishing village lining the river on both sides of the bridge, the fishing boats and the fish cages floating in the middle of the river.

On the first evening, we went to the seaside to take photos of the sunset. Instead, we took photos of dark thunderstorm clouds rolling in and flashes of lightning. In the waning light of the setting sun, I thought the landscape was really dramatic, accentuated by the strong winds. I loved it.

Other highlights of the trip included snapping photos of smelly salted fish as they dried in the sun along the road, and salted eggs in the Joo Hong Chan salted egg factory.

On the last day, we visited a small cockle processing plant beside a river in Kuala Gula, but since it was Sunday, it was closed. I entertained myself by snapping photos of the docked boats and makeshift jetties, while most of the group had a discussion with the boss of the cockle processing plant.

Last but not least, it would not be a great Photogroup trip without endless varieties of food, to which we owe KK our thanks. We sampled the hawker food of Kuala Kurau for breakfast and lunch, and enjoyed delicious pre-ordered seafood dinners beside the river.

All in all, it was an enjoyable and productive photo trip, with great company and wonderful food. I shall look forward to future Photogroup trips.

Best version of you

I’ve started writing for BodyMindSoul Mag a few months ago. In contrast to the largely negative tone of mass media and social media these days, BodyMindSoul aims to spread good vibes, encourage a positive outlook and promote a happy and healthy lifestyle.

My poem ‘Best version of you’ was published in Vol. 12 of the magazine. It is a poem intended to promote positive body image among females, but perhaps a few males here and there can identify with its message too. Beauty and fashion magazines, advertisements and the like show us photoshoped and airbrushed photos of impossible perfection, and that has made impressionable people dissatisfied and even depressed with their less-than-perfect looks and bodies.

The message in the poem is that we are the best version of us, because every person is unique and no two are the same. We should appreciate and love ourselves more and not compare ourselves to the unreal and the unnatural.

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❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

On the Back of a Motorbike

I’m excited to announce that a new Southeast Asian anthology entitled On the Back of a Motorbike will be out of the printing press soon. As you might have guessed already, all the stories and poems in the book are supposed to contain the phrase ‘on the back of a motorbike’.

My poem The Vendors is featured in the book. 😀  The Vendors is about my fond childhood memories of vendors selling food, such as the bread man, ice cream man, etc. going from residential area to residential area. If you are wondering – yes, it certainly has that phrase in it. 😉

The cover looks like this:

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You know, I’ve seen quite a number of people sporting T-shirts with the slogan ‘Same Same But Different’ over the years. 😉

 

On the Back of a Motorbike is in the process of printing, and the electronic version will be uploaded in a few days’ time. I’ll share the link when it is available. So, keep an eye on this page for updates.  🙂

The book is published by Literary Concept, which is helmed by Kris Williamson. Click here to visit their Facebook page.

 

 

 

#atozchallenge: New short story published

I am delighted to announce that the third short story I have ever written, entitled LOST AND FOUND, was selected for publication in the May 2016 issue of Eastlit. Interestingly, my short story was categorised as creative non-fiction. Hope you enjoy reading it.

Eastlit May 2016 Cover Picture: Apocalypse by Graham Lawrence. Cover design by Graham Lawrence. Copyright photographer, Eastlit and Graham Lawrence.

Launched on October 26th 2012, Eastlit is an electronic English Literature Journal focused on creative writing, English literature and art specifically from or connected to East and South East Asia.

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You can read my short story by clicking here. You can also click on the following screenshot to read it:

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‘Under the Orange Tree’ was published in The Hourglass

January 2016 was a wonderful month for me, publication-wise. Besides a short story of mine getting published in AnakSastra.com, a poem of mine, entitled ‘Under the Orange Tree‘, which I wrote on 27 February 2015, was published in the The Hourglass (Issue 1).

Edited by April Mae M. Berza, the inaugural issue of The Hourglass promotes the creative works of emerging and HourGlassMag_Issue1.pngestablished writers from different parts of the world. The writers featured in this issue are Stephen Godfrey, Nicolet WW, Sidney Bravo, Khor Hui Min, Strider Marcus Jones, Gregory Terrance Crockatt, Robin Crane, Sunil Sharma, Nick Boreham, Michael Verderber, Jim Newcombe, Nilankana Das, Wanda Morrow Clevenger, Anjana Basu, Jessica Evans, PW Covington, P.J. Reed, Joan McNerney, Mandeep Kaur Heer, Bruce Colbert, Kushal Poddar, and Ceri Naz.

Some of the proceeds from the sale of the magazine will go to the schooling of underprivileged children in the Philippines. Virlanie Foundation Philippines was chosen to receive the proceeds. Established in 1992 by Dominique Lemay, a French social worker, with the help of his Filipino friends, Virlanie Foundation Philippines cares for children in need of special protection – those who are among the poorest of the poor, the abandoned, abused, exploited, neglected, and orphaned. Some of the proceeds will also be donated to a family support group in Philippine General Hospital.  Books are donated to the patients every Christmas.

You can purchase a copy of the print magazine by clicking here.

 

 

‘Shadow under the Rain Tree’ was published by Anak Sastra

I was delighted to receive an email from Anak Sastra on 25 January 2016 to inform me that my short story ‘The Shadow under the Rain Tree’ would be published in Anak Sastra Issue 22 at the end of Jan 2016. I wrote this story over 2 days at CONfabular (UKM), in Tunku Halim’s group of writers who like to write ‘dark fiction’ a.k.a. creepy stories. Thanks to Tunku Halim for his guidance & advice. His book Horror Stories is the all-time bestselling horror book by a Malaysian author.

Started in August 2010, Anak Sastra Literary Magazine publishes short fiction, creative non-fiction, poems and book reviews in English quarterly. It was conceptualised with the aim to provide writers originating from or based in Southeast Asia with a platform to share and promote their creative works. Submissions from or about any Southeast Asian country are welcome.

 

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You can read my short story by clicking here.

I hope I can find the time to write more short stories this year and submit them for publication again. 🙂

Dedication

This short story is dedicated to my university friend Choo Chee Kuang, a marine biologist dedicated to the protection of the seahorses and preservation of the Sungai Pulai estuary area in Johor. He passed away from cancer a few years ago. He left us too soon.