Homegrown Heroines

You know me.
Despite my gregarious and oftentimes open personality, I am really shy.

Penelope Cruz on Sept issue of The Malaysian Women's Weekly
Penelope Cruz on Sept issue of The Malaysian Women's Weekly

I was an excruciatingly shy girl while growing up. The only way I shone was through my academic results. Even so, my pride is often mixed with a kind of shyness.
I don’t know how to react when the spotlight is on me.
Crazy as it sounds, yes, that is me.
But I have no problem shining the spotlight on people. In fact, I love doing that.
So where’s this post going? I interviewed Alex many moons ago for our business blog and I thought that was that.
It was not to be.
She came back to me a few weeks after that, asking to interview little old me!
She was doing a feature on 3 Malaysian women who were “women with heart” and one of them was to be me.
Oh gosh!
It was a little follow up to find out what the women of the Great Women Of Our Time Awards were doing after getting nominated for the award. (My claim to fame was in 2008 and if you missed that post, you can check out the glamour me four years ago. I had so much fun during the photo shoot in The Westin KL and the glamorous gala dinner where Ning Baizura sang and I was all goggle-eyed.)
I was in superb company in this September 2012 issue of The Malaysian Women’s Weekly – there I was with Bilqis Hijjas (the president of MyDance Alliance) and Leela Panikkar (co-founder of Treat Every Environment Special or TrEES).

Krista Goon featured in the magazine

Here’s an even funnier aside: two months ago, a local Chinese newspaper (Guang Ming Daily) here in Penang decided to interview me and a few ladies from my women entrepreneur group. It was supposed to be published before our anniversary luncheon happened but you know, you can’t rush the media.
They have their own deadlines. So when the feature on WomenBizSENSE finally got published in its entire full page glory, we were mighty pleased BUT none of us (with the exception of Cecilia) could read Mandarin. That was all of one day’s happiness – great publicity for us as a group and great publicity for us individually.
A few weeks later, there I am in my tatty shorts and grungy t-shirt buying vegetables in the Lip Sin market when the auntie who sells vegetables told me she read the interview in Guang Ming!
Her daughter-in-law mentioned that her mom-in-law (this vegetable auntie) recognized my photo in that article! I must say this lady’s eyes are sharp.
However, being in the media has its cons too. The day our feature came out in Guang Ming was the day a woman from Sungai Petani called me asking for a loan. It seemed she read about our women entrepreneur group and thought we’d be easy suckers!
She gave me some strange tale of being broke, having two kids in college and get this – the Ah Long were chasing her to repay her loan and could we or our group loan her some money?
Wow.
She kept calling me until I told her that we don’t give loans and I would get her the number of a local ADUN help centre so she could get proper help. She stopped calling after that!
That was the only weird incident.
Most times, the publicity has been great and allowed me to get slightly known. I’ve always been grateful for the media limelight (many thanks to writer friends like Alex and more) because media exposure always helps promote and publicize our business!

A Tiger Muses…

After so long, I thought I’d start 2011 early with a new little design in my blog.
The black theme was getting on my nerves after a while. And to also give your eyes a break – the font size is a lot bigger and easier to read.
I thought of adding FUN into the blog with a splash of orange. It’s a lovely lively colour plus see those animals on the top and side of this blog?
There’s a silly-looking Tiger. And a goggle-eyed Monkey. And a pink Pig and a Hippo. And if you look really closely, you can see a tiny Panda balancing on a ball.
I’m born in the Year of The Tiger. Hence the major character is a Tiger. A cute one.
The other animals were chosen by Nic. He added the animals to complement the tagline: Life is a zoo, which animal are you?
I think life is always like a zoo. There’s fun but there’s also a little bit of pragmatic melancholy – seeing those wistful animals looking back at you. At times I wonder who is looking at whom? Who are the animals really? The ones hooting and making noises at the animals seem more like it.
Once in a while, everyone needs a new refresh and new look. It’s a burst of energy when you get something fresh and exciting.
As always, MayaKirana.com will remain advertisement-free and clutter-free.

Will It Be Bye Bye Too?

I’ve been blogging for a long time now. I started in 2002. I feel rather ancient now that it is 2009.
7 years.
Yikes.
And I am surprised I am still blogging. I thought I would have run out of things to say, write, have an opinion about. But it shows that I have a lot to say!
A friend pulled the plug on one of her blogs recently.
I’m not surprised really.
As I emailed her, I said I understood perfectly the idea of ‘killing’ one’s blog. It’s not that we run out of things to write about.
It’s something deeper and far more strange.
When I started to blog, it was just my online journal. It was therapy without paying for a shrink. I could unload all my thoughts and feel better immediately. I could get on with life once my issues were on the blog. I could rant and rave and get pissed and peeved and shout in blogosphere where no one could hear me.
Or so I thought.
The thing with blogging is, at some point, one starts attracting readers/visitors/strangers/people who google something and find your posts.
They read, like what they read, and bookmark your blog and come back again. They leave comments, become your friends. They email you and they start having a relationship with you – this connection is a friendship. If they come to Penang, we make a date to meet and we hit it off once we’ve chatted over lunch or dinner. They add my blog to their blogroll. We are now blog pals.
And soon, they become fans. Huge ones. They visit your blog daily. They keep count on the times you’ve forgotten to write! They remember where you ate at, what you did on your holiday, who you bitched about.
That’s when the pressure sets in. The pressure to keep blogging even though sometimes all you want to do is switch it off and get on with your regular life. (Of course, if one does it for the money, that’s a completely different story. But as you know, my blog has none of those.)
So I get it completely when Lydia says she is focusing on one blog and leaving the other. It’s far easier this way.
At times I wonder if I would say goodbye on this blog too. Maybe one day I would. Once I have nothing to say, nothing to blog about, then I would really consider taking Mayakirana off the world wide web.
Do you have a blog? Have you ever considered NOT blogging in the future? Or ending the blog in some strange way? Enlighten me! 😉

MayaKirana Gets a Mention

Thanks to Robert who gave me a heads-up yesterday.
He was nicely profiled in The Malay Mail’s Cyberspot (5 January 2009) page and Mayakirana was mentioned. People will be wondering, who the heck is MayaKirana?
Anyway, it’s a good start to 2009.
Thanks, Robert! You have a sexy new year too.

Blogging for Soup

I was roped into being a blog panellist at the last minute at the MIRC Seminar held 2 Saturdays ago. I had promised Patie I would be attending the full day seminar as a participant. She had asked if either Nic and I would like to be speakers but no-lah, we were too tied up with our projects. So she called up about 3 days before to ask if I could help out to share my views on blogging.
Ah, my pet subject.
My ears perked. My eyes shone in anticipation.

Read moreBlogging for Soup