I have finally moved… to an interim home.

And here I am, writing a blogpost from the (dis)comfort of a short-term rental, where the sofa is too small, the ceiling in too low and the sun is too bright.

Yes I know I’m just being difficult. But still, this was the wifey’s idea and I had no say (we had a discussion and she did the “okay, fine we’ll do it your way” which actually means “do it my way, or else!”)… So I’m actually being a 30-year old teenager.

We’re actually in a short-term rental as our buyer couldn’t delay his move-in date and we’re only getting the keys to our new home 3 weeks later. I consider us being in a limbo state right now.

And remember the competition (check my previous post)? The wifey – miraculously – managed to push down her number of boxes to 7! Which is same as my total, except her boxes are twice the size of mine. I’ll give her A for effort though… But since it’s a draw, I’m afraid there’s no winner (heheh).

But we’re both really excited about our new home! 3 more weeks!



Moving is hard to do!

You know as you watch How I Met Your Mother or Friends or some long-standing tv sitcom (Lost not included, it’s just ridiculous), there comes a time when the group has to move on and leave their apartment they shared?

Touching, right?

What they left out: the hassle of packing, throwing old stuff away, FINDING a way to get rid of the stuff without wasting them.

I’m not one to get emotionally attached to things, although I believe u need to keep something from every milestone of your life. So throwing things away is second nature to me.

The pain comes when I’m looking for something one month down the road and I realised “oh! I threw that away before moving!”. That’s what’s bugging me when I’m packing to move.

But I still chucked everything away.

So far, I’ve just completed packing my clothes. It fits ONE cube box (2ft x 2ft x 2ft). But the amount of clothes I’m throwing / donating / giving it to the homeless guy across the street? TWO of those boxes. And I’ve already sieved out the unusables!

Well, I just hope these clothes find a better owner. I went on a spree just before I started my previous job. I was about 160lbs then. Now I’m 220lbs so I can’t fit those clothes anymore.

I’m trying to goad the wifey into the who-has-the-lesser-boxes challenge. I’m sure she’ll lose but she’s not taking the bait at the moment.

Maybe I should up the stakes to that Hermes bag she’s been gushing about. In return what should I asked for? I was thinking something really teenage-ish… Like a console game. Or maybe George Foreman bbq grill.

YEeaaahhhhh. BBQ Grill it is!

The Bane of Being “Jobless”

I’m having some problems with being jobless. Yes, I actually feel troubled without a job.

I’d like to define a job as a regular 9 to 5 work for a company that isn’t yours, where you do work in a place away from home. This is really the definition of what a “job” is by the people around me, based on what they say.

Not having a job doesn’t mean I have no work to do. Writing books, working on new projects and my freelance engagements are work.

The nature of my work means I don’t get paid regularly. Clients take forever and some efforts pay off later than sooner.

What do I really do? Well, I’m a ghost writer and a freelance copywriter since last year. I left a mid-level position to get away from ridiculous office environment with its politics, to get away from the peak hour mad rush, to get away living from paycheck to paycheck.

But that’s not the problem.

The problems of not having a job:
– People think I’m lazy. That’s not really a problem, but it actually gets to me sometimes when your in-laws ask you “why don’t you get a job?”.
– The irregular payments affect cash flow. I’m not complaining about the amount, but the timing of their arrival. Some clients are fast, other take months for the other half.
– Sometimes I feel discouraged. This happens whenever you work solo.

It’s a good thing I have a supportive wife, but support can only go so far. There are bills and rent to pay for. The worst part about all this is that we’re moving (again) and though it’s inevitable, it is the stress of moving that’s adding on to this whole pressure cooker.

I have to say the nature of writing as work may seem easy, but it’s not. I really demand more from myself than what clients demand from me because if they look good, I feel good. And that’s the most important part of the job.

So today, in this blogpost, I have identified the problems. Later on, I’ll work to solve them. Tomorrow, I will list down all the solutions.


Stink Eye and Other Uncomfortable Stories

I’m absolutely stoked! Stink Eye and Other Uncomfortable Stories were exciting to write!

I’m taking a break from writing for the next week, as the wifey isn’t too glad I’m spending too much time being an author instead of being a husband.

But I’m ecstatic to say Book 1 of 5 of the whole Series is done!

I’m on a series simply titled A Collection of Stories by Fritz Brown and Book 1 is Stink Eye and Other Uncomfortable Stories. It contains 5 short stories of diverse background and plots but they all hold on to the same concept – to astound and bring imagination into the plot – your imagination!

Let me know what you think of the book!














50% off the Visiting Singapore Guidebook – only $3.50!

Hi guys

Just so you know, we’ve decided to give a 50% promotion for those who’re interested in the guidebook! It now costs only $3.50 – loose change!

If you could leave some positive reviews of the eguide on smashwords.com I would be so grateful as well. Of course, this means if you have any questions on Singapore, feel free to email me as the book suggests!

How to claim your awesome ebook:

Go to the book

When you are purchasing the ebook, use this coupon code: NM47J

Code expires 23 April 2012!



Growing passion!

My passion’s growing!

It’s amazing what a little kickstart can do, and I’m currently halfway through the first book of my pet project (the one before the travel guide). This ebook is part of a series of ebooks and it’s a collection of short stories. I can’t really say if the book’s for adults or young adults or teens, but there’s no sex in it. (Did I hear a cohesive groan from you lot??)

Of course, with my current interest piquing at an all-time high, I tend to get carried away with ideas. Lofty, lofty ideas. Which is fine, until it comes to tying things down. It’s hard to tie up riders of the clouds when they are already floating, right?

Anyway, here’s a sneak peek of one of the short stories in the book to be launched next week on Amazon and Smashwords! Any feedback is welcomed!


Stink Eye
They hate me. My looks, where I live, what I drink, what I do – they despise me. I can feel it. These judgmental fools; they don’t know where I’ve been, what I’ve done and what I’m capable of. I could go berserk if I wanted to but I’m past that. And I don’t want any trouble. So far life has been very easy. The routine is peaceful. The meals are regular most days and that’s good enough for me. If you knew where I came from, you’ll know I ask for very little from life.

That woman in yellow. I loathe her as much as they hate me. They have every reason to, since I’m always on the sidewalk, living the life. I don’t have to rush to work like they do. I have no children to tend to, and no family to worry about. Yet I get clothes, food, the occasional shower and I can sleep anywhere I like. So yes, they can hate me for my life now, because I earned it. But not her, she has no rights to give me the damn stink eye. Just who does she think she is?

I’ll think about what to do with her, but not now. It’s a hot day today, and I need shade.

Richie looked for a shady spot – a place where the human traffic is high and he’s visible enough for them to notice, yet somewhere shaded from the heat. There’s Torrnia’s Café by the walkway. Great spot, but the bloody waiter shooed him away countless times before. Once, he spat on the waiter and they got into a scuffle. Since then Richie stayed clear of Torrnia’s. There’s the bench by the tree, but that’s taken by one-eyed Joe. It’s his turf and the man deserves respect. This bloody country doesn’t remember the good men.

Maybe this pathetic spot will do fine. By the junction, and if I shift with the shadow of the mailbox, I should be able to take the heat off my back. This country owes me. Hell, I broke my back, tore my calf in half and broke an ankle. All in the name of helping the country. But they don’t remember me for that. Got done in 6 weeks for helping a little lost girl. They said I was going to steal her from her mother in the supermarket. Heck, if I wanted to steal, I’d grab food, not the little girl. What was I to do with a whiny little girl? And it was then they cut whatever little I got from the company. Bloody opportunists, if you ask me. So I couldn’t paid rent, couldn’t get treatment, the leg couldn’t work and here I am begging on the streets. This place really doesn’t care.

Richie sat at his spot for hours. Passers-by dropped some dimes into his hat. If he was lucky, he’d get enough for a refill. So far this flask has gotten itself filled and drained almost daily. Except for that one stretch during the storm a year back. He had to go sober for about a week, longest time he’s ever been clear since god knows when. Food isn’t a problem with Richie – some diners and old lady Pattison were always kind enough to give him food and water. He could save up for some clothes or other necessities for tougher times, but that was the Richie before.

There she is again. At the beauty shop. Look at her – arrogant, bold, and beautiful. Maybe I hate her because she reminded me so much of the missus. The one I married, the one I left for Vietnam, the one who left me when I was in Vietnam. Never heard from her since and never tried to. Forty three years. Why she left, I never knew, but probably another man. Definitely another man. Who in their right mind would wait for someone who might not come back? I wouldn’t, so it’s not her fault. No, she left me. I have got to get back at her for leaving me.

Next week. I’ll think of something.





Visiting Singapore – A Guide for Students & Budget Travellers

Our eBook is out! Special thanks to the source of most of the information and the main local author of the book! This is the Kindle edition (click on the image to get on to Amazon’s site)

And here is the link for all other formats of reading (iPad, iPhones, PC/Mac, PDF, RTF, HTML, ePUB, SONY Readers and most eReader apps). Click on the image to check out the book!

Visiting Singapore is your off-the-beaten-path guidebook to the jewel of South East Asia.

For students and budget travelers, this guidebook will help you see sights beyond the typical tourist attractions.

The content includes:
– How to travel around Singapore
– How much to bring
– How much things costs in general
– Where to go without spending alot of money
– Places tourists and even some locals haven’t been to

With 135 images and over 80 pages worth of valuable information, this is the guide that will save you money, time and effort.

If you are looking for the local experience, this is your book.


30 things about being 30 (I’ll tell you 10 for now)

I had some time thinking about life so far (and we all begin to think about this when something eventful is about to happen in our lives, like the last exams, the first bike, the marriage, the kids…) and I finally found out what being 30 really means. To me, at least.

Maybe being 30 means a whole different list of things for some, but this is what I thought true. I haven’t really found out 30 things these past few days, but i’ve gotten at least 10 things down for the moment, on what being 30 means to me.

30 things about being 30:

1) You are already looking after your parents.

When we turn 16, we’re sort of free. At 18, we’re already there, but the parents don’t really know it. At 21, we were absolutely free. At 25, we sort of crawl back to the crib sometimes, check out on our parents, doing the responsible adult thing. Close to 30, when you’re married, your parents are living their later years away from you, and you getting into a fatherly/motherly age, you tend to check up on them more. At 30, you’re doing some parenting already, over your kids and possibly over your parents.

2) You’re past trying to impress with just looks.

At 30, it’s not about how you look, it’s who you are and what you do. And we get it. Be it at work or play, we know looks will open more doors. But that door’s gonna slam shut in your face if nothing else backs that looks up. At 30 we know it’s substance that works.

3) We judge.

We judge the younger ones because they haven’t been there, and we judge the older ones because they think we’re going to go the same route. At 20, we judge ourselves, and we judge others. At 30, you’re at the stage where you feel you’ve done all the studying and you know who you are. So you stop judging yourself. You get that confidence. But you don’t stop judging others.

4) We don’t really know who we are, but we think we do.

Well, in a way. At 30, from all the experience we’ve had, we tend to think they’ve mould us into what we are today. But that’s not entirely true. We actually mould ourselves into what we are today, based on the lessons we choose to take from these experiences. Imagine when you were 18 and playing rugby. You had an injury and a few people told you that you should stop or you won’t be able to walk. So you stopped and studied real hard, got a great job, earned your 5th million at 30. You’ll say the experience you had then made you the person you are now. But if you didn’t stop, and persevere, did great, got drafted into the nationals, worked harder, got talent scouted, made your 10th million at 24, that could’ve been something too. At 30, we think we know who we are, but we really don’t.

5) We want companionship. Need companionship.

Yes, you have the independents who can live with dogs and pets and have a great time at yoga class or gardening and the likes, but at 30, we need someone. And the reason we do is because all our friends at 30 have someone, have grown up, and lead their own lives. No matter how cool it is to have a bro’s night out or a ladies’ night out, or getting that promotion or having your best friends being there for you, it’s not the same. And at 30, we know it.

6) We wish to change the younger generation.

Just like how our parents wanted to change us, we’re going the same circle. You can call it whatever you want – a new approach, a softer approach, whatever – the bottomline is we want to change the younger generation. But to what? A better generation? No, that’s judging, and that’s point 3.

7) We miss the things we had when we were younger.

This goes without saying. But the main things we usually miss are the carefree life of a kid / student, the inability to discriminate, and the ability to believe in love as that Romeo & Juliet story.

8) We love differently.

Where love used to mean making a Mother’s Day card, or folding stars, or saving money for a present, or a plain simple hug, love is now a holiday together, a great meal for two or that stuff your partner has been eyeing for the past month. We are 30, and we are entitled to celebrate love in a way we can afford to, but the feeling is different. I’m pretty sure the day I teach my kids to make a handmade Mother’s Day card for their mom, or the day I get them to bring a birthday cake for granny, that love is definitely different from a nice family meal at Tony’s. Don’t get me wrong – the love is the same, but we love differently.

9) Comfort takes over style

I used to wonder – how the hell can someone wear that out in the streets? Now, I sometimes wonder – why the hell am I wearing this to go out on the streets? But I still do, because it’s comfortable. The perks of being 30 means you give a shit, but you kinda don’t really give a shit.

10) We worry alot more. ALOT more.

Of course with age comes great responsibility. And society is such that you get a list of things you should do, and if you don’t do it, you’re not a responsible daughter/son/husband/wife/mother/father/colleague/employee/lordofthering/. The things we worry about are the same things we worry about when we’re younger and will probably still be the same things we’ll be worrying about for the next 10 years. But we worry, and at 30, when life hasn’t really begun (they say it begins at 40, right?) that’s a hell of alot of worrying already done.

I’ll tell you the other 20 things about what being 30 means to me in the next weeks.

What’s in a pen name?

I’m elated, estatic, overjoyed that we have completed the final draft of the eBook! We’ve spent 18 hours a day, everyday for the past 3 weeks to work on this. I’ve seen my co-author more than I see my wife. I’ve drank more coffee than I thought possible. And I’ve learned so much about this country through the research.

I’ve got to say, I didn’t know Singapore as much as Friz. As a guy who was born and bred here, this guy really knew places. Some I’ve heard but never been to, others I never knew existed. So the book content is mainly from my co-author’s experience and insider knowledge. Though we shared the whole process through, I was more of the research and images guy.

Now that the whole process had gone very well in this partnership and content of the eBook is set, we couldn’t agree on one simple thing: the pen name.

We plan to use just one pen name as the guide is written in first person. And we want the reference to the book to be as simple as possible. So I thought we could have a name like Jacob Cullen, marrying those two ridiculous Twilight characters together. Or maybe Stacy Austin Hart, bringing a threesome of our favourite WWF wrestlers back in the days. I personally like calling ourselves Tiger Sheen.

But we couldn’t agree on any of them.

In the end, after a long discussion (6 minutes) we’re going with Fritz Brown.

We’re not telling you why, though. =)


3 tips before you go to the gym after a long break

I used to be an active guy – you know, skiing, playing football, doing circuits and the like. Physical activity always made me feel alive and positive. If you watch Dog Whisperer, Cesar Milan would tell you an exercised dog is more positive and calm.

But venturing into my current work had made me lost sense of routineness to my life. I work the whole night, I sleep in the day, I do conference calls (in the comfort of shorts, but still) at the last minute, my social life shrunk and I cancelled on many fun outings that would’ve given me a break we all deserved.

So, after 2 years of not hitting the gym, I decided to yesterday. And here are 3 tips on gymming after a long hiatus:

1) Go for the lightest weight possible. It’s your first time after a long while, your body will ache madly no matter what you carry. If you want to remain mobile the day after, go light. It also helps you avoid injuring yourself.

2) Go with a buddy. I forgot a lot of what I stuck to back then – posture, breathing, form, etc. With a buddy who’s been gymming, he/she can remind you of these things that’ll keep you in one piece.

3) Buy new shorts if you’ve gained weight. I didn’t, and it tore. Thank god it tore on my last squat (I hope it was then!) And thank god for tights (which were really tight too.)

I’m staying away from that gym for about 3 weeks.