mental indigestion

My e-book from Blogging from A-Z Challenge 2013 October 12, 2013

Filed under: A-Z Challenge,Whee! — mel @ 3:12 pm


Dear fellow Blogging A-Z Challenge participants,

I’m not sure how many of you still come here these days, but I thought I’d drop a note to explain my radio silence these past few months.

Soon after this year’s challenge, I decided to send my A-Z entries on a whim to a publisher, who decided to publish this collection of stories as an illustrated e-book (the drawings were done by my childhood friend, Sheryl). As such, I had to take down my stories due to contractual obligations.

But now, may I present to you (a new and improved version of) Imaginary Friends: 26 Fables for the Kid in Us. It’s US$4.99 and available on Kobo

Here’s the synopsis:

Imaginary Friends is a quirky collection of 26 illustrated short stories in alphabetical order and is exclusively available as an e-book published by MPH. 

Author Melanie Lee and illustrator Sheryl Khor are childhood friends who used to imagine that their stationery and water bottles had names and personalities, and would come up with adventurous plotlines for their “imaginary friends”. Inspired by such fond memories from their childhood, they decided to collaborate in producing this e-book as a legacy for their children. 

At first glance, Imaginary Friends may look like a typical children’s book. However, upon closer reading, you will find that its sophisticated wit and references to modern culture make it an enjoyable read for teens and adults who are young at heart. While the main characters are animals or grocery items, they were written for a very human audience in mind. In fact, many of the life lessons that are stated at the end of each story are things you wished the “older people” had told you about when you were in your late teens or early twenties. With rib-tickling humour and heart-warming moments aplenty, these 26 modern-day fables are bound to make you ponder about your life. 


MELANIE LEE is a writer and editor in Singapore. Her work has been published in Travel + Leisure (Southeast Asia), Yahoo! Singapore, and Today newspaper, among others. She has also co-authored a spiritual book, Quiet Journeys: Finding Stillness in Chaos, and edited architecture and heritage coffee-table books. For more information, please visit her website at 

SHERYL KHOR is a writer and self-taught illustrator in Singapore. Trained in creative arts, with experience in theatre, web and fashion design, she now hones her skills with crafting sessions at home with her two young children. She also designs for, an online fashion store.

For those of you who are interested in reviewing it on your blog, just drop me a note at mel[at]melanielee[dot]sg – I’ll be happy to hear from you!  Feel free to join the Imaginary Friends Facebook page too.




Awesomeness January 31, 2011

Filed under: Whee! — mel @ 10:50 pm

In a bid to surround myself with more positivity, I’ve been finding all these pockets of pick-me-ups all over the Internet. One, in particular, stands out for its simplicity.

1000 Awesome Things contains pocket-sized observations by Neil Pasricha of all the little things to be grateful for in this world. Here are some I really identify with:

Putting Potato Chips On A Sandwich

Sleeping In New Bedsheets

Using Hotel Lobby Bathrooms When You’re Out Walking Around

The Day When You First Realize You Can Drive

I also enjoyed Neil’s talk on Ted:


Launch Pad! August 22, 2010

Filed under: Inspiration,plugs,Whee! — mel @ 8:22 am
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Out of the blue, I received an invitation to attend a Kotex WOW Blogger’s Party. I decided to attend this despite antisocial tendencies because of a long-held fascination with how sanitary products are marketed (butterflies, tight white pants, ice-skating, blue strips etc.) and also because I’ve never been for a mass blogger event before and I need to experience that at least once in my life, right?

I arrived at Heaven’s Loft, did a quick scan of the place and realised that most of the attendees there were probably a good decade or more younger than me. However, the event organisers managed to distract me from my inherent lao-ness by ushering me to the cupcake booth where I got to decorate my own cupcake, whee!

Later, I sat with this very friendly 15-year-old (hello Muffinie), a savvy blogger who oriented me to the lowdown of such blogger events. Despite the fact that she is half my age, she had a very streetwise, mature vibe about her and I will definitely look into her advice on blog advertising. I also spoke to Verlyn, a makeup blogger and Muffine’s friend Cherry, another sweet young thing who asked me in a very concerned fashion if I’d come alone for this event. I even bumped into a former student who is a celebrity blogger (and managed to snag a marketing job through that, good for her!) and she gave me her “approval” for having returned to the “real working world” and being able to attend frilly events like this.

There were lots of girly things to do: besides the usual tea buffet, there was a photo booth and photos were printed for you instantly (another random girl asked if I wanted to take pictures with she and her friend, bless their thoughtful souls but I declined), a Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream counter and even some group craft activity where we were split into groups to decorate the WOW launch banner.

The more official name for these WOW pads incidentally is KOTEX LUXE Ultrathin Design Pads. Initially, I had come fully braced for fluorescent-coloured napkins given its colourful theme but their branding and packaging is a lot slicker than that and I have to admit I’m pretty impressed. The pads are still predominantly white, but come with subtle, intricately-designed motifs (akin to laptop skins) split into two themes: Girl-Next-Door and Indie Chic (see below for one of their designs).

I had a quick chat with one of the Kotex staff and asked her if these were actually just meant for teens. She told me that they are actually meant for a woman of any age and their focus group findings had revealed that most females, regardless of age group, were cheered up by such pads. Besides, since its invention since 1888, pads have always remained white – time for an image revamp, huh?

At the end, there was of course THE GOODIE BAG (the highlight of any Singaporean’s life) and I must say it’s the most curious bag of items I’ve seen. There was a Lookbook – a spiral-bound booklet with samples of each designer pad so I can show my friends and they can touch and feel the pads. There was also this really funky mug that turned from black to floral when you poured hot water into it (maybe I will use it for my featured tea next) and of course plenty of sanitary products samples (including tampons wrapped in an assortment of fluroscent colours) and a pretty flowery notebook. There were also all these fantastic social media promotions where there were chances to win iPads, Kate Spade Bags and tcc vouchers (if you are very gian to join you can find out more here).

What an entertaining afternoon! And I realise I love studying/observing marketing case studies (as opposed to executing them)  – Kotex has my vote for going all out in coming up with something truly innovative and tugging the right strings with the right target audience!


Howard the Pragmatic Duck May 4, 2010

Filed under: Whee! — mel @ 10:10 pm

Howard goes swimming with a rubber float - hey why take risks?

Oh how I’ve missed Dash‘s company and doodlies! So as to stall the time till we next meet (as she recovers from her nasty bronchitis – get well soon babe!) she proffered a portrait of Howard, one of her many pets of the stuff toy variety. I love how his original pastel blue “nappy” has suddenly morphed into a float and how delighted he is to see the water!

Her other adorably hilarious works can be found here, here and here.


Don’t Rain On My Parade January 21, 2010

Filed under: Inspiration,Whee! — mel @ 4:47 pm
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Most of you should know by now that I am obsessed with Glee – absolutely love their “show music” covers of contemporary music and the respectful, old school style they perform old musical classics. The Season 1 finale tops it off with a rousing Barbara Streisand‘s Funny Girl number – I would really really really love to see Lea Michele perform live on Broadway one of these days.

Don’t Rain on My Parade

Don’t tell me not to live, just sit and putter
Life’s candy and the sun’s a ball of butter
Don’t bring around a cloud to rain on my parade
Don’t tell me not to fly, I simply got to
If someone takes a spill, it’s me and not you
Who told you you’re allowed to rain on my parade
I’ll march my band out, I’ll beat my drum
And if I’m fanned out, your turn at bat, sir
At least I didn’t fake it, hat, sir
I guess I didn’t make it
But whether I’m the rose of sheer perfection
A freckle on the nose of life’s complexion
The Cinderella or the shine apple of its eye
I gotta fly once, I gotta try once,
Only can die once, right, sir?
Ooh, life is juicy, juicy and you see,
I gotta have my bite, sir.
Get ready for me love, ’cause I’m a “comer”
I simply gotta march, my heart’s a drummer
Don’t bring around the cloud to rain on my parade,

I’m gonna live and live NOW!
Get what I want, I know how!
One roll for the whole shebang!
One throw that bell will go clang,
Eye on the target and wham,
One shot, one gun shot and bam!
Hey, Mr. Arnstein, here I am …

I’ll march my band out, I will beat my drum,
And if I’m fanned out, your turn at bat, sir,
At least I didn’t fake it, hat, sir,
I guess I didn’t make it
Get ready for me love, ’cause I’m a “comer”
I simply gotta march, my heart’s a drummer
Nobody, no, nobody, is gonna rain on my parade!

And of course, one must also give credit to the original version, which is such an inspiration and as  wonderful a performance.


We are the “Hua” December 29, 2009

Filed under: Whee! — mel @ 10:00 am

The bout of festive blues was soothingly countered by the flurry of hitching friends over the weekend. The packed matrimonial schedule was something I had not exactly been looking forward to – after all, December is really a wedding-fatigued month – but in the end, nothing beats the genuine joy of seeing friends basking in the love surrounding them.

It’s good to end the year with renewed hope, new beginnings and memories of milestones.


Funny Girls November 28, 2009

Filed under: Whee! — mel @ 8:15 am
The Funny Girls

Tee hee

In every job I’ve had, I always go in determined to be a loner, to do my work as fast as possible, and then get out to lead my Real Life.

In every job I’ve had, I realise that damn, things just get too boring not to chit chat. And the lovely, serendipitous thing is, there will always be some kooky, funny people to talk shit with.

The ladies in the picture are just some of the wonderful people who have a knack for turning jaded cynicism into goofball comedy. I miss the laugh-until-stomachache-sessions!

Joke of the night: “He’s like an uglier version of James Lye. He’s James Cannot-Lye.”


Funny music November 25, 2009

Filed under: Whee! — mel @ 5:18 pm

1) Bohemian Rhapsody by The Muppets: Total awesomeness, just couldn’t stop laughing at this music video. All the good stuff from childhood and adolescence combined into this hilarious, nostalgic music video. If anything, watch this for Animal’s solo. Jim Henson + Queen = CHAMPION

2) Make ’em Laugh by Joseph Gordon-Levitt: I thought he was quite cute in 500 Days of Summer but now I think he is VERY cute with this Saturday Night Live opener. C’mon, he likes Singin’ in the Rain (I haven’t met any guy besides my dad who can stay awake through through my favourite-musical-of-all-time) and his Donald O’ Connor impression is adorable!

3) Ok since I am at Singin’ in the Rain, I suppose I’ll put in Moses Supposes – another ditty from yes-it’s-really-my-favourite-musical-of-all-time.


Sublime Soup September 22, 2009

Filed under: Kay poh recommendations,Whee! — mel @ 11:14 pm
Tags: ,

I’m not Cantonese but I love my soups. Especially shark’s fin soup, which no environmentally-friendly plea can keep me away from. Today, I hereby verify that the most fantastic shark’s fin you can get in Singapore is at Taste Paradise at Ion Orchard.

Image courtesy of Taste Paradise

Image courtesy of Taste Paradise

This double-boiled concoction is served in this earthy Japanese stone pot which keeps the brew warm even after 20 minutes (which is probably the time you will take to finish it – the portion is huge!). The texture is thick, but not with starch. Because it is brewed for 12 hours, the fish maw in the soup gradually melts to give it this fantastic rich flavour and consistency (it’s apparently good for your joints too). To top it off, there is this awesome crispy onion roll which you can dip into the soup.

For those who really dig Mother Earth and all that, there is also the green version of this soup  – they use mock shark’s fin and tastes 99.9% like the real McCoy. I can confirm this since I’ve had the green and the non-green one on separate occasions and both left me in a state of euphoria. 

Best to have during rainy days!


Cool beans September 16, 2009

Filed under: Whee! — mel @ 11:12 pm

Breakdancing Bean

Dash’s visual interpretation of my congratulatory exclamation. It’s about right.