Friday, May 12, 2017

Writerstruck Experience: Mbak Windy Ariestanty, Bang Raditya Dika... and Other Writers! (Reading Gets Personal #3)

Does the title succeeded in luring you into reading this?? Well, it's just an attempt to do clickbait that seem to matter in these digital era. Whichever the case, please #BEWITH_MILANOCASE please continue reading...

I have been meaning to share my writerstruck experience since forever, lol. The actual "event" are actually had been happened for almost several months, even years but I just recently made up my mood/energy/focus to actually write it here. All of the occasion that allows me to interact with writers whose book I read are surely lasted enough that I still have the urge to share the experience after quite much time has passed since the actual event.

Happy reader... with a duckface kinda
Where should I start then? Well, maybe from some unimportant details of how I consider my favourite writers are like some sort of literary celebrity in which the chance of meeting them would be undoubtedly awesome and a must-to if there's any event allowing me to meet them are happen to be held in Semarang. My city where I lived now, Semarang, are somehow still feels lacking in literary events to be held as major event, or maybe I'm just too not well informed/networked (IF SO, HELP ME THEN lol). If there's any of it, the event are somewhat often held in "wrong" times for me to attend. However, somehow Allah SWT lets me join several events that held in just the "right" time when I am not too clouded by university course (at that time, told you its been years for some of it lol) so it allows me to meet some writers that I respect a lot.

The event that allow me to meet Mbak Windy Ariestanty are a workshop of narrative travel writing held by Diponegoro University 's Faculty of Cultural Science. Its in November 27th 2015 (based on my Instagram update date). As I have read one of Mbak Windy's book, Life Traveler, I find myself very familiar with what she discuss when she presents the material for the event. To tell memorable moment/people you met while you travel that makes you learn more dimension about the place you visit are something very authentic and unique and its kind of the purpose of writing narrative travel writing, so its not end up like some guidebook. I still remember that she tells about her struggle looking for towel in a department store in Japan (where most of the employee didn't get her meaning and not understand her English) that is very hilarious to be true... but it's really happened. xDb

That day turned to be very satisfying not just because I get to feel some interaction with Mbak Windy and listen to her sharing about writing, but also because I get to meet my elementary school friend there! I got to ask a question to Mbak Windy regarding what she plan for her next writing and she tells me she is in the making for more narrative travel writing. My friend who also asks a question end up picked to get a free book for best inquirer (?), but I'm happy for her especially because at the end of the event I can ask some of Mbak Windy's time to autograph my Life Traveler and The Journeys 3 (she is one of the writers contributing story in the awesome book, please read out my review here - even Mbak Windy commented on my review and it still one of my most precious blogging milestone #....) that I especially brought that day, even took pictures together! My friend and I take turns taking each other's photo with Mbak Windy.

The event didn't turn out so crowded because the participant are maybe not reaching 40 people but it instead makes it easier to interact with Mbak Windy. I found that I really delighted with Mbak Windy's vibe in person, she is very friendly and chilled-out (ehe), looking very much a "traveler" even from her attitude and her pick of clothing that day (very simple and comfortable, with sneakers, white t-shirts, and a pair of mid-length pants). It didn't make me feel ashamed of myself to ask her favor to booksign and take pictures eventhough it actually didn't scheduled by the committee (booksigning & photo session). I just ran out to Mbak Windy and straight up ask her, and thankfully she respond very nicely. Thank you so much, Mbak Windy! She even reposted my Instagram post with our "photo session" shot to her Instagram that makes me feel really appreciated and even feel more respect for her. I wish you the best, Mbak Windy, and its still my secret dream to take writing class lectured by you :''' 

YES I'M A HAPPYYYY READER :'''' ....who hopefully becomes a writer myself someday. Amen.

Other event that got me meet some of my most respected writers are in seminars. One event got me meeting Hanum Salsabiela Rais in a Muslimah Seminar held by Diponegoro University's Medical Faculty. Its in 2014, at the time she is promoting Bulan Terbelah di Langit Amerika with her husband. She shared inspiring stories and encouragement that of course muslimah can travel the world. Other speakers are also awesome. At that time I attend the seminar with my sister, she had read all of Kak Hanum's book and we booked a Gold ticket that allow us to take pictures and have our books signed by Kak Hanum. Unfortunatelyy my sister didn't get the chance to ask a question to Kak Hanum :' but I think its not with some experience to bring home at the end of the day.

Mbak Hanum and Mas Rangga on the left
To not be able to fully communicate your means to your favourite writer also happened to me when I attend a seminar with Raditya Dika as one of the speaker. It's also a seminar held by Diponegoro University, but this time arranged by students from Communication Science and its more like some topic of how to have "existance" in the social media world. Bang Radith is very well-welcomed, the audiences are full (with his youngest brother, Edgar, who also attend Diponegoro University also present at the time). I am thankful I have the chance to ask question to what makes his writing evolves from time to time until he now writes movie scenario (My tip: Try to get eye contact with the MC/whoever picks out the audience to ask question, and try to look SO meaning to ask without doing violence or harm or making other person uncomfortable - remember the eye is window to the soul, don't hesitate in reaching out your hands - and you don't have to be in front row, and it actually more because of luck... lol). Unfortunatelyy I didn't have the chance to ask Bang Radith's autograph on several books that I brought that day :( Bang Radith left the venue straight away after the event closed by the MC through ways that is impossible to run after and the committee didn't help or inform this from the beginning.

The thing is I already and directly asked about that when I get the microphone to ask my question, but it didn't occured to me that I should've come upfront and just gives out my books (okay, it's Bang Radith's books BUT YOU KNOW...). At the time, I feel like unsure whether I can come forward and just give out my books, since neither the MC or committee showed some direction/response whatsoever regarding my SPOKEN REQUEST of asking autographs. I mean, it would be completely fine if they just say straight away that they actually don't plan for any booksigning session, but well I think everybody are all confused at the time. In Bang Radith position, I think maybe he would be fine if I straight up come forward to him (its not like I bring him some cheesy things, just his books... ITS PLURAL, I BOUGHT ABOUT 3-5 BOOKS THAT DAY). From that day, I've been noting myself that if these similar situation happens I would just take whatever chances I need, even if I will get blocked out by security forces afterwards. 

Similar situations like mine also happen with one other guy who ask to take pictures with Bang Radith (through the audience seat with microphone given). Apparently we are just too innocent/naive to think that there would be some spare time available after the seminar. AND ITS SOMETHING I HOPE I NEVER EXPERIENCE AGAIN BECAUSE ITS STRAIGHT UP SCREWED UP TO FEEL. It was a really big crowd of audience that day (I think 300 people counts? or more I don't remember), so I think if Bang Radith stayed a bit longer after seminar ended he would get mobbed... 

Thankfully, other than my writerstruck experience with Bang Radith (that really sucked at the end, lol, but well Bang Radith's new book is something I still look forward to, but not really with his movies), my writerstruck experience with A. Fuadi in 2016 are like very much at ease. It's because apparently at the time my undergraduate thesis' supervising lecturer asked me to help her as a committee to a public lecture for Psychology's new faculty student which has A. Fuadi as the speaker! Apparently, one of my lecturer are good friends with him when she studied in US so he can attend the said event at the time. It was mindblowing that the writer of Negeri Lima Menara are talking in person just a few meters, sharing inspiring things to encourage the younger Psychology Undip's folks. At the end of the event, I and other committee was getting the chance to take pictures together with Bang Fuadi, and I also have his autograph to my newly bought Ranah Tiga Warna books that I bought the same day in the venue from the Gramedia book stand. I can't find my copy of Negeri Lima Menara at home that day, but getting his autograph and able to take pictures are an accomplishment! I shall thank my awesome lecturer/undergraduate thesis supervisor, Ibu Anggun Resdasari to make me have the chance.

Me on the left-most
I just realized now that I have quite a number of writerstruck experience to tell, and I am really thankful to every of it. I just hope that Allah SWT would still give me the chance to encounter them again, and other writers whose book I read, in a setting more specific and in depth about writing and not just in a general-themed seminar. I always wanted to experience a real writing class with a respected writer (including a more intense writing workshop with Mbak Windy and Bang Radith), and I believe my chance shall come in the right time, or even better, maybe there's more amazing plans for me regarding writings and writerstruck (pardon that is INDEED a custom term I made). If you ask me my ultimate wish-list writer to meet is, it's of course Rick Riordan and Robert Galbraith, and maybe Mitch Albom, Michael Scott so that they can booksigned my Indonesian-translated collection. You can never know right... :)


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