Behind the work of “The Rambling Man”


Now that I’ve got the publisizing post done, it’s time for me to write about the behind-the-scenes of “The Rambling Man”.  Of course some people were involved in the process. Since this is the first time I ever published a book, writing it becomes almost like an academic essay in junior college. I wanted to really write something for people to enjoy but I wanted to write about teenagers and their coming of age, especially for those with low self-esteem.


I had multiple drafts printed out after editting and cutting down on my excessive use of purple prose and asked my friends in my workplace to read it. That’s when the fear came in. There was so much darkness in my writing that I knew I would turn off many people. I did not want people to think of me as the character (even though it was written in first person). Well, it only take about a couple of reads my people to know that it does not really matter. I learned that to produce good work, one has to let go of all restraints so that their creative process can flow. So I kept writing. You may not know this but “The Rambling Man” was actually two books. When I saw the link I just had to fuse it together because character-wise, they were similar.

I shall not mention who played the fictional characters in my book but know that they do exist.


Here’s my 3 best companions during the process. That’s how my random thoughts and ideas flowed out from my fingertips to my sketch book. But in one day I could only complete one page of illustrations so with 60+ of them in the book, you will know that I would idle around. And worst still, my brother has his xbox as a gift and it has X-men playing on it. I have to admit, I took a one month break to play and watch movies.

Pitching the idea to local book publishers was the worst experience because you have to know what they’re looking for and who my target audience is. Let’s just say I pitched it to 3 book publishers (there aren’t a lot of them in Singapore, you know) and got no reply. I sent to Epigram Books but their book contents are very local based; stories about Singapore and the people living here. So I knew for a fact that they would not approve of my depressing book. Then I submitted to Candid Creations but theirs is a self-publishing route and I had to pay. Trust me, with less than $100 to my name I had to turn my back at them even though their fictional books are inspirational and I knew mine would fit right in. The last one was Monsoon books. I sent it to them knowing they were looking for a particular content but I withdrew my application 2 weeks later.

I was about to give up. I’m naturally a pessimist so I was about done until I bumped into Blurb. They provide print on demand services so I didnt have to pay much or at all for that matter. That’s when the fun begins; I could place my illustrations and texts in any manner I wanted to. It was worth it in the end, definitely. It was difficult typing the novel out at home with my family constantly walking about. They only knew about it when the copy of my book was delivered to my doorstep.

Link to the eBook:


An escape inside h…
By Hafiiz Karim

I’m now working on my second book with my watercolour illustrations and I hope you guys like it.

Until next time!!



I’m cold out waiting for that day to come …IMG_5199 IMG_5191

Losing yourself in growth

“I didn’t know who I was standing on top of until I realized that person was me”


You pledge to always improve yourself; to grow into a more successful person that you forgot the person you were before. After being in Junior College did I decide to not lose myself in all these attempts to climb up the career ladder. It’s hard to balance your own identity and the hunger to succeed. And while some people see no reason to look back at our past, I see the past as the present and that who we were before have helped us in some way and we owe it to ‘them’.

I didn’t want to be a part of that boring academia all my life. Creativity fills me and I want to bring that part into my University life. I don’t know how but I want to be free, expressive and as cliched as this sounds, be myself. Maybe my shy nature has prevented me from letting people know who I really am. But then again once I do that, I might be afraid that people will not like what they see. I’ve been building this wall around me and it’s hurting me for it’s fear that I’ve cemented the bricks together with.

A confused teenager becomes of me while I try to push away the fears that I have reared all my life. What does it take to remove them from my system?

If only there’s a better way.

An Art Attack moment at the beach

So when we got to Lanjut Golf & Beach Resort at Pahang, the first thing I wanted to do was to build sand-castles. I love building trenches, erecting a sea-wall or anything that would have a dramatic impact once the waves breaks and crashes into my miniature structures.

Well, let’s just say that during the low-tide, I didn’t get the opportunity to build them. But I did started doodling on the sand and me and my brother had this Art Attack moment.

Thoughts leading to nowhere

“I don’t feel so good today. It’s as if my soul wanted to leave me”


I’m not feeling so good today. There wasn’t anything specific that happened today that could have contributed to what I’m feeling right now. In fact, today was a great one; I went out with my sister and she bought me a cold pressed water color paper. But as of now, I feel like there’s something wrong — that feeling when you feel like the world’s not rotating up to its speed; the temperature’s not right; the water’s too tepid; you’re breathing harder than usual; you think of all sorts of things.

It’s not sadness really. I just feel like I’m not a part of this world. And in some instances that feeling could be great and I’d want to stay in that place forever but this time it’s different. Maybe I do not want to be aware of myself to live. I don’t know. I hate it when I’m thinking too much again. A good friend of mine has been helping me a lot but he does not know that. Well, that’s what I’m thinking. Usually, I’ll just replay the advice he gave me and implement it.

I guess I get comfort from it. Have you ever felt that really calming feeling when someone is just by your side and is helping you? Let’s say it’s a teacher going through a problem sum beside you and helps me make sense of the problem. Let’s say it’s a friend who’s just sitting right beside you and talk about random things or having those “Remember when … ” moments. I’ve always loved these kind of moments.

Did I mention that my hair was short now? I probably did. Never knew how short hair could make me look so refreshed. And I know that what I’m feeling now is not because of how I think I look like. In fact, I feel great about it. It is comforting isn’t it, to know that you are looking good on a particular day? My skin is also clearing up now. Maybe it’s my change in diet (I’m cutting down on my junk food) or the fact that I’m changing my pillow cover every week or the fact that I’m drinking more green tea with honey.

I don’t know.

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