Posts tagged life update
More Updates (July - November)

I really wish Instagram and Facebook posts could be directly linked to Squarespace, then I can stop saying I will be more consistent with my posting because I post plenty on both, even did a big pow-wow literary event-related update thing in June for but didn’t post it here for some reason unknown even to myself. So very quickly here are things that have been happening

1. "Singapore’s Emerging Poetic Voices
Poetry Writing Festival
21 July 1500 at Arts House
Panellist with Max Pasakorn, Marylyn Tan Andrea Yew, and moderated by Crispin Rodrigues
It is $5 but come see me talk with other people far more prolific and productive than I am and hopefully we will speak about writing that has *nothing* to do with 'what is it like being a millennial writer' because my god if I have to deal with a question about Rupi Kaur one more time I will throw something, preferably across the room, preferably the person asking the question.

2. "When I was Twenty"
Read! Festival 2019
27 July 15.30 at National Library
Panellist with Deborah Emmanual, Grace Chia, Leong Liew Geok and moderated by Joshua Ip
Come see us talk about poetry and writing and I will laugh awkwardly as the only person in my twenties and I have only been writing emails and naggy work WhatsApp messages.

3. SingPoWriMo: The Magazine
Because book sales for previous SingPoWriMo anthologies have not been doing well, there was a big discussion earlier this year on the future of the anthology. I always say my vote is to basically scrap publishing it altogether - but the end decision was to make it an online magazine with three issues. Fingers crossed that it goes well.

4. Melbourne RMIT Intercultural Studio I was basically in Melbourne for 19 days - the first three days for a holiday, and the rest was basically spent doing an intensive (ie. four hour class thing) at RMIT. I’ve written a lot about this entire experience on my Instagram but basically I learnt a lot, met a lot of people, and have realised I still have so much to do and grow.

Also finally got a photo of myself doing a reading looking fairly badass.

Also finally got a photo of myself doing a reading looking fairly badass.

5. I’m in London in October, and just learnt that the London Literary Festival is happening from 17-27 October. I won’t be around for most of it but fingers crossed that I’ll have time to catch a couple of events.

6. And of course Singapore Writers Festival is coming up and I am lucky enough to be invited again as a featured writer - like last year I will be moderating one panel, speaking at another, and reading at one event.

Literary Updates (March - April)

I keep telling myself that I will actually make use of my existing blog since I do pay Squarepsace money for this space and I actually should be making use of it. At one point I was even considering doing a cooking series - on my Instagram I frequently post photos of my meal preps and then make notes on how to improve it the next time I cook it and figured it would not hurt to do more elaborate details about each recipe - and then never got round to doing it. Tbh I don’t even have much about my life to update because nothing very much has happened. 

Stock image of blank pages because THIS IS MY LIFE

Stock image of blank pages because THIS IS MY LIFE


Conducted my first writing workshop! 

In March, I conducted a workshop for the Singapore Young Writer’s Lab for Singapore Book Council called ‘Reinterpreting Asian Mythology’. Most of my teaching experience comes from being a debate coach, so I warned the kids before the class started that I was probably going to sound like a drill instructor (I probably did). Reviews from the kids after the class was really good though, and made me think a lot about mythology in Singapore and how our ghost stores - those that take place in the army, girls schools, HDB void decks - have a place in that. 

I took part in SingPoWriMo 2019

I’ve been doing Singapore Poetry Writing Month since I accidentally stumbled on the Facebook group in 2014, where the challenge is to write one poem a day. Shockingly, last year (and also the year I started corporate life) was my best performance where I wrote 26/30 poems. I was hoping to repeat that success this year, but only ended up with 15/30. Still, it was a good month and I experimented a little with rhyme and form, which I never thought I would because I usually just free verse everything. Was also trying to go for a more obsessive kind of persona voice for a couple of poems and mostly succeeded. You can find the round up post for all my poems here and I even managed to write the poem about ghost stories in Singapore I was previously talking about - this one focusing on school stories. 

I finally finished a prose piece

I never thought that I would end up writing poetry - I’m pretty sure I was convinced that poetry was death when I was studying for my O levels. Thank goodness I had a lovely lit department in Junior College to beat that notion out of me, and then the lack of time meant I stopped writing short stories and fan fiction and wrote a lot of poetry (because shorter) but it also means that I have hardly ever gone back to short story writing since. I’ve had one short story published in LONTAR #10, I did this bizarre play on the Chinese tradition of scholars falling in love with animal spirits last year that has yet to be accepted in any journal and probably needs a lot more editing, but beyond that I have hardly touched prose.

Then I read this Twitter thread (please read it if you like the new Star Wars trilogy, and especially if you are a Reylo shipper) and somehow ended up writing this. It is by no means perfect and I really am unpracticed with dealing with the second halves of stories and ending things properly - probably because I have very rarely gotten to the ending of a story in years - so I have to work on pacing still. But yes it is at least done and I hope will at least kick me to continue writing some kind of prose on a regular basis, even if it is fic. 

I also forgot how sweet the fanfiction community can be - like yes leave all the kudos and sweet comments yesssss. 

Upcoming things in May

BooksActually will be holding Math Paper Press Day at the bookstore on 25 May. Event page and programme details aren’t out yet but keep your eyes peeled on this!

I’ll also be a featured writer and doing some readings at a book launch on 28 May for Topaz Winters’ book ‘Portrait of My Body as a Crime I’m Still Committing’. (Event page here) I’ve already read a PDF version of it but I’m so excited to get my hands on a physical copy of the book and really sink into the poems!

 In my next post I really want to talk (read: rave incoherently) about the games I have been playing (basically Hollow Knight and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice) and superb storytelling and visuals and music and can all my friends who game please play these two things so we can talk about them? Please? 

Unplugging for a little bit

When at work on Friday, it was starting to physically hurt to look at the screen because my eyes were so dry. And given that my job involves sitting in front of a screen for 11+ hours without rest, and that ALL MY WORK these days is on Google Drive and Evernote and not to mention Facebook/Instagram/WhatsApp/Telegram and my Switch, it is really really difficult to get away from screens. Like really hard. And even if I did get away from the screens, most of what I do involves excessive use of my eyes. Like reading. And there was some sewing I needed to get round to doing. And I have a short story I am only 10% through which I need to finish and edit in a few days for a submission deadline. Using Evernote at his point isn’t going to work so I walked into Popular and bought a couple of notebooks for the first time in years.

I was surprised and a little moved to see that they still had the same notebooks I used to buy obsessively in secondary school. I used a lot of paper back then - for diaries, letters to classmates, fanfiction - and it was so satisfying to see them pile high, their paper worn and punctured by ink. Now the callous on my finger where my pen sits on is almost gone.

So I will use these notebooks for the next few weeks while my eyes recover and work on minimising time spent on my phone. (I can still remember being so proud of buying my first smart phone; I wasn’t nineteen yet, my ex-boyfriend had offered to buy me one while we were dating and help pay for a data plan so we could stay in touch while he was overseas but I refused and then we broke up and six months after I drew a thousand dollars and walked into a Singtel shop and paid for it in cash and it was my first real #adult moment). Things I will hopefully get round to writing in the next few days:

  1. Rapunzel-inspired short story

  2. A blogpost on chick lit and the “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” series

  3. More poetry - mine and others that I have read