Good news! In October, one of my fiction stories was published in Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, an online space that captures the literary heartbeat of Singapore. Featuring talented local writers like Lee Wei Fen and Alfian Sa’at, I am honored to be published alongside them.
As a born and bred local myself, I am happy to be able to contribute to Singapore’s literary scene. I love writing about my country. It is a tiny dot of a city where many people across the world have mistaken it for being a part of Malaysia or China. It is neither. Instead, Singapore is an independent country that is more than its squeaky clean image. It is a city, with one of the world’s most hardworking people, that had progressed from a third world nation to a first world nation in a few short decades. Our land pulses with the energy of our people carrying big dreams and even bolder personalities. Over the years, we have attained world-class standards in education, science & medicine, tourism, engineering, etc. But these successes came with a price. We may be one of the richest countries in the world, but we, as with other capitalistic countries, cannot avoid the widening income disparity and the social impact of the increasing influx of foreigners/foreign talent. As a result, a sizable group of Singaporeans, despite their contributions to the nation, are finding themselves less and less represented, their voices fading into silence.
My story, Off Duty, was inspired by these oft-forgotten citizens that had worked hard to make Singapore what it is today, but are not reaping the same rewards as the younger generation. I hope to portray more slices of everyday Singaporean life in my future stories. For now, here’s the link to Off Duty: http://www.qlrs.com/story.asp?id=1129
Reading my short story at The Last Bookstore.
Last week, I had the opportunity to read one of my short stories at The Last Bookstore at downtown Los Angeles with four friends and winner of the Academy of American Poets Prize Caley O’Dwyer (whose poems, by the way, are quirky, witty and playful). Even though I was a bundle of nerves before the event, hardly able to swallow down my dinner, the reading turned out great and I had a fabulous time!
Thanks for coming!
As you can see from the pictures, The Last Bookstore, with its wacky decor and eclectic furniture, is quite a work of art. They have a great selection of books, including second hand ones that are out of print. My husband found a book that he’d been looking for for a buck, while a friend bought the first edition of an old book for five dollars. You should definitely check this place out if you are around the area!
Anyway, I can’t believe it’s almost the end of November! Time just zipped by, especially the last couple of months. It’s been hectic but fruitful, and the good news is, I’ve finally finished the first draft of my novel. Hooray! I’m still fine-tuning it before sending it to a couple of people to read for feedback, but the feeling of typing the words “The End” at the end of the manuscript is amazing. I’m going to take a break during winter (more like catch up on my reading and edit my short stories), then get back on the second draft next year.
As the semester draws to a close, just wanna give a final shout out to those who would like to submit their work to The Southern California Review. Guidelines can be found here. The deadline’s on 1st December 2013, so you still have a couple more days to send in your stories/essays/comics/screenplay. We’d love to read them!
I’ve been wanting to post this since, well, the start of the semester, but seeing that I am already four weeks in, it can only mean either of these two things: there is nothing good to say so far, or that I have been so short of time with all the writing that I haven’t been able to blog a decent post.
Thankfully, it’s the latter.
This semester, I am studying under Richard Rayner (author of The Blue Suit: A Memoir of Crime, and others) and Janet Fitch (author of White Oleander and Paint It Black). Richard has one of the sharpest editing eye I know and it’s been incredible learning his nifty techniques. Janet has been engaging our senses by making us do seemingly strange but highly effective assignments like smelling dirt and eating fuzzy peaches. I love White Oleander and have been wanting to take her class since a year ago (there is a wait list!) and I finally got in, yay! Both classes have been really great so far and I’m looking forward to see how the rest of the semester will pan out.
I must say, it’s been such a joy reading the stories sent to The Southern California Review! There are so many compelling and thought provoking fiction, essays, poems, screenplay and comics out there so if you have a story to tell, do send it to us! We want to read it! Submission guidelines can be found here.
Also, I’ll be reading one of my short stories at The Last Bookstore at downtown LA in November so that’s always
nerve-racking exciting. More details as the date draws near.
So yep! I guess this is a sort of quick hi after my little hiatus. Though I’ll be writing like crazy, I will still update this blog so stay tuned!