June has been a whirlwind month for me. I joined a creative writing boot camp called PeStoWriMo, where I basically paid a small amount of money to get whipped into writing 500 words a day of my first novel. This included critiques, feedback and live online meetings. It was extremely stressful, with the pressure of a nagging feeling at the back of my head everyday wondering what I should do with my main character. Nonetheless, it was extremely fulfilling and rewarding.
June was also the month I had the most interaction with people, which is quite unusual and challenging for an introverted writer like me who likes my space and “quiet time” after work, not that I talk very much at work either. My sister was in town, so we spent many good days together – shopping at Johor Premium Outlet, meeting up for Vietnamese during lunch time, going to church together, meeting up at Bedok Mall for dinner and having her over at my place.
Aside from the usual Prayer Service and Homes, I met up with a new girl for dinner at VivoCity, another one for brunch at Robert Timms, caught up with old friends over steamboat at MK Restaurant, had a quick Friday lunch with the YWAs at MOS Burger on Telok Ayer, met up with my mentor at Raffles Place and lunched with two amazing leaders at Food for Thought inside the National Museum of Singapore.
I also met up with an old friend from Penang at Nam Nam’s and heard the weirdest account of her life ever, which has been made into fiction in my books. Another good friend and train mate from Pasir Ris also left Singapore for good, leaving a hole in my heart… but not to despair, I found a new office “neighbour” in the form of a girl from Kuching who works next to my building, and we have been lunching together pretty often.
June was also the month of firsts; babysitting for a couple on a Thursday night, making my first batch of cornflake cookies for the year 2014, partaking in a secret durian party for my flatmate’s 53rd birthday, playing and singing my first “Happy Birthday” on the guitar, group Skyped with two good mates in the US and UK simultaneously and also went for dessert and drinks to a bar in Dempsey Hill to see a muse play on a Saturday night.
In June, I also made my first purchase on Book Depository and spent close to $100, completing my Patricia Highsmith collection and embarking on new reads by AW Tozer and Niall Griffiths. I also bought my first ever iPad mini, broke up with SingTel for good and switched over to M1 (freedom!) and stayed at my first ever Fragrance Hotel on Geylang’s Lorong 14 to review it for work. It was a comfortable experience inside, but not so much outside.
June was also the month that saw me sitting in the upper room of a beautiful shophouse in Joo Chiat discussing fiction with a bunch of 20 other writers. Towards the end, I also joined a new writers’ group called “Writing The City” organised by the British Council. No better way to wrap up the month by watching X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) in its last days of screening here in Singapore, falling head over heels for none other than Michael Fassbender!
July looks set to be a month of escape, spent mostly in a foreign country that only eight years ago was beginning to be my home. Oh, to leave so I can be back again.