I had a crazy November, caught in a flurry of activities, spinning in the vortex of a tornado called do. I only had time to be in between small pockets of rest, before it spun again. I stretched myself thin, like skinny pizza dough. I spread myself wide, like jam, kaya, peanut butter on toast. I couldn’t wait for 2014 to be over, because so much has happened in the past two months. I had only found some time this week to think things through and mull them over.
The compounded stress began towards the last week of October. I accommodated people, events, demands and expectations. They were not always done by priority, often out of pressure. I started “giving up” and operating in auto-pilot mode. This is probably what is referred to as an out-of-body experience – I was no longer in control. It was scary, but it was also liberating. In the end though, I was rewarded, and these were some of the highlights of my month.
November was the month of the Singapore Writer’s Festival. I signed up for a poetry workshop called “The Art of Not Knowing” by Paul Muldoon. We did a 16-line exquisite corpse poem, a literary artistic game that began with the line “The last tiger was shot under a billiard table.” It was an extremely fun exercise, with the conclusion that a poem sometimes writes itself, and has a weird internal logic though it may not make sense on the outset.
I also signed up for a Publishing Symposium that focused on the Malaysian market. It was really interesting to understand the publishing landscape (segregated between the English, Malay and Chinese language) and to network with a few literary agents and publishers. It was probably a bit too early for me to pitch my work, but I did so anyway in order to gain the experience and confidence in marketing the project I’m currently working on.
On happier note, November saw the launch of two anthologies of which I am proud to be a part of. One is a short story collection published with the Singapore Writer’s Group called ROJAK. My story is called “Radinka’s Train” and is based in Italy. The second is the Singpowrimo 2014 Anthology published by Math Paper Press. Four of my poems are featured; “Starbucks 18”, “Ah Long’s Prayer”, “Buy/Sell” and “Ai Cheng Si Cincia Kantan Nia (Love is a Very Simple Thing)”.
In other writing news, November saw me couped up with my laptop at a variety of places conducive for writing; solo at home and in the office, with my writing partner at Starbucks in Bedok Mall, with other female entrepreneurs at WoolfWorks, and fellow city writers at Toa Payoh Library. The latter, of course, ended up with another McDonalds catch-up. November is also National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) – you can follow my profile here and keep up with my word count!
At work, there was an awesome time of teambuilding and vision casting for the next financial year ahead. It was great to better know colleagues from other departments. There was also a student fair at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) to promote our mobile app. It was nice to get out of the CBD and into the woodnecks of academia in Tuas. Our December editorial catch-up was also held at Sarnies on Telok Ayer Street. That was some pretty good-looking and good-tasting latte!
There is no month that goes by without good food for me. This included gorging on Matt’s Chocolate Cake and truffle fries at PS Café at Paragon Mall for a friend’s birthday, eating at Nassim Hill Bakery’s 1-for-1 with the Media Team, enjoying yet another round of Brotzeit and Paolo de Gastronomia’s awesome tiramisu with my sister, her husband and our childhood friend, eating California Pizza for the first time and tasted One Shot Café’s latte for the first time at Raffles Place.
Outside of work and writing, I attended L & J’s wedding at City Harvest Church in KL, was welcomed into the home of our senior ministers for a weekend, supported a couple at their surprise proposal at Level 55 @ ION (it was oh so posh) and celebrated the birth of a good friend’s second child. Whilst I can’t wait for the new year to start, I’d really want to enjoy the last month of the year. December, please be good to me. The end is nigh.