Reviewing my June-July-August 2021

The past three months have passed by either quickly or slowly, and most days have drifted away. In June I was feeling sad because of the unending lockdown, and kind friends sent me bombolini doughnuts, and another sent me a home-cooked “three dish one soup one dessert” meal to cheer me up. So grateful for them! Because I was missing friends and family, I also ordered photo prints from a website called photobook.my, which was pretty decent. To further alleviate my boredom, I ordered four 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzles from MPH Online and duly finished one in two days.

Work wise, I signed a new contract with my old employer and was upgraded to permanent staff with full benefits. Yeehaa! That month, I finished transcribing all interview sessions and started table reads for this upcoming book we’re working on. In my freelance work, I had a theological writing training with the US, a Father’s Day website project, and wrote a UN job application for a private client. How interesting! 

In the fiction world, I wrote a short story called “Two Roads” for a local zine, which was not accepted in the end. Oh well… will keep it for future submissions then. I also bought my first book on Carousell, Anne Rice’s “The Wolf Gift” and my first book on Lazada, also by Anne Rice titled “Blackwood Farm”. I’m basically on a quest to complete my Anne Rice collection, so in June I read “Blackwood Farm” and “The Sign of Four” by Arthur Conan Doyle, a novella I really enjoyed.

Time to name our children Duff, Izzy, Slash and Axl

June was also the month I discovered Schitt’s Creek (2015-2020). After racking my brain for what to watch, I remembered hearing about its many Primetime Emmy wins. This month, Home Before Dark also premiered its Season 2, so I followed that every Friday night and it gave me something to look forward to. I also watched slapstick comedy Man to Man with Dean Learner (2006) because of Richard Ayoade, and enjoyed two documentaries Sensitive: The Untold Story (2015) and The Most Dangerous Band in the World (2016) – guess who? 

In July I did better in the book department by reading six books: “The Hound of the Baskervilles” and “The Valley of Fear” by Arthur Conan Doyle, “Lincoln in the Bardo” by George Saunders, “The Stone Gods” by Jeanette Winterson, “The Fault in our Stars” by John Green and “Carrie” by Stephen King. The cover designs for my new book from Penguin also came in, so I was very excited about that.

‘Two Figures in a Car’ will be out in September 2021

In more boring news, I started taking food supplements, had to jumpstart my car because I left the vanity lights on for two days and fell into a nocturnal sleeping pattern where I slept at 9am and woke up at 7pm (good God). I also got my first jab of the Pfizer vaccine at Sunway Pyramid, rewarded myself with a packet of red bush tea from M&S, and enjoyed the Euro 2020 rooting for both Italy and England.

In July, I also tried to make my days more disciplined by reading 31 chapters of Proverbs, for all 31 days of the month. Otherwise, I watched many oldie but goodie films like Back to the Future (1985), The Gift (2000), Zoolander (2001), Legally Blonde (2001) and newer ones like Carrie (2013) and The Fault in our Stars (2014), the last two following on from after having read the books.

At work, table reads were completed for an upcoming book, and in the freelance world we embarked on a heavy duty project where I had lots of copy to write for websites, social media, Google AdWords and meta descriptions. Faint! Also, good news came from the Tebrau Straits as I landed a copyediting gig for a Singaporean agency and retrieved a poem I once wrote for Iskandar Puteri’s festival. 

By August I had completed my second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, and by this time it was already past MCO Day 100. Things got crazy busy for me this month and I read zero books! At work, I conducted a brown bag lunchtime training for my colleagues on improving their copywriting skills and discovered a video transcribing hack. That means I have my employer’s 2022 book all transcribed already! In the freelancing world, I worked on a Malaysia Day website project for September and got another new job drafting a disgruntled Letter to the Editor. That last job was interesting but drained me a little bit due to its activist nature.

In August I worked through two proofreading deadlines for my new book ‘Two Figures in a Car’, very nerve-wrecking but exciting. I also discovered Better World Books and bought two Patricia Highsmith novels from them (second hand, hardcover, first edition US). I’m so happy to have discovered them, and my Highsmith collection is now complete! I also bought “A Study in Scarlet” by Arthur Conan Doyle to complete my collection of the same designs. 

I’m so happy I discovered Better World Books; they ship from Indiana, USA and have second-hand hardcover library books for sale!

This month, I embarked on watching Netflix’s Lupin (2021) and The Office US (2005-2013). For the latter, I am currently in Season 4 and have enjoyed every episode so far. On a lighter note, I discovered my mum’s delicious lap cheong (Chinese sausage) rice recipe, attended the Bloom women’s conference in my church via Youtube and IG, embarked on some street photography along Jalan Layang-Layang where my mechanic is, and had an online sleepover with my nieces that included a whole weekend on Discord singing Ed Sheeran karaokes and playing Skribbl. Here’s a to a quieter September… and an opening up of state borders so I can go home to Penang for a bit. Toodles! x

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