Reviewing my Sept-Oct-Nov 2021

The past three months flew by so quickly I didn’t even have time to sit down and think about them. By September, we hadn’t gone back to work yet even though malls were slowly opening up for the double vaccinated. So quickly I went on a day out to IKEA Damansara and had my first sit-in dinner at a Japanese restaurant. 

Many unhappy days were spent at home meeting deadlines, working remotely and attending online meetings. I sang “Wake Me Up When September Ends” a lot. But on the bright side, the biggest news for me was the release of my short story collection on 28 September 2021!  

In September I read six books, the first of which is “Rosemary’s Baby” by Ira Levin. The next five were all by Roald Dahl: “The Fantastic Mr Fox”, “The Magic Finger”, “Matilda”, “Esio Trot” and “The Twits”. Probably due to all that stress I needed light-hearted children’s stories to take my mind elsewhere.

Come October I happily went back to work from the office. But the work continued to pour in, together with Penguin-related book promos that took up a lot of time preparing for. These included media write-ups for national papers and online readings for Seksan and the Malaysian Writer’s Festival.

Online reading with fellow Penguin SEA authors at the Malaysian Writers Festival 2021

In the midst of all that, I took a one night staycation at The Ormond Chow Kit to explore KL a little bit, then went back to Penang for 18 days. At home I celebrated family birthdays, and had a chill time watching Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) and The Corpse Bride (2005) on Netflix.

In Penang, I did two things for the first time in two years: eat my first nasi kandar from Hameediyah Sungai Ara, and go to the cinema for Dune (2021) on IMAX at Gurney Paragon. I also baked an earl grey cake with lemon cream frosting for my Mum’s birthday, and spent time with my grandfather in Gelugor, a home I really enjoy going to.

That month, I read only one book, and that was “High-Rise” by J.G. Ballard. I have been a fan of his work for a while due to its dystopian nature. October was also the end of my work troubles, as I decided to drop a client who was stressing me out with too many programmes.

By November I had gone back to KL and was so happy to discover that the gym in my condo was open! I took a hiking trip with colleagues to Setia Alam’s Mirror Lake, went for my annual health screening, attended a birthday do and had friends from East Malaysia come back to town with steak dinners galore.

At a GTLF 2021 panel with Marc de Faoite and Regina Ibrahim (watch the full video here)

At the end of the month, I flew back to be on a panel for the George Town Literary Festival where I appeared alongside fellow author Regina Ibrahim talking about the short story craft in contemporary writing. My book was also featured in Penang Monthly and The Star – thankful for support and coverage by local media!

In November I read six books, three of which were Christian in nature. These were “Secret Power” by Dwight L. Moody, “A Tale of Three Kings” and “The Divine Romance” by Gene Edwards. The rest were short books, “Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction” by Patricia Highsmith, “The Vigilante” by John Steinbeck and “A Study in Scarlet” by Arthur Conan Doyle.

Toast to a happy December!

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