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Day 12: Still Playing With Characters

Starting my 2nd week of writing. Last week wasn’t much fun trying to deal with fever/ phlegm in addition to word count and I’m hoping this week goes more smoothly.

But:

1) On one hand I have box files full of notes and clippings and photocopies including a clear outline that goes from beginning to denouement including major clues, red herrings and a nice climax…

2) On the second hand I’ve got a head full of characters that keep multiplying and giving themselves new characteristics and habits–one just gave herself a matriarchal grandmother and another a five month old baby… both essential to the plot, they say…

Sceptical Author : To my plot?

Irrepressible Characters : Well to a plot that will work out even better than your plot. You can keep your storyline, think of us as adding onions, garlic and a stock cube for flavour…

SA: But I like my plot, my timeline, my writing schedule and all the stuff you’re suggesting means more research…!

IC: Don’t you want to write about a grandmother who took over her dead husband’s business, adopted her dead son’s polio stricken daughter (who grows up to be Su Cheng) and sends her to English School because even if she can’t find a husband she may be able to get a job in the Civil Service as a secretary in an age when Civil Servants were demi-gods… the ‘gods’ of course being the Europeans.

SA: I guess…

Over the weekend I went to look at some houses and a lot of photographs of buildings that were around in the 1920’s. And I ‘found’ a great house for my murder site. Except it wasn’t where I wanted it to be so I’ve relocated it…

Excerpt:

It was not yet eleven in the morning when they drew to a halt outside the Douglas house on Cavenagh Road. Here, out of the city it was hot and bright, the leaves on the few roadside trees hung limp from drought. They alighted and Su Cheng told the driver to wait outside with the car. The gates stood open but there seemed no one in attendance. The house was a two storeyed bungalow, longer than it was wide. The height of the lower storey was at least twenty feet, probably in an attempt to increase ventilation. Like most European houses built after the Great War it was made of brick below and wood above with verandas that ran along the whole length of the house on both sides on the ground floor as well as the upper floor. Even from the gate there was an air of waiting stillness about the place, as though no servants were on duty mopping, washing, wiping or serving tea.

There were two policemen standing in the shade outside the front of the house. There was no body to be seen but on the driveway just outside the sheltered porch there was a large dark stain where blood had soaked into the gravel.

“Excuse me Mam this is restricted area,” one of the police constables came forward to address himself to Miss Blackmore as the two women approached the porch. He did not acknowledge Su Cheng.

“We have come to help with the girl who died,” Miss Blackmore announced. “I am Miss Blackmore from the Women’s Mission Service Centre and this is my assistant Miss Chen,”

The policeman looked relieved. They had obviously been instructed to keep outsiders away but a European woman who knew about the death could hardly be considered an outsider.

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2011 in Life Happens, Research, Writing Life

 

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DAY 8: An excerpt for Jasmine Croll

Still groggy and stuffed up and I don’t know how these pages are going to look with my eyes fully open but then I’ve learned not to expect too much from first drafts, so… the words are getting bulked down and that’s the main thing.

Have got my 5000 words down for this week and ready to start researching for next week’s writing. Really enjoying this in spite of the throat, the eyes, the helpful doglets who try to lick me back to health if I try to lie down during the day…

What is so wonderful is finding real life people in Singapore history who were so dramatic! Like even though I’m hoping to have Chief Inspector Onraet appear regularly in the series as foil to Miss Blackmore–occasionally reeling her in, he was a pretty heroic figure in real life.

Plus he was known, apparently for warning Singapore and the other Straits Settlements about Japanese intentions years before Pearl Harbour and the Occupation but his warnings were dismissed.

Anyway a short mix of fact and fiction, today’s excerpt dedicated to Jasmine Croll who says she can’t wait…! 🙂

Chief Inspector Onraet was not a happy man that morning.

There was little in the Straits Settlements that Rene Onraet had not seen. The first gazetted officer (as opposed to an ex-army man) to head Detective Branch, he had crippled organised gambling in the 1910s, netting previously elusive organisers and crooked policemen thanks to his flawless Hokkien that allowed him to infiltrate the dens, disguised as a Chinese drain inspector and his observation that the ‘Gamblers’ Luck’ Tiger Idol was always present outside the house where the big bosses of gambling. Thanks to him many dens were closed and thirty ringleaders banished. It was said Onraet understood the diverse peoples of Singapore better than any other white man… perhaps even better than any local man could. He was not just a leader, dogged in pursuit of justice. He worked the field with his men, even pulling a rickshaw to help locate communists and gamblers. Of course rumours about his skill and drive were abundant but his was that rare case in which rumours did not match his actual achievements. He had the loyalty and confidence of his men and for obvious reasons it was best that the public did not

In 1922 he was made superintendent and director of Singapore’s Criminal Intelligence Department. In the few years since he had transformed it from a nest of jealous rivals into a cohesive unit, now called Special Branch. Special Branch dealt with racial and religious issues and handled serious crime but chiefly they monitored developments in the colony and region. This was not the most exciting work a man could do but it was necessary and important work and Chief Inspector Onraet far preferred investigating suspected bomb making equipment than the death of a young woman. Especially one found dead in the home of an acquaintance.

 

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Day One!

My first day on the new book!

Slower start than I expected. Though I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to write I kept getting distracted by things like ‘what kind of abbreviations did they use in 1920’s Singapore’ and ‘did Jazz Age fashions make their way to Singapore?’ and ‘if Loy Ah Koon of Ya Kun Kaya Toast first arrived in Singapore in 1926 could I have him make a cameo appearance in the book?’

All fascinating, all distracting. Maybe I should work somewhere without internet access. But then how would I look up stuff? I know I can always LIVECOW what I need to know but it’s not the same. And some very interesting things come up in the course of serendipitous searches.

Since this is the first draft I’m letting myself play a little and explore stuff… as long as I get my 1000 words a day (or 5000 words / week)  down. There’s a risk of course that when I edit over Saturday and Sunday I’ll end up cutting out everything I wrote in the previous week but right now I’ll try not to cut too much. I need some bulk to begin with so that later I can carve out the shape I want. Right now I’m still mixing clay and collecting scraps of ‘found’ material!

But yes, I’ve got the rough idea, the wire framework inside and I hope it supports all the stuff I’m throwing at it now.

Some of the things I’m finding most fascinating are what people were eating and wearing. I suppose that comes closest to home. It’s harder to imagine chamber pots and rickshaw pullers with bleeding feet.

Bright Write notes:

I got invited to be on a panel in the Singapore Writers Festival and it’s a lovely topic–“Where do ideas come from?” at least it’s something I always want to know when I’m talking to other people… an extension of why do we do what we do, think what we think… push some things out of our minds while pulling others in and obsessing about them… looking forward to that!

And my footnote gripe has been resolved. After I threw my e-tantrum the lovely wise mature people at Epigram sorted everything out and everything is all right. And the book 8 Plays (what I’ve seen of it in pdf anyway) looks lovely!

So today is a happy happy writing day!

 

 

 
 

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Signed First Jacaranda Contract!

I

Thank you Jay and Priya!

This was a sweet end (for me at least) to the adda at Jay’s apartment.

Ketna Patel was fascinating–not only for her entertaining presentation (riots/ box rooms/ colonial child’s eye view/ Gujarati extended families/ life philosophy/ art/ people/ colours/ social observations/ politics/ artists/ marketing… I’m still processing!)

It was the best sort of experience because it was fun and striking while we were there but also seeded so many thoughts and reflections. I love her energy and drive and attitude as well as her artwork. It feels like her life and her art are crafted out of the same continuum.

It made me realise that writing for me is very much creating collages out of experiences, impressions and words. Sometimes there are pieces of people and places and food and encounters I cut and trim and paste in. Sometimes it’s repeating patterns, found objects and all these get bits painted in or sanded out or outlined differently… and sometimes they fit together so that while each retaining their individual natures when you stand back there is a mosaic of something quite different that they are yet a part of.

Because I’m realising more and more that I don’t get writing out of thin air. I’m sure everyone works differently but I need input to get output and strangely enough the ‘input’ works best when it doesn’t come in the pages of a book!

So–I’m starting on another 3 month scriptmunk ‘intensive’ on Thursday and hope to have a 60,000 word first draft at the end of it. Yesterday cleared the office… the sewing machine is gone 😦  and the desktop and cupboards have been cleared and sorted. Today & tomorrow I’ll be clearing out bookshelves both real & virtual.

I hope to log in my word count here every day (accountability accountability accountability) targeting an average of 1000 words each week day and using Saturdays & Sundays to revise and edit. It doesn’t sound like much does it? It isn’t, not as a sprint like during NaNoWriMo. The challenge to myself if whether I can keep it up in the long run!

And there’s my daily 750 Words too, which helps me stay balanced, and my weekly blog posts here.

Right now it feels a bit like I’m waiting to start a new school term!

 

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Cubicles in Chinatown Heritage Centre

Went to the Chinatown Heritage Centre with a vague intention to start my research into the 1920’s but got totally caught up in the place.

Most striking were the evocations of how people lived then. Compared to now Singapore/ the world was a lot less crowded. But old pictures and show how people were crammed into boats for the voyage here–‘some of the children got sick and died. The bodies were thrown overboard’ sums up such hope and despair.

Before 1893 ‘migration was punishable by beheading’ but still people kept coming. And of course after 1911 with civil war and famine in China even more came from there. It’s easy to think immigration from China is a new thing but it’s been happening for a long, long time.

It was also interesting to learn that for three years–1819 to 1823–when Farquhar was running things here the revenue came mainly from opium, alcohol and gambling but Raffles tried to eradicate these when he returned from Bencoolen in 1823. The gaming houses were abolished by the Common Gaming Houses Ordinance in 1888 because gambling was considered too damaging a revenue source. Interesting how this has been completely reversed (because gambling is just too profitable?) but our 377A originating in the ‘gross indecency’ clause of the Labouchere bill of 1885 is treated as an unshakeable artifact though homosexuality was decriminalised over 50 years ago in the UK where this law originated.

Sorry, got sidetracked… but it’s really fascinating how big an influence chance or what seems almost like the whims and prejudices of those in power can have. How different would things be here if Raffles had supported gambling over trade in Singapore in the 19th century?

The shophouses were 4m to 6m wide, 12m to 18m deep and 2 to 3 storeys high. Much smaller than today’s shoebox apartments! The recreated shophouse cubicles brought home how small and cramped these spaces were. Most of them didn’t have light because the cubicles at either end with windows cost more. The people living there shared a tap, toilet and bathroom and there were occasional fights over water.

I was brought up by a black and white amah jie who used to go back to her ‘ku lei fong’–which I now know was a coolie room–in Chinatown. I always thought that was her own place but just learned two or three black and white amahs used to share a cubicle–taking different off days twice a month to use the single narrow bed there.

My first nanny, Ah Gan Jie, was Cantonese so that’s what I grew up with and could not talk to my parents–at least not my father! He said he had to learn Cantonese to talk to me. I’m told I didn’t start talking till I was three years old. Maybe the language confusion had something to do with that… at that time we were still in England and everyone else spoke English but back in Singapore my grandmother (from Szechuan who taught Chinese at ACS) tried to teach me Mandarin and my grandfather (from Shanghai who had a whole herd of dogs) didn’t talk to me at all!

I’m very interested in how the languages we understand influence how we speak and even how we think. But going deeper into that will have to wait. Though of course I’ll go on squirrelling away nuggets of info as I find them.

The Chinatown Heritage Centre is at Pagoda Street. I will probably go back, to spend more time looking at the cubicle re-creations. No photos allowed inside which is a pity. I would love someone to make short films within the cubicles of what everyday life must have been like in there–sort of fake/reality tv!

An unexpected bonus–found the TInTin Shop also at Pagoda Street. I think I vaguely knew it was there but had forgotten. Got a couple of postcards that I’m going to use for writing character notes on. I’ll probably keep these in a pocket photo album so I can flip through them easily. Most of my physical notes are on plain cards but the occasional postcard is a treat! I had all the TinTin books growing up but no idea what became of them since.

Also visited the Sri Mariamman Temple. Was very moved by the simple devotions of a few men, dressed like workers who had taken some time of in the middle of their work day, who came to do their devotions in the midst of tourists photographing statues. The statues were fascinating though. I want to find out more about who/what they symbolised. The only ones I recognised were Mariamman herself and Draupadi (because of firewalking) and of course Ganesha.

It was wonderful (though very hot!) just walking around. And I realise in a way we have hardly changed. We are still a crowd of people from other places glad to be in a land of peace even when work is hard because there is food and shelter within range.

But I’m glad I did the walkabout and that I enjoyed it. Last week I spent about the same amount of time walking around inside an air-conditioned shopping centre with a friend. While it was nice catching up I found all the presentations and packaging designed to lure people into purchasing unnecessary products almost disgusting. I think this is the good/ bad influence of too much Leo Babauta!

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2011 in Life Happens, Research, Writing Life

 

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Happy Singapore Curry day!

Happy Singapore Curry Day everybody!

Went out to buy ginger and tomatoes for tonight’s veggie curry and found some ‘drumstick beans’ I’ve never seen before. The stallkeeper told me “Use for curry–just peel like carrot and chop” which I took as a sign I was on the right track! Then I got home and looked them up–they are ‘Moringa oleifera‘ and there are some very interesting facts here. Definitely going to find out more about them… but not right now.

I’m starting the cooking now–then it’s all going into the crockpot on Low till after the Cedaw Debrief this afternoon.  Been following all the reports from the UN (thank you Aware & Sayoni!) but there’s nothing like getting the whole story live and finding out what’s happening next!

So–the curry pot… it’s going to be sort of a green curry (because the basil and limau purut are growing so well) with onions, garlic, ginger, potatoes, tomatoes, chick peas (already cooking), carrots, pattypan squash, brinjal, baby corn, long beans and of course the drumstick beans once I’ve figure out how to process them! It’s probably obvious there’s way too much stuff but don’t worry. Minute samples of each are going into the curry, culled from next week’s rations!

On the writing side I’ve got my ‘outline’ down. Two pages worth and so far it all seems to work–but then potholes in the road don’t always show up in the distance.

Have also started files for character sketches–just very rough notes on how they look, where they live, how they talk, what they like to eat… stuff that helps me know them and how they interact better.

This part of writing is great fun actually. I feel like I’m playing a game, creating a virtual world.

I found and borrowed a lovely book Chinese Label Art by Andrew S. Cahan from the Central Library. Fascinating photos of labels of joss sticks, tea tins, firecrackers, lichees, headache cures… and write ups on the designs and products. Like how the deer was featured on firecracker labels because it is thought to be the only animal able to find the ling chih, the fungus (not a typo–at least not my typo) of immortality!

Many of these products were probably common in Singapore in the 1920’s–another attempt to get a feel of the times.

On one hand I’m dying to start but on the other I don’t want to start writing yet because I know once I do I’m going to plunge in and everything else is going to get tossed by the wayside and I do want very much to finish:

1.) My sewing project before I return the sewing machine and

2) My painting/ collage project. I got an idea for a poster I want to have on the wall in front of my computer monitor (when it reclaims its primary spot from the sewing machine) and I would really like to do it myself.

I found a lovely potato word counter at Writertopia (see top of right panel). Since NaNoWriMo isn’t on right now I’m hoping it won’t crash on me… now I’m still at zero word count so the ‘1’ there is just for testing!

So now–sewing and cooking and going out to be impressed by what some of our women are doing for us out in the world. And I’ve just got the latest Donna Leon Drawing Conclusions and recklessly jumped into reading it even though I still haven’t finished Hilary Mantel’s Fludd (started on Thursday but it’s been a busy week)… so yes, a lot of stuff going on.

Life is full and wonderful right now. But still–I want to start writing want to start want to start…

But no. I will start in September. Before then I want to sort all the para-writing details out. I want to connect the external monitor currently sitting in the cupboard. I want to get back into an eating, exercise and sleep routine that keeps me functioning at prime. I want to finish my character sketches and location maps and draw out floor plans for the places where the main action takes place–just to make sure I don’t trip myself up!

And now–a very basic curried cabbage and tofu and brown rice for lunch, just to stay within the theme of the day.

 

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NLB has Facebook research guide!

I just found out & I’m thrilled!
I discovered it yesterday when I was playing around with the NLB myLibrary function… how many days left on my books etc.
I thought using it to start research for The Book would be a good excuse for playing on Facebook instead of ploughing through news archives so I asked,

Could you recommend some books touching on the social and cultural side of Singapore in the 1920’s and 1930’s?

And this morning got this list!

Thank you for using Reference Point.

Please refer to the following books which are available at Level 11 of the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library.

Keyword(s)

social and cultural history of Singapore in the 1920’s and 1930’s

1.   Book
Title: An anecdotal history of old times in Singapore : from the foundation of the settlement … on February 6th, 1819 to the transfer to the Colonial Office … on April 1st, 1867 / by Charles Burton Buckley ; with an introduction by C.M. Turnbull.
Author: Buckley, Charles Burton, 1844-1912
Publisher: Singapore : Oxford University Press, 1984.
Call No.: RSING English 959.57 BUC -[HIS]
Description: First ed. published: Singapore : Fraser & Neave, 1902. 2 v. Cover title: An anecdotal history of old times in Singapore 1819-1867. Cover title: An anecdotal history of old times in Singapore 1819-1867.
Availability: Lee Kong Chian Reference Library-Reference Singapore
Last accessed date: 16 Aug 2011
2.   Book
Title: Singapore weddings : evolution of a Singapore culture through common roots in traditional values : St. Theresa’s Convent 50th anniversary, 1933-1983.
Publisher: Singapore : The Convent, 1983.
Call No.: RSING English 301.42095957 SIN
Description: Compiled by the principal, teachers and pupils of St. Theresa’s Convent. Compiled by the principal, teachers and pupils of St. Theresa’s Convent.
Availability: Lee Kong Chian Reference Library-Reference Singapore
Last accessed date: 16 Aug 2011
3.   Book
Title: Chinese society in nineteenth and early twentieth century Singapore : a socioeconomic analysis / by Lee Poh Ping.
Author: Lee, Poh-Ping, 1942-
Publisher: [Ithaca, N.Y.] : Cornell University, 1974.
Issue Information: year 1974
Call No.: RCLOS English 301.45195105957 LEE year 1974
Description: Thesis (Ph.D.) – Cornell University, 1974. Photocopy. Ann Arbor, Mich. : Xerox University Microfilms, 1975. Photocopy. Ann Arbor, Mich. : Xerox University Microfilms, 1975.
Availability: Lee Kong Chian Reference Library-Reference Closed Access
Last accessed date: 16 Aug 2011
Librarian’s notes: Available upon request at the L11 Information Counter
4.   Book
Title: Old Singapore / Maya Jayapal.
Author: Jayapal, Maya, 1941-
Publisher: Singapore : Oxford University Press, 1992.
Call No.: RSING English 959.57 JAY -[HIS]
Description: Maps on lining papers. Includes index. Includes index.
Availability: Lee Kong Chian Reference Library-Reference Singapore
Last accessed date: 16 Aug 2011
5.   Book
Title: A journey through Singapore : travellers’ impressions of a by-gone time selected and arranged in a complete narrative / by Reena Singh.
Author: Reena Singh
Publisher: Singapore : Landmark Books, c1995.
Call No.: RSING English 959.57 REE -[HIS]
Description: “Travellers‘ impressions of time gone by”–Jacket. “Travellers‘ impressions of time gone by”–Jacket.
Availability: Lee Kong Chian Reference Library-Reference Singapore
Last accessed date: 16 Aug 2011
6.   Book
Title: Singapore : a pictorial history 1819-2000 / Gretchen Liu.
Author: Liu, Gretchen
Publisher: Singapore : Archipelago Press in association with the National Heritage Board, c1999.
Call No.: RSING English 959.57 LIU -[HIS]
Availability: Lee Kong Chian Reference Library-Reference Singapore
Last accessed date: 16 Aug 2011
7.   Book
Title: The history of Singapore / Jean E. Abshire.
Author: Abshire, Jean E
Publisher: Santa Barbara, Calif. : Greenwood, c2011.
Call No.: RSING English 959.57 ABS -[HIS]
Description: Timeline — A globalized state — Pre-colonial Singapore : Temasek, Dragon’s Tooth Gate, and Singapura, 100-1819 — The establishment of colonial Singapore : 1819-1867 — A crown colony : 1867-1942 — Fortress Singapore to Syonan-to : World War II — The rough road to independence, 1945-1963 — From Third World to First World, since 1965 — Notable people in the history of Singapore — Glossary.
Availability: Lee Kong Chian Reference Library-Reference Singapore
Last accessed date: 16 Aug 2011
8.   Book
Title: The first 150 years of Singapore / [by] Donald and Joanna Moore.
Author: Moore, Donald
Publisher: [Singapore] : Donald Moore Press; [distributed by Cellar Book Shop, Detroit, Mich., 1969].
Call No.: RSING English 959.57 MOO -[HIS]
Availability: Lee Kong Chian Reference Library-Reference Singapore
Last accessed date: 16 Aug 2011
9.   Book
Title: Singapore, a 700-year history : from early emporium to world city / Kwa Chong Guan, Derek Heng, Tan Tai Yong.
Author: Kwa, Chong Guan
Publisher: Singapore : National Archives of Singapore, 2009.
Call No.: RSING English 959.5703 KWA -[HIS]
Description: Includes index. Includes index.
Availability: Lee Kong Chian Reference Library-Reference Singapore
Last accessed date: 16 Aug 2011
10.   Book
Title: Ray Tyers’ Singapore : then & now / [Ray Tyers] ; revised and updated by Siow Jin Hua.
Author: Tyers, R. K. (Ray K.), 1919-
Publisher: Singapore : Landmark Books, c1993.
Call No.: RSING English 959.57 TYE -[HIS]
Availability: Lee Kong Chian Reference Library-Reference Singapore
Last accessed date: 16 Aug 2011
11.   Book
Title: Past times : a social history of Singapore / Chan Kwok Bun and Tong Chee Kiong (eds.).
Publisher: Singapore : Times Editions, c2003.
Call No.: RSING English 959.57 PAS -[HIS]
Availability: Lee Kong Chian Reference Library-Reference Singapore
Last accessed date: 16 Aug 2011
12.   Book
Title: A history of modern Singapore, 1819-2005 / C.M. Turnbull.
Author: Turnbull, C. M. (Constance Mary)
Publisher: Singapore : NUS Press, c2009.
Call No.: RSING English 959.57 TUR -[HIS]
Description: Includes index. Includes index.
Availability: Lee Kong Chian Reference Library-Reference Singapore
Last accessed date: 16 Aug 2011
13.   Book
Title: One hundred years of Singapore / general editors, Walter Makepeace, Gilbert E. Brooke, Roland St. J. Braddell ; with an introduction by C.M. Turnbull.
Publisher: Singapore : Oxford University Press, 1991.
Issue Information: v. 1
Call No.: RSING English 959.57 ONE -[HIS] v. 1
Description: Reprint. Originally published: London : J. Murray, 1921. Includes index. Includes index.
Availability: Lee Kong Chian Reference Library-Reference Singapore
Last accessed date: 16 Aug 2011
14.   Book
Title: One hundred years of Singapore / general editors, Walter Makepeace, Gilbert E. Brooke, Roland St. J. Braddell ; with an introduction by C.M. Turnbull.
Publisher: Singapore : Oxford University Press, 1991.
Issue Information: v. 2
Call No.: RSING English 959.57 ONE -[HIS] v. 2
Description: Reprint. Originally published: London : J. Murray, 1921. Includes index. Includes index.
Availability: Lee Kong Chian Reference Library-Reference Singapore
Last accessed date: 16 Aug 2011
15.   Book
Title: Crossroads : a popular history of Malaysia and Singapore / Jim Baker.
Author: Baker, Jim, M. Ed
Publisher: Singapore : Marshall Cavendish Editions, c2008.
Call No.: RSING English 959.5 BAK
Availability: Lee Kong Chian Reference Library-Reference Singapore
Last accessed date: 16 Aug 2011
16.   Book
Title: Singapore retrospect through postcards, 1900-1930.
Publisher: Singapore : Sin Chew Jit Poh [and] Archives and Oral History Dept., 1982.
Call No.: RSING English 769.4995957 SIN
Description: English and Chinese text. English and Chinese text.
Availability: Lee Kong Chian Reference Library-Reference Singapore
Last accessed date: 16 Aug 2011
17.   Book
Title: A history of Singapore / edited by Ernest C.T. Chew and Edwin Lee.
Publisher: Singapore : Oxford University Press, 1991.
Call No.: RSING English 959.57 HIS -[HIS]
Description: “Issued under the auspices of the Southeast Asian Studies Program, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore”. “Issued under the auspices of the Southeast Asian Studies Program, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore”. QREF
Availability: Lee Kong Chian Reference Library-Reference Singapore
Last accessed date: 16 Aug 2011
Impressive no? Well anyway I was impressed. I’m going to print this out and go down to the National Library.
Current plan?
Writing:
  1. Put down the story outline very roughly.
  2. Split it into sections (thanks, Scrivener!)
  3. Write, expanding it section by section. Try to average 1000 words/ day or 7000 words a week. If I hit the 7000 before Sunday I get to take Sundays off!
Research:
  1. Get myself out of the apartment and into the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library. It’s not a place I’m familiar with. You can’t bring notebooks in, only blank paper I believe, which makes it difficult for me since I Need my notebook lists to know what I’m looking for. But then it’s been a long time since I was there and I can already feel these books calling to me!
  2. Note down any colourful details that spark off new directions for me.
  3. I hope to write and read simultaneously during the writing of this first draft. There will be gaps and adjustments of course but I’ll just *LIVECOW* them and sort them out in the rewrite (Why Livecow? Because I don’t like Deadbeef…)
What usually stops me at this stage is trying to get everything ‘right’ before I start. But that’s like saying I want to get fit before I start exercising. What works for me is just to warm up first and plunge in. If it doesn’t work first time then I’ll have found one route that doesn’t work and I’ll go on from there!
 
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Posted by on August 17, 2011 in Research, Writing Life

 

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