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Tag Archives: Shanghai

Great Start to 2012!

It’s been a great first week of the year.

ACF Writing: Read previous draft of The Lizard’s Tail and decided I want to pull apart the structure, change the main focus character, change the tone and introduce a side plot romance (yes, I’ve started a new project file and am shifting cards again, thank you Scrivener!),

Lifelong Learning: went for two beginner French classes at the Alliance (and I’m loving it!)

Misc Writing: wrote 2 scripts (under 200 words so why not) for childrens’ picture books, going to post them later today–fingers crossed!

Exercise & Health: More or less kept up with 15 min of yoga a day and at least 12,000 steps on the pedo (yesterday reached 14,500+!). Eating (organic & expenseive!) apples, pomelo, mangosteens, mango. Experimenting with vegetarian bean curry recipes to get something I like & can do fast to eat with brown rice & frozen veggies. So far like 1) lentils 2) chickpeas best but I think I’d like at least 5 variations

Social: Met up with old friends from MGS / ACJC. Amazing how little we’ve all changed, how widely our paths have diverged, how MUCH we’ve done in such very different areas (literally!)

Yes it’s a very good start to the year!

Oh and I got my travel grant (to speak at the Shanghai Literary Festival in March) approved–Thank you NAC, Shanghai here I come!!!

 

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Final Day (of Fall Trimester)

Today is officially the last day of my fall trimester (September October November) and tomorrow signals the star of s my one month break!

Just a quick look back. Over the last three months I:

1. Finished and printed out first draft (approx 65,000 words) of The Lizard’s Tail, A Sophia Blackmore Mystery. I’m still not happy with it. In fact as soon as I printed it out I started thinking of things to add/ change/ delete/ research and felt rotten about what I put on paper. But… it’s a first rough draft and it’s down and that’s enough to make me happy for now.

2. Finished and mailed out first rough (approx 20,000 words) of the novella, Orchid Chan: The Chinese New Year Murders. We’ll see what happens with this… it was more an experiment than anything else.

3. Signed The Mudskipper contract with Scholastic Asia

4. Accepted invitation to Shanghai Literary Festival (Yay!!! And keeping fingers crossed for NAC travel grant now… but if I don’t get it I’ll find the money and go somehow, it will be my first time visiting Shanghai! My mother was Shanghainese,  she always said Shanghai was ‘Paris of the East’.

5. Applied for a residency (won’t talk about it now, so as not to jinx it but keeping fingers and toes crossed)

6. Took part in a Singapore Writer’s Festival panel “Where Do Ideas Come From?” (with Fredrik Haren and Chris Mooney-Singh, chaired by Goh Eck Kheng–it was great fun!)

7. Spoke to Dr KK Seet’s  Theatre Studies students (with Eleanor Wong–who IS great fun!)

8. Judged the Golden Point Short Story Competition (along with Dave Chua and Meira Chand. I learned so much from them as well as from the writing that came in!)

AND–

9. Epigram published 8 Plays! Thank you Epigram!! The first collection of my plays! Which–

10. Was sold out at the SWF. I know they were because Dr Leong Liew Geok (bless her sweet soul!) asked for more copies and they didn’t have any! 🙂 🙂 🙂 I don’t know how many copies they sent to the festival but it’s the first time I’ve been sold out anywhere and I’m going to enjoy it!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

11. And took part in a reading at Books Actually, officially my favourite book shop, with Tarn How and Tze Chien who are the other playwrights featured in this Epigram series (with 4 Plays and 6 Plays). I guess if they continue the series the next book is going to be 10 Plays… or 2 Plays?

I know written out here it doesn’t look like much but living through it was exhausting. I thought I was going to run out of time for a while and cut down from weekends off to Sundays off, daily dog walks got cut from 90 minutes to an hour, no more Daily Mile swims / jogs… not much I know but the bits of time add up.

And then I actually finished a few days early!

And once I had the printouts bound (superstitiously I have to have a hard copy of each draft) I didn’t want to do anything except play Anthill Strategy and CastleVille. It’s like my brain shut down. I didn’t even want to exercise, just vegetate.  And my regular meditation / yoga routine that kept me going over the last three months just fell apart.

But the good thing is my month long break starts tomorrow!

I’m going off on a Plum Village Asia retreat from tomorrow to Sunday. The timing was so perfect for me I knew I had to go though I’ve never been on a ‘Smiling and Breathing’ retreat before! The monkey mind in me is already worrying whether I can get up at 5am (official start of the day) when at home the alarm doesn’t go off till 6am and what are the toilets going to be like.

 

I just want to get away from words for a bit so the silent side of things is appealing too.

 

And now tonight I’m going to sleep early and see what tomorrow brings.

 

 

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Day 27: Shanghai International Literary Festival 2012!

Thrill of my life–I’ve been invited to the Shanghai International Literary Festival 2012!!!

It’s not till March next year but I’m already excited 🙂 My first literary festival outside of Singapore! Amy Tan is going to be there and A.B. Yehoshua and Alan Hollinghurst and Nury Vittachy…

My late mother was Shanghainese and I’ve never been to Shanghai before so that adds to the excitement and anticipation. If you believed her, not only were Shànghǎi rén the most cultured, Shanghai women were the most beautiful… in China you ask? In the world, I suspect she thought! Of course, as I mentioned she was Shanghainese herself so there may be some bias there! 🙂

So now I’m trying to figure out how to make travel arrangements, will see if I can get help with the airfare–but I’m going to say ‘YES PLEASE’ to them first and I’ll get there one way or another!!

And I’m going to get my first look at 8 Plays tomorrow. Ruth at Epigram says the books have come in and I can go get them to take a look (thank you Ruth!!)

It was very hard to settle down to do any writing with all the excitement so I ended up doing a lot of laundry, cleaning dogs’ teeth, walking dogs a bit more than usual… and then finally when I was too tired to fidget I sat down and got my words for the day in…

Not the greatest writing in the world but I don’t want to break my rhythm/ routine just because I’m bouncing off the walls being happy! There will be time to smooth things out during the rewrites. For now–marked out plot points and Forced the characters through their paces making them describe what they saw/ felt/ ate/ suspected/ wore… believe it’s harder to write when I’m happy than when I’m sick!

And I thought of a great idea for a mystery novella, an extended short story really. I’ve got the structure all in my head and think it will flesh out quite nicely at around 20,000 words.

Crazy thought: if I can finish the first rough of The Lizard’s Tail before December I can write the Novella in December, January and bring it over to Shanghai with me in March !

Well better to dream big than not dream at all right? Tonight I’m very very happy. And I made my word count for the day. And treated myself to seedless grapes. Life doesn’t get much better than this!

 

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2011 in Life Happens, Uncategorized, Writing Life

 

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