Finally, the hectic weekend is over and I am now digesting the experiences. AFCC (Asian Festival of Children’s Content) was a much needed breath of fresh air for me and I felt energized after attending the panels. SPORECON was a gaming convention organized by PI (Paradigm Infinitum) and it was much a community event as well as an eye-opening occasion for folks new to gaming.

We had the Genre Fiction panelon SPORECON day one and I have to confess: we needed more people! But it was great, because we had a new person attending the informal chat. We definitely needed more genre fiction people around. I admit that I felt a little disappointed at the dismal turnout… but I was partly to blame as I didn’t spend much time in advertising the event.

Now, AFCC and SPORECON in pictures:

The programme booklet on my lap, while I was attending Diane Wolfer’s panel on writing our experiences.

Diane talking to us in the Play Den (Art House). It was a good workshop in that I got myself back into writing again. She made the audience write three memories and the emotions associated with them: a childhood (under 10 years) memory, a teenage memory and a memory from recent years. After the workshop, I felt… immensely energized. I needed it, gosh, I needed it.

I also met Kelly Sonnack and Fran Lebowitz, two literary agents (though Fran is now a sub-agent). Meeting them is an immensely grounding experience, because I get a sense of what they want to see in YA and MG fiction. [I finally managed to pluck up enough courage to sub one of them… *fingers crossed*]

The industry hotspot conducted at the end of the day was very enlightening, in that the discussions threw up very pertinent questions relating not only to children’s writing but writing in general in Singapore. Writers need support and many still grope in the dark, even grappling with the lack of literary agents and a solid support group. We all need to take a hard look at the publishing scene/industry in Singapore.

SPORECON – two days of gaming, both wargaming, boardgaming and cardgaming, with surprises thrown in.

We had the 501 Legion gracing the convention. They conducted Droid Hunts where the Stormtroopers searched for hidden Droids (brave souls who signed up to be Droids). They all got prizes: a Jabba the Hutt and Han Solo figurine!

I am constantly amazed at the quality of painting. Well done, painters!

What is a convention without a birthday celebration? SPORECON is afterall about community. Kudos and many grateful thanks to all who have helped out in so many ways.

So, until next year…

Twitter and hashtag chats

Hi, if you want to look for me, try Twitter. My Twitter nick is @jolantru.

Likewise, there are Twitter hashtag chats:
1. #steampunkchat
2. #kidlitchat
3. #yalitchat
4. #pubwrite

… to name a few. 🙂

Likewise, if you want to talk about Wolf At The Door and the urban fantasy world of Jan Xu, use #wolfynovel.

I will get my posts on AFCC and SPORECON up soon.

Review of Wolf At The Door


Thank you, Lea ReBecca. 🙂


For the Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC 2011), I have prepared namecards. Do they look spiffy?

The namecard designer commented that I could make it a collectible. 🙂

[Pic] Flight.

What is a writer to do when the writing juices run dry or close to dry? For me, I garden (I am into permaculture, gardening and urban agriculture) and I do a bit of photography. I figure, with my holiday marking about to start, photography will be a balm to my nerves.

Photography is storytelling in visual format. A lot can be told/imparted/said in a picture. Things like composition and lighting – I learn as I go along.

Flight – Joyce Chng 2011

I love raptors, especially white-bellied sea eagles. I caught this one in mid-flight as it soared across Sungei Buloh, a local nature/wildlife reserve. I have always been drawn towards the theme of flight and what it means. I wrote Winged because of the idea of freedom “flight” embodies.

What inspires you? What are your inner springs?

BubbleGUMM [Prologue Launch]

This entry is long overdue – but here it is in pictorial form. A bit for the curious, BubbleGUMM is a collaborative YA science fiction set in a future Singapore. I can’t say much about the novel – but go and read it! That’s all I can say… 😉

Now, the pictures…

The books:

The ladies of Happy Smiley!



Sunzone in my writing world

It’s growing time in my world. My spinaches and assorted plants are receiving direct sun!

A month and more

So, it has been more than a month now since Wolf At The Door was published.

The trick now is to keep the interest sustained. How am I going to do that? If you are a fan of the book (and hopefully, series!), perhaps you can…

1. Signal boost for me, wherever you can.
2. Post reviews either on your own blog or Goodreads.
3. Give feedback (feedback is like chocolate).

Perhaps you can come up with more better ideas. 😉

Various things

Just a list of things I have to do.

1. Post the write-up on the BubbleGUMM launch at Prologue.
2. Write the synopsis for book two (Obsidian Moon, Obsidian Eye).
3. Continue Rider and book three.
4. Work on promotion for my books: I need to get my namecards done.
5. Asian Festival of Children’s Content is next week!

What are your plans?

Seedbombs, the urban wasteland and writing

It’s late. The husband and kids are already in bed. I have a pile of essays to grade and some quiet time to think.

I have to admit that besides writing, gardening is one of my other passions. At the moment, I have a humble and rambling container garden, composed of dwarf trees, herbs, ornamentals and tropical vegetables. Yes, you heard right. Tropical vegetables, suited to the heat and humidity of Singaporean weather. I have Mollucan spinach growing as well as pots of “daun dewa” (or Gynura procumbens). I hope, in the future, to grow more tropical perennial vegetables.

Now this leads to my topic.

You see, I was chatting to a friend regarding the state of Singaporean writing and publishing industry. Our mood was at first pessimistic, because the challenges were too difficult to bear. A brainwave hit me. I suddenly saw Singapore as some urban wasteland. Empty space with dry soil and nothing else. An imagery of hopelessness. Yet, I see us – writers, authors and creators – as guerrilla gardeners, growing herbs, vegetables and plants that would nourish the body (and the soul). I see us throwing seedbombs – seeds stored in balls of clay and mud – into this urban wasteland and watching these seeds take root. Granted that some will not, but some will… eventually.

I think writing genre fiction in Singapore is like that: seedbombs in an urban wasteland. Some might argue that throwing seedbombs repeatedly is a futile act. But I beg to differ. We persist, we work hard and it will pay off.

What do you think, fellow writers?

PS: I have been reading up on perennial vegetables and my garden is flourishing with all the heat and rain!

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