A good hard look.

This close to Yule and Christmas, I tend to look inward. This blog post by Graham Storrs resonates with me, because trust me, I have been through – and still am – this journey.

It is not easy. It is downright painful, soul-crushing, disheartening and depressing.

I am not sure why I am still at it.

Mega-post: TGIO and Bali trip photos (and thoughts)

This is a mega-post. Warning: many photos and thoughts.

Firstly, the Nano TGIO pictures – belated, I know!


(The cake!)


(And the launch of The Steampowered Globe: Please go support local Singaporean SFF and steampunk writers!


(Fanart of Kindness (Path Of Kindness) by my daughter. She is really enthusiastic about Oysters, Pearls and Magic and wants me to continue writing Path of Kindness!)

I celebrated my wedding anniversary in Bali. The island is beautiful, with intense spirituality embedded in everything. Every hotel, resort or living area has its own shrine. I didn’t catch the Barong dance as we stayed at Nusa Dua while all the touristy stuff is in Ubud.

Security is high, considering that Bali experienced terrorist bombings and the scars still linger. Security and police personnel checked cars and buses. There were sniffer dogs (cute Black Labs!) and stern-looking men in uniforms.

The hotel staff was helpful and thoughtful (waitstaff actually remembered what I ordered the night before and asked if I would like another Pina Colada). The resort was gorgeous, lush with tropical trees and plants. So was the wildlife (squirrels scampering all over the resort’s shrine, pairs of spotted doves and tiny Eurasian sparrows hopping about). Now, onto the pictures…


(Blue skies and white clouds, viewed from the beach)


(So I was relaxed…)


(Yum… a refreshing drink!)


(Offerings on the beach.)


(Intricate shrine guardian – this photograph was taken at the airport!)

Right now, I am going to digest everything I’d seen. There are things I need to do: a revise-and-resend of a story, plans to kick into action etc!

Have a good weekend (before the Yule week!).

Life, popularity contests and a PSA

A conversation on Twitter sparked this rambling post.

The publishing world is big on awards and popularity contests. Awards, accolades, praises and rankings define you as a writer. But does it make people who are not award winners less worthwhile? Are their books “lesser” in the views of people?

Perhaps, I am posting this because I am not an award winner nor am I a “bestseller”. My books do not dominate the New York bestsellers’ lists. My name is obscure. But are my books less worthwhile than the next award winner?

Different people have different tastes and preferences. Are awards indicative of such preferences? Or is the publishing world another high school, where people jockey for popularity? Does the handsome jock win all the time? Does the pretty cheerleader get all the awards? Or, is the geeky nerd a dark horse winner?

We will never know.

My challenge: Do not make publishing and authors a popularity contest. Every book has their merits. Not all books fit the square hole. Not all books can be pigeonholed.

~*~

I will be away for a while this week. I can’t wait to go to Bali.

For readers of Path Of Kindness, I have updated the Goodreads page for it. Likewise, check out its website: website.

Yuletide’s coming.

Christmas or Yule is around the corner. I am sure that some of you are looking for gifts. Likewise, I apologize to those who do not celebrate it – just read the blog post. 🙂

This has been an exciting year, filled with ups and downs. My novels and some short stories got published. I have people reading my stories. It is an enriching and learning experience as I put myself out there. The reception of Southeast Asian urban fantasy is still very nascent – at the meantime, I will continue to write. People who have been following The Path Of Kindness will be glad to know that installments will be up soon.

Now onward to the links:

Free and affordable fiction is up at Smashwords: You can read samples of these novels and short stories.

My urban fantasy novels are up at my publisher’s: Here: You can read the excerpts. 🙂

At the moment, my novels will remain in ebook format. I know, I know – some of you guys like print. 😉

Have a good Yuletide season all!

What world do you envision? My thoughts regarding Slutwalk Singapore.

Yesterday I participated in Slutwalk Singapore as a volunteer usher. I had been looking forward to it ever since news of it came out months before – and that many of us had been brainstorming about having one. Kudos to the team for working so hard for these six months to get things going!

You may ask me why I participated. This blog is a SFF blog, isn’t it? Well, it is a blog of a Singaporean SFF writer writing about her experiences. Likewise, as SFF writers and readers, I would think that we would envision worlds we WANT to live in. Worlds safe from danger, violence, assault and hatred. Worlds that people could walk free and freely without fear or prejudice. Am I a bra-burning feminist? No. But I believe strongly in a world safe for women (and men). Am I a feminist? Yes. {Note: I have seen bras burnt before – they catch fire pretty quickly once the fire retardant on them stops working)

I wrote about Reclaim The Night before and I am so glad to see Slutwalk Singapore happening.

Now, the good things:

The people. Man, they came and they kept on coming. The organizers actually planned for 300, but 600 turned up, many with their spouses or partners with them. In a way, I am glad to see allies supporting the event. The rain didn’t dampen spirits, but it did drive away some of the participants. I love the energy though – we had music, Muay Thai, talks and yummy drinks. Meeting new people and talking to them. I love it!

I took the pictures with my camera phone (forgetful me forgot to bring my camera!). I didn’t manage to capture the movement, the colors and the interaction of the great folks at the event. The ground might be soggy with Milo-brown mud, but heck, we all had a GOOD time.

Now, the bad things.

The (male) photographers and media: I am all for media publicity helping with the awareness. But after hearing some Slutwalk attendees talking about media harassment during the event, I started to think about safe spaces. At the same time, I was also leery and uncomfortable with the number of male photographers turning up in droves and asking to take individual or group shoots of attendees. I remember commenting to another attendee about the male gaze. Objectification is still prevalent. Were the photographers looking for photo opportunities or were they waiting for the chance to look at scantily-clad women? I am reminded too of anime conventions where photographers, mostly men, take pictures of the cosplayers. Objectification is still prevalent.

Now, for the future:

More Slutwalk Singapore.: We definitely need more space to voice out issues Singapore might want to hide from the public. We definitely need more space for women to be themselves without fear or harassment. Perhaps, a women-only event?

Many thank yous to the organizers who made Slutwalk Singapore happen!

“Ark” – up at Luna Station Quarterly Issue 008

“Ark”, a 100-word drabble, is up at Luna Station Quarterly, an online publication for up-and-coming women authors. Go support them!

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