Where I talk about food as a common motif…

Book Bites: A Common Motif With Joyce Chng

Food is a common motif in all my stories, from my YA fiction to my general/adult stories. For me, growing up Chinese, food is the glue that knits the family together and many festivals are food-based. The family gathers around the table on Lunar New Year’s Eve, a symbol of family reunion, and the food on the table symbolize a smooth and prosperous year as well as happy relationships at home. My mom would show her love by cooking me food. She isn’t the most demonstrative of moms when it comes to showing her affection, but her love comes through in the soups and dishes she makes. Food is not just physically nourishing, but it’s also emotionally and psychologically sustaining. It feeds the body, the family, and to a larger extent, the community. Enjoying food, even a simple offer of hot jasmine tea, affirms the bonds between friends, lovers and family.

SEA Quest: A SG Writer’s Thoughts about ASEAN Lit

Where I wrote about ASEAN lit… and SEA Quest. 😀

The Skiffy and Fanty Show

SFF in ASEAN Writing

Who am I?

I write science fiction (mostly) and YA.  And things in between.

What draws me to science fiction and YA?

I like the genre. Science fiction is a genre. YA is the target audience, not a genre. I like science fiction because you can imagine worlds. You can write about werewolves in space and fantastic space battles. It’s basically what-ifs and futures and what kind of futures you want to see. Science fiction is visionary; it opens eyes and broadens horizons. It makes you think. It makes you travel through space and time. It has enormous potential for change.

YA? I teach and I like teaching. My students happen to fall within this category. It talks about an interesting and not-so-easy time: the teenage years.

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Feeling small, going big

One of these mornings when I actually feel small. And it will be a busy Friday. So, I have to go big… no matter what.


Wondering about community: some thoughts

I have been wondering about community (be it fandom, sff, things in between, etc) and how we might just be doing it wrong. Note: I am also processing some thoughts re: Sunday homily and I felt that our priest has made sense of what I have been feeling of late (all the while).

Not all of us like to be called out or told that we are wrong, that we have committed a mistake. Likewise, it is not easy to tell someone that they have made mistakes and should change/be corrected. Most of the time, we hate direct confrontation and resort to becoming anonymous or going to another person of authority to complain about the person who has made mistakes. Or we resort to passive-aggression to vent our anger. Nobody wants to behave like adults.

The genre community (and I hesitate to call it a ‘community’ as it is more a scene) is one such example. We all lack the courage and the feeling of fraternity to call out someone. We are basically strangers who may or may not have true intentions when we call out someone in genre. We become a concerted group of strangers, people who truly don’t know each other well, to mob a person. Social media makes it worse with the cacophony of strangers yelling and ripping at the person. Social media turns the person into a monster.

We are doing this without love, without friendship. Some of us might be doing this out of love and the hope that genre might change for the better. Yet, most are doing this, because the anonymity makes us braver and it’s easier to point fingers when we don’t know the person as a friend and nope, social media doesn’t automatically make your follower a ‘friend’. I believe that we are not at the stage where we can truly love and forgive. Even, as the priest has said, ousting a person from the community requires the community to do it out of love, for the sake of the person. However, the case is more of the community doing out of hate and pure dislike.

Humans are the hardest to change. We react with revulsion and dislike when it comes to harassers, bullies and despicable individuals. We often wonder if these people would ever change. Sometimes, they might. Sometimes, they won’t.

At the moment, genre is a mass of cliques and factions with a distinct lack of true fraternity. We would rather care about the clique of friends we are in. Or, we should simply leave everything alone since it’s another person’s business. In a true community, this kind of attitude will never occur, since everyone cares about one another. Likewise, do we care enough to get to know a person? True friends call out their friends because they love and care for the person. But are we true friends?

Tales of the Feng & the Lung


Will be ready for Patrons in the second half of the month.

Excerpt from Amber

“Do Asiatic lions have prides just like their African cousins? 

No. We have families.

“Drink,” her naani passed her a plastic cup filled with cold water. “Our human bodies are surprisingly fragile.”

Oh, she knew the difference. Asiatic lions were smaller than their African cousins. But they too had become rare, isolated. Existing in small groups, outnumbered by the harimau. The tigers were proud of their heritage and birth-right, comfortable and secure in their own land. The lions kept to themselves. But it didn’t mean that they were less proud of their bloodline.

Soon, she would lead her family.


Amber (An Excerpt)

Hey, another blog post about… the dead

The taboos of Hungry Ghosts’ Festival

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