A would-be Singaporean novelist's blog


The Eagle by Parviz Natel Khanlari

And since I’m a bit lacking in posts this week, here’s something else.

The Eagle by Parviz Natel Khanlari, translated by Iraj Bashiri.

“Death, immediate, in the firmament today,
Is worth a hundred lives enmeshed in decay.”

Iranian poetry (i.e. Persian literature), not quite the usual stuff I’ve come across, but I quite like the exploration of the eagle as a symbolic creature. In the meantime, I’ll try to stay off Twitter (which has been largely unproductive) and work more on my WIP (which is going good, considering that those who’ve read it so far are actually interested in what happens after the middle part).

Bonsai – Foreword to The City and the Sea

At a glance, it gives an idea on what I’m currently working on.

It was during those many discussions over MSN that I once mentioned to a friend that Singaporeans (the both of us included), were very much like bonsai. Why bonsai, you’d ask? Why not something more glorious, something like the mythical Merlion, if mythical meant confabulated? I put it this way: When you’re young, the pot allotted to you is enough space to grow in. There is nothing wrong with the pot. It shelters and protects, and keeps the seedling from harm until it can come unto its own. But as time grows by, the little plant finds itself at the confines of its pot, a prisoner of good intentions. It is not easy to break the enamelled expectations of our parents, or the thick walls of social norms. The young plant is at a crossroad; what should it do? Where should it go?

There are those who repot themselves in wilder lands; these we call quitters. Distant cousins they are, rarely heard of except for the occasional mention. What about those who stay, faithful to their given pots? We love them for their faithfulness, and with the bind of good intentions, stunt even the stoutest oaks into cute ornamental shrubs, preferably to be admired and bartered at a high price. A remarkable feat of human engineering, and a rewarding hobby practiced by generations of potted shrubs, each bestowing the virtues and wisdom of pottedness upon the next.

Perhaps this is what the story is about. A young plant that has found itself at the edge of its confines, and takes the arduous task of breaking beyond it, into the world beyond. With this, I dedicate this book to those still in their eggs, waiting to hatch.

Writing the City by the British Council

From the Civic Life blog:

Enter Writing the City – an online space where writers from Singapore, and beyond, can post their writing, read work by others, receive feedback and ask the questions they want to ask. The 8 panel writers will take an active role in creating this, with competitions, feedback and opportunities for new writers. So rather than going home after a great event thinking ‘but what can I do now?’, new and emerging writers in the audience have a place to go. More than anything, it’s a way to be in touch with other writers, which can only be a recipe for things to happen…

Writing the City will be open to the public in December 2010.

Back from the Outback

And I’m back from the dusty trails of the Australian bush, namely somewhere out there in Rockhampton, Queensland. There’s much to catch up on, from writing to reading to music to various other preparations towards university (not to mention a pesky DNS outage fixed with the help of a friend).

More importantly…

This came in from the Book Depository. I’d been intending to buy it for some time now, seeing all the good press about it, but found only a measly reference copy tucked away somewhere in the National Library. Now that I have it, it’s probably one of the few copies of On Becoming a Novelist that exist in Singapore, given the rather sparse number of said people. From what I’ve read of it so far, it seems to live up to its reputation.

Anyhow, back to writing and music and the good things of this earth.