• Excited and honoured to share that my book, โ€˜Acts of Self Consumptionโ€™, has been selected for publication by Australian press @recentworkpress.

    The querying process for this book has been a long, often draining journey since 2020. Thankful for Recent Work Press and Shane Strange for seeing the potential in my manuscript. Coming soon in 2023.

  • strange unmooring

    January has been draining.

    After months of room-hunting, I viewed a room, signed the tenancy, and moved in within the span of two weeks. It may seem fast, but for me it was long overdue. I have wanted to move out for a while.

    My new room faces Orchard Road, the heart of Singapore’s shopping district. When I look out of my window, I can see *SCAPE and the red faรงade of Ngee Ann City. There are two huge billboards that advertise shiny new phones and the latest Apple products. At night when I turn off the overhead lamp, the billboards flood my room with light.

    The billboards – their excessive brightness – remind me of Times Square. But if I were to be honest, now that I have moved out, I am constantly reminded of my time in New York City. When I stayed in NYC I enjoyed every chore that other people must have found mundane – hauling my clothes to the laundromat, shopping at Trader Joe’s, washing the dishes, cleaning my room. And now I find myself doing the same – except I am in Singapore, and I’m shopping at NTUC instead of Dekalb Market, and there is no wind chill to make me shiver in my coat. I suppose I would grow to detest chores eventually, but for now every monotonous task is a sign I have finally hoisted off my family’s strong apron strings.

    The first few days after I moved out, I was filled with a strange kind of detachment. I wasn’t elated that I had moved out. I was not sad either. For the first time in a while, I did not know how to read my future. Had I not moved out, I would have a predictable life trajectory. I’ll probably get my own flat at 35 years old, and because that would make me a homeowner, Singapore would sink its roots into me and I would be anchored here. The idea alone fills me with a form of quiet despondency.

    But now that I’ve moved out, I am no longer certain of anything. I may have a room now, but I may move out in a few months. Tenancy changes, unpredictability, finances and life in general mean that nothing is set truly in stone for the next few years. It is a strange kind of unmooring.

    I am not daunted by unpredictability. Now that I gained it, what I fear is losing this precious independence.

  • Much like my love life, my poetry journey is fraught with rejections. This year, I kept a record of my poetry submissions and have some statistics to share.

    • This year, I submitted to ๐Ÿ“๐Ÿ– journals in total, and was rejected by ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ– of them.
    • ๐Ÿ” journals accepted my poems, while ๐Ÿ’ are still actively in progress.
    • If we omit the ๐Ÿ’ in-progresses, my poetry saw an ๐Ÿ–๐Ÿ•.๐Ÿ“% rejection rate. I’ll take it.
    • Most rejections in a row: ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‘ journals rejected me between Feb to July.
    • Out of the ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ– rejections, ๐Ÿ” were personalised rejections, which was very encouraging and heartening.

    ๐Œ๐จ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ซ๐ž๐ฃ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ ๐›๐ž๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ž ๐ฉ๐ฎ๐›๐ฅ๐ข๐œ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง:

    • The Boys in the Lineup (๐Ÿ๐Ÿ– times)
    • Brittle Nut (๐Ÿ๐Ÿ” times)
    • Blackbird Gallery (๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‘ times)

    *The Boys and Brittle Nut have just been accepted for publication, which I am immensely grateful for. Coming in early 2021.

    ๐’๐ญ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐œ๐จ๐ฅ๐ฅ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ซ๐ž๐ฃ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐ฒ๐ž๐ญ ๐š๐œ๐œ๐ž๐ฉ๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐š๐ง๐ฒ ๐ฉ๐ฎ๐›๐ฅ๐ข๐œ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ

    • Pedigree (rejected ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ• times)
    • Sun Chasing (๐Ÿ๐Ÿ• times)
    • Dear Long Night (๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‘ times)

    _______________________________

    ๐‡๐จ๐ฐ ๐ˆ ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ž๐ฅ

    I feel pretty okay! I have been actively submitting for over two years now, and recognise that literary journals reject a vast majority of work. So the rejections felt okay. (Although I must say, getting rejected by 23 journals in a row was a tad demoralising)

    I am also glad that I received more personalised rejections this year. Personalised rejections are a special kind of hell but it also meant that the editors felt bad enough to drop a special rejection; which I will always hold dear.

    For my writery friends who are actively submitting and who may feel discouraged, please understand that journal rejections must never be conflated with the quality of your writing. Keep putting yourself out there, and keep getting rejected!