Sunday, July 31, 2005

Winning Wimmin!

Great to see so many friends turn up to support the readings at 67, Jalan Tempinis 1 yesterday. Seksen's place looked a little different with some very interesting installation art including a mobile of glass bottles stuffed with various colourful objects.

It was an afternoon of "wimmin" writers, readdressing the gender balance after the past few months when male writers tended to feature rather more. (Too many Kutus!)

In the end there were five of us reading. Sharanya Manivannan went first reading a beautiful poem about her relationship with her mother tongue, and a longer excerpt from "a novel in progress". Her writing is so sensual and languid and I'm glad that she's chosen for herself the larger framework of the novel. Have to pinch myself to remind myself how young she still is. (Yesterday was her 20th birthday!).

I read next. In the end I chose a piece I'd begun as a short story but plan to work into my own "novel-in-progress". Reading it aloud was an extremely useful experience - could hear how the audience collectively reacted to the words. And I was so pleased that they laughed in the parts where I had laughed when writing it.

Bernice then read a piece about a woman being physically assaulted by her lover. She used repetition and short sentences to skilfully control the emotional impact. Hope it grows into a longer piece.

It was Eileen Lui's first reading. (Bar of course for the launch of my anthology Collateral Damage.) As I've said before, I think she is a very good short story writer. Her two published stories are set in Vietnam, where she was working for some time. At The Gates, the story she read out, has a local setting and features two very elderly Chinese men reflecting on their pasts and worrying about their children. As with her earlier stories, characters emerge sharply from the dialogue, and background detail is worked in very carefully.

The final reader of the afternoon was Jac SM Kee who has recently completed Beth Yahp's creative writing course. She read several short pieces and an extract from a very quirky children's story Sammy and Me.

The only think that might have made me a little happier yesterday was some ice to put in my coca-cola ... it was a really hot afternoon with some serious sweating going on!

12 comments:

The Visitor said...

The Angel and I wanted to attend, but unfortunately, i had bad gastric pains. we were in Bangsar tho. had gone to Cafe Delicious earlier. food goooooooood!!!

bibliobibuli said...

Hope you feel better now ...

Yes, Delicious has lovely food. I am addicted to the little gummy bear butter cakes although I am having a hard job to convince Ben who manages the place that subtle colours for the icing spoils my fun and I want my food tacky!

The Visitor said...

heh. we did want to try the cup cakes, but we thot we would save it for our next visit there.

Caving Liz said...

I particularly liked Sharon's reading from her novel in progress, as I could really relate to it, being a fellow Brit living in Kay Hell. Memories of the 1970's UK TV quiz show, 'Open the Box' (good old Hughie!), right through to the Proton Frog complete with gold plated tissue box.

There was one very funny sentence which really amused me but I noticed no one else laughed.... for the life of me I can't remember now what it was, but it was to do with something from England years ago.

Look forward to seeing the completed novel........

Nizam Zakaria said...

My significant other and I really enjoyed your reading, Sharon. I love the way you read your story. We shall look forward to your novel.

I will post the photos I took at the reading here:

http://gambar.blogspot.com/

Fiona1 said...

It was a very eventful afternoon indeed - thanks for the updates Sharon. It touches me that there are people who really are into supporting each other in words and poetry. I'll definitely buy the book of any of these writers when they publish their works:)

saras said...

sorry to have missed it but the flu bug was pretty debilitating. Sitting at the doctor's at Lucky Garden,my thoughts were certainly at Seksun.
hope to hear your reading the next time we meet, sharon.

aneeta said...

Yes, thank you to all the readers for sharing their work. Most enjoyable (though hot and humid) way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

bibliobibuli said...

Thanks all for your kind comments and support.

caving liz - I am dying to know which line it ws. Will have to make you read the whole things again to find out!

nizam - look forward to your pics and thanks for taking them

fiona - thanks. Yes, the support for each other's writing is so important ...

saras - You were in Lucky Gardens? Hey, you were only a sneeze away! (Come to think of it, i did wonder where those loud explosions were coming from.)

Aneeta - it was a very nice to see you again after so long.

XMOCHA! said...

wish i was there!!! hugs. glad it went well.

porty said...

Is anyone recording it to put online or something ?

bibliobibuli said...

Porty - the only records I think are the notes I jot down here and Nizam's fotoblog. I don't think that individual writers would want to post up their work 1) for copyright reasons and b) who wants to be tied to a draft when it is a work in progress?