If you're canny you can sample both events - leave Silverfish by 3.30 to catch the readings a short walk away at Seksen's place ...Well the best laid plans of mice and men gang aft aglee, as someone once said, and I'd reckoned without the huge thunderstorm that left me stranded at Silverfish for longer than I'd intended.
It was good to see Robert Raymer again. Although we've exchanged emails on creative writing and the joys of editing I hadn't seen him since the Litfest when we took part in a panel discussion about what editors look for in a short story.
Robert has been busy revising his collection of short stories which should be republished next year and will be taught as a set text at USM. I've also discovered (and see how modest he is - he didn't tell me this yesterday!) that Robert is a semi-finalist in the William Faulkener Creative Writing Competition 2005 for his novel-in-progress.
But I digress. There was just a small group of Raman's invitees sitting politely in a circle in Raman's back room. Robert read his story Waiting for My Father to Crash from Silverfish New Writing 5. The story is apparently very largely autobiograhical and I'd read an earlier version but this worked much better.
Christopher Yin read his story The Geology of Malaysia from SNW5. Love the way that he weaves in the metaphor of geology around a personal and family history. I do hope Chris keeps writing, even though he says that this story was a one off prompted by his desire to set the record straight about Spider Man and the Green Goblin after watching the film version.
Raman had his lady footballers, Demilia (Dina's cousin and bursting with enthusiasm for the game), and twins Lolita and Latha to read the title story from his collection.
When the rain died down a bit I hurried over to Lucky Garden and up the back stairs to Seksen's place, but only managed to catch the tale end of the readings. There was a good crowd there, the usual relaxed and supportive atmosphere, and everyone seemed to have be enjoying themselves.
After the last of Bernice's students finished, Rauf Fadzillah took the floor to read some of his poems including Allah's Telegram and The Eyes - and he'd thoughtfully made copies of his work.
I'd never met Rauf in "real life" before but we'd once been members of the same writing e-group where we posted our stories, and I am still haunted by a very edgy piece set at the kind of party no-one invites me too anymore. (Goodness, he's only 21 now so must have been only 17 or 18 when he wrote that?) Sadly, he lost the story when his hard disk crashed and he didn't have a backup copy. (And the moral is ...?) Anyway, Rauf is my hot tip for a one to watch: he's got the words, he's got the hunger.
Was sad sad sad that I hadn't heard Bernice's students read. (Repeat performance, please??) But enjoyed chatting to them afterwards and swapped notes on blog addiction with Lainie.
Other friends I was happy to see - Pang and Danny and Animah and Sunitha.
Posts about previous readings here.