Sunday, May 21, 2006

Saturday in Photos

Saturday was every bit as hectic as I knew it would be.

First, there was MPH Writers' Circle where Puan Hafizah of The National Library (pictured above with her colleague Pn. Zalina) told us all about how ISBN numbers work and why we need them for our books and how to get them. She also introduced us to the 13 digit EAN numbering system which will be introduced next year. There was an interesting discussion afterwards about the work of the National Library and its role in promoting local writers and developing libraries in the rural areas.

Local writer Lynette Kwan (right) had some great news to share. After taking part in the first Writers' Circle meeting last year, she was so enthused that she went home and wrote a collection of short stories, found an agent in Singapore (apparently the one and only) and soon had four publishers competing for the right to put her work into print. Dark City, her book of tales with Dahlesque twists in the end is called , is written under her pen name Xeus, and some of the stories are being filmed for Singaporean television. Lynette is a doctor by day and fits writing into a very busy schedule.




I had a quick nosey around the new 1 Utama branch of Pay Less (sorry MPH!) and bought a couple more volumes of Best American Short Stories. Had lunch and a long chat about writing with a friend from the Writer's Circle, Chris, and then drove to Bangsar for the readings at Sek Sen's place.

Bernice (left) kicked the event off with a touching tribute to Pramoedya.






Kam Raslan's (right) first novel is being published soon by Marshall Cavendish in Singapore ... and you may not have realised it, but you've probably being reading it already if you read Off the Edge each month. Yes, that's right, you thought it was just a column written by an codger reminiscing about the good old days days ... Am so happy for him!








Zedeck read too (left) ....
















... so did Bernice's CENFAD student Farid Ramlee who can draw on a family history populated by British, Chinese and Malay forebears for his fiction. (Lainie was supposed to read but was sick, so Soefira Jaafar read her piece). ...









... The lovely Ruhayat X read a deliciously humourous piece which had everyone laughing ...

... Dina Zaman read pieces from her I Am Muslim column. I took a beautiful picture of her (which doesn't make her look like a chipmonk!) but we both agreed that I shouldn't post it up because of the moronic sicko who took the photo of her from my blog to post online advertisements which has her being bombarded with lewd SMSes (she showed me) and emails. What exactly is it about her that provokes this gonk?

The third and final port of call was Silverfish and I got there with Saras and Diana just as the event ended. Apparently Raman decided against a conventional reading and Robert Raymer was talking about how the stories in his collection came to be written ...

Rounded off the day with a nice cold beer with Saras, overjoyed because my long-term writing buddy has a story in the next Silverfish collection!!!

It was a really good day with so many reasons to be hopeful for local writing.

17 comments:

Chet said...

You're back online! YAY!!

bibliobibuli said...

the connection came back by itself but has been dreadful for the past few days ... if you don't see me tomorrow, you know why

lil ms d said...

it was a great day yah? hopefully there'll be more!

Sufian said...

RuhayatX is aich oh tih -- HOT

madcap machinist said...

oh. ohhhhhh... a Pay Less branch in One Utama?! *runs out of the room*

When the one at Plaza Damas closed down I went through a depression ;-)

Sharon, can you tell us more about what the National Library is up to now?

bibliobibuli said...

machinist - (how come you added 'fetish'??) Pn. Hafizah talked about the government grants to develop village libraries - building up 400 of them which seems pretty good - but they lack local reference books and locally written novels in English - she talked about the National Library's role in archiving material - what happens to the 5 copies of your book when you submit them after publication - the problems of tracking down all books published by Malaysian writers - their role in issuing ISBN - that they want to also promote local writing

i know there is a lot more they do and i hope to learn more over time ...

CW said...

Hi Sharon, do you know if Puan Hafizah and Puan Zalina blog? I'd love to read/hear more from Malaysian librarians!

CW (Australian librarian)

bibliobibuli said...

cw - i doubt it - but maybe we can ask them to tell us more about their work because so many of us are interested ...

maybe it's something i can follow up on on this blog now that i have the contacts

lil ms d said...

i've always wanted to be a librarian :)

actually that's one project PEN and we should get involved in. i could spend the whole day or weeks buying, stocking, cataloguing books!

CW said...

Thanks Sharon, looking forward to it :) Oh, and I should have said earlier - thanks for all this coverage of the Malaysian writers' scene, I really enjoy being able to "attend" vicariously :)

Hi Lil Ms D, I'm always amused by the people who say they've always wanted to be librarians. May I ask why you do? :)

animah said...

Sufian, I knew it, you'd always fancied RuhayatX!

I was a librarian too, once, many years ago... Actually a junior librarian at BBGS, Form 2. I learnt to fix torn books and was the envy of many.

And Sharon, you missed out the lemon meringue pie and religion chat with your buddies!

Ruhayat X said...

I wish I could repair torn books. That would compensate for the fact that I can't swim very nicely.

Sufian said...

Fat boys don't swim. They float.

lil ms d said...

cw - why? erm, this goes way back to the time when i was at this international school. i was the asian runt so i kept being bullied by the american girls :D so i lived in the library and the librarian took pity on me and taught me how to arrange books, take care of them, and even taught me how to categorise/catalogue them. after that, i just gravitated towards libraries... so lovely. nice books, old but comfy chair...

wah this is long.

Lydia Teh said...

Sharon, thanks for posting the happenings.

When I was young, I wanted to be a librarian too, not because a librarian has taught me the ropes like in Lil ms d's case. The library was (still is) one of my favourite haunts and I thought being a librarian would let me read books for free, and get paid for it too.

madcap machinist said...

Sharon, re: 'fetish', it's just a phase. I'm afraid that my interest in the national library's efforts are not entirely related to bibliophilia... sniffing for business. Now, 400 new libraries you say? Hmmm....

coffee81 said...

I'm looking forward for the coming workshop on Fiction writing.