Phew! That's all I can say. Yesterday's readings at Seksen's place not only happened but came off rather well, I thought, considering that I hadn't had much time to organise the event and hadn't advertised it very widely. (Blogvertising works well!) Many thanks to everyone who passed the word on - there was a good crowd there.
Ted Mahsun had his parents and girlfriend there to support. This was the first reading for this keen and hardworking young writer. I'm so glad he read his story The Ghost in the Garden as I personally like it best of all the pieces of his I've so far read. It's an autobigraphical piece in which you can really hear the voices of the characters. I love the gentle humour of it and sense that it could be developed into a longer piece. (You can read the whole story here.)
We got two thirds of the writers of Snapshots! Jessie Michael read The Change, one of the stories I like best in the collection because it makes visibly the disadvantaged community in Malacca's Portuguese Settlement. The story tells of one man who does his best to break out of the poverty trap but finds circumstances cruelly against him ...
... while co-writer Saradha Narayanan read her Rani, a moving portrait of an elderly woman.
I just loved this young guy, Roy aka Fairul Nizam who entertained the crowd with his poetry. How many miles from the traditional Malay deklamasi puisy has this new generation of poets come, with driving rhythms and street-wise language? Read his poetry here.
Sharanya reading another extract from her novel. Lyrical and sensual writing. I am really looking forward to the finish work.
The sporting Jasmine Low stepped in at the last minute to read some of her shorter pieces. She's so relaxed - love the way she relates to the crowd. it's one thing to write the words, another to show ownership of them when read aloud. She read some newly written short pieces including one partly written in Hokkien which I enjoyed very much.
We had a couple of "open mic" readers: Patrick Dominic and a very young guy called kG who positively shone with enthusiasm.
So it came off. It was okay ... even if I'm not as cool as Bernice! Phew again.
Many thanks to all the brave souls who put their work out there. (It is scary!) Many thanks to the crowd who supported. Many thanks (again) to all who spread the word about the event.
Many thanks to Seksen for allowing us to use this beautiful space.
Many thanks to Budi (?) who helped me to set everything up.
Many thanks to La Bodega for generously supplying the wines.
I hope to organise Readings again for 23rd September. More news soon.
Before then though, why not go to the readings organised by Jasmine at La Bodega on Wednesday night? It promises to be very good.
Much nicer photos than mine are turning up on different blogs. I love Sharanya's arty set. Leon's are here. Nizam's are here. And here's a very honest account by Vovin.