Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Singapore Literature Prize (SLP) 2014

I was busy preparing for my Malay Culture book launch when I received an email from the Book Council stating that The Mango Tree book has been shortlisted for the prestigious Singapore Literature Prize (English, non-fiction category). OMG. Really?

The other categories were announced 6 weeks earlier; the judges for the English, non-fiction category resigned earlier in protest of the National Library's 'pulping' of the 3 children's book with perceived 'homosexual' themes. Hence, the delay as the Book Council had to get replacement judges.

To be shortlisted is already an honour. After all, The Mango Tree (a children's picture book) is the first book published by my independent publishing company Helang Books (Gedung Kuning book was co-published by Helang Books and the Singapore Heritage Society). 

Will David (Helang Books) triumph over Goliath (EDM, Ethos, Marshall Cavendish, World Scientific Publishing Company)?

This little achievement is a big step for independent publishers and the underdogs. Yes, we can compete with the big players. We may not have the financial resources and network but we have lots of passion and drive to publish high quality books.

Stay tuned on 4th November for the results!

Monday, October 27, 2014

My third book launch

Oh, what a lovely, cosy and posh affair at the National Museum last Saturday, 18th October! A true display of the spirit of gotong-royong and rewang!

Alahai Amy Cheong... Malay weddings don't cost $50 lah, they are priceless!

*Photos are available for viewing on Facebook.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

K is for Kaduk

Human beings are such funny creatures. One day, they are begging you to help them. The next day, they discard you once they have achieved their goals (with your help no doubt). Then another day, they maliciously slander you as they perceived you to be stealing their limelight. Amazing!

A series of events had left me utterly disappointed in such creatures, especially one whose name is K. From an unknown, K knew many people who helped her because of my network. K became popular. People praised K for her work. Then I suggested another brilliant project (the first project went very well, many people knew about our mission). K said, "Let's do it." So I wrote the concept paper and proposal for funding. Then K said, "You should head this" (which I did) and worked on it with B and E. When I suggested an alternative person to take over E as E said she couldn't do her tasks, K burst in a rage and insisted that there was a conflict of interest blah, blah, blah. How could this be when I did the project (and the first one) for her free? So, I let her be. I mean, why fight with people who are insane, right? And the others just cowered under her madness. No one dared to speak up against the malicious treatment because she insisted, "I've already apologised to her. See, I'm nice" and "Don't blame me. I have transference issues, she reminded me of my secondary school prefect whom I hated."

Recently, I saw her name splashed on the very project whose idea and initial groundwork came from me. Praises flowed in. You are superb, K! What a wonderful project! Yet, there is no mention of me. All K said, "I can't work with her. But we can still be friends." No, K. We are NOT friends anymore.

My late grandmother once advised me to stay away from such dishonourable creatures. And this I will. But not without penning my thoughts in a short story (The Story of K) and haiku (The Madness of K). Let's not forget the Malay proverb, "As clever as the squirrel hops, it will one day fall to the ground."

Saturday, October 04, 2014

The Madness of K

*This is the continuation of 'The Story of K'; my first attempt at writing haiku*

K finally returned home
Empty nest, just despise, sad her
Hate that mop of hair

New friends, nice friends

Life smells sweet like BREEZE
Fly with me, Elise!

My sister, guide me please

Does this path lead to greatness?
Acceptance, friends, I neither have.

Talented you are Elise

Conquer the world, we both can
K, help you I promise. 

Poor K, awkward maybe

Heart of gold, yet misunderstood
Blind is the world today.

Famous K, now in news
The frog no longer hides beneath
Throw away that coconut shell

I can't work with you!

Elise, Rose, Holly, we are still friends
The limelight I won't share

Malicious YOU, not me
See, I have new, wonderful friends
Listen to me they do.

K is for Kaduk 
Once creeping wildly on the forest's bed
Now celebrated over bride's head


I am K, not Kaduk
Sick you are, not me!

The Madness of K

Narcissistic, Megalomanic, P.D. we are, not you
The President is always right.

Hah! Jealousy I detect

God is neither blind nor deaf, K
Justice always prevails, though late.

*Haiku is a Japanese poetry form that consist of 17 or 21 words, in three phrases of 5, 7, 5 or 7, 9, 7 syllables
+P.D. = Personality Disorder

Malay Weddings Don't Cost $50

14 more days to my third book launch! Excited much?