“A Particularly Bright Spot”

Yesterday’s launch party for Work-Life Balance at Singapore Writers Festival went wonderfully. When I got home last night, I figured, hey, today’ll be a nice, quiet chance to rest and recover from our celebration. Then I received a message from Ben this morning with a photo from today’s edition of Singapore’s national paper, The Straits Times.

An entire, half-paged article dedicated to Work-Life Balance. Ben and I knew that the article was scheduled for today, but I guess, with all the anticipation for the launch, we kinda forgot – so we were both wonderfully surprised by this. Now, if this was the only piece to feature yours truly, that would’ve already been more than enough. But right below the article…

… was a glowing review of Fish Eats Lion Redux that highlighted my contribution, “Down Into the Waters”. The one-two combo of the article and this review – on the same page! – might’ve melted my brain for a whole five minutes.

I’m still struggling to put into words what this means to me. I’ve spent years happily writing my stories, with absolutely no expectations that I’d be featured in the papers. I was pretty content to have my work simply affect readers on an emotional level – and while that’s still the most important part for me, it feels amazing to be acknowledged on such a large platform.

As proud as I am of this though, I need to once again thank Ben, for being such an amazing collaborator and friend – as well as Felicia, Shreya, Charlene, Melesa, Lalitha, Claire, Wen Yeu and the entire Difference Engine team too. I will say it till the day I die: Work-Life Balance could not have been the book it is without your advice, guidance, patience and commitment.

And thank you, Jason. That’s two short stories I’ve worked on with you, and both of them came out so much better because of your fantastic storytelling instincts. “Down Into the Waters” was rejected by a couple of literary mags and I didn’t really mind – but when I saw the call for submissions for Fish Eats Lion Redux, I knew that if you liked it, this story had found its perfect home. It’s not easy being a writer, but you’re definitely one of the reasons why I’ve stuck with it.

You know… this means that, as of today, I can officially refer to myself as “an award-winning, critically acclaimed writer.” Wild, huh?

If you’re subscribed to The Straits Times, you can read the whole article about Work-Life Balance here and the review of Fish Eats Lion Redux here. You can get Work-Life Balance here and Fish Eats Lion Redux here, or pick up both books at Singapore Writers Festival’s bookstore.

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