Coming to Grips (1)

Coming to grips with death

Desperate times call for desperate paddling

This week’s headlines haven’t been encouraging – Chinese political appointments, White House firings, school shootings, old Russian spies falling like flies, fake news threats and reactive legislation, fish strangled by plastic bags, weirder and weirder weather And nothing I can do about any of it except Doodle something Write something some days are like dogs … Continue reading

On Self-Censorship, OB Markers and Beyond

Last week, I made a hole in a fence I put pen to paper and asked – what if? I said- I’m part of the family but … I said – I’m not accepting this. Guess what? No bolts of lightning fell from the sky to strike me dead. No one came to excommunicate me. … Continue reading

What if your kid was too obedient?

This week’s offering is about an insect experience. It’s inspired by my fellow tribe-writer Kath Unsworth, who hates spiders and highlights what !unfortunately might happen when a parent demands unquestioning obedience from a kid! Another snippet from The Unguided Missives of Katie and Zoong (one of my works in progress): DO NOT DISTURB Do not disturb Not on any account … Continue reading

Poetry is the unexpected stranger …

I’m drunk with stars. My nephew, the artist and poet, is visiting with his family. We’ve been indulging in artsy-fartsy conversation, talk that makes me feel drunk with stars. Poetry is … A word picture, my nephew said. Or a frame of words with room for interpretation, I replied. We tossed the definitions back and … Continue reading

Reading in Myanmar: They were five

No pictures, just some words describing a scene while waiting for a flight in the domestic terminal at Yangon Airport. They were five Off the plane Crossing the airport hall In jungle green In control – the tallest A  ranger hat slouched over his head Protecting a face already turned to stone On the right flank – the … Continue reading

Reading in Myanmar: Text and sub-text

I was reading in Myanmar. It was my time, my panel appearance at the Irrawaddy Literary Festival with Canadian literary prodigy Karen Connelly. We were to be speaking about my novel As the Heart Bones Break. We ended up speaking about Myanmar. Not of course in so many words… But as I learnt last week … Continue reading


Living in cramped quarters in the city, most children in Singapore don’t have many opportunities to interact with wild life. This was so even when I was a young child. Back then, chancing upon a bird’s feather would be a big thing. Believing in magic, we’d hide these found treasures between the pages of our … Continue reading

Dieting or writing – we still need to outwit our reptilian brains

Just in case you’ve forgotten … There’s more than the one brain between our ears, and they’re constantly battling with each other. Successful dieting and writing requires outwitting our ancient reptilian brains. Our writing-dieting selves like to think we’re all frontal lobe, all about visioning, reasoning, planning and problem solving. But hidden deep in the centre of … Continue reading

A place in my heart – The Mekong southland

You can love a place before you see it.  A place you continue to hold in your heart even after you know it, faults and all. That’s the Mekong Southland for me. My husband is a man of the Mekong southland. He was born in the deep south, in a town on brackish salt marshes a hundred … Continue reading