death by paper cut

{November 3, 2009}   Singapore Writers’ Festival

literature. i’ve always had a penchant for stories and book and book-buying/browsing since young, however i wouldn’t consider myself to have been a sufficiently avid or voracious reader in my younger days, i wish i was though. never too late to make up for that now i guess.

i do consider myself immensely blessed to have been able to make a living out of my love for literature, and in such a supportive working environment no less.

no surprises that i absolutely enjoyed myself during the singapore writer’s festival that concluded over the weekend. kudos to the organisers for inviting and hosting local and international writers for the event.

i attended two events, breakfast club at the national library on saturday and neil gaiman’s talk on graphic novels and fantasy on sunday.

why is it called breakfast club? firstly because it took place in the morning and secondly because breakfast (and later lunch) was provided. the local writers present gave an honest, sincere and candid insight into their experience as writers and their motives, predispositions and relationship with literature.

catherine lim
Breakfast Club at NLB 10 - Catherine Lim
every writer contributes to small facet to the profile of singapore literature unique to his or her own experience and does not necessarily have to encompass the entirety of the singapore experience. together, these facets will form a larger mosaic. (my paraphrase)

stella kon
Breakfast Club at NLB 13 - Stella Kon
the only line that the censorship board wanted removed from “trial and other plays” is “there is no free speech in singapore”. (more or less what she said)

adrian tan
Breakfast Club at NLB 16 - Adrian Tan
if there are days you wake up and don’t feel like doing anything, you’re a writer (i quote verbatim)

colin cheong
Breakfast Club at NLB 17 - Colin Cheong
writing commercially comes at a cost. i have half a soul left. be kind to your muse. (more or less what he said)

my highlight of the festival was none other than the session with neil gaiman. his session was not so much a structured talk as it was a series of Q&A dialogue. neil gaiman is as good a writer as it is a speaker. he contextualised all his responses, added in anecdotes, and built up to a candid climax. he was charming, witty, disarming and astute.

Meeting Neil Gaiman 17

after the dialogue session, he took time to autograph for all the 900 attendees. he wanted to make sure that everyone had something signed and took 5 hours to see it through. he chatted with everyone in line and even illustrated my frontispiece of the graveyard book.

Meeting Neil Gaiman 29 - Autograph Session

i’ve never queued in line for so long in the past week but it was all worth it.


ser says:

sweeeeet! both the picture, and him!!!!

“if there are days you wake up and don’t feel like doing anything, you’re a writer”

oh boy, I’ve had many of those days!

steelwool says:

Patricea: And you are in fact a writer! =)

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