Love & Misadventure
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An Interview with author of Derivative Faith and Bursting Seams
First of all, congratulations on publishing your first two poetry books in the span of one year! That makes you one of Singapore’s youngest writers! What/Who was the initial inspiration for you to start writing? And how young were you when you started?
Thank you! Heh <: When I was very young Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton were my main inspirations, but with regards to poetry it was really poets like Duffy and my own teacher, Pooja Nansi, who inspired me to start writing. That was when I was about 18. I wrote a lot of my own nonsense fairy tales when I was 8/9 but the real poetry writing started around 18 during JC when I was fed a lot of good poetry and started to seek it out on my own as well <:
Has the path of writing always been smooth sailing? What were the difficulties you faced with?
Relatively smooth…I suppose I’ve just been very lucky because the worst I’ve gone through with regards to my writing is really long dry spells and periods where I doubt the strength of my own writing and what I have to say. For these, though, there have always been people around me to reassure me that I do have a talent for this and that I should just keep going.
One of your recent projects was a poetry exhibition, VEINS, in collaboration with Tan Li Xin. Are you planning on any other similar project this year?
Yeah that was pretty fun! But no actually I don’t have any plans for anything like that this year. This year feels more like a year in which I want to focus on travelling and writing about what kind of person I am in different cultural settings. I’ve always thought things like that are particularly fun to explore.
You were a fan of Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl as a child as most of us were when we were younger – they both wrote stories. Do you think you’ll venture into that genre in the near future?
I’m actually kinda intimidated by prose because I’ve always said that my writing writes me in that I keep taking different directions with my writing that I didn’t plan for. But I’ll definitely try it at one point! It would be a good exercise and you can’t be a sustained writer if you aren’t willing to try new things just because they scare you. Exploring scary things is what’s fun! In writing, at least.
If there’s one advice you could give the people of your generation out there, what would it be?
I think always, always be honest. Be honest about where you are in your life, what space you occupy, and where you want to be, and what kind of person you are. If you don’t like the person you are, be honest about what you don’t like and whether or not it irks you enough to make a change. Same goes for the things around you. Always be honest about what you feel and don’t run away from it. Hiding from your feelings doesn’t do much but enable accumulation, which just kinda backfires as you grow older. Also, always ask yourself (and be honest about this too) about whether the things you say are necessary.
So, what’s next? What can our readers expect from you this year, and in the years to come?
I really can’t say for sure! I’ve gone back to writing for the sake of writing, and I’d actually like to work on my skills with regards to writing pieces that read more like spoken word but still retain some sort of poetic quality on paper. I’m also writing a lot of flash fiction prose, as a sort of baby step into actual stories, so…maybe stuff that’s more like what’s in Derivative Faith?
I have emotions
that are like newspapers that
I go for days at a time
trapped in the want ads.
I feel as if I am an ad
for the sale of a haunted house:
ghosts and all.
— Richard Brautigan, Revenge of the Lawn: Stories 1962-1970 (via sad-plath)
langleav I finally have it! :D #love & misadventure
Thanks lovely xo Lang
So happy I finally got my hands on this. Thank you langleav!
Thank you wonderful xo Lang