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Dad’s just left Adelaide to return to Singapore two days ago. I must admit that I miss him already. When I was a little younger, I sometimes felt irritated by his parental advice, not appreciating it for the concern it was. But I’m glad that now I’m a little older, I appreciate and love him exactly the way he is, with his little habits that used to drive me up the wall.

There is a lot of him in me and there’s a lot of my mother in me also. This week has just been somewhat emotional for me, what with my dad’s departure and other turns of events. The less said about the latter, the better, but I will just mention this: it’s remarkable that the ending should feel so similar to the beginning, marked by the same questions, doubts and fascinations. All that aside, it’s good to see some personal growth happening. I know I’m a little more mature for my experiences and that no matter how discouraged I may feel now, I am confident that I will spring back and be the cheerful, positive soul that I aim to be.

I’ll leave you all with a picture of my dad and I, taken at the maritime museum in Port Adelaide! Stay dry and warm, Adelaideans. For the rest of you who don’t live in Australia, stay cool and enjoy your summer!

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Snow in Adelaide – who would have thunk it! It has been remarkably chilly of late and I, just like most other people, have been guilty of sleeping in longer than usual and eating heavier foods. My dear ol’ dad is visiting from Singapore. When he arrived yesterday late afternoon, he was taken aback by the temperature, mistakenly thinking that it was supposed to be early spring here. I may have to take him shopping for a winter jacket… It’s been great to see him as I last visited him exactly a year ago, and it’ll be great to show him around the greater Adelaide region. As my dad is a lover of wildlife, I should think a trip to Monarto Zoo is in order.

On another writing-related note, author and editor Sylvia Kerslake was kind enough to conduct an interview with me several weeks ago. The questions I was asked include the challenges I faced when I was writing my book, the changes I’ve gone through since, and whether my upbringing has influenced my “sappy, funny and yet refreshing” writing. It was the longest interview I’ve had and I’d like to share it with all of you, my lovely followers. Here is the link to the interview.

Let me leave you with a photo of some meerkats from the Adelaide Zoo. The one standing taller was born a regular sandy colour but has gradually turned white over time. It’s a bit of a mystery…

 Albino and regular meerkat

This morning I was accused of having no imagination. Oh my lovely acquaintance clad in grey, you have no idea… or perhaps you have favoured forgetfulness for a reason, since I’m quite sure we have covered this topic in our conversations prior. My problem is not a lack of imagination but rather an over-vivid one that never ceases to produce theoretical situations that I have no power to breathe life into. If I had less of an overactive imagination, my life would have been much much simpler and pain-free…

On a more optimistic note, my first draft of Tongue Tied is very close to completion! To think that I’ve written 38,000 words since January, all inspired by a person very dear to me, is enough to render me speechless.

It’s always a bit of a surprise to me when a friend comes up to me and says something like, “I expect my copy [of On the Edge of Consciousness] to arrive in next few weeks.” It’s even nicer when it’s your somewhat-significant other who tells you that, especially when you think they’ve simply forgotten about it. A few weeks ago, one of my closest friends, while flipping through the collection, asked me which my favourite piece of work in the collection was. I told her that it was without a doubt, Sleeping Sisters.

You see, I had an image in my mind when I first started that poem – a photograph of a group of people standing under a wire frame arch that would have been covered in flowers, had it been spring. The wintry sky was grey, perhaps a tad dreary, but it sparked a seed of inspiration. Once the first two lines were written, it was clear to me that although the initial source of inspiration was a picture, the style of writing would be evoked by my favourite singer, Neko Case. In fact, other Case fans would be able to spot certain nuggets, little phrases that appeared in her songs. The “warble of a magpie” and “a hint of the sun” are a couple of examples. To be honest, I didn’t really know where I was headed with it. It started with that garden arch, then moved indoors to an abandoned house, later focusing on a playground in the distance that was visible from a window in the house. The ending was as much a surprise to me as I imagine it would be to any of my readers. I think my intense fascination with the ocean is apparent in the ending. In fact, I have an obsession for most water bodies that borders on the morbid – this stems from an unpleasant swimming/drowning experience in my childhood. In the last three lines, there’s admiration, love and fear, a yearning to be closer to something you cannot really conquer.

More to come. Stay tuned!