I’m thinking of taking EN2271 as one of my modules next semester –Introduction to Playwriting. The thing is, it would clash with another module I want to take, EL3245: Media, Discourse and Society. Moreover, I’m not very sure if I want to take this as one of my Unrestricted Electives. We’re supposed to take 7 of them, as per the requirements of the University. So there are other modules like Introduction to Creative Writing and Introduction to Prose Writing, that I want to take as well, but they’re not offered this coming semester. So should I tak EL3254?

Anyway, application for the module is exclusive. Online bidding is not enough. They want us to write three scenes (no longer than one page each) based on three words: Abdication, Vindication and Restitution. On top of that, attach a sample of another type of work, a short story or essay or sorts. Here’s my attempt at Vindication.



There had never been any question about it. It was her fault. And for that, she was bound to him forever. Or at least, until she could assuage the guilt or until he forgave her, set her free. But the bonds were too tight; she could barely hope that they would ever snap.

“It’s your fault, Audrey.” He never let her forget that. “If only you hadn’t been there…”

He was drunk again. She remembered the last time he let his brain get addled with alcohol, and shuddered.

“Have you ever thought of getting a job, Ryan?” She had to approach gently. He was too volatile these days.

“A job?” He barked a laugh. “What can a cripple like me work as?”

“You aren’t crippled. You just can’t play anymore.”

He turned to her, his eyes flashing dangerously. “And whose fault is it that I had to give up the piano? And now you’re finding me a nuisance? Am I in your way, Audrey? Am I robbing you of a life?”

“No.” She took his hands. “I didn’t mean that. You know I didn’t –”

“I was meant to do great things, be world-famous.” A hazy glimmer settled in his faraway gaze.

When she noticed the hardening of his jaw, it was too late. He had grabbed hold of her. She braced herself for the incoming tide. But instead of hitting her, he took her face and pressed his lips against hers. The smell of alcohol made her gag, but she tried not to struggle.

It’ll be over soon. It’ll be over soon.

But his hands were running all over her now. He gripped her more tightly when she writhed. Her breathing was labored now, as the panic that spread from within her became a blanket of goosebumps. Her skin crawled wherever his hands and lips roamed.

“It’s your fault, Audrey.”

“Please stop. Please.”

“But don’t you see? It’s your fault.” His voice was muffled against her skin.

She imagined herself engulfed by the toxic cloud of guilt, the one that numbed her senses so that she was unable to bring herself to leave him. She choked on it, reveled in it.

Later, she would tell herself it was that cloud of guilt that made her grab his hair and swing his head against the edge of the coffee table. It was that cloud of guilt that made her deaf to the crack of his skull, blind to the crimson river that poured out of him, stained his face.

Right then, she stared down at him, her bloody angel, whom she once loved. She could think of nothing apart from the music he played, a hushed melody that she feared to forget.


Yes, I know. I felt a bit disturbed when I was writing it too.

On a lighter note, I’m re-watching Meteor Garden. Falling in love with Lei all over again. Did I mention? He’s my muse for Patches of Blue Sky. The silent, beautiful boy you feel so protective of you actually ache for him. Oh, Lei. I really think Vic is the perfect choice for the character. He looks like he walked out of the manga (Meteor Garden was based on the Japanese manga, Hana Yori Dango). I’m enjoying writing Patches of Blue Sky (change title asap!) immensely, by the way.


This is what I’ve been doing for the past week, preparing for my Sociology exam (3 essays in 2 hours):



Despite the an-essay-a-day routine in the week leading up to the most dreaded SC2210 exam on Tuesday (24/11/09), my writing still left much to be desired. Maybe it’s because I was required to churn out 3 essays instead of the 1 that I was used to, in JC. For GP, we had an hour and a half to write a properly thought-out essay that you could spare maybe the last 20 minutes editing. But the SC2210 paper was like a Human Geog essay, where I was scribbling so furiously my hands cramped up pretty badly. Not fun. Really, it took away all the fun of writing an essay. Plus, I noticed the length of my essays gradually got shorter and shorter. I was so drained by the end of it. Maybe I’ve fallen out of the essay-writing momentum. Writing Geog essays is good training. Makes you hardier, because you’ve endured the agony, the hardship. Builds up your mental stamina … that falls to bits after a year of slacking.

But the Philo and New Media exams were MCQ, and so is English (this coming Monday), which gave me some breathing space. After the rigour of the JC curriculum, uni feels like a huge relief (apart from the tiresome projects). For now, at least. I don’t want to jinx the coming semesters.

Anyway, I’ve decided to put off Mint for now and focus on Patches of Blue Sky (need to change title soon!), because Mint doesn’t seem to have much of a solid plot despite my upbeat note not too long ago about the summary-equals-strong-foundation bullshit. It wasn’t quite as painful as I’d expected it to be, probably because I’ve neglected it for so long (thanks to schoolwork) that I was practically detached from my characters.

Still, good news is, Patches is taking shape very nicely. There’s a proper pacing thanks to an element I’ve decided to incorporate, and the words flow relatively easily (for now – not about to jinx anything!), more easily than for Bedful of Moonlight, almost as easily as When the Lilies Turn Orange. Yiruma’s music is a drug, is all I can say.

Triv told me she’d read a couple of my ‘stories’ that I’d written prior to my first proper novel, Lilies. The word is in inverted commas because, as aforementioned, I don’t regard anything I’ve written before Lilies a proper, publishable story that I’m particularly proud of. So she read High Grounds – which I wrote when I was 15 – and said she could see the improvement from that to my subsequent novels, which is one thing good that came out of it, I suppose. Writing High Grounds was actually fun, despite the many cringe-worthy bits. I enjoyed creating the drama, weaving the romance and spinning the catty betrayals. But in retrospect, it is too run-of-the-mill teen series, very OC-ish, The Clique-ish in my book and very 90210-ish in Triv’s (I don’t watch that show, so I don’t know). Still, when I was writing that, I didn’t have being published in mind, because then, I was still under the impression that you needed lots of money for start-up fee to get published: paying the literary agents, the editors, etc. So I was writing that purely for my own enjoyment.

But later, after writing Lilies, I decided I wanted an audience, or at least some people to tell me how they felt when they read my story. So I researched more on publishing, and found out – whaddya know – you don’t need any start-up fee, just loads of dedication, perseverance, a tough hide and a willingness to learn – and, of course, the discipline to actually crank out those words.

That’s what NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is all about, isn’t it? I did think of taking part in it this year, but because November is a hectic month for those in uni, I didn’t have the time to embark on the 50k marathon (the idea is to write a 50,000-word novel in a month – that, as they say, involves lots of caffeine).

But that’s okay. I’m not the type who forces myself to stare at the computer screen till my eyes bleed, just so I can write the 5 pages I tell myself to write everyday. Some days the words just get the better of you, and some days you can grasp them in your palm. Ultimately, the writer is the one in absolute control of the way his or her novel turns out. And the best thing is, there are so many possibilities. That’s scary, in a way, but also what makes creative writing so exciting. I realised it’s the only – well, one of the only few – things that actually makes me feel like life is worth living. Some people work hard for the money, for the designer Coach wallets, for the photos of them clubbing that they can stick on Facebook and have everyone comment on it. Others prefer staying at home, Yiruma replaying on the stereo, and creating a world that is entirely their own.

Guess that is the main reason why I am, to quote Chooyan, ‘so single I don’t even have a has-been’, ‘as evergreen (a term uni people fancy when referring to themselves or others who have been single since forever) as Bukit Timah Reserve’.