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Singapore Script Sketch 12 Oct

ScribeSketches… Singapore Script Sketches… yes, still trying out new terms. One of these might work!


Seen at a restaurant yesterday:

It was a table of six–at least some of them Mainland Chinese because they were talking (in Mandarin) about how Singapore does this/that and Singapore people don’t do this/that. Three  men and three women seated at a corner table with the three women in the corner against the wall–‘trapped’ unless the people sitting beyond stand up for you. Two of the men talked almost continuously. The slightly more senior man next to the slightly more senior lady (short bobbed hair) talked almost exclusively to her, barely breaking off as the waitress leaned over him to place food in front of them. The other, young, tanned and wrinkled, directed his talk at the other two women, ignoring the fairer, plumpish man to his left who didn’t say much, just grinned and nodded when addressed and when prodded to grin and nod. The two women against the wall were wearing a long sleeved top and a dark cardigan over a shirt and had the sort of unstyled, unshaped long hair that young professional women sport to indicated they are still feminine even if they don’t take the trouble to get a good haircut.

The Talking Men got impatient with the young server (very tall, very shy, very pretty girl who I thought Chinese till then but realised might be Burmese/Vietnamese) because she didn’t speak enough Mandarin to understand that though they had ordered individual dishes the main courses were to be placed in the middle of the table for them to share while the sides of fries/mash/rice were put on individual plates as requested for each of them. But a senior staff member, a Filipina who spoke excellent Mandarin came and sorted things out. (I was most impressed by her actually!)


Word Snapshot

Or maybe ‘Scribe Short’? ‘Script Short’? Anyway, observations in under 250 words or one page…

Because as an Enneagram 5 (thanks Bian for introducing Enneagrams!) I tend to live inside my head and in words and distance myself from what’s going on outside.

I love some daily art/photo sites but it’s capturing stuff I see/hear/learn from the ‘outside’ in words that I’m trying to work at.


Yesterday, on the way back from VivoCity there was construction work along Pasir Panjang Road. The road split for centre work and there was also other work going on on the left side of the road, so we were a very narrow single lane. The car in front was a posh white BMW and it was going very slowly (for a car) because in front of it was a cyclist (going very fast for a cyclist). Not a recreational cyclist in shiny helmet and bright shiny clothes on a shiny new bike but one who looked like a migrant worker–tall and leggy with longish hair tied under a head scarf, dark loose clothes on an old, dark bike.

We (the car in front, my car, the growing line of cars behind) were all going slowly because there was no room to overtake him. I was hoping no one would get impatient and cause an accident. If only the driver in front stayed calm he could ‘protect’ the cyclist from the anyone behind accelerating into him.
Then the road opened up and at once the cyclist veered left to the unblocked curbside. Instead of surging ahead, the car drew alongside him and someone inside waved and he gave a big grin and waved back: a gesture that seemed part salutation, part thanks.


Now eyes are ‘fixed’ (again!) it’s so good to get back to reading even though I’m not reading much yet.

Not going to be getting back to this blog seriously/regularly till this stabilises but want to say I was thrilled to read, in a review about a new book on Leonardo da Vinci :

Levenger Press: How did Leonardo combine what was on the page with what was happening in the streets around him for his writing?Ross King: Leonardo was a great observer of the world around him. We’re told he always kept tucked in his belt a little notebook in which he jotted down anything that amused or interested him. He also used to follow people through the streets of Florence or Milan, surreptitiously making sketches of their features with a view to using them in paintings.

I found that very encouraging–though totally in a different time & different league (probably different dimension) we’re still carrying notebooks around and observing and trying to figure stuff out even as we’re being entertained by it!

I used to do that all the time–the result of being kaypoh with a bad memory–like taking word snaps of people & places.

WordSnapShot taken at a cafe at Vivocity: there was a young woman who was telling the toddler with her what to do non-stop; “Don’t touch that!” “Sit Still!” “No don’t touch I do for you!” and “Quiet!” “Stop it!” The child seemed happy and healthy enough, interested in & wanting to explore its surroundings as it was transferred awkwardly (this took longer than it did for their order to arrive) from pushchair to child seat. The pushchair was left in the centre aisle but when one of the staff tried to move it between two tables the mother snapped as though challenged, “He’s my son I can manage!” She was obviously awkward with the child as well as his big pushchair. The woman was wearing a shirt and skirt that looked uncomfortable and unflattering enough to be civil service office wear but in low heeled slippers that kept catching on the wheels and table legs. She kept drawing attention to her mouth (a petulant mouth, I thought, sides dragged down by pronounced nasal labial folds) by dabbing at it and twice reapplying lipstick while she was still eating. When the child was quiet she stared at her mobile phone–without speaking or texting. When the child moved or spoke she went back to “Sit Still!” or “Quiet!” and put another spoonful or another sip into it.

Was wondering what the scenario could be, she seemed both unfamiliar with the mechanics of dealing with a child alone and defensive about being able to handle it.





September Reflections

“when I connect with a good book, often by somebody dead, and they are telling me a story that seems true, and they are telling me things about myself that I know to be true, but I hadn’t been able to put together before—I feel so much less alone than I ever can sending e-mails or receiving texts.” Jonathan Franzen courtesy of Madame Librarian’s blog

Trying to keep that quote in mind but got really caught up with my new iPad for awhile!! And yes, got back to three times a week yoga and (finally) to doing a complete Primary Series but then lapsed and lost it all over again while traveling. I did a lot of walking & meditating but feel like all my upper body & core strength have ended up as flab storage around my middle…

September Reflections:
1. Mystery Novel–no, I didn’t reach my 15,000 word target but I’m comfortably just under 10,000 words and to my surprise I’m enjoying it! New stuff is in there, yes, and it’s feeling more and more like a complete rewrite given that I’m re-writing everything (not just changing POV the characters are starting to ‘tell’ me who/what they are!)

2) Children’s Book. Outline is done & again here I’m just under 10,000 words. But I like the outline I’ve done and the writing is good when I sit down to it but the problem is sitting down to it!!!

3) Yoga. Dropped out again thanks to traveling and a minor eye problem that’s making it difficult to do inversions & balance poses. But that’s getting seen to next week so hopefully… synchronicity coming into play though–met Monica while walking dogs this morning and she’s interested in finding people to do self practice with right here in Varsity Park!!! If this comes off I’ll still try to go to Back On The Mat two to three times a week but I could do regular home practice here!

4) Reading: Finished The Artist’s Way Journey (in Paris, no less!!!) and enjoyed it tremendously. I loved the people who were taking this journey with me and I’ve learned so much from them and what they are all doing with their lives. Read some other books too–was in the mood for old ‘classical’ murders so read Black Plumes, Christmas Guest, Death at La Fenice (my favourite Donna Leon I think!) and Monsieur Proust by his housekeeper of 9 years, Celeste Albaret. I was very impressed by her picture of how hard he worked and how obsessed he was with finding models for his characters. I end up observing people too & desperately scribbling down ‘pointers’ to help me remember. A warning to myself though… I don’t want to end up spending all my time in bed writing–though the temptation is very very very great!

5) Travel: Geneva and then Paris for almost two weeks was really, really wonderful. What struck me most were the monks’ working/sleeping quarters discovered in the archaeological site of the Cathedral of St Pierre in Geneva. They had one room with a large table and chair downstairs where they did their work and upstairs a smaller room and bed with external steps linking the two. All this was against the North wall of the Cathedral so they were part of yet not inside the Cathedral. And what’s really great is they had heating! Pipes carrying for conducting hot water were found beneath their cells! I liked the simplicity yet with heating & ‘running’ water that must have been luxury in that time!!

My dream writing lifestyle–monastic simplicity with heating & meals provided!!!

6) Blogging–Haven’t been doing much writing here but what’s sadder is I haven’t been following any of my favourite blogs–there just seems so little time especially as reading for any length of time makes my eyes hurt & leads to headache… but after the (minor) surgery planned for next week I hope things will get better! Haven’t been watching television or reading the newspapers either; yet when I do make an effort to flip through a newspaper (before putting it beneath a doggy bottom) I haven’t found anything I want to stop and read.

7) I have an iPad now!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

New Start & September Anticipations

If this is scattered (more so than usual) it’s because of 1) slight stress headache due I think to 2) EXCITEMENT because I’ve been told to watch out for a DHL delivery today–it’s a present and I’m pretty sure it’s an iPad!!!

But I’m telling myself it may not be, no point looking up apps/getting excited. There are lots of things that qualify as a ‘portal to new experiences’… it could be concert tickets, tarot cards, an umbrella…

No, I mustn’t speculate. Must wait & see. Must stay calm and have lunch first…

I haven’t been writing regularly here since all the excitement of last year’s AWARE takeover partly because there hasn’t been anything big and public I wanted to focus on and all my little issues/doings/happenings get aired on Facebook; and partly because I was taken aback by some of the comments I got on those pieces–fundies who send ALL CAPS rants in bad English and links to Pastor Prince sermons–but I realise that even with my morning pages (on the wonderful 750 Words site) I miss this blog.

I miss the accountability. Thanks to the Artist’s Way Journey I’ve been taking (we’re on Week 10 now) I’m going to miss this group so much when the journey is over!
Of course it’s possible we’ll all stay in touch but that won’t be the same as knowing we’re all working on the same chapters week by week all over the world.

(Sorry, I know it’s a lot of links for one post but these are places I’ve been en route to here!)

Thanks to The Artist’s Way Journey and the books & experiences it’s led me to explore I’ve become more aware of the incredible energy, blessings & synchronicity surrounding me now. I want some kind of record for myself that can also serve as a general route guide.

Like I find I walk more when I wear a pedometer & set a target I hope I’ll be more focused in my reading and writing and yoga practice if I write about where I hope to be going in these areas. Setting goals helps define them so at least I know what I’m trying to do!

Reading is on my current list thanks largely to Steve Leveen for pointing out 1) We each have individual ‘great’ books lists 2) Don’t waste your time on books you don’t connect with–there’s so much great writing out there waiting for you 3) With all the great writing and so little time it’s a huge waste not to plan what we want to read/love to read.

He may not have meant to say those things in his book The Little Guide to Your Well Read Life but that’s what I got out of it and according to him that’s what counts!

Another book that’s inspired me to try this is Nick Hornby’s Housekeeping vs The Dirt, a chronicle of fourteen months of reading which starts each chapter/month with Books Bought: and Books Read. Haven’t finished it yet but I’m enjoying the read so far. It’s tremendously freeing to feel I don’t ‘Have’ to finish what I start reading if it doesn’t work for me at the time.

I’m hoping to post twice a month: Once in the first week and once in the final week.

September Intentions:
1. Finish corkboarding the mystery novel on Scrivener. I’m switching from first person to third person which means rewriting it completely, also cutting it down from 70,000 ++ words to 50,000 words. For a while I thought ‘no way’ I can do that in 3 months but that was exactly when ‘Creative U-turns’ came up in TAW and it could have been addressed directly at me. I’m going to practice the process and keep going till I’m stopped–this time I won’t stop myself. I’m also reminding myself that a publisher giving rewrite suggestions is a very GOOD sign and actually once I got over the panic most of the suggestions are very very good. It’s due at the end of the year so if I manage to put down a structure I’m happy with I think I can make it. In September I hope to put down at least 15,000 words.

2) Children’s Book. Why not? I wrote 2 for SPCA (they’re only taking one) so when I heard about the NBDCS children’s book competition I thought–why not? It will be an interesting experience. I’m targeting 40,000 words for this. In September I hope to finish the outline & roughly 12.000 words.

3) Yoga. Back at yoga after so long I realise how limp wimp I’ve become! But I’ve cut myself down to doing part of Primary Series at least twice, ideally three times a week. September goal: Back to doing Full Primary Series three times a week

4) Reading: I’ve just discovered the world of audiobooks but don’t want to give up reading paper just yet so… first step is to finish the Nick Hornby and the Artist’s Way course and then I’ll see. I have 4 library books and Swan Thieves and I feel like rereading stuff after surprising myself by enjoying The Scarlet Pimpernel so much…

5) Travel: Going to Paris for just over a week–hoping to try art journaling the trip. If that doesn’t work out just mean to enjoy it.

6) Blogging–mean to get back on the page for my September round up!

Stupid Woman Hitting Whimpering Dog

This video appeared on YouTube but has been removed.

You can still see the original at the SPCA & SPCA Facebook website.

If you know who this woman is, please contact the SPCA at: inspector@spca.org.sg.

And if you can please forward this link, especially to anyone who might recognize her.
It looks like her son filmed her hitting the dog. Anybody recognize the mother of a friend/classmate please help!

TAW Week2

Week 1 was really good for me though I was spending a lot of time trying to figure out what I was ‘supposed’ to do. Really pleased to get to know some of the other on the journey because I hope the group energy will help me keep going as the journey continues.

I know it’s easy for me to practice yoga in a group than on my own despite how much simpler (no need to arrange time & transport, no need to wear anything beyond underwear… if that) it is to practice alone at home. I did worry I was going to class for the ‘wrong’ reasons but then I figure any reason that gets me on the mat is a good reason & I hope the same applies to my TAW journey!

All through the first week (sense of safety) I was asking myself ‘what are you scared of?’ during my morning pages. It struck me I was not looking for ‘safety’ (because if the Creator made me & put me here I am safe here) but the sense of safety that will let me try and play and relax and explore.

This week (sense of identity) I’m working on the question ‘who are you?’ but it’s really free play. Sometimes one of my imaginary lives selves decides to answer instead.

I’ve found some ‘relaxing’ (for me that means rain or waves or crickets) sounds on YouTube to lull the jumpy sides of my mind when I’m trying to work and I found the Absolute Write ‘water cooler’ that’s really speaking to me during my own writing breaks.

Something Pat (fellow TAW voyager) wrote about the physical act of writing bringing things home to us much more thoroughly made me write out my affirmations. Yes, I read we’re ‘supposed’ to but till then I figured as long as I had them in my head it would be good enough. What was interesting was that as I wrote them out I found myself adjusting them to suit me and though I started with 3 affirmations from the book I ended up (last night–today it may change again) with:

1. I create my self with each day’s thoughts and actions
2. I love learning, practicing and playing
3. I trust my self

No 3 comes out different each time: I get I trust myself to do my best, I trust myself to be gentle to myself, I trust myself to enjoy this life… it’s been fun!

And I read about James (another TAW fellow traveler–yes, one of the champions I mentioned previously) who’s doing like a hundred things already (stage rehearsals, music) and he’s already taking steps on his imaginary lives! I want to do that too! I’m going to the library later. I’m usually too hard up/stingy to buy books till I really love them but when I do I will buy them just to pay a thank you tribute to the people who wrote them ‘for’ me.

(James if you make it here again Thank You! I’m putting your comment on my happy board–at the moment it’s just happy sticky tabs but they work!!)

And I’ve made my ‘God Jar’. There are more sticky tabs inside. The thin coloured ones that I can fold and stick in on themselves in little squares after I’ve done. They look like candy in there. Yesterday I just wrote down the date & put it in and thought ‘now that’s taken care of’ & I think the day went really well.

Today I woke late–7.30 instead of before 6am as I’ve been managing to do so everything got pushed back a bit but a blessed angel came to walk the doglets and they got a long long trek up Clementi Road, round past the mosque and Sakuraya restaurant and down into Clementi Woods Park. That’s further than I normally take them and they came back so High & happy & hot & tired & panting & so very very glad to see me that I was happy (though not as tired) too! They’re both asleep now.

My difficulties with the TAW journey so far: I love doing the morning pages but my right hand & arm hurt, not being used to writing. I’m not doing morning yoga & meditation because I get right down to morning pages when I wake & then there’s dog breakfast, dog walking, feeding fish, turtles, watering plants before too much sun gets to them… and I’m not writing here as much as I would like to.

I’ve thought of doing my morning pages here but since so much of them goes ‘this is a nice pen. It writes better than the other pen. I want to change my handwriting to something more regular’ it would really be a waste of space.

And of course I want to get back to working on the CB (Current Book though sometimes the more vulgar term applies) by 9 am.

But overall I’m having a Great time so far. Thank you Wenona & everyone else on this journey!