Thursday, July 07, 2011

Episode 1018: Appointment Formalities

Went down to MOE at 9 am for a briefing on appointment formalities, most of which will hopefully be moot in a few weeks if I get sponsorship for my MA. Technically, only e-matriculation for NIE needs to be done by the end of July. I guess making the PS Card as well, although the documents we received didn't make it exactly clear. I've got the last week of the month anyway! Had brunch with MOE people in Holland Village and dawdled a couple of hours, before reemerging into the tropical heat and humidity. Rejected a handful of submissions on the pleasantly uncrowded MRT ride home, and finished reading that collection of short stories by the Malaysian teenage girl. My verdict? Publisher hype. Most of the stories employ standard tropes, and the endings all seem driven by the need for tidy closure or the opposing desire to keep things vague. I'm sure if I'd been into writing fiction at that age, my stories would have been as tedious, but at least I wouldn't have had a glowing introduction from my publisher pretending otherwise. Thought of re-reading Urban Animals by Mireille Silcoff, then changed my mind and carried on with the new issue of Ceriph instead. The best piece in it is a Chinese poem by Yeng Pway Ngon, which feels so contemporary even though it was written more than four decades ago. Truly astounding, and it's piqued my interest in Yeng Pway Ngon, whose chapbooks I might now seek out. Imagine that. Me reading Chinese poetry. Willingly.

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