Decisions, Shapes

I remember learning the alphabet only in the vaguest way. It's safer to say that, when I learned how to spell, I had a memory of learning the alphabet. Stringing words into sentences wasn't all that tough: I just mimicked how people talked. In later years, English teachers drilled us all in proper grammar. As … Continue reading Decisions, Shapes

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Jingle Bells, Parties Smell

It's that time of year again. Christmas decorations are up, carols are piped through every and any available speaker, and worst of all... it's time for the dreaded Christmas parties. Don't get me wrong, Christmas parties with family are great. But what I would prefer to avoid at all costs are the corporate parties. They're … Continue reading Jingle Bells, Parties Smell

Cussing in Creative Writing

Fairly recently, Tom Hanks dropped the F-bomb on Good Morning America and the bad word police shit their pants in response. It’s irritating that I’m from a country that has organizations devoted to monitoring television for profanity. But since I’m a writer who grew up in a culture where swearing is the eighth deadly sin, … Continue reading Cussing in Creative Writing

Prompted to Write

We'll be having another flash fiction week next year in January; details to follow soon. In the meantime, have a look at Ceil Kessler's new blog: Flash Fiction Stories. This is a blog for people who love flash fiction stories, and those who love to write flash fiction stories. I'll be publishing regular writing prompts, … Continue reading Prompted to Write

This Life of Stories

It's so easy to think that everything will continue on as it always has. You've weathered the worst of the storms, come out if not unscathed then still in one piece, and finally, things can settle down again. You can start to relax, take things for granted, and what was once strange becomes your new … Continue reading This Life of Stories

Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo

Standing in the checkout line at the local grocery are two 22 year olds. They were married at 18. Young, the people said, but in love and not stupid (at least not that stupid) and both of them have a maturity that comes from years of self-reliance. As they step up to the register, their … Continue reading Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo

Musical Words

Concertina The monkey's squeezebox is played by pressing keys on either side while squeezing the bellows, moving air past the reeds. This reed-based musical instrument's name demands one take it in hand and operate it, not in the solitude of a parlor as with a small guitar, but in front of an appreciative crowd. Best … Continue reading Musical Words

Two Worlds, Two Stories

I was born in Singapore, but you can't really call me a Singaporean. I may look like them, but anyone talking to me can immediately tell I'm not one of them. There's a distinct lack of 'lah’s, no trace of the beautiful mish-mash of languages unique to the country, and none of the cadence and … Continue reading Two Worlds, Two Stories

Lovely Words

Foist Oxford tells us that to foist is to "impose an unwelcome or unnecessary person or thing on". Much more interesting is the example given by reference.com, "to foist political views into a news story." Bulldozer This word has a great, buzzy sound that evokes tank-like treads rumbling down the asphalt as we drive by, … Continue reading Lovely Words

Science Writing

Some writers have a knack for explaining science to a popular audience. It's a balancing act, where the writer treads a shifting line printed alongside the word "patronizing", and it's not an easy thing to do. Books that tread this line fed my fascination with science from an early age, and I strongly considered going … Continue reading Science Writing