YOUR HUMBLE NARRATOR is still on the move. Yesterday was Hong Kong. Today I am in Singapore (writing this in an airport coffee shop) before getting on a plane to go to India.
Singapore is changing. There's a widescreen TV at the front entrance of the shop opposite me and it has been flashing the word STEAL in large letters for more than an hour. I assume it is some sort of promotion for a video game or a movie (there are bits of action scenes in the background, behind the word). Or perhaps the Singaporeans have decided to let their hair down a bit?
Today, the new regulations for travelling with liquids comes into force. It's a pain -- toothpaste and aftershave are among the things you cannot take with you any more! Fortunately, there was a bit of good-old-fashioned Hong Kong entrepreneurialism came to the rescue. Watson's has immediately started selling 100ml empty plastic vials. That's the most you can take of any liquid or gel. So you can empty some of your stuff into them. So you all just have to stand there in the middle of the airport like mad scientists juggling liquids in vials until they are all under 100ml. Somehow doesn't make the airport feel safer, but the opposite...
IF IT'S THURSDAY, it must be Munich. I am on a city-by-city tour, waking up in a different hotel bedroom every day. What a strange thing a writer's way of life is. Part of it is very lonely -- sitting in silence at the computer for days on end. And the other half is just the opposite -- audiences, interviews, autograph sessions. One hears stories of authors going on tour and finding themselves in obscure towns suffering the humiliation of no one coming to see them. But this tour has been very well-organised, and the turn-outs have been fine at every location. Having just logged on for two minutes, I have been summoned to meet a literary agent downstairs, so will sign off here. My other life seems a million miles away!
OJ Simpson's book is going to be printed after all, and is likely to be couched as a confession... Vittachi gets a sign from the heavens... Soo to leave literary festival... new book download ventures starts... click below for a news round-up.
Thanks for taking an interest in the life of a lowly writer. I'm not sure if reading this diary will inspire you or put you off writing all together!
DESPITE ALL THE big names in town, the high points of a writer's life can be surprisingly simple and low-glamour. I spent yesterday evening with Mary Chen's book group, and had a wonderful time: This is what it is all about -- spending time with real readers who enjoy real books.
And then today (Friday) I was given 140 six-year-olds to entertain with stories (for a whole hour!). It sounded terrifying, but turned out to be enormous fun. I tested out all my storytelling skills, getting them to alternate between screaming with laughter and hanging on to every whispered word in pindrop silence.
At four o'clock in the morning I shall be getting up to head off to the airport (I have to check in at 5 something) to go on my European book tour. So this site may not be updated for a few days.
A BOOK BY a member of one my writing groups has got a very positive review in the Taipei Times. Well done, Joshua. The article captures the character of his book -- funny, light, clever, brave -- very well. Other members of his group can check it out here -- Joshua Samuel Brown review
PLAYWRIGHT LINDA ROSE just sent me this photo from her latest mission to Sri Lanka. I love the brightness of the light, the whiteness of the uniforms, the old-fashioned high ceiling and fans: in many ways, this is the real Asia, not the slick, air-conditioned glass boxes of Hong Kong and Singapore. Linda, who is from the UK, is using her playwriting and drama skills to help traumatized tsunami victims, prisoners and other needy people. That's what the creative arts should be about: changing lives. Yay Linda!
I would say writing a novel in ten days is definitely a miracle which people like you with super creative magical powers can do, ones with the golden touch... i would definitely want to be like you where ideas don't remain jammed in the brain but overflow in the form of words... you have to share your secret.
After writing a mere 5 chapters during CNY I am still suffering from aches and pains in my arms and shoulders... I need a massage not a miracle!