Singapore Writers Festival (SWF), the local biennial literary event, is back. This year NaNoWriMo was given a shout out by Philip Jeyaretnam (aka chairman of the SWF steering committee), during the opening ceremony thing on Friday, 23rd October. I missed that event, seeing that you had to RSVP much, much earlier and well, I didn't.
SWF09 started proper on the Saturday, 24th October, with Wena Poon her reading from her Biophilia Omnibus. I've waited months and months for this and finally, I have the book. Sarahcoldheart, Raven Silvers and Jo (formerly known as Raven Azure) had gotten their copy the night before, during the opening ceremony dinner thing. Seeing that there were only 20 copies available, I had to get there early (and be totally kiasu) to get my hands on it. Well, there were a few interesting moments when I wanted to purchase it but the counter wasn't open, the cashiers weren't around and the feeling of 'oh am gee, I want this book now but WWHHHYYYY can't I get it' I finally did after the reading.
Speaking of readings, Wena does one of the most entertaining readings I've been to. If I close my eyes and just listen to the way she reads and does the dialogue for Mog, the main character for the Biophilia series, it's exactly how imagined Mog to sound like. She was careful not to give away any spoilers since most of us (actually just the four of us who are like rabid Biophilia fans) have yet to read anything other than the first book of the series. After the reading, I had my book signed and we had a little chat about Twilight before Sarah, Raven and I went for a cake break at the cafe.
After the cake break, Raven Silvers and Sarahcoldheart left to go to the Mark Waid panel. Check out their blogs for their side of things.
While Jo and I went to the joint panel by Miguel Syjuco and Wena Poon, where they talk about how they get into the heads of their characters; characters who are from a very different backgrounds. They talk about the research that they do to make the characters believable and flesh out the character flaws that make them more real. As I sat there and listened to these authors talk about their writing processes and how much research goes into their work, I thought to myself, "Yes. Yes, that's how I do it too." I didn't know that famous authors had the same process that I do, just that they're better than I am.
Writing isn't that hard actually. Just like every other endeavour out there, it takes effort, perseverance and passion. End navel gazing.
Even though my day out to the Arts House was only for a few hours, being able to immerse in pure literary events that aren't filled with people who think they're so much better than others because they're SUPER LITERARY, whatever that means. It was fun and too bad that SWF is only every two years. It would be so much more fun if it was every year.
By the way, the book launch for Happiness At the End of The World is this Saturday. It's an open event at Earshot Cafe, The Arts House, 2 to 4pm. Make it down if you can.