Oh Look, Krill!

Oh don't worry. Whales don't eat clownfish, they eat krill.

Meeting Gail Simone (And Crying)

When the guests lists for the Singapore Toys, Games and Comics Convention (STGCC) was released, my friends were superbly excited that Gail Simone was coming for the con. I’ve read her works and I love the way she writes, so I was just as excited.

On the opening day of the convention, I met with Joelyn and we headed to the con to meet Sarah who was already there as a volunteer, so that I can pass her my copy of Wonder Woman: The Circle so that she can help me get it signed by Gail Simone the next day, just in case I miss the signing session.

As we were walking around the hall, looking at the different booths, Sarah said to me, “Turn around.”

I turned and there Gail was, standing and talking to people. We went up to her and asked if she would mind signing my comic book. I handed her the book and burst into tears. It was so embarrassing for both Gail and myself. It was the biggest fan girl moment of my life.

I seriously did not expect the tears and I was so damn embarrassed, but Gail was such a good sport. She signed my book and even let us take a picture with her.

Me and Gail
Photo courtesy of Seriously Sarah

If you clicked on the picture to embiggen it, you’ll see that I still have the tears in my eyes when we took the photo. Fangirl much?

Anyway, I managed to arrive at the con on time for Gail Simone’s signing session. As I was queueing up to see her, she walked by and I started crying again. It was mucho embarrassing but I got my tears under control by the time it was my turn and managed to tell her coherently that even though I don’t have anything for her to sign that day, we, the HSWG, had something for her instead. We passed her a copy of Happiness At The End of the World and Bubble G.U.M., signed by all the writers involved so that she can have something to remember us by (as if having a crying fan handing her comic book to get signed isn’t memorable enough).

me and gail 2

So, it was the most awesome thing to happen to me that weekend. I really hope that she’ll come back soon and that we don’t have to wait another four years for us to see her again on our shores. I can promise that I won’t cry the next time I see her. Really!

The Launch For Books And Writing

Bubble GUM NaNoWriMo Kick-Off

It’s that time of year again when the local NaNoWriMo chapter have their annual Kick-Off Party.

Where it’s at: National Library, Multipurpose room (basement 1) at 6.30pm (till 8.30pm)

Theme (Yes, we always have a theme): Superheroes! Come dressed up as your favourite graphic novel character, both heroes and villains. Not compulsory but it’ll be fun.

Who’s invited: Everyone! Ok well, not everyone but everyone who’s doing NaNoWriMo, readers and comic book lovers.

We’ll kick things off with the year’s NaNoWriMo party, getting to know the newbies who just joined this year, catching up with veterans and we’ll have cake. There’s always cake at the kick-off and it’s never a lie.

Other than the Kick-Off, the Happy Smiley Writers Group (HSWG) is launching a new book, Bubble G.U.M. This book took us more than a year to write, edit (especially editing) and get it published. I’m so, so glad that it’s out.

So what is the book about, you ask?

It’s a sci-fi novel, set in Singapore in the year 2045, where the world as we know it is gone and the girls have to do NS. There’ll be meta-powers, mutant seabass, dolphins and bikinis as part of the NS uniform. Get the books to find out more.

The books will be going at $15 at the launch. Get it then before they slap on the RRP of $18 when it goes for sale online and in the bookstores (who will then slap on a GST charge). If you haven’t gotten Happiness At The End of the World, you can get it then too. It’s also going for only $15.

So come on down, meet the writers, buy the books and have some cake. We’re really friendly people.

Kick Off
Here’s an official poster to the event. Click to embiggen.

Weekend Adventure: In Search of Good Seafood

(Alternate Title: The One Where We Travelled All Over The Down Town Area Trying To Get Seats)

The Happy Smiley Writers Group finally got around to having the long overdue meeting where we hashed out the last few chapters of the next book and working on the promotion and marketing of Happiness at the End of The World.

book 1 tiny Book 2 tiny

We were down to five members as Joelyn was unwell and couldn’t make it. There was much writing of address on labels, going through the Writers’ Market books, having coffee and the goodies that Raven Silvers brought. By the end of the meeting, all the mochi and the coffee had been burnt off, we were starved.

Fish 1 small

After a quick stop to the library and to Kinokuniya, Sarah suggested that we head on to The Manhattan Fishmarket, the nearest one being at Plaza Singapura. We walked down from Ngee Ann City and was disappointed at the really long queue at the front of the outlet. So we headed down to Marina Square to try our luck. Unfortunately, there was another long queue, due to it being the peak hour for dinner. We were really starved by then, so we stayed and hope that we’d get a table soon since it’ll be easier to seat three people compared to the group of ten in front of us.

fish 2 small

Having browsed through the menu while we waited, we knew exactly what we wanted and placed our order as they showed us our table.

The garlic sauce mussels that we shared was amazing. I’ve never been a very big fan of mussels but this dish had me wanting more and sad when we finished it. If I were to eat it at home, I would be licking the plate as well as the wok that it came in but I wasn’t. I just wished the bread was toasted slightly instead of just being soft and warm.

The staff who brought The Manhattan Platter for us, also brought a blow torch with her, which she then used to fire up the prawns right in front of us. I’ve never seen prawns served that way. The scent of freshly fired up crustaceans was mouth-wateringly good.

Fish 4 small

The platter consisted of garlic rice, fries, deep fried, battered fish, calamari rings, deep fried, battered oysters and the fired up prawns. I found the rice flavourful and the prawns to die for. I had no words to describe the deliciousness of the prawn; it was a cross between a foodgasm and a mind-blowing, epiphany.

Fish 5 small

The meal set us back SGD51+, which is about SGD17 per person. It wasn’t bad considering the major enjoyment factor. I’m glad to know that there’s a Manhatten Fishmarket outlet fifteen minutes away (by train) from my house. I’m definitely going again soon, just for the prawns.

Sunday Adventures: Checking Out The Post-Museum

On the last day of January, I met with Seriously Sarah, Raven Silvers and Avariel to check out the Post Museum that Rozen was telling us about during the HSWG meeting the previous day. HSWG was looking for a working space and there was studio space at there that we could rent and set up an office or something. We decided to do some reconnaissance for her and at the same time, try out the vegetarian/vegan cafe there.

door 2 tiny

We met at Farrer Park station, as the venue was only a short walk away from the station. When I arrived, Avariel and Sarah were already waiting for me. They’d come together from the Kite Day at Punggol. I was supposed to go but I woke up late and was feeling a little lazy, so I skipped that part of the day.

Being a Sunday, Little India was packed with not only locals but also with the foreign labourers who were having their day off. I’m not very good with crowds and to have so many people packed on both sides of the streets, I was scared that someone might get pushed into the path of oncoming traffic. Fortunately, everyone was safe. There was even a free stage show that someone had organised for the entertainment. I think it was to celebrate Thaipusam, since the roads were closed earlier that morning for the Thaipusam ceremony.

Anyway, we couldn’t see any of the landmarks that were on the map provided on the Post Museum site. Raven used the map thing on her phone and just as we getting our bearings, Sarah pointed to the street across from us, Rowell Road. It was opposite us the whole time we were trying figure out where we were. So we jay-walked crossed the street and started looking for the Post-Museum.

door 2 small

The Post Museum is at the end of the Rowell Road, nearest to the residential area. We had to pass by a few interesting shops that sold everything from food, wares and, um, services too. There was a collective ‘Oooooh’ that went through the group when we finally found it.

They were having a free market in their show area, so we decided to check it out. There were piles and piles of things that ranged from CDs, clothes, books and miscellaneous items. All of them were FREE! All you needed was to bring your own bag and help yourself. There’s a donation box at the door, so you can give what ever amount you want. This is to help keep the place running.

artsy people small

After having a fill of the show room, we moved over to the cafe next door, which also part of the Post Museum. The interior of the cafe was rustic, with dry walls on one side and unpainted cement wall on the other. The place was buzzing with people enjoying cold bottles of beer and vegetarian snacks. The atmosphere in side the cafe was so unlike any place that we’ve been to in Singapore, that if we had some oceanic breeze blowing into the cafe, you can just close your eyes and pretend that you’re in a far off tropical island and not in a city state that’s just mostly concrete jungle.

I could tell that the rest of them felt exactly the same way I did. We in love with the place and would absolutely love it if we could get this to be our HSWG HQ. We ordered ice tea and enjoyed the cold drink as we pretended to be arsty people and absorb the ambience.

menu small

When we finished our tea, we decided to check out what else was available on the menu. They had a relatively good range of vegetarian food, along with vegan options and even vegetarian options without garlic and onions. The last option is not something that I’ve encountered before. It wasn’t until quite recently that I met a few people who were vegetarian and did not take onions and garlic for religious reasons.

vegan pizza small

After going through the menu, we decided on something that we can’t get anywhere else, a grilled vegetable pizza with vegan tofu topping instead of cheese. Since we’re out of drinks, we ordered another round, lemon & lime bitters for everyone else and a ginger ale for me.

The pizza was thin crust, crispy and so flavourful that we didn’t even care that there wasn’t any dairy products on it. It was good for those with lactose intolerant. My one and only experience with vegan food wasn’t that great but the pizza totally made up for it.

strange painting small

While we paid for our order, I enquired about the studio space and other things that we needed to ask about. They were superbly busy that day so they couldn’t show us around but that was okay. We had enough to report back to Rozen.

When we left the cafe, we saw something very interesting painted on the pillar outside the cafe. I have no idea what it is but to me, it looked like a superhero dressed as a yellow soda bottle with fruits floating around it. The star at the crotch though, I have no idea what that meant.

Anyway, like I said earlier, the place is awesome and so artsy that it appealed to our Bohemian writer side. The only down side that we could see was that, being a totally independent venue, there’s a danger that it might fold, leaving us with no venue to congregate and you know, do our art (hah!). So if you happen to go there, please donate generously and help to keep the place going. We need more places like that in Singapore.

Book Launch! NaNoWriMo Kick-off! Cake!

It’s that time of year again.

Click to enlarge.

It’s almost mid-October and our local NaNoWriMo Municipal Liaisons (ML)have been busy planning our kick-off for the 31st of October. It also happens to be the day that the Happy Smiley Writers Group will be launching our book, Happiness At The End of The World.

Come on down and support us. Get to know our writers, the NaNoWriMo participants. There’ll be cake and may even be a preview on our next book.

It’ll be fun.

Brought to you by our MLs: Sarah Coldheart & Raven Silvers

HSWG News: Here, Have A Prologue (Maybe)

Since the last HSWG related post, the Happy Smiley Writers Group has made some progress in the book writing bit. In fact, we even have the prologue (maybe) up on the Singapore Novelists site.

Or you can download it here:

Bubble G.U.M. Prologue (Maybe)

(It’s in PDF format so you need Adobe or PDF opening software thing)

To go with Bubble G.U.M., we have a second book, Happiness At The End of The World. Yes, that’s two books for your reading pleasure.

We have a slot for the launch of the books as well! The launch will be held at the Earshot Cafe at The Arts House on the 31st of October, 2-4pm. It’ll be part of the NaNoWriMo Kick-off Party. All are welcome! There’ll be cake.

Co-organised by:

SWF The Arts House NAC