This is my second post for REVERB 2011. As I said in the previous post, I am joining Kaileen Elise’s REVERB 2011. I just want to tag along rather than host my own.
My first post probably gave you a case of the ZZZzzs and you would have been turned off by my lackluster writing, so if you’re still here to stick around, a million thanks to you!
This year was the year that I got around.
Aside from the Letter Box Project that has made me in contact with a lot of people from all over the world, I was constantly challenging myself to go out of my comfort zone.
Most of my close friends I have met through Church, I think suffice to say that 99% of my friends are either from my Church or were introduced to me by friends in my Church. This year has been no exception being involved in writing scripts for zone events and going for youth camps I met more young people, I feel the equivalent of a high school teacher. Somehow, I can still manage to relate with them – I think they think of me as the eccentric older sister.
My fangirl friends, they are the ones who bring a little “crazy” to my life. They probably won’t read this post because they are two busy career-driven hidden otakus but with them in my life I can have both intellectual and nonsensical identity crises conversations.
from SWF Facebook page
My foray into Singapore’s literary world finally happened when I signed up to volunteer for the Singapore Writers Festival 2011.The organizers were super helpful and really took care of us. In fact it was really cool that one of the organizers- Bev was the person I chatted up at a workshop a few months before. It was great seeing her again. The other volunteers were also cool to talk to and I was really surprised at how friendly everyone is. And I actually managed to get a glimpse and interact with a few notable authors both local and foreign like Michael Chabon, Andrew Motion,Vikas Swarup, Ovidia Yu, Fredrik Haren, Troy Chin and others.
I was mistaken to think that I would never ever embarrass myself in a big way once I hit my 20s. Surely, I have accumulated enough embarrassing moments for not just one but a dozen lifetimes. But a fangirl is always a fangirl and whether it be a band or an author that I practically stalked EVERY SINGLE DAY during my uni days, when I met said author, I acted out of instinct. One of the most respected Filipino authors, F. Sionil Jose was one of the guests during the Singapore Writers Festival. I had already marked up my calendar to attend the panel where he was speaking and did not expect much. When I entered the Lee Ka Shing Library I was a bit early and imagine my excitement when I saw my idol sitting at one corner.
I don’t know what possessed me, but there I was in my frazzled and flip-flopped glory (I still bemoan my sartorial choice for that day) walked up to the living legend, struck out my hand and said, ” Hello Sir, I am a fan”. JUST. LIKE THAT. Looking back I wanted to die at how bold I was. Here was someone I could never be even if I was given a thousand years to try, here was the person I stalked almost every day for a year at the bookshop he owned in Manila just to get a glimpse of him. What came next was so surreal I still am in shock – he actually pulled up a chair and chatted with me. I was dumbfounded, and my heart was beating fast. If only my fellow stalker friends could see me now, chatting with my favourite author and his wife. I also got him to sign my book – the high that I felt was enough to last me a week.
This year was more about comfort zones and challenging myself to put myself out there and not hold back. I hope for the next year I will not just meet a lot of people but strike up great friendships as well.