Wednesday, 26 November 2008

One can never claim a shortage of short story writing opps in these parts.

From Amir's blog again:
BODY 2 BODY
Writings on Alternative Sexuality in Malaysia
Edited by Jerome Kugan and Pang Khee Teik
Published by Matahari Books

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CALL FOR ENTRIES

1. Writings should depict queer or alternative sexuality in Malaysia, or of Malaysian queers' experience in the world.

2. Possible Genre: fiction, true life accounts, essays, memoir, excerpts from novel or play. We do not accept verse.

3. Queer includes gay, lesbian, bisexual, transvestite, transgendered, intersexed.

4. Possible topics: coming out, forced out, going back in, love found, love lost, love squandered, encounters with homophobia, trying to go straight, married life, being friends with a queer person, being seduced by a queer friend, self-loathing, religion, family, work, studies, activism, etc.

5. Writers can be Malaysian or non-Malaysians. Writers can be queer or straight.

6. All writing must be in English, or translated into English. The writers are responsible for getting their own translations done. Minimal use of other languages is acceptable with explanatory notes.

7. Writers should use their actual names. A pen name is allowed when the writer has been publicly associated with that name.

8. You're advised to submit no more than 3,000 words. However, the maximum is 4,000.

9. Deadline: Sat 28 Feb, 2009

10. The editors plan to select up to 20 pieces of writings.

11. Book will be launched at Seksualiti Merdeka 2009 at The Annexe Gallery in August 2009.

12. Please email entries to matahari.books@gmail.com with the heading "Body2Body"

13. Writers who are selected will share 10% of the royalties from the sales. Conversely, they can choose to receive 4 books in lieu of royalties.

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EDITORS' BIO

Pang Khee Teik is the Arts Programme Director for The Annexe Gallery, Central Market Annexe, Kuala Lumpur. He was formerly the editor of Kakiseni.com. Pang has also been involved in theatre, independent films, writing and even a spot of experimental dancing.

Jerome Kugan is a writer and musician who has been living and working in Kuala Lumpur since 2000. Besides being the Media Manager at The Annexe Gallery, he is the creator of Poetika and one of the organisers for KL Sing Song.

In Aug 2008, Pang and Jerome organised Seksualiti Merdeka, Malaysia's first sexuality rights fest at The Annexe Gallery.

PUBLISHER

Matahari Books is a publishing company, set up by the writer and occasional movie-maker Amir Muhammad, that specialises in non-fiction books about Malaysia. Its first book in 2007 was Volume 1 of Malaysian Politicians Say the Darndest Things, which was an immediate best-seller. It published five books in 2008, including a tie-in screenplay book for the hit film Kami. All its books are sold in major Malaysian bookstores as well as Amazon.com.

* If you have comments on this, do post them on the Matahari Books Facebook group :-)
A-ha! Malaysian Gay Lit! A veritable Blue Ocean in the Malaysian publishing industry, if ever there was one.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

George.

Three eggs. Hah! Take that, George Orwell!

Friday, 21 November 2008

Jemputan ke Peluncuran Kitab Pengetahuan Hantu Malaysia.

Here's an announcement from Amir Muhammad:


Bapak-bapak, ibu-ibu, jambu-jambu dan awek-awek hadhari dijemput ke acara yang santai lagi gerek: Pelancaran buku KITAB PENGETAHUAN HANTU MALAYSIA.

Buku sususan Danny Lim ini telah diterjemahkan secara sahih oleh Ahmad Kamal Abu Bakar.

Ketahuilah asal-usul, sifat serta tumit-tumit Achilles puluhan hantu dan roh yang menjadi khazanah budaya masyarakat sibilis (sekular, pluralis dan liberalis) kita.

Tempat: Bau Bau Cafe, The Annexe, Central Market.
Tarikh: 5 Disember (Jumaat)
Masa: 8:30pm hingga LRT senyap.

Terdapat hiburan oleh beberapa kumpulan gitar rancak yang akan diumumkan kelak. Juga pembacaan mengejut oleh:
Ahmad Kamal Abu Bakar
Amir Muhammad
Danny Lim
Fahmi Fadzil
Shahril Nizam
Sharon Bakar
Ted Mahsun
dan beberapa lagi artis yang tak sempat masuk Bi-pop hari minggu lepas.

Buku akan berada di toko-toko hanya 2 minggu setelah tarikh pelancaran, jadi dapatkanlah di sini agar anda tidak frust menonggeng.

Harga buku: RM20. Tebal: 115 mukasurat.

Bisa konfirm di Facebook
Hold on a sec. Is that my name there?

Thursday, 20 November 2008

NaNoWriMo 2008: Day Twenty - Tempus Fugit Edition.

Crap. Has it been twenty days already? I don't think I need to say I'm seriously behind on my word count.

It's not that I haven't been writing. I have. Lots of it. It's just that all the writing I've done this past month has mostly been of the speeches, essays, book forewords and book reviews variety. After all that, the last thing I want to do when I get home from work is to wrack my brains for a novel. In addition to that, the gallery I work for just held a HUGE event (I've mentioned this before I believe) yesterday, where People of Royalty came and graced us with their Presence. It was all a huge fuss and all so we were all understandably kept busy.

It's true what they say. If you want to write a novel, don't have a writing job as your day job. You'll have written a lot during work, and by the time you get home, you'll be too tired to write anything for yourself.

Having said that, I believe NaNoWriMo's not over yet. So there's still time for me to catch up on my word count. Even if some people might consider what I'm about to take on as madness.

Madness?! This! Is! NaNoWriMo!

Okay. Sorry. That was lame.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

NaNoWriMo 2008: Day Thirteen - Procrastination Is Our Enemy.

Hmm. Well I've been real busy of late so I have had to abandon my NaNoWriMo efforts for the time being. Also! My brother bought the Dragon Quest IV remake for the Nintendo DS...and it's completely captured me within its evil grasps.

I'm making up for lost time. I never finished it the first time I played it on the NES all those years ago, and when they released the Playstation remake, I couldn't read Japanese.

Now I'm determined to save the goddamn world, NaNoWriMo or no!

(The following paragraph might only be interest to a special breed of nerd–the video game soundtrack nerd. I was digging through my video game soundtrack CD collection yesterday, and I could only find the soundtracks for Dragon Quests 1 to 8 except 4. I'm pretty sure I bought the soundtrack for 4. Did I lose it or something? Oh well, at least I rediscovered a CD I thought I had long ago lost: the Saga Frontier II OST! Yay! Only the best jRPG soundtrack evah! Well, next to Final Fantasy 6 obviously.)

Oh yeah! NaNoWriMo! I'm planning to catch up soon. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

NaNoWriMo 2008: Day Five - Obama Edition.

Woke up this morning to a NaNoWriMo pep email written by Jonathan Stroud in which he equates writing the first draft of a novel to an epic, heroic journey starring Charlton Heston: "Full of dramatic highs, dreadful lows and endless tedious bits when the audience goes out to make a cup of tea."

How very true!

Last night's writing session went better than the day before with me being able to hammer up to 2200 words. I had a target of reaching 3000 words but it was not to be. Still! 2200 words! That's a lot! My overall word count is now 5236.

I'm happy with that number and also happy with the direction my story is taking. I didn't expect it to take a life of its own just yet, but that's what happened. I certainly did not expect the protagonist to impersonate a masseuse to break into a house. Weird.

I think I'm beginning to feel the NaNo vibe now!

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

NaNoWriMo 2008: Day Four.

Yesterday's word count was much better. It didn't reach the requisite daily count of 1667, but I did write more than a thousand words and managed to reach 1400 words.

If it's better than yesterday and the day before, than it's good enough for me.

There's another thing that's good about all this. The fact that my daily word count is getting higher everyday might mean I'm gaining momentum so things might get better in the coming week.

I'm still preparing for the worst though, so I can't get too cocky now. The art gallery I work for is planning a huge (HUGE!) exhibition launch this month and my wife's office deems it fit to make it compulsory for husbands to attend their family day, also happening later this month. I foresee these two events threatening to derail my NaNoWriMo efforts so I'll have to take some precautionary measures if I want to make sure my word count is good enough.

Lastly, FUCK YOU PJH Corporation for forcing husbands to come to your stupid family day. (But thanks for the generous medical coverage.)

Monday, 3 November 2008

NaNoWriMo 2008: Day One, Two and Three.

NaNoWriMo is here again! I would've blogged earlier but somehow the Internet keeps acting up everytime I want to log into Blogger.

So anyway! To catch up, there was a book launch party on October 31st, and by the time I got home at about midnight, the last thing I wanted to work on was a 50,000 word novel. (What I did was fire up Thief: Deadly Shadows. Have you played it? It's awesome.) When I did finally start writing – at 8pm on 1st November – I only managed to crank out 670 words.

This is something new for me. Usually with every NaNoWriMo I've taken part in, I start writing furiously, fueled by enthusiasm and ambition. This year, even though I've got a story I want to put down on paper and have the basic outline in my head, I don't really seem too excited by it. Not like previous years anyway. This seems to be reflected in my miserable wordcount.

(Talking about my wordcount, the NaNoWriMo site seems to be having its annual early hiccup, wherein the their servers NEVER work for the first few days of November. This means that I cannot post up the magic wordcount updater on my blog, which is a bit of a downer. I'll have to be patient and wait.)

I thought about this on the drive to work today and I think this could be the effect of completing last year's NaNoWriMo challenge of reaching 50,000 words but not actually finishing the novel itself. The novel I wrote last year is still being worked on; sadly, at a pace slower than your grandma's driving (sometimes even slower than Streamyx). I still want to finish that novel, but it will have to wait until after November, when I'm done with this year's novel...or at least 50,000 words worth of it anyway.

So with that in mind, could it be I feel less excited about the novel I'm currently writing because my enthusiasm is spread over two ideas for books? Perhaps.

Or maybe I'm just lazy. But then again the potential of having two unfinished novels by the end of 2008 is something to look forward to! One finished novel is better than two unfinished novels, but two unfinished novels is better than saying "I'm going to write a novel one day" every time you go to a literary meet.

That concludes my first NaNoWriMo stream-of-consciousness rant.

If anyone's interested, right now I'm up to 1636 words. Only about 3400 words behind schedule. No biggie. I can catch up ... I hope.

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