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Send me to Clarion West! - My crowdfunding effort.

I just launched my crowdfunding page to help fund my Clarion West trip on GoGetFunding and I am nervous as heck.

Anyway here's a link.

Any help or support much appreciated even if it's just to share the link around. Thank you so much!
Recent posts

I'm going to Clarion West!

So yeah! I'm going to Clarion West this year!

If you didn't know, Clarion West is a really awesome science fiction and fantasy writing workshop that runs for six weeks in summer every year at Seattle and is usually taught by a faculty of award-winning authors and editors. Many students who attend this workshop also go on to have illustrious writing careers of their own too. I've been meaning to attend this workshop (or its sister workshop, Clarion UCSD, which is the original Clarion workshop but runs in San Diego around the same time) for years now but never had the courage to apply.

Many reasons as to why: didn't think I'd have money for the most part, didn't think I was good enough, didn't think I could leave work long enough, didn't think I could leave family behind, etc.

But something sparked inside of me late last year. I felt I should at least give it a go this time round. So I did. They requested a sample of my best work and an application essay…

Happy New Year!

So, 2018 already huh? Time for some resolutions!

Write a short story every fortnight
Lol. I don't even know if this is possible, because my usual resolution every year is to write a short story every month and I've failed every year I've attempted it. Writing a short story every fortnight means writing two short stories a month. How is that even possible? Well, I have a plan mapped out, aaaaaand if I stick to it, it should work out. Maybe. Anyway the goal here is to keep writing, and from there, to keep submitting, which I was lax on in 2017.

Focus on writing English short stories
I spent a lot of time in 2015, 2016, and 2017 reading and writing in Malay. My goal back then was to get good at writing in my native language, and have it be up to my standards writing in English. I think I have succeeded in that aim. After all, I did get published in Dewan Sastera, Tunas Cipta, and even had two Malay novels published (after winning a novel-writing competition no less) so I will, …

Retrospective 2017.

Oh hello! It's been a while huh!

I figured I'd better update this because I've been networking with other writers from around the world and I didn't want them googling me up and then finding my blog and all there was on it was a page from way back in May and then another from way back in 2015.

So anyway, what's been up with me this past couple of years? Well it so happens, quite a lot!

It's been a good 2017 for me. I won 3rd and consolation prize in the prestigious biannual Malay SF novel writing competition, Sayembara Fiksyen Sains dan Teknologi UTM-Utusan. This also means I had two SF novels published this year, Dunia Hanyalah Pentas, and Yang Diselindung Samudera, which I co-wrote with Nor Azida Ishak and Fadli al-Akiti.

I'm particularly proud of Dunia Hanyalah Pentas, which is a YA cyberpunk murder mystery thriller (phew! what a mouthful!) set in my hometown of Ipoh, a quiet little town which isn't really the kind of megalopolis one usually associat…

So you want to submit to Little Basket, eh?

Little Basket has been published two years in a row now, and Fixi Novo has recently announced that we are going to do a third one. I've been lucky, proud, and honoured that I've been chosen to be co-editor three years in a row now (along with people like Tsiung Han See, Catalina Rembuyan, and Eeleen Lee, who are much cleverer than I am).

So what is Little Basket? Little Basket is an anthology of new Malaysian writing, published annually. Each year we seek to publish exciting new works, whether short fiction, poetry, comics, or creative non-fiction, by upcoming or established Malaysian writers, or non-Malaysian writers writing in and/or about Malaysia. If we were feeling any more pretentious, we'd call it a "literary journal" but we're trying not to be pretentious, so we shan't call it that.

If you're familiar with what Fixi Novo (and its parent company, Buku Fixi) publishes, you'd know they usually publish fiction that lies on the more pulpish end…

Retrospective 2015.

Ever since I started this blog, I've had a somewhat loose tradition of writing an annual retrospective of the year that's passed.

Some years I did not do it because those years were too depressing. Indeed, the period between 2009 to 2013, I consider some of my darkest years of my life. No permanent job, a very low paying job and sometimes no jobs at all, I was scrounging for money, on top of having a wife and baby to feed. (Don't worry, things slowly got better and I'm not fishing for sympathy. Just saying.)

During those years, I barely wrote any of my own fiction, and the ones I did I wrote purely out of spite (See: Zombies Ate My Muslim. What was I angry at? The world.)

2014 was the year that everything turned around for me. I finally found a job where my employer truly appreciated my skills and so money was flowing in at a good rate again. In the meantime, to make some extra bucks, I had ghostwritten a screenplay (and half a novel based on said screenplay) and real…

On Kedai Fixi's Bestsellers List.

That strange moment when not only are two books with my stories in them are on a bestsellers list, they are on it together with a book by Haruki Murakami!
10 Bestseller sepanjang minggu ini! Terima kasih! @Irvan_Affan@hadimnor@AriffAdlyyy@fahmimustaffa@zenaldehydepic.twitter.com/VUEp6gDd2x — Kedai Fixi (@KedaiFixi) October 25, 2015 CRAZY.

It's not much compared to other people's success, I know, but this is at least one of the few things that can make me smile when it comes to the painful writing journey I've had this past nine years.

After all the painful rejections I've had, after all the horrible things people have said about my writing, I now know at least there are some people out there who can appreciate it.

Thank you to those who've been there along the way, always encouraging and supporting me, (John Ling, Shark, Sharon Bakar, Elizabeth Tai) even the worst moments when I almost quit writing for good. Thank you to the editors (Zen Cho for Cyberpunk: Malaysia