13.11.11

Work, when you've got it

"So what have you been doing since you got back?" people ask when they see me for the first time since I moved back from London. To which I usually say, sheepishly, "Not very much, actually. Sleeping. Catching up with family and friends. Shaking legs.*"

The next question is then, usually, "So what are you going to do now that you're back? Find a job?" To which I give a dutiful but vague answer about continuing with freelance writing, even though the truth is: I'm lucky, terribly lucky, and I've already had a number of great conversations with people whom I'd like to work with, about prospective projects that I'd like to work on with/for them. More details to come when they're ready, but I'm so very grateful to everyone who's expressed interest and faith in me.

And then there's that novel I want to write, which now I have to write because I've accepted funding from the National Arts Council for it, which binds me to certain deadlines and "deliverables" (i.e. write up proper chapters and everything). I like deadlines; they make me write. I just need to, er, not procrastinate on this particular project in the next year or so.

So yes, work --- aplenty, it seems, should I choose to accept it. At a time when politicians and economists are murmuring slowdown (or the R-word), I sure ain't complainin'.

* In Singlish, to "shake legs" is to be idle, to do nothing.

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5 Comments:

At 11/14/2011 3:58 am , Blogger Ellis said...

Congrats on securing the funding! Can't wait to read your book!

 
At 11/14/2011 11:51 am , Anonymous notabilia said...

Many congrats re: funding. I'll be one of the first in line to buy your book!

 
At 11/15/2011 1:23 pm , Blogger Tym said...

Thanks (again) for having faith in me. :)

 
At 11/20/2011 7:37 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any linguistic chronicler out there ?

Overheard old Teochew lady at Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay:-

"ker parsat (went to bazaar )
zia roti (ate bread
mata tua kow (policeman 'big dog'
lia ker teng liang (captured to 'nail chain'

No new immigrant nor our younger generation would have understood the comment.

Would somebody document our oral 'multi-cultural' lingistic history before it disappears? You're the only author/writer I know of.

 
At 11/22/2011 9:32 pm , Blogger Tym said...

I don't have linguistics training, but there's a significant body of academic work on Singlish and Singapore's multicultural language environment that's been done by scholars at NUS (and perhaps elsewhere too). The Wikipedia entry on Singlish has a short bibliography too.

I'm not sure if a cultural history approach to documenting Singlish has been taken by anyone. A book in the same vein of Bill Bryson's Mother Tongue would be cool, but it's not something I'm keen on doing at the moment. Offhand I'd say that what might be more effective is a shared, multilingual effort along the lines of the Singlish Dictionary.

 

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