I've been plugging away at the novel and I've written, ostensibly, half of it. Of course, it was only in the last few days that I think I've figured out how the overall structure is going to hold together and how it's going to end --- which means I've got to go back over everything I've written, and revise and rewrite. Oh boy.

This is not to say many of these details and plot points won't change further in the (re)writing as well.

It's very organic, this fiction-writing thing. When I reread "Lighthouse", my short story that was published last year in the collection Balik Kampung, I can't retrace its genesis anymore. I know there were deliberate decisions I made at certain points to make the story go this way or that, but now that almost a year has elapsed since I finished it, I can't go back and unpick the tale and explain how or why I wrote certain bits the way I did. I kept a writing journal (which is one of the best suggestions I ever picked up, from Alexander Chee), but nothing can fully capture all the twists and turns in the mind as a story is being kneaded into shape.

I wonder what I'll think of this novel manuscript, one year from now.




When I was a kid, I always found it rather unbelievable --- but certainly convenient --- that Clark Kent could put on a pair of glasses and immediately no one would recognise him as Superman. I mean, come on.

Since I started wearing glasses again, though, I've managed to take by surprise many friends who are used to seeing me spectacle-free in my online userpics. Never underestimate the transformative power of a slender black polymer frame, it seems.

At a family dinner yesterday, it was my cousins' kids who noticed and remarked upon my glasses. They seemed quite concerned that I was suddenly wearing glasses, probably because they're at the age (one is six-going-on-seven, the other a year younger) where some of their friends or schoolmates have started to wear glasses because of shortsightedness or other conditions.

Of course, they're also at the age where they think my age is incredibly old and far away. I remember being that young and ingenuous.