Readings at Seksan 22/3/14

The 22nd of March 2014 marked my first step as a published author to showcase my work in public. It was to say the least a very memorable and humbling experience.

Readings at Seksan Gallery in Bangsar, organized by Sharon Bakar and Bernice Chauly, allows writers and musicians to read their work and play their music to the public for free. Even though this event has been going on for nine years now, I only became aware of it in the last two years after I joined one of Sharon’s writing classes.

Sharon had invited me numerous times to the event but I was too shy, and I didn’t think I had any creative work which was fit to be presented in public. The other issue was with my slurring speech, which makes it difficult for my reading to be coherent.

The turning point came when I got my first short story published in a local anthology entitled Love in Penang – A Fixi Novo Anthology. This book was launched in December at the George Town Literary Festival 2013. There I met Sharon again who suggested that I should get my husband to read for me at Seksan. With a story published and my substitute reader in place, the plan was in motion.

Some months later and there I was with my husband at Seksan Gallery on 22 April to read another story of mine from Amok: An Anthology of Asia-Pacific Speculative Fiction. This was the first time one of my stories was read out loud to an audience, and I was nervous even though I was not the one who was going to stand at the microphone.

The soothing environment at the gallery helped to calm the butterflies in my stomach a little. Writers reading during that day were Nin Harris who presented her lovely poems; Khaled Taib who thrilled the audience with his spy story set in Singapore; Mohana Gil, recipe book author, who delighted us with her grandfather’s story; Frances Yip with her childhood tales in Ipoh; Cassandra Mary Denis who sang beautifully, and my husband reading my story The Seventh Month from the Amok anthology.

During break time, I got to mingle with the writers in the crowd including Eeleen Lee and Terrence Toh who contributed stories to the Amok anthology. I even bought a copy of Frances Yip’s book 188 Hugh Low Street, The Scissor Sharpener’s Daughter. It was wonderful to meet so many people who are so talented and passionate about what they do.

As for my husband, he did great at the reading, being the experienced public speaker that he was. I am grateful and thankful for his support. Overall, it was an eye-opener for me, and I am definitely more motivated to produce more work to be read at Seksan in future.

Thanks again for all those who supported me. Love you all.

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