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my heart in two places

So I've been back in Singapore for over half a year, yet it feels like no time has passed. It's been great being able to spend time with Singaporean friends and family (especially since most of the people my age have graduated and are back in Singapore too) but the more I meet up with old friends, the more I realise that:

I miss Japan. 

In a way, I knew this was coming. When I left, I knew that I would miss things like conbinis (I don't think I've stepped foot in a convenience store here more than five times - definitely no haunting it like before), Sushiro and other foods, and of course, the toilets. But I didn't expect to miss:

the sound of noisy cicadas haunting the still summer air
the ability to hop into a car and drive to a whole new place, like Ookawachiyama or Takachiho
the seasons changing
my friends

In short, I miss the way of life I had in Japan and the friends that I made. While I do my best to keep up with at least one thing - my friends - it's a lo…

Twilight Children is Published!

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It took a bit longer than I expected, but Twilight Children is now available on all major e-retailers! I'm so, so happy that it's now available for everyone to read and I hope that you are too! I won't waste any more time blathering on (partly because I don't really know what else to say) so here's the cover and the blurb:


You’ve heard of Happily Ever After, but have you heard of the unhappy fairies that came first?A pair of little girls, alone in the wilderness. Two young fairy women, in a contest for power. A troubled fairy city. Meihui wants to be the next Grandmother, and leader, of the fairy city. But her fellow fairies hate her. And everyone loves her rival, Marah. Two mischievous lost souls enter the city. Meihui and Marah must each mentor one in the ways of the fairies. The best mentor wins Grandmother’s crown — and great fairy power. But Marah is not playing fair. The lost souls aren’t up to the task. And a dark force tilts the playing field for its own gai…

Mid-Year Stocktake

It's June! Although it feels like the year just started to me. Anyway, I thought I'd do a little update on how things are mental-health and writing-wise, but first, I want to share about a podcast episode I listened to this week:

Joanna Penn's podcast this past week was an interview with Michaelbrent Collins and it was so good that I wanted to share my thoughts on it. But before you read that, you should definitely go and listen to the podcast episode, which you can find here.

In the episode, something that Michaelbrent said really struck me. He talked about how when he's in the midst of a major depressive episode, suggestions like “go put on clean clothes” or “take a bath” don’t make sense because he only sees one option - stay in bed

While I’ve only suffered from a mild depression, I can really get the “only one option” thing. I already have a tendency to stick to decisions made, but when I’m feeling depressed, whatever decision or thought I have literally feels like…

Robot (Short Story)

"You broke her? How could you break the new model so soon?"

Everyone peered at the newest worker. She was sitting at a terminal, methodically transferring names from the list that was faxed over into the system. There had to be over a hundred names in there.

 West went to take a look. The robot was humming as she worked, but there were mistakes. A few names were repeated two or three times.

 “Yup, you definitely broke her,” she said, glaring at her colleague. It wasn’t like they needed confirmation. They had all known that the robot was broken when she typed out a report in binary and didn’t even realize what she wrote. They had to give her another instruction to translate it into Chinese before anything happened.

 “I didn’t think that she would be that weak,” her colleague protested, his mouth turned down at the sides. 

Well, none of them had expected this. She was the latest model after all; and they had custom-ordered her from the maker. Her programming was supposed to b…

Paperbacks Available in Singapore!

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Guess what?

I finally found a printer so paperback copies of my books are finally available in Singapore! (If you don't want to pay for shipping from Amazon).


This is how the books look like. They're almost identical to the Amazon versions, only the paper is white and not cream, and there's no barcode. And because I'm selling direct, the prices are slightly lower than they otherwise would be.

Pricing

If you’re going to self-collect and pay by cash, the books are:

1 book for SGD $8
3 books for SGD $20 (save $4!)

I can hand the books to you at Clementi station, Dover station, or Jurong East station.

If you would like the books to be delivered via registered mail, they’re going to cost a little more:

1 book for SGD $10
3 books for SGD $25 (save $5!)

If you opt to get your books via registered mail, payment will be done via PayPal and I’ll send you an invoice when the books arrive (in two to three weeks time). Payment must be made before I post the books and delivery is only …

Lessons from counselling

I've been going to counseling and today's session made me want to take down notes so that I don't forget. It's a bit of a hodge-podge, but I'm sharing it here in case it can help.

1. What toxic means

The word toxic is bandied around so often that I didn’t really know what it meant. So I asked and was answered:

When you’re in a toxic environment, you come away feeling worse (lower self-esteem, depression) than you did before.

It doesn’t really matter if the people in that environment are nice to you. If you come away from the environment feeling bad, the environment is toxic.

2. Experiences are unique

I was thinking that maybe I’m the weird one because I know a lot of people who like to speak badly about the Japanese as the whole and my experience has been very positive. But my counselor pointed out that I am not those people and they are not me, so we naturally have different experiences.

And it’s not just that. Our personalities shape the experiences we have. So I …