Last night, alone in my secret tree-house, I chanced upon a quote by Virginia Woolf, “a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” With all due respect to Ms. Woolf, the latter I have a plenty but the former I seriously lack! I would venture to conclude that Ms. Woolf did know what she was talking about since literary authors are poorly paid unless you write like J.K. Rowling. And Ms. Woolf also lends me an excuse never to finish the manuscript since I have no money.
In my wildest dream, I attend the Ubud Writers Festival in Bali, preferably as a published author not just as a reader. Literary giants gather every once in a year in Bali – the Island of the Gods. Since that picture remains a dream in my head, let’s talk about where and how you write your piece.
I know, I know that I am untaggable and yet I have the audacity to start this tag. Oh, judge me all you want!
I found the tag at Writer’s Retreat and I hereby tag Mat Salo, Mat Bangkai, Jac, Puteri Kamaliah, Pak Zawi, Ahmad Cendana, Thetha, Kak Teh and Tunku Halim – only if he’s not too busy writing the new book. You don’t have to do it, but you will do it anyway because you love me.
1. Where are you?
At home, I am always at the 2nd living room which has been converted into a mini library – thank you is long overdue to Sir Zain, master of the house – where I keep all my books and writing materials. Here’s a little peep at my treasured antique writing desk:
Outside, I write at Starbucks, exclusively Starbucks since I am addicted to that devil of a latte drink.
In my dream, I write in my little retirement home by the fringe of the South China Sea or alternatively, at some forgotten motel down the less-travelled path in Wales. Machynlleth, perhaps?
2. What are you writing with?
Pencil on a moleskine. Lately with this awesome ballpoint I found at CZip Lee stationery shop. On an afterthought, Mat Bangkai was absolutely right, fountain pens do make my moleskine bleeds – no to fountain pens then.
3. What is the oddest object in front of you?
I am a boring person, I don’t keep odd stuff.
4. What are you listening to?
The sound of silence. I like it quiet. But sometimes, the sound of Julio Iglesias signing La Carraterra could be darn soothing.
5. Is there anyone else in the room?
No. Absolutely no. What kind of question is this? I thought all aspiring writers like to be left alone, no?
6. What time of the day is it?
The coherent piece usually comes after 2 in the morning. The crappy stuff, oh well, anytime of the day.
7. What do you look at when you are looking for inspiration?
Preferably an ocean but I make do with the skyline at night. The frangipani, the jasmine and the drunken sailor at the garden patch next to the car porch. Above all, the love of my life: Luqman. But right now, given his bouts of screaming and kicking, he’s not much of an inspiration, an intimidation more like it.
8. What is guaranteed to remove your concentration?
Blackberry not on silence mode and the husband asking, “can I use your laptop?”
I open this tag to everyone who feels like doing it, at the very least, your hour will move faster towards 7 p.m. today.