In terms of manpower, my department has been jinxed most of the year.
Here are the developments in October alone. One colleague went on paternity leave. Another colleague will go on paternity leave any day now. And another colleague fell down a staircase this week, fracturing her leg, so that means six weeks' MC.
I am happy for the two new dads. And very sorry for the stairs-tripper. I am also sorry for myself - because guess who has to do all the work, while all these other people are away?
Rather ironic, because next week I am to give a talk at CHIJ Saint Nicholas (it's a literature camp, for students from six schools) and one of the things that the organiser asked me to talk about is how I successfully juggle my career with my creative writing.
Since blunt honesty is one of my more endearing traits, I don't think I will paint a pretty picture for them.
It's bloody tough. My progress on Book 2 is slow as snails.
One thing I will say is that everyone should have at least one passion, outside of and away from their career.
Doesn't matter what you do for a living, doesn't matter even if you really, really like your job. That one passion, away from your main job, allows you to recharge, renew, gain another perspective, live and learn and grow in a different way.
If creative writing is your thing, then that's great. If it's something else, that's great too. As long as you find it.
Einstein used to play the violin. Did you know that?
In other literary news, I'll be reviewing a new book - Reaching for Stones, by Chandra Nair - for Quarterly Literary Review Singapore. This is a pretty hefty collection, compiling his poems from 1963 to 2009. No further comments from me at this stage, as I just received the book (free review copy, yay!) yesterday and haven't read it yet.
Also, my publisher just told me that he's in talks with an electronic publisher in the US to license them the rights to reproduce and distribute my poetry book Two Baby Hands in any "electronic format or media, now in existence or hereafter developed".
I wonder whether that means I'll be able to read my own book on my iPhone. I would love to be an iPhone app - wouldn't that be cool?