Stella Kon's blog

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I am gradually getting accustomed to this blogger thing... here it is Saturday, and it seems nice to record what I'm doing today.

Today I feel more relaxed than usual, because I was at MTL office yesterday and with the efficient Shaiful and invaluable Audrey, addressed all outstanding issues. There are one or two more issues -- which can be shelved till Monday. So I feel free to loaf a bit , I had a leisurely morning and

* finished reading a book by newly-discovered author Tami Hoag.
* wrote cheque for IRAS, cleared the paperwork on my desk, down to the bare wood! sure feels good!
* phoned Sydney and spoke to Luke and Sebastian, haven't done that in a long while.
* now doing the two blogs which are self-impoised week-end duty
* might go down to the market soon to eat taufu goreng for high tea
* tonight I might even try to go see Das Experiment, which I do intend to catch sometime. But maybe I would be better to relax at home.

Today is a happy day. Partly because no-stress, loaf around reading story books. Partly because 2 days ago I embarked on a new creative project: the Mini-musical The Other Woman of Emerald Hill. This is a project which will be more fun than other recent projects which were just like "jobs to be done" and much less stressful than the on-going attempt to write Lim Boon Keng. Ultimately, this is what makes me happy... writing is the core activity which defines who I am. One day I may be unable to write, and will have to accept another definition of myself.. as Peter Pan said (of imminent death) "That will be a great adventure!"

Saturday, November 8, 2008

In the past week things have been a little less hectic.. I went to Nat library and borrowed new SM Stirling book, and this afternoon I happily lapped it up.

Yesterday, I went to "Symposium on Singapore Literature" at Nat Library, it was almost like a family gathering as all the old familiar faces were there. After the symposium, our chaps from Georgette were engaged to come and give a little musical performance, before they go off to Manila. They did well. The audience was scanty -- many people had gone home by 6 pm, for it had been a long day -- but it was good for our chaps to have a little public showing of their songs, good for their morale. And MTL was paid for it.

Once more, my pre-occupation is with the musical for Lim Boon Keng. Whenever I feel I can spare the time, I turn my thoughts to it. Is it like an obession with me? after so many attempts, so many pages written in vain? At least 15 versions, and 8 different plot lines? Is it obsession or ego? why don't I give up on it?

I still believe it is a worth while project. The subject matter is worth while. It is very practical -- funding can be found -- it would be a waste not to use this opportunity. Especially as next year is big anniversary of both China Socierty and Singapore Chinese Girls' School.

I don't think it would cost me much, in terms of ego, to say "It is too difficult, I can't do it." But I just feel, I am stubborn, I don't like to give in. Maybe the same stubbornness that kept Lim fighting a lost cause in Amoy for 16 years.

What I want to do -- not to make a statement, not to prove a thesis, not even to say "He was a great man." What I want to do is move people, inspire them, bring tears to their eyes .. with the story of a great man fighting his fate -- almost lost to us in the mists of history.

During the past week Su Min and I had lunch with Dr Yan from FUkian, who has been commissioned to write a Chinese bio of LBK for Amoy University. I have the impression that he too, and other historians, feel that they cannot get to grips with LBK -- that there are not enough facts, no materials survive, he slips away and remains an enigma.