Life + Writing Updates, March 2018

OH BOY. It seems that I haven’t updated this space in months. That’s insane.

We’re in the middle of the semester, which means that the insanity is coming in April (staying true to its “cruelest month” nickname; thanks TS Eliot) what with final requirements for students, thesis defense panels, and final submissions for everything. The term wraps up mid-May, which means that both students and teachers have roughly a month and a half to go before it all ends. Which is great because at least get to look forward to the mid-year break (two months of… research work! Writing! Reading!) since I’m not teaching mid-year classes, and I don’t have an administrative position that requires me to go to school every day.

However, before I get to that sweet, sweet reward, I still have to go through a forest of papers to mark, students who require my attention, writing workshops to run, comments to process, and basically everything that a teacher needs to do in order to make sure that my students are (at the very least) alive by the time the semester ends. It doesn’t help that I have five classes this semester – our usual load is four classes, or 12 units of teaching – which means that I have teaching overload. It’s the usual reason: some classes are in high demand, we have a lot of majors (a good thing!), but we don’t have a lot of teachers right now (a bad thing) because many of them are finishing their MAs and Ph.Ds (another good thing).

Hopefully, though, the Holy Week break is enough to rejuvenate us – or, in my case, catch up on the work that I’ve neglected while trying to deal with general class preparations and committee work and the million and one things that university professors are always expected to do.

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In order to try and break free of the monotony of work/coffee/house/coffee/work ad infinitum, The Husband and I have begun playing Dungeons and Dragons (5th edition) with the friend-group of my good friend Hiyas. So far, we’ve done a couple of rounds with them, and it’s worked out great. The DM is really great with keeping track of the campaign as well as helping us customize our characters.

The last time I played D&D was back in Singapore, with the friend-group of my former colleague/good friend Sab. This was a bi-monthly thing, and we were able to go through our stats and level up quite neatly. When I left Singapore in 2012, I had a Level 7 Cleric on my hands. Sadly, I’ve never been able to play her again; I’m now using a new character since everyone else in the group started at Level 1.

Nevertheless, it’s been great to get back to role-playing after (literally) YEARS of looking for people who wanted to play, and convincing The Husband that this is a good idea and that he was going to like it. (I was right!) I’m crossing my fingers that we’re all going to continue playing on, into the sunset, and hopefully maybe even DM someday.

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Finally, a couple of writing things that have happened recently:

  1. A story of mine, “The Dreamer in the Deep,” was selected for inclusion in upcoming Deep Signal: The Illustrated Anthology curated by Eric Olive.
  2. Another story, “The Offering,” will be coming up in the final issue (huhu) of LONTAR: The Journal of Southeast Asian Speculative Fiction, which is currently soliciting donations on Patreon until April 3, 2018. So if you want to support SEAsian spec fic at its finest, please donate.
  3. I’ve submitted my second collection of stories to my publisher, and am crossing my fingers that it get the go signal soon.

I’m hoping to update this space soon with more stuff, so hopefully it won’t take me another three months to get on it. In the meantime, I hope you’re doing fine in your little corner of the universe.

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