WRITING PROMPT: Murphy’s Law

Man In Car On Phone

Photo: Alexandre Boucher

The writing prompt for this story is ‘What’s the worst that could happen? Well, you’re about to find out.’

#

What’s the worst that could happen? Especially seeing how the question’s about driving out to buy a six-pack. Granted, your girlfriend told you to stay home, because she’s on her way, doesn’t have the keys, and her phone’s dying.

But it’s just a two-minute drive, and the shakes are coming on, which also means you’re within the legal limit to drive. Get in, get out, enjoy a few cans of beer. Really, what’s the worst that could happen?

Continue reading

FICTION: The Final Tinder Date

Final Tinder Date - Silhouette of woman

Photo: Aaron Mello

This post was written for a writing prompt titled: “You discover an online, supposedly random “Yes/No” generator. But, after playfully using it for a short while, you find it to be 100% accurate in foretelling the future.”

#

I’m in my car, waiting for Sara—my Tinder date—to get ready for our night out. A Reddit post shows up on my feed: “This Miracle Crystal Ball app can predict your future!” Yeah, sounds like garbage, but Sara’s not ready, and I have time to kill.

I visit the site, and the only thing on it is an empty field with an ‘Ask’ button. I type: “Will dinner with Sara be fun?”

“Yes.”

Continue reading

NON FICTION: The Problem With Being A Writer

Boss and employee

I’ve started putting down books more lately. I’ll give them one chapter of boredom before I cut my losses and move on to the next book. I used to be a completionist when it came to reading, but as I grow older, I’ve realised how little time I have to read all the books I want, so I’ve learned to become more meticulous with my reading time.

It’s not the books, it’s me. I’m aware that different authors have different styles, and not all of them are going to suit me. I’m fine with that. The literary world is entirely subjective, and the path to bestsellery often consists of just craft and luck—both unmeasurable.

Continue reading

NON FICTION: Supping In Sapa

Stu in a bath bucket

Yours truly in a Red Dao herbal bath. Photo: Affandi Hamid

I’d sent this piece in for a writing competition, but I didn’t make the shortlist, so here it is for you guys.

#

I had begun my trip to the highlands of Vietnam expecting to learn more about the cultures of the Red Dao minority. What I hadn’t planned for was having the trip turn into a culinary experience, which in turn had me reminiscing my own identity and childhood.

It was a three hour flight from Kuala Lumpur to Hanoi, followed by a nine-hour train journey to Lao Cai. Then came the hour’s drive up the winding hills to Sapa, punctuated by the 13km hike to a Red Dao village, where I was to spend two nights.

Continue reading

NON FICTION: Remembering Who You Once Were

Guy thinking

Photo: Sunyu Kim

Some ten years ago I wrote this: “I woke up to a world greyer than usual. It’s as if Crayola came and took away the colours from my life.”

No, it wasn’t a Myspace post.

Sometimes I like reading my old work just to see what I was thinking at the time, and as much as I like to poke fun at my younger self, he does give me some hints as to why I am the way I am today.

If feelings were a scale of one to ten, I would have been hovering at a three for as long as I can recall. This was why I took to reading my old posts just to see how far back I’d stopped caring.

Continue reading