Photo: Sandhi Soemarto
I’m a fountain-pen enthusiast, and my ultimate pursuit in this hobby involves finding my grail pen. It’s the perfect one that just glides across the page, is ornamented in a way that makes my heart skip, and can take enough of a beating to last multiple lifetimes.
But alas, as any other hobbyist knows, a grail is just an illusion, a placeholder until they find their next one, because there’ll always be something better, or failing that, there’ll always be something wrong.
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 realise how little time I have to read all the books I want, so I’m learning to be 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.
Photo credit: Sam Caplat
Via Daily Prompt: Cling
I can’t polish a blank page, which is why I actually started writing this piece — I wanted to prove to myself that I couldn’t polish crap either. I haven’t been able to write as freely as I’d like lately, and it’s probably because I’m clinging to perfection.
Much of my workflow involves tinkering the first sentence over and over until I realise I’ve veered so far off what I actually wanted to say that I end up abandoning the piece completely.
It was a breezy night, and the calm winds frisked the trees that grew above the rooftop bar we were in. I was chilling with Len and Jerry, both who just finished their shifts at the turntables. A foreign talent—we’ll name him Russo—had since taken over the decks.
I had somehow figured that the trials and tribulations of a writer made for great conversation. I guess alcohol does that to you.
This piece began in the trash, and there it stayed till I met Myint Soe, a Myanmarese artist. He sat across me in a longyi, chin resting on his hand, as if he was smoking an invisible cigarette.
“If we look at this table, we’d both see the same thing. But if we were to put it in painting, we’d end up with different depictions of it. You see, artists are like drugs. We offer perspectives that people would never have experienced otherwise, and in essence, we become part of them forever.”
And that, ladies and gentlemen, was how I found the ending to this story—a story I began with a question.