How to Make a New Friend with a Free Ticket

I had one extra museum ticket in my hand.

I didn’t ask for it. The ticket counter staff gave it to me.

Continue reading How to Make a New Friend with a Free Ticket


How I Saw More Women-Directed Films in 2016 than in My Entire Life

“How many female film directors can you name?” asked my friend.

  1. Sofia Coppola
  2. Kathryn Bigelow
  3. Andrea Arnold

I was stuck. I had no problem rattling off names of famous male directors. Yet, I don’t even know enough female directors to count on one hand.

Continue reading How I Saw More Women-Directed Films in 2016 than in My Entire Life

Day 118: Rule of Three

As the saying goes, two is a company, three is a crowd. But, hey, I have to admit that the three can pack punches!

Consider if there are two little pigs rather than three. Or, only two bears to scare Goldilocks away. Would the stories have worked as well? I doubt so, though I could still picture the two bears kicking Goldilock’s butt. Using the rule of three, one creates tension, builds the tension and then releases it.

Rule of three is one of the easiest writing tool. Admittedly, at times I can get too carried away with it! Time to start breaking the rule…

Lavender, Singapore.

Day 116: Hill-Climbing Problem

A month ago, when I had an idea of doing a web comedy series, my thrilled self went, “Why not?”

Fast forward to one month later, and that question has turned into “What the heck was I thinking?” Writing comedy is no joke. My writing partner and I had countless hair-pulling moments. Thank goodness for those anti hair loss shampoos.

It is in such desperate times that I thought of a passage in the book “The Comic Toolbox” by John Vorhaus. The author was describing a way to overcome one’s skepticism towards re-writing.

Imagine being on top of a fairly high hill, from which you can see the top of the mountain. If one wants to get to the mountain’s top, he or she would have to go down the hill and find his or her way through the foggy valley to the mountain. One wouldn’t be able to say for sure if he or she would reach the mountain top. Yet, it is a risk that one would have to bear if he or she wants to be at the mountain top.

Not only is this philosophy relevant to writing, it can also be applied to life in general. “Safe is risky,” said American entrepreneur Seth Godin. Many shudder at the thought of failures and vulnerability. Yet, it is only by taking risks that one recognizes how far he or she can go.

Bugis, Singapore.

Day 17: Fade In

Today, I’m supposed to document “Something I Made”. I’m very proud of myself for having completed my first ever film script! It’s titled “Those Were The Days”, and judging by the number of pages, it would make for a 15-minute film. I would love to film it. At the same time, I’m still exploring the option of starting a new script, and then going back to this film script at a later time.

There’s this wonderful speech given by “Eat, Pray, Love” author Elizabeth Gilbert on TED on creativity and genius. Her recall of her conversation with American poet Ruth Stone is very fascinating.

When she was growing up in rural Virginia she would be out working in the fields and she said she would feel and hear a poem coming at her from over the landscape and she said it was like a thunderous train of air and it would come barrelling down at her over the landscape. And she said that when she felt it coming – because it would shake the earth under her feet – she knew that she had only one thing to do at that point and that was to, in her words, ‘run like hell’ and she would run like hell to the house, being chased by this poem. And the whole deal was that she had to get to a piece of paper and pencil fast enough so when it thundered through her she could collect it and grab it on the page.

This story resonates with me as I’ve realised that I don’t necessarily have to base what I write on what I’ve experienced myself in my short life. The protagonist of “Those Were The Days” is a 30-something married woman, while I’m just 22, and have never been in a romantic relationship. It somewhat opens up the possibility on things that I could write, and this is a relief.

Watch Elizabeth Gilbert’s speech below.