Writer-researcher, in residence

It’s been sometime since I posted anything here. Much has happened since my last post; my return to Malaysia last November, beginning my fieldwork research in Indonesia the following month, attending feminist events in Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia, and establishing links with the region’s feminist activists in the process. Because many important events have happened in a short span of time, on average every other day, it becomes difficult to gain a reasonable perspective on them. More difficult still when I am bereft of a proper workspace, a room of my own, to think and write. Since moving back to Oxford last September, I have been working in various places, positions, and lighting – on the sofa, bed, and now at a desk too low and a chair too hard. I’ve become a Goldilocks of sorts. Being a creature of habit, changeability does not suit me. As a result, writing becomes a painful endeavour. When I write it is because of a flash of inspiration that needed to be documented into words immediately, or because I need a small sum of money to buy new clothes and shoes. Because I have been moving and travelling a lot between now and last year; Twickenham, Warsaw, Oxford, Hong Kong, Kota Kinabalu, Singapore, Jakarta, and soon, Jogjakarta, there is no place, a home as it were, to return where mind and body slip into a comforting space where the best ideas and articles are put down, where all the books are within reach, the chair and posture just right, the lighting just so. I need a study, however small, to call my own. A desk and doughy chair, and a lamp beaming over my fingers as I type, type, type.

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3 thoughts on “Writer-researcher, in residence

  1. Call for Entries on the Jawi Peranakan Experience in Malaysia

    Would you like your family to be featured in an exciting book on the Jawi Peranakan? Do you know your family genealogy? Can you do a kinship chart?

    I am helping to edit a collection of autobiographical stories and part anthology on the lives and experiences of being Jawi Peranakan in Malaysia. Its editors are respected women of Jawi Peranakan descent.

    The Jawi Peranakan of Penang, Kedah, Melaka and of other Malaysian cities were locally-born, Malay- and, often, English-speaking Muslims of mixed non-Malay and Malay ancestry. See also the definition of Jawi Peranakan in the book “Straits Muslims: Diasporas of the Northern Passage of the Straits of Malacca” by Wazir Jahan Karim et al (2009).

    Each prose piece must be autobiographical in nature, but considerable latitude will be given to content and narrative style. Manuscripts in English should be double-spaced using Word format and not be more than 10 pages or 2,500 words in length. Only one entry per person will be accepted.

    The best nine entries will be accepted for publication in the collection mentioned above. Those chosen for publication will be asked to submit scanned family photos to accompany their pieces. Photos should be high resolution of above 300 pixels. They should contain detailed captions of place, date of event, description of persons in the photo from left to right, with comments on the persons’ dress, context of photos, etc.

    This is a great chance for you to test your talent as a writer.

    Submit entries for consideration by July 1, 2012 to mtimor_2005 AT yahoo DOT com. Questions on prose requirements may be directed to this email address as well.

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