Sunday, November 26, 2006

Holding Back The Crowds

"Angel child, you must publish, you have all these stories lying around. Publish and be damned," she laughs knowingly.

I sigh. This again. Thing is, I'm happy writing my little stories and tucking them away in my famous filing cabinet or in my blog. Lots of em here for people to read or ignore at will. Mostly ignore. But that's OK.

If I promise not to breathe, do you promise not to know I'm here?

Where the bee sucks, there suck I,
in relative obscurity, let me lie...

But no. Her voice is gentle with an undercurrent of steel. Not much room to negotiate. I picture the publishers pissing themselves laughing when I present them with a sheaf of stories: "Hey, hey Tan, you gotta come read this, it's too funny..." I slink out of there, head hanging in shame, wondering how I ever dared.

"Look," she says, "are you scared of the crowds? You know when you go for signings? Don't worry child, I'm big and I'll make sure they behave properly and not like typical Malaysians, cutting the line trying to get to you."

At this I snap out of my customary somnolence. "Lines? Crowds? Excuse would be more like, one solitary person who strolls up after I sit there for about four hours smiling painfully. And I will grab her book, sign it before she can object, thank her profusely, offer to pay her for buying my book, offer to buy her lunch so we can talk about said book, ask if she has transport home and if not, offer to send her."

We crack up.

Crowds indeed!

And I feel just like
I'm living someone else's life
It's like I just stepped outside
when everything was going right...
and I'm surrounded by
a million people I
still feel alone
let me go home.

No more angst, no more angst, no more angst...I promised.


Anonymous said...

There would be crowds. Lots of crowds, not just lots of people.

Anonymous said...

Someone once said to me: "Write what you want. Publish what you want to." That makes a lot of sense to me.

Just don't stop publishing here, k?

Jenn said...

Nessa: You're sweet. But you and I both know, second scenario the more likely. Except that I'd be hiding under table anyways...

Bo: I won't.

Anonymous said...

Jens u must publish...Maz is sooo right!...and you have to listen to your chachi! And, I'll bet there'll be crowds, lots of crowds as Nessa say.

Jenn said...

Praby, you're sweet. Tough one, this.

Charlene Amsden said...

Jenn, I know this feeling. If you try and fail, then the dream is gone. On the other hand, if you never try, what good is the dream?

(You can come by may place later and give me the same lecture.)

Jenn said...

What good indeed. You're right Quilly. Also about the pot kettle black thingy.