So 2016 was a bit of a shit year.
Thank goodness 2017 is here to make it all better! Or not. No, I’m not looking forward to the 20th of January, either, and I’m not even American.
Still, time goes on. I’ve made a couple of significant changes in my life this year that deserve a blogpost of their own.
I returned to Singapore in September last year after finishing my creative writing MA at the University of East Anglia. The next few months were spent writing a second novella, entirely rewriting the first one, and cleaning up a novelette (which I eventually sold to Tor.com!)
Alas, as productive as a few months spent writing were, it couldn’t last, and I had to look for a Real Job after all. Bills not going to pay themselves, et cetera. Thankfully I did get one! As of January I’ve started work at Epigram Books as a fiction editor, and let me tell you friends, it’s great being part of one of the current bulwarks of Singapore literature. In my first week I got to work on a manuscript that was part alt-history, part post-apocalyptic military SF. With queer characters! I think pleased doesn’t begin to cover my reaction.
Seriously, I can’t express how much of a perfect fit this job is for me right now. I work three days a week, so I have a chunk of time every week to get my own writing done! While paying the bills! AND contributing to the development of literature in Singapore. I’ve definitely lucked out on the job lottery.
This might be the closest I ever get to living my best life, who knows. (I’m very happy.)
Here’s the other thing. It’s a big one. At the start of the year I came out as non-binary/genderqueer. Figuring out what the deal is with my gender is an ongoing, shapeless process, full of blurred lines and grey areas. But this much I know: I don’t identify as a woman, I never really have, and I definitely prefer the use of they/them pronouns.
I explained it to my group of NB friends this way: I’d say things like “as a writer and a woman”, but what I really meant was “I identify with this tribe of women writers” while not actually feeling like a woman on a personal level. I had been socialised as a woman, and I largely presented as one, so it was something I identified with, but it wasn’t something I actually was. And once I realised that I didn’t… really have to stick with being “””a woman”””…. I realised I didn’t want to.
So here I am, not a woman, not quite agender either, just definitely not a boy. Drifting in a gender fluid (hah), hoping to find a shore. Or not! Solid ground is so overrated.
Here I thought that approaching my mid-thirties meant I would have got all this stuff sorted out. HAHA. Let’s not get started with trying to navigate being a nonbinary person and a lesbian.
In any case, what this means is that AT SOME POINT, I am also going to leave this website behind. That “some point” actually being within the next month or so. I’m not a “miss” (please use Mx. honorifics for me!) so it makes no sense to have a website that has “MISSHALLELUJAH” plastered across the top in large-point font.
It’s a good thing. A fresh start. I wanted to get back to blogging regularly this year, and a new author website with a new domain seems the best time to sort out what kind of blogger I’m going to be. I’ve got a few domain names picked out already, but there’s still muttermumblewordpresssitedesignsetup etc mumblemumble…. I’ll keep y’all notified.
(I’ll keep this domain here– it’s not going anywhere– but I will actively redirect people to the new website.)
My twitter handle, at least, is deliciously gender-neutral. Small favours, that!