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thank you, Chloe.

I needed this so much. 

sugar crystals on lips
180917 - 071017

new york city
orlando, florida

I always thought I would sink
so I never swam

welcome, inspiration

all summer long
we watched the sun go down

as everything faded to black with our fingers held against our lips

why don't you try your life out like this
my heart is a fucking waste of space. 

in pictures
and I'll go,

sit on the floor wearing your,


hide your eyes
I haven't been well recently.

Early May saw me down with a high fever and a sore throat so bad that I lost my voice, which is fucking bad news 'cos my voice is my money-maker. I guess I'm extremely lucky that I crashed during the first two weeks of May - the slow periods of my job. We had minimal programmes then, and my colleagues only had to cover me for one workshop, for which I am immensely grateful for.

I've also been suffering from burnout the past few weeks. I've spent half of the past two weeks either on MC or on off. It was a drag to go to work, I just stayed at home to rest and stayed curled up in bed reading yaoi manga or novels or scrolled through YouTube on my phone.

I was just so exhausted - physically, mentally, emotionally. Lost my motivation, my drive, my productivity.

Sick on the outside, sick on the inside.

I haven't written in two weeks.

Some days it's hard to fathom the meaning of life.

Why do I bother to haul myself out of bed, brush my teeth, get dressed and go to work?

I'm lost.

I've lost something.

But I don't know what I'm supposed to look for.

Some days it's hard.

I haven't written in two weeks.

Is this what it means to grow up?

Some days it's getting harder and harder to smile in the rain pouring onto my soul.

I look at the blinking cursor on the screen.

I've spent late April crafting 8000+ words.

I'm 3/4 done with Chapter 1.

This will be my best work.

I'm so happy, so proud of what I've created.

After I'm done with Chapter 1, I'll have to start work on my entry for the Golden Point Award, a national writing competition organised by the National Arts Council.

Entries are due mid-July.

After I've completed that, I'll go on to Chapter 2.

I will keep doing this until I die.

I could show you the universes, the stories, the emotions unfolding in my mind, clamouring for my attention, my effort, my time, waiting for my typing hands to breathe life into them.

I could show you everything.

I want to pluck shooting stars from the velvet night sky and put them in your eyes.

I could show you the world.

But I won’t, because you don't deserve it.

I hear her at the back of my mind while I'm writing; her voice a soft, gentle whisper, faint and faraway as if murmured through the trapdoor of a grave, like a single throwaway sentence at the bottom of a long, long list of footnotes.

This is what you live for.

Life is nothing without this.

Nothing else makes my soul sing like this.

This is the only thing stopping me from burning my heart out.

It's 12:45am, but I have to get this out before I sleep. Can't sleep like this, with this swirling cauldron of bubbling thoughts and emotions within me.

I just watched Logan. I'm gonna write about the movie, so it's obviously going to be brimming with spoilers, so if you haven't watched it, what the fuck are you doing? Just go and fucking watch it; it's fucking brilliant.

I went into the cinema knowing that it was going to be Hugh Jackman's and Sir Patrick Stewart's last time appearing as Wolverine and Professor X. I read the summary of the movie and it included the words "ailing Professor X" so I was mentally preparing myself for bad things to happen to my beloved Professor X.

That didn't stop me from crying my eyes out during half of the movie, though. My heart dipped when Charles first came onto the scene: he was senile and going in circles with his wheelchair and mumbling some Taco Bell slogan, obviously out of his head and sick and senile and pale and withdrawn with sunken cheeks and unshaven face and I just went oh fucking shit because this is the opposite of how he's been portrayed: the dignified, well-read and composed Professor.

Wolverine fared no better; he spent the entire movie downing alcohol just to deal with the pain and wincing with pain and we were shown how much he has aged - his healing factor no longer works as well, and it's more strenuous and hurtful for his claws to emerge. He's huffing and puffing when he climbed the steep hill to chase the kids, and he's just so tired the entire time. Similar to the Professor, we see how much they have fallen from grace, that they're not well, not well at all.

But even through Professor's senility and neurodegenerative brain disease, we still see flashes of his dignity - how he apologised to the people in the casino after the temporary paralysis, and the way he talks, you know the old Professor is still in there somewhere. I love how the Professor cursed (yes, he actually said "fuck") and stuck his tongue out at Logan, oh those were wonderful moments

The relationship between Wolverine and Professor was amazing to watch - they shout and snap at each other, but you can see that they care very, very much for each other. How Logan has to carry Professor everywhere, even to the toilets, and his first priority is ALWAYS the Professor - making sure he's safe and you KNOW YOU FUCKING KNOW THAT LOGAN WOULD DO ANYTHING TO PROTECT THE PROFESSOR AND IT FUCKING HURTS do you know how much it hurts that it was the Logan clone the FUCKING WOLVERINE LOOK A LIKE THAT KILLED THE PROFESSOR, that it was Logan's claws plunging into the professor's chest I cried so hard then, fuck I'm crying all over again as I type this - Patrick Stewart's acting was wonderful - he was relaying some heart-breaking story about how he did something really bad years ago, how on the night of his death he had the best rest, the best night of his life and he didn't fucking deserve it because he killed some members of the x-men and civilians years ago even though he didn't mean to and Logan's been the one taking care of him all this time but IT WAS LOGAN'S FACE HE LOOKED INTO - LOGAN (but not really him) who killed him do you know how fucking heart-breaking that was for me to see this. and then when he finally took his last breath he was saying that he wanted to just be on a boat with Logan and live with him out on the seas and this was what they kept saying, what they had originally wanted to do right from the start, but they couldn't, they fucking couldn't because they were being chased by the Reavers simply because of Laura and if that didn't happen the both of them could have been alive and sailing the seven seas but they didn't, because Professor just wanted to fucking keep Laura safe and as a result, both Logan and Professor died and I fucking cried so hard, am fucking crying so hard, even at this death he just wanted to keep the young and the innocent safe, and this is what he has always embraced and he fucking died because of this he fucking died

If he could have only stayed alive just a while more, just alive enough to see the outpost that the rebel kids, the other mutant kids have built, he would have been so happy to see this new legacy, about how they did their best, fought against the very people that created them and now wanted them dead.

And Logan's death - fuck - that hurt, but not as much as Professor's death. About how Laura cried, even though she was literally created to be the perfect killing machine, and throughout her development she wasn't supposed to be shown the best of humanity, she was still able to cry and she called Logan "daddy" and Logan accepted it, oh fuck he accepted it with tears in his eyes and said "so this is how it feels" and then he died, oh he died like that fucking fucking shit fuck, with blood all over his body and being impaled on a tree branch and with so many deep cuts through him because of X24

It's so different, this superhero film is so drastically, refreshingly different from what we're used to - no big bad bada bing bada boom effects, no villain wanting to take over the world, no large ensemble cast that is so staggeringly big and intimidating that you don't even know who’s who and what's going on anymore. This tells you what happens when our superheroes are done saving the universe; it's just three main characters and one main villain - it's just Logan protecting Professor while they're running, and bringing along one mutant girl who was never meant to be, who ended up being in the eye of the storm just because-

There's so much character development, it’s such a simple plot but so wonderfully done this is just so wonderful, so fucking perfect with so many emotions played out perfectly from Hugh, Patrick and Dafne. So lonely, the shot with Professor in a makeshift hospital bed lying all alone in a big tank-like isolation room when he's usually surrounded by his students in his school, but they're all dead now, all dead, and he’s drowning in those memories and nightmares yes you've got the most powerful brain in the world but what if it turns against you, you can't control it anymore and it just breaks my heart so much, seeing him so lonely and old and fucking fuck FUCK

And it's so rare to see our superheroes so vulnerable, so broken, so struggling. Gone are the spandex X-outfits, gone is the bravado and battle for world domination/power/revenge or whatever - these mutants are on the fucking run, and they use their powers for self-defence - to keep themselves alive when they're being hunted.

When Laura shifted the branches on Logan's grave to form an "X" - to signify that the last of the X-Men was buried here, I lost it I just fucking entirely, completely, hopelessly lost it, buried my face in my hands and sobbed the fuck out of myself I haven't felt so much, so strongly in such a long time, maybe 'cos I keep everything buried but I can't, I've never-

I love how the movie ended, with the new generation of mutant kids moving on, finding a haven and a place where they can grow and develop their powers - I think they would have made Professor proud, to be the new generation of X-men, if they may. So much hope, so much perseverance at the end, and these are the very values that Professor stood for, that he lived his life for, and when that hit me goddamn I fucking cried even harder

It's brilliant how X-Men 1 paved the way for superhero movies when it was released in the year 2000, and it's equally brilliant how they have redesigned the game with Logan, 17 years down the road, and with the same cast of Logan and the Professor.

I am so shattered, so heartbroken, so nostalgic. I am such a big fan of the movies and the comic books, having fallen in love with the X-Men Evolution cartoon series when I was a kid. I would write out all the names of the mutants and memorise all of their powers and their history. Watched every X-men movie that came out, my first fanfiction fandom was the X-Men fandom, so I have many, many strong memories and-

oh god.

Logan just wrecked me.

they're not super-humans. here, they're just human.

and it hurts, it hurts so bad, it’s agonising.

it hurts like heaven.

strawberry champagne all night
I originally planned for this to be longer, but it's 10pm on a Monday night and I remembered my promise to myself to be realistic about how much I can accomplish in a given period of time. I aimed to give a proper update at least monthly, but I've been busy writing fic and scripts, and I never write two things at one time.

So, to cut a (literally) long story short, this is what I've been up to for the past two months:

1) Submitted a piece for HP_Kinkfest - 9000 words. First fic of 2017! /cheer

2) Submitted a piece for Dracotops_Harry - 18,000 words. Started on 20 February, finished writing it on 6 March, after proofreading and incorporating feedback from beta = submitted on 15 March.

I think what's special about these two fics is that it's mostly porn (yes, 2/3 of that 18,000-word fic was porn). It's my first try at writing porn fic, and I'm actually really, really glad with the end-results. Of course, there's emotion included, so to be more accurate, I basically wrote porn with feelings.

Yeah. I'm really, really thrilled with these two pieces. You have no idea how long I spent writing; one medium-length scene can take up to two hours. But I don't mind, I don't mind at all because I love taking the time to do what makes my soul happy.

I've got loads of ideas for so many more stories (non-porn-centric this time, haha), and I'm raring to go, but unfortunately, I'm held up by Adult Responsibilities, such as:

On top of my usual duty of answering emails, running programmes, clearing admin work, etc etc., memorable accomplishments include:

1) I've finally conducted a few workshops (Adaptation, Endangered Species, Evolution).

2) Learnt so much more about evolution from one of our museum officers.

3) Guided a secondary school group at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, and you know what was really amazing? We saw three saltwater crocodiles lazing around on Sungei Buloh Besar during low tide! One was humongous and tail-less, another one was medium-sized, while the last one was quite small, perhaps a juvenile? There were a few water monitor lizards, and we also saw around five Golden-Orb Spiders - both females and males. It was absolutely fantastic that day:

Me (saying this while my back was to the river and I was facing the students): OK, so this is the best place to spot saltwater crocodiles, so if you keep your eyes peeled you might be lucky enough to spot one-

It was amazing, we were LITERALLY STANDING ON TOP of the biggest crocodile (of course we were standing on the boardwalk, but the spot we were standing at was DIRECTLY ON TOP, IT WAS FREAKING AMAZING I'VE NEVER BEEN SO CLOSE TO A CROCODILE BEFORE)

4) Successfully conducted two sessions of a 2 day 1 night "Night at the Museum" stayover camp (yes, the students literally sleep over in the gallery itself) with minimal hiccups.

5) Successfully organised the museum's first Marine Open House - where 500 visitors received free entry to the gallery. There were marine-related talks and free marine-themed guided gallery tours, and it went rather smoothly!


Of course, all work and no play isn't entirely good:

1) Attended the Asian Pole Championships 2017 with WQ and friends. The standard of pole-dancing for this year's competitors was even higher than last year. It was a brilliant show.

2) FIB LAB EVENTS YAY <3 <3 <3 : Dr Todd's party at his place; farewell dinner and drinks for Ting Hui, who has finished her PhD and will be going to Bangkok to continue her studies on snails.

3) Hung out with WQ at Sushi Bar; there's a lesser serving of their amazing sauce on their salmon aburi roll now :( And I decided to pick up the cheese tarts for the family from BAKE CHEESE TART on the way to dessert at ion orchard, and I'm glad that I did because it's seriously the best freakin' cheese tarts that I've tasted. The crust is just on the right side of crumbly, while the cheese filling itself isn't too sweet, and the texture is simply perfect. It's not cheap: $19 for 6 tarts, but it's bloody worth it.

4) Went out for dinner with two colleagues of mine - they're always such a joy to be around, on and off working hours!

5) Went out for dinner with jingxiang! /happy

6) Tried Prive at Keppel Bay with parents during Restaurant Week. I've always wanted to go there; ambience was wonderful, food and service was even better.

7) Re-connected with a childhood friend of mine over dinner, and I'm glad I took the initiative to ask her out, because it was brilliant meeting her again (she has two tattoos on her arm now!). I haven't seen her in years, and the reason why I asked her out of the blue (an entirely uncharacteristic thing of me to do) was because I found some letters from her while I was packing my room. We wrote to each other a lot in primary school, and I've known her ever since I was a toddler (because our mums used to be really close).

Yeah, it was really nice meeting her all over again.

I also finally, finally finished packing my entire room. This means cleaning, throwing away stuff that I don't need, placing things in their proper place, filing all of my investment and banking paperwork, etc etc. This was literally a few months worth of procrastination, and of breaking each area of my room into bite-sized pieces and steadily working on each area weekend after weekend. I was a lot more ruthless this time, throwing away/recycling/giving away a lot of things.




I downloaded Wildstar a couple of weeks ago, too. Started a new Stalker and got her to her teens, before abruptly stopping because I prioritised script-writing and Drarry-writing. I should take her out for a spin soon; it's a great game.

I'm currently re-reading Darwin's Notebook because the chat with my colleagues spurred me on to study even more about evolution. I bought this book when I was on exchange in the UK. The entire design of the book and the content is really well done.


In fact, sometimes I think it's impossible to finish what I want to complete in my lifetime.


Could I have achieved more in the past two months?

There were stretches of weeknights where I simply collapsed in bed/vegged out in front of YouTube right after work (yes, teaching/disciplining kids for an entire day does that to you) and wound up doing absolutely nothing at all. There were weekends where I just napped/YouTube/read Drarry fic.

But there were also weeknights when I was at my laptop doing what I was supposed to do. There were weekends where I spent hours and hours bashing away at the keyboard writing fiction and writing my guiding scripts for work, propped up with mugs of hot tea and pills of perseverance. There were times when I prioritised meeting people that are important to me over work and writing.

Yes, if I added up the number of hours that I slacked and was entirely unproductive (both at home and at work), I could have achieved so much more and ticked off so many more goals in that duration of time.

But I no longer choose to look at things like that.

All I know is that I'm proud of what I've accomplished, and I've done more things that I did in December and January. As long as my productivity and efficiency is steadily improving with each passing month, I think that's more than good enough.

One trick that I've learnt: to tell myself "hey, you have to finish this before you are allowed to write again. So finish this quick, so you can write sooner!"

It works frightfully well.


Hello there, April.

I wonder how you'll look like after I'm done with you.

if you want me
sometimes I wonder why we talk about romantic love so much.

I wonder why we spend so much time in our lives trying to define it, explain it, chase it with words and lyrics and actions brimming with hope, sorrow, heartbreak, happiness and everything in between. Why do humans treat love prized as gold?

I shake my head, hug my knees to my chest and laugh, a sad little sound.

I don't think I'll ever experience it in this lifetime.

sometimes I think that I'll only be able to feel it through my work that I've poured everything that I've got -- my time, my effort and my emotions, because I don't think any human is worth all of that anymore.

and you know what?

at this point in my life, I think I'm quite alright living like this.

I smile and burrow into my pillows, sighing with contentment.

just some melancholy thoughts on a sleepy, cosy saturday night. 

the world has gone mad today
So, I've been reading.

Besides my usual Drarry fic, I've recently finished The Willpower Instinct by Kelly McGonigal. I found it rather interesting as it delves into the psychology and physiology of self-control and willpower or lack thereof. But what I found most useful were the practical tips that help to boost willpower and control the urge to procrastinate. Some of these tidbits are too useful to be lost when I return the book back to the shelf, so that's why I'm going to write them down here as a laundry list of sorts, along with some thoughts of mine (words in italics are lifted straight from the book and doesn't belong to me).

1) p. 26. Breath focus is a meditation technique that increases willpower.

2) Relaxation restores willpower reserve, and also recovers from stress and daily self-control demands. Note: not the slacking sort of relaxation, refer to pg. 50 for details.

3) p. 149. Forgiveness when you fail: to find a more self-compassionate response to failure. Bring to mind a specific time when you gave in to procrastination, and bring these three points of view to help you avoid a downward spiral of guilt, shame and giving in again.

I really, really needed this. I have ridiculously high standards and expectations of myself, because I've transferred my expectations usually reserved for others onto myself. And so, I set myself tasks in a tight time-frame - not entirely impossible to complete, but unrealistic because I refuse to factor in things like being an exhausted human and not a robot; I need breaks and rest - come on, let's be realistic, I'm not gonna finish writing a really long scene/packing a part of my room after a long day of work + dance class. When I've got a day crammed with programmes, I really only have time to reply to work emails and not do anything else - sometimes I even continue replying emails when I'm home.

And some days I just wanna have a break, you know? Not take the entire day off if it's a weekend, but some days after work I just wanna lay in bed and do nothing but read and have an early night and not feel guilty.

I should stop over-estimating my abilities. What she wrote is entirely accurate for me: set too many tasks and promises for myself -> fail to deliver -> feel horrible i.e., guilt, shame, anger, disappointment, oh God, the disappointment is the worst -> difficult to find my motivation again -> downward spiral.

4) p. 154. Research shows that predicting how and when you might be tempted to break your vow increases the chances that you will keep a resolution. Ask yourself: when am I most likely to be tempted to give in? Imagine a typical willpower failure unfolding, then turn this to a success: what specific actions do you have to take to stick to my resolution?

The bed gives me mixed feelings: on one hand, it's probably the most comfortable place that I've ever been, and on the other, that's where productivity goes to die. I can sometimes spend 30 minutes to an hour just lazing when I wake up in the morning on the weekends. Or sometimes after I've finished one task, I feel kinda proud of myself and then I just go and lie down to reward myself for three songs (I leave Spotify running), and then welp, I end up shutting down my laptop and taking a damn afternoon nap (I procrastinated writing this damn blog post for half a Sunday).

Complacency in finishing one task gives me permission to procrastinate oh, you've finished one thing, go take a break.

Sometimes, I just type in archiveofourown.org which hosts Drarry fanfic, and I just get lost in there for hours. IT'S ABSOLUTE BLISS BUT OH, IT'S SUNDAY NIGHT ALREADY GUESS I CAN'T DO ANYTHING ELSE BUT CONTINUE READING

There are a few specific actions that I've already taken to steer away from temptations like that:

I pile all my soft toys on my bed as a deterrent for me to sprawl on it. Other times, such as in the mornings, I just push away my pillows and bolster and get out of bed. Three songs over? Time's up, open your eyes, haul your ass outta bed, switch on the lights and get back to work. Easier said that done, though.

To stop myself from resting on my laurels, I write out what's still left to do in order to motivate myself to get back to work. It's great that I've accomplished what I have, but I'm not even close to being finished yet.

I am also sorely tempted to click on Drarry fic/LiveJournal/tumblrs in the midst of working, as if to reward myself. But I'm glad that this isn't really a major problem, as once I've started, once I'm in the zone - be it writing, packing my room - I don't stop, not even to eat. I just hack away at it until I'm done with that part of the task.

I'm a daytime person, my brain isn't working at full efficiency after 10.30pm at night. Sure, if I start writing a scene at 9pm, I can go on till 1-2am, but it's not worth it for me to START a task later than 10.30pm. 

Sometimes I also tell myself I'll reward myself with one fic in between tasks, but this is a slippery slope 'cos I might just lose control and end up reading five at one go. Watching FRIENDS clips on Youtube on my phone is a better option, actually.

5) p. 165. Resist immediate gratification, whatever the temptation: When you are tempted to act against your long-term interests, frame the choice as giving up the long-term reward for whatever the immediate gratification is. Imagine your future self enjoying the fruits of your self-control. Are you willing to give that up in exchange for whatever fleeting temptation now?

I love the feeling of a productive day. I get high on it; it's intoxicating, almost like a power trip thundering through  my veins at the end of the day when I've finished everything that I've set myself to do. I like that satisfied feeling suffusing me when I tuck myself into bed at the end of a long day and tell myself you did so much today. good job.

It feels fucking amazing.

And when I'm done with the damn task, I always shake my head self-deprecatingly to ask myself - why the hell did I procrastinate? Like writing this isn't hard at all, I enjoy putting my feelings onto paper, so why did I spend half a day running from this?

The best way to get things done is to simply begin.

Accomplishments for January:
1) Signed up for HP_Kinkfest, finished my submission of ~9,500 words ON THE SAME MONTH. This is my first fic of 2017 yay! I am seriously proud of myself for this.
2) Continued strip class every Monday night.
3) Packed one corner of my room.
4) Went into detail to planning lifelong stretch goals + goals for the year.
5) Fulfilled all work responsibilities.

I can't keep the niggling thought you could have done more, you slacked so much during January- out of my head though, sigh.

Plans for February:
1) Finish packing my entire room.
2) Since I signed up for Dracotops_Harry fest in January, I've got to start work on my submission for that. Will finish the two hotel scenes in February as submission is in mid-March, and March will be an insanely busy month at work, so I won't have much time to write. I'm gonna be realistic - I don't think I can finish the entire fic in the next four weeks, so just the first two hotel scenes in February would be really good.
3) For work: on top of emails and programmes, work on scripts and camp happening in end February.
4) Continue dance class & watching Asian Pole Championship with WQ.
5) Read Drarry fic + finish The World Without Us - a pretty interesting book that talks about what would happen to Earth if humans just disappeared suddenly one day.

Even now, after I type all of us, a small part of me is going what? that's all? come on, you can do better and do more! Push yourself more, c'mon!

Sometimes, I infuriate myself.

Right, it's 11pm on a Sunday night - I spent the day finishing this blog post, crafting a script for work and reading a few fics.

That's it, that's enough.

I'm going to read 1-2 more fics on AO3 or curl up in bed with my book.

Good night.