I went to the Singapore Writer’s meet-up earlier this week. We attended a lecture at the National Public Library by Nigel Barley, whose most recent book is about Stamford Raffles (who, as legend has it, conjured Singapore out of the jungle…or so the 8 million “Raffles” hotels/streets/schools/etc would have you believe). He was a delightful speaker…funny with a dry wit, intelligent (it was nice to make my brain function with SAT/GRE vocabulary as opposed to the less polysyllabic world of toddlerdom), and he shared the kind of interesting and twisted historical anecdotes that reminded me why I majored in history in the first place.
I purchased a book of his, Island of Demons, a fictionalized tale of Bali based on some historical fact, largely because he said the Christian Right had launched a letter writing campaign against him for it. If they hate something, then I’ll probably consider it worth reading.
After we went to a bar and paired up to write cautionary tales in verse. I was paired with a lovely Canadian woman (if you read this, let me know if I can name you and link your blog) and we came up with the following…
When traveling or flying with a baby Never forget the words of a wise old lady Bring spare nappies and clothes Or beware of chaos and foes When you spend half the flight covered in puke And suffer your fellow travelers rebukes Your neighbor, splashed by baby sputum, upgraded Your shirt wet, baby clothed in airline blanket, dignity long since abated You'll be grateful for the old lady's tips Which will keep your wings from being clipped.
Apparently you can take the writer out for a drink, but you can’t take the mom out of the writer.
And sadly, yes, this was inspired by a real life incident. Sigh.