‘Shadow under the Rain Tree’ was published by Anak Sastra

I was delighted to receive an email from Anak Sastra on 25 January 2016 to inform me that my short story ‘The Shadow under the Rain Tree’ would be published in Anak Sastra Issue 22 at the end of Jan 2016. I wrote this story over 2 days at CONfabular (UKM), in Tunku Halim’s group of writers who like to write ‘dark fiction’ a.k.a. creepy stories. Thanks to Tunku Halim for his guidance & advice. His book Horror Stories is the all-time bestselling horror book by a Malaysian author.

Started in August 2010, Anak Sastra Literary Magazine publishes short fiction, creative non-fiction, poems and book reviews in English quarterly. It was conceptualised with the aim to provide writers originating from or based in Southeast Asia with a platform to share and promote their creative works. Submissions from or about any Southeast Asian country are welcome.

 

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You can read my short story by clicking here.

I hope I can find the time to write more short stories this year and submit them for publication again. 🙂

Dedication

This short story is dedicated to my university friend Choo Chee Kuang, a marine biologist dedicated to the protection of the seahorses and preservation of the Sungai Pulai estuary area in Johor. He passed away from cancer a few years ago. He left us too soon.

 

Durian dream

For the ‪#‎MYWritersPoetryPrompt‬ in the ##‎MYWriters‬ FB group, I decided to do something fun for the end of January 2016 – I put up the word prompt ‘Durian’, since a fellow writer was lamenting that there were very few poems written about this king of fruits. I hope the good sports who participated had a bit of fun writing their ‘thorny’ and ‘pungent’ poems. 😉

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Durian dream

Oh, so creamy
On my fingers
My, so dreamy
The aftertaste lingers

A foodie’s dream
So very intoxicating
Melts like ice cream
Draws crowds unending

The flesh so heavenly
A timeless delicacy
Savoured lovingly
Enraptured in ecstasy

A fruit so addictive
But an acquired taste
Its appreciation subjective
Enjoy it, never in haste

From sweet to bitter
From bittersweet to fermented
Do descriptions matter?
If you care, you’re demented

From the wilds, it spread
It made its way
Love it or hate it
It’s here to stay

Khor Hui Min
27 January 2016

 

 

 

RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #80 Style&Fresh

This week is RonovanWrites Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge No. 80. The two word prompts are ‘style’ and ‘fresh’. By the way, 8 is an auspicious number (according to Chinese traditions) – it symbolises prosperity. 🙂

The two word prompts got me thinking about consumerism and planned obsolescence. If you have never heard of the word ‘obsolescence’ before, the Oxford Dictionary defines it as ‘the process of becoming obsolete or outdated and no longer used within a short time. As an extension to that, ‘planned obsolescence‘ refers to the modern manufacturing and design tricks that ensure that products only last a few short years, so that consumers will have to discard their broken products to buy new products. This translates into more sales and more revenue, but on the flip side, it generates too much waste that is filling up our landfills daily. I was also inspired by Max Gor’s photo of disposable plastic water bottles floating in the fountain at Trafalgar Square. He aptly named the photo ‘Human Impact’.

So the next time you want to buy something, think about its durability before you spend your money. It is to your advantage if you buy durable and high quality products that are made to last. Do not decide on buying something according to its look, attractiveness or based on fashion trends. Buy something that is robust, hardy and perhaps classic (transcends fleeting fashion trends).

However, now there is a new trend emerging – the rise of the ‘buy it once’ trend. It shows that consumers are smarter now, and businesses are thinking for the benefit of the consumers and the planet as well. I hope this trend will stay around for good.

 

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Unsustainable

Fresh styles of fashion
Planned obsolescence be damned
Unsustainable

Khor Hui Min
22 January 2016

 

 

 

Spending time

This week, Haiku Horizons reached its landmark 100th post! 😀  Best of all, it’s still going strong. The word prompt for this week is ‘spend’. I wrote a haiku about making the effort to spend time with loved ones. It is strange, but many people go the extra mile to be nice to friends and acquaintances and the occasional stranger, but tend to neglect the people closest to them. Perhaps the proverb ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ rings true?

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Spending time

Dearly beloved
Won’t you spend some time with me
In the morning breeze

Khor Hui Min
20 January 2016

 

 

Friends by chance

I saw an interesting picture in an impromptu poetry prompt yesterday, and decided to write something about it. I scribbled my poem on a piece of paper and it was ready in 15 minutes. 🙂  Here’s the picture and the poem. 😉

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Friends by Chance

Strangers from afar
Chance encounters
Of broken hearts
And hollow souls
Disenchanted minds
Pouring their hearts out
Sharing disappointments
Drowning their sorrows
Discovering kindred spirits
Becoming lifelong friends

Khor Hui Min
19 January 2016

 

Life’s an illusion

Haiku Horizons is at lucky number 99 this week. Well, at least from the Chinese point of view – the number 9 represents longevity. This means Haiku Horizons is celebrating double longevity. 🙂 So, I hope Haiku Horizons will be around for a long time to come.

This week’s word prompt is ‘real’, which made me think about the perceived reality of life. Life is only as good as we think it is, isn’t it?

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Life’s an illusion

Life’s an illusion
What is real and what is not?
Be true to yourself

Khor Hui Min
14 January 2016

 

 

Fresh aspirations

With the New Year, comes new beginnings, new experiences, and new challenges. Let’s welcome them with open arms, and with the passing of each challenge, grow to be better and wiser, as well as more resourceful and resilient. Wishing everybody an exciting year ahead.

Tulipmania @ Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

Fresh aspirations

Fresh aspirations
Blossoming new hopes and dreams
The story unfolds

Khor Hui Min
13 January 2016