Well well well if it isn’t me returning to my blog after… let’s see. Four months. Ha. And the last post I did was about how time was passing by way too quickly. Which it is, and somehow after nearly thirty years of being alive, I still find myself being taken by surprise, and then personally offended by the way time moves and acts on me.
Anyway. After EIGHT years, I’ve finally gotten down to rehauling my website. It’s been on my list for a while, especially as my other streams of writing (fiction, the biweekly column I do for No Contact Magazine) meant that I hadn’t been blogging as regularly as I did back in the day. And so the website was less blog than relic. The only thing that was being regularly updated was my About page, with new publication links, but it became increasingly clear that I needed to convert the site from a blog to a writer’s site at some point.
So, cruising on a totally unearned level of confidence given that I DONT KNOW CODE, I tried to do it myself, and BROKE MY SITE.
This happened last Sunday. For a week I was panicking. It was the worst timing possible too, because February is hell month for writers — or maybe just for me, i don’t know — and I had only tinkered with my site because I thought it would be a fun relaxing thing to do in between intense writing deadlines.
Again, I don’t know how to code.
I couldn’t even ctrl+Z that shit, because apparently WordPress doesn’t work that way. I ended up terrified that I’d do something completely irreparable to it, so I put up a temporary maintenance page and then backed away shivering from my website, like, why did you do this, Jemimah. Why. And given my completely neurotic personality I couldn’t stand the fact that my website was down, so I immediately plunged into a rabbit hole of googling + contacting various designers / coders for help.
Trust me when I say I was completely losing my shit the whole of last week. On top of the website, I had three writing deadlines, and one school deadline. Actually, two school deadlines, but I had miscalculated the submission schedule for one of them, so I didn’t realise until the last minute, and had to pull an all-nighter to get my thirty pages out by the next morning. What is this, a 15-year old Jemimah?! Good to know that over a decade later, some things don’t change. I can still work all night then feel like hell the next four days. Good to know.
But with February’s close, life has become easier. It is only March the first, I know, so it’s a little optimistic to declare the month being a turnaround, but again, I was someone who believed I could fix my website without an inch of coding knowledge. Regardless, it is fixed. A bunch of people reached out to me after my desperate SOS on Twitter, and I ended up working with Daniel from Elemental Web Design to rehaul my website over the course of several zoom calls. I had no idea what he was talking about most of the time and asked very stupid questions, which once again affirmed that I was delusional to think I could have ever fixed it myself. Thank God for Daniel.
And I’m so pleased with this new design!!! It’s exactly what I had in mind when I started, and I love that I could incorporate Shane’s illustrations of me over the years because it makes the site feel so personal and intimate even though it’s literally on the world wide web lmao. I suppose I should be all set for the next eight years, so check back again in 2030 for my next scheduled website-related freakout.
One of my Feb deadlines was for Phillips Auction House, which commissioned a fiction piece from me in response to Sarah Slappey’s Yellow Touch. You can read it here. It was perhaps the quickest turnaround I’ve ever done for a fiction piece — I wrote, edited, and published it within one week — but hey, see above re: all-nighters. My state of mind is perhaps obvious in that piece, which is titled The Chiropractor. At some point this year, I’m going to need to look into cracking my back.
It’s funny how the body’s problems invade fiction, popping up in prose to be like, remember me, bitch?! Lower back pain has appeared in so much of my work last month, as throwaway lines, character traits, complaints in dialogue, etc. A real line that appeared in a show pitch I did last night: Grandma, now a ghost, and free from all worldly material problems like dementia and lower backache, has all the energy in the world to harass Annabelle until she helps Terry. I kid you not. If that sparked your interest btw, feel free to commission that piece of fiction from me. It’s currently a TV show pitch but I can be persuaded to convert it to prose. I need money.
Ending off with a picture from last night, when I booked it downtown after class for the PEN Awards afterparty. I was in class during the actual PEN Awards ceremony, which was a bit of a bummer, because my old writing professor Divya Victor WON THE PEN OPEN BOOK AWARD THIS YEAR! So, so well deserved. Divya is a blessing, and CURB is a wonder.
With my Azn Writing Wonders: Frances, Grace, Vanessa, Gina. Also, Vanessa just SOLD HER BOOK in the DEAL of the century, which is the biggest cause for celebration this YEAR. Southeast Asian writers blazin through. You should probably follow her if you don’t already.