The October 2023 Review

A pile of calendars and a pencil. The text says "The October Review".

Report is late because my time is entirely consumed by Nanowrimo.

Site News & Updates

A number of my pages or blog entries now have a new addition on top of the page:

Clicking it will open up a hidden section describing the changes to that page. The reason for this is because I’ll be updating any relevant posts with new information from now on. It seems redundant to create a whole new page for something that might be more fitting for a social media post (and if you’re reading this, you know I don’t really do social media anymore). It’s something called a digital garden, where something is planted and then tended to as necessary. Updated pages will be listed on my main page.


This month sees us wrapping up ‘Inside SSPCA‘, a magazine released during Asia for Animals 2023. You can read more of my thoughts at the links, and download the digital version here.

The other thing at AfA was my first ever gig as a conference rapporteur. The job scope for a rapporteur is to sit in on papers being presented and capture the main points. To an extent, it was similar to a reporter’s job except you record more things, not just the parts that will make it into your article. The points are then compiled into daily reports.

For AfA 2023, we have a stagger total of 80 papers across three streams. There were three rapporteurs and three reports across three days of the conference. For most part, I was typing down notes and squinting at the projector far in front of the Grand Hall at BCCK. These don’t get immediately resolved into points that I would send in, which meant we spend a good hour at the end of the conference day getting our notes into some semblence of order.

These notes are meant to go to the organiser, and subsequently to any stakeholders up the pipeline. In our case, we were asked to compile points from Day One and Two for a minister to catch up on before he arrived to close the conference.

It was a gruelling introduction to rapporteur work because it was a huge conference. I was invited back to rapporteur for another conference with only one stream and two days, and the workload looked manageable by one person. However, I knew I would be exhausted from coming out of one market and needing enough rest for the next.

Markets & Bazaars

Some of the new owners of my preloved books.

I participated in two markets this month. The first was the second edition of Trunkie Junkie, which took place at Cafe Cafe early in the month. Once again, I teamed up with my pal Ronnie. The crowd was awesome. We sold a lot more than we did in the first Trunkie Junkie, and saw a lot of friends and other book lovers. Happy to have let go a good number of excellent titles.

The Pay Day Bazaar at La Promenade Mall was a marathon (6 days) where Trunkie Junkie was a sprint (6 hours). I was eyeing it but didn’t want to go out alone – I only had so many books. Once I learned that a friend has secured a table, I asked if I could have a corner.

The bazaar was a relatively tiny one (3-4 tables), but there were several other events happening at the mall on the first weekend. We did pretty well, and I sold nearly half of what I had in my stock, which leaves me with the interesting problem of not having many books left to bring to the next market. These titles didn’t move through three markets, and I don’t expect them to do too well in any upcoming ones. I’ll probably do a last ditch, either at another upcoming market as a supplementary product, or put them online.

The bazaar was comfortable. The mall’s social media people took photos and updated every day. Eve and Irene were cold all the time, and my running joke was, “I’m not cold, I’m fat”. Overall, it was 6 days across two weekends of catching up with all the news because I didn’t spend a lot of time with either of them since I left The Borneo Post.

But it was a full time job, and I needed 2-3 business days to recover after each weekend.

Our table at the mall. Photos courtesy of La Promenade.


This month on Palia, I’m focused on building my home. This involves grinding for gold through hunting and farming, and collecting enough resources to build pieces of furniture. Above is what you see when you enter my house. It’s still a work-in-progress and I’ve tweaked it since. And everyone here is a zookeeper – the starred (high quality) fishes and bugs can be used for display, and if we’re not desperate for gold, it goes on display. I’ve seen far larger collections than mine forming a labyrinth over the player’s plot, least you think this is a lot of tanks.

At the same time, I’m bidding a “goodbye for now” to Storium. The momentum ended when I had to step away in July, which I felt little guilt for doing because it was hitting summer when the whole site just seems to go into hibernation.

Truth is I’m tired of trying to get things going, and I’m tired of waiting around for other people. This is an acceptable past time when I don’t have anything better to do, but I’m back to working on my own creative writing and I cannot multitask the same set of muscles on different projects. Plus, the likelihood of completing my own projects is 100% on me and not divided between a few players who has other priorities.


Coming Next

  • NaNoWriMo 2023: I didn’t think that I would want to dive headlong into another month of writing so soon after Stories on Fire, but here I am. I’m updating this 18th Nov and have plenty to say but it’ll have to wait until December. Meanwhile, feel free to add me as a buddy.

Links Roundup

A no-commentary list of articles and media I found interesting enough to share on my Discord server.

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  1. Georgette Tan

    BLOG: The December 2023 ReviewI did a major thing. BLOG: The November 2023 ReviewNothing but Nanowrimo. BLOG: The October 2023 ReviewWork, markets, games, and writing.…

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