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Brian J. W. Lee is a writer. When he's not writing, he's plotting to plunge the world in a deep chasm of terror, darkness and screams. Sorry, did I get carried away?

Friday, 23 December 2016

Thoughts on the Brink of Christmas

Before I move on with my little opinion piece, I'd like to inform you guys, my dear readers, that my book is on a Christmas sale...
$0.99 after 75% discount!!!

Now, onto business.

Basically, this is coming from a little online chat I have with some acquaintances regarding Christmas. In short, one of my new friends and his family/relatives don't really celebrate it, and they believe that the spirit of Christmas should be spread throughout the year, and then magnified some. In other words, be a good person both in and out of Christmas.

In short, I agree. Since I hail from Singapore and am of Chinese and Agnostic background, Christmas doesn't quite come naturally to me. It is more of a cerebral thing to me, a representation of certain values that we must and should embody: kindness, generosity, charity, empathy. Christmas is thus a celebration of virtues for me, and not quite of the Judeo-Christian meanings it originally encompass.

But that's no reason not to celebrate Christmas. Being a writer, chances are, I'm certainly no prude. Just yesterday, an old childhood friend of mine pretty much calls me the YOLO-man when we met for a little catching up. He notes that I'm exceptionally liberal and risk-taking, and all for human rights and all that is fun and good. While I tend to be very disciplined in some ways, I guess he's mostly right. He knows me well, anyway.

Back to Christmas. It's still on the table even if it's not a native custom and something I don't 'get in the programme' fully and 100%. It's great as a reminder, and besides, it's a good time to catch-up with friends (if my earlier story is any indication) and just let loose a little. Sometimes, we need a little time-out.


Personally though, this Christmas hasn't been kind to me. Let's see...

1) Owing to my lousy job with poor benefits and poor pay, I have little opportunity to enjoy. Celebration is an occasion for the good times. The economy sure did lend a hand to this.

2) So my family's overseas in Malaysia while I'm stuck here. This one's a blessing in disguise though. There's an uncle there that I really dislike for his abysmal social skills that partially stems from an ageist-related superiority complex.

3) I attended a party where I don't quite fit in. Basically, everyone's friends with each other there, and I'm the third wheel. It's also no coincidence that it's a party in a publishing house I used to intern in, and everyone there is of a trade publishing affiliation while I am the only indie author there (and indeed, probably one of few in Singapore). But it's mostly because I haven't quite made an impression of myself. My internship lasted only 2 months, I didn't do much in that time, and I haven't contributed much at all on a voluntary basis, haven't worked with them much on a professional level. I am not published with them either, but I tried.

4) Let's just say that my Christmas promotional campaign hasn't been going as planned... (psst... You can fix that by buying my book! /shameless plug)


But Christmas is more than a celebration of virtues. It is a time for miracles. While I don't believe in miracles, only in human agency and action resulting in some interesting results, coincidences and consequences, I'm no less grateful for whatever goodness has counteracted the bad things:

1) I get to meet an old friend. We've been so busy.

2) I will be meeting another, and we'll probably be discussing our literary pursuits as well.

3) I'm getting out of this chicken-shit outfit. (I've resigned from my job. I'm FWEEEEEE!)

4) I've made arrangements for a writing retreat in Batam, and it will be for a month. Y'all will hear from me soon enough from that country.

Yeah, I would much rather stay positive, even if I have to drag myself to it. For whatever darkness there is in the world, even if it's in the northern or southern pole, there will always be light somewhere, sometime.

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