Wednesday, October 01, 2008

manuscript at my door

you wrote a story and left the manuscript at my door. "have a read," said the note on top of the stack of paper, "it'd be great if you could tell me what you think. with love."

it was a surprise to see that you went all out to produce a complete piece of writing. you had been penning your thoughts into your old leather notebook for as long as i've known you. your poetry, though beautiful, was usually unpolished and lacking in maturity. only a select few have seen your work and given the opportunity to critique the often unfinished products of your imagination. i had never considered myself to be among the exclusive group of people whom you trusted for their opinion.

i held my breath as i turned the pages. although i had a hunch as to what and who the story was about, i prayed that it would not be so. for some time now, her name had laced every conversation i had with you. i hoped for a protagonist that would be a stranger, a heroine whom i would not recognise. but there she was, your muse, entwined in your fact as well as fiction, relinquishing any hope i could ever have.

still, i read on. i was moved by the way you framed her very nature with what could only be extreme difficulty. such is the manner with which we regard the people we love - nothing could do them justice. indescribable. the very word i would use to describe you.

but yes, you expressed your affections most admirably through a charming tale of an adventure that ended before it began. i could not help but be touched by your painstaking effort in putting it all together, even if it meant bleeding with every word i read.

i smiled when i finished reading your story and immediately went about writing my response.

"before all else, i must congratulate you on the completion of your very first manuscript. it is indeed a story like none other, simply because it is obviously written as a gift to someone who is dear to you.

having said that, there were several instances where you veered off course and the story became out of tune with the initial plot. you are aware that you have often had trouble with synchronicity and this is no exception. while i know you must have been vexed by the uncharacteristic blemish toward the end of your piece, i believe it helps maintain the authenticity of your work. do not lose sleep over it.

overall, it is a story fit for publishing. i will understand if you choose instead to keep it private, but do know that your love for this art should continue as an integral part of your life. don't ever stop writing. i should be very sad if you do.

and i sent the manuscript back to you.

lishun at 5:59 PM