Yellow Peril by Tze Ming Mok


Regular posting frequency will resume shortly. Just not quite yet, as I'll be drunk for the next few days. Most of you will be uninterested in what follows (or should be - the private lives of bloggers? Really now), but there are a few personal shout-outs to go through today:

Today is my last day of work in my 'real' job in a mysterious, un-named and never-blogged part of the wider civil service. Thanks to the bosses of the Secret Place, an Independent Crown Entity, for not firing me for my public lack of political neutrality during last year's election. And thanks to everyone at the Secret Place for being exactly the kind of warm, blackly-humorous, intelligent, non-assholes that you'd expect to be populating the bro-rocracy.

Last Friday was the deadline date of a large project I was substantially carrying at the Secret Place. Last Friday was also a major production deadline date for the May issue of Landfall I am editing. I don't think those Landfall staffers surf the net much... or at all... (I'm pretty sure none of them realise I have a blog, or necessarily know what one is) but if this reaches their ears through some student reporting line, big ups and proper respect to Richard Reeve, Wendy Harrex, Robin Frame and the full pallid, chilly, OUP crew. More on that later.

So tomorrow I start my first ever year of full-time paid writing (PACE doesn't count) - my first post-university year in which I won't be able to ameliorate the pretentiousness of being a 'writer' by saying I'm a 'writer and a civil servant' or merely, 'I'm on the dole. I'm a bum'. This curious existential shift comes courtesy of two sources of income.

Firstly, the Creative New Zealand Todd New Writers Bursary. Yay! Thanks CNZ, for giving funding to a novel by a female New Zealand Chinese writer that is explicitly not an autobiographical multigenerational Chinese family saga centred on the womenfolk and how much they suffered during the Cultural Revolution, how their husbands and fathers were really mean, and how they learnt English, met a white man who took them to the West, where they angsted about their migrancy, and then wrote a novel that was an autobiographical multigenerational Chinese family saga centred on... Oh, sorry - hypnotic pattern eh.

Secondly, the Sunday Star Times op-ed section. Er... yes. Well. Yay. I am now obliged to not 'bag' the Sunday Star Times on my blog.

[cue tumbleweeds]

I won't pretend otherwise: a straight sell-out is a straight sell-out, and people need to be transparent about their conflicts of interest. It was bad enough never mentioning the Secret Place without saying why I never mentioned the Secret Place. I think certain others on this site are under similar restrictions with regard to other publications, and we may have to swap 'bagging' duties accordingly.

The SST columns might end up online, so I'll link to them, and provide here all the extra bits of insanity I had to cut out of the print versions. You know, like the swearing and the defamation.