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Selamat Tinggal

November 29, 2010

In Malaysia there are two ways of saying goodbye – selamat tinggal and selamat jalan. The difference – one means safe stay, the other safe journey.

How do I know this? A month ago my family and I rode a rattly bus out of the Cameron Highlands, out of the beautiful cool mountain air, away from the tea plantations and back to the steamy, bustling capital of Kuala Lumpur, in preparation to fly home to Australia. I sat on the bus  in two minds about returning to Australia. On one hand I wanted to stay on, my need for adventure only partially sated. On the other hand I was sleep deprived from insomnia, yearning for my own bed, pillow and bathroom and impatient to be back in a country where bacon is not a crime.

And this is how I feel today, saying good-bye, caught between the comforts of the familiar and the adventure of new things.

I’ll be honest. I’m not quite ready to leave. Among the most wonderful moments in the last three years, the email from Karen to invite me to be part of this writing team. My work week kicks off here. My best insights and advice are shared here. And after a drought of creative writing, I’m back in the writing seat again and all kinds of new things come to mind to share .

This is where my writing life began. Filing a column each week for Write Anything if a weekly act of gratitude, of giving back to a community which continues to give me so much.

The introduction to [fiction] Friday back in September 2007 became a tipping point and I will never stop thanking Danae Sinclair for directing me here. Through [fiction] Friday I began to produce work on a regular basis and share it, for the first time in more than a decade. I cut my teeth critiquing and being critiqued. Via Write Anything I found a community of writers.

It is also here, the first seeds of Chinese Whisperings and eMergent Publishing found fertile soil… first in my friendship with Paul, then later with Dale, Annie and Rob Diaz as our tiny publishing idea found feet. It seems perfect in a way, for Write Anything to begin a new phase under the auspice of eMergent Publishing.

But staying anywhere or doing anything too long will breed boredom, contempt or ambivalence. While I like the way my work day starts, some weeks it would be awesome to not have the responsibility. The well has been rather empty of late too.

So, before you groan, “Oh no, she’s not going on about that, again” I want to say terima kasih (thank you) and selamat tinggal (safe stay). I will return in 2011, but not as Monday writer. Please support Write Anything while it transitions to a new format with a wonderful band of new writers who will take up the WA mantle of supporting, inspiring, educating, challenging and fostering community among writers of all ilks.

Image stumbled on here.

Jodi Cleghorn feels a little sad today. Lots of endings, including last post here and the end of NaNo. Still it won’t be long until the Christmas vibe spirits her away. And a door closing is a door opening somewhere else. You can find more of Jodi’s musings at Writing in Black and White or by following Twitter.
  1. December 1, 2010 9:40 pm

    Beautifully put Dale 🙂

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