November, schmovember…

Another year almost gone and still no hand sanitiser sponsorship. C’mon, how much alcohol does a girl need (to rub on her hands) to get a break around here?!

But in all seriousness… it’s late November. Already.

November always ends up being pretty busy despite my best intentions. I guess it’s been like that since I was a student and most of my final exams would be in November (in Australia, the school year lines up with the calendar year). Now that I’m a professional (ha!) it seems to be the time of year where everyone starts realising they need XYZ before Christmas. And then there’s preparing (physically and mentally) for the end-of-year events that come thick and fast in December.

I actually had the first of my end-of-year gatherings over the weekend just gone, but it was just a small picnic in the park, nice and chill.

I’ve never liked crowds, even pre-pandemic, but I did go see Guns N’ Roses recently (masked up). And I’m glad I did – it was a fun Friday night. I mean, it was freezing… even in my hoodie, raincoat, hat and mask. There was also a sprinkling of November rain, but not during the song of the same name. Bruce Springsteen still holds the record for the longest concert I’ve ever attended (3.5 hours), but GN’R were pretty close.

A lot of us writers also attempt NaNoWriMo in November. I didn’t give it a crack this year but if you did, I hope you’ve made some progress on a manuscript.

For this writer… well, my firstborn novel, Black and Blue, turned one at the beginning of the month. Doesn’t seem that long ago but they grow up so fast, don’t they?

A paperback copy of Black and Blue by Lee-Ann Khoh stands next to a powdered sugar layer cake decorated with flowers and birthday candles.
Book and cake! All the important things.
Image credit: AllAuthor.

And yes, I’m being facetious – I know books are not the same as actual children, calm your farm. 😛

But yeah, it’s been a nice year of… not being a liar if I decide to set my Facebook page and Instagram profile categories to “Author”. 😄

Book 2 is coming… eventually. A few people have asked me about a sequel, but this one’s a standalone at this point in time.

Other formats of Black and Blue are also on the horizon but I don’t have release dates yet.

Barracking for the Umpire review on Perth Walkabout

After illness forced the cancellation of the original performance I was going to attend, I made it back to Subiaco Arts Centre to see Barracking for the Umpire, a play by Andrea Gibbs and presented by Black Swan State Theatre Company.

And my thoughts on it are now online. Barracking for the Umpire centres on the family of a retired legend of the Donnybrook Football Club who’s now struggling after a long career of repeated head knocks.

Read my review of Barracking for the Umpire on Perth Walkabout.

My Book Reality interview… and a reading of Black and Blue

Back in August, I sat down for a Zoom interview with Ian Hooper, executive director of Leschenault Press and The Book Reality Experience.

That interview is now up on YouTube:

Book Realities vodcast interview with Lee-Ann Khoh

I’m a little awkward but hey, it’s my first recorded interview. Awkwardness is on brand for me anyway. 😄

You can also get a sneak peek – or should I say, sneak listen – of Chapter One of Black and Blue:

A reading from Black and Blue by Lee-Ann Khoh

If you’re wondering why I intro’d and outro’d this while standing at the door, it’s because hearing my own voice usually causes me to make a quick getaway. Just kidding… but seriously.

Be sure to check out the other author interviews on the Book Realities podcast… ’cause there are plenty of interesting writers who aren’t me! In fact, most of the interesting writers on the planet are not me. 😛

After the first COVID…

I’ve been a bit quiet since my fling with COVID in early August but I’m very much alive and kicking.

(You may have gleaned that my blog title is a reference to After the First Death, the Robert Cormier novel, which took its name from a Dylan Thomas poem called A Refusal to Mourn the Death, by Fire, of a Child in London. But neither of these things bear any relevance to anything I experienced or anything in this post – I’m just a pretentious weirdo who wants people to know I can read. 😄)

I had a mild case of COVID and kept working from home the entire time so I was one of the lucky ones. And in my household of four, only two of us tested positive.

But there was the fatigue. It could’ve been seasonal affective disorder, or low iron, or something else entirely… but I definitely felt like my energy levels sapped when I had COVID and for a few weeks after that. Or maybe I just don’t get enough sleep. According to Fitbit’s Sleep Profile, I’m a Giraffe, which means my sleep tends to be on the shorter side… like my height, which is most definitely not giraffe-like.

One thing I’ve been trying to do since I recovered is to start getting up early and working out before heading to the office. It hasn’t been daily but I do generally feel better on the days when I make the effort. More energy, less mid-afternoon slump. The early start goes against my nature but I’m trying to retrain my brain (and body, I guess!).

Any tips for turning a night owl into an early bird would be much appreciated. 😛

Blue/Orange review for Perth Walkabout

I didn’t actually know a whole lot about Joe Penhall’s award-winning play Blue/Orange until this week but I reckon I’ll be thinking about it for a long time. It’s set in a London psychiatric hospital and explores race, prejudice and mental illness.

Read my review of Blue/Orange by Theatre 180 at Perth Walkabout.

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