Friday, November 27, 2009

Wizard with Words

If there is one local writer whom I admire most for his wizardry with words, it will have to be poet Felix Cheong. Not only is he meticulous in his economy and choice of words, he has a incredible sensitivity to raw human emotions that you don't often find in... well, men.

And so when I learnt that he was launching his 4th book of poetry titled Sudden in Youth: New and Selected Poems at the Singapore Writers Festival earlier this month, I went down to support. But time was short and he was surrounded by fans, so I just had to invite Felix to The Living Room to chat more about his work.

As a writer and former Deputy Editor myself, I appreciate the written word. I'm one of those who can never speed read. And oh, if I'm into a good book...... Just a word, line or para that speaks to me will have me closing the book for the rest of the day, just to let the words sink in and marinate the soul.

And one of my greatest inspirations as a writer would be this man:

Felix Cheong, My favourite local poet & friend.

I attended a writing workshop Felix conducted some years back, and he was the one who taught me the fundamentals of good feature writing.

Well, he was our guest in The Living Room today and I had him autograph my copy of Sudden in Youth.We also invited him to read a poem to us on-air: Father and Son II. My favourite lines from that poem are: How sand-like, your childhood / when it slipped through my fingers.

My other faves in his book include his love poems Walk With Me and I Watch the Stars Go Out. His amazingly accurate take on how women function in the dating game is captured in the poem The Only Mathematical Way to Woo A Woman. I recognised so much truth in it that I laughed out loud when I first read it!

Another noteworthy poem is the one called Chronicle of a Tattoo of a Typewriter. Felix has a tattoo on his arm - an old-fashioned typewriter! And in this poem, he writes about embracing this Divine calling (at least that's how I interpret it!). He starts off by writing Father, I have branded myself as / yours, on a Sunday. And he ends as such: I am / as you have meant me to be. Nice.

I recommend this book if you're eager to taste poetry. It's available at Kinokuniya, Select Books, Books Actually, and online at Grab a copy!

Travel Trends: Boutique Hotels

Charming boutique hotels are fast replacing large hotel chains as choice accommodation for discerning travellers.

If you're the sort who feels that where you stay on a vacation is integral to the whole magical experience, then you'll appreciate the allure of boutique hotels. It's a fast-growing trend with discerning travellers, who deliberately seek out these quaint, romantic, sexy hideaways as an alternative to large sterile hotel chains.

Where you lay your head at the end of the day can make the difference between a good holiday and an exceptionally unique one!

But searching for & booking the best boutique hotels is often a case of hit & miss online. There are just so many to choose from! And who do we trust in terms of reviews?

Well, thanks to the world's leading boutique accommodation experts, Mr & Mrs Smith, you can now find detailed reviews from people of taste, and enjoy a shortlisted collection of the world's best boutique hotels.

In fact, these boutique hotels are reviewed by a team of hand-picked opinion-formers whom they call Smith Tastemakers. These are men & women in various fields who are deemed to possess "travel in their blood & taste in their soul". Think Nadya Hutagalung or Dita Von Tess, both Smith Tastemakers!

Stanley & I shamelessly volunteered our services as well! *grin*

Well, we had a wonderful chat today with the Co-founder & Managing Director of Mr & Mrs Smith Asia Pacific, Simon Westcott (he's ex-Global Publisher of Lonely Planet) about the latest trends in boutique vacationing. What should we look out for when choosing a boutique hotel? What are his top 3 picks of the most charming boutique hotels in the world?

Simon Westcott reveals the latest trends in boutique vacationing.

I am now all psyched up now for my next vacation! And you can bet this girl will be checking out Mr & Mrs Smith's website for the hottest & sexiest boutique hotel recommendations! *grin* Helloooooo world!!!

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