Spring is in the air! Despite Covid’s stubborn presence around our globe, we in Hong Kong are fortunate to have access to nature, trails and trekking over mountains, and to our many malls. What would Hong Kong be without its malls!
Typical Chinese New Year Hong Kong festive flair brings colour in abundance. Life-sized M&M’s and even Lulu the Pig delight the children along with cute little oxen. Peach blossom displays and flowers shock the senses into and out of all things sensible. Perched above heads of thousands are the pretty red lanterns in rows of regular readiness to please in the breezes brushing past beautiful women in heels. The air is fresh and the humidity low.
It’s holiday season and we encourage you to have a listen to our podcastswhen not at work as well as a peek at the Woman at Work and Showcasesections on our website. And please read some more stories in Imprint 19, too.
To our overseas members, our wish is that you remain safe and happy in your own communities, as we all wait patiently for planes to fly us to family and friends again.
On behalf of the committee, I send my very best wishes to you all,
Frosty the Snowman has a smile on his face and seems very happy indeed to have been invited to join our committee, as we wish you all a safe and joyous Christmas.
It’s been a blizzard of a year to say the least. That may be okay for snowmen and women, but it’s been a huge challenge for many. While some members have left Hong Kong and returned to their country of origin, most of us have been forced to make adjustments, both here and abroad.
To quote author Elizabeth Gilbert, “Resilience is our shared genetic inheritance.” In a TED Connect virtual conversation, hosted by Chris Anderson and Helen Walters, Liz offers hope and understanding around the anxiety and fears synonymous with the coronavirus pandemic. Her message to us all is that we must be kind and compassionate to ourselves – yes, ourselves. Do not be so hard on yourself. The human spirit is such that somehow out of nothing, we find solutions. Our resourcefulness and incredible ability to adapt immediately is our strength. Do have a listen to this talk; it is most uplifting, especially with Christmas not far away.
In October 2019, the sum of HK$50,000 was gifted to us by an anonymous WiPS member, to whom we are most grateful. This incredibly generous donation has been used to increase our social media presence. We tried our best to have the Imprint 19 launch and even a Christmas party, but Covid pounced and we could not proceed. Turning instead to the Cloud and all that is safe in the virtual world, social media facilitated more promotion of your talents. On Facebook, Polly has been posting Taster of the Week every four days. These are excerpts from individual Imprint19 contributions. Kay Ross has been posting many informative and deliciously interesting posts on our Facebookpage for most of this year. We are most appreciative of her contribution and dedication to our social media growth. Under the Members’ section on our website, we now have seven Woman at Work pieces and seven Showcasecontributions. Please do check these out and contact us if you would like to participate.
Now we are podcasting! Suzanne Harrison was the very first to be interviewed on her pacey and vibrant Hong Kong thriller, The Colour of Thunder. This is to be released on 1 February 2021. Sarah Brennan, author of the best-selling Chinese Calendar Tales along with the Dirty Story series and Storm Whale, was our second podcast guest. These podcasts are uploaded to our website and on Facebook. There will be at least one podcast per month.
Our next issue of Imprint
The offer to extend the deadline of submissions to Imprint 20 was gratefully taken up by several members who had missed the earlier date. This has ensured that we will have a healthy and eclectic mix of submissions for our next anthology. We will watch how things unfold in 2021 and do our best to hold a proper launch.
Carol asks those members who have still to send their pieces to let her know their status (email@example.com).
And if you are looking for last-minute Christmas gifts, why not consider buying copies of Imprint19? The book makes an interesting and inexpensive present. Please see the WiPS Home Page for “Where to Find Imprint”.
While some of you will be Zooming and others will be with family and likely a reduced group gathering, I send very best Christmas wishes on behalf of the committee to you all. May you find joy in the presence of those who matter most.
It has been quiet as of late. Covid-19 has caused many of us to take new perspectives on life, and those of us in Hong Kong – as well as members overseas – are adapting to and even delighting in the change of pace and time afforded with family.
Zoom is the new place to hang out online and has proved popular as well as effective. Face to face contact is fuel to the soul after all. It has proved invaluable for the WiPS committee.
And now it appears that Hong Kong may well be over the worst of its fears and preparing for the new post-Covid lifestyle.
Having no choice but to postpone the Imprint launch, the committee plans to hold an alternative celebration in the months ahead. We cannot compromise members’ safety, so we are in no rush to confirm a date. While we would like to have the gathering before the summer break, September seems more realistic. The FCC is holding our booking until the end of that month. In the meantime, we are printing the anthology.
Why should Covid-19 spoil all we’d planned? Lewis Caroll was no futurist, but as a dreamer, he would have agreed:
The moon was shining sulkily, Because she thought the sun Had got no business to be there After the day was done — “It’s very rude of him,” she said, “To come and spoil the fun.”
And on this optimistic note, let us introduce you to our modest line-up of upcoming social events.
Imprint 19 Imprint 19 is with the printer. We will mail out one copy to all members, both locally and abroad, by early June. Copies will have to be sent by surface mail to those of you overseas, so please be patient. Normal air mail services have yet to resume. We received a bumper crop of submissions from more than 50 members this year – and what a high standard they were! We are sure Imprint 19 will impress!
If you would like to obtain additional copies, please contact Polly on firstname.lastname@example.org. We will ensure certain local bookstores carry stock. Bulk orders can be paid for and collected from designated committee members who have agreed to house supplies.
Informal Get-togethers Our bi-monthly social gathering will resume on Tuesday, 2 June. This time we will meet at Colette’s, Fringe Club, 2 Lower Albert Road, Central. There’s a bar, including a balcony and tables indoors where you can have a light dinner or just snacks and drinks. The club is air-conditioned, a welcome retreat now that the humidity has returned. Under current restrictions, no more than eight members are permitted for any social gathering, so please email me at email@example.com if you plan to attend. Apologies in advance to drop-ins who may have to be turned away unless we have fewer than eight attendees.
Critique Group Our group of eight critiquing members, co-ordinated by Jennifer Walker Frisinger, will resume their meetings on Tuesday, 9 June at Colette’s. This 2-hour session will meet from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Dinner and snacks are available. If you wish to join, please email Jennifer through her Members’ Directory listing. Four pieces are submitted each month, and we review each submission and share comments. We would love you to join us. Our first session was a big success.
Members’ Directory If Covid-19 has forced any change in your contact details or biography, please make the corrections by logging in to your WiPS directory at the WiPS website (www.hkwips.com).
Members’ Showcase Our Showcase of members’ published work, reached under the MEMBERS tab on the home page of our website, is there for your use. Please forward a picture of any one publication you would like to display along with a review or blurb of no more than 100 words to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Woman at Work If you would like to be featured in this section on our facebook page/website (not more than 300 words), please contact us on email@example.com.
Our Facebook page We are most appreciative of Kay Ross’ posts, which continue to give momentum to our Social Media presence. Please “like” as many posts as possible since the more we have, the more we grow. Also, if you should have any material which you feel is suitable for posting, please email this to Polly on firstname.lastname@example.org.
So dear friends, please keep safe and savvy as you return to almost normal routines here in Hong Kong. May Imprint 19 open you up to worlds beyond your own which others in our society have breathed or imagined. Allow the Muses to sweep you off your feet!
And on behalf of our committee, Thank You all for your loyalty and your generosity of spirit.
THE PROVERSE PRIZE (for unpublished book-length works of fiction, non-fiction or poetry on any topic, submitted in English) is open till 30 June 2020. For new, emerging and experienced writers. Prize: HK$10,000 and publication by Proverse Hong Kong. Supplementary Prizes (publication) may be awarded. Translations into English welcome. All those 18 years old and above are welcome to enter, irrespective of residence, nationality or citizenship.
THE PROVERSE POETRY PRIZE (for single poems of up to 30 lines, previously unpublished in English, submitted in English) is open till 30 June 2020. For new, emerging and experienced writers. Topic: “Hunger” OR any topic chosen by each entrant. 1st prize: US$100.00; 2nd prize: US$45.00; up to four 3rd prizes; US$20.00 each. Entry fee: HK$100.00 per poem. Translations into English welcome. All those 18 years old and above are welcome to enter, irrespective of residence, nationality or citizenship. Selected entries may be published in an International anthology.