Every month we celebrate the best writer on TSL who gets inducted into our Hall of Fame. I feel its only right to acknowledge their contributions to the site. Hopefully this would inspire other members to do their best!
While our monthly points race recognizes the top contributors, our writer of the month award pays tribute to the highest quality contributor of that month. Its really hard to pick just one member as there are over 100 active writers every month. And sometimes its a very close fight between the top writers, as it was this month. But please don't be disheartened if you're not chosen yet, and keep up the quality writing. Your efforts will not go unnoticed and your turn will come soon!
Members will only be eligible to win our monthly award once.
I had the pleasure of having a short chat with equina who came across TSL after goggling a company she was looking on reviews for. She then decided to start honing her writing skills as its her aspiration o be a writer one day. She is one super cool mom with such a loving approach to life and I for one will anxiously be awaiting the release of her novel!
February 2013 Writer of the Month:
Q1: Do share with our readers who may not know you a bit about yourself and your life.
My aim in life is to enjoy it to the fullest. I indulge in many hobbies, making me a Jill-of-all-trades and mistress of none. To put it nicely, I guess I can be considered a female non-genius version of Leonardo da Vinci. I also do volunteer work, because I think life in general has been good to me, and I want to use my talents and my time to give back.
My list of hobbies includes but is not limited to reading, writing, photography, singing, playing my piano and ukulele, solving puzzles, travelling, going for heritage trails and nature walks, studying history and culture, creating anime and manga music videos, working out at the gym and making desserts.
I am currently working on a personal project, which is writing my very first novel. I hope when it is finished it will be good enough to be published.
Q2: What is your favourite attraction, hotel and eatery in Singapore?
My favourite attraction is the Asian Civilisations Museum. Singapore looks like a concrete jungle—modern and efficient and… boring! This museum serves as a reminder to Singaporeans that we have a very rich cultural heritage, and despite our differences in race and religion, we show respect for one another, all on a little red dot of an island. I really appreciate this peace that we enjoy here in Singapore.
My favourite hotel is The Sentosa Resort & Spa. I love this hotel because my hubby and I stayed in it shortly after our wedding, so it’s special to me in this way. At that time, the hotel was called The Beaufort.
As for eateries, I don’t have any favourites, or rather, I have too many favourites, because I enjoy food from hawker centres to high-end restaurants
Q3: How did you come across the website TheSmartLocal? What motivated you to start writing and sharing your experiences here, and what tips would you give to others to be like you?
I was googling a company, and TheSmartLocal appeared on the list because it featured some reviews of the company I was searching for. Then I thought, since I aspire to be a writer, why don't I just start by writing about things I know and love? So I began reviewing the places I enjoy going to and products I love using. I didn't expect the process to be so fun.
If we wish to improve our writing, the following are a few things we can do:
1) Increase our vocabulary - by reading widely. Memorise new words and phrases. If we’re really good, we can even coin non-existent words to make our articles have more impact. For example, in one review on “Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa”, the writer slidepj used the phrase ‘A hungry man is an angry man’ and coined the word ‘eye-raped’. Needless to say, that article provided a very descriptive and enjoyable read, albeit at the expense of the poor place getting reviewed :-D
2) Develop our 5 senses - so that we can add more colour to our descriptions. For example, if our sense of smell is not well developed, we can only use limiting words like fragrant or stinking to describe a smell. But if that sense is more developed, we can use words like floral, fruity, musky, and so on to describe the aroma.
3) Be a lifelong learner - be open to learn or experience new things. If we don't broaden our horizons, how can our writings continue to be fresh and interesting to our readers?
4) Make our reviews more interesting - by incorporating some bite-sized facts or gossips (make sure you let your readers know it’s from the grapevine!) or by relating our reviews to the current hot topic. This may require us to do some research and be aware of current affairs. In my review of “Balestier”, I added small amounts of facts to the places I visited to help my readers better appreciate them. In my review of “Soup Restaurant”, I shared what my hubby said about the poor people going out in the streets to look for sweet potatoes leaves to feed themselves.
Is it true? I don’t know until I do the research, but this unverified information makes my experience of sweet potato leaves more poignant. In my review of “It’s a Wonderful Life”, I related the concept of the elderly working for their living to Health Promotion Board’s campaign for active aging and the hot topic of Singaporeans’ unhappiness against foreign workers. In doing so, I challenged the conventional thinking that the elderly who have to work for their living are pitiful. Am I right? I don’t need to be right, but I need to give my readers food for thought.
5) Develop our sense of humour - If something funny happened, share it! If possible, inject humour in our sentences. Our articles will definitely be popular when we make our readers laugh.
6) Practise! Practise! Practise! – There’s no secret formula. We become better writers only when we keep writing.
Q4: Any shout-outs or last words you would like to make?
Make a list of things you want to achieve in your lifetime and do them. Some people call it the Bucket List. Don't simply cross out the item after you've achieved it. Write about it and share the experience with your readers. It will make the experience more memorable when you record it down.
TSL Member of the Month Hall of Fame: