Featured Story - May 2008:
Immortality (excerpt)


Simon Ng, 42, wakes up at 7 a.m. on Christmas day in his spare one-bedroom apartment.   From where he lays his head, he can see the dark gray of dusk, a shade lighter than the inside of his eyelids.   He remains on the bed and rubs his eyes.   He recalls a childhood when he'd sleep in on Christmas day until the morning was not cold anymore.   Then he'd wake up in his old room in his parents' house to a smell of a hearty breakfast that included bacon and coffee, which his father would allow him and his brother to drink at a young age with a lot of sugar and cream.  

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About the Story

I had been writing for a while and taking a couple of writing classes here and there before I joined my first writing group. After years of independent and informal conversations about writing, a group of queer API friends formed this group in mid-90s and we met monthly for about two years. I felt that my writing had improved tremendously because of this writing group. My stories had become developed and characters more fleshed out. This story, "Immortality," was the first story I wrote around the time the group folded. With this story, I solidified the theme of solitude for my short story collection. It didn't start out that way, as I wrote this for my mother. (It's one of the very few stories of mine that she actually read.) But as I started to explore why I was so touched by her love for her deceased elder brother, who's a lifelong bachelor, I realized that "being alone" is not so bad if you're loved this much by someone. And that opens up a lot of possibilities for characters in later stories.