Plots, settings, characters, conflicts, imagination and the pouring senses navigate a writer to bring out the voice of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, fantasy, thriller, and varied genres a phenomenal experience. Who would have known two dynamic expat ladies (Chloe Trindall and Cheryl Leend) in the year of 2000 in Bangkok would start their own writing group! The passing of time, laughter, discussions, teas, coffees, wines, brewing inspiration, and likeminded charismatic ladies brought us to a journey of celebrating 20 years.
On the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the Bangkok Women’s Writers Group, ‘Rhythm of Missing Anthology’ was published by I-Fah Publishing honouring short stories by BWWG writers and was launched in the soulful, artistic, and welcoming Open House Bookshop by Hardcover, Central Embassy in March 2021. The event was graced by friends, writers, dignitaries, music, well wishers and has crafted a precious memory for everyone. The celebratory occasion was enriched with H.E. Italian Ambassador Lorenzo Galanti with Lady M. Francesca Andreini and Lady M. Tetsuko Wiberg. Poet and soulful Jazz singer, Coco Rouzier read her Poems in a jazzy style and Giulietta Consentino, one of BWWG’s inspiring writers and her team sang the amazing lyrical English and Italian Songs – ‘Sperlinga’. The readings by varied writers from global cultures nurture the theme of ‘time’.
Exploring subconscious imagery, tapping into experiences, coming out of the comfort zone, therapeutic sensations, and braving to showcase kinds of stories over decades bring about the connoisseur of storytelling where sharing one’s stories amplifies voice, creativity, and connects communities. ‘‘Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it’’ by Salvador Dali recreates many stories and creative pieces of flow since one cannot pause or stop the lyrics the mind and heart are infusing. This brings us to ‘The Melting Clock Bistro’ Bangkok, where BWWG writer meet up takes place and honouring creative scripts amongst the paintings of Dali caressed the 20th year celebration with oomph, joy, readings, dance, and flamenco in April 2021. Carla Soledad Rivera, the heart and creator of Olé Siam Flamenco and The HOMEBKK performed the magical flamenco with her team. The highly expressive, hand clapping, percussive footwork and intricate body moments performed live echoed distinguished tastes of life, creativity, passion, and community. Integrated part of rhythm, transforming spectacular beauty, and embracing storytelling celebrated the eminent anniversary in a festive galore.
coated with honey – tears of trending legacy
keep it down – the fuelling words
cats, typewriters – blank notebooks
stars, wine – 3 cups of coffee
elegance of tick tock – fury of time
for a moment – all you feel – craving
basking in layers of stories – inking out
cheese, candles, knives – mocking the storyline
shortlisted stories, intensive competition – do not manoeuvre time
sunflowers, cakes – mirrors of progressive tastes
cannot shield – darkness between light
for the ink of words – has comforted generations
only to reconcile – rhythm of missing pieces
romancing within – symphonic galaxy of time
I joined BWWG three years ago. This is a simple sentence when written, but it took several years to be carried out. I had known about the group and curious, but I just couldn’t bring myself up for the group. There were always excuses, like I was busy with this and that. But after all, I wanted to stay in a comfort zone: Writing was my consolation and sharing it with someone I had never met was a scary thought.
Writing is a solitary work. You work alone. You ask a question and try to answer, back and forth, in your mind. Your silent dialogue never ends. It’s painful sometimes, but writers find a joy in creating their own world which is a very private part of themselves.
Writing is a form of expression and naturally, you would like to present the art to the audience. But simultaneously, it is scary to share your writing because it is like exposing yourself inside out to the public. What if people don’t like it? What if it’s not as good as you’ve thought? That would be like being denied your entire self. My ego would not be able to take it. I chose hiding over being vulnerable.
One day I met Nick Argles, publisher of Expat Life in Thailand. After we talked on different matters, he mentioned Bhavna and told me I should contact her. I was not sure why I should since it was not clear who she was, what she did and how I could be related to her. But Nick being Nick, was very persuasive. I did contact her and found out Bhavna was one of organisers of BWWG. I almost believed in the destiny. I told myself it was time to open the door to a new world.
Before the first Tuesday of the month, regular date of their monthly meeting, I was still mumbling myself, trying to find some reasons not to go. But I knew I had waited too long. I told myself that English was not my primary language and that was my last indulgence to excuse myself if my writing was not accepted well.
I arrived early at the venue, ‘The Melting Clock Bistro’ to find Bhavna sitting in front of the painting of Salvador Dali. Dali’s big staring eyes were overwhelming, but Bhavna’s eyes were welcoming and so were the group of ladies. No one was critical or dismissed my writing. On the contrary, their comments were nothing but warm and positive. I could sense they were simply trying to support and encourage each other. This was not a group for judgement, but communal nurturing. I felt embarrassed and ashamed of being timid of joining the group. I was the one being preoccupied with comparing to others.
We read each person’s writings, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, essay etc. I didn’t know anyone in the group: They were total strangers. But reading their stories, I felt I knew them, who they were, without even knowing their names. Each person distributed her short writing and it was like being invited to their private parties. Each host offered her specialty of drinks, pure water with lemon, throat burning whisky, deep tangy red wine, and sweet chocolate. I enjoyed tasting different flavours of their worlds.
By the time the party was ended, I simply felt elated. It really didn’t matter if my writing was better or worse than anyone else. We were connected in a desire to write. I imagined these women trying to express whatever their feelings in letters, biting their nails, staring at the window, waiting for a magical plot pop up, in front of a blank paper or screen. I was with them. Being present in a group of women who share the same passion was inspiring.
Oh, I didn’t and couldn’t use my last indulgence. None of them attending that night was a native speaker of English. Actually, I think everyone was from a different country, very cosmopolitan. It was even more inspiring when you learn these women are expressing themselves cross culturally. You find hidden gems from all over the world in a corner of Bangkok. Isn’t it exciting?
Rhythm of Missing Pieces is available at Kinokuniya Bookstores and Open House Bookshop by Hardcover, Central Embassy in Bangkok. Bangkok Women Writers Group is co-led by Morgan Pryce and Bhavna Khemlani. To join the BWWG you can connect through Meetup and FB: Bangkok Women Writers Group.