Last night, as i was in bed half reading and half asleep, the phone rang. My cousin JY had read a story about Kindness of Strangers in this month’s issue of Readers’ Digest and had asked her mother if she thought it was written by me. My aunt said to her, you think there’s only one Vicky Chong in the whole of Singapore? Neverthess, my aunt called me to check.
There were many times, during my writing course (with The Wrtiers’ Bureau), that I had considered submitting stories to RD and perhaps earn a few bucks to cover the course fee. Stories in RD are real and often highly dramatic or touching. I searched internally high and low through my 40+ years of living experiences, to see if there were anything that would even come close to the stories I’ve read. Nothing. I’m just a boring average girl who had grown up to become a boring average housewife. There was nothing I could write that would send any readers’ heartbeat to increase even a fraction.
A friend whom I’ve never met, but had known through my writing website (www.fanstory.com) told me estatically that her story had been accepted by RD. When she first wrote to me about it, I felt a tinge of envy, or even jealousy (hey, I’m a Scorpio), but that was quicky swept aside. She would probably have a more exciting life than me, as she had spent her growing-up years in Copanhagen. It would be fun to read about someone I know, and bragged to my kids (all RD’s fans) that this is mummy’s friend.
My August issue arrived just then and as I was flipping through, I read the invitation to send in stories about inspiring acts of unexpected kindness and generosity. RD pays US$250 if the stories get published. I’ve been blessed with a few instances of kindness by strangers and had luckily written them in my blog. So, I went through my blog, found my favourite one, copied, pasted, edited it and sent it. RD replied that they may published it, but they needed more info, like when the incident happened. Well the incident happened quite long ago, about ten years to be exact. After I told them that, I didn’t hear from them again.
So you can imagine how my heart was racing after my aunt’s call, as i searched through Ivan’s pile of books to look for the issue. This has certainly inspired me continue writing even more. Hopefully, you’ll one day get to read my book.