December Project Updates


Monthly Project Updates are a series I began to hold myself accountable for finishing the many projects I start, and to document the ups and downs I encounter along the way. I hope it also makes for an entertaining or thought-provoking read!  My goal is to someday have a group of bloggers sharing monthly updates through comments or links to blog posts–the more the merrier!

Welcome to the second Singapore edition of my Monthly Project Updates!  I can’t believe I’ve been living abroad for over a month now.

Enjoying Singapore on a Budget

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

This amazing temple is a place of worship, a museum, and a garden all in one.  Admission is free, although donations are welcomed.  This ornate temple houses thousands of Buddha statues, from tiny carvings to larger-than-life statues.  The museum displays modern and ancient Buddhist artwork from many parts of Asia, and includes some explanations of the different art styles.  The relic room and rooftop garden are stunning—well worth a visit!

Marina Bay Sands Sky Park Bar


The Marina Bay Sands Hotel is one of the most iconic buildings in Singapore.  It’s scale and structure are mind-boggling.  How did they get that enormous boat-like structure to span the gaps between three 55-story buildings?  Just looking up at it is dizzying!

Obviously, the cheapest way to enjoy the hotel is by snapping pictures from across the canal, but going up to the Sky Park roof top bar is much more fun!  It’s free to go up to the bar, but drinks are pricey, starting at around $18.

Gardens by the Bay


Like the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, there’s a cheap way and an expensive way to enjoy the Gardens by the Bay.  The parks and outdoor gardens are free to explore and enjoy and include many different plants from around the world interspersed with fascinating sculptures.  However, other attractions in the Gardens cost $8 to $28 to enter.  There is plenty to enjoy without spending a cent, including the Super Tree Grove and its nightly laser show, but the indoor exhibits are well worth the visit if you’re a nature-lover.

Library E-Books

If you’re a homebody like me and living in Singapore for an extended time, you might need some cheap hobbies that don’t involve exploring the city.  I got a Kindle before the move so that I wouldn’t have to worry about transporting heavy books in my suitcase.  It was an added bonus to find out that I can borrow e-books from my local library in the U.S. from Singapore!  Many popular books were on hold, but I was able to find several available books that I’m excited to add to my reading list.


I’ve already written a lot about writing this month—not a surprise, since I’ve been doing a lot of it!  However, I’ve given myself a few specific goals for the coming month:

  • Set reasonable word-count goals, and meet them. The goals might change from day to day, but as long as I’m moving forward I’ll consider it a success!
  • Don’t forsake quality for quantity. One of the blessings of a first draft is that you don’t have to worry too much about whether the writing is heart-stoppingly flawless.  The first draft is, by definition, better than what existed before—which was nothing.  However, I sometimes feel myself getting a little bit sloppy with my characterizations and word choices, and I don’t like it.  In addition to adding to my WIP, I’m challenging myself to complete other writing exercises to keep my writing ability sharp.
  • Keep on keepin’ on.

Living Creatively (and Compassionately)

Living creatively means making space for creativity in my life.  It’s easy now that I have a lot of free time on my hands, but it’s also easy to let time slip away by immersing myself in meaningless activities.  This month, I’m challenging myself to read more, write more, and explore with an open mind.

I’ve added living compassionately as a goal because we live in scary times.  The world we live in is changing, and not necessarily in the ways we hoped for.  We live in a world where hatred—against women, against immigrants, against minorities—is permitted by the regime coming into power.  I am not okay with that.  I believe that the way forward is through compassion and understanding, and living these values is a responsibility that every one of us bears.

What projects have you worked on this month?  What projects are you taking on to help create the world you want to live in?

Photo Credits: Marina Bay Sands photo by Lenny K Photography under CC 2.0 license

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