Workshops, Short Stories, Plays, and Books on Communication
Improv for Writers Workshop
After over a decade of performing improvised comedy, teaching it to musical theater students at LaSalle College of the Arts in Singapore, and using it in much of my corporate training (back when I was a corporate trainer), I have begun offering an improv workshop for writers. The beauty of improv is that it gives us exercises for overcoming our fears and finding our natural mental flow, which, for writers, means that we stop second-guessing ourselves, develop our confidence, and give writer’s block a sound kick in the patootie.
If you are interested in running it at a literary festival please get in touch.
Locked Out: Stories Far from Home - Monsoon Books, 2007 - buy a signed copy here
The ten short stories in this collection will take you from Tokyo to Colombo, Singapore to St. Louis as they grapple with a sense of dislocation, and the nagging possibility of betrayal that accompanies new beginnings. In 'Locked Out', investigate the marriage of a woman confronted by her first gray hairs and her husband's sexy Japanese assistant. In 'Tiptoe', arrive in Singapore with a young New Hampshire wife and feel her bewilderment as she becomes a magnet for a deeply unhappy child. In 'The War of the Worlds', accompany an American boy on an unexpected afternoon with a German immigrant to his neighborhood.
'These taut little stories, spare and exact, not only put an insightfully quirky finger on the pulse of expatriate life but touch the difficult business of living itself. An original voice full of residue.' - Meira Chand author of A Different Sky
'Sharply observed debut collection of stories places ex-pat English-speakers in exotic locales.' - Kirkus Reviews
Sitting, Standing, Mending - LossLit, 2017 - read it here
Two couples on an island off the coast of Maine react to the fact that one of the wives seems to be turning British.
Umbilical - Synaesthesia, 2017 - read it here
A pair of brothers are determined to win a seemingly impossible prize at the funfair in the Tuileries Gardens.
Waiting for Godot - The Musical - Barrelhouse Issue 17, 2017 - buy it here
Millie and Randall are improvisers, both in performance and in their relationship. What happens when they improvise beyond their own moral boundaries?
Independence Day - Good Housekeeping, 2014
Robin’s husband won’t stop forcing her to retell the story of a traumatic event.
Locked Out - Ecotone, 2006
When Cathy locks herself out of their Tokyo apartment she has to go to Hank’s office for the key, and comes face to face with the assistant she fears he may be having an affair with.
A Singaporean in Paris is a vivacious ‘jukebox musical’ for which I wrote the dialogue. It was produced in Singapore in 2010 and 2014, both times to sell-out crowds.
In Simmer, a 10-minute one-woman play, a mother voices her concerns about her son’s new girlfriend to the chicken she is preparing for a family meal. It was performed at the 2008 Short + Sweet Singapore festival.
Books on Communication
I used to be a communication skills coach, and wrote a few books about the subject.
Restroom Reflections – CreateSpace, 2011
When I was still coaching business people, I had a newsletter and then a blog called Restroom Reflections for essays on communication. I published the first 51 of those essays as an ebook for Kindle readers and as a convenient 5x8 paperback, perfect for bag, bedside table, or cistern.
‘Restroom Reflections is a must-read for anyone who endeavors to be a better communicator. It’s compulsive reading – full of insights and practical tips, all lovingly nestled in Alison’s witty and candid stories about life. The lessons in this book apply equally well in the boardroom, dining room, or waiting room.’ - Andrea Howe, co-author, The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook
During the financial crisis I had lots of time, and was handed the fantastic opportunity to write a book on presentation skills, and to co-write one on corporate communication skills with Shirley Taylor.
Present for Success – Marshall Cavendish, 2009
Communication: Your Key to Success – Marshall Cavendish, 2009