I stumbled upon Mun Yee’s blog through one of KUL’s very own contributor, Yeu-Gynn. With time on my side, I decided to scroll through her blog and see for myself what it was all about it. Instantaneously, I was drawn to her style of writing and the content itself was mesmerizing.
Reminiscent of Lang Leav, who is coincidentally one of her literary idols, she writes of love and loss.
Over the summer, I had the opportunity to pick her brain on her favorite cheap Malaysian eats, exes reading her blog, and what she would say to her English teacher now. Read on:
Introduce yourself and include one fun fact about yourself.
To start, my name is Mun Yee and the pseudonym iaremunyee came about as a play on the fact that writers are all self-proclaimed grammar nazis. I started blogging when I was 14 because of all the teenage angst and raging hormones. I needed an outlet of release that was not harmful or expensive. So blogging it is.
A fun fact? English was my weakest subject in school. My English teacher would read out my essays as the bad example to the class. So the irony when I decide to become a writer.
If you could write a letter to your English teacher, what would you say?
Hm, I don’t recall very vivid memories of her, but I suppose I will thank her for her honesty. Sometimes you need someone to give you a virtual slap to wake you up and tell you to improve. If not, you’ll be stuck in that ignorance.
I think this applies to so many aspects of one’s life and I have been so blessed to have these ‘wake up calls’ from various people in my life.
You said that most of your work is inspired by true life events, do you immediately start writing after something happens?
I don’t lie really well, so everything that I write has to be based on a true event or a feeling. I find negative emotions such as anger, sadness, and jealousy being the strongest catalyst for me to write.
Writing is therapeutic for me as a way of classifying – putting things and emotions into boxes. They mark beginnings and ends.
Say, I go through a breakup. I write a series of posts but it will always end with a penultimate piece and I move on after.
Walk us through your writing process.
The writing process is quite self-destructive, I believe. An event would happen and I might not (and I usually don’t) have the means to put pen to paper immediately. What I would do is sink myself into the feelings again after – think of it as a cut that has partially scabbed over and I would sit there and pick at it until it bleeds again. All in the name of creative expression.
This could take days. A piece usually sits in the draft for days, weeks before I obsessively edit it – partially for grammatical errors but mostly for the emotions that I am hoping to illicit in my readers.
The writing process ends at the time of posting.
Do your parents read your blog? If so, what are their thoughts on your writing, specifically about them as well as your love life? What about your significant others?
My mum does read it on and off. My dad not so much but they both think that I shouldn’t ‘air dirty laundry’. They are conservative Asians and I am too open for their liking. All of my significant others read my blog. Some are quite against it as I tend to write about them, despite not showing their faces or revealing their true names. Some have outrightly told me to stop but I refused.
You have to love me for all of me and dating a writer means you will be written about.
As your blog expands, would you ever consider omitting Manglish for the sake of an international audience? Was there a time where you were against writing in Manglish?
I don’t write in Manglish. It sounds so elitist but I am not particularly proud of broken English. Sure, there is that sense of identity that we wear on our sleeves of proud Malaysians. Don’t get me wrong, I am proud of my country but I think we are so much more than our ‘lahs’ and ‘mahs’. The majority of my readers are international.
What are your thoughts on Malaysia’s literary scene, particularly with the works being published recently?
I am afraid I am out of touch with the local literary scene. I read international authors and only English books but one of my goals is to read my Malay books. The language is beautiful and I really should brush up on my Bahasa.
Top 5 favorite books that are not centered around love.
I do not read books about love. No chick-lits or romance.
I am a sucker for all things fantasy. In no particular order: Tuesdays with Morrie, The Kite Runner, Flower for Algernon, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Mythology by Edith Hamilton (an odd one, but I love Greek mythology).
You have a food blog, what are some of your favorite cheap Malaysian eats?
Ah! Where do I even begin? Maybe not cheap but there is a few places that would pass my “bring tourist friends here” test:
1. Seremban Favourites, Aman Suria (the char siew will make you weep)
2. Roast Pork at Wong Mee Kee, Pudu (the siew yuk here is divine)
3. Nasi lemak bumbung at Taman Sea (cheap, fast, bad for you – what more can you ask for)
4. Banana leaf rice at Nirvana, Bangsar (the fried bitter gourd is everything)
5. Peter’s Pork Noodle, Bangsar (stick to your ribs kinda good)
If you could ask anyone, living or dead, for love advice, who would it be and why?
No one specifically, but I like to talk to couples who’ve been married forever. I want to ask them, what keeps them going, their hardships are more challenging than ours but why didn’t they give up?
What happened between then and now that the notion of ‘when something is broken, fix it’ became ‘when something is broken, throw it away’?
What do you hope to achieve with your blog?
iaremyne.com was meant to be a hobby, but today it has readers all around the world. I want to use it as a space and a medium to connect with people.
I want to illicit emotions whether they are highs or lows and move people with words. I want to always be honest and truthful to how I feel – so that means no sponsored content, no made up stories – I hope that when someone reads it, no matter the background, or circumstance, will be able to take something away from the pieces. Whether that is hope or stifled laughter, even for the sad pieces.
I don’t write to make people cry. I write to remind people that it’s okay to wear our hearts on our sleeves. It’s okay to love fiercely and with wild abandon. It’s okay to fail, fail, and fail because that’s the thing that makes us human.
That’s the thing that makes this life worth living.
Know of a young creative that you are madly, deeply in love with and would like for us to chat with them? Send them our way at contactkulmagazine[at]gmail.com.