Nothing much. The second book is late (still being printed). I'm just waiting. There is however good news from another quite unexpected aspect of this research. My husband went to talk to his friend about staging some drama/sketches of biographies in my second book. I agreed but it will certainly need a lot of work.
He first went to see a friend who is skilled in writing scripts for staging Malay drama, only Malay drama, not English drama. This man is also a USM staff. He usually stages very good Malay dramas. I have no idea where he stages them but I believe for the university.
Now, this friend can get a professional playwrite or script writer to make professional dramas and stage them at USM. Since I am based in USM, we may try out and stage the dramas in Kelantan. Since it will be the first time we stage a medical Malay drama (of course with some English dialogues since the early Malay doctors probably dealt in English for a major part of their work). The stage, props, music, etc will reflect the time of British Malaya. The costumes are varied but should reflect that bygone era.
My husband also suggested that I piece together each early doctors' biography separately. He also mentioned it would be great if I could talk to Datuk Lat and get him to draw cartoons to accompany each biography & drama. I added I could do that - compile biography + Lat's cartoon + images of memorabilia of each doctor + scenes from drama. Among the biographies we can try to stage (just a suggestion from my husband) are Tan Sri Dr Abdul Majid bin Ismail (Coco Majid, 2nd DG), Tan Sri Dr Raja Ahmad Noordin (3rd DG), Datuk Dr Ariffin Ngah Marzuki, Tun Dr Ismail. I added we can also try and do the same for the Singapore doctors in addition to Tan Sri Dr Mohamed Din (1st DG), Dr Abdul Wahab Mohd Ariff, the lady doctors - Dr Latifah Bee Ghows, Tan Sri Dr Salmah Ismail, and Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali. My husband said Panggung Negara already staged Tun Dr Siti Hasmah so there is no need to duplicate that.
The big job is to go round and obtain rights to stage the drama. I will need to obtain agreements from the doctors' families, find a producer for the dramas, and get copyrighted music approved. I will also need to check with Arkib if they have filmed these early doctors and whether we can be allowed to make clips out of the existing ones. It is a lot of work and I wish someone can take this up since I still have another 6 years of lecturing before I can call it quits and help out. Otherwise I can only do this part time after office hours.
As for actors and actresses, that will certainly need a lot of auditions for the various roles of the early Malay doctors. I offered my youngest daughter and she shrieked! I must have scared her stiff. LOL
So that's what is on my mind right now.
I'm listening to Maple Leaf Rag (since 9 am, it's 3.37 pm now) because I'm also updating the story about my mum at another of my many blogs when the suggestion to do the drama above came at lunch time. I can't think straight if I don't listen to bkgr music or noise. I cannot work in a silent room. I can work in any noisy environment except traffic noise. K-pop is playing on ASTRO, ustaz is speaking on IKIM FM, they don't disturb me at all, I can still work good and fast. Of course I can't hear calls on my phone with all the bkgr noise. It has to be very noisy so the blood flows out from the heart and up to the brain and back down. Otherwise the brain has stale blood. No scientific theory can prove that music as bkgr noise makes a person happy, helps memory and keeps one young, healthy and alert. That's my unscientific theory.