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Posts Tagged ‘children’s book author’

Recently, I made author visits to three Red Schoolhouses. I read my Tibby books to preschoolers from 2 – 6 years old and shared a bit more about my books with the older kids.

Children are never too young to be exposed to books and reading, like the 2-3 year olds I read to today. And it’s perfectly fine when they fidget. My 6-year-old has always been that way. And when I stop reading, he stops fidgeting to ask me to read on!

 

 

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At the start of this year, I had a sense that it would be a significant year since 2016 marks 10 years since I started writing. I just did not know how significant it would be until it hit me in the chest on 1 June when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Through it all, the Word has been front, back and centre in my life:

1. Bunny Finds the Right Stage

In March, Esplanade Theatre staged my book Bunny Finds the Right Stuff in a 30-show run for their PLAYtime! children’s theatre. It was a huge delight to see my book come alive on stage in an excellent production.

bunny Esplanade flyer (front)

Esplanade also staged what was probably a first with one Bunny Finds The Right Stuff special theatre show tailored to special needs kids.

StraitsTimes 5Mar2016

Bunny theatre show in the news – Straits Times 5 March 2016

 

2. Benji, Yumi, Origami’s Splashy Launch

To mark Singapore-Japan’s 50 years of friendship this year (SJ50), the Book Council invited me to write a picture book in collaboration with Japanese illustrator Kazumi Wilds based on the theme of Friendship. Another team of a Japanese author and Singaporean illustrator collaborated for the other book.

Genting Resorts sponsored the two English-Japanese bilingual picture books and splashy book launch at their Resorts World SEA Aquarium. It was a fairytale evening which gave me much to soak in before the storm that came a week after.

ST_20160528_NAJAPAN_2322659 (Straits Times photo of Benji, Yumi)

Source: Straits Times news article 28 May 2016

3. God Knows Me & my Inside-out Kid Leh     

Receiving a breast cancer diagnosis on 1st June this year sparked off a start of journaling for me, a writing discipline that I failed to do for years.

I was also prompted in my heart to blog about my journey facing off with breast cancer – which led to my God Knows Leh and Inside-Out Kid blog series – where I shared my raw and blemished off-the-chest experiences, from diagnosis to my latest stage of treatment.

My creative children’s book writing took a back seat for the past 6 months. I did however write one new picture book manuscript which delighted me greatly and lifted my spirits during a slightly down-stage when I first started chemotherapy.

chemo chair

4. Tibby in Tamil translation

Tibby the Tiger Bunny was published in Tamil Edition! Always a thrill to see my books in a new language.

Tibby Tamil

5. Prince Bear & Pauper Bear’s journey to Slovakia

In August, I was delighted to ink a licence agreement for two of my Toy Titles (Prince Bear & Pauper Bear and The Tale of Rusty Horse) to be published in Slovakia in the Slovakian language. This marks the 5th country that my Toy Titles will be published in.

 

6. My Toy Titles’ extended stay in China

I was pleasantly surprised when my China publisher renewed their licence for the Chinese edition of my 4 Toy Titles for a second term. So Prince Bear, Pauper Bear & their Toy friends will extend their stay in China for some more years.

chinese-edition

 

7. My Toy Titles make cover page on The New Paper

A reporter contacted me in October to interview me on my experience with self-publishing. I was going to pass up on the interview as I was going through chemotherapy -I was on my hiatus from writing and publishing stuff and also didn’t want to be photographed.

So, it turned out to be a pleasant surprise when my four Toy Titles made cover page of The New Paper’s Sunday edition.

tnp-frontpage-retake

 

And I decided to be brave and say yes to an impromptu photo with my “new hairstyle”.

tnppg2-retake

8. Tibby, Scaredy Snout & 10 years of Write Stuff

In late November, I launched my latest picture book Tibby & Scaredy Snout in a private party which was also to mark the end of my last chemotherapy session. It was a double celebration and thanksgiving party with family and friends.

 

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Book Launch & Thanksgiving Celebration

 

 

 

9. Gardens Residency

I was awarded a writing residency at Gardens by the Bay this year. So, I will start 2017 with a walk in the park and smelling the flowers as I find the write stuff for my residency manuscript.

 

As I sit in the final days of 2016, I look to 2017 and declare it as my year of Purpose – where I pray that the work of my hands will be purposeful and my words will be well-chosen.

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”                                 – Proverbs 19:21

Related Posts:

2015 Reflections -Writing, Waiting & Great (leveling of) Expectations

 

 

 

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Today is TGIFFFF- Thank God for Favour, Family & Friends Friday:

FAMILY!

  1. Fab Family

I thank God for my family’s pillars of support through this journey.

On the week before my chemo, I had planned to shave my head alone and spend the rest of the day crying at home.

But Ben had another plan. He and Caleb stayed with my through the shave. I only teared for 1 minute because my little one next to me made me laugh. He pulled a chair next to me and drew an airplane which dripped pee from its plane toilets onto the heads of bad guys below. How do you cry amidst such absurdity?

WithCalebPostShave

Post-shave, sporting my new K-Pop star look

Then my parents and brother’s family showed up unexpectedly to wait for me to finish my shave and wig-fitting.

So that was the end of my grand crying plan.

FamilyShot1.png

 

FRIENDS!

2. Kick-butt friends

On the morning of my 1st chemo and post-op treatment, I woke to whatsapp messages from several friends who remembered and told me they were praying for me.

My very dear friend Arlene sent me a whole series of booster messages throughout my 5-hour treatment. And this was from Australia where she is visiting family.

She tagged them as #watchemilybeatcancer.

My girlfriend Gail came over to watch Caleb all of this Monday afternoon as he was home sick in the week where my immunity is supposed to be at its lowest.

And she has re-arranged her schedule to do so every Monday. She has four kids and she is carving out time to watch mine. I’m so overwhelmed by her love and friendship. (Gail, thanks for being the bestest friend ever :)).

GOD’S FAVOUR!

3. For my 1st cycle of chemo and anti-breast cancer drugs treatment, I had 4 drugs intravenously injected into my arm in slow drip over 5 hours:

Taxotere + Carboplatin (chemo drugs) + Herceptin + Pertuzumab (breast cancer drugs)

(Who on earth comes up with these unspellable names?)

Because I responded well, the nurse told me that I could have a light lunch one hour into the first drug.

So I ate a packet of chicken rice.

When my oncologist came round to see how I was faring, I told him that I just finished Herceptin (the 1st anti-HER-2 drug) and chicken rice.

His jaw dropped. In a good way.

Me-1stBoosterJab..

1 day post-chemo, headed to clinic for my 1st booster jab

 

4. Prior to this, I checked up with 4 breast cancer survivors and was told a loss of appetite and depleted energy are huge side effects of chemo, amongst a few others.

Thanks to everyone’s prayers and God’s medicine (3 doses of Bible a day), I’ve had very little side effects in week 1. I have also continued eating like a horse and been able to taste and enjoy my food.

And I was so energized creatively this week that I have started working on a new picture book manuscript for the first time since my diagnosis 7 weeks back. Which perked me up even more.

5. Yesterday was the Singapore Michelin Guide Launch and Awards Dinner. Ben had bought a table months back. We decided to invite the team of doctors who have attended to me as our appreciation for taking care of me beyond their call of duty. (On top of doctoring me, my poor doctors have to take questions from me about God, life and healing!)

I wasn’t sure if I would make it to dinner since I had just started chemotherapy.

So yesterday, on day 7 post-chemo, my Onco saw me for my blood count. My white blood cells count and immunity registered an all-time high from the preceding 5-days of booster jabs. So, it was two thumbs up for yesterday evening’s dinner. And then, Onco saw me at dinner a few hours later!

So, I got ready for my 1st outing in 7 weeks that didn’t involve seeing doctors.

Pre-Michelin Dinner

Oh…that’s technically incorrect.

My outing did involve my doctors. We had a table of my oncologists, plastic surgeon, breast surgeon, and we invited my eye surgeon friend.  So, all round, I was in very good hands all evening.

withAudra&Esther.png

With my beautiful surgeon friends

TableGroupShot.png

My dream team of doctors who look like they just stepped out from Grey’s Anatomy and E.R… except these lookers are for real. Step aside, Mc Dreamy.

 

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Attending the Oscars of Dining Awards

 

 

I’m so thankful for God’s Favour, Family and so many awesomely kick-butt Friends (including my amazing doctors) who are supporting me through this journey.

I continue to pray for completion and restoration through it all.

Psalm 69:30: I will praise the name of God with song and magnify Him with thanksgiving.

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