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Posts Tagged ‘Prince Bear & Pauper Bear’

As I sit down to reflect on the year, I’m wondering why I thought I had a barren writing year. Several big things didn’t turn out as I wanted but there have been so many other things to give thanks for:

1. An Audience of One

It’s been largely a year of writing for an audience of one (me writing my spiritual journal for my own consumption). Although I worried excessively mid-year about my lack of output, I realized on hindsight, that I really needed this time of quiet reflection. I had lapsed back into my rocking horse character (in The Tale of Rusty Horse), concerned about crowd opinion and fretting because one person commented my writing is a hobby.

2. Arise and Read!

In April, Caleb performed at the ARISE! children’s praise concert. The concert opened with Caleb & me doing a book reading of Prince Bear & Pauper Bear. I had never envisioned that I would be on stage with my kid for a mother-son reading. It was a proud mum moment for me.

book reading2

 

3. Prince Bear & Pauper Bear re-staged

In April, The Learning Connection restaged Prince Bear & Pauper Bear over a 10-day run, with requests for extra shows. It was special as it marks 10 years since Prince Bear & Pauper Bear was published.

Storybox theatre

 

4. Writing in the Garden 
In April and May, I ran two public workshops for Gardens by the Bay as part of my writing residency. It was an experience, especially running my first outdoor walking workshop with about 20 families.

GBTB photo 2(PuaySee)

Photo credit (Ong Puay See)

 

5. Pauper Bear and Rusty Horse go Slovakian

In May, the Slovakian edition of my books were published and I got them hot off the press when my Slovakian publisher came to speak at AFCC – the Asian Children’s Festival of Children’s Content. It was an added delight to hear my publisher Petra read a page of the book at the conference where she was a speaker.

Petra's daughter

 

6. More Wild Writing

I completed one more picture book for Wildlife Reserves Singapore. This latest book centres on another endangered animal, following on from my first book Why did the Pangolin cross the Road? The bilingual book be out early next year.

 

7. Global Publishing Conference

It’s been a busy few months as I am on the local organizing committee for Littworld 2018, the global Christian publishing conference to be held in Singapore next year. I thank God that we finally secured the conference venue in November and completed the conference publicity brochure.

LittWorld2018_brochure_1-4_COVER

 

8. Up Close and Personal for Christ 

In October, I shared about my faith and writing journey  at Christ Methodist Church’s “Up Close & Personal” talk series. It was a timely sharing as I became a published author in October 10 years ago.

Christ Methodist talk

 

9. Addressing Cancer with the Word

Late this year, I was invited to submit contributions to two Christian anthologies of sorts. I have completed my submission for one and am in the midst of working on the other. Both involve personal reflections of my recent journey facing breast cancer.

 

10. Write Residency

I just completed my year-long writing residency at Gardens by the Bay. It was deferred from last year as I had been undergoing chemotherapy then. Although I had a slow start, I found new momentum to write in the past few months.

 

11. Find Your Voice, Write Your Story

I’m now preparing to facilitate a 5-session workshop series “Find Your Voice, Write Your Story” on memoir writing in January 2018. Seeing the applicants’ profiles and work samples, I envisage a meaningful exchange on our personal experiences through the written word.

 

As I look back at the year that is passing, I’m reminded to look to God for the year ahead. I started 2017 with grand plans and expectations for my writing but they were all derailed and vanished like a mirage. It disappointed and humbled me. Yet, as I look back, I can now see that I have so much to be grateful for.

So, my writing plan for 2018 is summed up in one word – Gratitude. I look forward to seeing where that leads me.

The mind of man plans his way but the Lord determines his steps.

                                                                              – Proverbs 16:9 (NASB)

Related Links:

2016: Fairytale launches, Off-the-chest blogs & other Write moments

 

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Last Friday, I had the pleasure of watching the final storytelling show for the Prince Bear & Pauper Bear show run. The Learning Connection, an edu-arts company, staged its two final interactive storytelling performances of Prince Bear & Pauper Bear at St. James’ Church Kindergarten.

SJCK Storybox.png

The 45-minute show marked the end of the Kindy’s K1 and K2 camp (and last day of this school term) based on the theme: Wonderful World of Stories.

The interactive nature of the performance was fun because the actors had the children on their feet and participating in certain segments of the show. A great format since 5-6 year olds don’t sit still for long!

Thank you to TLC for adapting this book for a second time in 4 years and SJCK for bringing this show into its premises for the kindergarten kids!

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This year is the 1st time I am missing the Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) since it started 7-8 years back. My official AFCC babysitters ie. my parents, are away on holiday, cruising somewhere in Europe.

Although I’m not getting my usual one full week of pure adult, book-geek conversations, I do have one major highlight from the event.

My Slovakian publisher is a speaker at AFCC this year and we had a chance to catch up over lunch yesterday. She also brought with her, hot off the press, and air-flown….Slovak copies of my books!

image1.JPG

I managed to attend Petra’s 1st AFCC session where she shared about the Slovakian market and also read a few pages of Prince Bear & Pauper Bear in Slovak. Petra’s an ex-TV journalist, amongst many other accomplishments. She’s also an uber-cool doting mum of four kids. She brought two of them – teenagers! – along for the conference. Her son helped her through her powerpoint presentation. Her daughter took photos for her.

As I watched them, I wondered if Caleb and I will be like that in 10 years’ time. Something for me to aspire towards!

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The Slovakian editions of my two picture books Prince Bear & Pauper Bear and The Tale of Rusty Horse have just been printed!

I am eagerly looking forward to collecting my advance copies from my publisher who will be in Singapore as a speaker at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content 2017 next week.

 

Petra's daughter

My publisher’s daughter holding the advance copies of my books

 

I met Petra Nagyová Džerengová at AFCC a few years back when she attended a panel session that I spoke on. She had come as an invited guest. When she told me that she was the Deputy Mayor of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, I asked if she thought my books would be suitable in Slovakia. She said yes.

I did not know then that Petra (on top of being Deputy Mayor, bestselling author and proud mum of 4 kids) is also Managing Director of leading Slovakian publisher Verbarium.

Thanks to Petra, my books now have a voice in Slovakia! This is the 4th language that my Toy Titles have been published in.

(My books are now also available online at Verbarium’s website.)

 

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When I wrote Prince Bear & Pauper Bear 10 years ago, I borrowed nieces, godchildren and friends’ kids to do book readings with me. I never imagined the day when I would be on stage with my own son doing a book reading together.

That day came yesterday when Caleb and I did a mother-son book reading together at the start of the ARISE! concert yesterday.

It was a special moment for me to see my 6-year-old read Prince Bear & Pauper Bear confidently, and then join the rest of the children’s choir in singing, shouting and praising God with songs and worship.

Book reading1

Photo credit: Ong Puay See

book reading2

Photo credit: Arlene Alegra-Wood

Caleb Elijah Elise.png

Caleb singing “Revelation” together with his cousins and Music Director/Composer Amy Tan

 Related link:

http://singapore.kidsarise.com/

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This morning, I had the pleasure of catching Prince Bear & Pauper Bear‘s interactive storytelling show, which is running from now till next Thursday.  

I am thankful for valuable partnerships like The Learning Connection who has been supportive of my books and local writing.

Storybox theatre

Prince Bear & Pauper Bear is special because it is my first book and what started me on my writing path. Once upon a time, a local publisher told me that I would be lucky if I could even sell 1,000 copies of my picture book. This is unfortunately the reality of the market.

I thank God for His favour that today, Prince Bear & Pauper Bear has sold close to 15,000 copies and has been published in 4 languages. 

Writing is a solitary journey. The encouragement of readers is what helps me to plough on!

Related link:

Prince Bear & Pauper Bear take the stage with Storybox this April!

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I’m excited to share that The Learning Connection with be staging Prince Bear & Pauper Bear as an interactive storytelling performance for 10 shows this April!

The Learning Connection first staged Prince Bear & Pauper Bear 4 years back, with a weekend launch at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content.

This year is especially special for me since it is Prince Bear & Pauper Bear’s 10th anniversary of publication. I hope this book (my very first book written) will delight readers and audiences for many more decades to come!

Details for the show are here:

Story Box - Prince Bear & Pauper Bear Mailer (2017) final.jpg

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