10 Things I Do Before I Die …. No. 1 Hot Air Ballooning

Coolest ride of my life. That's me, in the red-rimmed hat, next to me, sticking her head out whilst trying to keep her white hat on, is Paulina. Tis divine, flying over the Barossa Valley in Adelaide, and then partaking of a delicious champagne breakfast in a vineyard. Life begins at 50!

Coolest ride of my life. That’s me, in the red-rimmed hat, next to me, sticking her head out whilst trying to keep her white hat on, is Paulina. Tis divine, flying over the Barossa Valley in Adelaide, and then partaking of a delicious champagne breakfast in a vineyard. Life begins at 50!

Amazing Journeys

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That’s how it all started. For me. For everyone who came for the Amazing Journeys with me. We spent 5 days in Phnom Penh, teaching, learning and just being happy! This is part of my mission to build the next generation of thinkers and writers. How? Through giving families a chance to bond together and write about it. You can never imagine the gamut of emotions that coursed in everyone of us in that little village called Chombok …..

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One child. One story. One dream fulfilled! Part 2

So, Concept: Publishing. Most people don’t understand publishing. They feel the author writes the perfect book, it gets printed and that’s all there is to publishing. That’s as naïve a view as thinking that having tuition and doing assessments would make a smart kid. Okay, no clear link between the two analogies. (Just wanted to make a point!)

Publishing is an art by itself. That’s why I am in it. That’s why I am passionate about it. There’s nothing so fascinating as taking a manuscript in its pure war MS Word format, and transforming it with editing, design and layout into a book which another person, a stranger, someone else halfway across the world, picks up and reads it, and better still, finds it an enjoyable read.

Imagine this scenario. A child writes a story. He sends it in for the Young Author Award. It gets shortlisted. He wins a prize. The story gets published and he’s on top of the world! Research has shown that this spurs his commitment to do more. And that’s better than all the tuition in the world!

Okay, publishing is an art. But it doesn’t end with getting the book out. The most crucial is getting the book off the shelves and into somebody’s reading list. That’s the challenge. But as the world evolves electronically, so does the publishing world. And this is where I feel the opportunities are endless. Imagine I write a book today, it gets published into an ebook, it goes into multiple platforms: amazon’s kindle, google books, Ipads, androids – imagine the possibilities!

And this is what I offer – the 3 in 1 solution to any young child! So, all the way from learning to create, to creating, to selling his creation to the whole world!

One child. One story. One dream fulfilled! Part 1

I love what I do. I love to create. I love to create a world where every child has the right to dream and write. I want to teach children to create, then to sell their creation to the world!

Why? Every vision and mission starts with a quest. Why do I want to do this? Why, when my kids are grown up and my duty is done? It boils down to two words: fulfillment and legacy!

When I mentor a child, when I see the light sparkle in his eyes, the aha! Moment, that’s when I feel fulfilled. His learning moment makes my day. Legacy. The word means a lot to me. When I leave this world, I don’t want my kids to remember me as a mother. I want them to remember me for helping other children achieve their dream. I show my kids how to aspire because I am their mother. I show other kids how to aspire because I believe every child has the right to dream. The dream to write!

Building the next generation of thinkers and writers is my dream. My goal. It’s a big, oversized dream but it can be achieved. How? By first building the foundations.

Education. It’s another big word which means absolutely nothing if there is no measure of learning. How do you measure that? We learn everyday, or do we? What do we learn, how do we learn? And how is learning tied in with creativity? Can we learn to be more creative?

That’s where my Young Author Scheme comes in. Can you teach a person to be more creative? That’s what I’ve been asked. Actually, no. You can’t teach a person to be more creative. My contention is that all children are creative. They just think they are not because adults think they are not!

The Young Author Scheme reverses this self-prophesizing thinking. It gives the child to start realizing this, that, yes, I am creative. And how do I know that I am? Because I can think, I can write, and yes, I can author a book. Why? Because these are my ideas and I am free to explore these words together to make a coherent story. So belief + craft = a well-thought out story. (The craft part I teach.)

Concept: Creative Education begins its journey with the Young Author Scheme. I started in 2003 with this one belief, that kids are creative and they can write their own story. After that what next? To me, writing a story is not sufficient. How far can it go? Wouldn’t other people want to read it? Wouldn’t other children want to read them? Wouldn’t other parents want to also want their kids to write their own books? Most important, wouldn’t it be great to publish them, have them available in bookstores and create a belief, a business on the premise (which I’ve proven) that Kids Can Write!

Morning sunshine makes me happy

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Celebrate Life!

My first post on my blog. My Life. My Way. Celebrate what you have today and you’ll find there’s more in life you have to celebrate. That’s the little saying carved on the little wooden poster I hang over my desk. 

So l’ll blog about the things in life that I love, that I treasure, that gives me joy. Sure, there are times that I am overwhelmed, sad, frustrated, but hey, things always happen for a reason, don’t they? So, rather than live in denial, I’ll share about it, and perhaps whoever is reading this would understand and well, have a laugh on me, and hopefully, share their experience as well! So we’ll both laugh about it! So here goes!

SF gave me a lift to his office today. From there I take either Bus No 14 or 16 to my Joo Chiat office. I enjoy rides in the morning. Especially so when I get up the bus and say a thank you with a smile to the driver. It’s important to be grateful for what we have. 

Bus rides are always good points for observations. Perhaps my training as a journalist has sharpened these skills. Or because I am in love with life itself. Yes, I am happy. The bus passes by Kallang Estate market. It’s thriving with lots of housewives and young children. It always gives me a warm fuzzy feeling when I see neighborliness like this. Singapore seems to be slowly losing all of these. The smiles, the dialects, the kampung spirit, the “I-just-moved-in, let’s-get-to-know-each-other” sort of feeling is waning, if not disappeared.

Ooh! I love the sun in the morning! It’s so warm, so delightful. I just feel like getting out of the bus, and just walking. Especially the east. Especially Joo Chiat Road. It’s so 60’s, just like time never moved.