My latest book …. a tell-it-all! :-)

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Love! Live Dangerously! And Have Fun! My latest book! A tell-it-all book …. Hey, in a goody, goody, cheeky way 🙂 took three years in the making …. But six months to get it all written.

Yes, it’s going to be published under Experiences & Experiments, my publishing company. It’s amazing how it all fits together. I founded E&E in 2005 to publish my young authors’ works …. Stories that would never see light of day because no one believed in them. And to-date we have close to 500 stories under the Young Author Club imprint.

Now, exactly eight years later, something big is gonna happen. I will launch a series of books under a new imprint. Books about women, for women. I hesitate to say “by women” because hey, men can write books about women! But it has to be books that will help women to understand themselves, that’s my only criteria.

So what do I call my new imprint? I’m toying with “www” Witty Wicked Women, “MAD” Mothers And Daughters. Hey, isn’t this what life is about? You experiment, you experience …. Don’t know what comes first, but I am crazily, insanely, deeply in love with what I am doing!

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Learning from my daughter …. perseverance and humility

One of the most fulfilling moments about being a mother is to realise that my daughter has more to teach me than I have to teach her. It’s also one of my most humbling moments.

Paulina has gotten a part-time job selling auto servicing to car owners. Knock on doors, sell the package and she pockets a cool $50. She managed to sell two, and she was deliriously happy and called me about it. Then she decided to do tele-marketing, meaning cold calling. Leads generating, one confirmed visit, $20. I was concerned. Would she be deterred when someone bangs down the phone, would she be unable to answer their questions …. hey, typical motherly feelings …. can my daughter cope?

Yesterday, she called me to tell me she managed to get three leads …. after four hours of calling. And she said something that made me hang onto the edge of my chair. She made 100 calls to get three leads! 100 calls! And she didn’t give up! I am so proud of her! And to think I gripe so much when I can’t get to speak to HODs after only three tries!

Yes, thank God for daughters!

To Have, To Hold, For Better or For Worse. The true meaning of marriage.

Today 30 years ago, I affixed my twirly curly signature to a certificate that spells three things: trust, love and hope. Yes, 22nd January 1983! I have been married to the same person for 30 years! If you ask me how do we make it last ….. Hey, I haven’t the faintest idea. If you ask my three angels (though sometimes they are more than devils), they will also wonder why.

Pat will be 28 this year and I wish for her a life that’s full of happiness as she hopefully soon, walk down the aisle with that nerdy (which means brainy!) guy of hers. Chaps that talk less and laugh more make good sons-in-law! Pam, dear sweet Pam, will be 25, though more often than not, she passes off as 16. I think it’s to do with her perennially-cherubic face. She’s doing a Masters of Law in Sydney though, for the life of me, I find her so different from Pat who’s now a lawyer. Pat is brittle and authoritative, Pam is quietly strong and courageous and Pauli, she’s 22 and an incurable optimist like me. Strange, three girls with three different characters. Tell me about it!

So yes, 30 years is a long time but as the song goes, I did it My Way! It’s my favorite song. Why? Regrets I’ve had a few, but then too few to remember … I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried…. I’ve had my share of losing. And now, as tears subside, I find it all so amusing. To think I did all that; and may I say, not in a shy way ….oh no, not me, I did it my way!

Life is glorious…. For me, it’s a feat …. The same man for 30 years! And yes, I’m looking forward to him reading my book. Love! Live Dangerously! And Have Fun! That’s life!

Who is SF holding hands with?

Who is SF holding hands with?

High up in the clouds

High up in the clouds

Angels or rascals?

Angels or rascals?

Red, the colour of love!

Red, the colour of love!

Angels or rascals?

Angels or rascals?

A wish come true for Grandma: a holiday with the people she loves

A wish come true for Grandma: a holiday with the people she loves

The best new year present …. Kid’s play

The best new year present ….. Kid’s play

When I keyed in Playgrou…, immediately the word “playground” sprung up as a word. Interesting …. I think playgroups are essentially playgrounds for 18 to 36 months. At this age, what do kids do? They play. They learn visual, auditory, kinesthetic, tactile skills through play.

I enjoyed the audit. First in the new year. And so fulfilling and an eye-opener. It’s so wonderful to meet the two teachers, who have grown-up children but still am contributing to their personal growth by working with these children. As a mother, it’s really lovely to go back again to a Playgroup. During my daughters’ time, Playgroups were a rarity. Now some 20 years later, they are the norm. I remember Pat’s first day in kindergarten when she was five. She literally stood at the window, shedding tears and stretching out her hand through the window grille to her grandma. Lasted for a month. Seems just yesterday. Can’t imagine then that this crybaby would be a toughie lawyer today 🙂

When these kids played with matching shapes, hey, my heart went a-flutter! Aaw, I bought this for Pat when she turned one. Went shopping and found this sturdy, non-toxic, suitable for infants “playskool” toys. And as I guided her tiny hands to the right shapes, and saw her joy when she inserted the shape into the corresponding hole, I felt the tears of happiness well up in my eyes, hey I can’t explain why but I get happy when my girls are happy. Take it that mothers love unconditionally and I’m an emo mum!

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We walked where emperors used to tread

Day 2: We walked where emperors used to tread

Today my mum used her tongkat and I was really happy. I like her resilience, her strength. If anything were to happen to me, I know she could cope. It’s important for her …. I saw her struggle from denial, through depression, through coping with Anthony’s death, to reliance on herself. She has learnt self-reliance. Mum’s a fighter … I think I learnt that from her. She walked all by herself through the Forbidden City, all three hours and I am proud of her.

But frankly, I can’t communicate with her. She’s too egoistic, too narcissistic, and I don’t think she’ll ever change. But I’m glad she’s actively involving herself with helping out in the church. At least she has friends her own age. Although she gripes now and then, I think she has moved on.

One man wrote history … his legacy lived on

Day 3: One man wrote history …. His legacy lived on!

It’s 9:00 and we are traveling to the Great Wall at Mutianyu. Was here in 2000 with Pat and Pam. I remember though it was cold, Pam climbed up all the way. When she came down, the tip of her nose was red …. Much like Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer!

Today when we climbed, it was not as cold as the first two days …. I met a 66-year-old man selling hot beverages up at the wall. Made me think about how different people cope with their lives. Fred, Joe and Ms Tay are both 65 …. All city dwellers … made me also think about being happy with what we have. Enjoying what we have. I saw a very interesting inscription on a climber’s bag …. Taking risks takes practice.

Yes, it’s true. It’s practice. But it’s also belief in myself. Frankly, I don’t know how I found the courage to keep going on …. I always felt an inner voice urging me on ….. That helping someone to fulfill their dream of writing their first book is so much part of me. Why? Could it be that I always felt telling stories was part of what everyone does … Could it be that communication is so crucial and we shouldn’t lose this. I don’t know. But I know that I felt a sense of wonder after I finished “Love. Live Dangerously. And Have Fun!”

And putting it into practice. It was so fun …. Skiing. Never thought I’d do it. Yes, fell a few times but I got up again. So is life. Don’t know how much discouragement I faced. I stopped counting but it had reinforced my belief that if finding the meaning in what I do is very crucial to how well I do it. It’s also about looking far ahead and knowing you will get there …. If you glide and step firmly. But to let yourself go and not look back. Because if you do, you tend to fall.

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