Thursday, March 6, 2014

Talks, more talks and Hong Kong!

Did I mention that things are heating up? School for Lesley-Anne is now in full swing and the latest news is that she got into the CCA of her choice - modern dance. She wasn't sure she would get in as it's one of the most competitive CCAs in her JC but she went for the audition, danced her heart out and I guess got the instructor's thumbs up.

That's Lesley-Anne for you - when she really wants something, she chases it down with the determination of a hungry python. (Sorry, this analogy popped up cos I was just reading about how a python tried to eat an alligator.)

So that's school but of course, you know I'm referring to Danger Dan when talking about things heating up. More specifically, I'm talking about talks. The irony is that both Lesley-Anne and I love to write partly because that's often a preferred medium of expression for introverts (wrote about this previously). Speaking comes much less naturally for us and public speaking especially, has always been the bane of my life.

Danger Dan has other ideas. Speaking engagements for us have been popping up left, right and centre ever since he came into our lives. After the All In! Young Writers Media Festival, Lesley-Anne spoke again at the Arts House - at the New Word Order series yesterday.

She was part of the Youth Writers panel with Gabby Tye and Rachelle Toh. The session was moderated by Kenneth Quek of the Singapore Book Council.

Three photos above taken by the Arts House.

My sister and brother-in-law came down to give moral support and we discovered that we were the blue brigade:

One of my blog readers attended the talk with her daughter and spoke to Lesley-Anne, I only found out about it after. Whoever you are and if you're reading this, thanks for coming down!

Back to public speaking, I've long come to terms with God's sense of humour and how He likes to put us in positions where we're not the most comfortable but necessary for us to grow. Maybe He feels that we have something to share that others can benefit from. We don't really know but we've got to go on faith cos the biggest news so far is that Lesley-Anne and I have been invited to speak at the Hong Kong International Young Readers Festival next week!

It's been a flurry of preparations, trying to get everything in order and be ready to give four talks and one workshop in two days. No easy task considering Lesley-Anne has been coming home late from school almost everyday. So we've had to work around her schedule, allocating any free time she has to preparing slides, scripts and other paraphernalia. Meanwhile, I've been handling all the administrative tasks like travel arrangements and giving media interviews to the Hong Kong press, including South China Morning Post and Sing Tao.

I have to credit Epigram Books - they're solidly behind us and have done everything they can from liaising with the Hong Kong booksellers to ensure our books arrive in time, to helping us print placards and worksheets. Having a great publisher makes a writer's job that much easier (and more pleasant).

We excited and apprehensive all at the same time but also terribly grateful for the opportunities that have come our way. To me, Hong Kong will be public speaking baptism by fire for me - if it doesn't kill me, hopefully it will make me a better speaker!

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