Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Contract Signed for 43rd Book

Today I just signed the contract for my 43rd picture book. It seems like only yesterday that I had my first book published. It's been a long and difficult journey and there have been many a times that I've wanted to quit.

Thankfully, God, my family, my friends, and my publishing team  have put up with me moaning, groaning and complaining in general about everything. There have been many highs ( the reaction of the kids) and many more lows on this path.

 People keep telling me write for older kids, write for older kids. I have several manuscripts for middle grade and YA readers that are in various stages of development. Who knows whether they will ever see the printing press. But I guess it's my job to keep writing them.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

People, Service, and a Puppy

I've been reflecting a lot on things lately, perhaps it's because another year is coming to an end, a year which has been extremely painful and difficult for me. Maybe I've been reflecting because I'm about to turn a year older and I feel like I've hit  dead end in my life  and it's made me think of how I... you... we all relate to people in general. 

Looking  at the state of the world today, it's plain to see that things are pretty messed up. I mean we've gotten to the a point where some people in the public eye even take glee in bragging about the abhorrent things they've said and done and then they get applauded for that. 

But that's the big picture and we should look on the smaller scale of things and focus on how we interact with others on a daily basis, be it our family members,  classmates, colleagues or complete strangers.  

Besides our own families, who we can on occasion be pretty damn horrible to, we come in contact on a daily basis with people who work in the service Industry, be it the bus or taxi drivers, the cashiers at the supermarket, the department store, coffee baristas, restaurant and hotel managers, librarians, receptionists etc.

A lot of people take the service providers for granted, without much thought other than getting their service needs met. Now in Singapore, where everything is done efficiently and effectively  people have criticised the service industry here. But that's one skewed perspective. It could be said that the providees here can be down right impossible and difficult.

Here are a couple of prime examples: A couple of months ago, a woman was taped yelling at a handicapped food court worker (something which was very unlikely to be a life or death situation, barring the fact that she might have found the carcass of a bubonic plague-ridden rat in her laksa)sand the worker took it like the class act that he is. A couple of years ago, a man was filmed yelling *expletives* at a taxi driver who was waiting for him at the wrong location. Both the worker and driver maintained a polite decorum in spite of the very, very unpleasant situation they found themselves in.

Is it no wonder that most people in the service industry are disgruntled? Heck, I've taken our own housekeeper for granted at times. Sorry, Marylene :)!!!!!

Those in the hospitality/Service industry have a hard job. It's not easy standing around for hours on end and then smiling  even when they have the most demanding and difficult patrons. Who's been a difficult customer? Hands up!  I confess I've been Guilty. Guilty of Being Difficult in the First Degree! So if you're guilty ask yourself what would you do if the roles were reversed? My answer: If I had a customer like me, I'd throw the towel at me, along with the plates, forks, knives and kitchen sink.

Also, if you're in a hotel, food court, shopping mall or a restaurant or any place where someone  is wearing a name tag, try to address them by their names.Their name tags aren't there as decorations. It tells you who they are. So if someone has done you a service, remember to address them by their name and if you don't know it, ask for it and thank them.

It's the little things that count. I've had some people look at me with a befuddled expression, probably wondering why I'm asking for their names. I've come to realise that  it's a personal touch that we should have with people even for the briefest of interactions. It reminds us that we're all part of the same human family, as dysfunctional as that may be.

I've been trying to remember the names of the team members at the establishments I frequent  and I haven't asked every one for their names yet and I haven't gotten them all down, but will eventually. So Thank you,  Serene from Harvey Norman, Suresh from Takashimaya Toy Department, James from the Hilton, Thank you Vanessa, Sandra,  Hairul, Rockwell, Lorenzo, Gian and Raman from Gastronomia, Thank you Sa'at from American Club. PS I'm sorry if my unpractised smile looked deranged and freaked you out. Just to confirm I'm not a lunatic.

Anyway, as the speaker in  Church this Sunday said, we all have jobs to do, and no matter what let's appreciate the jobs and the people who do them.  Let's try to accept the fact that not every job is perfect and not everything will be 100% to our liking. But that's life, innit?

Oh if you're wondering why there's a video of my puppy in this posting, that's because I'm his service provider. And let me just say he's not a difficult customer. He's always happy to see me when I come to his service. He's always very grateful for the service provided and he never complains when it's late.

On this occasion his breakfast service was slow and so he decided to help himself. And he didn't complain,  though he did pee on the floor after that.

So if you're ever tempted to complain about others, ask yourself what faults of yours others might pick up to complain about you. I've been asking that of myself too. 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Storylime at Uniqlo

Today Soefara and I and our designated Baby sitters, or mine I should say, Winston and Andy (Epigram's Marketing gurus)  I headed across the street from my place for our scheduled story time session at Uniqlo's flagship store at Orchard Central. Thanks to everyone who showed up. I'm not really comfortable reading to an audience and get quite anxious about it. Thanks to my old TV production colleagues Rose and  Ming (Tim) for showing up to support me. Soefara did an excellent job as always. Thanks to Winston and Rose for taking the photos.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Colouring Sheets for A Royal Adventure


Updates to the Press Section

and Sketch Section.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Storytelling at Uniqlo Orchard Central

Hi everyone or the one person who comes to my blog  :) Soefara and I will be conducting a storytelling session this coming Saturday at Uniqlo, Orchard Central in Singapore. So please come along if you can make it. I hope we'll see you there.



Wednesday, October 19, 2016

#Throwback Thursday: Place of Inspiration

A couple of years ago I went to Bologna for the book fair. If I had a chance to go again, I would wander around the streets for hours. It's a perfect place to wander around alone or with good company.

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