The Reason For The Long Silence: MY BOOK IS DONE!

My proof-reading copy of the manuscript. No this is NOT the cover!


I had the idea to write a book about my cancer experience about a year and a half ago when it struck me that getting so many people emailing me to ask all sorts of questions about breast cancer was a sign that there wasn’t enough information (or easily-found information) out there on what I had experienced.

I thought it would take me, oh, maybe three months to complete it. After all I am a professional writer and editor so what’s a three month deadline?

Three months turned into 18.

My poor publisher Chin Kar waited a long time for this manuscript. When I finally delivered the first (extremely choppy and unpolished) version in April this year, I think the poor man got a rude shock. Very gently, he broke the news to me that there was no way he was going to publish that, and that I simply had to rewrite “some parts”.

“Some parts” turned into 75% of the book.

It was a struggle, but I basically started all over again in May. I ripped apart what I had previously written, took into serious account what Chin Kar had wisely advised me to change, rewrote parts, wrote new ones, and what was meant to be a 10-chapter book turned out to be 37 chapters long, divided into three parts.

There were moments I wanted to give up. It was just too hard, and when it comes to writing, I am easily discouraged. If something isn’t “coming together” quickly enough, I begin to think, “It’s not meant to be.”

I can’t go into details about how I decided to carry on, but I will share that one day, after praying, I wrote myself this note on a yellow Post-It and stuck it in front of my desk to remind myself why I was putting myself through such agony.

That note kicked my butt every day. And every day (or as many days in a week as I could squeeze time out of) I wrote.

Finally, the day came. I finished my manuscript. I sent it off to Chin Kar, who read it in one day and sent back his corrections that same day. Awesome feat. He is a very dedicated publisher, and I am blessed.

Next I had to invite people I respected and liked to “endorse” my book. I hate the word “endorsement”, it makes me think of some poor TV actress holding a bottle of sugary drink in a poster, claiming that she loves it (when clearly, she wouldn’t touch that stuff if you fed it to her through a 24-carat gold straw).

So I worded my requests very carefully, and so far, all of them have said yes.

As I write this now, I am awaiting the final few. Some of them have made me cry.

Pretty pink cover makeup by Charmaine. How to not love someone who makes you look younger and fresher?

Today I had a fun day doing the shoot for my book cover. I can’t give away what it’s going to look like, you’ll see it soon enough. But I can show you what my makeup looked like—I do love it, I look pretty and modern and maybe 5 years younger!

Next, comes the full manuscript with all the forewords and backwords and cover, and then it’s off to print.

We’re scheduled for a November release. Stay tuned!

PS Today, 4 October, is my late mother’s birthday. She would have been 73 today. Thinking of you with a heart full of love, Mom!

The Prettiest Pink Ribbon Necklace Ever! Get One!

Buy this pretty necklace and wear your support for breast cancer warriors!

My friend Rosalind Ng is a breast cancer warrior who battled this terrible disease in her 20s. I knew her when she worked for the fashion brand M)Phosis. I knew she loved motorbikes and racing, and was just so full of life. To hear that she had cancer at such a young age was a shock to me.

When I was editor for Vanilla magazine, I asked Ros if she would be our cover girl and share her story. I remember the stylist Fongfan and art director Jennifer having such a great time with her — photographer Joel Low captured the very free spirit that Ros was.

This was the photo that made my heart melt — Ros with her hubby Yu Seung, a photographer.
Ros and Yu Seung in love.

Ros was one of the first people I called when I discovered my own cancer this year. She was the first visitor I took at home, and her presence gave me tremendous comfort. It’s such a blessing to be able to tell someone how you felt having to lose a breast, and know that she knows exactly what you are talking about. She told me about her own experience — having to go back a year after her mastectomy and have a balloon inserted to stretch her skin to fit the silicon. I remember looking at her in her skimpy tank top and thinking, “Thank God! There is hope for me!” You really couldn’t tell that she had had surgery at all!

Ros went back to her active lifestyle soon after her operation. She is in the Breast Cancer Foundation dragonboating team (and yes I am on her “target” list – I do like kayaking…). She is also a staff member of Via Ferrata, the rock wall at Orchard Central. Two years ago, she and Yu Seung drove through the Sahara on their bikes to raise funds for African children.

There is a softer side to her, though. Ros also has a thriving handmade jewelry business on Etsy.com and also on her blogsite Asian Art Jewels. She makes the loveliest earrings and pendants and charms with semi-precious stones.

To commemorate Breast Cancer Month she’s created this beautiful forged sterling silver necklace with a ribbon pendant, which features a pink Swarovski crystal bead.

This necklace retails for SGD36 (or US26) and SGD7 from every necklace sold goes to BCF.

Buy one now for someone you love and one for yourself! And help us spread the word.

You can buy your Pink Ribbon Necklace via Ros’ blogsite or through Etsy.com here.