The Book Is Born

It’s been a most exciting (exhausting) month! Praise be to God!

My book, A Clean Breast, has finally been published, hallelujah. What started as a book outline in July 2011 has finally been born—and I can see why Singaporean writers struggle! Given our fast-paced lives, writing a book is both an exercise and an art, and above all, a marathon that brings out our discipline and “tong” power (as my friend Lawrence Yeo calls it), or lack thereof!

I am grateful to God, my ever-present help in time of need; my husband, who endured nights of my chair scraping and rocking on our floor as I grumpily forced myself to type out chapters that I would later declare “LAME! USELESS! REWRITE!” Mr Threez also wrote the best chapter in the whole book. My kids, Big and Middle B, who gamely let me interview them for their contributions.

I’m thankful for all the kind voices that gave it their reviews: Mdm Halimah Yacob whom I met at the Singapore Woman Award, such a humble and unassuming woman with big brains! Mayor Amy Khor, my mayor, who always writes so beautifully and from the heart. Laura Hwang, who says Mr Threez’s chapter made her cry. Flo Lian, my former colleauge and head of MediaCorp Radio, whose time, I know, is so very precious. My doctors, co-authors, ex-boss…all the amazing people in my life who actually took time to read this book!

I know God sent my publisher Chin Kar of Write Editions into my life for such a time as this. We have known each other for a number of years, through many different portfolios, but it is this author-publisher arrangement that has brought out the best in both of us (or rather, the best in him and the most challenging in me!)

But through thick, thin, serif and san serif, we finally completed this work.

A Clean Breast, which covers my journey through cancer—some of which you have read here, and much of which you haven’t—launches this Wednesday at a private event, and will be in all major bookstores by early December.

Retail price is $20. You can buy it at Kinokuniya or you can buy it by mail here. More details soon!

Thank you for your support and encouragement, and most of all for the inspiration. The book was birthed out of the blog, and the blog exists because of you.

3 Weeks To Adidas King Of The Road

A blurry photo of me running up the slope in my estate, taken by my son. It's not that I'm going fast, it's that the photo is blur.

Since my last whiny post, my foot has gotten better! Plantar fasciitis is no longer the giant demon it was last week. I thank God, the prayers of my family and friends, and my physiotherapist’s sage advice:
• “wear your trainers, you vainpot”
• “walk straight, don’t try to avoid the pain”
• “ice your foot”
• “take a pill for inflammation”

It’s time to strap on the running shoes and go.

It has been two weeks since I ran the Marina Bay run and my body is beginning to sound like its old, pre-running self:
• “Are you sure you’re okay enough to run?”
• “Your legs are really going to ache.”
• “You’re outta shape, babe.”
• “You’ll never make it up the hill.”

This is why runners say that running really is a mental sport. First, you’re mental for running so many kilometres when you could drive, and second, it takes extreme mental strength to keep going.

Often, the run begins to feel tedious and boring sooner than your body starts to feel tired. So the mind needs as much training – if not more – than the body, for any long-distance run.

“As a (wo)man thinks, so is (s)he,” says my favourite book.

Men's category still open for signups! Closing Monday 8 August, if you're keen!
I have exactly 3 weeks to the Adidas King Of The Road race on 28 August. I signed up right after the Marina Bay run, thinking “Okay I’ve done 10km, and I need to accomplish 21K at the Standard Chartered Half Marathon this year end, so… 16.8km sounds like a good mid-point to aim for.”

Crazy, I know. I really am mental. Especially since, after I put down my 50 bucks for KOTR, my foot became The Hulk.

I heard about this race from my friend and colleague Phoebe, whose husband, a phys-ed teacher, is running it. The KOTR is an 84K race split up across 5 cities in Southeast Asia: Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. Each leg is 16.8K. I thought I heard Phoebe say she was running it, but when I bumped into her husband at church, he set me straight. He was running. Phoebe was cheering.

“It’s an okay distance,” he said, comfortingly. “I don’t want to kill myself with a full marathon! Killed myself enough in the army!”

It seemed strange to me hearing that, but I realised after a couple of days that, if you are forced to run (as opposed to being a sucker for punishment like me or my husband) your enthusiasm for running might be severely curbed.

I digress.

So I now have to get from 10K to 16.8K. Except I haven’t run for 2 weeks, which means, in truth, I have to get from 0K to 16.8K in 3 weeks. I have no idea how this is going to happen, but I sure am praying that my mind can follow my heart, and my legs can follow my mind, and angels can follow me and push me from behind.

There, but for the grace of God, run I.