Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Today is World Storytelling Day

In celebration of World Storytelling Day today, here's a song about Why We Tell the Story, from one of my favorite stories.

Life is why 
We tell the story 
Pain is why 
We tell the story 
Love is why 
We tell the story 
Grief is why 
We tell the story 
Hope is why 
We tell the story 
Faith is why 
We tell the story 
You are why 
We tell the story

Friday, March 16, 2012

Connecting the Bright Purple Spots

I recently wrote about Connecting the Dots and given how my life has been one happy conspiracy, it sometimes feels like I'm connecting a lot of Bright Purple Spots instead.

I'm glad I went to the critique group of the Singapore chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). I was introduced to the group back in Manila where we had regular meet-ups to review books and stories. I never signed up as a member (I probably couldn't afford it back then!) and it gradually fell away and off my radar. Until I met Kenneth, the Festival Manager for the Asian Festival for Children's Content at the recent talk on the Wondrous World of Errol le Cain. It was great to meet fellow writers and storytellers, and I look forward to getting to know the group better, learning from them, and exchanging stories. If I can't take up my MFA in Creative Writing just yet, at least being in the company of creative writers is a really good start!

The bright spots continue: The Yellow Paperclip with Bright Purple Spots traveled to the Bologna Children's Book Fair today with Kenneth, who offered to bring my books with him as I recently signed up as a SCWBI member (finally!) and he will showcase members' works at the Fair. Wow! Of course it was unfortunate that I didn't have copies in Singapore of Khan: A Teacher of Everything and The Lucky Doctor from the Great Men and Women of Asia Children's Series. As I worked on my member profile on the SCWBI site, I felt giddy yet happy knowing I was in the company of so many amazing and accomplished writers and illustrators. Wow again!

Though I know my book is but one of thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of books in that fair, just the thought of my book being out there, with the possibility of being read and rediscovered at THE children's book fair in the whole wide world (and space), is enough for me to feel happy and giddy again, and yes, oh-so-grateful. For a few moments tonight, soon after I said goodbye to Ken on the train, I had that wonderful, unmistakable feeling that things were falling into place, that the dots were connecting, and that I was exactly where I was meant to be. Of course until my inner critic brought me back to reality. (Why are we writers so hard on ourselves? Then again, I'd rather be hard on myself than full of myself. Hee-hee.)

Whatever happens, I think SCBWI definitely gets a bright purple spot in the story of my life... and hopefully it connects to yet another one someday.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Wondrous World Indeed

Click here to browse through the wondrous world of Errol le Cain. (Yes, at least 60,000 gorgeous images on Google!) It's a dreamy world I would happily get lost in.

I received an invitation from the Singapore Book Council for an afternoon talk at the National Library on The Wondrous Art World of Errol le Cain. Since I've been meaning to visit the library for many months (er, years!) and had nothing scheduled on a Saturday afternoon, I figured: I know nothing about Errol le Cain, but why not?

My friend Cam and I were amazed with his artwork. A wondrous world of color, swirls, and patterns. All that detail. An amazing take on classic fairy tales like Sleeping Beauty, King Arthur's Sword, and our all-time favorite, The Twelve Dancing Princesses. What a wondrous world indeed created by this prolific illustrator, but unfortunately, many people don't know him and his artwork, or that he was born in Singapore and established himself as an artist in the United Kingdom. Even more unfortunate for most of us is the fact that all of his books are out of print... though some are available online for a few thousand dollars! Visit www.errollecain.com for more about his life and works.

On another note, I think I got another major nudge from the Universe. I met the Festival Manager for the upcoming Asian Festival of Children's Content that will be hosted here in Singapore this May (which I am hoping to be able to attend!) and he also heads up the Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. He invited me to their upcoming meet-up. Yaaay! Eeeeeep! (Yes, thrilled and anxious and everything in between.)