A little recap... I had my 1st Autography Session last December 2009, with the 2nd one held early this year in February 2010.
Many readers who've missed both the previous sessions have sent me Private Messages or posted on my Wall in Facebook to ask for the date of the next Autography Session, but there was no news of a third one coming up in the last six months... Until now!
In early September 2010, Rena called and said that AMDG was going to organize a 3rd Autography Session for NOT just one day, but TWO days in a row, and for almost the whole day... At Orchard Central!!!
To me that was great news because from the feedback I had from the previous two Autography Sessions that were held on weekdays; and ONLY for a couple of hours – My readers have suggested that it would be much better for them to come down on weekends, especially when they didn't have to rush down from work.
And to show my sincerest appreciation for my lovely readers who're willing to take a tiny fraction of their time to come to this humble little event of mine...
I Decided To Bake Them Cookies!
(Though I must say, it isn't fantastic and it definitely cannot be compared to the standards of a Pastry Chef, but I've put in a lot of effort and my heartiest feelings in it...)
I spent the day before the Autography Session, squeezing the cookie mixtures on trays of greased paper, baking them in the oven and wrapping them up in small transparent holders...
Though the process was long & tedious... But I was very happy & joyful doing it - "Do It With Love..." That was what's running in my mind, because I want it to come out purrfect...!
And because the quantity was large, I had to repeat the steps OVER MANY TIMES, and my mum couldn't bear to see me doing it all on my own when it was already past midnight, so she helped me with the wrapping...
I was so grateful to her for helping me then, because I was feeling tired, drained-out, and I somehow felt like I was going to fall sick soon.
Not only was I grateful to her for helping me wrap the cookies, she even wrapped an ordinary felt-tip marker with shimmering gold ribbons for me to sign with at the Autography Session!
I hadn't really thanked her for all her effort, so here, let me say it out LOUD...
“THANK YOU Dearest MUMMY!!!”
And fell sick I did, as the morning of the first day of my Autography Session on Saturday, September 11th 2010 - I was down with Flu & Cough... but I had soon forgotten all about it as the jitters I had on stage overwhelmed me!
This round of Autography Session was different compared to the previous two. They had a segment of Q&A at two different time-slots where the emcee will invite me up on stage to answer a couple of questions regarding “This Is My Story...” together with my dear readers to share their afterthoughts on the book.
As it was my VERY FIRST TIME out in the public ON STAGE talking to the audience about “This Is My Story...”
I was frightened & tensed... Literally!
Before going up on stage, I thought that I had already prepared myself to do this; to face everyone and speak comfortably...
But the moment I opened my mouth to answer the emcee's questions, the emotions surged through and I had to take a second to compose myself before continuing...
(My readers on stage was doing so much better than me... And I was so proud of them; they articulated better than me - Serious!)
I couldn't think properly of what I had wanted to say.
When I came down from the stage, I reflected for awhile and I was surprised at myself for even being emotional to begin with.... or can I say afraid?
It is absolutely one thing to make the decision to face the world, but another to actually do so.
But on the other hand, I see it as a very good experience for me, because it certainly did take me a lot of courage to step back up on stage for a second round that very same day, and I felt much better after having gone through it once.
Being able to really face the public with my PAST and talk about my CAUSE, I realized the truest meaning of moving forward.
The emcee, Melvin Ho – whom I've not met/ heard from since I got to know him the previous time I was at SMU's Virtuoso event – came over to my table to congratulate me and even bought a copy of “This Is My Story...” on the spot!
It was really nice meeting him again, especially when he's the lead singer of my favourite group, LEGO... Back in the SMU's Virtuoso competition two-and-a-half years ago.
And today, his personality on stage somehow made me feel at ease... Like I was talking to a dear & long-lost friend.
I just wanna say... “Thank you so much Melvin, And I wish you well in everything that you do...!'
Besides my little “stage-fright” on my first round, like I mentioned... The guests who were with me on stage were all doing great!
Having Shalu, Jiray, Janine, Jackson and JianHui was a pleasure!
I got to hear their personal thoughts and feelings about “This Is My Story...”, and the parts they liked most about it.
Also, they each got to ask me ONE and ANY question they have for me.
It isn't easy coming up on stage to talk, not many people can/ or are willing to do that, and to thank them for being so brave and supportive...
I gave them each a slice of cake I had baked that early morning...
And I would like to say...
“THANK YOU SO MUCH LADIES & GENTLEMEN...!”
You know... I realized it is NOT ONLY going up on stage that needs courage, but also when you want to approach someone you recognize, yet know NOT WELL enough to just go forward and say “Hi...”, this can be a daunting task!
That was what happened when a group of young teenage girls showed me that courage and sincerity when they each gave me a piece of small squarish coloured paper to autograph on. It was very impromptu, they didn't know I would be at Orchard Central, and they hadn't brought their copy of “This Is My Story...”
It was strange for me at first because a group of girls had crowded in front of my table, looking at all other things...
Their eyes fleeted back & forth from the A2 poster on the table...
And then back to me...
And I heard one whispering to the other, asking in mandarin, “Is she the one...?”
And I responded positive with a smile.
They were surprised to see me in person, and I was a little sad when after that smile I gave them, they all simply went away...
But shortly after, they ALL CAME BACK with their pieces of paper, shyly wanting me to autograph for them... Could they have been too afraid to ask me for an autograph without having brought their book? Hmmm... I wonder.
But it's really heart-warming to know that despite not having the book, and being so shy, they still came forward and even encouraged me earnestly with the two words, ”Jia you!” - “THANK YOU GIRLS...! Yes YOU... Joy, YuQing, WeeNing, WeiTing, Caroline & Vivienne...!!!”
And then there was also a rather shy guy, Caleb...
When I was about to open the book to sign, he softly told me that he had actually written a message (for my eyes only) on the inside of his copy of “This Is My Story...”
(Though he had once shared with me almost the same things as he had sent me in a Private Message in Facebook, it felt more real reading from his penmanship; and his gesture, I find it sweet...)
And guess what...
At this Autography Session, I've met – probably – the youngest (and cutest) person who've bought “This Is My Story...”!
This young boy, Clauden with his tiny hands handed me two Ten Dollar notes to pay for the book and he looked soOooo CUTE I almost wanted to hug him in my arms!
His mum stood a few steps away as he stood in front of the table patiently, while I autographed his newly purchased book and put it in the paper bag.
At that moment, it just slipped my mind that he was only a three year old at most; and yet I directly handed him the paper bag; which was obviously too heavy for him to carry and he wobbled as his mum came over to take the bag.
“Thank You Clauden... You are just soOOooo adorable!”
Amongst those who've bought “This Is My Story...” at the Autography Session, a couple of them had got it for their friend and some who accompanied their friend here; ended up coming back a while later to buy a copy for themselves too...
And I just wanna say...
THANK YOU LADIES... For being so supportive & sweet towards me!
At the end of the first day, my throat was getting scratchy and painful, and the Flu and Cough wasn't getting any better either, therefore AMDG had decided to cancel the Q&A segment on the second day to protect my voice.
I definitely felt blessed to be managed and represented by a company that truly takes care of the well-being and interest of their Artistes at heart.
THANK YOU RENA...! She is the BEST Artiste & Talent Manager I will ever have in this lifetime!
But on the other hand, I'm truly sorry to have disappointed those of you who have come to watch the Q&A...
Please accept my apology.
Over the two days, I was happy to not only meet my readers who've missed the previous two Autography Session, but also the familiar faces whom I've met before! It was so nice of them to have come down and send their regards... Although it was a mere minute or two of “Hi... How are you?... All the best... Take care... Bye...”, but it means soooOOOoo much to me!
Honestly... I was deeply touched, you know... Just like how you would to a friend; you don't need to say much, because you know just by being there, the Support & Care are conveyed in a silent but STRONG way... That's how I felt... And it feels really good to know that you are being care for & love... THANK YOU!!!
And to those sweet people who've NOT ONLY come down, but also brought me something that I could take home with for remembrance of your support and care for me...
I sincerely THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart...
Thank U, Thank You and THANK YOU!!!
I simply can't THANK YOU enough...
But, THANK YOU!
Thank YOU, Felicia... for the sturdy, bright Sunflower and your cute little note attached... I'm glad to know you've enjoyed reading “This Is My Story...” and I wish you all the best in your future endeavours too!
Thank YOU, JinYu... for the lovely flowers you give me! Though you couldn't make it for the last 2nd Autography Session; but you sent a big sunflower instead... And this time round, you came with your brother, bringing me; once again a beautiful bouquet of Roses... (I'm speechless) But it was really great seeing the both of you again!
Thank YOU, Paul... for the sweet smelling flowers alongside the bright, cheerful Sunflower... As what you've written in the note attached to the bouquet, “The Sunflower makes a warm and caring gift just for you.” It without a doubt lifts up my spirits with warmth!
Thank YOU, ZhiHui... for your cute Rabbit Key-Chain, Ez-link Card Sticker and your sweet letter. I'm glad to know that “This Is My Story...” has helped you pull through a rough patch... Always remember that I'm just a Private Message in Facebook away... If you need me, I'll do what I can to be there for you. Your encouragements and support for me is very much appreciated and one statement I especially like in your letter, “Smile, and the world will smile with you...” I Like that!
Thank YOU, Jackson... for your handmade bouquet of flowers and the meaning behind them; to let me know that happiness is built by our own two hands. I'm really happy to see that you had come down again on Sunday, just so you could hand me the flowers... Now, every time I see the flowers, I'll think of your message of happiness within them...
Thank YOU, Frankson... for the wine you've given AMDG and me. It was really sweet & generous of you... And I appreciate that you had to rush down from work even though your schedule is already so tight - Thank YOU for making the effort!
Last but not least... My awesome GrandMentor; who NEVER fails to provide me his strength & support when I need it.
And the wonderful help extended by his two precious daughters Mandi & Delvina for this Autography event; who've been mistaken as my sisters by some of my readers...
(Well, now you know they are my GrandMentor's princesses...)
And for the record... These 2 young ladies has the sweetest souls you can imagine!
To sum it all up... This 3rd round of Autography Session was a blissful & delightful one for me! Always being at the receiving end (of presents, flowers, cards, letters, etc... from ALL my lovely & wonderful readers, fans, friends and supporters) - I was happy to be able to express my heartfelt appreciation and thanks for them face-to-face today!
Thus, I really hope for those who had came down, did enjoy the cookies I had baked specially for all of you yaa... And for those of you who had joined me on stage as guests for the Q&A, I hope you liked the cake too...! And I THANK YOU once again for being so spontaneous!
For those who are wondering How Exactly An Autography Session Is Like... Wonder No More... Check out this little clip:
*To View ALL Photos of The 2 Days Autography Event... Click HERE.
Till the next event, take good care ALL of you...
And I LoVE YOU All... MuacCk!