9/19/2016

Twin Blessings

Back story: The title of my latest book (a children’s devotional-cum-novelette) was chosen from about 20 others. The original title was Double Delight, but my editor said it sounded like an ice-cream flavor. So I sent her a few more alternatives, and voila, Twin Blessings!

Many of the stories were rewritten while my husband and I were in the US for a vacation. There I had been able to watch and interact closely with my grandson, Adrian, from whom I borrowed many of Dom’s (the twin sister who grew up in the US) traits and antics. It is a blessing that Adrian is the same age as the twins, so the writing seemed easier and infinitely more delightful.

The gist of the story had been frozen in my hard drive for years. But it thawed last year when it suddenly popped out of my head while chatting with the Editorial Manager of Church Strengthening Ministry (CSM) at the 40th Manila International Book Fair (MIBF). 

Her name, Joy, was what I felt when she said . . . ooops, sorry, I could only recall how I felt, not the words of Joy, but it was a green light or a need for another devotional.

That led to CSM's approval of the story (treated like a devoseries).

But as I always do before finalizing a story for kids—to make sure the intent is clear—I conducted a Focus Group Discussion among advocates for children. From them I got new insights and questions I could never have asked myself. That showed my way to writing, and finally to the book’s launching at the CSM’s Grand Unveiling of Resources at the 41st MIBF last week.
  
This was followed two days later by an on-site launch at the CSM booths with a children’s party that included a puppet show, face painting, games, and giving away of loot bags to the children who joined the fun.
 
All told, the title Twin Blessings makes me feel as though grace surged like a flash flood twice.

First, at the Book Fair last year when the story had a chance to be defrosted, which then made me write, write, write (an activity I love best, bar none).

Second, at the Book Fair again one year later, when—now a book—Twin Blessings landed in  readers' hands. 

May every kid (or adult) who reads every devotion in Twin Blessings be doubly blessed by the richness of the Lord’s Word, packaged in slices of life, sewn together into one story that celebrates God-given relationships.

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