Chasing Light Book Launch

It’s hard to believe that one week has already flown by since the book launch. I’m still trying to recover! It’s hard to slow down the pace and replenish in this high season of motherhood when I’m constantly needed by my little people. I finally got to look at the guest list today to see who had registered and who was able to make it to the event. I was pleasantly surprised by the support I received. From family, to friends, to support group facilitators, and health care providers, the room was filled with the village of people that kept my head above water during the difficult season of pregnancy losses.

stefanie tong

stefanie tong
It wasn’t until well after the event was over that I realized I didn’t even get a photo with my husband that evening! Here I am with my girls, a quiet moment before everyone arrived. The baby decided to have a 1:30-3:30am party the previous night, so I was wondering how functional I was going to be. Adrenaline and a frozen sugary drink kept me going.

chasing light
A huge thank you to one of my mentors, Lucinda, for setting up the church beautifully for the event. We met briefly for 30 minutes one day and she made my vision come to life. As I was researching book launches, other authors were comparing a launch to a wedding, and I can definitely see why! Venue, menu, photographer, guest list, speech. Many things were comparable to a wedding, but I was not nearly as anxious while planning my wedding!

I think there were roughly 20-25 children that attended the event and I absolutely adored the light that they brought. There was child care available for those who wanted some adult time, but at one point or another, all the kids were a part of this celebration.

I had a great time meeting new friends and catching up with friends who I haven’t seen in a while. It was wonderful to be surrounded by friends from school, dance, church, and work.

book launch
I’m so thankful to my amazing volunteers (aka my family) for taking care of food preparations and food pick-up for this day. It was one less thing for me to worry about because ten minutes prior to the event, I still had not prepared what I was going to share that evening! The most terrifying thing was thinking about what to share, and having to share about the losses out loud.

So here was my dreaded moment of sharing. Pastor Kathy and I spent some time in prayer right before the doors opened. Back when I was dancing professionally, I always left a piece of my performance for freestyle, where I improvised my movements. It’s in that creative space where God meets me and together, we tell the story. During our quiet moments in prayer, I realized my sharing was no different. I had a framework of what I wanted to share, but asked God to meet me and help me tell this story. I didn’t go too much into the details of my pregnancy losses since I may not have made it through, but did manage to share how the story went from a journal entry, to a national finalist in a manuscript competition, to being published. I felt like I was talking for a long time, but my friend told me afterwards that my sharing was short. I’ll gladly meet you for a coffee and share the long version. I much prefer a one-on-one sharing session.

img_5127One strange thing that I quickly had to get over was people asking me to sign their book! Anyone who orders a book off my website will receive a personal note from me, but I find it hard to actually write in the book. I feel like I’m ruining the books! Thank you for the honour of having me scribble in your book.
Here’s a selfie with my VIP, “Poh Poh”, my maternal grandma. The most difficult moment of the evening was shared with her. It was raw, real, and memorable. She quietly asked if she could have one of my books. When I returned with a copy, she pulled me into her and began to weep. She said my grandpa would’ve loved to have seen this, that he loved seeing us read and write. I told my Poh Poh that I know Goong Goong (maternal grandpa) is looking down at this, and that he sees this. I told her I know he is with the two babies that I don’t get to hold, that he’s holding them for me.

Leading up to the event, everyone kept asking me if I was excited. I kept on replying that I wasn’t. Nerves took over and I didn’t have time to be excited. However, I enjoyed myself thoroughly that evening and had fun. With a pregnancy that left me bed ridden and many postpartum issues that left me unable to leave the house, it was wonderful seeing everyone and catching up.

Processed with Snapseed.

Thank you so much for all of your support. Chasing Light is now available online from most retailers (Chapters/IndigoAmazonBarnes and Noble). Those copies are printed when ordered so may take a month to receive. I have copies at home ready to be shipped, so feel free to order directly from me. I’m working with my publisher to offer a sale on my e-book for pregnancy loss awareness day on October 15. I’ll keep you posted via social media so you can grab the e-book for 99 cents!

Thank you for being a part of our story, for being such a support to my family, and for sharing in my first book launch! On to the next one? Maybe…

More pictures from the book launch event are on Facebook.