Ah, beautiful April. The month that stirred me in so many ways that I am left breathless. Also: the month where the sun blazes in his full glory, and we’re fried under the bright sweltering heat in this little country by the equator. Not really a good season for people vacationing from the chilly Springtime of Holland, but guess what? They survived.
Today, we dropped off Tita Tess’ house before she leaves for Amsterdam. We’ll be heading to church, but it feels nice to have my dad, who is a pastor, pray for her and her family for a safe trip. And of course, the saddest thing about coming is leaving, and my heart was moved when my mom and Tita Tess started quivering with their words, teary-eyed. It will be a long time before they see each other again, but I am hoping, with my best of hopes, that I get the chance to return every bit of kindness (and Filipino sunshine) when I get the time + money to visit them back there.

If March was the month I became surprisingly broke with lack of high-paying assignments, April was worse. This was the month when I plunged into dedicating my time in writing my book instead of looking for new projects. In fact, my sleeping pattern changed; I’d be up and awake at nights when it’s cool and my brain’s perfectly working to finish a chapter. Saltfolk, the good draft, ended with 130,000 words. And when I thought it’s already done, it wasn’t.

One thing that changed everything: DVPit. Story: On April 25, when I was just typing words into my rumble jumble story, this trend popped out of Twitter. I’ve read about this before but I didn’t know it was happening now and it won’t happen for a long time, so a few hours later, I took a deep breath, sent a tweet, and the, magic. People responded and a handful of agents and editors liked it, and it meant a lot to me, because it just told me this: There’s a place for my book.

God is telling me that. And it was Him who also led me to the next steps, which wasn’t as easy as tweeting.

You know, it’s not easy to start again when you’re already done with your vision. Saltfolk was Elijah in her early twenties but was written with a YA voice. But to meet the demands of the genre, I had to cut it down and shape it to something that will fit the readers. And really, I’m out breath re-imagining her and the band and the scenes. But I have no doubt this is God telling me to move forward. Even if it’s at the expense of some doors closing.

I sent my query yesterday, an early Saturday morning, to five potential agents who did not require a finished manuscript sample, when the new idea hit me. I was gutted. When the new vision came, I knew I had to turn my back on the hope that someone will pick up my badly written book. But here’s a new beggining. And if there’s one takeway, I’m improving my voice, and my writing. It’s going to be Meg Cabbot / Rainbow Rowell. Fresh YA lit with a diverse, Pinoy perspective.
All I pray for was God, please don’t make me give up writing, even if I get tired. Because I’m Jo March. Who is in need of a good Mr. Bhaer.

Speaking of that, three elder ladies asked me today the same question: when am I going to have a baby? WELL LORD, ANO NA? There’s a bunch of people waiting for my little juniors too. Can we fast forward to where i have my very own Lucy?

For some tidbits, here’s the rest of what happened this month:

  • Started teaching children songs on Saturday
  • Lenten Season! And since Tita Tess & Kuya Aries’ family are here, the Avendanos whipped up amazing lunches where we all got together and enjoyed one another’s company. I hope Tita Tess had fun
  • Bought and implemented Courageous & Meek: website | facebook | twitter
  • Jek wrote on Courageous & Meek! Haven’t followed that blog up, by the way. I was so busy in writing.
  • I was not an inch richer than last month, but I survived! That Puregold mishap on Good Friday was definitely significant in affecting this month’s budget, but hey, I paid my bills, and I’ve eaten well, so there’s no problem
  • At NV9: Ram’s friend Barrack (whose real name was Collin Ray), didn’t know how to read. But today, he told me he’d be going to his dad and he’s going to study this school year. YAY
  • I got friendly with the old lady in the buko juice stand to an extent that she’s waiting for our car to drop by her store every Sunday. Kindness, everyone

I don’t really know if there’s anything else I should write here, but you can always check my Twitter for updates! x