On this last day of February, after drafting a copy for a fresh Dublin-based streetwear brand, I’m writing this monthly finale before the day even gets halfway through. February 2018 was a last-minute victory. The final strand of rope pulled up. A slice of cake left in the ref. All those nice things piled in the movie during the ending. And as I wrap everything up and tie everything with a bow, let me give you a peek of what this month let me do.

I don’t know why I didn’t make any post for Doksolohiya, BULPAC‘s 25th Anniversary (which included a choral rendition of my song Hilaga, Timog and SIUMC’s local vocalist Jonalyn as part of the singers), but I know it must be for a good reason, and that reason must be: I’m tired. But this event opened up the month and opened up my ears to many voices singing the words that poured out from my hands one afternoon and I’m going to sound cliché here, but that just made me feel #BLESSED. You’re probably reading this. Thanks, Josh.

Two parcels arrived for me this month and NONE of them were my 1001 Knights books. Could you imagine my disappointment while I lingered around the post office? But if there’s anything worth celebrating, I have a new pair of shoes and Kevin’s amazing pins.

I paid my insurance! My money came in the last minute (among the many last-minute victories) and I feel so proud that I accomplished another year of struggling to save, even if I had barely to earn. Last year, I gave 3/4 of my soul to writing my manuscript WHICH I made last-minute changes too, this year, before sending it along with a few more queries (including a local publisher). I hope an agent picks it up. I hope that agent will believe in it as much as I do because I can’t wait for you to flail over them. They’re worth flailing over. Forget about my writing. Those characters are DA BOMB. Wait, did I just say that?

Hello, Hustle

The querying stage is a limbo, and I’ve been stuck here for three months without any response, but one ray of light shone on me in my recent query: a lovely agent asked for a full! That’s my second full now! Of course, I know, it’s probably a No, but after a full season of thinking my work won’t cut it, that nobody would pay attention to a Southeast Asian girl writing about a Southeast Asian world in a contemporary scene was all for nothing, this was a ray of light. Someone was ready to listen. Someone was ready to read.

Nope, I’m not crying.

While I’m still outside the book world and knocking on doors, the gates of copywriting opened to me with wide and embraced me warmly. They’re the ones who loved me (I mean, my writing). I’m glad to say I took on the assignment for VVERX, for that gave me back my love for this craft. No literary ambitions. Just listening to businesses and crafting words that will resound their story in forms potential buyers can resonate with. Copywriting will always be my bread and butter, the one thing that will save my ass when everyone turns away, and I need to pay respect to it just as it had accepted me.

I’ve been on a poetry submission spree this month, thanks to the magic that is Submittable. One of my poems will be on Not Very Quiet, an bi-annual Australian women’s literary journal who was the first to respond positively to my poem about Paris and me being mistaken for a Chinese. There has been a recent discussion about #ownvoices being boxed and commodified for our exoticism. The breakthrough that is Black Panther sort of broke the walls about perceptions of diversity, and now, the muted voices can fight louder now. I hope we all can find balance in between creating and being.

Some Social Media Things

  • I’m on VERO! I don’t know what the hype is about, and I don’t really need another social media, but it’s a limited-free-for-the-first-million so of course I signed up
  • Caris Creates Things have 1k likes!

Where I am now

  • I’m on the crossroad for keeping Courageous & Meek or not. I loved it. But I’m not ignoring the fact that it was bought out of impulse and I’m not able to manage it as closely as I should. There are two lessons here: one, to cut off the ties that burden me to get more space for better things to come (or, in my case, focus on what I have) and two, do not buy things outrightly
  • I promised to make edits to Mirage and the first part was coming well (I can probably extend this to a novella) but my writing spirit is focused on Elie & Fifth, which is why I jumped onto Fifth’s parallel just in case anyone picks up my book and finds a possibility for a sequel. Because this is Fifth. FIFTH. How could anyone not love Fifth?
  • I have lots of assignments to finish this March, including a research for a grant-funded project and more blogging! Hopefully, I get more brands to assist in their copy needs because that’s what I love doing.

As of now, Kuya Uro and his two assistants are working at the backyard to construct mom’s factory for AllisGood. Yesterday’s mishap included my dog taking a stroll on the fresh cement after I left the gate open. You can’t imagine what I felt. I could still feel the frustration in my voice from yesterday’s cries. The good thing is, the cement floor has a lot of paw print design. The bad thing is, the cement floor has a lot of paw print design.

There’s always good things and bad things and being honest makes everything more valuable.

See you this March. Wait for your miracles. You are awesome. x