Remember the time when I said I’m starting to dislike months that start in As, and there’s just actually two of them? There. That will give you an idea of what August has been like. August is the twin brother of April, the height of summer to her spring, and even though this month, in other parts of the world, was supposed to be vibrant and colorful, it wasn’t to me. But – hold on – this is not a hate post. In fact, I just finished a short story today, and I’m pretty proud of it, even though it broke me to pieces from the moment I started it.

So what did August have for me? Let me count the ways:

PAL slapped me with bad luck when it cancelled our September flight without offering amends. Your favorite introvert, however, showed her adult colors when she picked up the phone, talked to a rep, and got her flight rebooked. Yep, even in the last minute, especially with what happened to Xiamen Airlines, PAL has been bitching with their flight schedules, but what’s important is that we’re booked, and we’re freaking going to El Nido.

This was the only month when I had 2 request for fulls. FULLS! I suffered from a dwindling self-confidence, thinking that I am getting favors because of my diversity but not talent, and in the end, I’ll get dropped. I kicked those thoughts to the curb and acknowledge that I am, forever, under God’s favor and no one else’s. Who am I to think I can take all these on my own?

I also got one reject from a full. It was my fault. Actually, August wasn’t actually bad. It just pointed out the bad. First, I used the wrong comps for my MS. That gave this lovely agent the high hopes for my MS, which, it turned out, wasn’t what she expected.

Other than that full reject, I also got query passes. Of course I’m talking about that here! I’m keeping my list on a spreadsheet!

Here’s what I disliked the most about this month: 2 WHOLE WEEKS OF FLOOD. There was an ocean sitting outside out gate, bearing dust and waste and things I don’t want to say but it’s there. It’s there and we gotta walk through it.

Flood was okay, but having no internet was not. We had 9 days of no Wi-fi, thanks to a dead phone line that might have been damaged due to the live wire fizzing post-Habagat.

I joined a lovely writer’s group made up of Filipinos! PEOPLE, would you believe it? And all this time, I’ve been squealing with exclamation points and all-caps but little do they know I’m actually a shy turtle. But having a group is nice; for one, we talked about Pinoy things, and another, we get to help out each other. The first case: a member whose brother was sent in the ICU because of dengue.

And, because it was this month that I realized no writer is an island, I also decided to submit to Pitch Wars. It has become very clear now that I need an outsider’s opinion of my work, and although I have little hope for mine to be picked, well, I did put it out there. To have H&S be ready by a pair of fresh eyes is already awesome for me!

Did I mentioned I just finished a short story? Short stories, I just discovered, other than a perfect way to vent out my writing spurts after working on a full book, are actually good ways to get published. And get money at that. So I took out my 2006’s Mirage, reworked it in three days, and here I have a shining new draft where everyone still dies, but at least the story makes more sense now, plus everyone will have an emotional connection to the characters, which are, surprisingly, all male!

Some time ago, I also made a short story, and it was in the same depressing, macabre route. I don’t know but I either write fluff, or a full-on blood bath. Can you imagine me breaking down if I had a really heart-wrenching concept for a MS? Baka ‘di na ‘ko buhay no’n.

Some honorable mentions

  • Hillsong Worship’s There Is More album is my new favorite. Best tracks: Rememberance, Seasons, So Will I, Father’s Prayer. This album should have been renamed to Communion, in my opinion
  • Shopping cancellations don’t sound good, but it actually saved me from paying for things I don’t actually need.
  • My MOO cards have arrived and they are dandy! Also: I designed it
  • Remember: no more 2551M, just 2551Q. Pinoy taxpayers, you must know this!
  • Skyflake’s Fit in flaxseed is my new regular meal
  • I will never tire of watching Coco

August, you raucous

If there’s one thing this month taught me, it’s to stop prancing around and get things done, stat. No more willy-nillies. No more second-guessing. I’m meant to make mistakes, and to make up for them. It’s a hard process, really, because every time I put myself out there, it feels like a part of me gets chipped off and dies. But that’s the process. I think God was telling me not all parts of me are going to make it out alive. Just the gold ones. The shining ones. The ones He took time to assemble deep into my skin.

And so, August may not be my favorite month; expect me to be all eyes at the high tide calendar this time of every year. But, heck; the opportunities it gave me to grow? Priceless. I’m ready to be chipped off. I’m ready to lose parts of me that are not gold. I’m ready to take the long haul. My season will come. And I’m growing big enough for it.