Everything about today feels right on time, even if we weren’t. The sky was still dark even past six a.m.; gray clouds loomed over us with the threat of 2019’s first tropical depression Amang. It’s in Visayas, but our part of the country will be affected somehow, and me and my brother thought it will rain all throughout the day. By seven, the warm touch of the morning sun greeted us and the hot weather prevailed. Yup, we wearing long-sleeved shirts. It was fortunate that the weather was breezy.
On the jeep en route to the highway, we stopped for a few minutes to lag behind a traffic due to a prusisyon in a small baranggay. We wanted to eat breakfast before hitting the bus, and just as we walked to the nearest KFC, 3 buses heading our destination passed by. Hence, we decided to pass time (while eating). When me and my brother got back to the bus stop, it wasn’t even five minutes when a bus towards Hagonoy pulled to a stop. And look, less passengers! The same happened on the way home. Since this was a PacMan fight day (by which every street in the country is cleared from vehicles because we’re all stuck somewhere with a TV, watching him throw punches), we expected no tricycle, especially on an afternoon, but we were lucky to snag one just a few moments we left the church. And before the tricycle stopped, a bus heading to Cubao was turning around the corner, which had us easily seated. CALL US LUCKY.
Way back this week: I started querying again! The thing is, I was a bit confident this time, and I sent really big batches. This week, I did more than ten. Querying always makes me self-conscious about my work and pushes me to edit the last minute (because who knows what crap I threw in there), but I am happy. I will be waiting for more than a month for their replies, and I am hoping for a few positive ones.
Speaking of query, the fastest response I had was the day after. He was the agent of an author of color whose work I loved, and I was hoping he’d look at mine, but he said it was not in his list. Now, I knew what was coming, and ever since the new year, I stopped reading responses from emails I sent last year, including one for a full. There was also this long-awaited rejection letter for a short story I made; it has been a long time since I sent it (last September), and all my hopes for it flung out of the window. When I finally got the email, I thought they’re just going to say, “Your work is good, but it needs improvement,” which is okay. But on the day I decided to open the FASTEST QUERY RESPONSE EVER (or maybe not), I decided to take a peek at the two unopened emails and WHOA. Surprise.
I did have a rejection on the full. That’s because, as one agent told me, the pacing was off, and I had to work on it from November to December.
But the other email? It was hope.
The funny thing was, I was trying to psych myself with thoughts like, “Okay, yeah this is a rejection, but if it’s not, then I’ll just be surprised to see my story out there, which is awesome.” And then, I opened it, skimmed through the words, and then paused at two instances, mainly, “The readers liked it” and “We’ll be holding on to it a bit more for the judges to see.”
They liked it. They really did. And I am screaming because the genre was stressful gory horror set in Manila. If it doesn’t get accepted, I’m going to make ways so you can read it because it. Is. Crazy.
Because of that, I sent my other revised short story, a new edit of Mirage, to a magazine. I have little hopes, but it was fun to send it out.
Here’s what I think is the real reason: maybe I am just sending queries so I’ll receive emails because no one has sent me a nice message recently? Is this me being KSP or what?
By the way, I started writing drafts for Fifth the First. And I’m all ears for a new inspiration for a short story, because this little adventure seems fun.