As of writing this, we are one day away from having Manila community-quarantined. According to the incessant rambling we heard on an actual presscon on Thursday, Manila will shut off its borders from entry and exit tomorrow, March 15. Meaning, it is going to contain carriers of Covid-19 inside the capital.
Please don’t panic for us. We’re still in a state of confusion, because officials declared people outside Manila CAN still work, which means the shut-off-entry-and-exit part was just, well, a fib, and the virus may have the tendency to spread across nearby provinces. We’re in Bulacan, by the way, a hop from Manila, and some of our provinces already have PUIs.
I am not scared of the virus. We have more important things to pay attention to, like, you know. Humanity. Not hoarding. Not ignoring the fact that health workers, doctors, nurses, guards, blue-collared employees are doing their part to keep the virus off our shins, and all we can do is complain and get scared and make memes out of it. Jeepney and tricycle drivers have started installing alcohol bottles in their booths. That’s paying for one’s safety, even with the little they have.
These people deserve our respect. And just as they look after us, we, in one way or another, should look after them, too.
By the way, I’m still writing.
Last Sunday, former journalist, author, and current 702 DZAS broadcaster Pastor Joey Umali presided behind the pulpit for THE word and we were gifted with the rich message of Jabez. We had that small book once, and I devoured it, because the prayer was simple, but the wonders that came from it was astounding, and I’d pray his prayer all the same. I think it worked. God is working in the background.
After the service came lunch, and the leaders of the church piled in our house , which gave my dad an opportunity to point out that I also wrote. And I feel seen.
My dad, of course, had to make the Talented But Moody remark, but all authors have their own demons. Pastor Joey Umali told me to send his publisher a proposal. I doubted I would, because I wrote in a different, um, genre.
Coming home, I looked at my manuscript, a stupid silly brownie I’ve been working on for years, and then put it down. Not forever. Something inside me nudged that maybe, I wasn’t in the state to write it. Or maybe it’s not the time to for it to snag an agent. I had another WIP calling out for me, a little MG tale I wrote with better certainty and spunk, and on Wednesday, I rolled my sleeves and worked on it. It was a rough draft, but there were 25,000 words in it.
Today, a Saturday, the first 9 chapters are better and there are now 32,000 words. I have high hopes for this one.
There must have been twice that I read authors don’t struggle with creativity or opportunity. They struggle with their stubbornness. Some push for what they want, succeeds in it, all is well. But some are willing to learn going on another direction; one they didn’t plan at first. It’s the same as pushing forward, in a path less imagined. For many, fate shone on them and gave them their reward.
H&S is my first love and forever will be. It’s my teenage kid who loves getting into trouble and keeps making mistakes. But maybe, now’s not the time for it. Maybe I should stop clenching my fist and holding on to ropes that wouldn’t work. Maybe I should give other ideas a shot.
I’m opening my doors while many parts of this country closes theirs. And I’m not scared.