for the hope of it all

Well, hello from Tarlac! Surprise!

I’ve been here for nine days now, taking care of my youngest sister while the rest of the family handles the house in Cainta. I’m here temporarily, indefinitely, but we’re thinking of staying put so my sister could finish the school year here.

So far, it’s been okay. My sister is pretty easy to look after, and the house here is smaller, simpler, cottagecore-ish (if it isn’t filled with my packrat mother’s stuff). I have a small patio where my parents’ dog is (my own dog is back in Cainta with my parents), and there’s also my mother’s small garden to take care of. I also have two of my cats (my other sister is fostering the others), and my mom left her cat with me as well.

I spent the last few days getting into a new routine, trial and error, and pretty much letting myself make mistakes so I can correct them the next time, and find out which is more efficient for us, and which ones are comfortable. I’m telling you, the waking up at 4:30 AM so that everything is neat and tidy for when my sister gets up an hour later, is probably the worst part of this so far.

I think I’ve been okay? I’ve been great actually. Awesome. Kicking some serious ass! Because I’ve managed to cook meals and not poison us, get my sister ready for school on time (or actually early!), managed to fatten up the pets, haven’t killed any plants yet, did the laundry, actually cleaned the house, and I did not—DID NOT! —break down even once. Not even when my relatives knocked on the door every few minutes to chat after our parents left for Manila. My anxiety has been manageable, and my depression had been giving me a break, so yay!

I’ve been taking care of myself and my dog and my cats for about two years because I’ve been living alone, but I guess I’ve just managed to unlock a new level of adulthood? Go, me!

Seriously though. I mean, I’ve been taking care of myself and the pets for years, but this is the first time that I’ve had to single-handedly take care of a kid. And remember, I’m mentally ill AND visually impaired, so yes, I will celebrate and gloat about this until the day I die! Fight me‼️

Speaking of visual impairment, I’ve been to the opthalmologist for a checkup, and my eye problems are… a little more complicated than I thought. Just a little. Just a smol issue… which can’t be resolved by new prescription glasses or meds… But by, you know, surgery. *shrug* No big deal.

*sigh*

Yep. I have to have surgery. On both eyes. But I /can’t/ at the moment because the surgery requires a one month recovery period where I’d  only be allowed to lie down, sit up, walk (but only to the toilet or where I would be eating), and absolutely no house chores which means I can’t take care of my sister because I’d need someone to take care of me. I wouldn’t even be allowed to bend down which means I can’t take care of my cats either. My family’s a little low on manpower at the moment, and everyone’s a little busy, and it’s not a life or death situation anyway, so I really /can/ wait. But I’m hoping I can get that done before the year ends? I know, I know. Surgery sounds scary and /really/ urgent, but I don’t really have a choice. And to be perfectly honest, I’m not really the family’s priority. And it’s okay! I’m not bitter or anything, if that’s the vibe you’re getting from me. It’s really okay. I’m really okay. I’ve adapted to my situation, and my sister is actually taking care of me as much as I’m taking care of her. So I’m okay. I’ll be fine. I’ll let you know how everything goes.

And since we’re talking about medical situations, did I mention that one of our cats bit me, like, maybe more than a dozen times? Seriously.

My parents’ dog (the one I’m taking care of now), apparently, dislikes cats. And my babies, who have never been exposed to danger before, thought he was as nice to cats as my dog (and their honorary grandma), Munchie. So yes, there was a fight. And blood was shed.

Mostly mine.

Actually, only mine.

They’re all okay though. A pot of kalachuchi and I were the only casualties. My parents rushed me to the nearest Animal Bite Center, and I got three shots, initially, then two more a few days later, then more… And another in a few days. Worth it though? Because I saved Dodong (his name is actually Jaydong, or however you spell it. My sister named him). He’s okay. Probably scared of dogs for life, but that’s for the best.

Anyway.

Balita ko may MIBF na ulit! My publisher invited me to join the book signing but, unfortunately, I can’t. Sorry po. 🙏🏼 Nasa malayo po kasi ako at mahirap pong bumiyahe na may kasamang bata, lalo na at, technically, disabled ako. But I hope you support my new-ish release at the event. 🥳 I don’t know if Bookware already announced the MIBF releases so I’ll just wait for their official announcement.

What else? Ah, my actual writing. I was planning on settling in before I restart working. With having to take care of a student and dealing with my vision loss, and running a household, I placed everything on hold (including my regularly scheduled mental and emotional breakdowns), but I’m hoping to get back to writing this week. Hence, this blog! You know the drill, right? /The/ drill? The one where I use this blog as a warm up after my breaks or after I battle writer’s block? Yeah, that. This is my warm up into going back to work.

I’m hoping, planning, and aiming to finally get to work and finish The Precious You this week. Then maybe a break to focus on Ko-fi and Wattpad fics, then a new manuscript for Bookware. That’s my September hope/wish/aim/dream/goal. Maybe too ambitious? Pero okay lang. Aim high nga raw di ba?

Once again, thank you for your constant support and encouragement, and even when I’m not producing new content (nux, content creator ‘yarn?), you keep my stories in your thoughts. I mean, napasama pa si Ash sa 2022 Readers Choice Awards eme! And it’s been years! So thank you. I really appreciate you. Maraming salamat!

Talk to you next time! 😘

(Blog title from “august” by Taylor Swift)

Posted in My Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Account Ability

Hey, hey, hey! Kumusta? I hope your February is going well. Can you believe it? Feb na ulit! My mind is still stuck in 2020.

My Feb started off on the wrong foot, with stress on top of stress that led to a near panic attack that came out of nowhere, but I /think/ I’m fine now? At least, I feel better. I’m a little frustrated with myself for not being able to actually start working on the 1st of this month because while I have reasons, they don’t excuse my lack of productivity. And no amount of “you’re worth more than the content you put out” reminders will comfort me because it’s not the lack of content to share that bothers me. I /know/ I’m worth more than my content, but actually not writing? Even for myself? Because I really haven’t in a while. That doesn’t feel right.

What’s worse, I think, is that it’s not in the lack of trying. I’ve switched my laptop on a few times, connected my wireless keyboard to my phone, typed a few lines, sometimes a whole scene, only to junk the document because I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m trying not to be scared by that. That has happened to me more times than I’d care to admit. Writers block or plain laziness, I have no idea. I’ll just smash through that wall like I always do.

For now, let me share my list of projects that are current WIPs. Consider this an accountability blog. Here are my tentative plans for the first quarter of 2022.

1. BMC and Ko-fi Fics

OMG! It’s been months! MONTHS! TWO MONTHS! But I still haven’t finished all of the fics. December had been hectic with family and the holidays, and January had been one week of family, two weeks of illness, and a week of trying to recover from that illness while finishing up all the chores I couldn’t do while I was ill. (Wait… I guess that was where the stress came from?)

Anyway, I still have nine fics to write. THANK YOU to everyone who supported, continues to support, or are thinking of supporting my work on BMC and/or Ko-fi. One coffee buys my cats a kilo of cat food (and me my Kopiko Blanca or an energy drink). And I can never say thank you enough for helping me feed my babies.

The next three fics that I started are all Lexica fics. I hope I finish them soon (i.e. today‼️) and that you enjoy them when you finally get to read them.

(Oh, and before I forget, although I’m going to keep my BMC, if you’re thinking of supporting me with coffee, please do so on Ko-fi instead. They accept PayPal so it’s easier and more convenient. Thank you!)

2. The Next Elisean Book

TPrY is my next self-pub book. It’s about Dr. Griff Villar and Annelise Vargas. If you read The Perfect You (PLUGGING na parang YouTube ad, you can purchase the PDF copy from the Elisean Bookstore to read the complete version, or read the abridged version on Wattpad for free), then you already know Griff and Lizzy.

I’ve written about 90% of this book but I wanted to deconstruct every scene in it when I read it again a few days ago, so I’ll probably work on revising the manuscript the whole of Feb. I was actually hoping to be done with this book last month but, oh, well. Habol habol.

3. A Shower of Starlight

Djoser and Karina’s book is currently on going on BMC and Ko-fi, and I want to focus on them next. I’ve been raring to work on them for a while now, and dagdag frustration ko sa sarili ko na hindi ko pa sila tinututukan. Anyway, the book will be available to read to supporters and members only though, but it’ll also be released as a self-published book anyway after im done writing it, and Editor Tin is done fixing it.

4. Wala na. Yun na lang muna.

I want to share everything else I have on the back burner but I don’t want to set up false expectations din because I’m sure I won’t be able to work on all of them. So surprise na lang if ever I get to do anything else. 😅 Basta these are my plans until April.

As always, THANK YOU for supporting my work. I get to do this because of your support and your generosity, and I will always be thankful. Thank you din for your understanding, and for being the best readers. You never made me feel pressured or bad for taking time off for myself. You never made me feel like I owe you anyhing though I do owe you something. I continue to be published because you continue to support my work. For that, maraming salamat. I will never take that for granted.

I always end my blog like that ano? Please don’t expect me to stop anytime soon.

I’m going back to work! Sana matapos ko na ‘yung plano kong fics today. Wish me luck! And have a great February! 💕

Posted in My Life | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Off Sick

Happy New Year! Aaaand yeah, that’s more than half a month late but better late than never said at all. ’Nu raw?

Today is only the second time I’ve switched on my laptop this year, and holy crap, I feel bad about that because I had plans. Really good plans. Really good, solid plans to be productive this 2022 because my goal is to write at least 6 books this year. And considering I used to write ten books every year, six sounds more than doable. Except… life.

My family came home from the (other) province for the first time since they left to stay there about two years ago. They spent the holidays with me and my sister, and was supposed to stay for a month, except the region was placed under Alert Level 3 again because of a surge in COVID-19 cases. They decided to leave earlier than planned in case our respective provinces get placed under tighter lockdowns again, lest they get stranded. So it was all family days for us the first week of January.

I’m just glad they left when they did because my sister (the one I live with), came home with a low grade fever a few days after our senior citizen parents and youngest (still unvaccinated) sister left. She had fever for a few days, then the colds and the cough started. And I knew I was going to go next. I have a pretty weak immune system, so if anyone who has a cold so much as looks my way, I’d get sick.

So a few days into my sister’s flu, my throat started to itch though I initially attributed that to the yema spread I’ve been snacking on because I’ve never actually had self-control when it comes to food, particularly anything that would rot my teeth. And when my sister finally got better, we were hanging out, talking in the living room, when I noticed that I was cold. As in rubbing-my-bare-arms-and-legs cold, as in needing-a-sweater-and-pajamas cold. So I laughed a semi-hysterical laugh people do when they know something is wrong, and I went to check my temperature, and it was 38.3 degrees Celcius. Ah, I was waiting for that.

My fever came and went for the next few days, then the colds started and the sore throat persisted. We were lucky enough to have stocked up on Biogesic even before meds started selling out in drug stores, so we were able to take meds. We weren’t ablt to get tested for COVID though because gawd, tests are expensive and they’re really hard to get a hold of. And considering I work from home and don’t need to get tested for anything work-related, I opted not to get tested anymore, and just assumed that I have the virus, and went about taking care of myself as if I do. We pretty much stayed at home and isolated ourselves so we don’t spread our germies.

The only people I saw were Grab Food drivers who brought our meals and who got paid through GCash so the only “contact” we all had were when they passed me the paper bag from Jollibee. Gawd, so much Jollibee. We’ve also long since upgraded our masks to KF94 and KN95 masks so that’s covered.

And because I was feeling miserable, I also surrounded myself with things that comfort me, like pillows and hoodies and my Daisuga mochimochis that I place over my eyes like the coins the ancient Greeks placed over the eyes of their dead (uhm? What?), and Sprite (which I only like when I’m sick). I also played Haikyu in the background while I read BL mangas/manhwas/manhuas on my phone when my eyes stopped burning from bright lights.

I was actually chill when I had fever. My temp fluctuated between 37.1 to 38.8 for three days, and I was actually pretty mobile and active. I was able to do my chores (most of them are cat-related. Can’t skip those if I don’t want my cats to curse me) but when the colds started, my misery levels ratcheted up to about a thousand. I hate colds with a passion. And when you have a cold, a sore throat and a headache all at once… Everytime I sneezed, I kept thinking that my cats have cursed me because I fed them an hour late that one time.

Also, when the fever finally broke, that was when the fatigue set in, and that made me hate the recovery more than the actual illness. I was able to do chores with a 38.8 degree fever but I can barely walk to the bathroom without stoping to lean against the wall to rest after?

Today is Day 8 since I got sick, and Day 4 of being fever-free. I only cough occassionaly now, but my nose had stopped running. I still also have the sore throat but it’s not as bad as before when it felt like I had broken glass there. The only thing that I’m sick of now is the fact that I walk the length of our house and I end up wheezing and having to sit down on the sofa. I can’t do my chores all at once and in my usual speed because then I’d have to have a two-hour nap after. This is also the first time I’m going to try to work because the effort of moving my work table and plugging the laptop into the socket needs so. much. energy.

That brings me to my January productivity which, at page 21 of 365 is still at zero… well, maybe not zero, but man, I’m so behind! I was planning on finishing all my December BMC/Ko-fi fics before the end of this month. I still have 10 or 11 to write. I am SO SORRY! OMG, this is so embarrassing. Also, as per my work plan list, I was supposed to be finished with my rewrites for The Precious You last week. Ahahaha no. So my end of January plan to release that is offiicially scrapped. Hay, life.

So, new plan. I think I’m about 85% myself atm. I’m going to start light today, like my fics first and the daily cat chores. I’m going to leave the laundry for next week because my laundry basket is full, and I have thick blankets, beddings and sweatshirts to wash, and no, just no.

Let’s just say this is an accountability entry? I’m going say that I’d finish at least three of the anniv fics today: Kent’s reaction to Djoser and Ina, an AshLex, and a Lexica. Gawd help me.

I better get to work.

Thank you to everyone who wished me well! And I’m so sorry to everyone waiting for the fics that I haven’t been able to finish on time. I promise to do better. Hopefully, I’d get back into my sched by the end of January.

I hope everyone is doing well! If you’re sick, please rest well, take care of yourself, and I hope you feel better soon.

Get vaccinated please. Get boosted. Wear a mask! Protect yourself and each other. And if you come across an anti-vaxxer on Twitter who tries to bait you into a stupid argument because they secretly feel bad about not being vaccinated? Troll them. It’s liberating.

Posted in journal | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Vaxxed

(Or a glimpse at how this anxious author copes with something out of her linear day to day life.)

After months and months AND MONTHS of waiting, I was finally contacted to receive my first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

I first signed up with my LGU (Cainta… yeah. I will always and forever call you out) months and months AND MONTHS ago. I can’t even remember when I actually signed up, but I did it at the same time as my sister who, at that time, was also waiting for word from her employer. We never heard from our LGU, not even an acknowledgment that they received our request.

So when I read in the news that Mandaluyong, Pateros and San Juan have agreed to open their vaccine sign ups for non-residents, I signed up via MandaVax. My brother and his wife had been vaccinated in Mandaluyong because they both live there. Apparently, majority of our vaccinated neighbors also got their jabs somewhere else (Mandaluyong and Pasig).

It also turned out to be a blessing in disguise because I have no idea where any of the Cainta vaccination sites were, while I had the option to choose SM Megamall (which is my best friend if a place can be someone’s best friend) as the site I can go to get vaccinated.

It took about two months before I received a text from MandaVax but I was already scheduled for the following day (October 22nd).

Now I haven’t been outside of the Pasig/Cainta area since February 2020. The last time I went out of our subdivision was December 2020, I kid you not. There’s a perfectly good sari-sari store in front of our house, a bakery and a talipapa a few streets over, and a Ministop, Alfamart, two 7-Elevens, drug stores, meat stores, pet shops, a Korean mart and everything else within walking distance inside the subdivision.

There’s also a branch of Pure Gold just outside if I need to do serious grocery shopping. My steps counter app tells me it takes about 8,000 steps from our house to Pure Gold and back so yeah, it’s that close.

Everything else I need to do, I can do online.

So staying within the mini-city that is the subdivision where I live is not a hardship at all. I’ve been a WFH freelance writer since 2009 too so I really do not need to go out.

And then I get that text from MandaVax, and suddenly I NEED to go out.

To be honest, I was more anxious about getting to the vaccination site and then home, than the actual vaccine. I want to get vaccinated. I’ve been waiting for months to get vaccinated. But I haven’t been out since before the lockdown started that the street outside our subdivision’s gates now feel like a foreign city in a Stranger Danger way.

Now, bear with me here. I have anxiety. My brain doesn’t work the way it used to, normally, automatically. Now I have to plan and take deliberate steps in order for me to do something. And going out was definitely something I needed to plan for.

The night before, I wrote a list of things to do (and bring), and I packed—actually packed!—my backpack. It sounds a bit anal, but I will do anything and everything to lessen my anxiety levels even if it looks strange and unnecessary to other people.

Wallet and house key (v. important), two pens and a bottle of alcohol as per the text, and since I found out (via Twitter) that I’d be sitting inside one of the SM cinemas, I packed a scarf so I don’t freeze to death (or get COVID symptoms) in the process.
  
I also packed my DaiSuga mochimochis for more comfort. I use a variety of things over the years (my Herrera, J.M. dogtag, a bracelet given to me by one of my friends, etc.) to touch to keep me grounded. I swear, my DSGA mochimochis more than made up for the price I paid with the happiness and comfort they’ve given me since I got them.

Anyway.

I also subtly begged Ayie to keep me company via text, because I had also subtly started to panic about being alone and outside of my tiny comfort zone.

Did I sleep at all? Yeah. A few hours. I was in bed by 9 and fell asleep at around 4:30 AM. Heh.

I woke up at 9AM, and had to rush my pet mama duties and to get ready before I had to leave at 11AM.

I clutched at Suga the whole time I was in the trike, then the UV that would take me to Megamall because holy sheep! I was actually outside, and there were so many people, and everything felt so unfamiliar eventhough there was a time when I used to go to Megamall every freaking day because I liked writing in the coffeeshops and at the food court there.

And then, imagine this. This is the first time I’ve been to the mall in more than a year, and it’s the first time I get to talk to someone in a wide, open space with a freaking face shield on. So I had the world’s most polite shouting match with the manong guard because we couldn’t understand each other when I asked if I can go directly to Cinema 2 for my vaccine, and he  directed me to the lady at a computer beside the entrance because he thought I wanted to sign up to get vaccinated.

Manong Guard: SIGN UP KA MUNA SA MANDAVAX, MA’AM. SCAN N’YO LANG PO ‘YUNG QR CODE D’YAN.

Me: HINDI PO, MANONG. MAY SCHEDULE NA PO AKO. DIDIRECHO NA PO BA AKO?

MG: AH, SIGE PO. KUNG ‘YUNG ORAS NA PO SA TEXT SA INYO.

Me: ALA UNA PA NAMAN PO.

MG: AY, MAMAYA NA KAYO PUMUNTA, MA’AM. KAPAG ALA UNA NA. MAG-LUNCH MUNA KAYO, MA’AM! MATAGAL PO KASI ‘YUN, MARAMING TAO!

Me: AY, GAN’UN PO? SIGE PO. THANK YOU PO, SIR!

MG: YOU’RE WELCOME, MA’AM!

I did take his advice to go get lunch first. I’ve been craving for Taco Bell soft tacos for a while because I love them, and the last time I’ve had them was when Ayie, Ivy and I had dinner before we watched the Westlife concert with Rozz a lifetime ago.

I barely tasted them though because I was still nervous about being around other people. And I never realized that I spoke English when I’m nervous, because I ordered my tacos in straight English, and the ate girl at the cashier in Taco Bell probably thought that I was an airhead. Sorry po. I do think in English most of the time, though I speak in straight Filipino when I’m furious.

I made my way to Cinema 2 at 12:50 PM, got asked to show the text from MandaVax and an ID, then I was asked to go into Cinema 2 (or was it 3?).

Now, I’m almost blind. That’s the reason why I rarely go out of the house without my sister. Because I can’t see very well. And add the face shield? THEN add the fact that they don’t even have the house lights on in the theater. It was a miracle I didn’t face plant even once.

The guard directed me to a row of seats that was already near the top of the theater where we waited for about an hour before we were told to go down so we could sign the forms.

The guy to my right was sniffling while watching something on his phone. The guy to my left was having a meet cute with the girl to his left. The guy in front of me was having a quiet solo concert (his voice was actually good). The girl behind me kept kicking my seat, and the guy beside her was already asking if they were going to feed us because it had been an hour of nothing but freezing cold and the guards directing “mga bagong dating, sa taas po” and “next row, tayo!”.

I just sat there, holding Daichi or Suga, while waiting.

When finally it was our row the manong guard addressed when he said “NEXT ROW, TAYO!” (Guy beside the girl behind me: UWI!), we stood up and shuffled outside to get our forms. I totally messed up my vaccination card because aside from having to fill it out without a table, three guards were also channeling the strictest drill sergeants calling out “FORWARD! FORWARD!” even before I could fill out a single line on my form.

Kalma naman, manong and ate! Ninenerbyos na nga ako eh!

I survived the form filling and went into another theater to get screened, and this time, the girl beside me kept worriedly telling her companion that she messed up her own card because the pen she used smudged on the card when she accidentally touched it because “nataranta ako sa guard! Nagmamadali kasi!”. I feel you, sizt.

It took about ten minutes of waiting before I got to the desk where they screen you.

“May ubo, sipon, lagnat, hika—”

And the guy just checked everything on my form even before I could answer.

“Wala po.”

I did have asthma but I haven’t had an asthma attack in years so I said no to that.

“Buntis po?”

“Hindi po.” Tacos po ito saka patatas, hindi bata.

Then another twenty minutes of waiting before I moved to yet another cinema, and another round of waiting before we were asked to finally come down.

At that point, wala na ‘yung kaba ko. I just wanted to get it over with and to go home so I can go to bed because I was exhausted. I’m telling you, everything is at least five times as hard if you have mental health issues.

The really nice Ate HCW asked me pretty much the same questions in the screening, gave me a spiel about being contacted for my second dose after 28 days, then asked me if I knew which vaccine was available (I said no, although I did know. It was Sinovac.), and asked me if it was okay that it was Sinovac. I just sighed inwardly because the best vaccine is the one available, and after months of waiting, and the actual hours there, I wasn’t going to go home without getting vaccinated.

I said it was okay, and I rolled up my sleeve, and Ate HCW showed me the syringe.

“Ayan, may laman po. Ayan, wala na po.”

Magic lang, Ate?

Seriously, I waited months for this, then hours, and I had no idea what the heck I was expecting. Slow mo? Sweeping teleserye music? A spotlight then a shower of glitter and stars? It took about two seconds before the “may laman” and her “walang laman” comment, and then she was pointing at the next table. I couldn’t even remember if I thanked her kasi ang bilis ng mga pangyayari. If I didn’t, THANK YOU, ATE! YOU ARE AMAZING AND YOU DESERVE GOOD FOOD, GOOD SLEEP, HAPPINESS, AND YOUR HAZARD PAY!

I was given another form to sign with questions about how I feel after the jab (fever, chills, etc.). I felt my arm going numb and my fingertips starting to prickle, but since that’s my body’s normal reaction to small wounds (my whole arm started to shake violently after my finger got pricked during a blood typing thing in college), I didn’t worry about it much.

I chatted with a guy for a bit because he said he thought he was getting cold. We laughed about it probably just because he was nervous because it was our first dose.

When, after fifteen minutes, I still felt normal, I signed off on the form and gave it back. My sister got instructions for after care (meds if she gets sick, no coffee, smoking and alcohol, etc.), so I was thinking I’d get that too. Instead, I got a thumbs up when the guy saw that I said NO to all the side effects listed in the form.

So… I left.

I was in there from 1PM to 4:30 PM. I got the jab at 4:10PM.

And THEN my anxiety ramped back up because NOW I had to go home. Seriously. Sabi sa ‘yo mas takot ako sa biyahe kaysa sa karayom. I’m not afraid of getting the vaccine because I vividly remember being jabbed with the Hepatitis B vaccine when I was around eight. And I do watch when a nurse draws my blood during the annual physical exams when I was still an employee. 

I called my mom first to cry. Kidding. It was her birthday. Then I walked around a bit because I missed Megamall. I debated whether to ask Ayie if she wanted to meet up, but I didn’t want to hassle her with a sudden invite to meet, and I was also exhausted (more mentally than physically).

I went to McDo to get dinner for me and my sister (and walked past someone rotating his arm the way I was at that time. Huli ka! Bagong bakuna ka ano?), then to Red Ribbon because I wanted their cake slice thingy.

Then I took a cab home because again, I was exhausted.

Other people who got Sinovac said that they didn’t feel any side effects, except that they ate like dinosaurs after getting the vaccine, and slept like the dead.

My sister got Astra Zeneca and she was crying for our mother 12 hours after getting the vaccine, with an awful headache, limbs she couldn’t move, and a 39.9 degree temp.

I just ate a 2-piece chicken McDo, an extra helping of rice, half a box of Chocolitos, three and a half Red Ribbon cake slices and a whole bottle of Coke Kasalo. Then I slept for about 12 hours, then 14 hours on day two after the vaccine. I didn’t look at those as side effects though because again, sleeping for two days is my body’s normal reaction to being out for a whole day, pretty much like when Kenma gets sick after a particularly intense game.

Also, for a few hours, my arm felt like someone punched it, but that was it.

I’ve actually just recovered from my day out, and I’m already nervous about my second dose.  (Seriously, I need to name my anxiety because it won’t leave me alone.)

But the important thing is that I’m half-vaxxed now. To be honest, I got vaxxed 40% for me, 60% so that other people are protected. I have depression too, and, honestly, my own safety isn’t one of my highest priorities, but I’m not going to be the reason why other people get sick.

The mask-wearing thing is for me though. I will continue wearing masks even after they lower restrictions about wearing masks. I’m more comfortable with a mask on. And besides, I got so used to mouthing words and muttering to myself when I’m in public. That would look really weird without a mask.

So, please PLEASE get vaccinated. If your LGU sucks, sign up somewhere else, but please get vaccinated. I thought about getting rescheduled because I wanted to decline getting Sinovac as a protest but that would be like cutting my nose to spite my face. Look at it this way. It’s better to have sex with a cheaper condom, than risk getting a virulent strain of STD because you went bare.

In other (writing) news, I’m going through a god-awful phase of writer’s block. I always tell myself that the best way to combat writer’s block is to keep writing, and I kept trying to but I really couldn’t focus on anything. It got triggered when I accidentally overwrote my most recent WIP folder with an older version and wiped out more than a week’s worth of work (about 9 chapters across four WIPs). I didn’t want to stress myself more because I almost had a breakdown early last week because I couldn’t move past a paragraph in one of my most favorite WIPs.

I think I’m back though? I mean, I managed to write this many words for this blog, right? So… yay, me?

I’ll give it a try. It’s my Wattpad anniversary too, and I did have plans to update everything on Wattpad, but since A LOT of things happened all at once this month (accidentally/stupidly deleting my work, my birthday, my mom’s birthday, sched for my first dose, family drama, me volunteering to help a friend with her website that I still haven’t been able to work on, finding a new, awesome M/M military romance series to binge on, release day of Nalini Singh”s Archangel’s Light which I’ve been waiting for since the very first Guild Hunters book…), I haven’t had a chance to do anything work-wise. And I wanted to release a new self-pub book next month too! Good luck. Hindi na ako aabot.

But anyway, surprise na lang if ever. I’m starting my work sched again today? Tomorrow? I have a ton of outlines and plans. I just need to move my ass.

Thank you for reading my ramblings as always. And again, PLEASE GET VACCINATED! And PLEASE REGISTER TO VOTE!

Enjoy the rest of your day!

Posted in My Life | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Updates (if you’re interested)

*In Bokuto’s voice” Hey, hey, hey! (Did I already use that to open a blog once? I’d have to check.) Hello there! I hope everyone is doing fine and well despite the world going up in flames (sometimes literally) around us. Kapit lang. We’ll make it.

Anyway, I would like to apologize (again) for missing two months (again) of what I told myself should be a monthly thing (blogging). I’ve vacillated between being busy and being anxious so my energy have been divided between that.

On to the news stuff. And I’d apologize in advance because this is a long, unedited rambling of epic proportions of someone who hasn’t blogged in two months. If you’re still interested (and not afraid), proceed… with caution.

A Moondrop Date

With the “busy” thing, I managed to finish A Moondrop Date *breaks down, sobbing*. I passed it on to my lovely and hard-working editor a week late because I suck at deadlines, and it was the first deadline I’ve had to try to meet in a while so… to be fair to me, one week late isn’t so bad, I think? I used to abandon projects if I’ve been given deadlines because I just breakdown from the pressure. So, yay, me! And thank you, Tin for being the perfect combination of patience and firmness that I made it. We made it. Thank you!!!
The complete (albeit unedited) version of A Moondrop Date is currently (and will always be) posted on my Buy Me A Coffee account for BMC supporters. The digital version will be available soon though! Please keep an eye out for more information on my SNS accounts.

If you’re a supporter on my BMC, I won’t delete the book from the site. There’s no hard feelings if you choose not to purchase the digital copy, I promise. Your support through the site is already more than enough and I am already incredibly grateful.

BMC members, I sent you a message through BMC! I will never stop thanking you for your support, especially during the pandemic, omg! You guys helped me feed my dog and my cats through difficult times, and that alone deserves my gratitude so maraming salamat talaga. Bless each and everyone of you. Sana laging masarap ang ulam at ang tulog ninyo, and may all your dreams come true *tearfully throws fairy dust your way*.

Diamond Sky Incident

You may already know about the Diamond Sky Incident. A reader brought to my attention that there was a missing chapter in the second book of my Soju Sessions Series, and dahil lang ‘yun sa naisip niyang hindi ko gagawin ang gan’ung klaseng cliffhanger thing sa mga kuwento ko. To YOU, maraming salamat. I really appreciate not just letting me know, but also for giving me the benefit of the doubt that I wouldn’t write that story that way. Maraming salamat ulit.
Diamond Sky is actually one of the stories I wanted to tell. I wrote that to make sense (at least to myself) of what had happened to one of my long-time favorite artists, Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, and to the artist who brought me to SHINee, Jonghyun. I didn’t mention this when the book was released because I didn’t want it to look like I’m using them to sell my books. That’s not true, and is, in fact, insulting.

I wrote the book to help myself understand what they did, and how something like that would affect the people who love them. And if I’m being honest, the people who love me had I ended up doing that they did. So it was very personal to me.

And well, to find out that something like that happened, that one of, if not the most important chapters in the story is missing, I think I’m justified when I say I was angry and disappointed.

It was an honest mistake and a layouting error, and I’d admit I also have something to do with it since I keep sending multiple files, and it’s easy to mix them up when I’m really bad at naming them so it’s easy to get confused. Anyway, the publisher already apologized and sent out corrected files. Please check your email account for the download link to the complete book.
If you’re a BMC supported, I also already posted the missing chapter there.

If you’re a BMC supported, I also already posted the missing chapter there.

Wattpad

Ah, that. I keep getting asked about returning to Wattpad. No, I’m not abandoning my Wattpad stories. I’m still clinging to them like a starving mouse clinging to his cube of cheese (though I read somewhere that mice don’t really like cheese, but think of me as a cartoon mouse).
I’m currently writing an update for Marlon. We’re at the HaLo with the Sarreals scene, and at the risk of spoilering things, the chapter after that is a turning point for Marlon and Charlotte so I’m rushing to get there before my Wattpad fatigue sets back in.

I loved Wattpad. I still have a fondness for it because it allowed me to write Ash, to write long-@$$ stories without filter or worrying about word counts or getting it published. It gave me a freedom that I didn’t know I didn’t really have when writing for a publisher. For that, I will always think fondly of Wattpad, and I will never actually abandon anything I write on Wattpad.

I’ve actually searched my soul for the reasons why I’m a little wary of posting there, and I came up with several reasons.

  1. Financial – I need to feed my cats, and writing a Wattpad update eats something from four hours to two days of time I could use to work on something that would let me feed my cats. We’re in the middle of a pandemic. I know we all need something to keep us hopeful and happy, but I honestly can’t spare the time because I have to work two jobs on top of writing, house chores and furmomma duties.
  2. Anxiety – This isn’t a secret. I get anxious when I post new updates. I get anxious when I get notifications about comments. I get anxious when I see how many followers I have. And I get anxious because I’m not in the same frame of mind as I was when I wrote Ash so the other stories aren’t going to be as happy or as light or as funny. I’m retraining myself to just enjoy writing without worrying about what people would think or say. I told myself not to read comments anymore though I sometimes feel like I owe it to the readers since they took the time to comment (but then I’d read a series of comments about how I effed a story up by not giving rich people dishwashers in their houses, and I just want to smash the nearest dishwasher, which in my house, happens to be me). Yeah. But, you know, retraining myself to be zen. Yeah.

But I do miss my Wattpad stories, and I have so many plans, actually for 2020, that I had to adjust for 2021… which looks like I’d also have to adjust for 2022… We’ll see.

On a personal note, I haven’t gotten vaccinated yet. Not even my first dose. I did sign up again for a schedule so hopefully—hopefully—our LGU pulls through this time. I’m supposed to be A3 because I have asthma, though I haven’t had an attack in years. And my anxiety about leaving the house without my sister with me outweighs the need to go to a clinic to get a medical certificate to prove that I have asthma so… But my parents, and my brother and his wife are already fully vaccinated, so it’s just my sister and me (and our youngest, who is nine, and my three-year-old nephew).

Anyway, I think I may have rambled enough…

If you can, PLEASE get vaccinated ASAP. If not for yourself, do it for others who haven’t been yet or who can’t get vaccinated.
And mask up please!

I know there are a lot of heartbreaking things going on today aside from the virus. There’re the wildfires and heat waves in what looks like every corner of the world, the recent deadly earthquake in Haiti, what’s happening in Afghanistan, the disaster that is the pandemic response in our country, but we can’t lose hope. Keep safe and take care of yourselves and of each other!

We’ll make it through. ✨

Posted in Books, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment