Browsing Category

Writing Now

Writing Now

Cover Reveal: Waiting in the Wings by Tara Frejas

New book alert! Tara Frejas has a new book out and yay check out that gorgeous cover. Synopsis below too to get you more hyped up for this release.

***

Genre: Romance / NA / Contemporary
Release Date: February 21, 2017
Book Cover Design by: Miles Tan

Synopsis:

At twenty-three, theatre actress Erin Javier has yet to fall in love or kiss a boy offstage and away from the klieg lights. She’s the perfect leading lady—whose heart men would fight for, win, and protect—unfortunately, only until the curtains fell and the lights went down. In real life, Erin’s a certified NBSB whose heart’s been hoping for a song to dance to for quite some time.

But when two (two!) men enter from stage left and right, Erin is confused. Who deserves to take center stage in her heart—Mr. Theatre Royalty whose attention and displays of affection make her pulse race, or a good friend whose steady support has helped steer her to success and allowed her to fulfill her dream?

Add Waiting in the Wings on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34102210-waiting-in-the-wings

Writing Now

2016 – The Bookish Year That Was

It feels good to do this again, because it tells me that 2015 was not a fluke or a very vivid daydream, but was something that really happened and led to more things in 2016, writing and publishing-wise.

In 2016, I:

 

  • Wrote a children’s short story for Bayong ng Kuting called The Kitten She Didn’t Love, loosely based on the love-hate relationship between my sister and our indomitable male feline, Bing. This may be a trope.
  • Wrote a story spiral for Ines Bautista-Yao’s blog, starring Miki, because some days my feelings belong to him.
  • Attended a YA writing class organized by Bronze Age Media and facilitated by Ines, because I liked hanging out with the people and because my YA wheels needed oiling.

 

  • Participated in Manila International Book Fair on the first year that #romanceclass had a booth. It felt surreal. Until now I know my understanding of its significance remains dim and narrow. Suffice it to see though that our booth was right in front of National Bookstore, but our books were being bought anyway, such that panic-reprinting and restocking had to happen. Suffice it to see how the community came together, in manning the booth and playing tindera for the day and hollering mamser, pagibig? and recommending each other’s works to readers. There was already boundless joy and pride in that.
  • Felt kilig over and over again in live readings. In April Feels Day (special kilig because theater actor Jef Flores read as Miki from Songs to Get Over You), Feels Rush In, All The Feels, and Feels Fest.

 

  • Met wonderful new people—fellow writers, readers, both local and international. Saw a bit of how people in other places responded to my books, and got the happy surprise of seeing them accept my book people too.
  • Signed up for my second Mina V. Esguerra workshop, #romanceclass2017, a thing that is carrying me through to 2017. That and a fun project with #romanceclass chicas Six delos Reyes and Tara Frejas.

I ended my 2015 post with a list of goals, and I am happy to have checked them all off in 2016, at least at the minimum. So I thought a new list would be a good way of ending this post too.

In 2017, I will:

  • Write and finish my #romanceclass2017 manuscript. This is uncharted territory for me, because of the POV, the steam level challenge, and largely because this is a new universe, not the familiar terrain of my band boys and girl in the Playlist series. Scareciting. I’m building a Pinterest board as I write, because I do that now, apparently (visuals are important). Check it out if you’re curious? 🙂 https://www.pinterest.com/jayetria/where-this-takes-us/
  • Write one more book, maybe YA. Maybe Nino, or Kim, or someone yet to be imagined. Will see where my feelings will take me.
  • Publish one to two books.
  • Work on the fun, secret-for-now project with Six and Tara.
  • Go out and go places and do new things for feelings, special challenge dated 12-10-2016 in mind.
  • Rest and recharge haha because sometimes I don’t like to do this until my body breaks down and forces me to. And being forced to rest doesn’t feel restful at all, if that makes sense.

Every year is bound to be better than the last. That’s a good way to look at things, right? I’m going to keep that in mind. Hello 2017! I hope you’re ready for more of my words and feelings 🙂

Life and Lemons Writing Now

2016 Gratitude

The tougher the year, the more important it is to look for the good things, because they are all there. In red letter dates and normal dates, in moments and in people. Ines has been reminding me to write down my 2016 gratitude, partly because she knows she’ll be in it, but also because she’s right. Remembering and taking time to be grateful is important, even more so now.

I am grateful for family. For fights over unwashed dishes and barrel-bolted doors, and un-knotted garbage bags and missed curfews. (Curfews! Curfews, still, mother??) Because these mean I have sisters and parents to have the fights with, and we’re never really that angry anyway.

I am grateful for friends and safe spaces. They say it’s harder to find friends as you get older, but maybe not. I think when you grow older it gets easier to spot a kindred spirit, your panic room, someone who will understand even just one small corner of who you are. Maybe it’s that small, dark corner that gets wider, deeper, and hurts more some days, and you’ll find someone who will be ready to pull you out, or stay with you, whatever it is you need. I am grateful I found friends like that this year. Ines, Caryn, Agay, Six, Tara, Dawn. Thank you.

I am grateful for travel, and for Aze, Chuks and Sunny, friends who are willing to get lost and found with me, endure what I turn into when I’m hungry, hot, excited, frustrated, and weary. I am grateful for spring and summer, for long walks and mosh pits. 2016 was Tokyo and Osaka. Cherry blossoms, a stock market field trip, Tsukiji again for mind-bending sushi, takoyaki and okonomiyaki, Summer Sonic with half-naked, half-baked Charlie Puth, wonderful, swaying Matty, Weezer and Panic! and Baby Metal (will stop here, this is a long list).

I am grateful for food. Dear God, thank you for food. I sure ate a lot of pancakes and sushi and cake this past year.

I am grateful for work. For people who make it just a little bit more intense, but still more fun, less like work. For officemates who take time to visit my cubicle and distract me from work, because sometimes I need that. I always promise not to take work too seriously, and I always break it. Maybe serious is okay? Maybe serious means I don’t hate it like I did the old one, and I appreciate it for what it is, and what it allows me to do.

I am grateful for art. For art fairs, museums, postcards, movies and theater, so much theater. For music. For borrowed acoustic guitars, for OPM and gigs. For that moment when you’re in the middle of the crowd, swimming in sound, the drumbeat moving inside you, and you’re there, you’re present, so present, but you’re also somewhere else. In that line of the song that talks about your life in abstract, or in minute detail. In that beat when the vocalist’s eyes catch you, and you both smile, because maybe that was his favorite line in the song too. I listened and liked a few new local acts last year, but the standouts remain to be the greats from my high school days. Sandwich, Ely, Ebe, Parokya ni Edgar (with Vinci, please). Rakenrol hanggang umaga.

I am grateful for books. Dawn said there are still so many songs for me to listen to, and I said that’s like telling me there are still so many books to be read. Both are true, and it makes me panic a little sometimes. But it just means we will never run out, doesn’t it? There will always be words that will take us places while we’re reading in bed or in line at the grocery or sneakily in our cubicles when there’s a report to be finished. I am grateful for books I have written, books I am writing, books I still want to write.

I am grateful for #romanceclass, because you are friendship; a safe space. You are work, and you are books. And you are a promise of more things to look forward to. We will never run out.

 

Writing Now

Christmas Feelings and A Dancing Idol

Well, at least Shinta Mori is supposed to look like he is dancing, as required by his contract, on top of other silly, festive things like a fried chicken commercial and a variety show appearance with a cute actress. It was all colors of fun and funny; a rising Japanese actor like him has little to complain about. But he can’t wait to get through all these and fly to Manila to spend Christmas with his mother. And when a friend blurts out a careless little observation about the girl Shinta can’t stop thinking about, it was all he could do to keep himself from burning his obligations and taking the first flight out to see her.

Christmas Chicken Dance, a Playlist short track, is one of the many short stories in the anthology Make My Wish Come True. This is the first ever #romanceclass Christmas anthology, and we hope you’ll find your fruitcake of choice among our many, varied holiday feels.

Get the ebook here.

Order the print book here. You can ask me about shipping or pick it up on December 10, Saturday, 1 to 4 pm at Blacksoup Café and Artspace, Maginhawa, QC. Because of course we’re having a Christmas party, and you’re invited 🙂

 

Get ready for feels this holiday season with Make My Wish Come True, a Christmas anthology by #romanceclass authors. Join a Kris Kringle and receive the perfect gift, or learn how to survive your first Christmas in Manila and the steps you need to take to be with the one you love. Go to parties that will not go according to plan, feel the cold (and probably humid) December air as you explore city streets, and count down to five minutes to Christmas. Meet kind strangers and friends that remind you of home, and discover that the one who’ll make your holidays better has been beside you all along. With seventeen stories, there’s something for you here no matter what feels you want and need. Fall in love this Christmas with #romanceclass!

Featuring stories from:

Ysa Arcangel * Ines Bautista-Yao * Racquel Sarah A. Castro * Suzette de Borja * Carla de Guzman * Six de los Reyes * Mina V. Esguerra * Tara Frejas * Dawn Lanuza * Chris Mariano * Bianca Mori * Chrissie Peria * Chi Yu Rodriguez * C.P. Santi * Kate Sebastian * Miles Tan * Ana Tejano * Jay E. Tria * Celestine Trinidad

Cover design by: Miles Tan
Edited by: Rix Forto

make-my-wish-come-true-christmas-romance-shinta-mori-jay-e-tria

Music Dance and Lyrics Writing Now

Soundtrack to Make You Stay

This playlist for Songs to Make You Stay is a mixture of music I listened to between writing (cos I need silence to write. Please don’t turn Brooklyn Nine-Nine on now, sister, have mercy), music I imagined blaring out of the speakers at Commute Bar between sets, and in Doozy Book Cafe and Bar on that first Gig Night. Bulding this playlist was extra fun because a lot of these songs were new to me, some of which I won’t even normally listen to. And it’s fun finding new music to like. It’s one of the best surprises.

So here, enjoy Shinta and Jill’s feelings in song format. I hope you find a few good surprises too.

Pavement. Summer Babe

Bon Iver. Holocene  Continue Reading

Writing Now

#FeelsFest Recap. The Day Was Aptly Named

You’d think after #AprilFeelsDay, #FeelsRushIn and MIBF I’d be immune to the waves of emotions brought about by each #romanceclass Feels Day. You would think. But like every fresh listen to a song or  instance of a kiss, each time is different from the last. There is always something new, a new feeling to discover.

ATM. #feelsfest #romanceclass #supportfilipinoauthors

A post shared by Miel Salva (@mielsalva) on

 

Last Saturday, October 22 was #FeelsFest, and for this there were new activities, new gimmicks, some tweaks in the experiment. There were old friends to hug and new faces to meet and enjoy the day with. There were also games and amazing prizes, and more stickers, shirts and other merchandise too. We even had a photo booth of sorts thanks to the funky visual aids and a very photogenic brick wall.

ATM. #feelsfest #romanceclass #supportfilipinoauthors

A post shared by Miel Salva (@mielsalva) on

#feelsfest loot! 😍 #Romanceclass

A post shared by Irish Sanchez (@jrasnchz) on

 

There were also new books. A lot of new books. 20 or so titles lovingly created and launched by the authors (raises hand) in five-minute intervals.

Feelings for sale. #FeelsFest #romanceclass

A post shared by Kat Sales (@saberkite) on

 

But before that there were the live readings. We have this every time. These performances always comprise the highlight of each event. But as with everything else, the readings were not only unique per book, but were also distinctive of the actor performing (they’ve been assigned their own tropes, by the way. Don’t tell them). Even the same actor who’s done this for us many times could still surprise us and throw us into a fit of squeals and high jumps. I’m looking at you, G. Thank you/love you.

Moments during the live readings. ❤️ #romanceclass #FeelsFest

A post shared by Fay, not Faye 🦋 (@mileventwelve) on

To the Authors & Storytellers you guys are awesome! Thanks for the feels. #polexplores #romanceclass #feelsfest

A post shared by John Paul Favila (@juanpoldo) on

 

If you weren’t there, here’s a big hug. Because if you like books, romance, and feelings, cute actors and authors who are always always happy to see you, you really did miss a lot. Make sure to drop by next time, yes?

If you were there, here’s a big hug too. Big big hug. Thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my overflowing heart. Thank you for picking up our books, for reading them and talking about them. For loving our book people the way we do, and sharing your love to others. I came into this community with a weird J-dorama book and not much of a clue what I signed up for. I still am not sure what I signed up for sometimes, because #romanceclass people are crazy HAHA. But it’s the kind of crazy that keeps me on the edge, exhilarated as I anticipate the next thing, and the next. Because I know there will be feelings, and more awesome new things. There will be surprises, and escalation. And when we squeal and jump again it will be louder and higher than the last.

Pahabol photos from Saturday's event, part 1. With Ron, Jay, and Six. ❤ #romanceclass #FeelsFest

A post shared by Tara (@twostepflight) on

It is my pride and privilege to call this bunch of authors family. #romanceclass

A post shared by Tara Frejas (@tarafrejas) on

***

#FeelsFest happened on October 22, 2016. 12-6pm, Glorietta 5 Atrium. Live readings featured actors Gio Gahol, Rachel Coates, Gab Pangilinan and Herv Alvarez, and books by Stella Torres, C.P. Santi, Ines Bautista-Yao, Ana Tejano, Dawn Lanuza and Mina V. Esguerra.

 
#romanceclass is a community of romance authors and readers, founded by author/publisher/Queen of Feels Mina V. Esguerra. To check out the growing list of our books, go to romanceclassbooks.com. Check out our podcast here too, and then the videos below for a more visual explanation.