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Tara Frejas

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What Summer Crush Means to Me by Six de los Reyes

Summer Crush Reflection Paper                                                                                                         11 April 2017

de los Reyes, Six                                                                                                                                     #romanceclass 2014

 

What Summer Crush Means to Me

 

As much fun as we had planning, plotting, and processing Summer Crush, it was not an easy wave to catch. First of all, it’s hard enough wrestling with all the ideas in our heads, multiply that by three and you get exponential the headaches. And we’re three very different people with very different stories, you see. So different you have to wonder what kind of cosmic event caused our universes to converge.

But there’s music, and bands, and I fan them. I stan Trainman and East Genesis Project. Of course I’d get myself together to do this.

Confession: I didn’t think Tara, Jay and I would work this well together. Sure, on the onset we were friends. In the #romanceclass-someone I see online all the time-goes to all the events sort of way. It wasn’t like I was about to jump on the last bus to La Union and spend the weekend with them or whatever. I had envisioned the process to be be strictly online, an exchange of emails, succinct messages on the chat, and a semi-regularly updated folder on Google Drive. Or so I thought.

I was wrong.

Instead we went out (actually went out and met up IRL) and had conversations that were 15% Summer Crush, 10% abs, and 75% shenanigans and crazy talk. Then we went to La Union, and can I just say I didn’t even want to go? I love the beach. You all know this. I’m a mermaid. What I don’t love is the idea of going outside, public transportation, and people. Many times I had to ask myself, “Am I really doing this?” Was I really going on a trip with new people? Yes, even then, even after a year or so of knowing them, I still thought of Jay and Tara as new people. But I went anyway. Because beach. And I sort of felt like I had to? HAHAHA. So I went. I’m glad I did.

La Union, according to our timetable, was supposed to be our reward for finishing a first draft. A trip to check on the detail work of our short stories and to fine-tune everything else that went with it. Naturally, we went on that trip with about a paragraph each written down, no substantial conflict, and essentially no story. But we had a lot of ideas, and jokes, and interactive moments between our characters so in order for all the fun things to happen, we had to plot around the crazy. We had to make it work somehow. We did. I like to think we made it work.

I also like to think the three of us worked out as well. You don’t spend an entire weekend with each other without all the stressors and anxieties and little things coming up to the surface. Oh, we were passive-aggressive about it, but we’re better friends because of it.

In retrospect, when we decided Friendship was our main objective (I think) we meant it as half a joke. A disclaimer that none of us want to fight over not getting along because, let’s face it, that’s just too much work and we still have to sit together at all the #romanceclass ~Things. Fast forward to today, Friendship is exactly what we got out of this project. Sure, the stress was how do I even describe it? levels, but if there’s one thing I learned from getting stranded at the bus terminal with these two, it’s that I don’t have to go at it on my own anymore.

#SummerBoysAndSummerGirls #EastGenesisProject #Trainman #RhysxArabella #SummerCrush

A post shared by Six de los Reyes (@sixdlr) on

What started out as a simple offhanded comment escalated into one of the most beautiful memories of this lifetime and I am eternally grateful I gave myself the chance to do this–that Jay and Tara also gave themselves the chance to part of this crazy journey with me. Thank you, ladies. It’s been an honor.

We’re doing this again. For sure.

Oh, and other things you don’t get to see in the book:

  • Tara daintily hopping over the hot sand
  • Sleepy-drunk Jay who can’t say no to a challenge
  • Sand in inappropriate places
  • 2AM heart-baring conversations under twinkly lights and paper lanterns
  • The answer is always YES

It wasn’t easy, but all the good things outweigh the bad. So much so I can’t even remember the bad anymore. I’m sure there’s a lot, we wrote a book after all. Having said that, special shoutout to Ines and Miles, thank you for taking this crazy ride with us. Thank you for giving us something to look forward to, thank you for making us look good, and thank you for believing in us.

Our characters have found something they thought they lost at sea at Summer Crush, as have we. Their journey is our journey. I am happy. I’m a happy mermaid who found home out of the sea. And if you’ve read Summer Crush, are reading it, or want to read it, thank you from the bottom of my ocean heart.

Let’s all dance and sing because the night is young and the beach is an embrace and, really, at this point, what’s there to lose?

 

Six

Writing Now

Summer Crush: A Reflection Paper

Submitted by: Tria, J.E.

Section: #romanceclass 2015

Submission date: April 9, 2017

*****************************

We found each other somehow.

That’s how I explain this. Six has a more organized and grounded version of this story in her Author’s Note for Summer CrushThe three of us–Six, Tara, and myself–had this whole thread where we tried to figure out and recall how this collaboration began before she wrote it. I remembered some of the things they said, volunteered some of my own memories. But I think it all came down to that. To how we are three girls who wrote about bands and found each other and tried to do something about that.

And HAHA we did do all the things. We plotted, we threw ideas around like they were free and free flowing. Brain farts and feels floods were welcome. We had many spreadsheets (we love them). We had thoughts and secrets, shared during the bright hours past midnight. We had a trip to La Union for an ocular, of course because we were planning a music festival. I asked for that trip. They ignored me when I first brought it up. So I brought it up again and again until YAY hostel booked! Date marked! Bus seats claimed! WE’RE HERE THERE’S THE BEACH IT’S SO HOT THE SAND IS EVERYWHERE I AM DROWNING IN FEELINGS! We went back home to write (almost forgot this part haha maybe. Kind of. Semi. Ish.) We sought the help of someone who we trusted to rein in our shenanigans while also be accepting of our crazy (we love you, Ines), and someone who could put our neon dreams to book cover life (we love you, Miles). And now after all the fun and agony and laughter and drunken confessions and cat feeding and all the food, TA-DAH! Summer Crush is live.

I’m still amazed that we made it. I guess it helped that we are first and foremost fans of each other’s bands and of each other as people (yes, Six and Tara. I fan you). We knew this interactive world would be a challenge to build, to move around in. We knew we’d low-key disagree on some things and low-key put our foot down on others. But it all worked out. I shit you not, we made it work. Camaraderie was the name of the game. We’re still friends. More so now than ever.

If, right this moment, you own a copy of Summer Crush, we thank you from the bottom of our sun-kissed, sand-covered, sea-drowned hearts. I hope you find joy and sun in our stories to balance out the achy bits. I hope reading it makes you wanna go to the beach, or to a music festival, or to a music festival at the beach. I hope it makes you want to dance like you mean it, like no one’s watching and who effing cares anyway if that’s how you wanna rock and roll. I hope you enjoy a few extra thousand words of our book people who you’ve graciously accepted into your bookish hearts before.

If you are new to our book people, however, a big warm sunshiny welcome to you! Thank you for coming. I hope that you like what you found.

Writing Now

Ready To Meet Your Summer Crush?

Are you ready for summer are you ready for summer? Let the boys and girls of Trainman, East Genesis Project, Arabella and East Dragon Records jump start the long, long, hot days and nights with their stories set in music festival Summer Crush.

One-click now for your all access pass. Do it from today until April 30 and receive a special gift from Six de los Reyes, Tara Frejas, and myself!

It’s bound to be a weekend to remember, we swear it <3

****

When life, love, and rock and roll come together on the sandy beaches of La Union for music festival Summer Crush, expect nothing less than the crashing of lips, bodies, and waves against the shore, against each other, and against your soul.

Allow these three tales of love to take you away for an unforgettable weekend.

Ana’s life as a corporate warrior, graduate student, and girlfriend to indie rock band boy Miki starts to spin out of control, and she wonders if it is love that has to give. (You Only Need Reminding, Jay E. Tria)

Newly reinstated EG Project roadie Filipina Legaspi flies with her band back to the Philippines for Summer Crush, unaware of the emotional waves that engulf her when she sets foot in the beaches of San Juan, La Union. (Almost There, Tara Frejas)

Rhys has three problems: Arabella, the theme song with the Trainguy, and singing live for the first time—and now also on that list is Isaiah, sea-sweet Mango Rum kisses, and long overdue decisions she’s intent on avoiding. (Ocean Eyes, Six de los Reyes)

Edited by Ines Bautista-Yao

Cover by Miles Tan

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 🙂

Book Review

Review and Excerpts: Settle the Score / Hustle Play by Tara Frejas

Settle the Score

College senior Garnet Figueroa lives and breathes basketball. A reliable asset to her varsity team, she is equipped with the skills and smarts to get the De La Sierra Lady Hunters closer to this year’s championship title. But Garnet soon finds out that her good friend (and long-time crush), cheerdancer Charles Crisostomo, is being cheated on by his girl, and she lets her emotions get the best of her.

Will she be able to come up with a game plan to save herself from heartbreak before the buzzer signals Game Over?

Hustle Play

Running on pure adrenaline and working with game strategies is something a basketball player like Garnet Figueroa is trained for. On the court, she is unbeatable. Off the court… that’s a completely different story.

Because falling in love is trickier than a ball game, and Garnet finds herself fumbling over her feelings for Charles Crisostomo. The fact that her attention gets divided between him and rival school hard-court hottie Chris Barcelo doesn’t help.

Or does it?

***

Review

You can never go wrong with a Tara Frejas book. I love Garnet and Charles, and I love how Frejas explores the changes in their dynamics from Settle the Score to Hustle Play. Plus it’s a male cheerleader and a female basketball player! Set in the Philippines! If you live here too, you’d have an idea how intensely invested Filipinos are to both sports, especially on the collegiate level, and the switch from the usual gender assignments brings a new layer to this sports-oriented, friends-to-lovers romance. I really wish Frejas will write more stories from this universe 🙂

Read an Excerpt from Settle the Score Continue Reading