Guest Post ~ Procrastination Station: Kate Sebastian’s Writing Tools

You may be wondering why I titled this guest post “Procrastination Station”; pure and simple, it’s because I am a notorious procrastinator, as any of my writing buddies will tell you. That means I can spend hours, days, even weeks not writing what I should be writing, and then power through five, ten, or even twenty thousand words in a day in order to beat a deadline. Yes, I’ve done 20,000 words in 24 hours before.

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But this means I have two writing modes: what I call my “casual” mode, where I write what I want when I feel like it, and my “beast” mode, where I pound away at the keys because I’m desperate to meet a deadline. And the way I work in these two modes are very different, as I’ll outline via the tools I use.

CASUAL MODE

I’ve found that writing in “casual” mode helps me churn out stories that require less editing, as my plots tend to have fewer WTF holes (what I call it when I write myself into a corner only a major rewrite can fix) and even my grammar and spelling tend to be better. Unfortunately, I’m also much more open to distractions when I don’t have a deadline looming over me, so books that get written in this mode aren’t always delivered speedily (like my current WIP). Here are my requirements for a writing session in this mode:

Writing Implement of Choice: Pen and Paper, Voice Recorder

Yes, I go really old-school with this! I think it’s the secret to why my writing ends up better, because I write so slowly my words have more time to come together as fully formed thoughts. Then when I transcribe what I’ve written (I used to use yWriter or Evernote, but am a recent recruit into the cult of Scrivener users), I frequently already start implementing edits at that stage.

A new thing I have also recently been doing is dictating a dialogue-heavy scene into a recording app on my phone, then transcribing it. One problem I’ve noticed is that sometimes dialogue can come out stilted when it only exists on paper, so I’ve been making an effort to make this come to life a bit more.

Research Tool: The Internet

Now, this is a very dangerous tool for a writer because sometimes you fall down the rabbit hole of click bait and emerge hours later not having written a word. And I’ve learned a lot from this type of research, often things not relevant to the book I’m writing.

Mood Music: None

I actually work best without a playlist for this kind of writing. Although I frequently do it in coffee shops (or my favorite gelato shop), so I get music whether I like it or not.

Fuel: Coffee and Chocolate

Both sweet (my coffee does not have to have milk in it) and caffeinated, I credit at least half of all the words I’ve ever written to these must-haves!

BEAST MODE

I’m a total grouch when writing in this mode. “Don’t talk to me” becomes my favorite and most frequently uttered sentence. Distractions are quashed ruthlessly, and I don’t even need Write or Die to hit kamikaze mode. Sadly, typos and plot holes are more likely when I’m writing in this mode, simply because the words go from mind to fingertips to screen with very little delay. I was in writing in this mode while writing Old Enemies Make the Best Lovers. I wrote the first draft (9,000 words) in one night, then after getting my beta readers’ comments come in and having a think about what was wrong with that draft, I ended up rewriting the whole thing in about three days, coming up with just under 22,000 words this time—and only about two pages of those were copied over from the first draft.

Writing Implement of Choice: Any Darned Thing!

I have been known to write on the backs of receipts and my cellphone in this mode (which, let me tell you, was a pain back in the days before smartphones). I much prefer using my computer, though, or my iPad-and-keyboard combo, simply because they let the writing go as fast as I need it to.

Research Tools: None

I don’t research in this mode because I know I’m a fish that likes to chase after click bait rather than a shark who chomps down on prey when it comes to snippets of information. What I do instead is leave a bracketed note to myself like this: [insert: name of exchange student] or [research: types of engagement rings]. Then I’ll go back and fill in the blanks later on.

Mood Music: Earworms and Action-Flick Themes

My default music in this mode tends to be fast-paced, but the actual songs I’ve used in the past have varied, even if they don’t really fit the type of story I’m writing. I usually like to use action-flick theme songs as go-to mood music (the theme song for Pacific Rim is a particular favorite of mine), although when I find myself with an earworm (or LSS, as we call it here in the Philippines), I will ride that baby on repeat ‘til I run out of juice. For Old Enemies Make the Best Lovers, I had four songs that pulled me through 12 chapters (and I wonder if you can recognize which songs were on repeat for which chapters!): “Redemption Song” by Bob Marley and the Wailers, “Zombie” by the Cranberries, “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers, and “Timber” by Pitbull featuring Ke$ha.

Fuel: Coffee, Coffee, Coffee!

Honestly, I will very often forget to eat or drink or even go to the bathroom when in beast mode, but when I emerge enough to remember I need hydration, I usually go sniffing for coffee (even though I know that’s terrible for hydration). Fortunately, I have a husband who supports my writing so he will sometimes just randomly put food and drinks in front of me when I’m on full-on beast writing mode.

Does anyone else turn into a different person when a deadline looms close? I’d love to hear how that works out for you! I don’t publish 90% of the books and stories I write, although I have recently been persuaded to revisit old drafts and prep them for publishing once I finish my current WIP. Once I’ve published more novellas and full-on novels, I’ll be curious to know which are better received: the ones written in “beast” mode or my more “casual” stories!

Author Bio:

Kate Sebastian has been crafting stories since she was tiny. She spent her childhood reimagining classic fairy tales and inventing new ones, then having her dolls and stuffed toys reenact them in elaborate sets she built by rearranging the furniture in her house.

She earns a good living as a writer, editor, and online content admin but decided to try her hand at writing romance since she reads so much of it.

For more updates, visit http://www.katesebastian.com, like Kate’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/katesebastianauthor and follow her on Twitter @ImKateSebastian.

Follow links:

Website: http://katesebastian.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/katesebastianauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ImKateSebastian
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8202657.Kate_Sebastian
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Kate-Sebastian/e/B01AZLX1U4

 

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Cover Reveal: Prom Queen Perfect by Clarisse David

Today is the cover reveal for Prom Queen Perfect by Clarisse David. This cover reveal is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours.

Prom Queen PerfectProm Queen Perfect
By Clarisse David
Genre: Romance
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: July 7, 2016

Blurb:
Being perfect isn’t supposed to be this hard.

Alex dela Cruz has it all. Looks, money, and a killer sense of style.

When the annoyingly gorgeous Adam Cordero calls her selfish, she decides to prove him wrong by transforming Christy Marquez from an invisible misfit into a ruling princess of Asia Pacific Academy. Great hair? Check. Flawless red lipstick? Check. Instant popularity? A slightly too big check.

But now, Alex is on the brink of losing the plastic tiara she’s supposed to get as prom queen, her best friend, and her heart to the unlikeliest of candidates. Too bad she isn’t letting anything—or anyone—get between her and that tiara.

You can find Prom Queen Perfect on Goodreads

Clarisse DavidAbout the Author:
Clarisse David is a Young Adult and New Adult author from the land of epic heat waves a.k.a. the Philippines. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Literature and cannot survive without Taylor Swift songs, red lipstick, and books. When not hanging out on Twitter, she can be found working on her latest writing project.

You can find and contact Clarisse here:
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Excerpt: Old Enemies Make The Best Lovers by Kate Sebastian

“You don’t mind sitting up front, do you?” Victor asked Christy. He smiled. “I’ll introduce you to Kyle.”

“Actually,” she said, glancing toward the car, where she could see the outline of her nemesis’s head and shoulders on the driver’s side, “we’ve met. Ages ago. He was a couple of years ahead of me in high school.”

Victor’s eyebrows winged up, and he grinned. “What a coincidence.”

“Not a happy one,” she muttered.

“Sorry?”

“Nothing,” she said hastily. “I’m all good.”

He closed the rear door on the SUV and led the way back to the front, where he opened the passenger side door. “Hey, Kyle, this is Christy. I think you know her from high school? She’ll be sitting up front so my girl and I can neck in the backseat.” This was punctuated by a “Woohoo!” from Tracy, which had Christy grinning even as she came face-to-face with the specter of her high school horror days.

Even though a dozen years had passed since she’d last seen him, she still recognized Kyle Quinto. And she was sorry to see that his Facebook photo—in which he’d looked buff, tanned, and absolutely yummy—had been a recent one. A small part of her had hoped he’d be fat and balding prematurely, but he had a full head of black hair any woman would enjoy running her fingers through, and the white button-down shirt he was wearing did little to hide his flat stomach. She was doubly glad she’d gone shopping that week.

He was wearing shades, so she couldn’t see his eyes. It was too bad because she would have liked to be able to gauge the sincerity of the roguish smile he gave her. “Christina Martinez,” he drawled. “Now that’s a blast from the past.”

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From: Old Enemies Make the Best Lovers
by Kate Sebastian
#BuqoSteamyReads
Contemporary Romance
Released April 1, 2015

Blurb:

Christy Martinez may have been a nerd and the number one victim for the mean girls in her high school, but she’s since grown up, gone to college, and carved out a successful career for herself. Now in her late 20s, she’s put high school behind her, only to be blindsided by a blast from her past.

She and her friends have planned a much-needed vacation, but she finds out at the last minute that they’ll be joined by uber rich and gorgeous Kyle Quinto. He just happens to be the guy who played a cruel trick on her in high school, breaking her heart and making her a target for bullying in the process.

Can Christy forgive and forget? Because Kyle is a whole lot of hot.

Read/Buy Links:

Amazon (Kindle): http://bit.ly/OEMTBL-Amazon
Barnes & Noble (Nook): http://bit.ly/OEMTBL-BN
iBooks: http://bit.ly/OEMTBL-iTunes
Smashwords: http://bit.ly/OEMTBL-Smash
Buqo: http://bit.ly/OEMTBL-Buqo
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/OEMTBL-Goodreads

Author Bio:

Kate Sebastian has been crafting stories since she was tiny. She spent her childhood reimagining classic fairy tales and inventing new ones, then having her dolls and stuffed toys reenact them in elaborate sets she built by rearranging the furniture in her house.

She earns a good living as a writer, editor, and online content admin but decided to try her hand at writing romance since she reads so much of it.

For more updates, visit http://www.katesebastian.com, like Kate’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/katesebastianauthor and follow her on Twitter @ImKateSebastian.

Follow links:

Website: http://katesebastian.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/katesebastianauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ImKateSebastian
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8202657.Kate_Sebastian
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Kate-Sebastian/e/B01AZLX1U4

Book Review: Two for the Show by Megan Derr

Nikko needs a scandal. Something, anything, that will keep media eyes on him and far away from the fight for his deadbeat brother’s children. When he sees Jake Hallow in a bar, it seems a perfect solution. What would cause more noise than planting a kiss on a ruler-straight country star? He didn’t expect Jake to kiss him back.

Jake’s faced a lot of surprises in the forty-four years he’s been alive. But being kissed senseless by the beautiful Nikko Star is something else entirely, and he doesn’t at all know what to do with the long-banked feelings that Nikko turns into a blaze. Or the disappointment he feels when he learns the real reason Nikko kissed him.

But hearing Nikko’s story, Jake decides to help, and agrees to give the world a fake love affair for the sake of protecting a couple of kids. And he’s always believed in putting on one hell of a show—no matter how much it leaves him hurting when the lights go down.

About Megan Derr

Megan is a long time resident of m/m fiction, and keeps herself busy reading, writing, and publishing it. She is often accused of fluff and nonsense. When she’s not involved in writing, she likes to cook, harass her cats, or watch movies (especially all things James Bond). She loves to hear from readers, and can be found all around the internet.

maderr.com
maderr.tumblr.com
maderr.livejournal.com
lessthanthreepress.com
@amasour

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My Review
Warning: Review is angsty plus it contains spoilers
My rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 out of 5 stars

I loved Two for the Show! It is a quick read and the story is straightforward and uncomplicated yet sweet and heartbreaking.<3

Nikko has to find a way how to distract the paparazzi always tailing him for fresh news if he wanted their noses out of his custody battle with his brother for his nephews.

This story struck a chord within me because the children reminded me of myself and my cousins when we were kids. My cousins’ father, my uncle, was most often tying one of them with a rope and hanging him upside down or whipping them with an uninsulated electrical wire or putting one of my cousins inside a sack. For three years I bore witness to the atrocities committed by a father to his own children and a decade later, when one of those cousins died, I would dream of these incidents over and over.

So I guess this is why I loved this book. Apart from the fact that I love Megan’s flawless writing and how effortless she weaved the scenes of the story together. I loved that Nikko loved his nephews, that he cared enough to look after them and take them in.

Maybe a huge part of me wished someone saved us from a similar situation. But I also acknowledge that I should have told an adult or two about our situation in the house then maybe someone really would.

Since my grandparents died, a lot of people wanted to take me away from home: my uncle Dieg, my godmother,  my English teacher who got alarmed at the essay I wrote for the class. No, I didn’t write about the domestic abuse but I told him I have no family because they are all dead and while I did have a sister, she was in Manila; I did have a father but I have yet to meet him as did my brother. To my teacher, this sounded off because I lived with my cousins, aunt, and uncle. Why did I not talk about them in my essay instead? My wise teacher had read between the lines and told the nuns who ran our school who, in turn, talked to me and tried to pry the truth out of me.

For the first time I would lie knowingly. The only thing running in my head at the time was how the nuns would take me away from home. I couldn’t leave my cousins behind, so I lied my way out. I told her yes, we have food at home. Yes, we eat three times a day. Yes, I have lunch money every day. Yes, my aunt and uncle were taking good care of us. It didn’t occur to me to tell them my problem lay on how my uncle would beat the shit out of an “errant” family member.

By the end of that school year I would leave the house anyway. I’d had enough. For three years I stood and watched in silence as these things happen and then one day I discovered my sister Ate Mae’s letters in one of our cabinets in second floor, torn to shreds. How long had my aunt been doing this? Did she do this while my grandmother waited for my sister’s letters when she went to Manila for college? For over a year my grandma waited and waited for the letters that never came.

And then she died thinking my sister had forgotten us.

The thoughts racing in my head over and over enraged me. How Nanay waited and waited, how worried, disappointed, and sad she felt. How cruel my aunt was for doing that. Oh I knew why she did it. My aunt did it for the small amount of money my sister had inserted on the letter.

Minutes later when my aunt came upstairs I made sure she knew I was pissed. All those years of holding back and then just like that, I threw the cabinet doors closed with a loud bang.

I made sure she saw the pieces of paper, my sister’s handwriting visible. I scowled at her. These things are a no-no in the Filipino culture.The kids aren’t supposed to talk back, fight, scowl, etc. etc. on their elders.

If I said something about the letter directly I have no recollection. I have no idea either if she understood why I got angry but the next thing I know she was hitting me with her slippers and then she was dragging me down the stairs and I was thinking, why am I here? Why did I not leave this wretched place?

After that incident I wasted no time. I sent word to my uncle via my sister, would they please get me the fuck out of there when the school year ends? No, I didn’t use those words but close. I asked my best friend Jihan to mail the letter for me and from then on, Ate Mae addressed all her letters for me to Jihan.

I left town at thirteen with a resolve to come back for my cousins but when I did, I couldn’t take them away and then one of them died hence the beginning of my many regrets.

So yeah, I may or may not have cried while reading this book. I thought that every kid should have an uncle like Nikko and every Nikkos out there deserved a Jake by their side. 🙂 Maybe it’s why I read fiction, too. In fiction, kids suffer but as a rule they cannot die. They get to have their happy ending, too.

Five stars for Two for the Show from me. That the story is music-themed is a bonus, the audition scenes being my most favorite part of the book.

Go read the story here:

https://www.wattpad.com/story/50968984-two-for-the-show

Guest Post by AF Henley: Wolf, en Garde ~ Blog Tour and Giveaway

Wolf Animation GIF Header.gif

In my limited experience with during blog tours, one thing stands out more than the rest: it gets harder and harder to think of something even mildly amusing or semi-entertaining to put at the beginning of them. My life, no word of a lie, is just not that interesting and I shudder to think of that moment when someone ends up leaving the comment, “you’ve said that before.” Or, as my mind will hear it, “Yes, yes; you’ve already told us that story five hundred times.”

So while I may have mentioned this already in my Road Trip blog tour (honestly, I can’t remember if I did), it is applicable so I will use it and I ask you to pretend you haven’t read it if you have…

I haven’t done a lot of travelling, but of the few places that I’ve driven through there were two that gave me the creeps: Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, D.C. I like to tell people that I’m sensitive to certain things (mostly I just watch too many movies), and I can say without doubt that those two cities pinged all kinds of “stay the f*ck away” bells. With Baltimore I guess I can understand. They’ve got one of the highest ranking violent crime rates in the country, and I have to imagine that if there is a cloud of presence that amasses above certain places, it must be a particularly nasty one over that stretch of land. As for Washington, though, I don’t quite get my oogie-boogieness over that one. It’s a beautiful city, with a lot of history, character, and monuments. Regardless, I always get all kinds of creepy-crawlies from the city and I avoid it completely whenever I can.

So, it made sense for me to make it the setting for Wolf, en Garde, and not just because that’s where Randy’s family lived. In my next post I’ll tell you about one of the creepier locations in the novel, but for this teaser I wanted to show you Washington as Lyle experiences it, alongside one of the locals.

Just a reminder, be sure to read through to the end of the post to find out how you could win your very own signed, print copy of Wolf en Garde, a sterling silver (nickel and lead-free) Howling Wolf Bangle, and a $20 gift certificate to the Less Than Three Press book market!

Tiny Teaser: Introducing – Washington, D.C.

They ran until Lyle’s legs were exhausted and trembling—down alleys and up staircases, over rooftops and across yards. They watched the fog crawl over the city and sat in silence as wanderers made cautious quick steps along sidewalks and walkways. Lyle was introduced to views that transported him back to time before industry and then in the next instant, at a turn of a corner or a shift in direction, had him staring in awe at just how far man had come and all that could be done with tools and equipment and engineering. It was a remarkable city; that Lyle had already known from his earlier trip out with the family. To see it at night, though—while streetlights cast halos through the fog, and headlights bore all but useless slivers of luminance into the darkness—was magical. Ethereal, even.

For a time, real life ceased to exist and Lyle became part of the fairytale. They were the villains of the brother Grimms’ pens, the dark shadows that children whispered breathlessly about, and no one was huffing for Lyle to stay away or hulk back, or admonishing him for his vile existence. With Arius, he belonged on the streets. They were the masters of the dark and the princes of nightmares, complete with Arius’s windblown hair, his own ruffled fur, and their shared grins over the tension in the shoulders and mumbles of the few that unknowingly passed them by. For though he and Arius weren’t seen, they were felt—Lyle could sense it in everything from scent to expression.

They ended their journey by the small plaza where they’d met, but it wasn’t the surface of the park that Arius led Lyle to. Instead, they began to descend into the underpass that had caught Lyle’s attention that first night he’d been out. The light inside the underpass was a sickly, jaundiced yellow. The smell of gasoline and diesel emanated from the open mouth of the entrance and lingered on all the surfaces—roadway, walkway, walls and ceiling. Rainbow remnants of oil slithered and pooled between the white lines of the asphalt. Though the city kept the structure sound and (Lyle had to assume) safe, there was an atmosphere to the underpass that made Lyle’s skin shiver under his fur. Without realizing he was doing it, Lyle tucked his head and pricked his ears up and forward.

Wolf, en Garde Excerpt
© AF Henley, 2016

Blurb

Wolf, en Garde

Three years ago Lyle made a mistake that cost him his freedom, and almost his life. Now, sick to death of watching his father love the man that Lyle wanted, Lyle accepts an offer to leave Wolf, WY behind and see what life in Washington, D.C. can do for him instead.

When Lyle comes across a seductive, attractive stranger with a fascinating yet terrifying view of humanity, he’s more than intrigued. It doesn’t take Lyle long to realize that Arius isn’t just playing games, though, and when Lyle runs across a secret in Arius’ lair he has no choice but to flee, even knowing his actions will enrage Arius.

On the run, with only a psychic’s second sight and his own instinct to help him, Lyle has nowhere to go but home. The only question is, will they have him when he shows up.

Genre: Gay, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Notes: Wolf, WY contains some explicit and violent content
Book 2 in the Wolf series

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Purchasing Link – save 15% by preordering your copy today! Discount available until May 17th

The Giveaway

Wolf en Garde Giveaway

On behalf of the tour, please join the giveaway by taking part in the Rafflecopter below. The prize consists of a sterling silver (nickel and lead-free) Howling Wolf charm bangle, a $20 Gift Certificate to the Less Than Three Press book market (free books!), and a signed, print copy of Wolf, WY.

For all the terms and conditions, please check out the t’s and c’s posted on the Rafflecopter.

** Please note that this giveaway is being offered tour-wide and there will be one winner awarded for the entire event.

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A great big thank you, as always, to Cinderella Stories for having me back as a guest. It’s an honour and a pleasure to be here, and I can’t thank you enough for all that you do, as I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without you. 🙂

And another huge thank you to you, my friends, for reading and joining me. Best of luck with the giveaway and I hope you enjoyed the post!

Until next time,

AF Henley ❤

About the Author

AF Henley_Avatar croppedHenley was born with a full-blown passion for run-on sentences, a zealous indulgence in all words descriptive, and the endearing tendency to overuse punctuation. Since the early years Henley has been an enthusiastic writer, from the first few I-love-my-dog stories to the current leap into erotica.

A self-professed Google genius, Henley lives for the hours spent digging through the Internet for ‘research purposes’ which, more often than not, lead seven thousand miles away from first intentions but bring Henley to new discoveries and ideas that, once seeded, tend to flourish.

Henley has been proudly publishing with Less Than Three Press since 2012.

For more information, please stop by for a visit at afhenley.com.

No Goodbyes

eugene 2

Eugene and I manning our booth at a company exhibit

I lost a good friend yesterday.

I didn’t even know he was sick. I mean, the last five years or so of my life have been chaotic and that’s probably an understatement.

Apparently Eugene had been feeling sick on and off the entire year last year and finally he got hospitalized in December, even spending Christmas in a hospital room.

He underwent a battery of tests that resulted to three chemotherapies and yesterday, his body succumbed to lymphoma. The cancer has said to metastasized to his brain.

But Eugene had put on a good fight. He fought even when the doctors had already stopped the treatment because he was no longer responding. He fought and at some point he managed to stand up again but sadly, it would never be.

I still remember the first time I met him—him and Bevs, our other friend and coworker—we were all fresh out of college. The three of us all started at around the same time and I noted at once how different the two of us were. Where Bevs and I were quiet and reserved Eugene was outgoing, outspoken, articulate, and friendly.

company outings

First Christmas Party (left photo, Eugene wearing red shirt) and last (right) summer company outing (swimming in Calamba right in the middle of a storm).

Working together coupled with company outings and Christmas parties helped develop our friendship. It was inevitable, we worked in a small company and everyone, with the passage of time, became friends and eventually we called each other family.

@Richmonde Hotel3

Christmas Party ’03 (picture nicked from my cousin, Ate Van)

We worked hard, partied our way out through our hardships and money problems but soon, one by one our peers left the company and in the end, our country for better opportunities and better future.

@Richmonde Hotel whole

Christmas Party ’03 (pictures nicked from my cousin, Ate Van)

You included.

gimiks

At the rooftop of my apartment during two of our numerous gimiks. Me (wearing pink) with Kuya Bogz and my sister Josa, Eugene sat beside Bevs at the far left singing.

You explained to me why you chose the path you chose even though you need not have to because I understood without you saying it out loud. We had lunch for the last time with our other friend and coworker, Pao. We talked about plans, the future, work, about everything and nothing. I realized we were at a crossroads and that from then on we’d seldom see each other again and I was right. Right there and then I requested that our picture be taken, for souvenir, I thought.

eugene 1

Me, Eugene in the middle, and Pao (June ’06)

Four years later you invited us to your thirtieth birthday. I wasn’t going to show up, but I hadn’t seen you for years, not to mention I gave you my word I’d come so I did. I arrived in your party sleepless having spent the entire night before monitoring my sister’s progress while she looked for hospitals with CT scan because my nephew Jonrae fell down the stairs. And when they finally found one, we had to rush to the hospital to arrange for his brain surgery and then wait, as the doctors performed it. It was excruciating.

But when it came down to it, I was having a shitty year. July that year my brother-in-law passed away due to aneurysm, over a month later I miscarried. So I said, why not? Party? But who partied when their nephew is in the hospital?

izakaya

October 2010 @ Izakaya

Now, I’ve never been so glad I attended your party in spite of my initial misgivings because that would be the last time I see you in person. I went off the grid because my life went even more downhill after that.

In between my and my family’s frequent trips to hospitals, dodging bullets, figuring in vehicular accidents, surviving a miscarriage, operations performed on various family members, my loved ones dying one by one and you being thousands and thousands of miles away, we drifted apart.

I regret that I have not known your pain just as you have not known mine. But I do hope that during those times we were always together, that you have felt my love, our love.

Eugene, thank you so much for lending your talent. I loved going to our gimiks, I loved receiving you and our friends in my apartment if only to hear you and the others sing. Thank you for letting me drag you to sing to my friends Alvin and Yeni’s wedding in my stead. You said yes without hesitations, saving me and my friends from a whole lot of embarrassment because, God, who wanted to hear me sing? Lol. 🙂

One

My favorite picture of us taken during our sendoff for Anj before she left for  abroad. We were playing Alin, alin ang naiba? Roughly translated as: which one is different?

So brilliant and so young; my heart breaks, just thinking about the things you wouldn’t be able to do anymore. But I find comfort in looking back and thinking you’ve done everything you can when you were alive. You lived your dream, you found your love, and you helped your family, made your friends happy.

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We wanted to know if other people can pick out which one of us was male because Eugene then sported a long hair while Anj had her hair cut short. I remember wanting to cover my butt because fucking hell, I had a period and I was afraid I may have gotten period stains on my pants. (Eugene and I at the center.)

 

I hope you’re living now in a world without pain. I never said it before but thank you for the friendship, Eugene. WE love you.

I love you.

So long, my dear friend. Rest in peace.