Just in case you didn't know one thing about me....it is that I crave change. I get overtly anxious when things stay exactly the same. I don't know why. But every so often (and because I have a husband and 2 kids) I like to change the look of my house. Some are small: a little lamp there, a new vase here, a framed picture there. Some things are big and more noticeable: moving furniture around, taking down curtains, hanging giant posters there.
I can't seem to sit still and therefore my house shouldn't either...it seems is my random thought.
So, due to it being summer and I have kids all day long and my budget-friendly husband has had to put his foot down, I recently decided I need to make a change here. I don't blog anymore and I so do miss that. I'm not online anymore as myself and for a while, I loved stepping back from it, but I am more involved online repping for another organization and it's made me want to revamp my whole online 'self.' So I'm looking at you, website. Here's my "under construction" notice. I'm still toying with the possibility of having 2 sites: a blog and this author website but I've neglected both. I'm going to start combining both...starting in July. My goal would be to blog once a week about what I do best: mental health and preeclampsia advocating, book/author goals and whatever I feel like.
Thanks, friends for your continued support and hope you are still writing!
I have not been keeping up with this site or my writing. You can call it writer's block. Chalk it up to busyness of mommying 2 kiddos.
I finally got to sit down and do some writing a couple of weeks ago for a guest post over on http://myhealinghandsonhome.com She's doing a series called, "Childbirth Redeemed." I got the honor and pleasure of being her first guest. While I honestly still struggle to write about old wounds, and reigniting those memories, I am continued to be reminded that my story may help someone.
"I once described my postpartum depression as a forest; a place you can walk to and easily get lost in. I’ve liken anxiety and my preeclampsia diagnosis as storms; rough winds with nothing to hold onto. This is a short story of how fixing on Jesus helped me walk out of my postpartum forest and calmed the storms in me."
Here's the link to the post:
At the beginning of the year, I set a goal of sending off a piece - whether it be poetry or essay or chapbook length - to at least one magazine, or press a month. Some months I did more than one submission, and I took a break in July for family reasons, November for Nano reasons and while it's still at the beginning of December, I don't foresee sending anything out this month.
Here are my rejections and acceptances for the year.
3 still pending
1 runner up
16 total submissions for the year.
I'm actually quite proud that I stepped out of my comfort zone and jumped in.
My suggestions for you if you plan on doing these are:
1.) make sure you like the magazine/press you're submitting to and
2.) read them! read the emerging poets, the seasoned poets, the type of writing they like, the overall aesthetics of the press
3.) set yourself a goal. I did 1 submission/month because I knew I wouldn't have time for multiple ones.
and finally, BEST OF LUCK to you!! I enjoy reading some pretty powerful words and there are a couple of presses on my list that I will try and try again. I suppose they're what everyone calls "your dream press." Rejections sting....like a LOT. But it's helped me grow and learn. That's the point, right? I haven't figured out what my goals are for next year aside from working on poetry and submitting to my dream presses. One thing is for sure though, I'd like to add "award winning poet" on my bio!
Shoot for the moon.
Write on my friends!
JULY - NO SUBMISSIONS
NOVEMBER - NO SUBMISSIONS
DECEMBER - NO SUBMISSIONS
Not your token
PUBLISHED my first of a couple of chapbook series!
November is my favorite month, even more than my birthday month of July. It feels like time slows down just a little before we hit the fast forward button in December. The air is crisper. The Food! The company. I love everything about November.
Persona Non Grata is packed with exceptional poets writing on the theme of social exclusion.With interpretations exploring our refugee crises globally, physical and mental illness, homelessness, addiction and family estrangement, the anthology will fundraise for two important and vital charities: 'Shelter' and 'Crisis Aid UK'.
We are delighted that 'Fly on the Wall Poetry Press publishes charity anthologies- and anthology 'Persona Non Grata' is packed with poetry inspired by the concept of social exclusion. Without support such as this, we would not be able to support the people who reach out to us for help with housing issues and homelessness. Thank you so much to everyone involved."
- Lindsay Tilston Jones, Regional Community Fundraiser: Manchester
I submitted a poem entitled, "I pledge allegiance," to this lovely press called, Fly on the Wall Poetry Press. It's out now and she is taking poetry submissions, if you looking for places to submit!
I've been debating whether or not to share this.....but a few months ago, I wrote a poem about childhood trauma and #metoo movement for an anthology benefiting the prevention of child sexual abuse. I've buried this secret for so long and that one poem and one anthology call seemed like a small peeling of that wound....and then Christine Blasey Ford spoke - regardless if you believe her or not, the fact of that matter remains: there are those of us who have THIRTY YEAR OLD secrets. However far removed we may be from that day, that incident, that trauma, certain things can never leave us: smells, sounds, laughter, taunts..... those are imprinted in a survivor's dna. A memory that must be unraveled because the trauma was too much to bear.
So I happened upon this anthology call from Rhythm and Bone press.
I found survivors who never spoke up.
I discovered a community who are still grieving for an innocence taken, a trust stripped away..... a boundary that was crossed.
I dug up my secret and felt compelled to share.
In anger, I wrote.
In tears, I hashed out pieces.
In solidarity, I shared.
"I am not my rape
I tell myself today.
I am not my rape.
I told myself yesterday."
You are not your rape: an anthology coming soon.
Oh, friends. Life has been...hard over my household. Between going in and out of doctor's visit for my daughter, the toddler's increasing separation anxiety and my husband currently on a drilling rig somewhere in the middle of the gulf, I must confess that I don't even think I accomplished one goal in September.
I did turn in my 13th piece to an online literary magazine, so my 12 pieces (1 piece/month) new year resolution is completed. I can technically keep going and see how many more I submit before the year's end, or I can just stop, listen to my body and mental health and rest for a while.
So change is coming. I have some ideas of where I want to go from here. I know writing has always been my salve and I'm going to tackle whatever comes head on. But for now though, I'll hit pause on the new ideas and continue market what I do have.
As far as my NaNoWriMo project, I found the perfect piece. A middle grade mystery type where the main character has a chronic illness and spends a lot of time in the children's hospital..... and somehow solves little medical mystery/crime. I haven't figured out what crime a 10 year old might solve, but there you have it, Universe. I'm breathing that out, not just to help my little one with her chronic illness and her meltdown with needles but for me.....
~ I will see you at the end of November, writing buddies. ~
A look back on those August goals 1.) Fine tune my "I am" chapbook and have it ready. I've been debating on turning into a full fledge poetry collection but I'm also getting bored with it. I am easily distracted and my flaky self has already deemed this project "done." I have my eye on Dancing Girl press that a few poets have recommended and they are currently open for submissions. Deadline is the end of the month, if you would like to enter. - fine tuned and sent! Here's hoping I get some feedback!!!
2.) Write and edit a piece for this motherhood submission call I was lovingly tagged on. - this is still a current work in progress! I have until 9/14 to finish and submit!
September 8th is coming and so is the 15th anniversary for this anthology. I'm so incredibly grateful to be a part of this huge Filipino writing community that I honestly never knew existed!! I wish I was in San Fran celebrating, but I send all my love and positive vibes to my fellow Asian poets!!
For a complete list of all the poets and table of contents, click here. I can't wait to hold this book in my hands!!
1.) I'd really like to finish National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November this year and I have a couple of ideas that's been brewing. I'm a plotter, of course and just started printing out maps, and buying Filipino folk tales. I was so inspired by Tomi Adeyemi's Children of Blood and Bone and Kevin Kwan's Crazy Rich Asians that I'd love to do something along those lines. Write a story based off of a story that I vaguely remembering listening to as a child. But I want to fall in love and laugh and be surprised at the tears. I have NO IDEA what it'll be but I'd love to try. Soooo research, read, and plot. That's the BIG goal for this month.
2.) I still need to turn in my motherhood essay and hope to get that finished by the end of the week!!
3.) I need to write out two poetry reviews for this month! I finished Vachaknavi (Hiya) Sarma's Wild Imagination this summer and it was beautiful!! Cheyenne Raine's new poetry collection drops on September 14th and I'm in the middle of her amazing words. Look for both reviews by next week!
4.) I found a couple of journals that I wanted to submit to but sadly, the deadline passed by the time I sat down with pen in hand. This month's goal would be to follow them and read from their works to support more poets and get a feel of what they seem to be looking for.
September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
As we are winding down from summer and looking towards fall and winter, please know that September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. This is a reminder to be kind to yourself and to the people around you. You never know what someone is going through. We cover up all sorts of pain and madness to fit in.
Know that you are not alone.
**the following information below was taken from NAMI**
We are getting so close to Fall, I've seen a few Halloween (and Christmas) decor set up at Hobby Lobby. I've actually bought a couple of fall things, ready to wear when September hits - I'm not even kidding!
I always feel like whatever happened in the slump and dog days of summer, not to mention the allergies of Spring....FALL turns my mood around and lifts up my spirits. Mid to late September through November exists to make people happy, more grateful, and a bit kinder - just my opinion.
I don't think I wrote any specific goals for July but even if I did, family vacation and sickness, and my daughter's few days in the hospital didn't exactly give me any writing time.
without further ado: August goals
1.) Fine tune my "I am" chapbook and have it ready. I've been debating on turning into a full fledge poetry collection but I'm also getting bored with it. I am easily distracted and my flaky self has already deemed this project "done." I have my eye on Dancing Girl press that a few poets have recommended and they are currently open for submissions. Deadline is the end of the month, if you would like to enter.
2.) Write and edit a piece for this motherhood submission call I was lovingly tagged on.
what the what news?!
Sometime ago I entered my very first poetry competition that We Art Friends was hosting and I'm so thrilled to say that my poem, "Indifference," was one of the runner ups! For the list of winners and runner ups, click here.
Happy rest of your summer!!
I'll be on vacation mode this Saturday, and probably won't "return" until July 8th. But before I go, I thought I'd share some exciting news!!
- I wrote a piece called, "if only," and submitted it below. I'm elated that it was accepted but anxious to have it out. I've never told anyone my #metoo story. You see, not only was I a victim, but a witness, as well. I cannot claim what happened to me without naming the others. Since it's a shared nightmare, I would need their blessings and their acceptance of what happened, before I can share. It sounds cryptic, and I apologize, but it is what it is, in order to protect those that I love, our stories will most likely die in the graves with us.
moving on to happier news
Matt Banks (author of the Lonely Heart Wanders) did a call for submissions recently for a "Blank Canvas" themed anthology. I managed to slip into it right before he closed it. I can't wait to share these with you. I'm rather proud of one!
Last but not least...
I belong to a Filipino Writers group on Facebook. Back in November, the prolific and esteemed poet, Eileen Tabios put out an anthology call for the 15th anniversary of a Filipino named poetry form called, "hay(na)ku. It's a take on the Japanese form, but instead of counting syllables, you do 1 word sentence, followed by 2 words, and then three.
(2) wrote my
(3) heritage in poems.
I can't tell you how proud I am that 2 of my hay(na)ku poems are in this. 127 poets are included in this anthology from around the world, including some poets from the Philippines!
This will be out sometime in September and I'll announce it the closer it gets!!
Aside from that, happy summer!!
Summer vacation began yesterday at 12:10 pm, when the school bell rang. I know it'll be a challenge to write with two kiddos, and I wanted so badly to finish some semblance of a draft, but nope. Didn't happen much at all. Here's a look back at my May Goals and how I did:
1.) Get it together and practice my speaking skills for the May walk....will be doing a couple of live and recorded videos in the next few days. - I managed to NOT do a single live or video in May. I practiced my speech over and over, almost threw up at the hotel from the nervousness and managed to ...speak. Here's my transcript of the speech, as well as a couple of pictures from the walk.
2.) AND I'll be going to an open mic event at a local coffee shop to get more practice at speaking in front of people. May 11th from 7 - 8:30 pm at Third Gen coffee house in The Woodlands. - I was super excited to finally meet a couple of lovely mamas with whom I've been doing the online Motherhood workshop with! AND they BOTH read their pieces!! We've decided that we should attempt to do another one of these open mics, because let me tell you, there's nothing more wonderful than having someone there who not only understand the nerves, but also felt compelled to share from the heart. Beautiful, beautiful night. *I've included pics below.
3.) Finish chapbook #2, have it reviewed and edited before finding a home for it. I've got a few chapbook contests I have my eye on. - AMAZING NEWS AHEAD!!!
4.) Continue with research and hopefully WRITE out a first rough draft. I'm hoping to get this done before the kid gets out for summer...I don't think I'll be getting any writing done at all this summer! - Amazing news ahead followed by a whomp whomp sound, as I absolutely did not write out a draft.
Oh, June. I don't know what to do with you. I'll mostly be reading - A LOT. And playing with the kiddos - A LOT. However, I do need to sit down,
1.) Write, edit and submit articles for Daughters of the Deep for June - Sept (4 total posts).
2.) Continue to submit 1 poem to a press/journal.
Look what I did!!! not your Token is out NOW!! This is the first in a collection of chapbook series that I'm doing. For this one, I've explored my identity as an immigrant, as a Filipina raising "Mexipino" babies, and as a "token" Asian.
Pictures from Open Mic night. Theme was Mother.
I read my poem, Motherhood and Labels, that was recently included in the WOMb poetry anthology.
Have a happy start to your summer!
It's almost May, here was my April Goals:
1.) I'm taking part in PMDD Awareness Month by (drum roll)...... writing a poem/day! There is a fun photo challenge that will be on Instagram. - While I did participate in this challenge, I realized that some poems I wrote for me....and not up for sharing. And that's okay! When I internalized certain pieces, I grew inward and stopped writing for just a bit. It got too much and I couldn't even involve myself in the Instagram challenge....that's also okay. Realizing that it's perfectly fine to step back and take a breather is key to grounding myself. One day, I'll share my thoughts on this but only when I'm ready to share.
2.) I mentioned in my random rambling update that I am participating in a workshop called "Excavating Motherhood in/through Art," well I'd like to begin a series over on my very very neglected blog. As soon as I have enough material to cover, I'll start linking it to this site. - I have zero material for this BUT I began a chapbook series over motherhood and identity! I finished one chapbook and sent it to two different contests, and just about to wrap up the second volume in the series - yay!
3.) I've got one more blog tour and review with them in April and once that's done, I'll start reviewing only poetry books (and books by Penny Reid just because). I reviewed two poetry books this month, and working on finishing up a third, hopefully before the month ends!
4.) I started an outline for my "Letters to Heaven Trilogy" and I'm going to start working on storyboarding the first book, "Finding your way Home." This will be a follow up/flash forward on Dylan and Lenora Evers story from "Letters to Lenora." - Still storyboarding! I wrote a few scenes and researching Army life, and how faith fits into that! I realized that for this book, I want to cover the familial and faithful side of the army life. How does that affect how we form our own tribes, our own community of fellowship. I touched on Preeclampsia in Letters to Lenora, and I want to include that in Lenora's pregnancy (hey this isn't a spoiler, ok) and how pregnancy anxiety comes into play because of her mom's traumatic birth. THIS IS A HEAVY BOOK, so I started outlining more of Ethan's Epic quest and that'll cover the gorgeous Philippines.
May is Preeclampsia Awareness Month
I drink too much coffee, read too many book, and in between raising miracle babies, I find time to write.
Leila Tualla's books on Goodreads
ratings: 14 (avg rating 4.00)
Storm of Hope: God, Preeclampsia, Depression and me
ratings: 11 (avg rating 4.36)
The Light Leads to Love
ratings: 8 (avg rating 4.50)
We Are Not Alone: An Anthology for Mental Health Awareness
ratings: 2 (avg rating 5.00)