So remember how I mentioned in a previous post that I was invited to join a project and I didn’t know if I would be able to do it because I “didn’t finish” anything in 2020?
Well, last Valentine’s Day, the first story I finished writing after a looong time was published in #RomanceClass’s #TropeTastic2021 anthology! 🙂
The last time I wrote “THE END” on any story was in 2018 when I finished the last novel that I’m still working on now. Sure, I wrote some things last year, but it’s been a while since I wrote a brand new story with new characters (well, almost all of them are new, anyway). And I missed this feeling! Yeah, yeah, I write for a living so there is a thrill with finishing a blog post or article, but it’s a different high in finishing a story after years of struggling with it.
All stories in the collection are set in one location, a condominium building in Pasig so there’s a lot of familiar names, places, and some crossovers. The trope I got was “Secret Admirer.” (Side note: I wasn’t in the Zoom call where the tropes were raffled off, but fellow author Celestine told me about the trope I got and what was the other one left in the choices haha). Spent the next few weeks on “research” — I watched Dash and Lily on Netflix, read P.S. I Like You by Kasie West and Geekerella by Ashley Poston. As always, there was a struggle getting started, and that included realizing that this trope can easily become creepy if you’re not careful about it. You know, how an anonymous admirer can turn out to be stalkerish as the story goes on, and we don’t want that to happen. And there’s also the thought of how can someone fall in love with someone they only knew through words on paper? In this time when anyone can just pretend to be anyone and when data privacy violations are everywhere, it doesn’t seem wise for someone to overshare on letters, no matter how nice the other person may seem through their words.
With those thoughts, I wrestled with it and finished the draft three days before the funline. Can I just say that I am a tita and I am no longer used to sleeping at 2-3am for consecutive nights? It was a mad rush beta reading and editing (many thanks to great friends who read it in record time!) and then 3 hours before midnight the due date, I uploaded the file in the folder and went to bed.
12,044, THE END 💌 Why do I have so many words??? And those last lines are still crap but omg yay! We cut it tomorrow, but time to sleep now #amwritingPxM #amwritingATT (yay title!) #tropetastic2021 pic.twitter.com/sdNWFFBVBe
— Ana Tejano 🍊🐱 (@itstimeana) January 27, 2021
My story, “All This Time,” is about Mika, an artist struggling with a creative block who receives a surprise fan letter from someone who had seen something she made, and Paul who was going through his own quarter-life crisis until he saw a piece of art that inspires him. There are letters (of course), morning run-ins at Ahjummart (the best place in the building, yes), iced coffee, strawberry milk, a concerned best friend, and an appearance from another character from a past book (couldn’t help it, haha).
All the internal wrestling aside, writing this was fun! It helped to remind myself that it didn’t need to be a super complicated story, and in a lot of ways, some of the things I weaved into the story are things I want to remind myself: that making and sharing art requires courage and that we all have the capacity to choose to be courageous in our own way. 🙂
…aaaaand maybe it was more fun because I based the LI on a BTS member. 😀 Heeheehee.
Anyway, there are 14 other brand new stories in this collection from other #romanceclass authors, and you can get it/gift it at kilig.pub/tropetastic until April 14. Price starts at $5, but you can choose to pay more, and all sales will be donated to Project Propel, Gantala Press, and Rock Ed Philippines. All buyers will get updates on the donation, but you can also follow Mina’s thread here!
Watch the anthology launch in the Season 4 premiere of the #RomanceClass Podcast here: