Writing Mango Summer

I began writing Mango Summer during the latter part of 2016. At that time, I was caring for a newborn, and battling exhaustion. I felt out of touch with myself, which was why I decided to start a book. I needed to do something that empowered me and made me feel something more than a source of income and breast milk.

Three drafts, loads of sleepless hours and two years later, I finally finished it. Here's a timeline of the process with some snippets from my journal:

March 28, 2017: I've been using Mango Summer as an escape--which is fine, but not at the expense of real life. Writing books is a wonderful thing, but it is not the most important thing for now. I need to declutter and take care of myself before I begin a new chapter--in more ways than one. 

May 9, 2017: I read Chris's (Mariano) WIP, which sustained me while writing two chapters. Then I read what I wrote and it was crap. Reading Ines's (Bautista) now, which is wonderful, joyful. I think I need to force myself not to work on my WIP. It doesn't deserve to be written this way. I MUST LET GO OF THIS. The tighter my grip is on these words and ideas, the faster they slip away.

June 9, 2017: I feel that yes, it's a transition piece, but an all important one because it defines me after having a 2nd child. Will this book be better than before? Will it suck? I'm trying to finish a chapter a week. Then I sponsored a Gab and Gio photo shoot for the cover. Hope my pumped milk will be enough because I also want to attend the shoot.

July 20, 2017: Finished The Scorpio Races (Maggie Stiefvater) and it was wonderful. Such beautiful writing. So much pain, so much beauty--the way life is. And because of it, I've decided to inject a fantasy element in Mango Summer. I'm thinking of how I can do it. Not grandiose. A quiet hometown feel to it like with Sarah Addison Allen's books. Alternate POV, with an achy prologue. Lots of truth and pain and love and joy and beauty. 

April 5, 2018: I've finished the draft (yayyyyy), and now I feel so tired from writing. I need to revise, which I don't have energy for since this will involve some rewrites. I'm on a writing ban this week as I gather words (now reading More than This by Patrick Ness). I love Mango Summer too much to tackle it weak and hungry. I need to replenish first before I can give it my best. I will make YOU my best yet, Mango Summer. This, I promise you.

June 6, 2018: Revised Chapter 17 yesterday. Onward to 18. Read Mina's (Esguerra) What Kind of Day, and I'm bowled over. I think her books are getting smarter, the dialogues snappier. It makes me want to write better, to think more out of the box. And that's always a good thing.

June 25, 2018: An inspiration: Paul McCartney in Carpool Karaoke with James Corben. For him to have created all those beautiful songs, and to still be making music at his age--GRABE LANG. I think I wanna do that--writing for as long as I live. Thank goodness for romanceclass and self publishing.

July 27, 2018: Okay, Iggy (Katrina Atienza) messaged me that she's started reading the book. Ayun, I'm agonizing over the fact if it's as OK as I thought? What if the story sucks? What if Iggy doesn't want to read any more of my stories after this? All these things. 

July 31, 2018: Okay, I will tell you because it is my ray of hope. Jay (Tria) said she loved my words--I'm hoping she'll like the story too--but it's a start. She also said I get better with each book. This makes me so happy especially since I admire her work. Thank you, Jay. Thank you, God.

September 21, 2018: I did the cover reveal for Mango Summer last Tuesday and it was well-received. Thank you, Miles (Tan)! Chachic volunteered to beta read it before release. Basta October, keri na! Gathering strength from the community's support.

October 16, 2018: Discovered people found out about the Amazon link before I announced it. That version still had typos. I'm sorry guys, huhuhu. But the support has been overwhelming. And vain that I am, I bought myself a copy to check the popular highlights. Anyway, Chachic conditioned people to like it, hehe. She promoted it so much; I'm forever grateful. Inhale, exhale. We did it. Thank you, God. Thank you so much for letting me finish this. For letting me create something I can be proud of. Producing this book involved a lot of people and divine aid. It's not just all me. THANK YOU.

If you want to read Mango Summer, you can purchase both e-book and paperback on Amazon. Local print version will be available soon!

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