2018 Awards Eligibility Post

You’ll notice that my last post on this website was my eligibility post for 2016. To be honest, I’m incredibly grateful to simply have any work out this year at all. The last two years were very challenging for me writing-wise, but I luckily had some time earlier this year to work on a few stories!

Short Story

Asphalt, River, Mother, Child

Strange Horizons, October 8, 2018 | 7,000 words

He falls asleep for the first time since the little girl died. In his dream the old woman passes him a cup of her granddaughter’s blood. She tells him to drink it, and calls him a sinner.

This story is about death in Manila. It’s also about family, and fear, and action. It was my own small struggle against helplessness. I’m not sure publishing it has made a difference, but if I can get even one more person to become more aware of what’s happening in my country, then I’m incredibly grateful. I owe inspiration to the Impunity Series on Rappler, by Patricia Evangelista, and to Dimas Ilaw’s amazing essay, “The Shape of Darkness As It Overtakes Us.”

Novelette

How to Swallow the Moon

Uncanny Magazine, Issue 25, November/December 2018 | 11,300 words

When your mother was a girl, there were still two moons. Like Bathala’s eyes, she would say, working a long blade over her fire. You always imagine Mother the same way: sweat shining on her brow, curls plastered against her neck and cheeks, sparks dancing at her elbows. At her throat glints the amulet you now wear. On her sturdy neck, it was more like a choker, the bright pendant reflecting forge fire. 

This is my indulgent princess/knight/dragon story, except featuring female Filipino warriors in a fantasy world inspired by precolonial Philippines. I can’t explain why writing this was so difficult, except it was. I would be honored if you read it and gained something from it. It’s about resistance and rewriting your own story. It’s also about love and overcoming one’s fear of it. (The main character would absolutely blush if she saw me writing this.)

Thank you for reading my stories, and for the consideration! I’m in the middle of an intense grad school program at the moment and some days it’s really hard to remember that I’m a writer, so the support and encouragement means more than you know. I’m especially grateful to everyone who was there to read my work after my long hiatus. Thank you so, so much. <3

2016 Awards Eligibility Post

Better late than never! Here's my list of award-eligible writing from 2016.

"An Ocean the Color of Bruises," Uncanny Magazine Issue Eleven, July/August 2016, short story: A group of college friends from Manila travel to a beach resort. There's parasailing, slow-dancing, and running for their lives, straight into the ocean.

"Only Unclench Your Hand," What the #@&% Is That?: The Saga Anthology of the Monstrous and the Macabre, Saga Press, August 2016, short story: Macky is prepping for law school and staying at her uncle's farm in the province. She learns from two local girls what it's like to never be safe - and how there are other ways to seek justice, outside of the law.

This was recently announced as part of the Preliminary Ballot for the Bram Stoker Award, and thus is now available online. :D

"Serenade," Cyber World: Tales of Humanity’s Tomorrow, Hex Publishers, November 2016, short story: EJ and Anj are a brother-sister hacker duo taking on all sorts of odd jobs to preserve their Tata Selo's brainware before it's too late.

"Grass Cradle, Glass Lullaby," Asian Monsters, Fox Spirit Books, December 2016, short storyYou come to me unexpectedly, long after I had stopped hoping. A monster story told in fragments, mostly about a mother's love.

"Hurricane Heels (Series)," Book Smugglers Publishing, December 2016: When a goddess asks you to fight for her, and save the world - you can only say yes. Five magical girls accepted this power over a decade ago, but as they grow into adults, their conflicting feelings about the great battle between light and darkness start to rise to the surface. Contents include a bachelorette party, Fushimi Inari Shrine, St. Mark's Place, and some rainbow-colored transformation sequences.

Hurricane Heels is 42,000 words long and is thus eligible as a novel. Each individual story can also be nominated as a novelette. If you are interested in nominating any, I suggest the first one: Hurricane Heels (We Go Down Dancing).

Also, two poems!

  • "Alamat," Uncanny Magazine Issue 10, May/June 2016: you are not a witch, your breathless prayers are not magic.
  • "Striking Fire," Goblin Fruit, Winter 2016: The lit match is like a prayer, like whispering farewell.

2016 was a really intense year for me outside of writing things, but I'm happy I got to share the above stories with readers. I hope you enjoy some of these monsters, violent ladies, and ensemble narrators. If you would like copies of any of the stories that are not available online, let me know and I'd be happy to email them to you. Thank you for the consideration. Now - onto the rest of the year!

Hurricane Heels: how it happened

I had a long break over the holidays, happily emptying my head of all things as I visited shrines and temples in Tokyo and caught up with friends over amazing Manila food. When I came back to the US, I found a mysterious package on my desk - and opened to find a book with my name on the cover.

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