this must really be my calling... in children's lit. i mean...
i went to Manila last Tuesday evening for the 1st National Conference on Philippine Children's Literature, as a participant, paying 3k for the conference fee, aside from funding my own travel and stay there... i don't regret investments like these; it's food for the soul time for me, always.
well, what do you know, a writer speaker couldn't make it, so i was asked to substitute instead! so i was now both participant and speaker too!
the topic was both easy and difficult. easy, because i just had to share how a children's book was created from an author's experience and perspective. difficult, because along the way in sharing i had also to share my personal struggles with marital separation and tight finances as context for why and how i wrote my two award-winning stories in the first place...
in the end, though, the excavation and sharing of the soul must have been worth it. i could sense the audience's deafeningly quiet and focused attention on me, interspersed by appreciative murmurs and nodding of heads. during the open forum, one older lady participant commended me for my courage in baring my soul and how she was inspired by my sharing...
i hope it was a healing thing for them as it is a healing thing for me, every time.
side note: i got "refunded" for my conference fee when i was paid my speaker's honorarium, too!
and to think that just before one of the key conference organizers asked me to sub, i was sitting there in my chair, mentally calculating how i could make my remaining P800 fit for the long taxi rides and the airport terminal fee i was still to take in going home, regretting i couldn't buy the books on display that i wanted to buy and to have autographed by the fellow-author friends i have made in the conference... !
God is great; the Universe takes care of me even without my asking!
the afternoon before i left for the airport last Tuesday, my visa arrived by courier-- i got a 10-year multiple entry visa!!! : )
Honey and i texted each other; she did, too!!!
and all the while, before we even had our interview, my constant prayer was: thank You, God, for the 10-year multiple entry US visas issued to Honey and I!!!
: ) : ) : )
i am back home. and thankfully, i have the whole month of August with no travels scheduled, before i set off on my next trip, with Honey this time, for our 3-week visit to Mama starting Sept. 10.
i love to travel, yes. but ive been flying in and out of Bacolod to a lot of places all over the country since January, that i am starting to miss the "ordinariness" and "routine" of just staying put in Bacolod, too, just living the "normal" life of a single mom on leave from her day job, staying at home and just doing things she loves to do-- taking good care of herself and her children, meditating daily, taking long walks, writing in her journal, basking in her solitude, working on her freelance writing projects, treating her self to a date at the beauty salon and the spa and then a nice dinner at her favorite resto, collecting her thoughts and feelings, enjoying good conversations and good food with very good, select friends... just enjoying her life without being accountable to others in terms of deadlines and project/work outputs...
thank God for my free August time!!!