I have gotten it into my head that my next book is going to be fiction.

I’m going to keep writing poetry and publishing drafts here or putting out my writing exercises on my Twitter and Instagram accounts and when I feel they are ready, I’ll send them out for publication to journals or websites or something. The next poetry book will be more a compilation of pieces that have some form of literary establishment to ground it on some level of editorial-ship rather than just me saying “these poems are ready.”

But ever since Wife got published in Team’s second issue, I’m feeling a lot more confident about pursuing my fiction again. My Dad said some very positive things about it that has made me feel really inspired to push for this.

Wife, written by me, with artwork by Tokwa Penaflorida in the second issue of Team magazine

Wife, written by me, with artwork by Tokwa Penaflorida in the second issue of Team magazine

Fiction. I haven’t done this in a while. But I’m excited. I’m willing to write the stories I wasn’t ready to write or was averse to writing before. I think all artists, at the beginning of their artistic journey, has to tell their story first in some way before they can embark on telling other stories — the ones stemmed from their imagination. I think the reason why I was always better at writing for others or why I could never write the stories I came up with for myself was because my story had yet to be written. I haven’t established yet who I was as an artist.

I’ve been running away from my own story my whole life.

It’s time to tell my stories. I never wanted to write about HIV or being gay or being the son of someone famous. These aren’t fiction — these are aspects of my life and I wanted to shy away from it in my work but I can’t. It’s who I am. Wife allowed me to breach into that topic. I cannot not write about being gay or about being HIV positive or about being the son of someone famous. These are themes that I have to tackle first and foremost and set myself free so that I can write about whatever else tickles my fancy.

As usual, it’s me first. Take care of me before I can take care of others. A never-ending lesson, really. It’s always a lesson. It’s time to apply what I learned.

Will be crafting the second fiction piece over the weekend. Wish me luck.

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