Marikit Mail
Dear gentlefolk,

I owe you one, and I want to apologize. It was not my intention to fail when I said, "One letter, quarterly." In my head, there were many letters. Many things I wanted to say. But I realized, in the middle of this journey, that some of those words had to wait.

Back then, whenever I'd see a book, I'd literally judge it by the cover. But now, I'll always think, "How much work was put into this gorgeous little chunk?" Books, like growing gardens, are made of a lot of waiting. Of baiting our breaths. As writers, we wait for a tiny idea to bloom, the push to get us typing it, the rhythm of the right words, the ferocity of the heart, the resilience of the body to endure sleepless nights to get a scene onto a page. A chapter feels like a mountain. A paragraph feels like a deep, dark pit.

And then, we wait for the story to ripen. For the characters to take their shape. For that One Big Blow that incites the fall. For the finale that wraps it all together. And then we wait again, when the book decides to be fickle and won't cooperate. We wrestle them down and make amends. And then we wait some more. We wait for another hand to shake ours and say, "This looks good!" And a few more to whisper, "We'd like to read it!" We wait for bigger hands to take those thick, typo-filled pages to say, "It's book-worthy." And then, we wait for it to be an actual book, which means that there will be many more hands working on it, many more eyes looking at it, many more pens drawing bright red lines on it, until it's shiny and glossy and near-perfect in every page.

And then, a few more factors add to the clock. Editors juggling with so many manuscripts. Copyeditors trying to get things right. Illustrators making several artworks for the cover. There's art direction and team meetings and marketing plans. A book is at least a year-long toil. And to get here, many years more.

Publishing, I learned, is for the persevering.

I'm delighted to have the opportunity to tell you all about this. SUGAR AND SPITE’s Gail Villanueva tapped 3 debuting Filipino authors for a Buwan ng Wika Special happening this end of August, courtesy of Asian Authors Alliance. I’ll be joining Mae Coiyuto (@maecoyiuto) and Kara Bodegon-Hikino (@karabodegon) in a fun talk about our individual publishing journeys – including the long and terrible wait – and what it means to write for a global landscape as a Filipino living in the Philippines.

I'd be happy to see you on the day of our panel (which, by the way, depends on where you are). Please come chat with us!
This is brought to us by Asian Authors Alliance

Some MARIKIT News!

We have an on sale date (Clue: Halloween 2022 will be filled with Engkantos), and we found our cover artist (Clue: she's half-Filipino). I'm happy to tell you more about them when everything is green-lit. But for now, please stay tuned.

MARIKIT WEARS THE MAP // illustration by Caris
[Most definitely not the cover] Please keep an eye out for more MARIKIT news! If you're on any social media platform, follow me at @carisavencruz.

Everybody is waiting for something.

A miracle. A door to open. A door to close. A yes. A spark. An act of kindness. And it's strangely baffling that the universe slyly stretches itself to hold its breath as we run out of ours. We are all waiting, and every minute feels infinite.

But this is my wish: that in your waiting, you'll always hear your heart beating, singing the song you always loved, reminding you, "There is more. There is always more. There is now. And now can be infinite, too."

May your nows be as beautiful as you can make it.

Before you go, here are a few of my favorite Filipino creators:


My good friend and extraordinary songwriter Micah David released her first EP recently and I am so proud to be among the first ones who heard it. "Ako Naman" can be translated as "It's my turn." Just like the title, her songs are uplifting, a joyful boost in the heart. Support OPM artists!
Marie Cruz' EVERLASTING NORA is a Middle-Grade novel that takes us around the impoverished corners of Manila, in the lens of a young girl who lived in a cemetery. Grounded in resilience, love, and hope, this story punches straight to the heart and stays there, wonderfully magnifying the unyielding essence of the Filipino spirit.
Author Tracy Badua is making her debut in 2022 with a horror-filled Middle Grade starring a Fil-Am MC and a cursed family jewel in FREDDIE VS. THE FAMILY CURSE. The humorously creepy cover had just been revealed, and Tracy reveals shares ways to pre-order the book before it hits the shelves May next year!

Filipinos all over the world celebrated when Trese, an animated series based on a Pinoy folklore-inspired comic, arrived on Netflix. But did you know that we have a plethora of graphic novels waiting to be consumed (and hopefully, adapted as well? *fingers crossed*). The brainchild of Kalabaw Kolektib's Bernie Mercado, this free library of Filipino-authored and illustrated series is keeping our komiks community alive.
Thank you for looking out for me. And thank you for waiting. Publishing is made up of many hills and valleys, but we'll take it one step at a time. I can't wait to share more of my secrets in my next letters, secrets that have fully formed and finally have shapes of their own. So please stay, and until then!

Maraming salamat,
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