In Summer Crush, Ana finds herself out of her cubicle, having wrenched herself out of the weight of her tax deadlines, in the middle of La Union surf town paradise for a music festival weekend with her boyfriend Miki. Her day sounds like this.
It was the weekend I fell in love with the beach.
I guess it’s just a matter of finding the correct mermaid/scientist guide, the perfect company, or a strong enough motive. Having a non-itinerary itinerary surely helped. It got me back to the basics of the sun, sand, and sea and all that the beach offers. It was my first time in La Union, and the first time I truly loved spending time surrounded by water, and this was how it happened. Continue Reading
Summer Crush Reflection Paper 11 April 2017
de los Reyes, Six #romanceclass 2014
What Summer Crush Means to Me
As much fun as we had planning, plotting, and processing Summer Crush, it was not an easy wave to catch. First of all, it’s hard enough wrestling with all the ideas in our heads, multiply that by three and you get exponential the headaches. And we’re three very different people with very different stories, you see. So different you have to wonder what kind of cosmic event caused our universes to converge.
Confession: I didn’t think Tara, Jay and I would work this well together. Sure, on the onset we were friends. In the #romanceclass-someone I see online all the time-goes to all the events sort of way. It wasn’t like I was about to jump on the last bus to La Union and spend the weekend with them or whatever. I had envisioned the process to be be strictly online, an exchange of emails, succinct messages on the chat, and a semi-regularly updated folder on Google Drive. Or so I thought.
I was wrong.
Instead we went out (actually went out and met up IRL) and had conversations that were 15% Summer Crush, 10% abs, and 75% shenanigans and crazy talk. Then we went to La Union, and can I just say I didn’t even want to go? I love the beach. You all know this. I’m a mermaid. What I don’t love is the idea of going outside, public transportation, and people. Many times I had to ask myself, “Am I really doing this?” Was I really going on a trip with new people? Yes, even then, even after a year or so of knowing them, I still thought of Jay and Tara as new people. But I went anyway. Because beach. And I sort of felt like I had to? HAHAHA. So I went. I’m glad I did.
La Union, according to our timetable, was supposed to be our reward for finishing a first draft. A trip to check on the detail work of our short stories and to fine-tune everything else that went with it. Naturally, we went on that trip with about a paragraph each written down, no substantial conflict, and essentially no story. But we had a lot of ideas, and jokes, and interactive moments between our characters so in order for all the fun things to happen, we had to plot around the crazy. We had to make it work somehow. We did. I like to think we made it work.
I also like to think the three of us worked out as well. You don’t spend an entire weekend with each other without all the stressors and anxieties and little things coming up to the surface. Oh, we were passive-aggressive about it, but we’re better friends because of it.
In retrospect, when we decided Friendship was our main objective (I think) we meant it as half a joke. A disclaimer that none of us want to fight over not getting along because, let’s face it, that’s just too much work and we still have to sit together at all the #romanceclass ~Things. Fast forward to today, Friendship is exactly what we got out of this project. Sure, the stress was how do I even describe it? levels, but if there’s one thing I learned from getting stranded at the bus terminal with these two, it’s that I don’t have to go at it on my own anymore.
What started out as a simple offhanded comment escalated into one of the most beautiful memories of this lifetime and I am eternally grateful I gave myself the chance to do this–that Jay and Tara also gave themselves the chance to part of this crazy journey with me. Thank you, ladies. It’s been an honor.
We’re doing this again. For sure.
Oh, and other things you don’t get to see in the book:
- Tara daintily hopping over the hot sand
- Sleepy-drunk Jay who can’t say no to a challenge
- Sand in inappropriate places
- 2AM heart-baring conversations under twinkly lights and paper lanterns
- The answer is always YES
It wasn’t easy, but all the good things outweigh the bad. So much so I can’t even remember the bad anymore. I’m sure there’s a lot, we wrote a book after all. Having said that, special shoutout to Ines and Miles, thank you for taking this crazy ride with us. Thank you for giving us something to look forward to, thank you for making us look good, and thank you for believing in us.
Our characters have found something they thought they lost at sea at Summer Crush, as have we. Their journey is our journey. I am happy. I’m a happy mermaid who found home out of the sea. And if you’ve read Summer Crush, are reading it, or want to read it, thank you from the bottom of my ocean heart.
Let’s all dance and sing because the night is young and the beach is an embrace and, really, at this point, what’s there to lose?
I think this is a good time to post this interview with #romanceclass author Tara Frejas, coming off of the #NatGioWeekend high of watching Rak of Aegis that she so lovingly organized. Okay so that’s totally unrelated to the topics in this interview, since here we talked about Kpop fandom and her latest release Roadie Romance #1: Scandalized. But theater is one of her fandoms too, and when you read through this and get to the part where she talks about her work-in-progress, you’ll see why our theater weekend feelings made me want to share this chat with you ASAP 🙂
Let me just put it out there. Scandalized by Tara Frejas spoke to my sleeping K-pop/K-drama fangirl heart. It has admittedly been too long since I last indulged in a good 20-plus-episode binge or boy band concert spectacle (because time and oh my gosh the expense). But fandoms such as these don’t really ever leave you. You only need one push, a small spark to reignite the madness–and Scandalized was just that.
When she finds herself in the middle of a scandal and a hostile fangirl witch hunt, Fi seeks the comfort of home, and to her surprise, not the person she had been pining for for years. All too suddenly it’s no longer her career on the line, but also her heart. Will she walk away from everything that matters to her or fight to keep her dream alive?
Anyone who’s ever been a fan of Korean idols is likely to nod in quick understanding upon reading the blurb. It’s all very familiar–the pretty, untouchable boys, the crazy saesang fans, the endless stream of Internet vitriol, freeflowing in comment threads once triggered by the vaguest of blind items and the most obscure photographs. Frejas delves into this mad world with equal parts fascination and disgust at the glitz and muck of it all. Obviously, Frejas is a fan too, and she is very curious about what happens behind the scenes. Her passion for the pop culture seeps through her words, and that is what separates this story from raw fanfic scribbles. What makes it such an enjoyable read.
So go ahead and read it for the pretty boys with the pimped out drums and guitars. Read it for the unapologetic wish fulfillment (come on, she’s a Filipina roadie in Korea! She’s surrounded by hot guys who like to walk around shirtless! The magnae calls her noona! Bet your daydreams didn’t get that far). Read it for Daniel Henney, Frejas’ peg for the band’s PR exec Gabriel. Read it for that Styroboat-in-the-flood scene. Yep, even for just that.
Scandalized will go live on Amazon on May 5! Make sure you pre-order while the book is still $0.99 🙂
Tara Frejas is a cloud-walker who needs caffeine to fuel her travels. When she’s not on work mode, she keeps herself busy by weaving her daydreams into stories.
Aside from her obvious love affair with words and persistent muses, Tara is very passionate about being caffeinated, musical theatre, certain genres of music, dancing, dogs, good food, and romancing Norae, her ukelele. She owns a male bunny named Max who sometimes tries to nibble on her writing notes. Scandalized is her second novel after Paper Planes Back Home.
Fun fact: She’s a Piscean. Go figure.
East Genesis Project’s website: bit.ly/EGProject