“Caretaker” | Marías at Sampaguitas

Big thing announcement!

I have a fiction piece published!

I am so honored to have “Caretaker” published online by Marías at Sampaguitas. It’s a short story about an immigrant girl who has to juggle her familial duty and her dreams of independence. It’s based on my own experience as a daughter of immigrant parents, as well as the stories I’ve heard from family caretakers. They make many sacrifices for their loved ones—sacrifices that often go unseen.

Read “Caretaker” here!

“Caretaker” is actually the very first short story I’ve ever written and submitted to a literary magazine. My first submission was in June of 2018, my second was in March of this year. Almost a full year later, it finally found a home!

The editors who read over this piece previously come from great journals, but I’m just as glad that this piece ended up at Marías at Sampaguitas. The journal elevates marginalized voices and publishes pieces matching their Tagalog slogan: “pagsulat sa mga bulaklak”, a phrase which means, “when writing on flowers.” I think “Caretaker” will fit in well with the other great pieces published by the magazine, and I hope you take the time to read a few.

Fun fact: the protagonist of “Caretaker” was originally named Maria, but I felt a little shy about submitting her story to a magazine of the same name! So when I first sent in the story, I changed her name to Jasmine. After the piece was chosen, I admitted this silly little decision to Keana, the editor of Marías at Sampaguitas, who very graciously allowed me to change her name back.

I actually chose Maria for the same purposes as the magazine: it’s the common name for a christened Filipina. That being said, I do love the name Jasmine, so I hope she’ll reappear in a future story!

Check out “Caretaker” and let me know what you think on twitter @emmabeltami!

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