• Five Links I Love


    I discovered the British Library’s collection on William Shakespeare.

    When it’s cold outside, I want to just snuggle inside wearing this warm cardigan.

    Not only have I always loved this song, but this State Farm commercial is one of my favorites with their message.

    I’m always on the look out for the perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. Still haven’t found what I’m looking for, but I tried this one from Williams Sonoma. It is the best so far!

    Pinterest find: 27 ideas for using words in your art journal. Great ideas to passs along!


  • Art Journaling


    There is a study somewhere…I don’t remember where I read it, Psychology Today?? …that making art reduces stress.

    I believe it.

    So I created this last week while I was taking an hour long half hour break from editing my manuscript. Between snacking on my veggie chips and making art, this page came to life.

    Even if I suck at making art (forget human form drawing) I enjoy the process and the final results… especially this one with my idol.




  • Art Progress

    I’ve been working on this art journal page for awhile now… laying down the foundation. I haven’t decided what else to add, but I want to include more words.

    These days I like painting with watercolor and india ink. Actually, I’m obsessed with watercolor right now… favoring muted tones.

    Since I’m self-taught in art and still learning, the best I can do is watch Youtube videos and  collect ideas on Pinterest . I admit…I watch a lot of Bob Ross videos .

    Of course, Mr. Ross is oil painting and not using watercolors. Also, I’m not painting landscapes, but I still love watching him create.

    I wish he was still alive so that I could meet him…but thanks to the gift of technology, we can continue to watch him forever.





  • How I De-stress


    Writing a book is stressful.

    It’s like writing a never-ending term paper…but the results…well, it’s yet to be determined.

    So as you may have figured out…I am stressed and what am I going to do about it. If you’re stressed too, maybe we have something in common and we can share ideas on how to de-stress.

    When I read this article from Harvard Health, it inspired me to make  a few changes, as well as this great article from Helen Sanders here. Daily stress isn’t good for you and as mentioned in the article, it can have damaging physical effects on your body such as mood changes, sleep deprivation, appetite, high blood pressure and heart disease.

    Since I’m already working on my stress level, one of the biggest things I’ve increased is my hobbies. One of my favorite is  Papercrafting (see above photo).

    Papercrafting or scrapbooking is relaxing to me. It is a legit hobby. I love buying all that pretty paper, glue, buttons, stickers, and you name it. You can find me inside a scrapbook store when I travel. I can spend several hours inside…just staring at paper.

    Some of my favorite writers have interesting de-stressing hobbies.  Paulette Jiles enjoys riding horses when she’s not writing, author Jenny Han likes to bake, and Ernest Hemingway enjoyed hunting, fishing, and sailing. I don’t know of any other writers who like to scrapbook. If you find out, please let me know. And if you’re a fellow writer and like to scrapbook, I’m so happy!

    So how do you de-stress? What are your hobbies? I’d love to hear!

    Have a great weekend!




  • Monday Motivation 5:08:17

    I’m linking with love here! I discovered this delightful video by Ashli Oliver. Beautiful artwork… which has me motivated for this Monday.

    Stop by and view more of Ashli’s amazing artwork. Visit her website at Purple Mailbox and her Youtube channel. You’ll be sure to get inspired like I did.




  • Gratitude

    I created this page over the weekend to remind myself of all the things that I’m grateful for.  I’m grateful to be alive and have a chance to live a life.

    It’s always on my mind….which is why I’m  constantly striving to live a healthier and happier life. I’m a true believer that the best way to reap the benefits of gratitude is to notice things I’m grateful for daily.

    As a writer in the publishing industry, I especially need to surround myself with positive people and positive beliefs. Sometimes I get entangled in negative thoughts because of all the pressure I sometimes put on myself.

    I truly believe practicing gratitude makes you happier and healthier. It’s an important habit to live. Gratitude is all about feeling appreciation for what we have in our life.

    So this artwork I made will act as a simple positive affirmation in my journal.

    A gentle “self-talk” reminder for me filled with positive words.


    Be grateful.

    Be mindful.

    Be positive.

    Ending this off with one of my favorite quotes:

    “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”
    ― Epicurus


  • 5 Ways To Spark Your Creativity

    As a writer and creative business owner, I’ve had my share of writer’s block. It’s sometimes difficult to stay focused, motivated, and inspired. I’ve read many resources on how to combat this and unblock creativity for my business.

    One of my favorite author and creative artist Austin Kleon offers this advice…practice productive procrastination. He suggests having 2-3 projects going on at one time, so that when you tire of one project, you can jump onto another. This is a great idea to help reduce that negative feeling when you’re feeling stuck and not producing anything worthy. Keep in mind though, everyone’s process is different and what works for one person may differ for another.

    One of the biggest challenge for me is to allow myself time to just experience activities that allow me to experiment with creativity. Again, this process doesn’t always look productive. Because of this I feel like I’m not really making any progress and just wasting time. If you’re feeling the same way as I do, here are a few creative strategies that have helped me:

    1. Schedule Time To Explore.

    I really believe in scheduling time to explore. Make an appointment for yourself. Select a time and day in the week for this. If you’re worried about your time, set the timer on your phone so that you don’t go over limit. It can be twenty minutes each day or even an entire day just for creative exploration such as visiting a museum, going for a walk, working out, painting or just going on Pinterest.

    1. Browse Through Random Books and Magazines

    I love reading materials of all subjects. Since I tend to favor fashion and photography, I enjoy splurging my time in magazines. Not just for reading, but just taking in all the beautiful photos. It’s amazing and very useful, especially if you find yourself in a bookstore that carries different magazines from various countries. If you’re not able to get to a bookstore, go online. This process really helps me explore different possibilities and visions.

    1. Keep a notebook and take notes.

    This wasn’t a habit for me several years ago, but now I carry a notebook with me everywhere. I religiously take notes. I write down quotations I like, overheard conversations, tidbits of information, articles or drawings, photos, anything that I find interesting. I know we have Pinterest for this as well, and you can create boards for these ideas, but it’s always wonderful to have a notebook filled with these notes for those times that you’re stuck somewhere without Wi-Fi. Trust me, when you don’t have Wi-Fi, this is the true test of patience. You’ll be surprised what a notebook can do for you.

    4. Allow yourself to splurge modestly.

    With your budget in mind, go out and enjoy a modest purchase that supports your creativity. Discover something at the thrift store, flea markets, or craft store. It can be anything from a new watercolor set, markers or a cool thrift store find to enhance your workspace.

    5. Create an idea mind map.

    This is similar to creating a brainstorm cloud. It’s my favorite process. I begin by taking between twenty to thirty minutes to sit and just brainstorm ideas using a large sketchbook. It can begin with a word, sentence, image, or a symbol and then spring off associations from there. Think of this as a brain dump but with a strategic purpose. It’s fun to see where your thought process leads.

    In the end, sometimes it’s best to just temporarily walk away from your creative project. Take time off from what you were creating, and just let it sit there for a day, a week, or even a month and then come back to it. You’ll have fresh eyes and a clearer perspective when you return and you never know what you might come up with from just taking a break.

    What are some ways that spark your creativity? What works best for you?


    Image credits:

    1. @dallasshaw 
    2.  @sasha_zeen 
    3. @dallasshaw 
    4. @emerson_fry
    5.  @lifeonthepaper
  • Monday Motivation

    In my writing office today.

    I’m usually up… at 5…but for some reason I got up at 3 this morning.

    Which was probably meant to be since I woke up to check my emails and  find two rejections from agents I was hoping to work with. They were both sent out on Friday, so I’m kind of glad I didn’t see them before the weekend. One agent is from the “Rolls Royce” of literary agency.  I can’t even believe I thought I was good enough to even query them.

    …so I really need this Monday Motivation.

    Rejections are painful and depressing. I lost count of how many I have. I think it’s somewhere over 60 agents. It may sound silly but when you have a goal you want so bad or a dream to achieve, it doesn’t sound silly to you.

    I keep thinking about quitting my writing and getting another job… or two… or something.  But then again I think about the time when I was sitting in a room with hundreds of business women at a convention, dreaming about achieving an award from the company I worked for. I went home from that convention, planning, creating, mapping out my goals, and returned the next year to receive three business awards out of the entire company. So I know I can do this.

    Artwork: Katie Orse

    I need to FOCUS on my goal.

    Block out all the negatives.

    I’m not going to cry and let these rejections ruin my week. I don’t have any more tears left. Maybe there is some good that will come out of this. It’s hard to tell what’s going to happen when you’re standing in the fog, but for some reason I feel like it’s meant to be..for now.

    So it’s back to dreaming, planning, creating, writing, and submitting…

    Right now I need some happiness and I’m encouraging myself by listening to Gotye. His work always motivates and inspires me.

    via Billboard

    Gotye…have you ever read his song lyrics? He’s an incredible artist who has a brilliant mind when it comes to piecing words together. His music videos are another work of art as well.

    Two of my favorite Gotye songs are: Giving Me A Chance, and Save Me

    I hope my song selections will uplift and inspire you as well. So put on your headphones and enlarge the screen for these.





    Save Me Lyrics

    In the mornings
    I was anxious
    It was better just to stay in bed
    Didn’t want to fail myself again

    Running through all the options
    And the endings
    Were rolling out in front of me
    But I couldn’t choose a thread to begin

    And I could not love
    ‘Cause I could not love myself
    Never good enough, no
    That was all I’d tell myself
    And I was not well
    But I could not help myself
    I was giving up on living

    In the morning
    You were leaving
    Traveling south again
    And you said you were not unprepared

    And all the dead ends
    And disappointments
    Were fading from your memory
    Ready for that lonely life to end

    And you gave me love
    When I could not love myself
    And you made me turn
    From the way I saw myself
    And you’re patient, love
    And you help me help myself
    And you save me,
    You save me,
    You save me



    Giving Me A Chance Lyrics

    You know I never want to let you down
    It cuts me up to see you sad
    And I wish that I could undo what I’ve done
    Give back the faith in me you had

    You know I love you more than anyone
    But I get a little wrapped up in myself
    But you know I never want to do you wrong
    Bring into question what we have

    I know I let you down
    I know I let you down
    But you’re giving me a chance



  • Loving Vincent


    Do you enjoy visiting museums?

    I certainly do and I love to study creative work from talented artists. I admire them.

    The first time I visited an art museum was in college when I enrolled in an Art History course. Our semester end project was to chose a museum on the required list, and then our assignment would be given to us. I chose the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and was assigned a Dutch painter.  I located my artist and his painting in the museum, and then made notes on style, and technique. I loved this assignment because it was somewhat similar to a treasure hunt!

    Here’s my personal opinion: Art History projects are important since they encourage students to investigate and analyze visual work and then refine the process into a clear written and sometimes oral record. As a writer, I love this  process.  You can think of it in the same way as how math people love to solve those endless equations.

    So imagine how I felt when I discovered this film project called Loving Vincent . It’s the world’s first painting animation film. Loving Vincent is a beautiful creative endeavor that is worthy of sharing and passing along to you, especially because I’d love for this movie to come out worldwide so others can enjoy it. I’m not familiar with how or why movies are not able to  be showcased worldwide, but I hope it becomes available.

    The movie is directed by DOROTA KOBIELA & HUGH WELCHMAN. The undertaking of the film is amazing as it consists entirely of  66,960 paintings from various artists. It’s an incredible undertaking when you combine these paintings to CGI effects, and professional actors.

    Some of the actors starring in this film are:  Saoirse Ronan (Oscar Nominee Brooklyn), Aidan Turner (The Hobbit), Helen McCrory (Harry Potter) and Douglas Booth (Noah).

    Enjoy this behind-the-scene short film and let me know your thoughts. It runs about 6:30 minutes long.

    Have a great weekend!




     Photo credit: Imdb

    Video Source

  • Words That Inspire Me

    I created this art journal page back in January and am now just getting the opportunity to share it with you.