• A Day in the Life : Juilliard Music Division


    The main character in my current manuscript is gifted with musical talents. She plays both the violin and piano. Her dream is to attend Juilliard. In my research I discovered that the school  runs their very own Youtube channel.

    I love watching The Juilliard School’s Youtube channel. It’s my go-to for inspiration, not just for music (which I love), but to receive some insight into the lives of these gifted professionals. It’s amazing to watch the sacrifice these students make for their passion.

    This video highlights one of their viola students and you can follow his Youtube channel here and his audition story here. He’s full of positive energy, which I LOVE!

    If you’re  ever in doubt about fulfilling your dreams, passion or maybe you’re  just feeling stuck… watching positive and uplifting Youtube channels such as this one is an excellent starting point.




  • Updating My Writing Playlist


    I just updated a few new songs to my writing playlist here.

    To be honest, I’m not satisfied with the format I’m using (linking to Youtube). I’d rather listen to all the songs on one page but this will have to do for now.

    For me, one of the best ways to get out of a writing slump is to listen to music. A lot of music! I’ve been doing this for the last few days, along with curating a collection of images that I like.  That’s just the way I work.

    I added 4 new songs to this list- now up to a total of 19 songs. They inspire a few scenes in my work, and mostly in regards to Miranda, the protagonist.

    I love classical music, but there are just way too many for me to link up.

    Violinists Charly and Margaux (CHARGAUX) are my favorite instrumental musicians. I’m currently favoring this performance they did at the NYC subway station.

    “Love” by Lana Del Rey was added because it fits perfectly with my manuscript’s complete synopsis.

    Finally, I had to include Harry Styles. He has a beautiful and amazing voice.

    Be sure to visit my full playlist on this site. Let me know what you think of these songs too!

    Have a great day!



  • 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


  • Out Of Bullets from “Spectre” soundtrack

    Film score composer Thomas Newman is one of my favorite music genius. It’s amazing to view his Imdb credentials and well, I can’t help but notice that he does not have an Oscar yet. Why not? He’s conducted so many mega films.

    So when I watched Spectre last weekend on Hulu, I was reminded why his work inspires me. Of course, all the scenes in the movie were clearly intense, but have you ever paid attention to the music composition that goes along with it?

    It’s not surprising that my favorites from the soundtrack coincide with some of my favorite scenes in Spectre. This one in particular…Out Of Bullets, where Bond is lovingly gazing into the eyes of Madeline when she tells him she can’t stay. She can’t be apart of his world. It’s such a heartfelt moment for these characters (sigh).

    The ending of Spectre is also one of my favorite and perhaps the best in all of the Bond films. That’s my opinion.

    I love this track so much. I just wish it went on longer.  Listening to this song reminds me of Iceland also, especially during the dark winter season. And I’ll admit to you that I actually meditate to this as well. Yes…it’s that relaxing. So put your headphones on and close your eyes for this one.

    Happy Friday and enjoy your weekend!!



  • Washington D.C

    A week ago I had the opportunity to visit Washington DC.

    I wanted to share a few of my favorite moments from this trip and how much I’m grateful for the history in  our nation’s capital.  There were so many amazing historical sites and museums to visit, so it was really difficult to tailor it down in one blog post.

    The weather in D.C was a bit chilly at…42 degrees. I’m glad I brought my down winter coat with me because it would later snow in the week. On the day I arrived it was actually very beautiful and sunny. I spent a week there, and had approximately three days before the snow would arrive. That meant I needed to plan ahead and take advantage of the warmer weather and visit as much of the outdoor sites as I could. I’m a big cold weather chicken.

    My first stop was the Vietnam Memorial. I went there early in the morning where it was less crowded. At the Vietnam Memorial, it was a sad moment, mixed with a reverent and peaceful feeling. The names on the wall…were those who sacrificed their life.  I was so grateful to have the opportunity to  pay my respects to them. It was a very humbling experience for me.

    The Lincoln Memorial.

    Walking up the steps towards a beautiful Greek style temple gave me a sense of historical nostalgia. Inside was the statue of our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln. The first thing I noticed was the expansive space that surrounds Lincoln. It’s an incredible site to see the massive stone sculpture up close.

    On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, you face the Washington Monument, which would be an even more beautiful site had the Cherry Blossoms bloomed. I can only imagine.

    I also managed to visit the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. The architecture design was breathtaking as well.

    A visit to the Arlington National Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Just as I got to the top steps for this photo,  I managed to witness the changing of the guards.

    I spent my last few days visiting the Smithsonian and of course, my favorite…the National  Gallery of Art.

    Sketches by Pablo Picasso.

    There are so many museums in the city, and they are all free. If you ever have the opportunity to visit Washington D.C, be sure to also check out the African-American Museum, The Holocaust Memorial Museum,  Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and the United States Capitol.

    Before I left D.C though, I managed to get one more final glimpse of the Washington Monument…this time with snow falling. Beautiful!

  • An Update

    I’m going to miss this place. It was a week of whirlwind museum and historical outings.

    Here’s a photo of the Washington Monument the day before it snowed for me. The cherry blossoms were beginning to bloom, and then the next day-GONE! The snow was beautiful to look at, but then again -I thought about the cherry blossoms!

    The museums were my ultimate favorite. I could literally just stay there all day and night long. I walked the galleries and took in beautiful art and then walked to the Thomas Jefferson monument and admired the stone architectural designs. I’ll share more of my visit throughout the next few weeks. Right now, there’s so much goodies I have to unpack from my trip.

    Until next time…



  • The Psychedelic Furs :: Music + Writing Inspiration

    One of my favorite writing hero John Hughes once explained, “Don’t just write about what you know, but what you care about.”  This is perhaps why I connect with him,  besides Hughes writing about teen angst and the Chicago setting, which I love.

    John Hughes also loved music and while watching one of his many films you’ll come across well known new wave classics. One of them is from a band called The Psychedelic Furs. Their song, Pretty In Pink (1986) became an inspiration for John Hughes’s hit film by the same name.

    Today I’m sharing this cool band with you as one of my favorite classics and a song listed in my writing playlist. I think many have heard Pretty in Pink before, but a few may not remember their other hit song,  The Ghost In You, which I will admit, tops higher for me than Pretty In Pink.

    I hope you’ll enjoy my selection. Let me know what you think!



    A man in my shoes runs a light
    And all the papers lied tonight
    But falling over you
    Is the news of the day
    Angels fall like rain
    And love, love, love
    Is all of heaven away (Love, love, love, love, love)

    Inside you the time moves and she don’t fade
    The ghost in you, she don’t fade
    Inside you the time moves and she don’t fade

    A race is on, I’m on your side
    And here in you, my engines die
    I’m in a mood for you
    Or running away
    Stars come down in you
    And love, love, love
    You can’t give it away (Love, love, love, love, love)

    Inside you the time moves and she don’t fade
    The ghost in you, she don’t fade
    Inside you the time moves and she don’t fade

    Don’t you go, it makes no sense
    When all your talk and supermen
    Just take away the time
    And get in the way
    Ain’t it just like rain?
    And love, love, love
    Is only heaven away (Love, love, love, love, love)

    Inside you the time moves and she don’t fade
    The ghost in you, she don’t fade
    Inside you the time moves and she don’t fade
    The ghost in you, she don’t fade
    Inside you the time moves and she don’t fade
    The ghost in you, she don’t fade
    Inside you the time moves

  • 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



  • 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.