As much as I hoped to reenact the famous opening scene of Hairspray on a beautiful Sunday morning, I ended up arriving at Dulles International Airport at 5:00PM in the evening. Philippine Airlines decided to wait a tad bit longer before taking off, causing me to miss my 21:28 San Francisco flight to Baltimore. Immigration check took long, baggage claim took longer, and so my flight bid me goodbye before I could get to it. I was frantic, scared, and alone. I didn't know what to do, who to go to, or where to go to get off the airport. I probably spent P2,000+ worth of data just calling my sister and Jayson for help. It was devastating for a first-time overseas flyer like me. . . .
Whenever I think of how I managed to get to where I am today, I always come to a close debate with myself. Am I here because Fate and Destiny promised this journey for me, or because I took control and action over my life? . . .
As soon as I got up from bed, I looked out the window to see if it had rained. The clouds were pretty grey, but the weather overall looked like it was going to be in our favor. I got some work done while Glaizee was still catching some shut-eye. I thought of where we could eat breakfast and managed to locate a cafe in Intramuros, our second stop and the highlight of our Manila trip, called Marso Cafe & Restaurant. . . .
October 2015—My good friend Glaizee and I decided to visit and tour Manila. More for her than me, since she hasn't seen much of Manila when she last visited. What luck that my trip to the US would land on the same weekend we'd be traveling. I had to make a couple of adjustments to my itinerary to make both fit, and thank the heavens it worked out in the end. . . .
Kissing my kids goodbye, I stepped into my shoes and got on the car with a nervous and heavy heart. I tell myself to be thankful though. I tell myself, 'Stef, this journey is meant for you. This is your gift. Step out into new land and make memories for yourself.' I'm heading off to Baltimore, Maryland and Albany, New York in the next two weeks, this being the first time I am ever flying out of the country alone. . . .
Deeply hung over in creativity thanks to Gumroad’s Small Product Lab course, I decided to create, build up, and launch a creative community, an initiative called Makers Club. I thought it would be a fantastic way of continuing the momentum the course had created. On a personal level, creating and fostering a community made up of writers, artists, performers, musicians, and makers has always been a dream of mine. Something I had hoped to realize at that time. Getting this creative community up and running is the easy part. I spend a few hours choosing a platform, shaping the brand, and inviting people to join. It felt right. Like a calling of some sort. I had this deep feeling this was going to turn into something . . .
Blinkist is a go-to reading corner for quick and bite-sized summaries of the best non-fiction books. The library spans a wide range of topics, from productivity to relationships, so there's something for everyone. In my case, I searched and gobbled up as many books as I could find that relate to my current situation as a writer: creativity, failure, rejection, productivity, and self-encouragement. I've picked up 21 Blinkist books that address important aspects of the creative life. You might find quick and actionable answers to problems you've been dealing with for a long time. You need to subscribe to the Blinkist service to be able to access these books. You can try it out for three days. That's plenty of time to go through . . .
"You should get this book," my sister wrote at our THE SCHMEXY SISTERZ Facebook chat room. She then sent a snapshot of Elle Luna's The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion. Reading the blurb on Amazon, I was very interested in this dichotomy and what exactly they mean and represent. Eventually, I did pick up a copy from my local bookstore and dove right into it. It's filled with beautiful photography, inspiring quotes, lovely illustrations, and most important of all, insights on honoring our calling — MUST — and how to live a life driven by what moves us forward. Conclusion: It's a refreshing way of expounding on a classic war cry that many creatives continue to fear and turn away from. . . .
I’ve been freelancing for seven years. I freelance because it supports both my life and my creative writing. Writing poetry, fiction, fan fiction, game fiction, and everything literary in between has and will always be the end goal. There's this growing frustration, however, towards freelancing that's weighing me down. For two years, I wished, dreamed, and brainstormed for ideas on how to establish a more stable and sustainable source of income where I didn’t need to put in writing hours all the time. My first two products I signed up for an account on a platform called Gumroad, which takes the guesswork out of setting up a product for sale. I jumped at the opportunity and created my first product: Catching the Butterfly: 13 Ways . . .
Just minutes after launching my latest guidebook, I realized that none of the hyperlinks inside the PDF document worked. They were just blue-colored underscored text resembling links. They were supposed to take the reader to help articles, references, and other useful content related to the topic. I searched through three-year old forum threads and two-year old blog posts that came up on the Google search, but couldn't find a working solution for my problem. Luckily, I didn't give up too easily. A Chrome app to save the day A single post on a Mac-related forum pointed out that I could use a Google Drive app to upload the Word document and save as a usable PDF. While the suggested app wasn't available anymore, I discovered a . . .