Holiday Inn Live


Holiday Inn at Studio 54

I always forget how energizing live theater is. Since I live in New York City, it’s easy to put off going to shows, because they’re always available to me. I fall into the habit of saying, “Oh, I’ll try to go later,” because it’s cold or I feel tired. And that’s how I end up missing shows.

Holiday Inn is playing at Roundabout Theater at Studio 54. The last show is January 15th. I heard it was good, and after I found out Bryce Pinkham (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder) was the lead with Corbin Bleu (of High School Musical fame), I knew I had to see it. Pinkham was phenomenal in A Gentleman’s Guide and Bleu was amazing on Dancing with the Stars. Since it was the last weekend, I bit the bullet and purchased a ticket for the second-to-last day through the box office. I even splurged, buying a better seat instead of “whatever is cheapest.”

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May the 4th Be With You: Star Wars Day part 2

In January, I brought a seven-year-old boy to the “Star Wars and the Power of Costume” exhibition at Discovery Times Square in New York City.


I’m sure I thought the exhibit was cooler than he did. What struck me the most was how big of an impact the costumes had on the actors of the prequels. They were all the actors had to go on to inform their characters and roles in the Star Wars universe. Padmé’s wardrobe is beautiful and kind of ridiculous. The senate costumes were also gorgeous. As an artist, it’s always exciting for me to see the influences behind the costume designs, even if some are problematic. (Padmé again.) The biggest highlight was seeing the droids and Yoda. Photos behind the cut.


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May the 4th Be With You: Star Wars Day part 1


Meeting Kylo Ren

…And also with you.

I received some good news this week. In my previous post, I mentioned entering #FicFest, a contest where finalists work one-on-one with a mentor before the agent round. Well…I was chosen as a finalist! I’m on #TeamFrance, along with my #RWchat co-host C.L. Polk, and I couldn’t be happier.

Unfortunately, I’m feeling a bit under the weather. My plan to spend the week revising a different WIP is shot. Instead, I’m taking a sick day and watching Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens on Blu-Ray.

And posting photos! Part 1 is a gallery of Star Wars pics from my trip to Disneyland in March (below the cut). I won’t lie, I was super excited to meet Kylo Ren. But when he appeared out of nowhere, looming over me, I turned into a nervous giggling mess. He was so tall! And so close! Asking if we were ready to join the Dark Side. I’m pretty sure I said, “Let’s go.” And probably something else embarrassing.

Kylo Ren also came out during the Jedi Academy show, when little kids get to fight against Darth Vader and Seventh Sister (from Star Wars Rebels). It was very cute.

In part 2, I’ll post photos from my visit to the Star Wars Costume exhibition at Discovery Times Square in New York City. Enjoy!

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A to Z Challenge: X is for X-Men

Kitty Pryde, aka Shadowcat

Today is National Superhero Day, according to Twitter. I had already decided X-Men would be my topic for X, and since that’s today’s letter and I clearly don’t mind posting out of order, today you get two posts! (Don’t worry, this one is mostly photos.)

Storm, Jubilee, and Shadowcat at Flame Con 2015

 Even though I’m wearing a Wonder Woman t-shirt today, my favorite superhero is actually Kitty Pryde, aka Shadowcat.

Kitty Pryde

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A to Z Challenge: H is for Hamilton


On December 9, 2015, after a week of listening to the Original Cast Recording of Hamilton non-stop, I went to the in-person lottery on a Wednesday at noon and won. I wrote this post in January, so I’m making H for Hamilton and finally hitting publish.


While the recording gives an accurate portrayal of what the show sounds like, there are a few aspects that are ten times more powerful on stage. Here are a few examples, in no particular order: Continue reading

The Ripped Bodice Grand Opening

12814343_10153417664793341_4690919157905779256_nWhile in Los Angeles earlier this month, I happened to be around Culver City for the grand opening of The Ripped Bodice, the first romance-only bookstore. After raising over $90,000 on Kickstarter, sisters Bea and Leah Koch opened the doors on March 4th, 2016.

The store is cute and highly photogenic, with a mix of art, carefully curated gift items, and of course, BOOKS! The books are displayed in a way that makes it easy for you to browse genres & tropes you enjoy. Looking for rock stars? Sports romance? M/M? There’s a shelf for each, & knowledgeable staff to answer your questions and give suggestions. Indie, traditional, and classics can be found easily, making for an impressive selection of print titles. Subtle, creative merchandising invites you to get lost while looking for your latest additions to the TBR pile. Displays seamlessly combine books & local crafts, making it a great gift resource for book lovers. And I can’t say enough about the antique furniture decorating the space & providing seating. If you’re in LA, definitely check out The Ripped Bodice, a haven for romance readers.

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Pitch Contests for Writers

In February, I entered #PitMad and #PitchMadness Mario Kart edition. So far, in March, I’ve entered #SonofaPitch and #Pit2Pub.

If you have a polished manuscript ready for submission, Twitter pitch contests are a great way to connect with other writers, find craft and publishing resources, and learn more about what agents and editors are looking for. (Also check #MSWL for that.) During the waiting periods for some contests, participants post questions, games, and links. Some people even find critique partners this way, or swap query letters for feedback. Agents, editors, and other authors tweet a lot of useful information under the pitch hashtag. Continue reading

LSFW “Create Something Magical” Conference

LSFW Create Something Magical conferenceThis weekend I attended the Liberty States Fiction Writers annual “Create Something Magical” conference for the 4th time. Each year, I try to expand upon what I did the previous year, to stretch myself more as a writer. In other words, I try to do something that scares me. This time, that meant participating in the conference version of the “So You Think You Can Write” challenge.

On Saturday, SYTYCW invited participants to submit a 1-minute summary of a work-in-progress. (I wrote the pitch in the hotel Friday night, with the help of my friend and conference roommate Stacey Agdern.) After hearing it read out loud, the panel of four author-coaches would then decide if one or more wanted to have the participant on her team. (Similar to The Voice.) I ended up on the team of contemporary romance author Christi Barth. We sat down for a one-on-one, where she gave me manuscript and career advice. In fact, she sent me running off to pitch the novel to an editor or agent.

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S.H.E. Summit, June 14-15, 2013 – Day 1 Recap + Takeaways

Claudia Chan SHE Summit 2013 Women signS.H.E. Summit is a week-long event that celebrates women’s empowerment and leadership. The week leading up to the conference features pop-up events on everything from women’s financial health to summer event planning, and women everywhere are encouraged to host events in their own cities. The conference, held on June 14-15 in New York City, features panel discussions, keynote speakers, a marketplace, and plenty of networking opportunities. S.H.E. Summit (She Helps Empower) is the work of leadership and lifestyle expert, Claudia Chan.

I live-tweeted the whole event from @alexisdaria, so I’ve put together a recap of Day 1 with Tweeted Takeaways.

S.H.E. Summit Recap: Day 1

Agapi Stassinopoulos book signing SHE Summit

Agapi Stassinopoulos signs my copy of “Unbinding the Heart”

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