The Empire State of Mind

Hello NYC!

Blue skies are upon us and Spring is in the air in NYC. Can’t think of a better way to shake off the winter blues and get mega inspired than by strutting through the colorful, animated and boisterous streets of good ole Manhattan. Yes, nothing like the Empire state of mind to get the energy flowing and recharging the creative channels. How do you get inspired?


Whose Woods are These Surrounded by Fog?

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Nothing like nature’s reminder of the captivating beauty that surrounds us, everyday. Fog provides a mysterious yet soothing backdrop to the winter-laden forest that has been  blanketed by its moisture, which the slippery ice failed to get.


Fall for Him

Fall for Him

Oil on Canvas, by Giovanna Aguilar. Just celebrating the art of man. (painted in the Fall of 09)


A la Coffee Tree

A la Coffee Tree

Before the brew, there is the seed.

Just hanging in the Andes and awaiting the hand of selection. Beautiful….raw and deep.

Nicole Franklin Brings Anne Brown Back to Broadway

Inspiration. Dedication. Passion and Celebration!


filmmmaker extraordinaire celebrates Anne Brown on Broadway....

On a pretty amazing day this past February, filmmaker Nicole Franklin took a firm step on Broadway upon entering the Richard Rodgers Theater where the musical Porgy & Bess is playing.

With her ‘Gershwin & Bess‘ DVDs in tow, my good friend celebrated a monumental day in her career, in her life for on that day she brought Anne Brown back to Broadway.

To see a talented friend reaching a milestone, someone who continually inspires all of us to move forward in this crazy world of filmmaking, well, it is truly a powerful experience that needs to be shared.

Nicole has been working on her documentary, Meet Bess, for years, and she recently received a purchase order from the theater to sell her short version of her documentary, Gershwin & Bess, in the lobby.

I invite you all to check out Nicole and help spread the word of her DVDs so she can complete her full-length documentary in honor of the late Anne Brown who inspired the role of Bess—she was in the original production of the opera of Porgy & Bess in 1935. Of course, we all hear that Audra McDonald is breathtaking in her rendition. I’ve been her fan since Private Practice. Yes, hard work and patience do pay off…..


Red, White and Blue to the Taste of Ale – – MADE IN THE USA

Red, White and Blue to the Taste of Ale  - - MADE IN THE USA

Who would’ve thought that walking into a brewery this past week that my call for THE ‘location’ would be answered. Yes! I found the place. The one and only where my script evolves to the future. With names that include ‘Jersey Summer Breakfast Ale’ and IPA Hopnotic, how could I go wrong for inspiration? Golden gem to find a place where American pride rules, and all is made with passion. Was great to see good ole Ben Franklin too.

Thank you, Cricket Hill Brewery!

Finding Your POV in the Banal

POV - Your Own

Frustrating. That is just how it feels when the same words go from my head to the document. Unlike when the magic is there as  the story flows, smoothly. Like a chocolate fondue over the sweetest strawberry. Your heart races as, in between each breath, your muses continue their gem offerings. Exhilarating. If you could only hold on to it… ..But then, there it is that thing. Yes, that, the ordinary. The same old tucking at you, embarrassing you in places  you’d prefer to ignore – – just like gum caught on your sole…. So what to do? You sweat, as you pick at it and pull it off…Then you walk a few paces looking for a place to run your foot hard back-and-forth many times  to get the sticky mess gone. And then, just as you did before, you do it again. You write. This time though your POV starts brewing from the very frustrating place you were in just a few moments ago, okay, for weeks… But there it is, a picture. One seen by all many times but simply left  behind. Oh. You have seen it too, and walked on by in a hurry to catch up and get to – – no where. Now, here you are and  move from side to side looking at different angles and realize the ordinary is truly extraordinary. The magic is in the angle, the POV that is your own. Simple stories, in between the darkness of the wall separating them, can converge and release colors so bright and true. Ahhhhh. You can sit down now, comfortably, in front of your laptop and type away…. If you only trust the process a little more…. Your POV will enliven even the banal, as that is where all the good stuff flows from, anyway.


The Winding Road to DreamTown Is Paved with Hope Along the Way

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“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” Thomas Jefferson Lately, I find myself inspired awhile feeling a sense of frustration, so I … Continue reading

The Power of Green for Films that Matter

Daniel Maldonado on the set of Lalo, Winner of Best Short in the HBO/NY Latino Independent Film Festival in 2010

Are you trapped in urban isolation and lost physically and spiritually? Do you feel society’s human, personal touch is being eroded by technology?  You are not alone. And because statistics indicate that 1 out of 110 children are affected by autism, this film is sure to matter to you, as all these themes are explored in H.O.M.E., a feature-length film by Daniel Maldonado, Winner of the Best Short at the 2010 HBO/NY Latino Independent Film Festival.  

The film will star Jeremy Ray Valdez, La Mission, as Danny, a young man affected by Asperger’s Syndrome who disappears into the NYC subway system.  

Want to see H.O.M.E.?  Well, you may know that independent filmmaking can be, umm, frustrating during the funding stage. But fear not! Daniel adds juice to his creative process and pulls in a team of producers and talent that can make it happen. You can become part of the creative process too. Get behind what matters – – your causes, your stories, your artists. It is as simple as checking out IndieGoGo and adding some green to H.O.M.E’s production. The color green is about making it happen, from Green Lit to funding… 

Actor Jeremy Ray Valdez is the recipient of the 2010 Imagen Award for Best Actor in La Mission (opposite Benjamin Bratt) seen in the official 2011Sundance Film Festival Selection.

AUTISM IS RELEVANT: According to the non-profit organization Autism Speaks, Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of high functioning autism, is characterized by “socially and emotionally inappropriate behavior, the inability to interact successfully with peers, repetitive routines or rituals”, among others. Asperger’s often goes “undetected until a child is school age because it can generally only be determined based on a child’s social interactions.”

Summer blues

Galapagos, Ecuador

Dance with the Blue Footed Booby

On a perfectly gorgeous summer day, the $20 cab ride to Wall Street didn’t seem as painful to my wallet after seeing this promo on the side of a tourist bus in Downtown NYC. It brought back wonderful memories of my high school graduation gift to the Galapagos from my parents.

For anyone who has been to the Galapagos Islands, you know just how rampant the blue-footed boobies are – – dancing and hanging out with you on the beach. Ah…. Those memories linger from a time just a couple of decades ago, like it were yesterday. Actually right now. Wish I were there, this second.

For those of you who have heard plenty in your science classes or read about Darwin’s theory of evolution, you’ll be delighted to know that there is plenty more to see than the centuries’ old gigantic turtles. Different colored sands – – pink , gold and black beaches- – mango groves, finches, flamingoes and… – – those cute, tiny pinguins. But, let me not forget the complacent, spitting iguanas. Or, how about those lazy sea lions awaiting the catch of the day?

While Galapagos has changed since I visited as a teen, with modern paved roads lined with plentiful shops and its growing population, it remains captivating. Peaceful, gorgeous tones of turquoise and cobalt blues are dashed throughout, from the little feet of these lovely birds to the blue waters welcoming their dives. Oh, and yes, how can I forget to mention the skies a blue…