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Why I Haven’t Been Updating Here


Monday, 07.21.2014

I’m back!

Well, not really…

Well, maybe…

I don’t know.

The past few years, my presence on The Media Maid has been dwindling. As more and more bloggers sprout up over the internet, more and more “look at me” social media mongers clammered for likes and comments, I’ve all but pretty much disappeared here on my beloved blog. Sure, every once in awhile, you’ll be treated to an emo heartbreak post or a random pop culture piece but most generally, I cannot say I’ve been the most active of bloggers.

Not because I haven’t been writing, you see. I had a stint for awhile at a magazine, I still contribute and help out with some other sites and I still put pen to paper the old fashioned way all the time in my journal but in a weird way, the more I had to write professionally, the less I wanted to write blogically.

Why?

Well, here are just a few of the reasons:

Being a professional writer sapped my creativity

I know this sounds a little bit idiosyncratic. After all, shouldn’t getting paid to write be the dream of any writer? Shouldn’t the accessibility to a computer and blank Word document throughout most of the day as well as being in an environment with like-minded individuals actually help boost my writing prowess?

Well, it did back when I was writing part-time. Because the other parts of my days, I was able to spend it daydreaming and conjuring up weird content to put on my own blog – stuff like being afraid of trees and hate mails to mosquitos. When I started writing full time – 10am-7pm 5 times a week (but usually much longer than that), the last thing I wanted to go home and face was my computer screen. Again.

I faced a lot of big, scary critics.

Granted, most of them were in my head. I had gotten to a point where I kept listening to everyone else about what I should do with my blog. Ebert over there is muttering about how I need to quit sharing all the goofs and mishaps I get myself into while Roeper all the way down there is yammering about how they wished I would be less wordy. It started creating a major writer’s block in me because I just didn’t know what to write about that could please everyone who read this thing. I stopped listening to that voice inside my own head, that gut instinct that told me what was cool and what was not, what was worthy to write about and how to write about it.

I was trying to kick my bad habit.

I’m a really bad big mouth. This bad habit could be as harmless as sometimes I just don’t think certain pieces of information are that big of a deal to share with other people but I didn’t really consider other people’s feelings and sensitivities. This bad habit could also be as grave as I grew up having a serious void in my heart and a need for attention and my way to get that attention and fulfill that void was to share gossip. These past few years have been a gradual but intentional purging of my big-mouthedness. Not blogging regularly on my personal blog about the comings and goings of my life has definitely helped with that process so yes! Some rainbow finally popped out of that dreary old thunderstorm!

Instagram.

As my Instagramming habit increased, it just became easier to take one or two pictures that stuck out to me during the Ambien Online day and share a little bit about my musings on it rather than plot out a whole entry that has a succinct beginning, middle and end. I succumbed to my generation’s need to share everything right now, right away and became too lazy to work my brain muscles out with the sometimes painful process of brainstorming and marinating on a good, long, in-depth topic or theme and then actually typing that out.

Identity Issues.

A lot of the past two years has been devoted to some serious soul searching. Drawing out where my identity lies and how it defined my actions and behaviors in positive or negative ways. So much of my life has been about doing something to carve out that identity. I’d somehow believed deep down inside that if I portrayed a life that looked pretty and sparkly and just charmingly slightly disarrayed, then that was who I was inside. Or also that my identity was based on how well-received my blog was or how many people would email or comment or like each blog entry. I didn’t really want to be beholden to that anymore. Even if I don’t write regularly, I’m still Janice… beloved by my Creator and made for greatness and freedom in ways I can’t even fathom (also created for a bit of big-headedness, huh?). No funny entry, witty anecdote or eye-catching photo can ever make up for that.

So yea… in a nutshell, I guess those are most of the reasons for the lack of life found on The Media Maid. I think most likely, I just kind of got annoyed by myself and my excessive sharing. Funny enough, to the right of my blog’s homepage, this is my writer’s profile, right underneath a eager beaver smiley photo of me in a bubblegum pink t-shirt:

I have this problem. I have a need to share with the world my passions and interests and hope that they will also enjoy it. Hence, this blog is born- to showcase some of the things I’m most fascinated with. Most of the posts relate to the media as it relates to me. (Blame the early twenties neurosis of thinking the world revolves around you)

The late-twenties Janice reads those sentences and think, “Oh god, how utterly annoying, naive and young this chick is. (Cute smile though)”

So after aaaaaall the reasons why I didn’t want to blog on The Media Maid anymore, why this post?

Well, I kind of missed this old friend. I was looking through old photos the other day and I thought, “Wow. I’ve made some incredible memories over the past few years. I’ve had some great people in my life and some grand adventures.” But because I hadn’t been blogging that much these past few years, I’ve sadly almost forgotten about these good times (and some bad times).

Keeping my memories afloat on The Media Maid has given me a most valuable gift – treasure troves of stories and incidentals and thoughts and musings that can help me reflect on my past, present and even what I presumed my future would be. And now that my knowledge of my true identity is more firm and in place than ever before, I feel I can write and share from a place that’s less beholden to my critics and bad habits and fears.

So who knows? Perhaps I’ll be updating more frequently from now on? Perhaps I’ll be shifting how I write and what I write about? Not sure what the future will hold but for here, for now, here is a post.

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posted by Janice | Comments: 3 | Category Blog, Inspirations, Writing

Revving up the engines


Saturday, 08.3.2013

You know how sometimes after a long time of not doing something, you’re not even sure how to start it back up again?

Yea, that’s kind of the feeling I have right now. The wonder of what topic would be a good one to get myself back in the swing of things, what is impactful enough, important enough, well worded enough to actually make it a relevant first post after a long hiatus?

I thought about all the things I wanted to tell you, all the impressions I wanted to make…

And then I scratched all of those ideas and just decided to go with this one.

You see, someone very dear to my heart told me recently that when I write – especially for something such as this personal blog – I shouldn’t really worry about what the readers would want to read, what would get the most comments, what they would like because with all due respect, as important as you are in my life, my writing should also be because I have something to say, because I want to say something. Or even just that I want to write. Even if it’s about nothing at all.

And I did want to write tonight. I wanted to say hi to you guys. That I’ve missed you. I’ve missed the witty (at least to me) words that flowed out of my brain every time my fingers touched the keyboard. I’ve missed the long ruminations over what would make a great blog post, I’ve missed the interaction about honestly baring my souls sometimes just for the hell of it.

“What took you so long?” You might ask. (Or you might just be asking, “you still own this blog?)

Well, my hesitation came from many different forms.

There’s that very creepy man who still sends Pokies me creepy emails and messages and diamonds every time I make a remote blip on social media. There’s my job that sometimes sucks all the words (or at least the energy to be on my computer for more than I need to) away from me. There’s the decrease of a need to share what’s going on in my life with people other than the ones that I actually care about. I think as social media expanded (Twitter, Instagram, Kik, WeChat, etc., I’m looking at you all) I’ve started to shrink my media presence. I became more concerned about nourishing the few close relationships that I actually have in person and via one on one communication rather than sending out a mass email or picture to the world letting them know what pair of sneakers I have on. Hey, I’m not saying that’s bad if you’re someone who still does that but it’s just not for me.

But deep down inside, frankly there’s just a feeling that you probably don’t really care about my life or my thoughts of my words enough to want to read about it on this blog.

“Oh no no no, Janice! We care about you! We really want to see you update your blog!” You might say. (Or you might just say, “Seriously, you still maintain this thing?”) But it’s okay. Whichever your reaction is, I’m working on not really caring about the response I get with the work I write, more about keeping the reasoning for myself. Asking questions like, “what do I want to say? What do I want to share? Why do I think this is important?”

And that is enough.

Hope you’ll still keep reading :)

PS. Shout out to Alex and Jess who keep pushing me to keep this blog going. Thanks guys :)

 
posted by Janice | Comments: 4 | Category Personal, Writing

I’m alive!


Tuesday, 08.28.2012

My blogging attendance might suggest otherwise but yes! I’m alive and well!

I can’t believe it’s been 5 months since I’ve been in Hong Kong already. Time passes by so fast here. Literally, things can happen here in a week that would take a month to occur back in LA. I would say I have definitely been living life so much to the point that I started forgetting (or not having the time) to sit back and blog about it! But boy oh boy, lots of observations stored up!

One of the reasons why I’m so preoccupied is I’m starting to get comfortable with my position as the Style and Social Media Editor for Time Out HK. This means I basically get to stare at and write about pretty clothes all day and then I get to look up cute cat pictures online and post it on Facebook. Actually, it’s a little more than that but I’ll tell you another time. Today, I just want to show off! I’ve finally accumulated enough articles and randomness to share with you some of my contributions to Time Out HK.

First up– some writing bits.

Hair cuts and Grandma Tips

I spent a random afternoon with famed hairstylist Kim Robinson (at his abode no less!) and personal finance guru Suze Orman. We chatted about hair, their irreplaceability, and money. You can read the article here. However, it was when we were in the car ride back to the city extenze canada where things got interesting. Suze and her partner Kathy were like this sweet pair of grandmas doling out life advice for me. (Suze: “You stay in Hong Kong and you get cultured!” Kathy: “You need to find a nice tall, handsome, well-cultured, well-educated boy to match you!”) That’s also when I found out that when Suze was 28, she was still waitressing, trying to save up enough money for a restaurant. Boy, how differently her life’s turned out since then! Gives us all a little hope, doesn’t it?

Vivienne Tam

One of the first weeks on the job, I got the opportunity to interview Vivienne Tam. I may not be all up on my designers but even I know who Vivienne Tam was. Nice, fun interview. Read here.

Fancy Dining on the House

I definitely dig the perks of being a Time Out writer and getting my bill paid at fancy restaurants (and writing up a review about it) is certainly one of them. This review was even merrier cause I got to enjoy the dinner with a fine group of gal pals. Read here.

Last but DEFINITELY not Least

This is my favorite piece thus far. I wrote  a snappy column for the latest Cheap Eats issue of Time Out (out on newsstands now, Hong Kong friends!) where I dished out how a fine meal is determined by your company, not your courses. READ HERE! READ HERE! READ HERE!

Next up: Shoots.

 
posted by Janice | Comments: 4 | Category Hong Kong, Interviews, Job, Magazine, Writing

Motivational Monday | Make Good Art


Monday, 06.25.2012

I think this is pretty self-explanatory…

Mr. Gaiman’s commencement speech for University of the clearpores vs Arts c/o 2012 is even more inspirational.


{ Source thanks to Melly }

 
posted by Janice | Comments: 4 | Category Books, Films, Inspirations, Love, Movies, Writing

Answered Prayers


Thursday, 06.7.2012

Whoa.

They weren’t kidding when they said Hong Kong moves fast. The pace, the speech, the happenings.

It’s been a little less than three months since I’ve been here in Hong Kong and already, I feel like I’ve done more than a year in LA. I’m like the Tasmania devil swirling around, hardly stopping to catch a breath.

But then again, why would I want to? What would be the fun in that?

The only thing that was slow throughout these past 80 days have been my job hunt. There would be leads and then it would stop. There would be talks and then it would halt. There would be help and then it would cede. I didn’t know what else I could do but pray. (Pray and go hiking! Hoo hah!) It was weird though, despite various people worrying for me, thinking things would be hopeless, I was completely at peace throughout the entire process. Sure, I broke down a couple of times but overall, I knew God would provide. I just knew.

And oh boy, did he ever!

Through His impeccable timing, and making the puzzles just all fit, I somehow defeated the odds and ended up exactly where I’m supposed to be for right now Intivar.

I get to stay in Hong Kong, I get to grow and love with my sister and cousins and auntie and uncle, I get to grow and love with my church, with my new friends, I get to be at a central point of Asia at a most thrilling time. He made it happen.

For those of you not familiar with Time Out HK, the bi-weekly mag (or fortnightly as we call it) is pretty much one of those publications that has its pulse on the city of HK and the content of the mag ranges from serious opinion pieces on politics to investigating the effects of the minimum wage law to the coolest places to shop and dine. So it’s pretty much ME :)

I’m really overfilled with joy because I really knew this entire experience was just a test of my faith. How long would I hang on? How long would I stay faithful and fruitful despite not fitting society’s norm of “successful” or “doing well?”

The job has just begun and like all jobs, it will have its ups and downs but for now, I am so UP I might as well enjoy the view while it lasts.

Praise God for He is good!

 
posted by Janice | Comments: 7 | Category God, Inspirations, Interviews, Job, Love, Travel, Writing

Writing On


Friday, 06.1.2012

The past couple of weeks have been filled with parents and friends in town and job hunting. It was a good balance because I really started to dig deep and apply EVERYWHERE for EVERYTHING. Hopefully something pans out! But in the meantime, just wanted to share my good friend Shirley’s baby.

Lest you think that my friend birthed a full-grown woman in a wide-rimmed beach hat and all, Shirley’s baby is actually a magazine that she created called free sample vivaxa Minted.

Minted is a quarterly online women’s lifestyle and business magazine aimed “for the modern career girl.” This latest issue has special sections focused on eco-friendly living and for soon-to-be mothers! The cover even features eco-friendly swimwear designer Mallory Curlee of CurleeBikinis.

I contributed to Shirley’s baby this edition and can’t wait to show you when the full edition is out! Until then, follow them on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

Dream big, boys and girls!

 
posted by Janice | Comments: 1 | Category Friendlies, Magazine, Writing

The Coffee Shop Conundrum


Wednesday, 05.2.2012

When Sis and I moved into our new abode, we were without internet for three weeks. THREE WEEKS! That’s an eternity in bloggerville!

It wasn’t so bad though because we made it an adventure to go hunting for cool coffee shops to set up our blogging offices.

We got lucky finding Cafe O on our first try and the two of us fell in love with  the place. The Cafe O near our neighborhood served a grand variety of fresh, healthy foods and had this spacious second floor that was part dorm lounge-part cafeteria. It’s always full of pretty people having quiet chit-chats together or writing into notebooks or streaming TV shows on their laptops.

But alas, the heart is a fickle thing. You never know how good of a thing you have. I loved Cafe O but still wanted to find other cool places so I set out by myself one afternoon (Sis has this thing called– oh yeah– work.)

The first place I went into solely because it was so pretty to look at on the outside. It had a very modern feel and sat at the side of a street across from a park and reminded me of those cool french cafes in Paris. I sat down and ordered a milk tea that cost $45 HKD. That’s roughly $5 USD for tea with milk added into it.

{ You are more expensive than most of my lunches here }

Though the restaurant said they had free wi-fi, my laptop just would not cooperate and I was stuck finishing my milk tea while working on some things off-line. It was fine but I could have just done that at home.

I didn’t post a picture of the cafe v pills vp-rx because I still want to go back there for a meal and I don’t want to completely count them off as an establishment. They just weren’t my cup of tea (har har, get it?) in terms of blog office candidates but they may still have potential in other departments.

Sis later got off work and joined me to the next blog office candidate, Pacific Coffee Shop. You may have heard of this place, ubiquitous around these parts of Hong Kong. But surprisingly, PCC (as the cool kids call it) only allows around 20 minutes of free wi-fi unless you have a PCCW account. So we just sipped on some green tea and bummed internet off the cafe across the street. Sweet but shaky deal since the connection wasn’t always the best.

{ Still a sweet deal since I got to hang with Sis }

Finally, Sis and I went back to Cafe O for the rest of the evening because it was just the best for us. I learned a few things from my blog office-hunting afternoon.

THE MEDIA MAID’S TIPS FOR BLOG OFFICE-HUNTING

1) Always ask first whether the place has free wi-fi and for how long.
2) Then find out whether they have plugs for you to charge your electronic devices in.
3) Scan their menu prices.
4) Gage how good their food/drinks are.
5) Test how cold the place is (if you’re going to be working for hours, you do NOT want to catch a cold from the establishment’s freezing AC).
6) Observe how fast their turnover rate is. You wouldn’t want to be at a place itching to rush you out the door.

And sometimes, when you already have a good thing, don’t let it go. :)

 
posted by Janice | Comments: 7 | Category Food, Job, Writing

Shanghai Street Studio


Tuesday, 04.17.2012

It’s funny what a difference one floor can make. Though I landed at the wrong floor of a building (and nearly went into a brothel!), I finally ended up on the right floor where my intended destination, Shanghai Street Studio, is located.

My friend Carmen was shooting the creative space and profiling the founders of the studio along with JJ from The Wanderlister and I got to tag along.

The space was seriously cool! So much random mish-mash of stuff to photograph! I played amateur photog.

I’m really amazed by how God put people in our lives at certain times. Who would have known that I would be able to spend so much quality time with this girl I met with a group of friends at Disneyland that one time a long long time ago. Funny how through God, we are put on this path to guide and love on one another.

Love you, girl!

{ The first time Carmen and I met. Teehee }

 
posted by Janice | Comments: 6 | Category Friendlies, God, Travel, Writing

A Happy Ending At SIx Taste’s Thai Town Food Tour


Sunday, 04.8.2012

I’m a fan of food tours.

I get to indulge in my absolute favorite activity in the world — eating — but not feel so guilty about it because walking around to get to the places to eat justifies the pig out. It’s also fun meeting new people on the tour and discovering more about places I’d normally just drive to.

Six Taste’s food tours give you all of that satisfaction and more.

Howard (who snapped all these lovely shots) and I took up the Thai Town Food tour one Saturday morning. The tour began at 10:15am where we met in a parking lot of a plaza. Once there, we were handed cute black tote bags with “Six Taste” emblazoned on them. “It’s for the leftovers you may have to take home,” Wanda, our tour guide tells us.

Speaking of Wanda, our tour guide, I really appreciated that Six Taste took Alteril the care to hire someone who was of Thai descent and knew and cared a lot about her Thai culture and heritage. Our tour was sprinkled with personal anecdotes about growing up in Thai town, Thai jokes, and even learning some Thai dance moves!

But let’s get on with what’s really important — the food.

{ Thai Tacos }

{ Ruen Par’s sausages }

With generous portions of Thai snacks and meals served at each restaurant, I can definitely say I received a happy ending by the end of my tour. (Not that kind, you sickos)

For Audrey’s video of the Thai Town food tour experience, click below…

Other tours include and exploration of New Chinatown, Hollywood, and a Delicious Dumpling tour.

Perfect for dates, unique birthday parties or even a family bonding time, book your Six Taste food tour here!

Details:
Thai Town Food tour cost: $55

http://www.sixtaste.com/

P: 888-313-0936
info@sixtaste.com

 
posted by Janice | Comments: 5 | Category Food, Los Angeles, Travel, Writing

Hello Goodbye


Friday, 03.2.2012

The other day, I went out for a night on the town wanting to dance. My companion and I were itching to get jiggy with it but we were in a city where we weren’t sure if there were any good dancing places.

After a delicious dinner, he and I, dressed to the nines (okay, maybe 8-and-a-halfs), took a walk through the main street of the city. It was a lively street with people bustling in and out of restaurants, parking to get to the movies on time, and waiting at stop signs for friends. However, none of the establishments looked like it would make for a good dance floor.

Dance like no one's watching (with Kelly Li!)

Finally, we heard distant Mexican music playing in the corner of one of the blocks. We head towards the music and spotted across the street from us, a bustling courtyard filled with people, music, and laughter. The courtyard really was just the outside dining area of a restaurant but on that very night, it was a place of merriment and joy. Part of us wanted to step into the courtyard and see what all the fuss was about but part of us longed for the familiarity of something we were more used to –a dark, dingy dance floor, hip hop and rap music with a lot of autotune and electronica thrown in, girls vamped up in short skirts and long eyelashes, and al-al-al-al-al-alcohol.

After a moment of wonder, the pull of familiarity grasped us too tight and we headed into a very standard-looking club/lounge place. The place had a bouncer in the front, its name in neon blue letter and was pitch-dark when peered in. It felt like all the other clubs around the world that we were used to. We wanted to check out the open courtyard across the street but we just weren’t ready to explore the unknown yet.

After 10 minutes at the usual club/lounge, we were done. The place was still fairly empty (because it was early in the night) and it just wasn’t appealing. The music was nothing you can dance to and yet, it played so loud, you couldn’t hold a nice conversation with it. All the club patrons did not look happy — everyone was too busy checking each other out to really enjoy themselves. I stared out the small window of the club and at the open courtyard across the street.

“We should really be there,” I urged my companion, “They look like they’re actually having fun. We should at least check it out.”

He relented and away we went to cross the street into the courtyard, the loud Mexican music still blaring festively net forex. We spot old grandmas, young toddlers, lesbians, families, friends, everyone just dancing away. At first we were just going to look but, “Let’s join them,” my companion said.

“Serious?” I asked.

“Yeah!” He said, tugging my hand to the dance floor.

We start dancing, free from feeling awkward because no one else really gave a damn we were there because they were enjoying themselves too much. Pretty soon, the Mexican music turned into some 60′s oldies, then 70′s, then 80′s. I was struck by how wholesome the entire thing was. How everyone was enjoying themselves, enjoying their company, and enjoying doing everything out in the open, bright night sky. Can you ever imagine that happening at your local night club anymore?

Mid-dancing, we made friends with two ladies standing next to us. At first, they were just sitting on a bench, staring at everyone else dancing. However, perhaps due to the appearance of two of the only Asian people in the group, they felt confident enough to join in on the dancing. One of the ladies, probably in her mid-40′s and dressed in baggy jeans, a hoodie, and a bandana around her head, moved so freely through the crowd, it looked like she was swimming in water.

“I was born and raised here and I love this town!” the woman told us, smiling widely. “I had Latino friends, Asian friends, white friends, black friends, all sorts of friends!”

We couldn’t help but mirror her smile.

Our entire dance-fest probably only lasted 20 minutes but that memory is so juicy good that it’ll last in my heart for a lifetime. It’s moments like this that I cherish and chase after.

So why am I telling you all this?

Because I have left my post as Assistant Editor to Audrey Magazine to pursue a career and life in Asia. The details are still up in the air but the ticket’s bought, the job’s been resigned, the mental preparation’s been made (somewhat).

LA, I love you but I am determined to make the leap into the unknown, to allow myself to cross that street and dance to Mexican music. (You know what I mean.) I go on and on about how much I trust in God and the plans he has for me but I don’t really act that out in my everyday life. I need to take chances, try things that scare me, step out of my comfort zone.

This is not goodbye (despite what the title may say) but rather a “see you later.”

I’m going to be dancing across the street. You should come join me.

If you can’t join me (just yet), check my updates here and on my travel blog.

 
posted by Janice | Comments: 5 | Category Job, Los Angeles, Travel, Writing

I have this problem. I have a need to share with the world my passions and interests and hope that they will also enjoy it. Hence, this blog is born- to showcase some of the things I'm most fascinated with. Most of the posts relate to the media as it relates to me. (Blame the early twenties neurosis of thinking the world revolves around you). (More..)

Email: jjann[at]themediamaid.com
Facebook: facebook.com/mediamaid
Twitter: @themediamaid

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