Janice on Song Talk Radio! And Twitter!


Hey cafe goers!

So I’ve been fluttering around the big ‘ol Twitterverse lately, doing some live tweeting for a local university radio show called Song Talk Radio.

I’m so in love with the show because it’s all about exploring one of my favourite things in the entire world — ah, no, not fine, single malt scotch, but close(!) — songwriting!

I was actually a guest on Song Talk Radio last month and played a few of my originals (including a new song, “Dance Without Judgement”, live in studio)!  The best part about Song Talk is actually being able to discuss the songwriting process in an intelligent and interesting way — as you know I love to do ;)  And that’s because the hosts — Phil, Bruce and Neel — are so knowledgable about the vast world of music and songwriting.  Plus, they’ve got the kind of laid-back, witty banter going on that has managed to hook me into hanging out with them every week to tweet for the show!

So here’s the podcast with my Song Talk Radio interview if you want to actually hear the voice behind this blog :)

If you’re also chirping away on Twitter, come join me for the live chat: @SongTalkRadio!  I’ll actually be tweeting in about an hour from now (Monday at 7 pm EST)!

And here’s my personal Twitter nest that has a fully-functional coffee machine so we can continue our caffeine-induced chats no matter where we are!: @JaniceHoTweets

See you in Twitter Land! :)

~ Cafe (a.k.a Janice) <3

With Courage


With courage I will slay the dragon
That hurls blazing fire into my dreams
Hissing flames, obliterating wishes
Imagined over years, yet so precious
They crumble in the face of terror

With courage I will seek the valley
As he follows, gliding, stalking
And the wisdom of the trees will hold strong
Forged over centuries that no dragon
Could penetrate or break its shield

And when I have amassed the power
Of the ancient woods, collected its
Secrets hidden within the pines and soil
I will rise up the mountain and thrust
Into the leviathan’s heart its final blow

And when he is dead, I will not grieve
Though he had warded away
The other ghouls I could not face
But with courage
I will take the first step
Into the valley of life
Without his shadow

I strongly believe that creativity, and sharing creativity, takes fearlessness — the courage to open the floodgates of passion, expression and emotion that we so often keep pushed deep down.  It’s more than just about producing music, writing or any other piece of art.  It’s about working to gradually break down the walls that prevent you from being who you are.

~ Cafe <3

Happy Creative 2015!


The winter blahs and pesky flu bug are enough to suck the songwriting inspiration straight out of anyone’s soul — mine’s sadly included.  Although one of my biggest goals for 2015 — ah, no, not an NYR — is to take the songwriting muse by the horns, the creative aspirations have been temporarily laid to rest as catching up on Sherlock episodes takes top precedence (man, I love that show).

So what did you all get up to this holiday season?  And did you decide to take the plunge with a big goal for this big year? :)

~ Cafe <3

“Ghost Town”

Your heart’s a ghost town
Drive by baby, ain’t a soul to be found
Think there’s a hole in your chest
‘Cause the beating’s at rest
Let me give you a temporary fix
To start it up again

~ Cafe <3

When You’re Going Up to the Mountain …

It’s been a while, cafe goers.  It’s been a while.

Well, the past month has been quite the roller coaster ride.  And it all started with me returning from my 5-day hiking trip with two sprained knees >_<

On Day 1 of the hike, my right knee had already waved the picket sign in protest.  Four more days of hiking on unforgiving, rugged terrain ended up over-extended everything else.  I was going forward on nothing but iron will …

… And a special song that kept me moving in my moments of sheer pain and agony: “Up to the Mountain.”

This song has always been really inspirational to me, but it took on a whole new meaning when I was literally hiking up the mountain range!

“I went up to the mountain / Because you asked me to / Up over the clouds / To where the sky was blue / I could see all around me / Everywhere / I could see all around me / Everywhere”

DSC_7934It’s also been a motivator for me when life has felt like a struggle.  Life really is like how this hiking experience turned out to be …

Sometimes you have to climb the steep uphill, just trying to keep up with everyone else.

“Sometimes I feel like I’ve never / Been nothing but tired / And I’ll be working ’til the day I expire / Sometimes I lay down / No more can I do / But then I go on again / Because you ask me to”

DSC_7430Sometimes you have to face your fear (of heights :S), take the plunge and trust that you’re gonna make it in one piece.

“Some days I look down / Afraid I will fall / And though the sun shines / I see nothing at all”

DSC_7465Sometimes the road seems unchanging without the end in sight …

DSC_7717And sometimes you can’t seem to see the bigger picture (or the forest from the trees) …

DSC_7549But hopefully you’re taking the journey with someone who, with a smile, nudges you to keep going :)

“But then I hear / Your sweet voice / Come and then go / Come and then go / Telling me softly / That you love me so”

Sometimes you have moments when time slows down and you’re able to catch glimpses of what you’re doing this all for.  And those seemingly little successes along the way are really what matter the most sometimes.

“The peaceful valley / Just over the mountain / The peaceful valley / Few come to know / I may never get there / Ever in this lifetime / But sooner or later / It’s there I will go / Sooner or later / It’s there I will go”

DSC_7566So enjoy the journey while it lasts.  I know the (steep) ups and downs aren’t always enjoyable and oftentimes pretty painful. But if we can learn from them and use each experience as ammunition in building our self-confidence and self-belief, then we will reach that damn mountaintop (and yes, in this lifetime) :)

The song “Up to the Mountain” was written by Patty Griffin and was inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” — the last speech he gave, the day before he was assassinated.

I’ll leave you with one of my favourite renditions of “Up to the Mountain” — this one is sung by Kelly Clarkson.  She doesn’t sing the last verse, but I love her performance.

Which song inspires or motivates you to keep going when times are tough?

~ Cafe <3