Guest Post: Delaney Heil Interviews Susan J. Farese, SJF Communications

Note from Susan J. Farese, SJF Communications: Delaney Heil is my Mentee in the Aztec Mentor Program at San Diego State University (SDSU). An Honors Program Student, Delaney is studying Public Relations, Advertising and Applied Communication and is Minoring in Biology. This interview was part of Delaney’s PR assignment and as her Mentor I wanted to give Delaney an opportunity to be published, thus, her guest interview post! Many thanks, Delaney!

SDSU Aztec Mentor Susan J. Farese, and Mentee Delaney Heil


Delaney Heil (Courtesy Photo)

Greatness from Small Beginnings:

How Public Relations Can Arise Anywhere

An Interview with Susan J. Farese, SJF Communications

By Delaney Heil

SAN DIEGO – Most public relations practitioners begin their careers by studying the subject in school. But Susan Farese of SJF Communications had a very different introduction into PR.

Instead of Susan obtaining a degree in PR she began in Nursing and Musical Theater.

“I received my bachelors and then masters degrees in Nursing and was a military nurse for 12 years. Since 1990 (after leaving the military) I have been a consultant, with several geographical moves in between. Fast forward to circa 2005, 2006…when my  daughter was involved in professional and community productions I wrote a press release for the kids that were featured among the adults,” she said.

As the years went by, through her daughter’s participation in theater, Farese volunteered to write promotional announcements for the productions.

“In 2011, the director of ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ in San Diego was impressed with my promoting the production and recommended me to join the board for the San Diego Musical Theatre,” said Farese.

Farese created the position of Marketing/ PR on the board, which turned into a consulting and staff position. After 5 years, it  prompted her to begin freelance PR services with her business SJF Communications. She specializes in PR marketing and doubles as a social media coach, blogger  and mentor. 

Her specialty is in entertainment PR, linking back to her theater background.

“Somehow because I worked theater PR for five years, I cultivated so many contacts. I just feel comfortable in this industry.  Additionally, I have been providing PR for musicians as well.”

Becoming established in San Diego wasn’t easy for Farese. “I had to compile and/or edit a list of media contacts,  build a database, provide ongoing media relations, write and submit press releases, provide email marketing, online calendar submissions and social media posts, create a business website/blog and attend many productions and events as well as other duties. I joined organizations and networked.  “It’s a challenge, but I like it. Actually, I love it! I’m still establishing my brand.”

Farese assured that despite the challenges, there are many benefits to being a PR practitioner, such as exciting interpersonal challenges and events. “Connecting with people excites me. I enjoy getting the word out, mass communication, everything involved with it,” said Farese.

Farese believes that the most important thing for future practitioners to remember is “to be assertive and confident in themselves. And to have a positive attitude…No matter what!”

Many thanks Delaney!


Capturing your Creativity: Haiku Poetry with Susan J. Farese 4/7/18 at San Diego Writers Ink

Please join me at my next SJF Communications Workshop:

‘Capturing your Creativity:  Haiku Poetry’

with Susan J. Farese, SJF Communications

Wednesday, April 7, 2018 – 2:30 – 4:30 pm (All levels welcome)

at San Diego Writers Ink

Arts District Liberty Station

2730 Historic Decatur Road, San Diego 92106

#202-204, Barracks 16, 2nd floor above Women’s Museum

Hope to see you at this engaging, non-traditional, interactive (and hopefully fun) journey “Capturing your Creativity with Haiku”- for the fun and health of it.

$45 (members); $54 (nonmembers)

Here is the link to register!

Susan J. Farese, SJF Communications

Bio for Susan J. Farese

Bring your open mind, active imagination, sense of humor, zest for life, quest for fun while learning and willingness to participate. Satisfaction? Poetically guaranteed!

We will chat about Haiku as a Japanese poetry form with ease of use, explore the benefits and value of Haiku as a cathartic, therapeutic, stress management tool and actively participate in several creative Haiku opportunities and challenges!

Here’s one for you:

Exploring Haiku…

Like Hummingbirds during Spring

Resurfaced, renewed

Registration Link:


Contact SJF Communications at: 408-398-5940 or


More Hummingbirds: Tiny Magnificent Creatures!

 I continually marvel at hummingbirds…such tiny magnificent magical creatures!

Their stunning colorful beauty, their speed, their zest for the “hummingbird life”….

It beats watching the news these days. It inspires my creative spirit and hope!

 I’ve  combined some poetry (Haiku), video footage and photographic images just for you!


Hummingbirds: A Haiku:


Susan J. Farese, SJF Communications

1.  Fluttering about

Zooming, oh, so rapidly

Marvelous colors!

2. Hummingbird magic

Unique, beautiful creatures

Don’t fly away, stay!


Here is a short video from today. See these lovely hummingbirds in action as they fly continuously over to the feeders and enjoy nectar, hover, and then dance away!

And now…some photographic images!

Hopefully these hummingbird images will captivate you and yours too!


Feel free to subscribe, like, comment & share!

Red-headed Male Anna Hummingbird looking up at the nectar!


Beautiful aqua and green coat Anna Hummingbird


Anna is almost at the nectar finish line!


Anna Hummingbird on a twig


I see the flower!


Male Anna hummingbird enjoying the afternoon!


Circling the nectar feeder


So hungry!


Love this wingspan!


Doesn’t this male Anna hummingbird look like a halo above his head? Wings!


I can taste that nectar already!


Two hummingbirds negotiating!


Just another nectar break!
“Here’s lookin’ at you, kid”, said the male Anna hummingbird!
Headshot! Male Anna hummingbird
Fluttering away!
Feathered friend!


Which way did they go?? Male Anna hummingbird


Male Anna hummingbird looking up to the sky!


I was there first! No, I was! OK, let’s eat!
Blue skies!!
Time for more nectar!


Male Anna hummingbird on a palm leaf!



See? A palm leaf! Told you!


Hope you enjoyed the poem, video and photos from SJF Communications!

Subscribe, Comment, Share, Like, etc.

Sunset and Moon for Kate, October 25, 2015

For Kate


Susan J. Farese, SJF Communications

Tonight we said goodbye to Kate

So fiercely talented, in the know.

Loving Wife, guiding Mom to her daughters

With pen in hand, her words would flow…

She touched many lives in so many ways

by guiding and writing & teaching

A Theatre Mom supporting the arts

Her essence in life so far reaching.

As we left her Memorial Service

An amazing sight was seen

The most brilliant magnificent sunset

With bright light among hues pristine.


In the midst of that glorious sunset

A shining light appeared…as if to say

My friends, I’ll be with you in spirit

Think of me as the sun goes away.


And when we returned home

I peeked at the moon

So bright, full and gleaming with light…


And I pondered, so thankful

For Kate and her life

Touching ours

Dear Kate, Farewell,




Ahoy ! My Solo Trip Adventure to Catalina Island!

My Mom,  (who recently turned  80 years “young”),  always said…”Nothing in life is free”. Well, Mom, you were “almost” completely right!

For my birthday this year I did something really out of the ordinary:  I traveled solo to and from the beautiful Mediterranean picturesque Santa Catalina Island, population just over 3000 (I will be referring to it as Catalina Island ) on my “free” round trip boat ride, courtesy of Catalina Express  and enjoyed a few other free or discounted goodies thrown in!

You’re probably thinking…”Huh?”…”You’re kidding..” or “What a risk” or “How idiotic”, right?

Nope! Best trip ever! I am still smiling inside!

Although I’m originally from  New Jersey, I’ve lived in several cities, states and a few countries. California is especially dear to me because overall,  I’ve lived here a total of 18 years. Despite so many years here, I was yet to experience a trip to Catalina.

So, this past April, on my birthday, my husband would be working, my daughter was in school and I didn’t want to “obligate”  friend(s) to pay for the round trip boat ride. Plus, and this was a big bonus: I absolutely love photography, and I’d be able to snap away where, what and when I wanted! So….

I drove bright and early from San Diego to Long Beach, grabbed some breakfast, checked in with proof of my actual birthday, received and donned that  cool “It’s my birthday” ribbon and boarded the boat! I sat outside and bundled up for the ride!

Aboard the boat to Catalina!
Aboard the boat to Catalina!

Oh…I did take some children’s strength medicine for potential motion “challenges” which turned out to be a real plus! Did I say a real plus???? Yep, some queasiness hit me a tiny bit, but I survived!

I’m happy to share some photos and tidbits from my trip.

We left the harbor and suddenly it was extremely windy !

Leaving the Long Beach Harbor
Leaving the Long Beach Harbor

We passed by the Queen Mary on the way to Catalina, another place I’d like to visit sometime soon!

Passing by The Queen Mary Docked in Long Beach
Passing by The Queen Mary Docked in Long Beach

Also saw the “China Shipping Line” En Route!

Passing by Cargo Ship
Passing by Cargo Ship

Aha! Our first view of Catalina Island in the distance!

First sight of Catalina Island!
First sight of Catalina Island!

How cool is this? A parasailer welcoming us!

Another “first glance” of Catalina Island

A view of the beautiful Catalina Island Casino!

The Famous Catalina Island Casino
The Famous Catalina Island Casino

The beautiful Carnival Cruise was in port! Passengers took smaller boats to get onto the island.

When I arrived Avalon was very busy with many cruise passengers for the day. Then at around 4 p.m., they all left, and Avalon felt like a ghost town!

Look! A Carnival Cruise in Port!
Look! A Carnival Cruise in Port!

Another colorful view of Catalina Island!

Catalina Harbor
Catalina Harbor

Once we happily  “disembarked”I was eager to explore Avalon on Catalina Island. What a delightful way to spend the day! I decided not to rent a golf cart (the golf carts are all over the place, since they only allow so many cars on the island and there is a 14 year wait for a car permit)! and strolled at my own pace. Here’s a look at some of the shops and tourist spots I snapped. Feel free to click on each picture for a larger view!

After wandering a bit, I decided to enjoy a delicious lunch and a Margarita at Maggies Blue Rose. I was having such a great time, that I thought…why not stay overnight??? I knew it was completely out of the ordinary for me…but nonetheless decided to do a quick search of hotels but also asked my server what she recommended. Serendipitously, I decided to stay upstairs from Maggies at the  Hotel Vista Del Mar. They also had some fun birthday freebies, including a bottle of wine or champagne (I chose the bottle of wine and brought it home), and a celebratory balloon ! I bought a few essentials for staying overnight and relaxed for the rest of my solo journey! Feel free to click on each picture for a larger view!

Hotel Vista Del Mar Sign
Hotel Vista Del Mar Sign
Fish Tank at Hotel Vista Del Mar
Fish Tank at Hotel Vista Del Mar

The Hotel Vista Del Mar has a great fish tank in the lobby filled with colorful fish and coral decor ! It was very relaxing to peek at the tank while relaxing on the lobby which overlooks the water.

Once I checked into the hotel, I decided to take the very interesting  Catalina Scenic Tour. The bus driver a.k.a. narrator was terrific spokeperson for the Avalon and island of Catalina.

Here are some of the sights from that trip:

Feel free to click on each picture for a larger view!

After the bus tour, I strolled around Avalon some more. I thoroughly enjoyed a great dinner at Steve’s Steakhouse!

Of course, I then had to sample some ice cream and candy from this place!

Feel free to click on each picture for a larger view!

I noticed the beautiful tiled fountain on Crescent Street, which is made of clay from Catalina Island.

The tiled fountain at Crescent Street, Avalon
The tiled fountain at Crescent Street, Avalon

Afterwards, I decided to walk towards the famous Catalina Casino and these are the sights seen on my way! Feel free to click on each picture for a larger view!

That was it for my day in Catalina. Then it was time to get some rest at the hotel! They had some cool DVD’s that I borrowed. I  didn’t drink the wine, brought the bottle home, but enjoyed looking at that balloon! Had a great night’s sleep too!

Time to get some rest at the hotel!
Time to get some rest at the hotel!

The next morning I decided to venture out a bit more to the casino area, the Museum and then and Descanso Beach Club. Feel free to click on each picture for a larger view!

It was soon time to say goodbye to Catalina Island! Here are some photos from my final minutes of solo joy!

Avalon Veterans Memorial Park
Catalina Veterans Memorial Park
Goodbye Catalina Island!!!

Even though I could have traveled free roundtrip, on the way back to Long Beach, I decided to take advantage of the Commodore Lounge on the Catalina Express for $15 and go back in style!

We were served a drink and a snack, and had very comfy seats!

All aboard inside the Catalina Express Commodore Lounge!

We arrived back in Long Beach and I happily drove back to San Diego! This was a quick, fun, safe getaway and I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Avalon on Catalina Island!

Feel free to like and share this post. Subscribe to my blog.

And now to finish with a Haiku:

Overnight in Catalina Island


Traveling alone

Seeing sights, snapping photos

I embraced it all!


A gorgeous island

So perfect for sightseeing

And relaxing too


Yes I will be back

I will bring my family

We shall all have fun!


Poetic Expressions: “NIGHT SHIFT” by Susan J. Farese, MSN, RN, SJF Communications

I wrote “Night Shift” as a result of working many nights as an RN.

The poem was published in my book “Poetic Expressions in Nursing…Sharing the Caring” in 1991.

Dedicated to Night Shift Nurses: Past, Present, Future!.

Susan J. Farese, MSN, RN, Photo by Sylvia Moore Photography, 2013
Susan J. Farese, MSN, RN Photo by Sylvia Moore Photography, 2013

Night Shift


Susan J. Farese, MSN, RN


Night Shift…

So dear to me


Its circadian disruption.

The nocturnal rhythms


So inviting, so relaxing…

Making rounds, with flashlight in hand

and night vision intuition,

The serenity envelops me…

Side rails up, call bells within reach

Bedsides tidy

Breathing in sequence…

Snores and noises

(unspeakable during prime time)

status quo during night shift…

Gentle and peaceful,

Those who by day

lurk and cry and pester

And now are compliant!

And yearn for peace as well…


Time to review and verify

and stuff and thin the charts,

Time to read the Progress Notes!

Finally a time to put it all together

Like spies looking for the clues of their lives

And if one is truly lucky

There are some chosen patients

Who decide

It is time

during night shift,

to ventilate

truly share

opening up the dam

of their fears, thoughts, feelings…

Even sharing stories.

Enhancing our knowing.

Oh please, I yearn for these nights…

When the nature of nursing

facilitates the connection of lives.