Fast Facts about Famous Mid-Century Modern Architect, Joseph Eichler

Eichler lived in a Frank Lloyd Wright home, the story goes, and thus his lifelong journey to mid-century modernism began. Combining the feeling of indoor and outdoor spaces into his design, Eichlers brought a more airy option to the growing suburban middle class. It is estimated that around 11,000 homes in the Los Angeles and San Francisco region are true Eichlers. Built with materials readily available to everyone post-war, buying an Eichler home could really be seen as an embodiment of the American Dream. With the exposed posts and beams, floor to ceiling windows and skylights, an Eichler means open areas, not boxy rooms, and the spirit of letting the outside into your home.

The architectural style of an Eichler home must have felt like a dream compared to the cookie cutter houses that defined the suburbs. Parents Magazine even once awarded Eichlers as the best house in the U.S. for raising children.

Read more on Nook Real Estate’s blog. 

Content Marketing: Nook Real Estate

I work with Nook Real Estate to create posts about their new listings and why the neighborhood would appeal to buyers.

Sold in Just 4 Days: Beautiful Multi-Family Home in Northwood Pointe

You may remember how excited we were to introduce 67 New Dawn, a multi-family home for sale in the prestigious Irvine neighborhood of Northwood Pointe.

You may remember it well, in fact, because it sold just four days after going live.

Even with multiple offers on day three, after a broker preview and open house, realtor Todd Bousman knew when the right family walked through the door because the “parents were staring at the soaring two story cathedral ceilings and their kids were already fighting over which room was theirs…”. Todd didn’t want to rush them through the beautiful home, even though he had a hard time choosing his favorite parts, since the Irvine home boasts such intimate spaces and large entertaining areas.

Besides the many conveniences within walking distance, Todd can’t wait for the new home buyers to experience Northwood Pointe’s gorgeous trails and parks. It’s hard to imagine the area without the 22-mile Mountains to Sea Trail, which was designated a “National Recreation Trail” in 2006.

Read more on Nook Real Estate’s blog. 

A Modern “Poe Man” at Orlando Fringe

I love fringe festivals. They’re such a great way to take chances on new art and artists, and I devote time every year to coverage of the Hollywood Fringe Festival. I didn’t get to attend as much as I wanted to at Orlando Fringe this year, but here are my thoughts on what I did see.  

You choose a one-man Poe show at a Fringe Festival, your odds are 50/50 at best.

PoeMan_2017_450

Devennie has a series of images for his show, and this is my second favorite.

I’m glad I caught Poe Man by Joe Devennie: I admittedly entered the show a bit snobbish and left with a firm appreciation of Poe’s lasting effect on the American psyche.

 

I think of Poe, I think early America: rough, young yet still slightly tinged with a British sound. That’s why I’m glad Devennie begins with “The Telltale Heart”. His no-frills approach to the language eases you into his way of telling this story, his Poe — closer to the cool High School English teacher than a muggy idea of Poe drowning in its own importance and expectations.

Devennie draws his “Telltale Heart” narrator straight from the headlines of “He was such a nice, normal boy. I had no idea he could do this sort of thing” [19th century spoilers: he murders a housemate because the old man’s eye puts him off.] We are at least five minutes into his telling before Devennie even raises his voice or shows any signs beyond normalcy. You could be asking him where the nearest bathroom is before he slips into the first sign that something is not quite right.

It’s a great way to present this story, and one that feels all too real in the American of today.

Hop-Frog

I don’t recall ever reading this one. A dwarf, forced into slavery as a court jester (and often the subject of ridicule as well), takes a well planned, maniacal revenge on the King who causes his and his only friend pain.

Devennie uses his well-honed storytelling chops to great effect. I found myself wishing we were actually around a campfire, hearing his words illuminated by chance with fire. Also, love this story! Any show that makes me want to crack open that thick hardcover of The Collected Works of Poe I’ve had for two years has earned its ticket price.

Poe’s description of the slow toll that abuse and bullying takes on a person’s psyche also feels too relevant and real in today’s world.

The Raven

Devennie started The Raven strong, with an old Southern “let me tell you a story on my front porch but I’ve had a few too many” vibe. It was well done and Devennie certainly more than did it justice. The character, however, didn’t reveal anything new about the story. I almost wish he had never left his “porch chair,” and told the whole tale from there. Even though it didn’t add up, ending a Poe adventure on “Nevermore” is never a poor choice.

His last show is an hour after I am publishing this, but he is an Orlando Fringe regular, so keep him on your radar for next year. 

 

PoeManSuperman

This is my favorite image for his show. 

 

Cover Reveal: Vanity in Dust by Cheryl Low

Tea, pastries infected with (fairy?) dust.

An Evil Queen, dangerous fairies (a favorite twist of mine), a Prince who starts to see through the spell…

These are the reasons why I want to read Vanity in Dust by Cheryl Low.

I am in the process of reading excerpts and will have an interview with Ms. Low soon, who just seems incredibly charming.

In the meantime, here is the cover!

Forever young, endlessly indulged. What could go wrong?

By Cheryl Low
Fantasy
Release Date: August 8, 2017 (pre-order)

Trade Paperback
ISBN-13: 978-0998702216
Novel, approx. 305 pages
Also available as an ebook

Find it Online:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-A-Million
Goodreads
iTunes/Apple iBooks
Independent Bookstores
Kobo

Other books in the series: Detox in Letters (forthcoming in 2018)

DESCRIPTION

In the Realm there are whispers. Whispers that the city used to be a different place. That before the Queen ruled there was a sky beyond the clouds and a world beyond their streets.

Vaun Dray Fen never knew that world. Born a prince without a purpose in a Realm ruled by lavish indulgence, unrelenting greed, and vicious hierarchy, he never knew a time before the Queen’s dust drugged the city. From the tea to the pastries, everything is poisoned to distract and dull the senses.  And yet, after more than a century, his own magic is beginning to wake. The beautiful veneer of the Realm is cracking. Those who would defy the Queen turn their eyes to Vaun, and the dust saturating the Realm.

From the carnivorous pixies in the shadows to the wolves in the streets, Vaun thought he knew all the dangers of his city. But when whispers of treason bring down the fury of the Queen, he’ll have to race to save the lives and souls of those he loves.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cheryl Low might be an Evil Queen, sipping tea and peeping on everyone from high up in her posh tower—a job she got only after being fired from her gig as Wicked Witch for eating half the gingerbread house.

…Or she might be a relatively mundane human with a love for all things sugary and soap opera slaps.

Find out by following her on social media @cherylwlow or check her webpage, cheryllow.com. The answer might surprise you! But it probably won’t.

Master Your Marketing with Christina Farley: Social Media

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.” – Shunryu Suzuki


Since I work in social media as well as writing, many people ask why I still take social media courses. The answer is because no matter how much I think I know, there is always someone who knows more. There are also always ideas that I forget in the daily drill of content marketing. I learn so much from simply listening to other experiences. For instance, when I tune in to 
Stark Social’s podcast, I am reminded of core strategies and learn about important social updates. (Deanna and Nathan are also incredibly charming and fun.)

In the case of Christina Farley’s “Master Your Marketing” class, I wanted to focus on master your marketing with Christina Farleybranding and social media myself as a writer and not a hyphenate. Recently I moved towards my freelance income being half writing and half social media consulting. The deeper I delved, the clearer it became that the social media jobs will come: I have a reputation there and when I finish a job for one client, another seems to arrive to replace it.

Most of what I love about social media is the creativity and strategic writing that it requires. My goal is to make most of my living as a writer. So how to be sure that when someone finds me online, they see a writer? After taking Farley’s course on branding and researching other writer’s sites (Melissa Hung has a great overview), I understood that my website needed a strong overhaul. Farley calls it the “central station of all your social media,” and mine had basically become a mess in recent months. I need to keep my past blog posts because companies still link to them, but turn that section into more of a writing portfolio. Encouraged by the worksheets I used in Farley’s course, I found the right theme to use and it all fell into place. I spent a whole weekend updating categories and tags that are relevant to my current work. I only have published articles at the moment, not novels, so it’s a little different than Farley’s website. Streamlining the categories also helped me focus on the topics that typically interest me enough to write.

 

ChristinaFarleyFacebookCover

Farley’s cover photo on Facebook. I love when authors have visuals of their books at a glance. 

 

Now, to turn to social media. Her second course in the series focuses on that aspect of marketing and I used her expertise and careful focus on writers to understand how I can build up my @FairyFolkMyth personality. After revamping my categories on my blog, I realized that the categories are the hashtags I need to use as well. For instance, #WAHMRealities is a common instagram tag for me that encompasses both writing, working and parenting. I have a lot of ideas for writing about parenting, but don’t want that to be my focus. With this hashtag, I can give a hat tip to that important part of my life but still focus on the fact that I am doing the work.

Then there is the #fairyfolkmyth brand, the main topics of writing for which I want to be known. Those often overlap with #bookreviews and #artreviews, so there are my 1-2 hashtags per twitter post that Farley suggests. More often than not recently, I also find that fairy tales relate to parenting, and my TYA (Theatre for Young Audiences) column specifically.

She had some great confirmation on my ideas about tumblr and snapchat. Hearing Farley’s advice for using Pinterest reminded me that I need to clean my Pinterest pages up or hire Brit McGinnis to do it for me.

I completely agree with Farley that if you are on YouTube towards a marketing end goal, you need “to have an experience with people.” She certainly delivers on that idea. I’ve spent years experimenting with YouTube to deliver new audiences to artists, and have very high standards on that front. It may be time to re-evaluate how I use it, but I’m going to let that idea simmer and return to it down the road. mascot-blue-cartoon-bird-website-animal-twitter                       

Farley gave some excellent recommendations for keywords to use on each platform. I personally use twitter differently on my main account but am now re-thinking the @FairyFolkMyth account. It has more of a clear purpose, a niche purpose, and I need to be more deliberate with that twitter personality. I’ve been motivated enough to create a spreadsheet towards that goal; now to populate it.

Farley’s third course was focused on attending events as a writer. She has a great philosophy and I’ll delve into those ideas in a later post!

Why TYA Should Join the Dark Side (of Fairy Tales)

Let’s delve into a pretty common denominator in the world of theater for young audiences (TYA): fairy tales. There is no end to internet lists “revealing” or “discovering” the dark origins of fairy tales, yet it is so surprising that, once upon a time, we actually told children scary stories? Shocking!

Many of the original versions of fairy tales were told to help children and adults confront the very real dangers of their times. Hansel and Gretel is an excellent example and very likely the most well known: it’s famine and hunger that motivate the mother or stepmother (depending on the version) to convince her husband to abandon his children in the woods. Most stage productions hide that part of the tale. It is fear of the darkness inherent in the stories that can cause playwrights to move too far in the other, more saccharine direction, leading to meaningless takes on fairy tales that now feel like the norm. When we remove fear from a fairy tale — or any story — we remove its connection to our lives, and that dumbing down affects theater audiences for a lifetime. Without true connections to our own feelings, fears and joys, why bother attending?

Read more at The Clyde Fitch Report

Read Part 1: Why do Theaters Dumb Down TYA (Theater for Young Audiences)?

Caleb Foote and Angela Giarratana in “Hansel & Gretel Bluegrass” (Photo: Cooper Bates)

I Made Better Life Choices Because of “Into the Woods”

My father introduced me to Into the Woods around nine years-old. Some of my most vibrant memories include singing Agony with him in our living room. It was my first experience understanding that stories are told differently depending on the teller, and opened my imagination to interpretations of fairy tales outside of Disney.

I’ve been thinking of how Into the Woods gave me a healthy and challenging outlook on life: song by song, story by story, character by character. Some of these outlooks are revelations the characters have and some are what the audience understands through their journey. Some were lessons I put immediately into practice and some had to wait until I grew older than my nine years.

 

Prologue: Into the Woods

 

itwtonys

Phylicia Rashad as The Witch (replacement on Broadway for Bernadette Peters, Chip Zien as The Baker and Joanna Gleason as The Baker’s Wife. Photo Credit: Martha Swope/NYPL

Photo Credit: Martha Swope/NYPL

Photo Credit: Martha Swope/NYPL

 

We are all one. All of our stories, our lives, involve one another. No person lives solo in this world, and everyone’s choices affect the lives around us.

 

Go after what you want, even if the road is scary and untread.

Something I didn’t realize was true until it happened to me: Pregnancy can really cause you to crave “greens, greens and nothing but greens!” At least until you crave fruit the next day.

Don’t steal from your neighbor. Seriously.

Only female cows milk (This was definitely a 9 year old me’s revelation. Seems common sense once you know, but I was quite the city mouse.)

Hello, Little Girl

Kids: It’s better to ask your Mother why the woods are scary than just take her word for it. Otherwise, one charming wolf is all it takes for you to step off the path.

Moms: Just talk to your kids about wolves. If all we know is that it’s scary, curiosity will win.

 

I Guess This is Goodbye

Take your moment to say goodbye.  

It’s also interesting to me that this is the only song in the show that doesn’t rhyme, which I learned after attending the Into the Woods Reunion. (Yes, of course I got all fangirl. Bernadette Peters live!)

 

Maybe They’re Magic

You can talk yourself into justifying anything to get what you want, even magic beans. I didn’t always heed this advice, even if I privately acknowledged it to myself.

Little white lies will bite you in the ass one day.

 

I Know Things Now

wolfandredeidinghood

Robert Westenberg and Danielle Ferland in original production, 1987.

 

Oof. Where to start? This song is the most influential on my younger self, particularly with dating. Namely:

Bad/weird experiences are just that, experiences. They do not define you. They do change you. Learn from them and move on with your life. Don’t beat yourself up over a mistake, just don’t make the same one again.

Oh, and if some kindly person saves your life, do offer a gift of gratitude. Especially if you stole their bread earlier.

 

A Very Nice Prince

Everyone will always want what they can’t have.

It’s okay to feel iffy about something or someone you thought you wanted.

If the reality of your dream isn’t what you thought it would be, BAIL. That is what I wanted Cinderella to do, anyway. But I have strong feelings about Cinderella.

 

First Midnight

I‘d probably just have to copy and paste the whole song to explain this one. There’s one line that made an impression on me and pays off later:

“The slotted spoon can’t hold much soup.”

 

Giants in the Sky

You have to understand that I wanted to BE Jack when I was young. Not just play him onstage, but be him.

In many ways, I valued traveling the world because of this verse (bold mine):

The roof, the house, and your Mother at the door.

The roof, the house and the world you never thought to explore.

And you think of all of the things you’ve seen,

And you wish that you could live in between,

And you’re back again,

Only different than before,

After the sky.

Yes, go and explore the world. Travel to new places, meet new people. But make sure you also know where you came from and what it offers as well.

 

Agony

There’s always more to a story than what we think we know. Prince Charmings were so often just set dressing until Beauty and the Beast or Aladdin (with a nod to Prince Phillip in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty for at least having some spunk), and here we discover that sibling competition and bravado has something to do with their choice of a bride. Oh yes, and the need for what they can’t get.The fact that the Wolf and Cinderella’s Prince are the same actor deepened the lessons learned in I Know Things Now. *

 

It Takes Two

I thought I understood this song at nine, fourteen, twenty years-old, but only since my husband came into my life do I get to live it.

 

Second Midnight

Wanting a ball is not wanting a Prince. I once learned a friend of mine had been married before we met and I found it hard to believe. Her sister explained that She wanted a wedding, not a marriage. That concept had never really occurred to me, and it’s possible that is because of this song.

 

Stay With Me

Moms are people too. They may overreact sometimes but it comes from a deep love and fear of being alone – though it may seem borderline obsessive to the daughter.

I’m not sure how this may be affecting my own early motherhood, but more time will tell.

 

On the Steps of the Palace

If you’re unsure how somebody feels about you or how you feel about somebody, leave a clue. The interesting ones will follow through. My husband did!

 

Act One Finale

Enjoy your success. That was only Act 1.  

 

Did “Into the Woods” affect you in some way? Share below.

*Obviously this is not how they did it in the movie. That was the first change I heard from live to the movie, and I think it helped me reserve judgment on the other changes. It reminded me that in a different medium, different ways to approach the storytelling are needed. Besides, I like Chris Pine just fine and am not sure Johnny Depp could have nailed a film Prince Charming (the teenage me could have accepted Depp Charming, no question).

 

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