Local Author and Healer, Jan Marquart, LCSW, Teaches To Heal Through Writing

Jan Marquart - About the Author - Your Local Color.ComJan Marquart is one of our local authors. Like a rapidly growing number of the people who live and work here, she was not born here, nor did she spend most of her life here, but she is here non-the-less. Jan is our neighbor. She is a professional psychotherapist and the author of more than 10 books. Jan is also a business woman and mentor to many local authors seeking help in getting their work published and marketed. She really is Local Color.

Jan’s journey to become a writer and a healer began in New York City in the middle of a rain storm. She was around ten years old. The memory is as clear to her now as if it happened last night. She was looking down in awe at the blank pages of a diary her mother had just given her. Her father was in the front room watching television and eating an apple. Her very first diary entry was about a little red-headed boy she had fallen for.

That first diary sat empty in front of her, but the empty page did not intimidate Jan like it does so many of us. As she described that first experience, I got the impression that the empty page seemed to excite her like the feeling you might get when you find a new best friend – a friend that you could share your secrets with and be confident that those thoughts would remain just between you two. [Read more…]

Local Author and Counselor Starr Burgess Writes To Help Us Understand The Importance of School Counselors

Starr SmilingAt a critical point in my freshman year at La Vega High High School, a school counselor stepped in and completely changed the trajectory of my life. I had a really, really bad day that capped off several pretty bad months, and I decided it was past time to quit school and take my chances out in the world. It was not an impulsive decision. School was not for me, and I was convinced it was the only choice I had.

That day, I went down to the counseling offices, and Donald Moore invited me in to have a seat and closed the door after I told him what I was planning to do. About a half hour later, thanks to this man, I had new hope, a new plan and I never looked back. I can’t tell you how often I think about Mr. Moore, and thank God he was there for me. [Read more…]

Georgetown Author, D.A. Featherling, Is A Local Treasure You Need To Find Out About

Dorothy Smiling 1Its funny how life experiences prepare you for your next adventure. Life is full of starts and stops. The starts are generally full of hope, always exciting, and usually fun, and if you keep your wits about you, the stops can be just as promising and interesting. When life gives you one of those complete stops and the dust finally settles and you take some time to survey the situation, you might find that you have been perfectly equipped for a new door that suddenly opens up for you. A door that in the past you would have never believed you would be walking through.

Local Georgetown resident, Professional Home Stager and published author, Dorothy Featherling who publishes under the name D.A. Featherling, has had her Sauce_for_the_Goose_Cover_for_Kindleshare of starts and stops along the way. Dorothy has worn many hats in her life. Wife, mother, grandmother, UT Physics Research Center Administrator, Home Staging Professional and author are just a few of the many roles that Dorothy has filled. Those who visit this blog regularly will recognize Dorothy as the home staging expert featured in our Home Staging Series.  It is interesting to note that Dorothy didn’t plan on becoming a writer, but all of the various twists and turns along her path led her to the fulfillment of a dream she didn’t even know she had for a number of years. [Read more…]

Home Staging: Dorothy Featherling Shares Her Ideas And Tips To Get Your Living Room Ready For A Sale

Dorothy Featherling - EntrywayThe living room used to be the center of family life in the American home. It certainly was for me while I was growing up. I can still see my mom and dad in their easy chairs watching TV, snacking on salted peanuts or M&Ms, and a cat on a lap or two. Memories of me and my pets curled up by the fire place watching Little Joe and Ben Cartwright tame the old west are as clear today as if they just happened.

The people who lived in our house before mom and dad bought it must have been very interesting. The living room had a red brick fireplace with a beautiful oak mantle, the rest of the room was decorated with a western theme. Tan, horse-head covered wall paper and a huge wagon wheel chandelier were two features that stand out. Dark knotty pine wainscoting surrounded the room, and, of course, my dad’s gun cabinet along the back wall. I think the wagon wheel chandelier might even still be there.

I can remember every detail about that room and all of the changes. Over time mom and dad – mainly mom – tweaked it, changing the carpet a time or two, getting rid of the horse-head wall paper, adding built in bookshelves, and creating a large opening to the dinging room. I think my memories are so strong because we shared so much life there. Warts and all, in that room we were a family. [Read more…]

Home Staging: Dorothy Featherling of Stage & Sell Walks You Through Your Entryway

Dorothy Featherling - EntrywayMy kids still do it, and I bet yours do to. It’s not as frequent now that they are grown and on their own, but when they come by for a visit, it’s still the same. All the way from first grade through High School, the second they walked in the door they would start shedding the stuff they were carrying like a pair of lobsters shedding their shells.

Boxes dropped and shoes kicked off right by the door. Next to hit the ground were the jackets, book bags, athletic gear, purses and computer bags. This stuff usually made it past the door, but never past the bottom of the stairs. I can still see them both wiggling and writhing from the front door into the kitchen, dropping stuff with each step. At the end of the day the door and the stairs would look like a turned over clothing drop box for a thrift store. Sound familiar?

Here we are with the third installment in our series on home staging. In this post, a local Home Staging Professional and a familiar face, Dorothy Featherling, owner of Staging The EntrywayStage & Sell in Georgetown, shares her ideas on how to get your home’s interior, specifically the inside entryway, in shape for a sale. In the last post, Dorothy shared her ideas on getting the outside ready. Well, it’s time to get the buyer to walk through the door. If your entryway is as inviting as “a pair of warm, loving arms,” you’re not only going to draw them into the home, you’re going tempt them to explore the rest of the house. [Read more…]

Karen Valby – Welcome to Utopia – Notes From a Small Town

Karen Valby – Welcome to Utopia – Notes From a Small TownI got a two-for-one on Wednesday when I covered the Round Rock New Neighbors monthly meeting. It was not enough that I had the chance to meet and get to know this amazing group of Round Rock ladies but I also had the happy chance to meet and interview Karen Valby who was the guest speaker and the author of Welcome to Utopia: Notes From a Small Town.

This really was a treat. I grew up in rural Central Texas near Waco and my wife, Heidi, grew up in a small Kansas town that a Utopian would have found very familiar. That’s why we love this stuff so much. I loved hearing the stories Karen told as she spoke to the ladies. Karen talked about people named Kathy, Ralph, Coulter and Grant; people she met and got to know in Utopia, but she just as easily could have been talking about Skooter, Ricky, Bee-Bo and Harold; the people I grew up with. I think one of the thing that made listening to Karen talking about Utopia so fun and, ultimately so charming, was how surprised and delighted she sounded as she described how these people really were descent human beings.

I have to say I can’t blame her. After all the bad press that the south and, Texas in particular, has received over the last one hundred and sixty years, it shouldn’t be a surprise that someone from New York would come away from this experience talking about how genuinely good these people were. [Read more…]