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The Illustrious Rachel Schwarz

Updated on November 12, 2014

Who is this Rachel you speak of? Does she have superpowers? And what's with all the purple?

On April 10, 2006 Rachel Schwarz was reading the New York Times online when she came across an article about a new site called Squidoo that was going from their beta phase to being open to the public that very day. She was only about halfway through the article when she clicked open a new tab in her browser and went to take a look. She created and published six lenses before she got back to the Times and finished reading the rest of the article. She's been here building lenses ever since.

When not Squidooing, she can be found at a variety of other web sites (making content and whatnot), teaching alchemy and working on her Apprentice degree over at the Grey School of Wizardry, gardening or traveling to alchemical fire circles. And most likely, there's an iPad within arms reach no matter what's going on.

The photo of Rae you see here is from August 2012. She took this self-portrait in a friend's yard in Portland.

Everything You Want To Know About Rachel

Or maybe just what she feels like saying at the moment....

Q: So, Rachel is...who?

A: Rachel (aka Rae) is an writer, student of belly dance and movie fan seeking a living wage & like-minded aliens for spiritual growth, resource sharing and spontaneous fun. Once that's accomplished, she'd like to move to communal land and propagate bliss while moss farming.

She's lived the first 20 years of her life on the East Coast and has lived the second 20 on the West Coast. Shown here, the lovely Rachel (age 3) multi-tasking while working on her world domination plan.

Q: Does she have superpowers?

A: She has a B.A. in Theater Arts from UCSC and an M.F.A. in Fashion Textiles from the Academy of Art College, SF. She applied for, was accepted to and attended the 1989 Clarion SF/Fantasy Writer's Workshop in Michigan where her teachers were Thomas Disch, Karen Joy Fowler, Octavia Butler, Spider and Jeanne Robinson, Kate Wilhelm and Damon Knight. In 2002 she took the sex educator training program from San Francisco Sex Information and volunteered with them through the end of 2005, staffing a weekly shift on their switchboard. She's also been a Certified First Responder, not a bad plan in earthquake country.

As you can imagine, she knows a lot of stuff. Weird stuff. Some people who've lived their whole lives in front of a TV set mistake this knowledge for superpowers, but Rachel tends to think they just mistake some of her entirely purple outfits for some sort of superhero uniform.

Q: What's with the purple?

A: Yes, Rachel has a thing for purple. There were years of trauma in her youth, when every admission of liking that color was met with "oh, like Donny Osmond..." and she kept her purple to herself, but not anymore.

Q: Is Rachel some sort of SEO/marketer person?

A: Nope. She's just a person who took Seth Godin's statement about hoping that Squidoo would let 100,000 people quit their day jobs really to heart, as she didn't have a day job when she first found Squidoo. She enjoys being able to write at home in her favorite fleecy pants and slippers every day, and thinks it's really cool how Squidoo is slowly but surely paying her rent and living expenses. Read her profile in SquidU to learn more about her general attitude towards what she does here.

Q: And the "illustrious" part?

A: That's how anything sent snail-mail to Rachel from her parents is addressed.

self-portrait, London July 2012

self-portrait, London July 2012
self-portrait, London July 2012

Rachel Goes To Rachel, Nevada

My adventures in Area 51

In May of 2005, I got to go to one of the few namesake towns I have in the US: Rachel, Nevada. The town of Rachel didn't have a name until 1971, and then it was named after the first baby born in the area. Maybe 100 people live in the area, mostly employed on local clover farms.

It's also known as the famous and/or infamous Area 51. There is one small hub of UFO/alien-related business in the area, the Little A'Le'Inn Cafe.

We purposely went there to eat Alien Burgers and get some sort of merchandise. We got a couple of fantastic characters in the locals, both the staff and patrons who were there. Our waitress was what my mom would call "a pip." If you go, be sure to ask how they make the Alien Burger Special Sauce. The story is totally worth it. Oh, and the 25-35 mph gusts of wind weren't too shabby either.

This is a picture I took of a mural on the front of the Little A'Le'Inn.

...Are you talkin' to me?! - comments, feedback and questions for Rachel

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    • Helensmrt profile image

      Helensmrt 9 years ago

      Wow!You are great! I'm your fan!

    • schwarz profile image
      Author

      Rae Schwarz 9 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Thanks, Helen!

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 9 years ago

      great style you got here :)

    • profile image

      MsMorrison 8 years ago

      i visited some of your lenses! very creative!

    • beeobrien lm profile image

      beeobrien lm 8 years ago

      Wow, you do such interesting things! I've really enjoyed reading this. You inspire me to try new things.

    • VBright profile image

      VBright 8 years ago

      Love this Bio! Very unique and personal! I just have a TOC, but when it's time to make a lensography, and I think I'll take some hints from you! Fantastic Job, you are very talented

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 8 years ago

      I love your style! You are funny. I like when you said this:

      Lens basics assembled by someone else: $75

      Time saved and topical focus achieved: priceless.

      Very funny. You are very interesting. I can see why you do so well. Great lens here! 5*, fave and lensrolling you... Way to go on all of your success. I am going to check out more lenses by you.

    • Lisa-Marie-Mary profile image

      Lisa-Marie-Mary 8 years ago

      It's so interesting to learn more about you! I am just stumbling on this for the first time, I think! You have some very interesting life experience!

    • schwarz profile image
      Author

      Rae Schwarz 8 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Thanks for the kudos, gang! I say just be yourself and do things that are interesting to you, and take a few pictures while you are doing whatever... and then the lenses will just follow by themselves!

    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 8 years ago

      Great lensography! My favorite link in the whole thing is the hyperlink "earthquake country," which goes to your lens on San Francisco. How appropriate! :-)

    • profile image

      inkedskin 8 years ago

      You seem to really love tattoos.

    • N376 profile image

      N376 8 years ago

      There's a lot to like about you, but the fact that you love The Cheat is pretty much the icing on the cake.

    • schwarz profile image
      Author

      Rae Schwarz 8 years ago from Seattle, WA

      N376, it's always the little things....

    • Rachel Field profile image

      Rachel Field 7 years ago

      Great lens! Lensrolled to "Rachels" as you are a Rachel!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      hi there i was wanting to know what movie the two pictures in Miscellaneous Movie Tats that arent labeled could you please let me know thanks

    • schwarz profile image
      Author

      Rae Schwarz 7 years ago from Seattle, WA

      [in reply to david hamill] David, you seem to have confused this lens with something else, as I have no clue what you are referring to...

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Love this lens! You need to tell us more about that Zombie Giant Squid....looks like it might have an interesting story behind it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Nice to get to know you better on Squidoo - I found this lens via the Ink City HQ.

    • Holley Web profile image

      Holley Web 6 years ago

      I absolutely love this lens. Your personality and the uniqueness are brilliant. It's very nice to meet you.

    • vermontmom profile image

      vermontmom 6 years ago

      Fantastic! Definitely in your own voice. I can only hope mine turns out a fraction as well!

    • CherrrieB profile image

      CherrrieB 5 years ago

      I am reading just to see how you set up your lenses. What a role model.

    • kingsrookie lm profile image

      kingsrookie lm 5 years ago

      Hey nice to meet you! I am glad Squidoo is doing great for you. It is truly a learning experience and defiantely want to learn from a top Squidooer

    • profile image

      wiedruce 5 years ago

      great lens!

    • SayGuddaycom profile image

      SayGuddaycom 5 years ago

      Squidmercial = brilliant.

    • makemoneyonline5 profile image

      makemoneyonline5 5 years ago

      awesome lens :)

    • profile image

      Anna2of5 5 years ago

      This lens is fun, I too have a tower or two of books on my nightstand. I have to reach up and over the books to turn my bedside light off/on. I also have a bit of a pile on the floor next to my bed that occasionally like to slide books Under our bed. Oh well. I'll put them on various bookshelves in the house...soon(ish).

      Thanks for the fun read. :)

      Sincerely, Anna2of5

    • profile image

      kmyangel 5 years ago

      congratulation for your lens :)

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 5 years ago

      Now I know you better. Great presentation of yourself.

    • profile image

      happynutritionist 5 years ago

      Fun to get to know you...as for the book pile thing...I have always had more than I can ever read...I'm whittling the "real paper" book pile down and hoarding on Kindle (app on tablet) instead. It's just as huge in number, but looks a lot neater around the house:-)

    • Millionairemomma profile image

      Millionairemomma 5 years ago

      You on the toilet as a little girl with sunglasses, so young yet chic, how awesome and brave. Awesome bio!

    • schwarz profile image
      Author

      Rae Schwarz 5 years ago from Seattle, WA

      @Millionairemomma: Isn't that a fun picture? It's clear I was just as much of an individual as a child as I am as an adult...

    • Missmerfaery444 profile image

      Missmerfaery444 4 years ago

      Awesome getting to know you! As a fellow purple lover and owner of a very large book pile, I much enjoyed :)

    • schwarz profile image
      Author

      Rae Schwarz 4 years ago from Seattle, WA

      @Missmerfaery444: There's no such thing as too much purple or too many books!

    • profile image

      mouse1996 lm 4 years ago

      You seem like such an exciting person, and I am in awe, and slightly green with envy, on all the interesting things you've done and seen. I am currently looking through your lenses in hopes that I will feel like I went on the adventures with you. :-) Great getting to know you better.

    • Rosetta Slone profile image

      Rosetta Slone 4 years ago from Under a coconut tree

      Thanks for letting us into your world. Here's to plenty more purple in your life!

    • profile image

      grannysage 4 years ago

      Hello fellow purple lover. I had to give away all of my books when we moved into an RV but I have found my Kindle to be a more than adequate replacement.

    • LizMac60 profile image

      Liz Mackay 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      I'm a great fan of purple too.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 4 years ago

      Ah, you are an inspiration! Really enjoying reading your lenses and seeing how you have orchestrated a nice life for yourself.

    • Jennifer Lawyer profile image

      Jennifer Lawyer 4 years ago

      Your voice is clear and infectious! I aspire to earn my keep through Squidoo, and you have given me hope--and a smile for the day! Thank you!

    • ThreeQuarters2Day profile image

      Dawn Romine 4 years ago from Nebraska

      Really like getting to know you here. Sound like a fun person and I hope I'll be at the point in tifiteen years where I can work from anywhere and write about what I'm passionate about.

    • XxSadieLadyxX profile image

      XxSadieLadyxX 4 years ago

      Wow...you should be proud!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 2 years ago from USA

      Glad to see that another lensmaster has successfully made the transition. I'm sure you will do great here too. As for the color purple, it's a favorite of mine also.

    • DealForALiving profile image

      Sam Deal 2 years ago from Earth

      First time reading your hub and thoroughly enjoy your writing style.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 2 years ago from San Francisco

      I was curious to see how you would handle a decidely Squidoo page. It's so well written and interesting that I read the whole thing, which usually happens when I read your pages.

    • schwarz profile image
      Author

      Rae Schwarz 2 years ago from Seattle, WA

      This has not been edited/adapted yet, so what you just read is the lens.

    • schwarz profile image
      Author

      Rae Schwarz 2 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Thanks, Deal!

    • schwarz profile image
      Author

      Rae Schwarz 2 years ago from Seattle, WA

      favored, at this point, it's just reviewing and editing a few hundred pages. Which I've had to do here several times before as someone who has been with hubPages for 8 years.

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