The Illustrious Rachel Schwarz
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
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.