Tag Archives: Excited!

New Addition to the Family!

Wise man with a secret(Shhhhhh – keep it on the DL, but…

I’m proud to announce

Charm School Marketing is one signature away from a new partnership venture, as part of a larger digital braintrust – and some seriously brilliant, strategic, and kick-ass human beings who can take Charm School clients to the next level.

Needless to say, I’m honored and thrilled and starry-eyed with the possibilities.)

In related news, I’ve got three major proposals in the works, including one regarding digital & interactive textbooks, one mobile app for the legal world, and one to create the first completely free bachelor’s education — complete with full university experience (ahem, also known as “Project Next Facebook”).  These ventures are in various proto-development and pitch stage, but by July 1st, all of them will be in the hands of venture capital groups.  I’ve also been working in new business development down in the Deep Ellum area to fit within a true community vision and push the area into a sustainable neighborhood and creative haven.

It’s gonna be a good summer.  Come September, I’ll be knee-deep in exactly what I want to do: rocking this world.

Twenty-Four Hours

It was a self-fulfilling prophecy: the more I listen to (read: dance to) Katy B’s “Louder,” the more it seeps into my day-to-day life.  The more it seeps into life, the more the underlying philosophy guides the days, weeks, and months.  Where I’ve previously described the angst of the ‘quarter-life crisis,’ it’s not the memories of my youth that I mourn, but quite the opposite: that instead it was wasted.

Listen for yourself:

(It doesn’t help that I looked like that at 16.)

It was a handful of weeks ago that I was driving to work, thinking to myself “is this what being grown-up is?”  The constant nagging feeling that I don’t really have any answers to the same questions that plagued me years ago, just a a few glimmers of insight.  I feel exactly as I did at 16, but with a few additional responsibilities and a whole lot more freedom.  I still drown out my thoughts with loud music; I still drive fast; I still escape situations where I’m awkwardly uncomfortable; I still coach (and play) soccer; I still adore the same things I did then (though the list has expanded some over the years).  And while I appreciate the present tense moments, I’ve never given in or been seduced by them, at least long-term (momentary weakness: yes; reckless addictions and compulsions: no.)  Which leads to an quirky question: did I miss out on an undefinable something called youth?  And worse yet: is that why I still feel 16?

I think this is a good thing, albeit odd.  Going through photos of friends, a handful of them have grown up – they’re married, some with kids, they have houses and mortgages, and have piled on the responsibility and sacrificed (some) freedom.  And they’re happy, happier than our parents were.  Yet it’s not about the rite of passage-style events anymore – it’s all about whether they’re still in touch, moving and shaking in some way.  It’s been made much easier to move toward and from the edge, in constant, dynamic flux with the use of social technologies.  ‘The man,’ as previous generations have declared, will get you, bogeyman-style, when you lose your cultural edge. Now, there’s no excuse.

My millennial generation has grown up in a period of unraveling and fragmentation in the cultural sphere, yet we’ve always been cared for and protected through this instability.  It’s said that we were the generation who elected Obama; it’s said that we can’t function alone, but only in teams.  We’re coming of age, not necessarily into adulthood, but into a larger role as we become the dominant power in this sphere. And given our predilection for optimism and energy, we’ll be the generation to redefine, fight, and expand our cultural power.

Certainly I’m part of that.

I’ve been working on a couple proposals for two serious – and high-minded – projects that can and will change the face of education, utilizing technology and the social space.  These projects address the continued fragmentation of education and the crisis of insurmountable debt (and the uneven impact to show for it).  I’ll be the first to say that my undergraduate education gave me the skills and abilities I needed – and the network to back it up.  My graduate education gave me the clout and discipline of responsibility.  I use none of my degrees in their narrow fields; it was never my intention to do so as none of them are vocational-level degrees.  I want to share this freedom with the world; I want the world to have the same opportunities I do and to be able to take these opportunities at any point in life.  Friedman and his disciples call this principle “flattening” – I call this necessity for a world soon (if not already) in the midst of cultural crisis.  Education isn’t a magic bullet, yet it is a stepping stone in the right direction.  The ability to think, to read, to write, to create, to analyze – these skills are priceless as the foundations of any existence.  A government is only as effective as its citizens; a culture only as pervasive as its citizens; an economic system is only as strong as its citizens.

And I have the heroic impulse (and 16 year-old indefatigable, youthful optimism) to take on the challenge.

My voice is getting louder.

Trading in the Suits

Yep – for a pair of jeans, t-shirt, and tennis shoes.  It’s time to get dirty.

Actually, it’s time to get charming – I’m taking my nascent business, Charm School Marketing, into the big leagues, past the word of mouth referrals (which I love) and the one-off freelance and contract jobs (which I tolerate), toward a future of long-term relationships based on smarts & strategy, evaluation & analytics.  And, of course, toward the bigger business goals with the Deep Ellum community revitalization.

I’m thrilled.

So stay tuned for more updates.  Today, I’m in Austin, meeting with strategic partners & clients.  Tomorrow, back to Dallas to smash the champagne against the boat, then put my nose to the grindstone.

Draft – Deep Ellum Introduction

Working on emptying my brain to the page – and started with the introductory letter for the Deep Ellum vision.  Everything included is open for discussion and I’d love any/all feedback as well.

To the eyes, hearts, and minds reading this document,

Allow me a moment of your time, a brief moment for a story full of politics, tribes, friendship, betrayal, change, death, rebirth, romance – all leading up to today, this very moment, set in these very words.

This story takes place in downtown Dallas, Texas in a small quirky neighborhood known colloquially as Deep Ellum.  Five streets wide, running east/west, and twelve blocks long, has housed workers, creators, and visionaries of all stripes and varieties since World War I.  It’s the home of the original black country jazz and blues, pushed out of the propriety and snootiness of what would eventually be a glamorous city.  The hired help, sharecroppers, carbetbaggers, and others called it home.  Henry Ford’s auto workers assembled the Model T here.  And as the sun went down each afternoon, the neighborhood hopped into action.  Men walked home from work and fed their families on a few hard-earned dollars everyday.  Women took in laundry, sowed, and roosted over the children of the neighborhood.  It was urban sustenance living.

And a vibrant culture blossomed among neighbors caught between prissy Dallas proper dwellers and the wide-eyed feats available at the county fair grounds.  The food was local, ingredients brought home from work and supplemented by small gardens, cooked to soul-filled perfection among the close citizenry.  Granaries and warehouses flanked the neighborhood, readily accessible to the rail lines.  Music and art were local, based on travels and exploits in, out, and around Deep Ellum.  Low arts, low culture, created for and by those living their lives, unable to fully express themselves anywhere other than home.

Then things changed, as things do.

Black music gave way to black gold, Dallas at the epicenter.  A national highway system was constructed, moving people and their goods faster, better, more efficiently through Dallas out toward the resource-rich countrysides.  Intolerance uprooted the neighborhood as its inhabitants pushed southeast further from the view of the downtown boom.  Oh, the days of Neiman Marcus, political vigilantes, and social upheaval of the 1960s as incomes in Dallas boomed, property values soaring, buildings constructed to scrape the sky.  Deep Ellum sat culturally fallow many years as auto mechanics and other light industrialists took advantage of location, location, location, disappearing with the sun.  Additional warehouses stored building materials for the rushing influx of residents hoping to strike it rich – and maintain the appearances of such position.

And then things changed, as they always do.

A basic principle: what goes up must come down.  The velocity may be fixed, but the acceleration surprised many now caught in shady practices, designed for inequitable results.  Dallas County shuddered.  Yet as shutters slammed downtown, cultural seeds sprouted in Deep Ellum, attracting passionately subversive creative-types willing to mark their territory fiercely and with plenty of color and disillusioned angst.  No squares allowed in their neighborhood, a vibe cultivated first by graffiti, then by performance art, then by punk music.  The culture blossomed into mythological status: Deep Ellum was the symbol of bravado among city and suburb dwellers.  Only those unfazed by the signs and stories on the tongues of many could venture into this neighborhood and remain unscathed.  But once there, the glories rivaled those of Greenwich Village, Ashbury Heights, Santa Monica Avenue, South Central Los Angeles.  Rock bands launched their careers in the tiny performance spaces provided by sympathetic owners charging dollar covers from a card table as one garage band after another took the stage.  Street artists gathered to repaint in the colors and symbols of the times, sharing their work to every driver, walker, and dweller.  Body artists proffered their skills with pins and needles, creating lifelong commissioned masterpieces.  Underground writers published their first works based in the freakish and delightful street scenes of Deep Ellum. Jazz musicians revived the scene long pushed out.  Performers danced dirty, filled with the soul of new vibrant music made by the streets.  The buildings, originally constructed for the heydays of industrial revolution, rallied with new ballads, updated for the modern clientele.

And then things changed, as they tend to do.

A mythological story must face cold realities before too long.  A rampant drug scene stole souls.  With drugs came erratic crime.  With erratic crime came fear as mere teenagers died at the hands of something so much more than they could comprehend.  With fear came a government crackdown on any subversive activity.  The roots poisoned, inhabitants cleared out, again moving south for greener, more temperate pastures. The neighborhood fell fallow yet again.

And yet again, concurrent bubbling booms exploded, dooming another cycle of investments.  Another recession, another depression, mayhem and ruin cut across the land.  And so Deep Ellum sat, unused, underutilized, struck down by bloodied balance sheets.

To see Deep Ellum by sunlight today is to see the hundred year oak trees lining Elm, Main, and Commerce Streets.  It’s to see a sparse yet motley mix of inhabitants get creative and eek out an existence in couture live/work spaces sprinkled through the neighborhood.  It’s to see a handful of legendary music venues struggling for breath as they face the inevitable change in surroundings.  It’s to see green grass growing despite the lack of care, to see countless buildings boarded up and bursting with potential for the next great Dallas chef, the next famous Dallas band, the next nationwide trend to take hold in Dallas and blossom on the streets of Deep Ellum.

And what of the future inhabitants?

A generation reared on the principles of collaboration.  A community desiring evangelism for something larger than themselves– potential, promise, praise – who provide significant political weight and economic support for principles they believe in.  An individual who preaches to the entire world that Deep Ellum is the enlightened place for every one and every thing who believes in creative collaboration to solve any problem, fix any mess, and achieve any dream.  We live here, we work here, we play here.  We are the new generation of artists, musicians, writers, performers documenting the riches of our culture.  We are the collaborative scientists and researchers solving the ills of the world.  We are the innovative entrepreneurs, attorneys, and doctors providing new solutions to problems current and old.  Together we are the strong hands and active voice of the new political and economic engine.

Join us in this project to revive Deep Ellum.  Make your voice heard.  Lend a hand to the group.  Be part of the ambition constructed specially for you, part of a larger, textured history – and create your promising future.

Scratching a Spine

I’ve got an idea coming together at warp speed and I’m electrified by it.

Though I’m not sure I can fully explain.  I’ve been reading (sneaking, much like candy) Twyla Tharp’s treatise on creativity and suddenly I’m exploding with new thought patterns, processes and more.  In the book, Tharp speaks passionately on the need for scratching together a whole and the need for spine in an idea.  I’ve got the itch and the spine and the boxes of notes and information and reminders and lightening impulses – now I just need time.

Ignore the man behind the curtain for a moment – the story I’m writing is a cross between the myth of Narcissus, the Wizard of Oz, and the death of David Foster Wallace.  Throw in a little bit of ‘you only see what you want to see – and little more’ and a dash of exploding obsession and a hint of revolution along with a few spoonfuls of generational angst dedicated to Carl Solomon – and we have a book.  A book built on the construction, destruction, and renovation of a dream in the present grasp of the fetishized generation.  Falling in love with a vision of yourself can only lead to an obsessively brilliant death.  Simply, from Dostoevsky:

“She looks at herself instead of looking at you, and so doesn’t know you. During the two or three little outbursts of passion she has allowed herself in your favor, she has, by a great effort of imagination, seen in you the hero of her dreams, and not yourself as you really are.”

It’s time to write.

Time for a Party!

New Book from Anne Hollander: Book Launch & Signing in Grapevine, Texas

Anne Hollander will sign copies and celebrate the launch of “Sunday’s Child: Tales of Love, Loss & Redemption in a Texas Wine Bar” on March 14, 2010 from 2-6pm at Into the Glass, Grapevine, Texas.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PR Log (Press Release)Mar 08, 2010 – Anne Hollander will sign copies and celebrate the launch of “Sunday’s Child: Tales of Love, Loss & Redemption in a Texas Wine Bar” on March 14, 2010 from 2-6pm at Into the Glass, Grapevine, Texas.

“Sunday’s Child” (www.annehollander.com/sundayschild/) chronicles a small town stuck between history and progress, its citizens caught between local parades and international events, and an intimate setting to discover the true facets of love, loss and redemption.
These seven short stories share the joys and pains of life and death, love and loss, politics and culture, all within the walls of a blues cafe and wine bar.  Enjoy the laughter, tears, indignation, daily struggles, and interactions between the illuminating folks bellying up to a bar in effort to experience something new, something old, borrowed time, and the blues.

“Sunday’s Child” has already sold more than four thousand copies, a strong showing for first-time author, Anne Hollander.

Event Details
Date & Time: March 14, 2010, 2-6pm
Where: Into the Glass, Grapevine, Texas (www.intotheglass.com)
Location: 322 Main Street, Grapevine, Texas 76051

Anne Hollander (www.annehollander.com) is a freelance writer and social marketing consultant in Dallas, Texas.  Ms. Hollander graduated in 2004 from Smith College and regularly travels the world in search of stories and characters.

Book Details
Title: Sunday’s Child: Tales of Love, Loss & Redemption in a Texas Wine Bar
Author: Anne Hollander
Publisher: Anne Hollander
Website: www.annehollander.com/sundayschild
ISBN: 978-0-557-26560-2