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Author Archive for Randy Kraft

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The Truth Behind the Fiction

The Truth Behind the Fiction

  When I was a girl, a police officer lived with his sweet wife and three fresh-faced children in the ground floor apartment. Think Norman Rockwell in the Bronx. Now and then, angry shouts and frightening sounds were heard behind their door. When I asked my mother about it, she said that things happen between […]

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Mind Over Matter

Mind Over Matter

Memoir has been a hot ticket in publishing for over 20 years now, more often preferable to autobiography because of the intimate perspective in the telling. Rossandra White has just published her first memoir, which, like many memoirs, starts in the present and moves back and forth through the past. What’s to come remains to […]

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Finding Home

Finding Home

There are over 100 registered non-profits in Laguna Beach. Nearly every one of them supports the needs and interests of locals, and every one of them is constantly on the quest for funding to fulfill their missions. Today, every day, and year after year, non-profit organizations survive on the kindness and generosity of friends and […]

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The Thing About Twitter

The Thing About Twitter

I found a writers’ community at Twitter. Writers of all types. Editors. Publishers. Book reviewers. E-zines. Lit-zines. Indy book promoters. Strangers all, until the first reply, the retweet, the favorite. Suddenly, friendly acquaintances. Bonded by mutual interest. What I like best about a Twitter feed is the focus. We tweet about reading and writing. We […]

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Folding Up Their Easels

Folding Up Their Easels

It is said where one door closes, another opens. In the case of Laguna Beach commerce, gallery closings in recent years have opened storefronts to other types of merchants, so that the town is becoming less about art sales and more about, well, shopping. I had hoped to provide quantitative data on this subject, but […]

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Paradigm Shift

Paradigm Shift

  It is said where one door closes, another opens. In the case of Laguna Beach commerce, gallery closings in recent years have opened store fronts to other types of merchants, so that the town is less about arts and more about, well, shopping. I had hoped to provide quantitative data on this subject, but […]

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Minding Our Business

Minding Our Business

Crafting a Culture Leanne Cairnes manufactures eco-friendly handbags as a cottage business, Belyn Designs. She works closely with fabric designers to evoke natural settings like tree branches and flowers, and last season scored a holiday order with retailer Anthropologie online. Cairnes sews more than textiles. She stitches together creative entrepreneurs through a new venture called […]

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Minding Our Business: Let There Be Juice

Minding Our Business: Let There Be Juice

When I was a girl, my mother pressed oranges into juice by hand and I nibbled the mashed fruit remains. Tropicana OJ and Mott’s apple juice was what I poured my own children, never imagining how little nutritional value was left nor how much sugar was added, not to mention the dreaded preservatives. These days, […]

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Minding our Business: Career Shift

Minding our Business: Career Shift

Here’s the fiction: Accomplished woman marries for love, discovers a stranger, and in this novel, an abusive stranger, and has to find her way out to protect her children. Perfect fodder for a page-turner. Here’s the backstory: Happily married Laguna architect, Suzanne Redfearn, seizes the downtime of the recession to write thriller fiction. “I sort […]

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Minding our Business

Minding our Business

The Business of Storytelling On a cul-de-sac off the Canyon Road, bracketed by the Sawdust and Seven Degrees, Laguna’s beloved cooking school and wine center, Laguna Culinary Arts, is also home to the local branch of Dime Stories, where writers, aspiring writers, or anyone with a story that can be told in three minutes, is […]

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Minding Our Business: French Fashion on Forest

Minding Our Business: French Fashion on Forest

Extra! Extra! A new shop in Laguna Beach shares its marquee with Beverly Hills, New York, and Ibiza, Spain, the epicenters of design and hardly the centers of shabby chic. Robins Jeans is a whole new sort of shop on Forest Avenue. Shabby? Decidedly not. Chic? Oh yes. The retailer joins the ranks of Anastasia, […]

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Minding our Business

Minding our Business

Fashionable Food on Forest   I have a friend in Sonoma County who practices the religion of abundance. Surrounded by grape vines and fig trees, she has a voluminous backyard garden of greens and herbs and all sorts of veggies, and she even installed a chicken coop from which she extracts the most delicious eggs […]

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Minding Our Business: One Stop Beauty

Minding Our Business: One Stop Beauty

Estee Lauder may be the matriarch of the skin care industry, her first products date to 1946, and many others have followed, including Anita Roddick of the Body Shop or the more recent phenomena of Bare Minerals created by Leslie Blodgett. In Laguna Beach, Josephine [JoJo] Brooks carries on the tradition as founder, proprietor and […]

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Minding Our Business: Moving Targets

Minding Our Business: Moving Targets

I recently returned from my annual summer sojourn to NYC, my home town, home of the arts, where you could fry an egg on the sidewalk and yet, the midday landscape was crowded not only with tourists but long lines at food trucks parked along side streets mid-town. Mayor Bloomberg miraculously designated many new pedestrian […]

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Minding Our Business: Time Out for Books

Minding Our Business: Time Out for Books

Take a break from business and read a good story this summer. Here’s a sampling from my alternate persona, the OC Book Blogger, all available at Laguna Beach Books. New in paperback: “Flight Behavior” by Barbara Kingsolver, another gorgeous journey of humanity bumping up against the environment, she never fails to please. “Lifeboat” by Charlotte […]