I have loved to read and write for as long as I can remember. Even though I’m well-entrenched in the digital age, I still pack "real" books and magazines when traveling. I’ve even gone so far as to ship them ahead of time so as not to weigh down my suitcase, which my husband greatly appreciates!
I’m the quintessential bookworm. In elementary school, I was the kid who begged to do a book report when the annual science fair rolled around; no Styrofoam solar systems or exploding volcanoes for me! One of my fondest childhood memories was when the bookmobile would visit our school. I can still picture myself inside the trailer, gazing wide-eyed at all of the selections on display. So many books, so little time…
As I moved into my teenage years, magazines became my obsession. I eagerly anticipated Seventeen’s back-to-school issue each fall and begged my mom for all the cool clothes featured inside. And when my daughters were of school age, I was the first to volunteer at the annual book fair and probably the only mom who looked forward to the Scholastic Book Clubs’ newsletters with the same enthusiasm as one would when receiving a tax refund check.
Told you: Total. Bookworm.
So it should come as no surprise that after pounding the pavement as a freelance writer for several years, I landed a job as a magazine editor for Lehigh Valley Marketplace and Lehigh Valley Good Taste magazines (Pa.) A highlight of my time there was meeting Chef Emeril Lagasse at the opening of one of his restaurants at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem.
Shortly after the tragedy of September 11, 2001, I felt a pull toward establishing an even stronger sense of community in my neighborhood. I had just moved to the Lehigh Valley from New Jersey, and was feeling a little displaced. I founded a neighborhood book club which we aptly called "Friends of Fiction." This was at the height of the Oprah’s Book Club heyday and at that time you could recruit members via her website, which we did from time to time. (Let’s just say some worked out better than others…) We met at each other’s homes and discussed great—and not so great—books and talked until the wee hours of the night, about all kinds of things. Some of our best discussions took place when members held vastly different opinions about the books we chose. We celebrated each other’s birthdays and treated ourselves to an annual Christmas outing at a fancy restaurant. We hosted authors by phone, the likes of which included the fabulous Adriana Trigiani, as well as Ben Sherwood (who went on to be the president of Disney-ABC Television). As a result of this experience, I wrote an article titled, “Seven Tips for a Successful Book Club” which received an Honorable Mention in the Writer’s Digest’s Writing Competition in 2011. Our book club disbanded after about 10 years, mostly due to life changes. I myself was moving with my family to the Central New York area, where we lived for seven years.
I’m now back in the Lehigh Valley and hosting the podcast, Bloom Where You Are Planted, where I’m talking to people who have faced challenging times and come out strong on the other side. I’m also talking to various experts who are going to help us figure out how to be the best versions of ourselves when life starts getting in the way. Check out my podcast page to take a listen: www.christinekrahling.com/podcast.
You can subscribe wherever you get your podcasts: iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, etc.
Want to know more? Or do you have an idea for a podcast guest? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a message through Facebook on my Bloom Where You Are Planted page.
Some of my Work
|I’m certified in Mental Health First Aid.|
|I taught a Spanish class for preschoolers, and have been a Girl Scout leader.|
|I have a background in development and fundraising, working with organizations such as Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central New York. I chaired their Seventh Annual Fashion Show and booked hair and makeup services for all of the models for several years. (And that, my friends, is no small feat!)|
|I am a trivia champion both on land and at sea…|
|I helped create the first Master Class Series at St. James in Skaneateles, New York, where we hosted a powerful community panel discussion on opioid addiction.|
|I have met many a celebrity in my day; however, I’m still chasing Bruce Springsteen…|
|I believe that there’s almost nothing a really good cupcake can’t fix.|