Outsource your business or creative writing and/or proofreading needs to me so you can focus on the doing and not the words
The written word does not come easily to everyone, but today’s world increasingly demands that businesses and individuals produce interesting yet informative content for websites, social media, and print media. If you have ideas for written content but need help with execution, let’s team up!
A published author, I am available for work in a wide variety of styles including (but not limited to):
Social media posts
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Contact me to discuss how we can partner together. Hourly, per word, and flat rate options are available.
Did you know that I am a Certified Community Association Manager with over 12 years of experience in the HOA industry? Hire me to write your HOA newsletters and web posts for quality content that your homeowners might actually read. Outsourcing newsletters allows your manager to focus on more important things like budgets, meetings, and common area maintenance.
Want Your Business Featured in an Article? Need to Write an Article but Don’t Know How?
I can help! I’m happy to write an article about your business and what’s great about it for your social media, website, or print needs. Depending on your needs, I can write the article as if you wrote it (ghostwriting – I do the work, you get the credit) or write a post under my lifestyle and travel blog that features your business.
To illustrate some of the writing style options, my husband and I took an ethnographic research day trip to the Agua Dulce Winery in the Santa Clarita Valley, CA. Below are a few writing samples that were created as a result of that visit.
Agua Dulce Winery – A hidden gem
About an hour northeast of downtown Los Angeles, along the rural and winding Sierra Highway past Vazquez Canyon, is a hidden gem known as the Agua Dulce Winery.
For those that need something of substance in the belly before imbibing, the iconic Halfway House Café can be an on-the-way breakfast or lunch spot. While there, make sure to check out the old gas station that was once used as the set for an extremely popular Pepsi commercial starring Cindy Crawford back in the 1990s.
Once arriving at 9640 Sierra Highway, stop by the tasting room for a couple glasses or a couple bottles and grab charcuterie-style snacks before heading outside to tour the grounds. Just outside the back doors, the view of miles of nice, neat rows of grapevines carries the eye to the horizon, where mountains are in the distance in every direction.
Soak up the sun and take ‘gram-worthy photos with the grapevines, rest under the gorgeous wooden gazebo that is large enough to serve as a dancefloor for a wedding, play a game of horseshoes, or gawk at the geese, chickens, goats, alpacas, and pony kept on the grounds. Just be careful! Signs warn that the farm animals are all bite and no bark. The animals do add an “earthy” scent but it’s not too unpleasant.
Make sure to notice the little details, like upcycled wine bottles used as supports for stair steps and the wine barrel geranium planter train. I adored the old farm equipment, especially the tractor whose rear tires were essentially as tall as I am (admittedly I am a height-challenged individual at 5 foot 2 inches at full military attention).
My husband and I visited for just the afternoon, although we plan to go back when we have more time. If one day at Agua Dulce is not enough, there is a 5,000 square foot, 4-bedroom house on the grounds for the weekend or week-long stays.
Hubs tasted the 2018 Zinfandel which smelled like a port but tasted milder than expected while still bold and complex in its flavor profile. Given the seasonably hot temperatures, and because they did not offer a Sauvignon Blanc which is my go-to white wine variety, I sampled the 2019 Rosado Seco Rosé. The rose-gold-pink color made my heart happy, and the taste was refreshingly light and mildly fruity, with a surprisingly low sugar content based on the lack of “legs” it left on the glass, which I am sure made my waistline happy.
My only regret is that we did not have more time to sip and savor, as I could see strands of small twinkly lights strung around every roof line and railing, and I can only imagine how beautiful it must look at night with all the lights glittering like diamonds. Agua Dulce – we will be back!
The Controversial History of Wine in Agua Dulce
It was the Spanish who gave Agua Dulce its name, which means “Sweet Water” when Captain Pedro Fages came through gathering up the native peoples to relocate them to the newly formed missions. Although some indigenous tribes may have made weak wines or similar alcoholic beverages out of fermented fruits and vegetables prior to the Spanish Mission Era, there are no records of actual vineyards in California until then. Most of the California missions planted vineyards to make sacramental wine and aguardiente, a variety of brandy. These vineyards stretched from San Diego to San Francisco and were maintained by the native indigenous peoples who had been rounded up and forced to work the missions as slaves. Native peoples were forbidden from drinking the wine they made outside of sacrament, which they were forced to attend and participate in. Although a delicious beverage that is often used to enhance social events and celebrations to us, to the native peoples of California, wine was more of a symbol of captivity and oppression.
By the mid-1800s, the missions were under Mexican rule and had been secularized and the former Spanish missions were divided up into “ranchos”, which were land grants to wealthy and influential Mexican citizens. At the time of the gold rush in 1848, the Los Angeles County area was the primary producer of wine in California. Most wine consumed in the now-famous Napa Sonoma region was once shipped from the so-called “the City of Vines”, Los Angeles, and surrounding areas. So how did it come to be that wineries are one of the last things one thinks of when picturing Los Angeles and one of the first for Napa Sonoma? Rapid urbanization led to the development of some vineyards within the City and others were converted to citrus groves, which were gaining in popularity. For the vineyards not affected by early urban spread or taken over by the now-iconic Southern California orange trees, in the 1880s many vineyards were “choked to death” by a devastating outbreak of Pierce’s Disease. Shortly thereafter, prohibition put the final damper on the industry.
Interestingly enough, the first reference found regarding wine production in Agua Dulce itself was a reference to a settler, William Henry Kreig, who then owned Vazquez Canyon Rocks, having produced wine in the area during prohibition. The Agua Dulce area had been largely uninhabited by humans after the native Tataviam people were captured and shipped south to the San Fernando Mission. Before railways and roads were built, the region was very difficult to access as it was surrounded by mountains and was subject to flooding during heavy rains. The addition of the railway and roads as well as oil, silver, and Borax mining brought people back to the area, although it remains to this day a quaint rural town, and Kreig was one of those early settlers.
In the 1920s and 1930s, the area became a popular day trip for tourists due to the first transcontinental highway, Route 6, which stretched from Long Beach to New Jersey running right through town. It is not hard to imagine a hot and dusty prohibition-era traveler stopping by Kreig’s for some “refreshment” while exploring the jagged rocks and erosion pocket “caves” that legendary bandito Tiburcio Vazquez had reportedly used as his hideout during the early days of California’s statehood until he died in 1875.
More than 100 years after Tiburcio Vazquez, and about 70 years after Kreig’s prohibition-era wine production, Agua Dulce Winery started with a dream of making great red wines while also getting the Sierra Pelona Valley recognized as an appellation. While Los Angeles may now be too crowded and polluted to produce the wine of its past, the Sierra Pelona Valley is just getting started. After an extensive application process that involves analysis of soil samples and climate studies, the area was recognized as an appellation, which in wine speak means it is on the records as being an area where extraordinary soil and climate produce top-notch grapes. It is a big deal in the vintner world since the first thing wine connoisseurs often ask is “What appellation is this wine from?”
Wines made from the grapes grown on the 90+ acre Agua Dulce Winery have won several awards. It has been deemed Los Angeles County’s leader in fine wines, a far cry from the mission grape sacrament wine that began California’s wine journey. To learn more about their wines, visit their website.
Did You Know? I also have a blog – Basic B Finds Balance – all about how to live a balanced life. If you would like some more balance in life click here.