This Thanksgiving, I’m especially grateful for the consultants and colleagues who offer their time, great work and inspiration. I couldn’t do it without you! Inside you’ll find a story about Jennifer Lader, who has helped me with articles in these newsletters and other writing for the last three years.

Wishing you the happiest of holidays!

Art Notes

Join author Sara Hunter and me for a house tour and signing at King Caesar in Duxbury, MA, Sunday, December 15, from 2-4 pm. Original illustrations from The Lighthouse Santa will be on display as part of the holiday decor. 
Tours of shipbuilder Ezra Weston’s Federalist mansion, King Caesar, have gotten rave reviews online. The breath- taking waterfront site, exquisite decor and paintings of the ships built onsite are worth the price of admission. Drive through beautiful Powder Point, named for Ezra Weston’s gunstocks, the park, and the site of the original wharf. 

I was so honored to be part of the first show in the Umbrella’s new art gallery and sit on a panel with this group of award winning illustrators. New friends and fresh inspiration.

Architect Notes

What If You Had Your Very Own Storyteller?

This Thanksgiving, I'm grateful for mine.

Ever notice how challenging it is to get your story out there? I spend too much time on my newsletter when the perfectionist side takes over, and can feel overwhelmed with doubt before pressing “send.” But it’s worth it when there’s wonderful feedback from you and others in our circle. I love sharing news, so what would keep me from writing more? It’s often a reluctance to put myself out there, which would be even harder without the help of a wonderful colleague.Enter your text here...

Jennifer Later

Writing these articles is validating. Brainstorming with my helpful writer/ editor helps me reconnect with why I do what I do. It clarifies my way forward, and most important, it helps me connect with you. More than an editor, Jennifer Lader, a writer with the Architect Marketing Institute, calls me every few weeks with a broad suggestion for a piece. She has come up with the same idea for other architects in our elite international Mastermind group. As we individualize it for me, I start to feel enthusiastic about the “why”.

After we work to make the topic my own, either I will take off writing about it or Jennifer will send me a draft to rework. A gentle editor, she lets me express things in my own voice. This comes naturally to her; having started out studying anthropology before becoming a writer, she wants to know how other people see the world. 

Jennifer helps find the stories that would matter to readers. She wrote a press release about transforming my business and contacted the AIA’s Architect Magazine. The interviewer focused on what it was like being a young female architect starting out in 1980. This led to some grateful letters from younger women facing the same issues. It was a thrill to be in this national magazine and know that I’d encouraged other women in the profession. 

An article you may have enjoyed was called “Metrowest Magic.” I never would have thought about writing about magic, but Jennifer’s topic reminded me of how a renovation design which actually reduced the square footage became more than the sum of its parts. The end result was better than the clients had imagined. 

For “Lessons of Trees and Sun: Light in Architecture,” Jennifer asked me to come up with a phrase people know me for. I thought of how my young daughters and their friend teased me for always exclaiming about the beautiful light in the trees on the way to school. What would that have to do with architecture? We found the connection and the resulting article got published in an anthology. 

Jennifer encouraged me to tell that goofy story about my kids, just as I encourage you to express who you are in the places where you live, work or play. I could go on about the process of drawing out your narrative for a design, but for this moment, with Thanksgiving here, Jennifer deserves the limelight and thanks. 

What is the story that permeates your family or organization? Let’s find it together ... and turn your story into a beautiful project. “The result will be better than you can imagine, every time.”