Linda M. Erbele
Linda M. Erbele
Freelance Writer and Journalist

Writing Samples


Examining Consumer Trends
and Real Estate


What the Web, green building, diverse housing needs and more really mean for the industry and your brokerage.

Sunday afternoon drives with the family to look at houses have gone the way of walking across the room to change the TV channel. Today a family is more likely to spend Sunday with the younger children clicking their handheld video games, the teenagers happily chatting in MySpace on their laptops and Mom and Dad viewing the room dimensions and backyard features of houses, possibly hundreds of miles away, all together in the den with the game on TV.

Last year, Mike Long, CEO of Move.com told the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), "Searching for real estate information has become one of the three largest consumer interest categories online. In the U.S. each year 100 million consumers go online to look at real estate, more than 1 in 3 Americans. Looking and dreaming about houses has become a major entertainment category as well as a practical process for those in need of buying, selling or renting a home."

 



Dragon Boat Racing

An ancient sport grows in popularity

The throbbing drums stir something primitive inside, causing spectators hearts to pound as they cheer the paddlers in the race. The competition is fierce and always thrilling. But to those who understand the connection that these brilliantly colored boats have with the real, life-and-death drama of breast cancer, it is powerful and emotional.


Dragon boat racing is one of the fastest-growing water sports in the world. It is also one of the oldest, beginning 2000 years ago in China, in honor of Qu Yuan, a patriotic poet who leaped into a river holding a large rock to express his sorrow at his country's downfall. According to legend, people raced out to save him in their boats, drumming and beating their paddles to keep the fish and water dragons from getting to him.



Molding A Museum

Turning Folk Pottery Into Prized Art

In the 1950s, Lanier Meaders often stopped by a little mom-and-pop grocery store near Mossy Creek, a community stretching 5 square miles through the southern part of White County, to pick up a cold drink. He would show the storekeeper’s daughter a few of his pottery jugs, which had what he called “ugly faces” on them. He joked about trading a pot for a tank of gas. The little girl merely told him that she would make “pretty pottery” one day.
     Neither could have guessed that within 50 years, Meaders’ “ugly faces” would be featured in museums around the world and would sell for five figures. His work and that of many other Georgia folk potters — including Lin Craven, that little girl Meaders teased all those years ago — is on display at the Folk Pottery Museum of Northeast Georgia, which opened in early September near Helen. The museum is part of the Sautee Nacoochee Center, a campus developed during the past 25 years to nurture local creativity and protect the cultural and natural resources of the surrounding areas.

 


My Office - Forensic Biologist

A framed photograph of seminal fluid smears sits on the desk in front of the orchids that Connie Pickens carefully waters each Friday.  An identical frame showcases a black and white sperm, magnified 600 times.  As Assistant Manager in the Forensic Biology Division of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), Pickens turns the same careful attention to the items in the rape kit she will examine next.  At the GBI’s headquarters laboratory in Decatur, she is both a working scientist and a supervisor of other scientists.  She handles an average of 120 to 150 cases a year personally.  A normal day consists of answering phones, writing reports, reviewing peers and assigning cases as well as the microscopic examination of clothing for evidence of sexual assault.

 

The mysterious death of a young woman unknown to her steered Pickens to the GBI as a career.  In 1979, the autopsy of the unidentified woman revealed sickled cells.  To learn about the disease, GBI investigators came to the Sickle Cell Foundation where Pickens was working as a medical technologist.  While she never learned any more details of that case, the dedication of the agents trying to solve it inspired her.  When a position at the Bureau opened, she applied and became the first African-American hired to do forensic serology at the GBI. 

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