About Laura Kelly

Laura is Kevin Walsh’s second cousin on his father’s side. When she first moved to New York, she worked for CBS and at a variety of magazines as managing editor. Later, Laura was VP, Global Editor-in-Chief of Reader’s Digest books series. She now helps creative artists (such as authors, actors, photographers, and print designers) with all things digital; one of her main clients is her husband, author Warren Berger. You can learn more about Laura's business at Laura-e-Kelly.com, and follow her on Twitter @LectriceUSA, Facebook, and Google+.

And you may tell yourself/This is not my beautiful house!

Everyone has a “first place” story (except those of you who never moved out of your parents’ basement). My definition of a first place is that it’s where you were in charge of your fate and rent for the first time, rather than your school or your parents. I maintain that whether you loved or loathed your first place, you never forget it. There is a special tribe of “first place” survivors, and it’s those who were bold enough to venture to New York City—often with nothing more than hope in their pockets. Some had lived on their own in other cities; some were going out on their own for the very first time in NYC. Some lived in their first NYC apartment for 3 months; some for 30 years. To capture these stories before they’re lost in time, I decided to start a little “story website” called MyFirstApartmentNYC.com, much like Kevin’s My… Read More…

In Flipper’s Footsteps by Brian d’Arcy James

From time to time, I help my cousin Brian d’Arcy James keep his website updated, and this recent post he wrote struck me as a perfect nostalgia article for “My Media Diary,” and for all those who grew up with 1960s TV (or its reruns).  So am sharing it with this blog’s audience. —Laura W. C. Fields is famously credited with this warning to all:  “Never work with children or animals.” My Uncle Brian was more specific: “Never act with a fish.” Let me explain. My namesake and my uncle, Brian Kelly, was an actor. He was a big reason why I do what I do today. He showed me that being an actor was not only possible, but also could be a viable profession. He gave me many tips and insights about the business I’m currently in, either explicitly or by example. However, the most memorable, if not best… Read More…

A Patriotic Party circa 1928

How to Entertain at Home, 1928

Found this little gem on the book giveaway shelf at the gym today. I picked it up out of curiosity and would have put it right back down except that it fell open to “Fourth of July parties” as if calling out to me to read it, right then. And what a great read it was! I’m not giving a party this year, but after reading the 7-page section on Fourth of July it really made me wish I were (but only if I had a team of people to help me). This 1928 edition of How to Entertain at Home: 1000 Entertainment Ideas, compiled by the Editors of THE MODERN PRISCILLA (a ladies magazine published in “Great Britain and the Colonies” from 1887 to 1930), has an introduction that starts off: “You, like every other woman, often wish to entertain, but are overcome with terror, as the task is… Read More…

The Roaring Twenties in Detroit: A City in the Black—and Purple

Kevin’s recent illustrated humor post on Detroit’s Museum Yard Sale, about the proposed selling of the city’s more valuable art pieces, reminded me of the last time I visited the Detroit Institute of Arts about 10 years ago (I live in New York so have an excuse for not visiting there more often). My husband, author Warren Berger, and I were there on a scouting mission. Warren was checking out locations for scenes in his novel THE PURPLES, which chronicles/imagines the rise and fall of the young rumrunner Purple Gang in 1920s Detroit. [Nota bene: The novel started life as a great screenplay drafted by Kevin, Brian d’Arcy James, and Warren all sparked by—in a nod to My Media Diary’s theme—a massive family research file of news clippings compiled by Kevin. A key figure in their Purple Gang story is Harry F. Kelly (photo below), a relative of mine, Brian, and Kevin’s… Read More…

1976: More than just the Bicentennial Year to me

Since this blog is all about blasts from the past triggered by a photo or media, I couldn’t resist sharing this recent walk of mine down Memory Lane, featuring my father. My little nostalgia trip started with seeing an ad in the newspaper that reminded me of a real trip I once took. Yes, Pippin is coming back to Broadway after last being seen there in the early 1970s. (Of course, Pippin never really went away—it’s been one of the most produced shows in schools and theaters around the world for decades.) Pippin has loomed large in my mind for a long time. You see, it was the first Broadway show I saw, way back in 1976. I remember the year exactly because this was the show we picked to see when my father brought me to NYC from Michigan for my 16th birthday. I have no idea why we… Read More…