by: Valeria Buldini


When Rachel Mellon and her husband Sheelin first bought their condo in Hancock Park, they were at a place in their careers where they felt they were secure. She had been signed with the best agency in town while he had moved up the ranks in his company and became a Producer. At that time they knew very little about using Feng Shui in their unit, their first home. They just knew they loved the new kitchen, the glossy hardwood floor and the amount of light that the floor to ceiling windows offered. It felt like them. A few months after moving in, however, Rachel's career hit a snag. The television show on NBC where she was working as a staff writer was canceled. Though she kept writing and turning in samples, the phone stopped ringing and when it did ring it was her agent with bad news.

"It was at this time that my sister brought up Feng Shui. Maybe there was something about moving into this apartment that had an impact on my career? I had nothing better to do, so we started reading" Rachel says.

She came across Feng Shui mapping on-line and quickly realized that her condo was tricky; it was a condo conversion.

"The builder had torn down some walls, added a closet and moved the front door. The front door now opened into a floor to ceiling window. According to the maps it should enter into one of three spaces: Travel/mentor, Career, or Knowledge. From what I could see, mine wasn't facing any of them. So my sister continued searching online, looking on Feng Shui expertís pages, trying to see if anyone had the answer."

It was Rachel's sister who found Rhonna's website home-page and contacted her. Even though they could not pay much for a home evaluation, they were hoping she could answer a few questions about the tricky lay-out and then they would continue on with their own maps. Rhonna was kind enough to offer to do the entire evaluation for what she could pay.

"If I remember correctly, Rhonna was over the day after. She started by lending me her ear. She asked me to tell her all about me, our home, my work, my problems with no work, the dates we moved in and the dates I started feeling helpless. She asked me where I like to be in my house and where I don't like to be. Then she explained to me why I felt this way. My office, for example, where I always thought I would write was the one place I felt the writers block most. She explained that my desk was facing a wall, the door behind me. This arrangement both blocked my creative energy and made my body feel like someone was behind me. I was unable to concentrate there because my body was in Fight or Flight mode the whole time and I didn't even know it. I thought the anxiety was caused by the writerís block- it was actually the other way around!"


 During the first evaluation, Rhonna looked around the house, picked up things, moved them into different areas and gave Rachel a list of things to do. It was a sort of refurnishing; the only thing Rachel had to buy was a welcome mat for the front door and some red string to tie off the pipes in the kitchen and bath, which were sucking her career down the drain. Within two days Rhonna had emailed some detailed maps of her home, labeled every part of each room and gave directions of how to cure certain areas.

After adapting her home to Rhonna's advice, Rachel did feel some benefits. "I have been able to write again, new ideas flow daily and I feel that being in my home while I write is the only place I want to be. It feels inspiring and new here. I have written three pilots in the four months since Rhonna's visit. I'm starting a feature now.  I would like to find a mentor, a champion, someone to lead me to find work again; someone to read my writing and want to work with me."  About this, Rhonna suggested to buy fresh white flowers and to add them to Rachel's table in the travel/mentor area of her home.

"Hopefully this will help. I believe it will. Everything else she has done for me has helped. Honestly, I'd pay a fee just to hang out with Rhonna. Her stories of her life in"





Otonome is thrilled to introduce Valeria Buldini as a new on going interviewer and article writer for otonome.  If you have any interesting articles you'd like to read here please drop your ideas via email


Valeria Buldini is a freelance journalist from Italy.


She earned a degree in Languages and Foreign Literatures from the University of L'Aquila, with a thesis on D. H. Lawrence's criticism on the industrial society, and took a certificate in broadcast and print journalism at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). Her commitment within Sherazade, an Italian no-profit association against racism, led to the publication of Non Sapevo Nemmeno Cosa Significa Ciao, a book on women immigrants in Italy.

She worked as an entertainment correspondent in Los Angles  for ANSA, the main Italian news service. She interviewed, among others, Quentin Tarantino, Anthony Hopkins, Denzel Washington, Jamie Foxx and Sophia Loren. In addition she has work published in Italian newspapers such as Il Messaggero and Il Mattino and in Italian magazines like Vanity Fair, Best Movie and Progress.