August 30, 2021

You bought the house--so when do you get the keys?

The day you found your home was an important one. The day you chose to purchase the home was also a big day on the calendar. But the closing day is arguably the most crucial date in the homebuying process. That’s when you sign your closing documents and make things official.

But that’s not necessarily when you get your keys and begin moving into the home. There are actually two key terms and concepts to better understand here: funding date vs. closing date. Learn the difference between these two by reading my latest article for, available here.

August 18, 2021

Picture perfect on its golden anniversary


For Cineversary podcast episode #38, host Erik Martin welcomes back Barna Donovan, film professor at Saint Peter’s University and author of several books on the cinema, including Blood, Guns, and Testosterone: Action Films, Audiences, and a Thirst for Violence, and Conspiracy Films: A Tour of Dark Places in the American Conscious. Erik and Barna revisit the Royal Theater, turn that dusty old projector on, and examine Peter Bogdanovich's The Last Picture Show as it prepares to celebrate a 50th anniversary this autumn, exploring why the film is worth celebrating all these years later, its cultural impact and legacy, what we can learn from the film in 2021, and more.
Barna Donovan

To listen to this episode, click here or click the "play" button on the embedded streaming player below. Or, you can stream, download or subscribe to the Cineversary podcast using Apple PodcastsStitcherSpotifyGoogle PodcastsBreakerCastboxPocket CastsPodBeanRadioPublic, and Overcast.

Learn more about the Cineversary podcast at and email show comments or suggestions to

August 17, 2021

Hopes on the horizon

This year, approximately 30% of newly diagnosed cancers in women are expected to be breast cancers. That’s a sobering thought. But also consider that breast cancer incidence rates in the U.S. started to decrease beginning in 2000 after two previous decades of increases. In fact, the rate of death from breast cancer has decreased from 40% between 1989 and 2017.

This slowdown in new breast cancer cases can be attributed to several factors, including increased awareness of the need for a healthier diet and lifestyle. But it’s the latest screening methods, techniques, tools, and treatments that have helped matters considerably, as well.

Learn more about the newest research, tools, and treatment approaches to detect and fight breast cancer by reading my latest article for CTW Features, available here.

August 8, 2021

Hollywood builds a house

Superhero movies inspire our imaginations to soar above the clouds. Science-fiction features tantalize with their futuristic prospects of technological innovation. And fantasy films bring out the hidden adventurer in us all, arousing bravery in the pursuit of an impossible quest.

But it’s flicks about fixer-uppers and homes being built in the real world that may prove to motivate us more in the long run, many believe. The reason? We can better relate to these challenging housing endeavors undertaken by serious and comedic characters alike in a variety of motion pictures. Been there, done that is the takeaway by plenty of viewers, while yet-to-be homeowners consider the cautionary tales to be learned from some of these home improvement and construction projects depicted by Hollywood.

I recently wrote an article recommending several films focused on home improvement and construction, published in the Dallas Morning News, available here.

August 3, 2021

Got one of these coveted outdoor features? Your home may fetch a higher price

If you’re preparing to sell a home, you’re sitting pretty right now. Shopper demand is through the roof, many offers are resulting in bidding wars, and low inventory continues to stack the deck against buyers.

But you’re in a particularly favorable spot if your property also boasts alfresco amenities that are currently popular with buyers. In fact, your home may sell more speedily and/or at a higher price if your outdoor features check the right boxes.

Based on a recent Zillow report, the following family-friendly exterior features are contributing to residences selling much more quickly than anticipated: a backyard (these listings sold 5.2 days faster than expected); a sandbox (4.5 days faster); or a playground (2.5 days). Listing keywords mentioning nearby parks, cul de sacs, walkable neighborhoods, and community pools can help a property sell between two and five days quicker than hoped, too.

Learn more about the most in-demand outdoor attractions included with homes for sale by reading my latest CTW Features article, published by the Dallas Morning News, available here.