Figure in karate pose on beach at sunset
Figure in karate pose on beach at sunset
Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash

The briefest eye contact with a stranger can remind us beauty and love are still out there lurking, waiting for our embrace.

I walked every morning to keep from running away.

I came across him by accident one hot July morning walking along the sand. Walks were my only escape from the grueling isolation of the past few months. 60 or so minutes outside the confines of my solid home, solid husband, solid life. The open air provided possibilities. Lost in thoughts of human connection, I looked up and caught sight of a slow, deliberate movement in the corner of my eye. The sweat was running down my face. …

All this time together is not as rosy as those Instagram posts.

Couple wearing fall coats and boats holding hands on street
Couple wearing fall coats and boats holding hands on street
Photo by bantersnaps on Unsplash

I did not realize how different life would be when we started sheltering in place. The stories of Coronavirus infections and deaths seemed remote, but we took them seriously. My husband flew back from San Diego on a Friday. Saturday we started self-quarantining and I have not seen another person I love since.

At first you feel like you are in it together, weathering the storm makes you stronger. Gradually your idiosyncrasies start showing. The cute way he procrastinates begins to grate on your nerves. The maybe not earth-shattering questions you already know the answer to, but you ask anyway to make conversation, nag and irritate him. …

Advice from a newbie freelancer on how to dive in without selling your soul.

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Photo by Joshua Sortino on Unsplash

I’ve been at this freelance writing gig for about eight months now and I’ve learned some pretty important stuff.

First: Choosing to start this right as Covid-19 took hold was probably not the best idea.

Second: Networking is not an ugly word to be avoided. Networking is the single best thing you can do to help yourself succeed.

There is a connotation attached to the idea of ‘networking’ that gives most people the cringe feeling that they’re trying to sell something or that it’s inauthentic engagement. …

50% of the population carry HSV-1. It is time to start talking about what causes them and how to alleviate suffering without shame.

A glass of beer placed on a surface near a running tap.
A glass of beer placed on a surface near a running tap.
Image credit: amstockphoto.

The tingle fluttered on my top lip. It was a familiar sensation. There was a cold sore brewing there. It would soon be a full-blown event on my mouth shouting to the public the disease inside me.

If there was a picture opportunity coming, I was sure to get one. If there was any stress in my life, I was sure to get one. If I went outside in the sun for too long, I was sure to get one. If I ate one of Aunt Becky’s fresh from the garden tomato sandwiches, I was sure to get one.

They have plagued me since before I can remember. I know that is true… there is photographic evidence. Trick or treating as a princess with my dad dressed as my steed, there was four-year-old me with a big old festering wound on my mouth. At my uncle Steve’s wedding, there I was again in tulle and a cold sore accessory. Every school picture. Every special occasion. I am pretty sure a photo does not exist in my younger years without one. …

Sharing numbers on pitching and acceptance/rejection rates should not be a secret. The data can help all freelance writers understand the real work.

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Lots of end-of-year roundups with pieces writers published throughout 2020 have been circling around social media. Those are great, but one of my writer-friends posted her pitching stats rather than an end-of-year roundup and it was inspiring to see the actual work of writing quantitively. I am not a seasoned freelancer, but I have experienced some success since starting out. I think it is important to see it is not all rosy published pieces. It is hard work. There is researching, writing, toughening up your skin for rejection, and just staying in the game. …

Google found giving employees 20% time to pursue a passion boosted productivity and happiness. The same model could make virtual school engaging and effective.

Hands connecting circuits on a circuit board
Hands connecting circuits on a circuit board
Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Unsplash

A classroom teacher for over a decade, I was always looking for innovative ways to challenge students academically. Edutopia did a great deal of research into the effectiveness of PBL and found it boosted student engagement. With most classrooms virtual, small-scale face-to-face, or some hybrid combination of the two, the struggle to design meaningful curriculum is real. As I talked to more and more teachers, I realized a project I designed the last few years in the classroom could hold some answers.

The summer of 2015 I read about Google’s 20% percent policy.

“GOOGLE engineers are encouraged to take 20 percent of their time to work on something company-related that interests them personally. This means that if you have a great idea, you always have time to run with it.”

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Wrapped gifts under a holiday tree image from Pexels stock photos

As the holidays approach, our thoughts turn to gift-giving, even during a pandemic when most of our shopping will probably be online. This is the year to break out of the rut and get your friends something they really want. With so many of our small, independent shops in trouble, it is extra important this year to gift something thoughtful and unique, hopefully sourced locally. Scroll through and find your person 🙂

Your Writer Friend Doesn’t Want Another Journal; Buy These Gifts They Long For Instead:

  • An air plant I cannot kill to green up my writing nook. I buy mine from The Salt Shed, but your local nursery will have them as well.
  • The chocolate tea sampler from Adagio Teas for those stressful…

So, I recently posted about my success with wine cork wreaths and I thought I would continue my wine art theme by sharing how I upcycled my labels from all those bottles where the corks once resided. I still have a cache awaiting future projects, but I love how my frame art came out!

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The Idea

My husband and I traveled to Knoxville, Tennessee a couple of years ago for a softball camp for our daughter and we strolled around an area that had lots of cute boutiques and some great restaurants. In one of these home decor boutiques he fell in love with this enormous framed quote about love and weirdness. The piece was $500 and it was just stretched canvas over a reclaimed wood frame. …

The piles of saved wine corks finally reached critical capacity. 4 banana boxes later and it was time to delve into the world of wine cork wreaths. With the new house and a barren door, the time was ripe.

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My first step was to survey online to see if anybody had already done what I envisioned. There are a number of sites that give instructions for various wreaths and an ever greater number where you can buy them, but none quite hit on the design I wanted. I did get a rough idea of materials and set about acquiring. …


Carrie Honaker

Freelance writer who loves eating messy food, drinking spicy tempranillos, and finding the next great dive bar.

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