• writing advice

    Do You Suffer from Imposter Syndrome?

    My name is Renee, and I have Imposter Syndrome. It applies to a lot of areas in my life, but stands out the most when I discuss my writing. While on vacation a few years ago, I was telling a friend that I had applied to be a judge for a book publishing competition. The conversation went something like this. “I don’t know if I’m all that qualified,” I told her. “I mean, I have some experience in the publishing field, but I’m not an author.” She stared at me blankly. “What do you mean by that? Have you not had things written and published?” “Yes,” I said slowly. “I guess I mean…

  • True Crime

    True Crime Wednesday: The Mystery of the Boy under the Billboard

    It was a mystery that perplexed investigators in Orange County, North Carolina for years. In September of 1998, a grass-cutting crew discovered skeletal remains under a billboard off Interstate 85 in Mebane. The clothing found with the remains offered clues that the body belonged to that of a young boy who had not yet reached puberty. He had dark, straight brown hair and was initially thought to have been Hispanic and possibly a migrant worker. For years, no one knew who the boy was. Thanks to the dogged determination of an Orange County sheriff’s investigator named Tim Horne, the boy, Robert “Bobby” Adam Whitt, has finally been identified and his murderer brought to…

  • Travel

    A Weekend Itinerary for Charleston, S.C.

    My husband Daniel and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary last month. Originally, we had big plans to finally get away somewhere tropical for this milestone and had settled on St. Lucia. Then COVID-19 hit, the resort shut down and we were unable get on an airplane this summer. We put off the trip and decided to do something a little more local where we could still enjoy some quality alone time. In years past, we’ve headed to the North Carolina mountains because Asheville holds a special place in our hearts, but this time we opted to head south to Charleston, S.C. We’ve been to the city a handful of times over the…

  • True Crime

    True Crime Wednesday: The Murder of Grace Brown

    Does the ghost of Grace Brown haunt the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York? The murder of this young woman was a scandal that rocked the country in the early 1900s. Grace, who hailed from Chenango County, met Chester Gillette while working at a skirt factory his family owned. She was immediately taken with the attractive and athletic young man who descended from one of the area’s wealthiest families. He took great joy in flirting with most of the available young women in the South Otselic area, and Grace was no exception. During that point in time, it was considered inappropriate for a unwed young woman to be in the company of a…

  • freelance writing,  writing advice

    What Does an Editor Do?

    The role of an editor is constantly changing, as technology enables us to complete tasks and perform our jobs remotely. As a freelance magazine editor, I wanted to offer an inside look on what this particular role looks like on a monthly basis for anyone curious about what takes place behind the scenes. I work as the editor for two monthly magazines based in the Lake Norman area of North Carolina—one is a lifestyle magazine (pictured above) and the other is a smaller publication focused on residents of the community who are 55 and older. For each issue, I’m responsible for planning out the content, getting approval for each article (from businesses, people…