• Lifestyle

    Talking Turkey

    This letter originally appeared in the November 2020 issue of Lake Norman CURRENTS. I have a confession to make. I’ve never cooked an entire holiday meal all by myself. I wonder if this is a predicament a lot of women my age are in—they spend years either partially hosting a Thanksgiving gathering or traveling to another family member’s house while never being fully in charge of the preparation and planning until the baton gets passed, so to speak. My childhood memories of the holiday include running around my grandmother’s house with my cousins while the fragrant smells from the kitchen began to waft through the air. I might have taken a break from…

  • Mystery,  Travel

    Who Was “Mostly Harmless?”

    On July 23, 2018, two hikers came across a small, yellow tent at a place called Nobles Camp in the Big Cypress Yellow Preserve in south Florida. When they saw a lone pair of boots outside the tent, coupled with a decaying smell, they felt something was off. Peeking in through the wind screen they discovered an emaciated and lifeless body staring up at them. The mystery of who this lone hiker was is enduring and frustrating for both the investigators with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office and internet sleuths. Plenty of people encountered the hiker, who began his trek at a state park just north of New York City. He traveled on…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Lifestyle

    The Not-So-Secret Life of Pets

    I don’t like to think about what my life would be like without my pets. I’ve had a dog for as long as I can remember, and most of them have been pretty small. I guess as a petite person myself I’m hesitant to get a pet that could potentially be taller than me while standing on hind legs. My husband and I started out with a small chihuahua I brought into the marriage, and while I’m sure Daniel was hesitant about Odie at first (we all know the bad rap chis can get) he eventually grew to love that boy. When Odie passed away after a long life in 2010, we swore…

  • Lifestyle

    Tips for Making the Most Out of Your Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

    This article originally appeared in the June issue of LIMITLESS Magazine. We’ve all done it—racked up a glorious array of produce at our local farmers market and grocery store and then watched as our avocados rotted on a windowsill or our raspberries or strawberries developed a yucky mold before we could enjoy their fresh sweetness. With the month of June designated as “Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month,” what better time to get a refresher on the best way to store your colorful goodies, build a more enticing salad and learn how to add more fruits and veggies into your eating plan? Store your fresh food properly Know the best way to store your…

  • Creative Writing,  podcasts,  True Crime

    How I Started a Podcast

    This article appears this month in the June 2020 issue of Lake Norman CURRENTS. It was while interviewing Davidson resident Stacey Simms about her Diabetes Connections podcast for CURRENTS several years ago that I first learned about podcasts. For anyone unfamiliar, a podcast is an episodic series of spoken word digital audio files that a user can download to a personal device for easy listening. There are now more than 800,000 active podcasts available worldwide, if that tells you anything about their popularity. When a friend started telling me about some true crime podcasts a few years ago, I started wading my way into the podcast waters. I loved studying the different formats,…

  • Lifestyle

    The Stained Glass Window

    May is Mental Health Month. As someone who has lived with anxiety and depression since my teens, this topic is very near and dear to my heart. I know that I am fortunate to get the care I need in the times that I struggle. Unfortunately, there are many who aren’t always as lucky. Please understand that you are not alone in your journey. You can visit the website nami.org for resources and to learn how you can advocate for yourself and your loved ones with mental illness. I would like to share an essay about an experience I went through in March of this year below. It’s taken me more than two…

  • writing advice

    Should Writers Be on LinkedIn?

    I’ve been on LinkedIn for about 10 years, but I’ll admit I probably haven’t utilized it the way I should. After reading an article recently on how LinkedIn has changed its algorithms and how it can be beneficial for career advancement, I decided to take another look at the platform, which is essentially a social network that focuses on professional networking and career development. You may be thinking, “I don’t use LinkedIn, and I don’t see how it could help me in my writing/editing career.” However, you should realize that LinkedIn is an easy way to showcase your experience and skills and help you make connections in the industry that you may not…

  • Book Review

    Book Review: Spellbound by Christopher Pike

    Christopher Pike was one of my treasured authors back in high school. I had a collection of his horror/thriller/suspense-themed paperback novels and I always had one on me. I read them over and over, studying the character development, re-reading to see if I could figure out the red herrings drop along the way. Somewhere, during one of my many moves after high school, I lost the entire collection. I probably couldn’t fit a box of books into my car and donated them, but now that a lot of these are out of print, I’m really regretting that. I found a small stack of them a few years ago at a library book sale…