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COVID Confessions (and Seize the DAY!)-

I was recently privileged to be part of an online Zoom writing workshop led by the brilliant and inspiring Tracey Erin Smith, founder of SOULO Theatre in Toronto, Ontario ( It was a fun and creative writing romp. Tracey started us all off with “COVID Confessions”. “What is your COVID secret?” she asked.

There were the expected confessions of wearing pajamas all day and eating mountains of comfort food while we’re under this voluntary house arrest. I own being in the weight gain group from an unprecedented amount of home baking – I made homemade caramel pecan cinnamon rolls for the first time in about 40 years as soon as I finally got my hands on the illusive yeast at the grocery store. OK, so that’s one of the down sides of COVID, of which there are many, and far more serious then my extra ten pound pillow of tummy fat.

But also, my COVID confession was that I loved this slow time. The isolation (yes, I’m an introvert), the lack of demands on my time, the cancellation of all the activities in art and music that make life oh so interesting and way too busy. This time of the “Great Pause” has been a wonderful opportunity for reflection, for reset, for reconfiguring life to align with my true values and considering how to live more closing in tune with what I claim those values to be.

I love that I’ve filled the car with gas less than once a month. That was unheard of during the “normal” busyness of life. This summer I’ll actually – if I’m a bit careful – be able to sit and enjoy the weather in the shade on the deck, read a book, write and watch the chipmunks scrap over the sunflower seeds I leave for them. (Did I tell you I love chipmunks?) I added the “if I’m careful” because just as some things become inaccessible other things move to the fore and I can spend many hours on zoom meetings and falling down Facebook or other internet rabbit holes that eat time like zombies suck brains. Insatiably.

So being mindful has a role to play here – starting every day on my meditation cushion to calm my overactive dream brain helps me re-enter the wakeful world a little more slowly and calmly and make choices instead of reactions. After meditation I need to journal for few minutes to actually choose what my priorities are for this one perfect day that I’ll never see again. “Today I will _______.” At least I have a small plan, I’ve set an intention.

I’ve heard that another great thing to do is to reflect at day’s end what you did with the day and see if you’ve been true to your plan. Also to congratulate yourself for whatever small accomplishments you managed and give yourself credit for the effort. Can’t say I often think of doing that but I believe it has merit and I’ll give it a try this week. Without setting my morning intention of what I want to do for the day, at least one thing I hope to accomplish, I find the entire day can evaporate in response and reaction to things I never invited to my party in the first place! Thieves of time. Blaggards! So I don’t want to be swashbuckled by them anymore.

I’ll set an intention – maybe several – including time to write, time for exercise and then time for some true priority even if the time is a short time.

The next big plan was to give myself another way to be accountable by involving a buddy – remember those grade school camp days when you had to have a buddy before you could go into the pool or lake? Whenever the lifeguard blew the whistle you had to grab your buddy’s hand and hold it up so they could tell you were all still alive and well. Well, I think its best not to go into the deep end of wading through tasks that might overwhelm us without a buddy’s hand nearby.

So this week I made a small pact with a friend. She’s texting me when her overdue filing is completed and I’m texting her photos of the progress I’m making purging the pottery studio. On top of that I’ve just entered that pact here as a public confession so you are all tasked with holding me accountable for my studio purge progress in the next week.

COVID time is perfect for “setting our houses in order” both physically and metaphorically. So now – ‘fess up- and let me hear from you…

1) What’s your COVID Confession?

2) What would you like to commit to in the next week?

If you’d like me to check in with you and see how it’s going (we can share our progress reports) just send me a note (contact form at bottom of page) with the answers to the above questions and I’ll be in touch!

Together we can get a lot done!

Have a great week and I’ll hope to hear from you!

Warm wishes,

Carol                                             SEIZE the DAY!!


FREE Intro to Memoir Workshop with Carol hosted by the Vaughn Public Library Monday, July 6, 2020.   7:00 pm

on Zoom – links at
more information soon coming soon!


NEW July Workshops –  to keep your pen on the page

All Live ONLINE 

  • Diving Deep & Surfacing – Fridays 1:00 – 3:00 pm EDT
  • World-Wide-Write – Wednesdays – 2:00 – 4:00 pm EDT
  • Courting the Muse – Wednesday – 7:00 – 9:00 pm EDT

    Information & Registration at


Opportunities to Submit 

Here are a few writing events that are coming up soon to help you can get your Muse in gear-  (inclusion here does not constitute an endorsement from me – just interesting places to explore on your own)

Constance Rooke CNF Prize—Now Open!

CNF Banner


Split Rock Review is an independent, online publication run by volunteers who love literature, art, and the wilderness.

We publish poetry, short creative nonfiction, short fiction, comics, graphic stories, hybrids, visual poetry, photography, and art that explore place, environment, and the relationship between humans and the natural world. We encourage you to read our back issues and books to see if we’re a good home for your work.   Reading period: May 1 – June 30, 2020.


The Ruminate Broadside Poetry Prize is open!
Each year we award $500 and publication to the winning poet.

Enter Now

Two poems per entry; 10 to 30 lines each
Entry fee is $12 (includes a digital copy of Ruminate)
Deadline is August 15th (plus 3-day grace period)


Penn Review Summer Reading Period.jpg


Deadlines From June 13-30, Penn Review has reopened to submissions and we’re aiming to raise $1000 to contribute to the struggle against systemic racism.  Instead of charging an entrance fee, we’re asking our submitters to donate directly to the Equal Justice Initiative.  Here’s how it’ll work:

1.  Donate—we suggest $10 or more but we’ll be grateful for whatever you can afford to give.  The amount you donate won’t influence our decision on your submission, but those who donate $30 or more will receive personal feedback.

2. Submit—Visit our Submittable page, attach the email receipt from your donation, and send us your submission.

In addition to being considered for regular publication, all written submissions we receive over June will be entered into our 2020 Poetry and Prose Prizes, making submitters eligible to win $1000 and print publication in The Penn Review No. 71.


Third Point Press All submissions through Submittable.          2020 Submission Periods

February 12 – March 25 (issue 16 published May 11) May 18 – June 26 (issue 17 published August 10) August 31 – October 9 (issue 18 published November 30)


Typishly is a popular online literary magazine publishing short fiction and poetry submitted by established and emerging writers. Our website receives several hundred thousand page views a year. Over 1,000 writers follow us on Submittable. We aim to inspire writers by responding overnight with a few words of encouragement, no matter how much effort it takes, no matter how many hours it consumes, 7 days a week.

Personalized response in 24 hours.

Covid Confessions

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