After 15 years, a visit with my ex brought back fireworks, but not the type you might expect.

Priscilla Du Preez; Unsplash

When I arrived at the swanky wine bar, there was only one open table — dimly lit and intimate. The booze, sexy music and candlelight felt like a callback to our first kiss 15 years before, almost to the day.

There was no sign of him, so I ordered a Chardonnay, two small plates and tried to focus on the novel I brought with me, ironically titled “What She Knew.” Instead I flashed back to our last meeting nearly a decade before.

We had just returned from a trip to Napa to scout wedding venues. …

Unsplash: Alexander Mills

Think writers can’t make a good living? It’s a common misconception. True, writers who focus on creative forms — novels, essays and other projects that don’t come with an advance payment — may have trouble making ends meet. But for those of us who can transform ourselves into content-producing machines, crafting targeted messaging for myriad industries, the power of the pen can mean a lucrative six-figure business.

“I made $163,000 last year and I can name five writers in my network who made more than $200,000,” says Jennifer Goforth Gregory, B2B Technology Freelance Content Marketing Writer. …

I never envisioned our sons attending the type of school that requires uniforms and black shoes — no logos please. But after months in a virtual classroom with real-world hiccups, private school began to look like the only viable option. The reason: Distance learning was a disaster for our family.

During the second week of remote learning, my 8-year-old son walked into my bathroom while I was showering. “Mom, something is not working,” he shouted over the sound of pounding water.

He stared out the window to give me privacy, but the school-issued iPad was facing our glass shower door…

Parenting through COVID-19

Cascade Falls, South Lake Tahoe: Photo by Amy Paturel

On a summer day while on vacation, my husband, Brandon, and I headed outside to toss Frisbees with our three children. After sheltering-at-home for more than four months, donning masks and bathing in hand sanitizer, we craved a safe retreat from COVID-19 reality.

We thought about canceling our trip, but figured we could remain physically distanced at the time-share we road-trip to every summer. We ordered take out, grilled burgers and hot dogs on the lakeside barbeques and wore our masks every time we left the property.

But on that day in the courtyard, our nearly perfect scorecard for following…

Amy Paturel

Personal essay writer and teacher. I’m passionate about helping people share their stories. Find my work in NYT, WaPo, GH, Real Simple and @

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