Header image designed in Photoshop featuring a pop art cheerleader and the words “Support, Parent, Let’s Go,” in the background.
Header image designed in Photoshop featuring a pop art cheerleader and the words “Support, Parent, Let’s Go,” in the background.

Edited by Allie Long

For many parents, enrolling their child in an extracurricular activity seems like a no-brainer. Organized sports can teach discipline, foster self-confidence, and even improve a child’s relationship with their family. Or for the more musically minded, taking lessons boasts cognitive dividends beyond simply improving their ability to read notes. Research has shown that playing an instrument boosts the brain’s ability to process language and can have a positive impact on their test scores in other subjects. …


Have you ever cracked open an avocado only to be baffled by the utter lack of green plant butter on the interior? Instead, you are greeted with a useless rock that serves no purpose other than to weigh down the avocado in the event of flooding.

Or, conversely, have you ever split open this magnificent rugged pear and rejoiced at your good fortune in encountering a pit the size of a large grape?

I’m sure you, like many, have wondered what unseen forces are at work here. Perhaps you have turned to science and asked Dr. Google or Bing Esquire…


This treatise begins with a quest. Like many desperate writers in the age of creative entrepreneurship, I was scouring Facebook groups for a place to plug one of my articles. Through my digital travels, I subscribed to a myriad of pages, joined groups, shared my story, then promptly forgot about all of them. Since then, intermittent posts from these internet places would populate my feed, though they went largely unacknowledged until this photo popped up on my timeline:


Header image featuring a well pulling up the Zoom logo.
Header image featuring a well pulling up the Zoom logo.

Edited by Allie Long

This article is based on interviews I conducted with two members of Chapel Hill Gymnastics’ staff, Vahid Moavenzadeh and Hunter Brake.

Due to the pandemic, many of us have been hunkered down in our homes for over three months now. If you’ve been living with roommates or family, you’ve probably gotten to know one another in new — perhaps surprising — ways, and maybe you’ve even settled into a comfortable routine. Still, whether your isolation is self-imposed or government-mandated, one thing is for certain: The pandemic has been a trying time for us all.

Even veteran…


Header image featuring a solar panel and the silhouette of a wolf.
Header image featuring a solar panel and the silhouette of a wolf.

Edited by Allie Long

This article is based on a series of interviews I conducted with Drew Robertson and the Mattersville team. They were kind enough to provide me with their time and trust me with the retelling of their story, which I will share with you now.

“Do you want to just start with an introduction of who you are and how you got started with Mattersville?”

Six months ago, I began a series of interviews with Drew Robertson, the founder and executive director of Mattersville, a program and sustainable community designed to help homeless veterans suffering from PTSD…


80’s style header image featuring a wolf and a sunset.
80’s style header image featuring a wolf and a sunset.

Edited by Allie Long

This is part two of Heroes and Hybrids, a two-part article on the wolves of Mattersville, a sustainable community built to house homeless veterans. If you would like to read part one, click here.

For this story, I interviewed Drew Robertson, the executive director of Mattersville, Kristyn Hansen, the chief operations officer, Ben Corliss, one of the co-directors of animal care, and resident veteran, Randy. I would like to thank them all for their time and consideration while writing this piece.

When I asked Randy about the wolves and how they affected him personally, as a…


80’s style header image featuring a wolf and a sunset.
80’s style header image featuring a wolf and a sunset.

Edited by Allie Long

Welcome to part four of my series on Mattersville, a sustainable community built to house homeless veterans suffering from PTSD. You can read the first article, Cheyenne the Healing Wolf, here.

I want to begin this article by thanking Drew Robertson, Kristyn Hansen, Dylan Matkowsky, Mark Johnson, Ben Corliss, Randy, and Lydia Reed. They were kind enough to provide me with their time and to trust me with the retelling of their story, which I will share with you now:

“But he is not always alone. When the long winter nights come on and the wolves…


Two cartoon hearts in a cartoon prison with an emblem of the coronavirus on top.
Two cartoon hearts in a cartoon prison with an emblem of the coronavirus on top.

Edited by Allie Long

Although some states are loosening restrictions and reopening parts of the economy, many people will likely (and smartly) continue self-quarantining until a viable vaccine is found. For couples who have chosen to quarantine together, this pandemic presents both a challenge and an opportunity to grow closer and get to know one another a lot better.

A survey conducted by The Knot found that 86% of engaged couples were quarantined together, and a significant majority reported that the lockdown has positively impacted their relationship. …


A group of wolves and one of them is howling.
A group of wolves and one of them is howling.
Photo courtesy of Thomas Bonometti on Unsplash

Edited by Allie Long

While writing a series of articles on Mattersville, I stumbled upon Mary Sander’s extraordinary story of healing and friendship with the wolf, Cheyenne. This article is based on interviews I conducted with Mark Johnson and Mary and Tom Sander. I would like to thank them for their time and for the privilege of retelling their story here.

The Man From Maryland

In my first article about Mattersville and this pack of wolves, I told a story about a man from Maryland who lost all ten toes on a hike in the Rockies. He traveled across the country to Silver Plume…


Header image featuring a fish-like shadow encasing a wolf, a mountain, the sun, and a river.
Header image featuring a fish-like shadow encasing a wolf, a mountain, the sun, and a river.

Edited by Allie Long

This is part three in a series on Mattersville, a sustainable community built for homeless veterans suffering from PTSD. If you would like to start this story from the beginning, you can read Cheyenne the Healing Wolf, here.

This piece is based off of a series of interviews I conducted with Drew Robertson and Kristyn Hansen, the executive director and assistant director of Mattersville, respectively. …

Zachary Turner

writing quietly // NC

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