• Guest column: “Physical therapy for Vertigo”
  • Editor’s column: ‘Pre-writing rituals’

    When I was in elementary school, I hated writing assignments. I guess that is pretty strange, considering my chosen career path, but when I was assigned an essay, a research paper or even a paragraph, my brain would lock up tighter than the vault that holds Colonel Sanders’ KFC recipe.
    When I was at my desk, I would freeze, and sometimes I would sit there for hours trying to come up with something.
    Then one day, after school was finished (I was home-schooled, by the way) my mom catches me on my computer writing — you guessed it — a story.

  • Editor’s column: ‘Books are so much more than a hobby’

    A tweet I found online a while back reads, “Ever realized how… surreal reading a book actually is? You stare at marked slices of tree for hours on end, hallucinating vividly.”

  • Editor’s Column: ‘Cleaning inception’

    About a year ago, a trend went around on social media, where everyone was asked to pick three fictional characters that best describe them. It was one of those online trends that irritate a lot of people I know; but to be honest, I love it when little mini-surveys and mini-games like this go viral, because it tells me a lot about my friends and family in a fun, unconventional way.

  • Editor’s Column: ‘Know the signs’

    Disclaimer: I am not a mental health professional; the following are accounts of my personal experience in dealing with a mental illness. If you believe that you or someone you know is suffering from a mental illness or disorder, please seek professional treatment as soon as possible.

  • Guest column: Saving our poorest localities

    Over the past 50 years, the economy in most of rural America has been in steady decline. Specifically, Virginia’s coalfields and surrounding counties have experienced a mass exodus of industry and population. Some localities have lost nearly 50 percent in population.
    The reasoning for such a decrease has been and will continue to be debated by economists and politicos. Either way, the actual loss is reality.

  • Editor’s Column: ‘Another one wipes the dust’

    I’m willing to bet that most of us have had the following conversation with a friend when they were over for a visit. Usually, it happens after one of those flight-of-the-bumblebee, stuff and fluff cleaning rushes when you get about 20 minutes notice that someone is coming over. Maybe you forgot you were having company, or maybe it was last-second planning. But somehow, despite the time crunch, you manage to stuff all of the crap lying around your house into the nearest broom closet and transfer your pile of dirty breakfast dishes under the sink before the doorbell rings.

  • Editor’s Column: ‘Quoth the Raven’

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -

  • Editor’s Column: ‘Think outside the boxes’

    This weekend, as I was in the middle of a random post-midnight YouTube binge, I came across a nifty video that reminded me of a lesson I learned early on as a neat freak: there really is such a thing as going too far with organizing.
    Basically what I’m getting at here is, don’t let the idea of organizing your space give you permission to go out and acquire even more crap.

  • Editor’s column: ‘Back to school shopping’

    I want to start out this week’s column by wishing my friend and now-former coworker Sara the best of luck at her new job.
    Prior to this job, I reported on the Carroll County beat for our sister paper, the Galax Gazette. Sara took my place when I moved to my position as editor of the Declaration, and she absolutely rocked it out of the park. During her time with our little news family, we bonded over things like tattoos, Disney and our love for animals; but one topic we always seemed to land on was our shared obsession with office supplies.