Pumping the bilge on "Fri", crossing the atlantic

Pumping the bilge on "Fri", crossing the atlantic


"Carolyn is very conscientious. And she excels at writing and spelling." — Mrs. Seeney, grade 2 teacher

Mrs. Seeney was onto something there! The word “conscientious” made its way into my report cards several times in elementary school, and I have always been pretty good at writing and spelling. It’s as if my teachers were conspiring to have me grow up to write your blog posts, ebooks, and emails and get them all organized for you.

Unsuspecting of my teachers’ plans, I dreamed of growing up to be a biologist, saving animals in the forest. So I shoved my belongings into my mustard-coloured Datsun and made the journey to Vancouver Island to study biology at the University of Victoria.

Although my conscientious nature and diligence worked in my favour in my demanding biology classes, my aversion to cutting up animals soaked in formaldehyde did not, and I turned my attention to Environmental Studies and appropriate technology instead.

I discovered that one of my professors had been in the same meditation workshop as I had, and I bought his manual typewriter from him, thinking that I would never give in to the world of computers and would live in the forest, writing my memoirs on his typewriter. I still have it. Haven’t written my memoirs yet.

When I finished my science degree, I was working at Victoria’s only vegetarian restaurant for $3.65/hour, saving up to travel around the world “at human speed” with my bicycle. The only biology-related job that appealed to me at the time was that of a Park Interpreter, or Naturalist, but the requirement to put yourself out there and speak in public, or (gasp) create skits and characters was too scary. So I left town.

I set out to travel the world at human speed, and worked my way around the world for three years, taking my bicycle with me. I blasted around Washington DC as a bike courier with a fake ID (don’t tell), worked as a crew member on a tall ship crossing the Atlantic ocean, packed tulips in Holland, and picked cucumbers in Greece. No savings, no credit card, no internet. I taught English in Japan for more than a year and backpacked around southeast Asia. Then I was ready to come home.

On my return to Canada, I had another look at that job description for a Park Naturalist and said, “Oh yeah—I can do that!” And for the next seven years I was in the zone, writing plays about ecology and performing them for captive audiences. Stingerella and Buzzetta, the Blood Sisters (gangster mosquitoes), Anastasia the Ant and her long-suffering mother the Queen, Elderwood the Elf, a wood elf who braves human contact in order to speak for the old growth forests . . . You get the idea.

Then on a kayak trip off the west coast of Vancouver Island, I met a guy who had retired at the age of 33 and was about to sail around the Caribbean in his own small sailboat. Did I want to join him? Hell yes! Was there a reason I’d kept myself free of all responsibilities until now? I think so! We spent two winters sailing together in paradise. Read about the day we went on a “hash run.”

After the sailing had run its course, my work in environment and communications all came together in my next job as the communications coordinator for an environmental NGO—my only office job. And it lasted for nine years—until the funding ran out. By then I’d discovered that I excelled at writing blog posts, maintaining websites, writing e-newsletters, and editing print publications.

The way I operate . . . my ethos . . . it all comes together like this: I value communication that’s honest and authentic, rooted in the real desire to communicate something of value to others. If you’ve got something to communicate and you need someone on your team, let’s do this. Need help with your blog? Get my done-with-you blogging solution.

I'm into REPURPOSING. Remember the three Rs? Reduce, Reuse, Recycle? Everyone is hung up on the third R, recycle, but what about reducing the amount of noise on the internet and REUSING the quality stuff you produce?

I want to help you have a good time in your business, help you get your message across in the best way, help you be efficient with your time, and cheer you on as you rock your corner of the internet. Let’s do this. Together. We’ve all got our place in the ecosystem.

Find out how I can help you:

"Carolyn, I wanted to take a moment to tell you how grateful I am to have you on my team. The difference it has made in my life is quite astonishing. I am able to put my energy into other things that need to be done, instead of formatting and struggling and recovering from the stress of doing it! Working with you has made marketing a pleasure." — Debora Seidman