Industrial Revolution CrossFit *An Interview with Kelly Carse: Founder, Owner, & Coach*

I have a really special interview to share with you today.

A little backstory: I, hesitantly, went to my first CrossFit class in January of 2015 after friends and family insisted I try it. I was really impressed by how welcoming and positive the CrossFit community was. There were people of all ages, backgrounds, ethnicities, and body types. The perception I had about CrossFit and the reality were so opposite! I feel thankful for my friends and family that encourage me to try new things — and I encourage you to do the same! Having a coach and community that help you develop the correct fitness techniques and strategies will really skyrocket your results.

If you’ve been curious about CrossFit, go check out Kelly’s gym. There’s no reason not to — your first class is free! Go for the adrenaline and stay for the friendships. Be sure to tell her Winter Moon sent you.

Without further adieu, Kelly Carse!

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tell us about Industrial Revolution CrossFit (IRCF)!

Industrial Revolution CrossFit (IRCF) is Rhode Island’s newest CrossFit Box, located in a former Harley Davidson showroom where the locomotive charm and character are still intact. We opened our doors on March 1st of this year. We had 50 members the first month, and as of May 1st, we are now closely approaching 100. We have a staff of 14 seasoned coaches, including myself, whose positive energy and ideas helped design and create IRCF. We embrace inclusivity, so each member feels respected and feels an integral part of the community. We offer 5 CrossFit classes per day and a boot-camp style CrossFit, called Revolution-X, 4 days per week. We have large, beautiful locker rooms for men and women with 2 showers in each one, private lockers, yoga room and a full bar where we will be serving smoothies, protein shakes, and coffee. There is a warm and inviting community space where members can hang out and get to know each other.

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what inspired you to start IRCF?

I was inspired by a desire to create something new and different. I wanted to create a CrossFit box full of love, grit, support, good energy, and brand new equipment! So, I joined hands with a group of like-minded CrossFitters who were hungry for change and who had some revolutionary community spirit. When Pawtucket, the home of the Industrial Revolution, turned out to have the perfect space, the name was born: Industrial Revolution CrossFit.

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tell us about how you came up with the name IRCF?

The name actually came from one of our coaches, Niki Brazier. There were 6 of us texting back and forth in a fury trying to find a name that captured the spirit of our community. Our name, Industrial Revolution CrossFit, captures and reflects not only our geographical location, but also our revolutionary spirit, and the grit and grandeur, might and mettle of our nation’s industrial revolutions.

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what would you say your big vision for IRCF is?

My vision is to maintain a box where athletes can be all that they can be, where athletes are inspired to be the best that they can be, while feeling part of a community that recognizes and supports their quest for fitness and overall wellness. Along with an active nutrition program/component, we will be featuring workshops on gymnastics and other ancillary fitness, health and wellness programs such as yoga and sports massage. We will soon be opening a juice bar, and we look forward to getting outside as the weather improves, as there are ample nearby hills to run, fields to play on, and no doubt we will be firing up some paleo grills as the summer sets in.

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when did your passion for fitness and coaching begin? when did you realize you loved CrossFit?

Through the encouragement of one of my sisters (she owns two CrossFit gyms in Massachusetts), I ventured to try it out in January of 2009. I was in the very first foundations class this gym ever had, not realizing at the time the impact this fitness phenomenon would have on me. After 18 months of CrossFitting, I qualified for the first ever Masters Division held at the CrossFit Games in Los Angeles, California. That was the summer of 2010. I finished 6th in the world out 15 participating athletes. In the process, I fell in love not only with the sport, but also with the people within the community. I found that I flourished not only physically but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually as well. The community inspired me to go for my Level 1 Certification and become a CrossFit Coach the fall of that year, 2010!

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tell us, what inspires you in your personal life and in business?

What inspires me most are stories of women who have overcome incredible odds and have fought back to demand and receive justice. I am a strong believer in justice and empowerment and when I am experiencing hardship, either personally or professionally, I can always look to those stories to garner the strength and determination I need to overcome my own challenge. Their memory and stories also feed my desire to fight for justice where I can, and to create a space where people, especially women, feel empowered and respected.

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tell us about the team members that are a part of IRCF?

IRCF has a coaching staff of 14, including myself. All of us are seasoned CrossFitters who take our sport of choice seriously, attending certificate programs and workshops. Our coaches are very involved in the community, and they participate in the decision-making process for the box. We are a very democratic gym, and we have a lot of fun!

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if you had to choose one person in your whole life that has inspired you (alive or deceased), who would that be and why?

This person is Coach MacFadden from my Junior High School. He was the boys’ Jr. high school track coach. Novel in its time, he took on a group of us girls when there was no track team in existence for girls. He treated us like we were equals with the boys, and his generous spirit and willingness to go where no one had gone before: starting a girl’s track team, has always warmed my heart and inspired me. He gave so much to his athletes. So much so, that we athletes would work hard and do anything to please him. He encouraged me to continue running in high school where I became the first person ever from Ashland High School to go to the Ohio statewide meet in track! His courage, boldness, and sheer level of activity continue to inspire me to this day!! I can’t remember everything he said to us, but I still remember how he made me feel: empowered and strong!

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where do you live now?

I live in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

what place on this planet feels most like home to you?

The place that feels most like home to me is Seattle, Washington.

what made you decide to open IRCF here in Rhode Island?

We searched high and low for the right location. We wanted to be centrally located, with easy highway access, but mostly we wanted a large, safe space that could accommodate all of the programming we envisioned. We wanted a clean building in good shape with lots of amenities and possibilities. My wife, Donna Nesselbush, heard about a gym in Pawtucket that was going out of business. We went to check it out, and voila…it was the perfect building, space and location. Pawtucket is the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, so it was completely meant to be.

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what would you say is the best business advice you’ve received?

The best business advice I have received is to continue to believe in myself, our mission, and our vision no matter what and do not let anything or anyone deter us from that. If you believe in it strongly enough in your heart and add hard work, you will overcome all the obstacles and doubt you may face.

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describe Rhode Island in a few words.

I have come to love Rhode Island for its ethnic diversity, its food, its art and culture scene, and for the richness of its gay community.

what is your favorite season, why?

My favorite season is late summer. I love the heat and feel of August because it reminds me a lot of my childhood and the fun we would have as kids in Ohio!!

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what do you enjoy doing on your time off?

I enjoy time with my wife, Donna…going out for dinner, taking a walk on the boulevard, or a weekend away. I love being in her presence.

when do you feel the most creative, alive, and excited?

I feel the most creative, alive, and excited in the early evenings. There’s something magical about that time of the day!

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what is one thing you can’t leave your house without?

The one thing I can’t leave my house without is my iPad, as sad as that is. It’s the reality of a business owner.

when do you feel your best?

I feel my best after I’ve just coached a class and witnessed athletes achieving their goals!!

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favorite quote.

I don’t have a favorite quote, but I have a favorite poem. It’s “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost.

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what is the best place you’ve ever traveled to?

The best place I’ve ever traveled to was Turkey…an unbelievably gorgeous country with some of the kindest women I’ve ever encountered.

what is one thing you want the world to know about you?

I want the world to know that my strongest virtue is love and my strongest value is justice. I share my love as freely as I can, and I will fight injustice wherever I see it!

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what words of advice would you give to someone wanting to start their fitness journey, or are nervous to start CrossFit?

The words of advice I would give someone are to believe in achieving the impossible. I love the Henry Ford quotation, “[w]hether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.” CrossFit is about digging deep inside yourself and mastering movements you never thought possible. It’s about reaching a higher level physically, emotionally, mentally and for some, even spiritually. It’s about being a part of a community that believes in you and applauds your achievements.

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how can Winter Moon readers start their journey with Industrial Revolution CrossFit?!

You can start your journey with CrossFit at IRCF by going to our website at http://www.IndustrialRevolutionCrossfit.com and signing up for a free intro class. You are also free to stop by our gym at 154 Smithfield Avenue in Pawtucket, Rhode Island and get a look and feel for our place.

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what kinds of social media can we follow you on and how can our readers contact you?

You can follow us on our FB page, Industrial Revolution CrossFit and of course, our website at IndustrialRevolutionCrossfit.com
You can also email me at Kelly [at] IndustrialRevolutionCrossFit [dot] com.
We would love to hear from you!!

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// interview + photography by Olivia //

LORE COLLECTION *AN INTERVIEW WITH JAYNA ARONOVITCH FOUNDER & OWNER*

Today, I am happy to bring you business owner, curator, photographer, and all around talented human, Jayna Aronovitch! Jayna is the proud owner of LORE, located on the East Side of Providence.

I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with her and was really taken aback by her attention to detail and care that she places into the store. Jayna truly believes in the artists she supports, and is passionate about bringing quality to her customers.

If you’re in Providence I’d recommend checking LORE out! Be sure to let her know Winter Moon sent you.

Without further adieu, Jayna Aronovitch!

tell us about Lore !

Lore is a new, curated space in Providence that is home to the works of emerging artists and designers. We provide a unique experience through a fusion of gallery and boutique.

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how did you come up with the name Lore?

“Lore” comes from “folklore”. Telling the stories of our artists and their process is an important part of our mission.

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what made you decide to start Lore?

I found myself surrounded by talented artists and makers who weren’t showing their work anywhere in Providence. The personal connection I have with a lot of these people is what inspired my decision.

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what is it like owning a brick and mortar?

It’s amazing. I’ve always wanted my own space to curate. I also really enjoy the personal connections I get to make with my customers; I love seeing people’s reactions to the space I work so hard to present to them.

JA 14what would you say is your big vision for Lore?

I want to expose people to new and exciting artists by showcasing art and handcrafted product side by side.

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when did your passion for art and handmade objects begin?

My dad collects art of all kinds; from the more traditional to the strange and peculiar. Being exposed to his interest in art objects has been very influential and seeing him embrace and support artists from all walks of life inspired me to want to share the artists I know with the world, and try to make it as accessible as possible.

how would you describe your fashion style?

I like simple classic modern boxy garments that I can accessorize with handmade jewelry made by my friends. I’m also the proud owner of an extensive and diverse vest collection, and am known for looking great buttoning up my shirts all the way to the top button.

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tell us, what inspires you?

I love when someone finds something unexpected that they love at Lore. It’s so inspiring to get an excited positive response from what I’m doing sharing artists work with people. It makes me want to go out and find more.

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if you could drop everything and do ONE thing, what would you do and why?

Probably sleep. I really love sleep. But in my waking life having my own store and gallery is pretty great.

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where do you live now?

Providence has been my home for a long time now. I live on the west side now, but I’ve lived all over town.

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what made you decide to live in Providence and open Lore here?

I came to Providence to study at RISD. I fell in love with it right away, and decided to stay and work here after I graduated. There’s a great creative community in Providence and lots of things going on, but there wasn’t a curated gallery/boutique like Lore.

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describe Providence in a few words.

A friend of ours has this shirt that describe Providence as “a great place to fail”. I like that: Providence is a great place to take on a creative venture. It’s inexpensive to live here, there’s a lot of space to make work, and a lot of artists to collaborate with.

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what is your favorite season, why?

I love summer the best. I like the heat, the long days, warm nights, and adventuring throughout coastal Rhode Island!

I love that Lore is always changing and features new artists on a regular basis. How do you find new artists, art, and objects for your beautiful collection?

It started mostly as a word of mouth thing: friends of friends, etc., but it’s expanded from that. Now, I find new artists through social media and by people reaching out to me with their work. I find that people want to be a part of the collection, because I’m selective about how it’s curated; they know their work will be surrounded by other good work.

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when do you feel the most creative?

When I’m making photographs in the darkroom. There’s something magical about analogue photographic processes.

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what is one thing you can’t leave your house without?

My purple lipstick. I don’t wear it every day, but I always have it. It’s a little accent that makes me feel great.

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when do you feel your best?

When I’m wearing a vest and eating cheeseburgers.

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what is the best place you’ve ever traveled to?

My mom and I went on a river boat on the Amazon in Peru a few years ago. It was so beautiful and really inspiring to see all the animals in the jungle and meet all the local craftsman.

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any words of advice you give to our readers wanting to start a business, or store?

Stay true to your vision!

fake it till ya make it

what kinds of social media can we follow you on and how can our readers contact you?

I’m most active on Instagram, because I’m a photographer and it’s a visual format. You can also find us on Facebook. I post regularly about our artists, new products, and upcoming events and shows. We also have a email mailing list, that’s used mostly for show announcements. instagram: studio_lore . facebook: Lore Collection . contact us here: http://www.lorecollection.com/contact/

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LORE


Be sure to stop by LORE this upcoming Friday for their first art show!

WHEN: Friday, April
TIME: 6:00-8:00 pm
Where: 144 Brook St.

RSVP here:

hereposter


 

 

DALI MUSEUM: AN INSIDE LOOK

A few months ago I wrote about my love for the famous surrealist painter, Salvador Dali and his incredible museum in St. Pete, Florida. You can see that post here… “STAY WEIRD.”

So you could imagine, I was stoked to receive an email from the producer of a mini-documentary about the Dali Museum. It features the museum’s architect, Yann Weymouth and museum director, Dr. Hank Hine. It’s 4 minutes of gorgeous indoor and outdoor shots of the museum… maybe you’ll be able to see why it continues to be one of my favorite places ever.

You can check it out below.

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don’t quit your day dream,
Olivia

Documentary:
Written and Produced by Seamus Payne for TheCoolist.com
Directed and Edited by Ben Bradley of RightHandFilms.com

Islay Taylor: NATURAL HISTORY

Remember my interview with my talented jewelry artist friend, Islay Taylor?! You can check it out hereIn her interview, Islay, shared with us why she creates and what inspires her.

Well, the jewelry pieces she had given us a sneak-peak of in her studio are finished and insanely beautiful. It’s amazing to now get the opportunity to see her ideas and inspiration manifest itself into jewelry and art.

If you’re in the Providence area I encourage you to check out her show at the AS220 Project Space November 1st from 5pm-7pm.

ASS 220
93 MATHEWSON ST.
PVD, RI

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islay taylor natural history

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Hope to see you there!

Olivia

 

 

Carina Sitkus *Writer and Creator of The Curious Cat Project* An Interview

The greatest thing about blogging and using social media are the connections and people you meet along the way. Today, I wanted to share with you an interview and photo shoot I did with Carina at the Providence Athenaeum. Although she is only in her early 20’s, Carina is an old-soul with a deep passion for books, writing, and the environment around her.

Like Carina, I encourage you to pursue what you love and find community with those that love the same things you do.

Without further adieu ladies and gentlemen, Carina Sitkus…

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Age: 25.

where are you from and where do you live now?

“I was born in Tampa, Florida. I lived in Rhode Island up until sophomore year of high school, which is when I moved to New Jersey with my family. I moved back to Rhode Island after college to work for Teach For America.”

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when did your passion for writing begin?

“It’s always been there, even when my writing sucked. And it might still. But it started at the kitchen table with my mom saying; “Write it over. That can be better.” Writing has always been a huge part of my life, as has reading. I tend to keep that tidbit about myself close to my chest, though. Sharing your writing, or even the fact that you write, can be a vulnerable experience. That’s partly the reason why I’m obsessed with this idea of creating a close-knit community of writers online. I want it to have the feeling of familiarity that is having a coffee conversation with a friend and the potential for anonymity that comes with the online space.”

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what type of writing do you do?

“A little bit of novels and poetry, and neither. I’ve tried novels, but I’m drawn to the way words and phrases sound on the page, rather than the plot they create. So I would say poetic narrative is the poison I’ve picked. On my bad days, and there are many of them, I struggle to call myself any kind of writer, and I believe it’s important to be honest about that.”

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You have a blog for writers by writers, describe The Curious Cat Project!

The Curious Cat Project is an online community designed to connect and inspire writers. I’m particularly interested in connecting full time “something else” writers. Poets who are engineers. Novelists who are dads. Short story writers who are teachers. Writers are a generous bunch. For the most part, they want to make one another feel welcome and help each other make connections. I thought, “but what if you’re too busy to go to a poetry reading? To attending a writing workshop? Too short on cash to go to that week-long conference? At work when that conference is happening?” You get the idea.”

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what made you decide to start the Curious Cat Project?

“Writing– just like teaching in some ways– is a solitary endeavor that can often leave you feeling lonely and wondering if what you’re doing is making any difference at all. I can’t say I’ve found the answer, but I decided to start The Curious Cat Project so that the question was on the table (at least). How do you know if what you’re doing will make a difference past a day let alone a year? Let alone a decade? Century? These are the questions any writer– any human, really– asks on a daily basis. What is my purpose? In many ways, writers are super-sensitive to finding the answer to that question. At any rate, that’s what I hope to explore in my own writing.”

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What would you say is your big vision for the Curious Cat Project.?

“I simply want my readers to feel like someone “gets them”, or to at least walk away feeling inspired or curious about something. I’m a firm believer that you aren’t growing if you aren’t learning or exploring.

Shorter-term, I also really hope to get together a small group of great people for The CCP’s first-ever online writers workshop, which will kick-off this fall.”

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tell us about how you came up with the name: CCP?

“It’s playing off of the idea “curiosity killed the cat,” although of course I’m asking my readers to be curious, so take that for what it’s worth. I didn’t want to name it something boring like “The Writer’s Connection,” although that may have been easier to market. I wanted to be able to tie imagery to my posts, and I happen to have a very cute cat that I can feature. My goal is to simply be honest with my readers while also coming across as professional, engaging, and fun.”

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what do you do full time besides the CCP?

“I am the External Affairs Associate for Blackstone Valley Prep (BVP) Mayoral Academy, a network of charter schools serving Cumberland, Central Falls, Pawtucket and Lincoln, RI.  My role encompasses a lot of cool projects, but is largely communications-focused.”

I live my life by inspiration, tell me, what inspires you?

“You inspire me. Strong women who follow their dreams, are genuine and kind and support other women.”

“Also, what inspires me is the thought that life is short, and that death washes away any stupid thought you’ve had or word you’ve said. I’m someone who tends to worry about absolutely everything. But there’s only so much you can worry about before you think, “that’s enough.” I’m not someone who thinks you should life only to fulfill your own happiness, but I do think it’s important to recognize how short life is. To see the 20-year old in that 90-year old body sitting in your grandmother’s chair. You don’t grow old, even though your body does. I’m not sure the 20-year old gets that.The morbid inspires me because not many people want to think about it until they’re in their 90-year-old chair. By then, it’s too late, and it hits you like a freight train.  You just have to go after your dreams and not worry so much. It’s not worth it.”

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if you had to chose one person in your whole life that has inspired you, who would that be and why?

“Impossible to choose just one!”

describe Providence in a few words.

“Friendly. Artsy. Close. Familial.”

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how would you describe your fashion style?

“I love observing fashion. I admire it. But, quite honestly, I hate shopping, which is kind of a prerequisite to having any kind of fashion sense. That being said, I would say I have a classic style– I’m not one to really give a hoot about the current trends, although I’m getting better at that.  I think sticking to the basics works all day, every day. Simple dresses, professional tops.  On weekends I prefer a regular sports t-shirt with a pair of jeans.”

if you could drop everything and do ONE thing, what would you do and why?!

“Write something that:
1. creates something that never existed before and
2. helps someone one else.”

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what is your favorite season, why?

“I go back and forth between fall and spring. I love the imagery of falling leaves and warm cups of coffee or cocoa or what have you. But I also love the smell of spring and rain. It’s a toss-up.”

when do you feel the most creative and excited to write?

“After a glass of wine. Seriously, though, after reading. I like to read and simmer and read some more, and then my mind gets moving and it won’t stop until I’ve written it all down.”

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what is one thing you can’t leave your house without?

“A book (even if it’s on the kindle app on my phone).”

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when do you feel your best?

“When I feel heard– really heard– and when everything I’ve said has come out the right way, and how I meant it. That’s part of the reason I love writing so much. I feel like I am able to really craft what I’m saying without messing up the meaning behind my words. Being productive also feels pretty good. I like staying busy and spending my time purposefully.”

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what is the best place you’ve ever traveled to?

“The ocean is an important part of my life. My favorite spot is this one rock at Beavertail in Jamestown, RI. I have a painting of it in my apartment.”

Favorite quote.

“The short version of the Jefferson quote, “I cannot live without books.” I really might die without them.”

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any words of advice would you give to our readers wanting to write but don’t feel confident enough?

“It’s impossible for someone to think your same words; therefore, your words carry weight. Write them. Share them. Write every day, even if it’s just a sentence. And start calling yourself a writer, or no one else will.”

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what kinds of social media can we follow you on and how can Winter Moon readers contact you?

“Thanks for asking! “Readers can:

follow @carinasitkus on twitter

like The Curious Cat Project on facebook!

email csitkus@gmail.com.  I love emails!

visit  http://www.thecuriouscatproject.com.

I also write on the Medium! https://medium.com/@carinasitkus

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A special thanks to the Providence Athenaeum for allowing us to do this photo shoot in their beautiful space!

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xx,

Olivia

// all photography + editing by Olivia //