My writing

A versatile portfolio

EXPERIENTIAL: As Harrisburg Magazine’s Adventure Chick, I boldly go where no sane person has gone before. As columnist for Pennlive.com, I put myself in the shoes of people making a difference in their communities.

M. Diane McCormick, Adventure Chick, boxing
Da-dah-da-da-dah, da-da dah da dahhhh! Boxing like Rocky.

“‘You did it!’ Pawelski cheered. Then I burst into tears.” Skiing for the first time. Last time, too.

“I remember the Shel Silverstein poem, ‘I’m being eaten by a boa constrictor.’ The song doesn’t end happily.” Tight hugs from a python.

“Sitting in the dugout, spitting sunflower seeds — just kidding — I asked Menhart how batters can know so much, so quickly, about the characteristics of a pitch.” Batting against a guy who struck out Mark McGwire — and who went on to become pitching coach for the World Champion Washington Nationals.

HISTORY: Intrigue. Drama. Self-absorbed characters stabbing each other in the back. Reality TV’s got nothing on history.

“John Fritchey was an upstaJohn_Fritchey-746x1024nding citizen and corrupt to the core. A populist reformer allied with the state capital’s rotten political rings. A beloved physician who performed ‘illegal operations’—Gilded Age code for abortions.” The ‘Unspeakable Fritchey.’

“Richard Baker’s grave tells you his tale.” The race to preserve African-American cemeteries.

“The honored veteran barred from interaction with whites—especially former Confederates—during commemorative ceremonies.” An African-American Civil War soldier lives to see World War II.

“With today’s heightened interest in all things mid-century modern—thank you, ‘Mad Men’—staffers say they’re celebrating the 50th anniversary with a ‘Back to the Future’ approach, recalling an age when the nation was shedding the flourishes of the past and going streamlined.” The Pennsylvania State Museum gets a makeover. 

“The first time a chair cracked over a skull at Jacob’s Resting Place was in 1803.” An early indicator of my fascination with pubs. If these tavern walls could talk.

ISSUES: Challenging topics made readable.

diane mccormick and gov. tom wolf
One-on-one with Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, explaining his views on budget stalemates, education, and standing in line to renew his auto registration.

“Proper development of brain and body depends on the area that clinicians and researchers call ‘the gut.’ It can be synonymous with the gastrointestinal tract traveling the length of the body, but typically the term zeroes in on the small and large intestines.” Venture capitalists put their money on NICU survival.

“With opiates, getting the next fix can become the parent’s sole purpose in life, and it’s the children who suffer.” Children caught in the aftermath of opioid addiction.

Must a green burial be rushed? No. Bodies can be refrigerated.” Green burials save money and the environment.

PEOPLE AND LIFESTYLES: The heart of the matter.

Keystone Press Award, McCormick
Entrepreneurs find new meaning through partnerships. (First place, 2018 Keystone Press Awards, Business or Consumer Story) Division 5)

“Adding a bit of vacation time to business travel has probably been going on since Leif Erikson paused for a salmon dinner in Newfoundland.” Bleisure: It’s a thing.

“Everybody thought I lost my mind.” A health center CEO took a temporary gig that became a permanent passion.

Focusing on the small things, six women make big things happen.

“Who doesn’t look at a sumptuous closet and sigh with envy? Well, sigh no more.”

You bought a fixer-upper in the historic district. Now what?

In fabric and lace, quilt tells story of one county’s African-American history.

Poet/teacher Nathaniel Gadsden builds a legacy, one word at a time.

TRAVEL: The fun is in the journey.

Lancaster, PA: The repurposed city.

“Are you in the market for a pulpit?” A tale of two cities — one chic, one gritty.

Wolf sanctuary unveils the mysteries of a misunderstood creature.

The springs really do boil. A day in charming Boiling Springs.

WINE: The fun is in the sipping.

California bubbly adds zest to the celebration.

The character of Pennsylvania wines.

BREAKING NEWS: On-the-spot coverage.

Comp plan aims to bridge a trust gap between a city and its residents.

School board member says factions planned superintendent’s exit.

City Council wants stricter oversight of oil trains.

Low-income housing draws opposition.

Resignations leave school board without leaders.