Carolyn Males

"The book pretty much details all the quirks that make Crabtown what it is today - but also includes plenty of serious, solid information about the city and its past and present." -- Where Baltimore

from Wish You Were Here

He was a man with a mission. Armed with three large laminated letters, he braved the traffic on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. His target: "The Welcome to Baltimore" sign. Motorists honked their horns and shouted encouragement as he walked the center median and stapled his precious letters to the wooden board. H-O-N. He stood back and admired his handiwork: Welcome to Baltimore, Hon.

Anyone who's ever cracked a jimmy in a Baltimore crab house, eaten in a deli on Corned Beef Row, or downed a Natty Boh has met up with the proverbial Baltimore waitress who says, "What can I getcha, Hon?" It doesn't matter what your age, gender, or color--in Baltimore's folksier establishments, you are "Hon." So naturally, the intrepid one-man "Bawlmer" Welcome Wagon became "The Hon Man."

Alas, the State Highway Administration did not see the humor. A road crew was dispatched to tear down the illegal lettering only to have The Hon Man strike again and again. Indeed, Baltimore's secret admirer had a trunk full of Hs, Os and Ns.

The identity of the man who dared to pin Baltimore's term of endearment to the staid wooden sign remains a mystery. But maybe that's just as well. The Hon Man symbolized all of us who view this port city with affection.

The Hon Man is only one of Baltimore's wacky and endearing institutions. What other city could have grown bizarro movie auteur John Waters and his 300-pound drag queen leading lady, Divine? What other city annually commemorates the death of one of the strangest writers that ever put pen to paper--Edgar Allan Poe?

And we've got culture. The serious stuff: The Peabody Institute with its renowned classical music curriculum. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Baltimore Opera. The Walters Art Gallery and the Baltimore Museum of Art with their Old Masters counterbalanced by The American Visionary Arts Museum with its mavericks who view the world through their own strange lenses. Top-notch research departments at Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland. And captains of industry who created great commercial empires during the Gilded Age.

And the colorful: Blaze Starr and the Two O'clock Club. Barry Levinson and Homicide. Anne Tyler and her quirky characters. Wild Bill Hagy. Cal Ripken, Brooks Robinson, and Jim Palmer. Johnny Unitas. James Rouse, city revitalizer and developer of Harborplace. Former mayor William Donald Schaefer--touted as best mayor in the country by his peers and Esquire magazine.

For background music: Cab Calloway, Ethel Ennis, Billie Holiday, Eubie Blake. For sustenance: pierogies, pasta, schnitzel, barbecue, and moussaka from the city's ethnic neighborhoods.

So come with us on a roller coaster ride through Baltimore's fascinating, and sometimes very peculiar, history, and culture. Where else but Baltimore, Hon?

Writer & Photographer

Mt Etna -- Copyright 2007 Carolyn Males


I've always had eclectic taste and I suspect that's what compelled me to become a writer and photographer. My career choice has offered me a smorgasbord of colorful characters and experiences along with fascinating places to explore. I like to alternate between writing on serious social issues and penning pieces about the arts and travel as well as pieces on the lighter side of life.


As Editor of Coastal Isles Magazine, a glossy bimonthly based in the Lowcountry of South Carolina and Georgia, I worked with writers, photographers and graphic artists. This venture gave me the excuse to explore and scout out stories about the area's towns and backroads--and engage in conversations with a variety of interesting people.

Over the years, I've covered a variety of subjects: the arts, travel, recreation, social issues, business, careers, and personalities. My articles have appeared in Reader's Digest, Travel-Holiday, Brides, Parade, Cosmopolitan, USAir, Coastal Carolina Life, Coastal Isles, The Saturday Evening Post, Odyssey, Writer's Digest, Hilton Head Monthly, Newsday, The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun and other publications. And I've co-authored nonfiction books on travel, writing, and careers as well as eight novels.

In additions, I have written copy for brochures, booklets, press releases, manuals, ads, and website content for businesses, entrepreneurs, nonprofits, writers and artists.

My latest works-in-progress include a historical novel that takes place in 19th century Italy and France as well a memoir on oddball travel experiences.


My photographs have been published in books, magazines, promotional materials and on websites and in videos and have been featured in gallery shows.

As a magazine editor, I've worked with photographers to develop ideas for shoots and to select photos that best illustrate stories.

I've also directed, edited and scripted documentaries and talk shows for a small television production group. Topics included art, travel, theater, and science.


As a developmental editor I work with published and emerging authors of both fiction and nonfiction on story, plotting, characterization, pacing and marketing strategies.

Along with facilitating writers and artists groups as well as running incubators, I've also taught writing courses to professional and aspiring writers in college programs and workshops.


When I'm not behind a camera lens or in front of a computer screen, I can be found standing in front of an easel with a brush full of oils or acrylic color, rendering one of my photographic images into a painting or mixed media work. Then again, it might be an abstract idea that catches my fancy.

I've also facilitated a team of artists in expanding and designing a gallery. It's been a fascinating exploration into the design, marketing and development of a space to showcase paintings, photography and 3-D art.


Writing Nonfiction
Writing Fiction
Travel Writing
Magazine Writing
Interviewing Techniques
Using Acting Techniques to Improve Your Writing
Choosing Photos to Illustrate A Story
How to Catch and Keep an Editor's Attention


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