I didn’t start out to be a writer. First I was a READER! I enjoyed comic books as a  lad in the fifties. Then I had a teacher in high school who was (isn’t this everybody’s story?) in love with languages and she taught Latin as well as English. She lit the fuse and, ultimately, the rocket took off. I have never quite come back to earth.

After the blueprint of the structure of language was impressed upon my mind, I could follow the plan. The dictionary became my beloved reading resource. I bought or borrowed books indiscriminately. It wasn’t until I reached college and endured two semesters of “Literature” covering Cheever’s “ Wapshot Chronicle” and Mann’s “Buddenbrooks” taught by a grim and humorless professor that I realized that writing can be an art, and not everybody has the same taste or opinion of what is true art.

Does anybody ever suddenly say, “I want to be a writer”, and then become so without anything in between? It certainly didn’t happen that way for me.

In the early nineties, a local weekly newspaper had a need for a person to report on the controversy existing in my little rural town over the matter of a new sewer system installation. At the time, I had a need for some extra income. I brashly introduced myself to the editor, and after a lengthy conversation of ten minutes, was hired. Three years of weekly columns covering the doings and opinions in this township meant three years of meeting deadlines and exposing my work (writing) to public scrutiny. The editor once asked me to keep in more detail and not try to be so brief, but otherwise ran everything as originally written. That felt like a great compliment, and this confidence abounded in other facets of my life as well.

Later came a good job in a factory, a supervisory role in a quality-control setting. The fad suddenly was for all manufacturers to become ISO-9000 certified, and my employer was no exception. Suddenly, I was deep into writing policy and procedure manuals for a multi-national company that had surely “seen the light”.

Writing demanded an organized, coherent plan, and to be put on paper so, again, that blueprint came to the rescue. Nothing is so inspiring as the persuasion of the job, the process, and the deadline. That organization and persuasion spilled over onto other aspects of life as well.

Other may speak of fear of writing, writers’ block and such, but it is my belief that these can and will be overcome by writing what you consider your absolute best, putting it out into the public view, and then letting go of it. Everything will be criticized by somebody – but there will be somebody else who appreciates it. It is impossible for the same piece to please everyone.

This blog is a recent start at publishing my writing, and it seems to be a bit of a difficult fit at first. Like breaking in a new pair of shoes, I imagine, it will become more comfortable and accustomed as we get along. Just like publishing, confidence increases with each effort, each post. And it spreads its beneficent influences over all the rest of life as well.

Like stepping-stones across a creek, this post is intended to lead to the next one whose title is “If any one person can do it, anyone else can too*”.

This post is also an entry in a contest “How Writing Has Positively Influenced My Life”, hosted by Positive Writer. See more about this contest at:

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The printed word has a power of its own and though we give lip-service to the concept, we often take it for granted and frequently fail to really explore it or exploit it for the benefit of our own writings. This is not a power we grant, rather it is one that we may tap into.

My example is the simplicity of the first two lines of Rudyard Kipling’s “Ballad of East and West”: (Disclaimer: I am a real true devotee of his works, having been raised from my earliest on Kim , The Jungle Book, and Just So Stories)

Oh, East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet

till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgment Seat.

First, consider the cadence of the words. (Yes, poetry,I know. Meter, after all.) That helps it stick in the mind. We all have at one time or another a song we just couldn’t get out of our heads, haven’t we.

The capitalization of the words East and West give them an extra punch. These two humble statements of eternal verity (“East is East”, “West is West”) so easily straddling the conjunction “and”, stating with clarity a simple fact, plain beyond doubt or argument. These details would be lost on the ear, but the eye scoops up the print and plants it plainly and powerfully on the blank surfaces of the spirit, where it makes its indelible mark.


For those of you who have not read it, or may have forgotten its story, it draws out, then brings to a confrontational climax the story of two men, a father and a son, from their own respective hemispheres, as they meet in single-combat. Kipling works in their similarities and differences, in compliment and contrast, all the while telling an interesting yarn and, master of the form as he was, including in that mix of contrast and complement, two horses, two armies, two familial relationships, and more. Incidentally, it also has a satisfying conclusion, one that binds up the divisions while acknowledging the differences. But the powerful feelings those words invoke in that first line remain in the mind during the reading and long after you close the book.

Read it here, if you care to (for maximum effect, red it aloud, as if to your children):

Could it ever have the power if he had written:

East very well may be east, and it is quite possible that west just might actually be west; however the leaned philosophers assure us that these two incorrigibles will never, ever, sit down together.


  • Simpler is generally better; straightforward beats complex all hollow.
  • Select words that have a LOOK that carries the story, that will plant the anchor in the readers’ minds.
  • Some words and phrases, when used aright, transcend “trite” and “cliche”.


Tap into the power (there is that word again – “power”) of the printed word.

Write it, blog it, it sells.

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Hello world!


Thank you for visiting this, my brand new blog.

This site  is a new experience for me, a blog of my own. – and I look forward to the experiment and the experience.

It  may be possible to add a post a week, or maybe even  one or two a day! Who knows, at the start?  Like Jack, (you know, Mom Goose told his story a long time ago) we’ll plant the beans and see what grows, and someday, I may be able to  discuss the true worth of the cow I traded for all this.

If the bean-bush grows clear up to the clouds, I hope you’ll climb along with me, and if we find Blunderbore up there in his castle,  stick around to see how it works out. I hope you find it fun.

Writing has been a passion for years. Reading good writing has always captured my imagination and producing good writing has been a goal to be sought earnestly. The power of the printed word has never ceased to amaze me, even in this age of instant-gratification-24-hour-news-cycles.

Initially I dabbled in the ink, almost inadvertently, a couple of decades ago when I worked as a “reporter” for a local newspaper, covering the local turmoil in a perfectly perfect little township of rural Pennsylvania.  It soon dawned on me that there was a market for information, and the more accurately I could summarize and relate it to the readership, the more value they ascribed to the product.  Those readers were neither simple nor stupid. They wanted facts, especially as they impinged upon their own lives; they wanted details that allowed then to form their own opinions; in short, they read and acted. No, of course I am not a “J-school” graduate (and I consider that to place me in good company).

In the same vein of that writing I hope to carry on this blog, but this time to lay out the thoughts of my mind, the visions of my heart,  the memories of my short years, and to share the passions of my soul, the things I find interesting along the way. If you read and enjoy, pass the link along to your friends, and don’t hesitate to tell me, either – good or bad.

It is also in my desire to write a book of short stories (yes, I know that is a difficult genre in which to work) and this blog is the medium of choice to share some of that with you. I have already begun that writing, and I will publish some of it here, both the process and the result, that hopefully you will be as enriched as I have been by my association with the people, definitely neither simple nor stupid, that I have met in the journey.




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