Staying in Touch: The Other Side of Networking

The Dutra Group’s work at Ocean Beach, San Francisco, discussed below Not long before last Halloween, I got a message from someone I’d collaborated with several years ago. She had long since left the firm she’d been at when we first worked together, but — as is the case with most people I get to […]

Richard R. Kelley, Dec. 28, 1933 – Feb. 24, 2022

February 24 will long be remembered as the day when Russia began its invasion of Ukraine. Awful as I feel about this appalling act of aggression in a part of the world of great interest to me, February 24, 2022, will for me also be the date of a more personal loss. It’s the day […]

Birth of a Book

Last Monday, November 1, 2021, was a big day for an old friend, Dr. Richard Kelley. I say “old” not just because he’ll soon be celebrating his 88th birthday, but also because I’ve had the pleasure of working with him now for nearly 20 years.1 Monday was big because it’s when his just-published book — […]

Top of Mind

This is the writer and editor behind Pen-for-Rent Two weeks ago I celebrated something very nice — my Pen-for-Rent page on LinkedIn blew past the 10,000 followers mark. Greatly adding to my gratification at reaching this milestone was discovering (in the information provided by LinkedIn) that my page’s “engagement rate” of nearly 9% was higher […]

‘CorporateSpeak’ and Condescension in Business Letters

A business letter In his novel 1984, George Orwell wrote about Newspeak,1 which “Big Brother” — i.e., the totalitarian government — wanted to substitute for Oldspeak (everyday English). In 1984’s dystopian society, the objective of Newspeak was to strengthen government control of the populace by shaping and limiting its vocabulary. I’ve begun this piece by referring […]

Unless You’re Prepared for People to Ignore — and Maybe Sometimes Laugh at — What You Write, You Might Need the Help of an Editor or Copywriter

If you must smoke, please do it quietly! Yesterday a friend asked if I’d like to speak at his Rotary Club in a few months. We tentatively agreed on a topic, namely the title of this post. The following is a preview of some of the territory I expect to cover in this and another […]

Governor’s Speechwriter — Who, Me?

Gov. John Waihee with speechwriter Howard Daniel on the morning of “the Guv’s” last day in office, Dec. 5, 1994 Last week I wrote about why I love the work I do. This week, readers might be interested to learn how it was that, a quarter century ago, I found myself working as speechwriter to […]

Why I Love My Work

This writer/editor, red pen in hand In introducing myself to potential clients and business colleagues, I sometimes find myself talking about why I love writing and editing. I suspect this might also be of interest to readers, so I’m sharing it now. It’s the creativity in writing and editing that I love. The best analogy […]

Bated or Baited Breath?

Bait breath! A few days ago, while reviewing a blog post (which, to protect the not-so-innocent, I won’t identify), I came across a phrase I feel sure many readers have seen a time or two: After much waiting with baited breath, … You know where I’m going, of course. Should the phrase be baited or bated breath? […]

Passive Aggression

Blowout party with cake The Supreme Court hearings in Washington have primed me for a rant. No, not a political rant. You can find those everywhere you look on the internet. What I have in mind to rant about, instead, is the passive voice. It brings out the aggressiveness in me. Not passive aggression, but […]