The Branding Iron

As winter comes on, I’m reminded of the years I spent branding cattle. There weren’t many, but there were a few and those years stand out in my mind as treasures where we gathered to brand, cut cattle, and have a celebration of the end of winter. I loved the gathering and the identification of time, people, and purpose.

Today, the branding iron has a different meaning, but still just as fulfilling and driven by purpose. Article Marketing is not my life, but it fulfills my livelihood and my directives. It gives me resources and drives my business while allowing me to move my own values forward. Often, article marketing gives me an ability to reinforce the message I believe should be presented.

Your Brand identifies you like a branding iron. Using article marketing to make your brand popular often means you can make your brand identifiable and still promote information other than the primary topic of your site.

Collaboration – A Writer’s Haven

When you have a story you want to write, but it really isn’t a book, what do you do?

Recently some writer friends and I got together to discuss the art of publication and asked that same question. We all have stories written, but some of them just aren’t long enough to stand alone. Those stories have an opportunity to become part of a collaboration of writings by several authors. Usually a collaboration has a single thread for articles submitted, of one kind or another. The most successful ones include writers from a similar genre who move in similar circles of writers. These collaborations include stories of similar length with a sort of continuum between the stories.

Writers feel safe writing for a collaboration because they don’t have to market the whole book, other authors are also marketing the book. It’s a great way to get your name out there and become recognized as a serious writer while pursuing your primary craft.

Writers enjoy hiding out in Collaborations. Next time you pass a bookstore look at a collaboration and see who you find between the covers.

The Write One – Jan Verhoeff Writes

Early in those formative years as I started learning about life, I knew I wanted to write. There was only one solution to my desire to write. It had to be the foundational moment of conception. I’d have to write the real content of my heart.

Words appeal to me.

From the beginning the shape of words, the actual writing of the words meant something. I wasn’t sure what, but I spent hours writing words, one at a time until I got them down just right. I knew I needed to put the words on paper in perfect script. There were times I’d write one word for hours, just working the penmanship and writing that one word until it looked perfect between the lines.

Stringing words together.

After one word became perfect, I’d find another and string them together to formulate a thought. On rare occasions when the words became rhymes or poetic, I’d share them. But more often, I’d simply write them in my journal. I’d write one word at a time in perfect script into my journal, acknowledging the whole value of each stroke of my pen. The words adjoined to make a perfect thought, a sentence with value unto themselves.

Poetic license was born.

During a particularly long winter, I began arranging words around formative thoughts that described my favorite time of year. I’d write one word after another until I’d described the picture in my mind. During this time, words developed function and form, beyond the perfect script of the pen. They became poetic pictures of my life.

Plots thicken and jel.

Once I’d begun to write one scene, the rest of the plots began to jel and thicken in my mind. Delightful events escaped my pen, flying across the paper in words mingled with penmanship, guided by the write one, me. The story became real, living and vivid in words kept in check only by the time to place value between sentences and edged into focus, chiseled by the write one.

Characters were born.

Beyond the scenes, deep in the emotional connection of description, characters breathed life into the story. The write one expanded into creation and gleaned introduction to the spirit of inspiration, allowing the characters to flow, exist and live. The write one knew them. They were born of desire and need. Characters developed where none had lived before.

Daunting danger and mystery arose.

Out of the depths, I wrote the write one with daunting danger. Mystery arose and existed in havens of gilded pleasure and escape. Did the story line appear before the character or is the character living the storyline. Only the write one knows. Only, the write one knows…

Okay – so, I know this is literary prose at its very worst, but… The words escaped my finger tips, drilled into the white screen and appeared before me. I could hit delete… But, the words have a life of their own – and the write one knows.

Personal Columnist – Write Your Own

Write a Column – 5 Steps to Your Own Personal Columnist
By Jan Verhoeff

Small town papers the world over are looking for personal columnists to add content to their papers. Ideas run rampant, but as a writer, how can you take advantage of the need for personal columnists? Here are some suggestions you can take to heart.

Continue reading Personal Columnist – Write Your Own

Challenge – Life’s Opportunities

Rafting the Arkansas
Rafting the Arkansas
Some view the challenges life offers up with fear. I view them as opportunities to achieve my goals, set new, better goals, or to change my direction all together. When life gives you a challenge, what do you do?

On a river raft, you drift along with the flow of the water and move faster only when you row ahead. When rocks get in the way, you guide the boat away from the rocks. You choose the course for your boat and encourage the boat to go where you want it to go, hoping the river currents accept your superior choice of direction.

But there’s more…

Before you raft a river, you drive the river and have some clue where the rapids are, how far along the river you can raft safely before you hit high risk rapids, or worse, waterfalls. The objective is to raft the river with expected challenges and know the risk before hand, because you want to successfully raft the river.

Change happens.

Life isn’t always predictable. There are changes that happen without our permission or acknowledgement and those changes are the presentation of challenge in our lives. When those challenges come, you know you can get through, because you have the skills to surpass the challenge presented. You now have the edge.

Confidence.

Once you have the edge, you need confidence to carry you through. This week, I experienced the challenge that builds confidence. I learned some valuable lessons while planning and preparing for a conference. The biggest lesson came at the conference when my star speaker, a man I’d been handed on a silver platter and backed out… With less than 24 hours until the conference started, I contacted him and asked if there was any way he could make an appearance. He worked with me to make the appearance, but at some cost, both to himself and to me.

I gained the confidence to ask him, even in the face of his denial, to appear for the event. He came.

I learned to never take the word of a middle man when I need confirmation from a speaker for an event. I learned to get the facts before the press release. And, I learned that no matter how many awards a person has earned, they’re no different than any other person on the planet.

My speaker lost his pedestal, but he gained my respect.

Challenge Presents – A life Opportunity.

The Write One

The Write One presents: Jan Verhoeff

So much fun… I thought about the title for a bit and wondered what I could do that would give power to this blog, and still provide me with a place to write information I enjoy writing about. I’m a constant journaler, always adding to the information in my journals and increasing the pages. But I’m also a people watcher, readily watching and writing what I see.

some of my favorite times are spent writing. I write when I’m happy, or sad, or blue, or angry. It helps to write out my feelings and keep them in my journals. It gives me something to look back on to measure how far I’ve come from where I was last year. Occasionally, I look back and read them. But more often I look forward, and write something new.

The Write One – a message of faith.

When you put words on paper, you give credibility to the words. The Write One offers solid faith substance of the words. A love affair with words effectually changes a writer. One writer known to comment frequently on his own love affair with words, suggested, “Words fold together and harmonize with the way we live. They form the foundation of our lives. Certain words effectively change the the world.”

Jan Verhoeff believes in Nothing but the Write One.

Sand and Sage Fair

Big Timbers Museum offered a booth at the local county fair this week and there was much to-do about not a lot of anything. Although all the usual folks were there for 4-H and politicians made a big show of appearing in person at the event, including a registration booth for new voters, and a means of turning your registration into a vote by mail option, there really wasn’t a lot going on.

Is it the economy? Was the big question of the day.

No, it wasn’t the economy. In sunny Colorado where the weather in august often reaches a balmy 105 degrees, it was 64 degrees. It wasn’t the weather friends, it was the rain. Nobody wanted to leave their nice cosy homes where they were getting a blessed afternoon to read a book and enjoy life to mosy around the local county fair and look at political booths. And there was precious little else to offer.

A fine lunch put on by the 4-H’ers in Elmer’s Garden offered a fine Saturday noon meal without spending hours in the kitchen. You could have your choice of cookies, cakes, pies or delicious cream puff deserts to top it all off. An afternoon spent bidding on cattle at the auction in the newly completed Pavilion offers a dream come true on a rainy summer afternoon. Bright lights, friends, room to roam around and the galant ring of the auctioneer’s voice bring memories rushing back. Nothing is better.

But there’s still not enough people.

The only commercial booths sold for the event were makeup, jewelry, and candles, under the grand stands and the Big Timbers Museum booth where A.C.E. Writers representative, Jan Verhoeff, offered an ACE Writers drawing for the coming Conference on August 23rd.

When people complain about there not being enough going on in town to keep the kids busy, I always have to wonder where they spend their summers. This year in particular, the Fair was unattended and left wanting on many accounts. I’d like to know where the people went.