delighting in all things communication
courtesy of Sandy Ross, Word's Worth, 519.871.word (9673)
2017 #05 | archivehome
Winning Silverth year writing for fascinating people

November 1992, I launched Word's Worth. Rising from the era's downsizing (Labatt for me), I created my own job. Proprietor. My silver anniversary reflects fascinating people, subjects. Enjoy: some quirky or touching, and a few tips learned (so far).

Whiskers, Antlers, Elvis ... oh my

When a large London organization digitized its records to be system-wide, I crafted a lessons-learned report after the data migrated over. First, though, equipment and machines were set up in duplicate for just-in-case redundancy – risk management. Writing of their experiences, I retained some engineering trivia. So at parties or bus stops, I can regale about zinc whiskers. If machinery's on old floors like linoleum, take care sliding it, or floor scrapings (zinc whiskers) waft up into motors. The client knew ahead to avoid the shards, advised by an industry peer. Shared learning.
Biz Tip: Lessons light the way forward, so review hindsight insight.

A nutraceutical firm hired me for marketing copy about a new health supplement, its powder, capsule-form vim and vigour – pulverized elk antler. Key to the message was to reassure that antlers were not cut off; they're harvested after elks shed them naturally. Road spill, as it were. Midway in the project, the firm's funder backed out. No product release, so no need of promo. Tough pill to swallow.
Biz Tip: I was glad I'd contracted a clause for payment for work thus far.

A marketing agency wanted to win publicity for a client who sold housing materials. Keep aluminum siding current in the news? I'm in. I had fun – and success, picked up in print media – trying to pluck public interest from the air to carry my messages. As a US Open neared, I wrote how dent-resistant ABC siding is to X-miles-per-hour golf balls. A quirkier combo linked tornado season in the South (Elvis territory) to an anniversary of his supposed death, times swirling in sitings of him alive and working at Denny's. The advertorial's gist: 'Elvis spotted fixing walls of his childhood home? Now safer from Tupelo twisters with siding that withstands X-miles-per-hour gusts'.
Biz Tip: Levity can attract, sharing the absurd whimsy in life. p.s. say whimsy more.

Survivors, Caregivers, Newcomers, Creative Agers

We live compelling, touching narratives, too. What privilege to help clients share them. One authored a book of hope for survivors of childhood abuse: now a Police College resource. Others, palliative-care facilitators, were interviewed for lessons learned after providing First Nations with culturally sensitive training for end-of-life care. And newcomers from five countries told stories of London career successes, proving immigrants can indeed find work in their original professions. Today, it's seniors I often consult with, typically Storytelling Your Life (pdf 208kb) – from fellow junior boomers to older adults, in the spirit of creative aging. I'm enthralled, guiding their anecdotes or memoir projects as we honour and preserve personal history.

Now, 25 years in, your stories are still my joy. Written, they illuminate us and, I feel, reveal our two most communicative body parts – funny bones, and heartstrings. Many thanks, and here's to many more.

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Sandy Ross, creative spark, wordsmith ♦ your story well told, your Word's Worth
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