I love the smell of ink in the morning.
After graduating from SUNY
Brockport with a B.S. in Computer Science, I took a job with
Burroughs as a Systems Analyst. When I discovered that my favorite
task was writing the specs and the user manual, the parts of the
job that other engineers hated, I began to suspect I was in the
wrong end of the business. I took a job with The Idea Factory (a
now defunct advertising agency) as a technical writer and I gleefully
wrote computer software manuals and sales support literature.
Now I knew how the princess felt when the pea was removed from
under the many mattresses. Writing factual materials was a perfect
fit for me. I loved the whole process: the research, the organizing
of information, the writing itself, determining when and where to
use illustrations, even the proofreading is fun.
I started The Write Angle in 1987. I have delighted in creating
a wide variety of publications for a divergent group of clients.
When I'm not writing for The Write Angle, I'm writing for myself.
I have been a columnist twice and am currently searching for a new
place to write a column. Meanwhile, I'm at work on a collection
of personal essays and the occasional really bad poem.
Never do business with family -- These practical words of advice
have been passed down through generations of my family. Norma, thankfully,
has never fully subscribed to the theory.
"I would have given up this business after the first year," I tell
her, "if she hadn't stepped in to help me with the books." She scoffs
at this but it's true and I think she knows it's true. She sometimes
wonders how she possibly could have had a daughter who is so bookkeeping-impaired
but I just figure that all of those genes went to my sister Stefani
(who, we hope, will take over Mom's role when she is too feeble
although that state is something that is hard for us to imagine).
Without Norma, there is no Write Angle.
I don't know how she does it but she keeps track of billings and
POs and timesheets and payroll and does it with such style that
you'd think this is her full-time job. But it's not. Norma works
for Pittsford Parks and Recreation by day and sews costumes for
Pittsford Musicals by night. She is a busy woman and she likes it
After 15 years of working together like this, I'm glad that Mom
didn't heed the familial advice. For that matter, I'm glad I didn't