Posts Tagged ‘dianna borsi obrien’

OK, it’s safe to let this secret out: I don’t drink beer. At all. But that didn’t stop me from writing this case study on Ballast Point’s package redesign for this San Diego craft beer and spirits producer.

That’s because as a reporter and writer I don’t let anything get in the way of getting the article done and done well. Ballast Point products aren’t sold in Missouri yet, but no worries. A few extra telephone calls and photographs and I learned exactly what the package design looked like.

It’s not what I know or don’t know, drink or don’t drink. It’s my drive to learn everything I can about any subject I’m assigned that makes me love my job, and I think that passion for getting it right no matter what shows in this case study for Package Design magazine.

Take a look and see what you think.

Rebranding Brews Sales — Ballast Point craft brewery got a fresh look — and improved sales. Read about how MiresBall made this craft beer and spirit producer stand out in the crowded market.

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No need to wait to buy my book about Charles W. Gehrke, From Melon Fields to Moon Rocks, which will be published this fall.

Right now you can save 20 percent on the book and buy it for $16.00—a savings of $4 off the $20 cover. Choose from three delivery options: Pick it up at an event (A release party will scheduled soon), pick it up at the Compass Flower Press office, or have it shipped to you. You will be notified by email immediately when the books are in hand.

Pick it up at an event (date to be announced) or at Compass Flower Press office at 315 Bernadette Drive, Suite 3, Columbia, MO 65203. Cost: $16.

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Or have it shipped to you directly for $20, plus tax and shipping.

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So what’s From Melon Fields to Moon Rocks about?

Charles W. Gehrke was unflinching. Determined. Persistent.

He grew up among the poorest of the poor, yet carried only happy memories of those early years. Out of necessity he learned the value of hard work, as he and his brother helped support their family even as children — but he never complained and never stopped working even during his final days on this earth.

In the 1960s, his work searching for amino acids, the building blocks of life, drew the attention of NASA which would soon launch missions to the moon. Charles was tapped to investigate the lunar samples for signs of life. Spoiler alert: He didn’t find any — but a transcript I uncovered of a radio program from that time shows that he thought he would.

In 1968, he did something else unusual at the time and brought his research to the marketplace, launching ABC Labs, an firm that today employs about 300 people and was the first tenant of Columbia, Missouri’s research park, Discovery Ridge.

The book, From Melon Fields to Moon Rocks highlights the adventurous life of Charles W. Gehrke, a biochemist, entrepreneur and family man.

Published by Yolanda Ciolli’s firm, Compass Flower Press, and designed by Ginny Booker, the book will be released in September 2015, but you can reserve your copy now and be the first to get From Melon Fields to Moon Rocks.

Buy it here now:

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Or have it shipped to you directly for $20, plus tax and shipping.

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Looking for the book featured in the May 1, 2015 column by Bill Clark in the Columbia Daily Tribune?

Be among the first to order a copy, and you’ll save 20 percent. Your price is $16.00—that’s a savings of $4 off the cover price of $20.00. Select from three delivery options: Pick up at an event (Release Party, date posted soon), pick up at the Compass Flower Press office, or ship. You will be notified by email immediately when books are in hand.

Pick it up at an event (date to be announced) or at Compass Flower Press office at 315 Bernadette Drive, Suite 3, Columbia, MO 65203. Cost: $16.

Buy Now Button

Or have it shipped to you directly for $20, plus tax and shipping.

Buy Now Button

So what’s From Melon Fields to Moon Rocks about?

Charles W. Gehrke was unflinching. Determined. Persistent.

He grew up among the poorest of the poor, yet carried only happy memories of those early years. Out of necessity he learned the value of hard work, as he and his brother helped support their family even as children — but he never complained and never stopped working until his final days on this earth.

He learned the importance of family, also at a tender age. They looked out for each other and stayed close all their lives.

Later, Charles’ own family always came first, even as he rose to the top of his profession, recognized around the world for his pioneering scientific techniques and forward, visionary thinking — modeling and promoting interdisciplinary collaboration and shared instrumentation long before those now commonplace tenets were on the radar of most scientists.

Charles was chosen by NASA to examine lunar samples, searching for signs of life, and in the midst of it all, launched an entrepreneurial effort resulting in ABC Labs, a company that has grown and thrived for 40 years and employs more than 300 people.

This book, From Melon Fields to Moon Rocks, is about his life, the adventurous life of a biochemist and entrepreneur.

Published by Yolanda Ciolli’s firm, Compass Flower Press, and designed by Ginny Booker, the book will be released in September 2015, but you can reserve your copy now and be the first to get From Melon Fields to Moon Rocks.

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As a freelance writer, I never let anything keep me from completing an assignment — not even a 10 1/2-hour time difference for one source or an unreliable internet connection for another source.

For this piece, I interviewed one person via email, because her training schedule in Pune, India, kept her from making our appointments to talk via Skype. I interviewed a source in Rwanda via Skype text messages because her internet wasn’t fast enough to touch base by Skype.

No matter. I got the story — and my client the International Center at the University of Missouri got the news they wanted for their website.

Read the piece below:

Study abroad paves the way for post-graduation opportunities — The way to Dubai, a master’s degree and a position as news director at Rwanda’s first private television station started with study-abroad programs for these three University of Missouri graduates.

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Credit unions, little known, not-for-profit financial institutes, are taking on the banks, pushing against a limit on the value of commercial loans they can make. This article led me to learn about this unusual financial organization and gave me the opportunity to exercise objective journalism, letting each side have their say. The article was published in the Columbia Business Times.

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I always say that what I love about being a freelance writer is I get to learn all the time. And some of that learning is about the craft of freelance writing. That’s why I subscribe to Writer’s Digest.

I’m sure every freelance writer has his or her favorite magazine; Writer’s Digest is one of three magazines I subscribe to.

The magazine has a website, http://www.writersdigest.com/, in addition to the magazine, which is published eight times a year.

Each issue includes articles and features for freelancers, although the bulk of the magazine is devoted to writers of books, poetry and short stories. Yet even the features devoted to these areas, such as author profiles give freelancers like me insight and something to learn. For example, the profile of Julia Cameron, the author of The Artist’s Way, notes she began by writing feature articles and freelancing.

Here are just a few of the departments and articles I’ve found especially helpful:

Standout Markets – a list of various markets, it always includes markets for freelance work.

Conference Scene by Linda Formichelli offers a view of places where writers can gather for networking and learning. Each installation of Conference Scene has a theme, such as Writing Without Borders, writing conference throughout the world, or Finding Your Niche, which listed conferences for screenwriters and pet writers.

“The Wired Writer,” in the July/August 2011 edition of the magazine outlined various apps writers would find useful.

Write a How-To Article in Six Easy Steps, by Christina Katz, also in the July/August 2011 broke down a formula article into six easy steps.

The Not-So-Fantastic Four. This article in the July/August 2011 issue outlined four freelancers’ biggest problems, with tips on how to solve them. The examples in the article included an AWOL editor, vague assignments, late-paying clients. The article was by Kelly James-Enger, author of Six-Figure Freelancing. I enjoyed reading this article because it told me that I’m not the only freelance for face these obstacles.

The fact-check checklist, May/June 2011

101 Best Website for Writers, May/June 2011

Getting Started in Ghostwriting by Kelly James-Enger, with a box on markets, March/April 2011.

Best Online Markets by Vanessa Wieland & Jennifer Benner, Nov/Dec 2010.

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One of the things Jim Fisher, a writing teacher at the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, taught me is to arrive at an interview at least five minutes early. The person being interviewed is probably nervous and there’s no need to make him or her more nervous by arriving just on time or late.

And so I do make sure I’m there early. But sometimes there’s no way to make someone trust me as a journalist. They may have been burned or misquoted and despite my assurances that I accuracy check all my articles, i.e. let a source review for accuracy the entire article before submitting to my editor, some people still are nervous.

That was the case with Travis Huff of Pure Audio when I interviewed him for this article, Creating sounds of something great, published in the Columbia Business Times on August 19, 2011, reprinted from Columbia Home’s August/September 2011 issue.

After the initial interview and then a change in focus from the editor, Travis asked if I could interview him by email. No problem, I thought, except for follow-up questions. Journalists know that the follow-up question can be the most important one of an interview. There’s no way to know everything we need to know before we arrive, so when a source says something interesting, it is crucial to follow up with a question.

What followed were several days of emails. But then I learned another downside of email interviews. Travis’s answers were great. But they were very formal. We all write in a more formal tone than we talk.

So how to bring a business story to life? Ask the people who are affected — Pure Audio’s customers.

The result is an article that highlights what Pure Audio really does. Sure, Huff explained that the company installs digital sound and video systems for homes and offices. But John Schuppan and others explained what Pure Audio really does — help people enjoy the digital sound and video systems in their homes.

Now that’s something worth writing about.

Here’s a summary of the article:

August 19, 2011, Creating sounds of something great, Columbia Business Times. Columbia firm Pure Audio & Video Specialty installs digital media systems in new and older homes, simplifying the music/video system. Yes, you can have just one remote for the whole house, and no the television does not have to be the focus of a room. A reprint from Columbia Home, August/September 2011 issue.

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