“Artists are people who are not at all interested in the facts—only in the truth. You get the facts from outside. The truth you get from inside.” --Ursula K. LeGuin

Thursday, October 29, 2020


“I find that most people know what a story is until they sit down to write one.”

 —Flannery O’Connor

Are you a writer, reader, or fellow blogger?


How about copy-writing? Are you a copywriter?


I would like to be a copywriter, for it would be nice to make a living writing, but I have a chip on my shoulder.


I hate to be manipulated. And that often comes with copy-writing.


We see an intriguing headline, and this is especially true in health-related blogs, like “NEVER Eat This!”




Or “Five Foods That Will Help You Live to be 100”


Tell me. What are those five foods?


I’m willing to be dragged along for a page or two, but six feet of text on my screen is too much.


Here’s the scenario: First, the DOCTOR must introduce himself. Of course, he has awards up the kazoo or is chief of something. Then he must tease you with the promise that he will tell you the five foods that will give you longevity. First, though, he provides testimonials by people who have followed his advice and turned their health around. Next comes some history, maybe he will tell you about his family, or how his wife was sick and now she is running marathons. Next comes the jungle story, how he had to go into the Amazon to find that rare herb that will give you longevity. Next, he must take it to the laboratory, test it, and mix it with other herbs to give it more potency.


You get it, right? A supplement is coming up. and I wanted him to tell me those five foods.  


Maybe they are buried in that copy somewhere.


Would we buy his product if the text was shorter?


I don’t know. I was ready to buy his herb after a page, but I burnt too many calories wading through his copy. 


Am I the only one?


There is an idea in copy-writing that if you keep people reading long enough, they are more apt to buy.

Is that true?

The enemy is noise. 


Noise is too many words.


Story makes music out of noise. 

“I’ll never forget,” wrote David Bach, “the moment I asked my mom, “What really makes the world go round—money or love?” David was about five at the time. His mother looked him straight in the eye and said, “David, love is what makes life special…but without money you are in deep trouble.” Actually, “deep trouble" are David’s words, not his mother’s. He had never heard her use “adult” swear words before, but he got the message that not having money could be really painful.


Now, I hope that guy comes out with something I want, for I’ll buy it from him. Oh, I did. I bought his book, Smart Women Finish Rich.

Now, I have a book too. Well, don’t run; it’s a small eBook of only 8,000 words, to the point and pertinent.

Long ago and far away, (30 years ago in San Diego, CA.) I took a training to help my vision. The instructor was trained in the Bates Method of Vision Training. A few months ago, on a whim, I blogged about my experience on  https://travelswithjo.com and received many requests for more information. I wrote a second blog post that received more positive comments. So, prompted by these people who obviously had a need to help their vision, I wrote this booklet:


To know more or to read the Introduction of Hello Beautiful: The Art and Science of Vision Training Using The Bates Method, please go to https://jewellshappytrails.com

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Throw Rocks


If you throw a rock into a pack of dogs (don’t worry, I won’t), the one that gets hit yipes.

Isn’t that the way it is with us writers? We throw out our words, and occasionally it hits somebody, preferably in a good way.

I just read #Seth Godin’s blog, where he told of taking someone to a fancy Italian restaurant where they had exquisite dishes, fresh pasta, and such, but his guest (probably a kid) said, “But I want a hamburger and French fries.” To the kid going to a restaurant meant a hamburger and French fries.

It was not a match.

So, dear writers, how much do we go to the restaurant we want, or take the kid to the one he wants. Yes, we want to please our audience. We also wish to please ourselves. After all, if we don’t create in a way that pleases us, we will give it up.  If we find a restaurant both of us want, Yea!

When you are first starting out, you figure you want to do this thing you call writing. You figure it’s your self-expression, but then you get hurt when nobody wants to read it. Maybe it isn’t good enough YET for public consumption, or perhaps it’s simply not a match.

You took the kid to the wrong restaurant.

That’s the reason it’s good to get feedback.

I wrote a blog on my experience with Vision Training and received many positive comments. And some readers wanted to know more. It was, after all, written by someone who had actually taken the Bates Vision Training.

My rock hit someone.

I didn’t know if I had more to say, but I settled down and wrote a small eBook titled “Hello Beautiful, The Art and Science of Vision Training. Using the Bates Method.” by Jewell D.

Now to see where that goes.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Drag Out the Kleenex

 "We live in a time when you can tour the Louvre museum online, or access the Library of Congress online, or read almost every joke ever written. and what to most people choose to put into their heads? My lady, who is very smart, chooses to feed on the garbage of the news."


--A text from my daughter who does home care, and her "Lady" must watch the news on the hour, every hour, every waking moment, no matter how many times it is repeated. 


Daughter dear, who is trying to hold onto her sanity, says, "It's all propaganda."

The good news is I get the news high-lights without having to watch it.


I'm telling you this because I believe that you do not fit into the category of needing to suck up negativity. "Just give me the facts, man," appears to be long gone.


I figure you are drawn to this site because you are a writer, probably a blogger, maybe you write books or are into copy writing. I'm sure you could teach me a thing or two, but here I am, not really knowing who you are, but letting my fingers run amuck over the keyboard. 


The keyboard? Oh, I probably need a new one, for this one doesn't like capital letters. Usually, I have to go back and retype them, and with about a five-pound pressure. I'm getting a strong index finger.


I call what I do art because it's my expression. That's not saying its good art or good expression; it's something I can claim as mine. We all need something to feel passionate about. Oh, Yes, promoters, advertisers, whoever, have even run the word "passion" into the ground. Now even passion is cliche'. 


I am surprised and delighted that many people check in here, so I figured if they come, I will build it. It's a baby of mine, aimed at writers. And If you are drawn here, writing is probably your baby too. 


Everybody writes, but some people like it; to others, it's like pulling eye teeth. Eyeteeth have long roots, I know, because I used to be a Dental Assistant, and I saw those long roots.


I write another blog https://travelswithjo.com. However, I didn't want to regale those readers with too much talk of writing. they are supposed to read the words, not the process behind them. 


What do you think of the current need to do Vlogging? That is video blogging. For we are becoming such a picture-based society than reading the written word is too much work.


Well, heck, I love to read. In reading, you put your own pictures into your head. You might have had the experience, of reading a book that you loved, and then being disappointed with the movie version of it. I remember, though, that while I loved the book, The Black Stallion (Walter Farley), years later, 1979, I also loved the movie. What they asked of that actor horse is unprecedented.



"The one uninterrupted shot, with the horse at one edge of the screen and the boy at the other, and the boy's slow approach, and the horse's skittish advances and retreats, shows us a rapport between the human and the animal that's strangely moving," 

--Roger Ebert 


"The first half of "The Black Stallion" is so gloriously breathtaking that the second half, the half is all the conventional excitement." Ebert goes on to say.


And here I am in an age when I can google The Black Stallion, and come up with a clip that is so beautiful it makes me cry. That little boy, about the age of my grandson, rides that incredible horse, bareback, no saddle, no bridle, raising his arms in victory is not to be missed.  



Saturday, October 3, 2020

Gotta' Have It

Can you see that spider web? It was so gossamer, I could barely see it, but look at the its intricacy, and imagine the patience of that little spider. I'm glad I don't have to work that hard for my dinner.

Dear fellow writers, or interested parties, I’m happy to see you here. Thank you for checking in. I’m thrilled that people are finding my site, although I don’t know how. Please join me again. I’d love to see your smiling face.

Ta Da!

The advantage of self-publishing is that you can un-publish yourself.

I self-published “Where the Birds of Eden Sing” because I wanted to complete the project I had worked on for so long. I needed the completion. And I felt my book needed a chance to fly. Alas, poor baby, it floundered; maybe it needed to be placed back in the nest. A cat didn’t get it or anything. True I didn’t promote it much. I was waiting…for what? Lazy, not ready?

I unpublished it yesterday, for I want to work on it some more. It will not endlessly rework it, as some writers do and never complete the thing, but I’m taking Book II and making it into a novel on its own right. People like romance novels, and it is primarily a romance.

Once I was told that this story didn’t have enough conflict between the characters. Damn conflict! Gotta’ have it. “Without it,” so they say, “you have no story.”

Rather flies in the face of how we want our lives to be, doesn’t it?

My new as of now unnamed book does have conflict near the end, but if nobody reads to that point (like editors), they will never know it.

Do you have any of these issues?

Because of the time involved in conventional publishing and my age, I felt that I didn’t want to wade through that process again. (It took two years from acceptance to publication for The Frog’s Song, and then I can’t sell it unless I am physically present—seems like they are shooting themselves in the foot.) But if I think of myself as eternal, it won’t matter—you know, it can happen in this life or the next.

Have a dream more significant than you, so I’ve heard.


Walt Whitman wrote:

“And whether I come into my own today or in ten thousand or ten million years. I can cheerfully take it now, or with equal cheerfulness I can wait…”

I’m not that patient!

 “You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So, you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.

"You have to trust in something—your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

--Steve Jobs