Charles always planned to be a photojournalist. After graduating with a journalism degree, the army tried to divert him from his quest but he wrote stories and shot photos of the soldiers around him from wet, cold, and desolate places for the Army Times and Pacific Stars and Stripes.
After four years in the army, he went to work in the publishing industry, first as a journalist, then marketing copywriter and later as a publisher. During his career, he produced marketing collateral and publications for the National Cattleman’s Association, Children’s World Learning Centers, Ski Card International, Metropolitan State College, Allied Jewish Federation of Denver and Manville. He was the publisher of Vail/Beaver Creek Magazine and owned the Mountain Commuter, a monthly newsmagazine serving the residents of Evergreen, CO.
In 2012, he started an online interview magazine called Tributary. One Flows Into Another. In 2014, he published a book of those interviews entitled Shining Light. Revealing Conversations with Dedicated People. And in 2017, he published a historical fiction novel entitled Ineke’s Mitten.
My inner drummer
I started taking drum lessons in seventh grade. We were taught “rudiments” which are like scales for other instruments. Learning these rolls and triplets prepared me for band and orchestral music but not for jazz and not for improvisation. I didn’t realize I needed a different perspective, one with rhythm and passion. A friend, who was a jazz musician, gave me Drums of Passion by Olatunji. He thought it would give me that new perspective. I have never lost this rhythm. Listen and you’ll understand.
Many a night have I tossed and turned with words scrolling through my mind trying to find the right headline or a different arrangement for a sentence. Obsessive? No, exacting. This is the kind of passion I’m talking about.
Expressing the right idea, touching someone else’s heart, creating interest and value for the reader, that is writing with passion – regardless of whether I am working
on a novel or a website.
A good writer can climb right inside the mind of the reader and that takes experience. A huge part of writing is being able to strike a chord with a particular audience. What motivates my audience? What makes them angry, frustrated, happy or hopeful? That is always at the forefront of a good writer’s mind.
So I am an editor, headline writer, technical translator, researcher, and improviser — all of which require passion and experience. The first is inbred; the second is only gained over time. It takes a lot of practice to get it right and hours of rehearsal to make it blend together. And now you know my inner drummer.