Windstone Editions entered my consciousness on the third Thursday of the month late in 2008. Just after 4 p.m., the house phone rang. Most business calls come in on the cell phone, so I let the call ring through to voice mail. When I picked up the message, I discovered I had missed a business call. The message was short, direct and polite.

“Hi…this is John Alberti at Windstone Editions, and I was referred to you for writing. Our number here is 541-XXX-XXXX, and we are usually here until 6 o’clock. Thank you.”

I was delighted. An unsolicited client! Another potential writing assignment to spice up the bland diet of a contract training developer.

I spend most of my year writing online training programs and job aids for MegaCorp, Inc. Corporate work pays well, but it is a mental straight jacket with its templates, formats, frameworks, style guides and translation rules.

As a former newspaper reporter, I much prefer to write profiles – insightful mini-biographies of interesting people. I have profiled new professors, successful entrepreneurs, MBA graduates, family businesses and high-tech start-ups. I relish the work. Profiles keep me in touch with my journalism roots, while training pays the bills.

Perhaps this new client – Windstone Editions – would be that rarest of rare beasts – a creative writing assignment that helps pays the bills. Little did I suspect that I was about to engage a real-life, family business drama with one of the most interesting couples I have ever met. In the world of business, Windstone Editions is, indeed, a rare beast. In fact, rare beasts is what they do.

Warren Volkmann, Writer
Corvallis, Oregon