Monthly Archives: November 2010

How to Write a Persuasive Request

One of my favorite classes in college was Business Communication. This was back in the days when people wrote letters, used stamps and stationery. We learned to write letters of all sorts including sales letters, collection letters and invitations. My teacher singled me out for my outstanding letter writing skills. One style was starting with a buffer paragraph then a gentle set up for the request, then spelling out the request and wrapping up with an upbeat ending. Isn’t that much like how to effectively ask for anything? Here’s the steps to making a persuasive request:

1) mention something that interests the reader;
2) add some “you” here of how the reader or those other than the writer will benefit;
3) state the request in specific terms;
4) suggest that compliance will be easy and satisfying; and
5) reflect confidence and appreciation in a favorable response.

Might these guidelines help you with your next creative e-mail or letter asking for donations or cooperation or do you already write this way?

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Filed under Writing

What’s Beat-Zen Writing?

Find out at a free 3 hour participatory workshop on Wednesday, November 17, 7pm, given by Zen teacher and author, Mel Ash, at The Beat Museum, 540 Broadway at Columbus, San Francisco, CA 94133. Ash promises to share an entertaining introduction to local Zen history and heritage as it was expressed by the Beats. In case you aren’t familiar with “The Beat” movement was an era whose term was coined by writer Jack Kerouac who was part of a core group that also included Allen Ginsberg, Neal Cassady and William S. Burroughs. Wikipedia describes the Beat Generation as “a synthesis of the ‘beaten down’ and the beatific.”

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Head in the Clouds? There’s a Society for That

Do you find yourself gazing at cloud formations and awesome cumulus clusters? There’s a society for cloud appreciators like you!

While searching for just the right clouds for a few paintings I am working on, my mentor/coach directed me to the Cloud appreciation Society (

Do you have some cloud art you want to share? You can submit it to

Here’s the manifesto of The Cloud Appreciation Society:

WE BELIEVE that clouds are unjustly maligned
and that life would be immeasurably poorer without them.

We think that they are Nature’s poetry,
and the most egalitarian of her displays, since
everyone can have a fantastic view of them.

We pledge to fight ‘blue-sky thinking’ wherever we find it.
Life would be dull if we had to look up at
cloudless monotony day after day.

We seek to remind people that clouds are expressions of the
atmosphere’s moods, and can be read like those of
a person’s countenance.

Clouds are so commonplace that their beauty is often overlooked.
They are for dreamers and their contemplation benefits the soul.
Indeed, all who consider the shapes they see in them will save
on psychoanalysis bills.

And so we say to all who’ll listen:

Look up, marvel at the ephemeral beauty, and live life with your head in the clouds!

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Filed under Creativity, Images

Do Angels Have Bangs?

From my own experience the answer is yes. And angels might also have mustaches, beards, or any and every color of hair in the rainbow, or have no hair at all. I am not an expert on angels, I write from personal experience.

I am working on a painting of an angel, though, and I painted bangs on her. I later removed the bangs trying to make the angel look more like what I was used to seeing. What do you think angels look like? Have you experienced one or more in your life?

I just might paint those bangs back in.

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Filed under Creativity