Veteran Writing Services Celebrates Five Years in Business!

Who would have known that the first scribblings of a horse book would turn into Veteran Writing Services, now a a successful company for five years?

As crazy as it sounds, I woke up one night in October 2009 with an idea for a book sparked by an idea from a friend. My supportive husband understood,and I went to the living room and took down notes until early in the morning for what became the outline of my first book, Believing In Horses. I also fortunately had former bosses who reached out to me during the same timeframe requesting assistance with independent contracting endeavors. Those ended up with me writing for the U.S. House of Representatives and defense contractor General Dynamics Information Technology.

After a few years of what was supposed to be retirement from the Navy, I realized I wasn’t done. I attended the Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) program based out of Syracuse University and launched my own business. I had started writing poems for my grandparents when I was six years old, continued a passion for writing through high school, and then majored in English and Mass Communication in college. In my next real job in the U.S. Navy, I honed my writing skills, particularly when trying to condense complex topics into as few words as possible for executive audiences. So it made sense to turn all that experience into one cohesive business.

But I didn’t do it alone. The first I have to thank is my wonderful husband, Jaime Navarro. Yes, the same guy I woke up at 3:00 a.m. to tell I was going off to start writing a book. The same guy who drove me to Capitol Hill on my first day of work at the House of Representatives during a snowstorm to make sure I made it there safely. This is the same super-human who cheered me on in book signing events and supported me in folding my writing work into a professional business when I came up with “yet” another good idea.

I also thank my mom, Flo Ormond, for her never-ending support. She also gave me great writing genes! As both a creative and a technical writer, she has made quite a difference in the world – which many will never know. I still remember reading through her copy with her word-for-word back in the late seventies for a scientific journal for National Aeronautics and Space Administration. I learned the exactness of editing, and I learned it from a master who still helps me to this day!

A shout out also goes to my brother, Eddy, who helped me tremendously, and friends Regina Leonard, Jan Martin, and sister-in-law Diana McGlade. And I appreciate – more  than they know –  referrals from respected leaders in the business world including Terry Roberts, Barrie Gillis, George Rhodes, Maria Romain, Bobbi Huff, Meghann Lewis, and Ken Schutz.

I thank my husband for having a celebration of my five years of business, which he held at Renditions Golf Course with a sign, gifts, and a celebration. I was so busy with “busyness,” as one of my friends calls it, that I couldn’t take time to enjoy the moment. Jaime made sure I did, and it was perfect. Thank you to all my supporters, and here’s to another five years!

Returning Freedom to Those Who Fought for Ours

In honor of the final day of Veterans Month, I share a story I wrote that appeared in the Inside the Gate magazine last month.

Veteran patients from Walter Reed Medical Center didn’t know horses would help them. Gold Star Mothers didn’t realize how equine relationships would evolve. And military families weren’t aware of local horse facilities and the joy they would bring their children. Horses Help Heroes marched in and made a difference. [Read more…]

A Lucky Call to Serve

So excited to share this story featured in the beautiful Sidelines magazine. I had the opportunity to write this story about inspiring young Jessica Groen, her road to the U.S. Air Force Academy, and her special connection with our horse, Lucky. (Click above for full story.)

Lucky also happens to be a central character in books Believing In Horses and Believing In Horses, Too and has appeared in this blog frequently over the years.

Thank you to the Groen family and the Sidelines editorial staff for helping tell this story.

Biking the Great Allegheny Passage

One of my business goals this year was to achieve better work/life balance. Aligned with that was to get more physically fit. I’m happy to say I reached both goals and topped off this achievement with a fun, but challenging, bike ride of the Great Allegheny Passage, or the “GAP.” My husband, Jaime, and I rode the 150-mile rail trail from Pittsburgh, PA, to Cumberland, MD, over a five-day period in mid-September. [Read more…]

Creating and Managing Successful Internships

Maryland Horse Council Intern Holden Rafey interviewing Olympian Joe Fargis (photo courtesy of Holden Rafey)

I landed my first professional job at WJZ-TV in Baltimore, Md., after serving as an intern while a student at Towson University. At 21-years-old, I became the station’s assistant Public Relations Officer with real duties and responsibilities and had the opportunity to work with industry icons like Oprah Winfrey. I owe that job and experience to my supervisor during my internship, Joyce Kashima. [Read more…]

Taking Chances

AIE_VeteranWritingServices (1)It’s been three years since a Navy friend asked me if I was interested in applying for the Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) program.  At the time I thought:

“Entrepreneur? Doesn’t that mean someone who wants to get rich?”

[Read more…]