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 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 party. 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!

Editing Tips: ProWritingAid Review

I receive a lot of requests for editing advice, so hopefully this will interest some of you. Lewis Parrot of Freelance Effect contacted me and thought I might be interested in sharing a review he published on the ProWritingAid editing tool.

Since some members of the Military Writers Society of America recently asked questions about this tool, it seemed like a good idea and the right timing to post this. [Read more…]

Remembering Diego: Who Trains Who


Last month we said farewell to our fourteen-year-old faithful companion, Diego. Here is a story I wrote about him published in “More Than Best Friends – An Anthology in Support of Guide Dogs for the Blind,” by Kevin Morris. Diego was a special dog and lives on in our hearts and memories.  

I had decided to get a dog because my husband mentioned he wanted a dog. Since he was on a business trip, I decided I would go visit the county pound. That visit resulted in me bringing home the best dog I’ve ever had. I can’t say I own him because it’s more like he owns me.

Sitting in a cage, nose on the cold floor, the dog in front of me was quite the contrast to the surrounding others who were yipping, barking, and craving attention. His sad brown eyes looked up at me, his tail thumped, and he licked his dry lips. Something about this particular dog drew me in. [Read more…]

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.

Benefits of Horseback Riding


Please welcome guest blogger Mike Shortridge –  all the way from Australia!

Horseback riding is an enjoyable pastime for all ages and can be a fun hobby. But it also comes with amazing benefits including offering good exercise and helping to strengthen your muscles.

A ride provides significant exercise, but also offers benefits including improved balance, coordination, and even a meditative effect, helping riders forget about everyday stresses for the duration of the ride.

We caught up with Russ from horseseller.com.au and asked for his top ten ways in which horseback riding can benefit your overall health. Here they are. [Read more…]