For the Joy of Writing

“I woke up this morning feeling fine. There’s something special on my mind….Something tells me I’m into something good.” If you remember the song by Herman’s Hermits, “Something Good,” he was referring to was, “a new girl in the neighborhood.”

For me, it wasn’t a new girl this time. I’m still with the same girl that moved into my neighborhood some 58 years ago. That was really something good! The something good I’m into now, is writing.

Today I jumped out of bed, took care of the first, urgent needs of the day. And now I write.

Why do I write? I guess I just need to get the thoughts on paper (or onto a computer screen), so I can see if I’m still thinking clearly.

Well, there you go. I’m still alive. I’m happy to be alive. So, I write.

I’m excited to see what this day will bring. There may be problems I can solve. There were things left over from yesterday: unresolved issues, ideas just started, and questions I may not have had an answer to. My mind seems to have been working on them through the night.  I now have some solutions, some answers, and I can’t wait to implement them.

Writing down the problems and the answers and the solutions solidifies them and makes them easier to put to use.

You know how you sometimes wake up in the morning, excited to get up and get going? If you have a purpose, it can be invigorating. My purpose every day is to make life better for those people I meet.

Who do I meet? First, it’s usually my family. They delight me. I want to make life better for them.

Next, I’m often out for a morning walk. I see lots of others doing the same thing. I smile and wave at them. I hope that makes life just a little better for them. I know it does for me. Being acknowledged while doing anything helps you feel good about doing it. It makes you part of a bigger community. It helps you feel accepted. I can at least do that for people I meet.

Then I go to work helping others.

It makes me happy to help others. It makes me happy to write. Doing both together brings me great joy.

If you are reading this, you probably came here trying to find help with some writing project. I want to help you. Some of the following examples are a result of my trying to help others.

  • The first one is an email to help market a friend’s business.
  • The second one is for my sister-in-law who wanted written instructions on clearing a clogged toilet.
  • The third is a story I wrote for some granddaughters who were having problems with normal sibling disagreements.
  • The fourth is a blog post I composed just because I wanted to get something off my chest.


Sample Email

Subject: How to Cut Your Overhead by 17.9% In One Simple Step

Hi, Dr. Ford,

Dan Linford, DDS, here on behalf of

A few months ago, while returning from an educational conference I had one of those fortuitous experiences that just make you go, “Wow!.

It all started when the flight attendant came to my seat and asked if I’d like to move up to an empty seat in First Class. I was bumped up to First Class! I know, it was great! So much more cushion, so much more elbow and leg room.

My seatmate happened to be the CEO of a major supplier of mine. He was interested in my business, and I happened to mention that my overhead expenses were a major concern. I mean, ‘can’t sleep at night’ major concern.

He asked if I knew about group purchasing programs. I did not. He said a lot of professional business people buy from his company through such programs.

I’ve stayed in touch with this gentleman, and with his guidance I’m now in a group purchasing program. My overhead has decreased 17.9%, which seems to be about average for people in the group.

Let me introduce you to, where you can get the services and materials you are already buying for significant discounts.

By Professionals for Professionals

This purchasing group is for doctors, dentists, and veterinary practices.

Some of our products include:
• Credit Card Services; Have you ever seen what a huge percentage they take, right off the top? Disgusting! This deal will significantly reduce that.

• VOIP Intraoffice Communications; No more shouting down the hall or across the office.

• Reputation Management; Some negative reviews, on Yelp or other services can really be concerning. Especially if they come from someone who has never been your patient. No more worrying about such problems.

• Website Services; Is your web presence maximizing your impact?

• Cell Phone Service; Another discount we can all use.

• Travel; Now we’re talking. Makes getting away to that resort or cruise much easier to afford. Relax, really relax, for once. Or get to that educational conference.

• Medical/Dental Supplies; Discounts on most everything you use in your practice.

• Office Supplies; Even greater savings.

• Employee Discounts; Won’t your employees feel grateful for better prices on their cell phones, travel, insurance, or many other perks for working at your practice?

Check out our complete catalog at

Then sign up and start saving money.

See you inside

Dan Linford, DDS

P.S. I almost forgot to tell you the best part: it costs nothing to sign up and nothing to use.

So why wouldn’t you?


Sample Instructions

How to unclog a toilet:

Your toilet is clogged. It happens to almost everyone. But don’t worry, and don’t panic. It’s a fairly easy fix. Here is the most effective way to unclog it.

Get a regular toilet bowl plunger. The types shown below work the best. Fancier ones, like the type with accordion sides don’t work as well.

Toilet Plungers

The main thing you want to do is loosen up the clog. Most toilets can handle objects up to 2 inches in diameter. Many clogs are just things that jam together to make a mass larger than the width of the toilet trap. The trap is where the course of the flush makes an ‘S’ shaped bend before the water and waste exits the bottom of the toilet.

You may want to put on some protective gear, such as rubber gloves. This procedure can splash sewage out of the toilet bowl.

Place the plunger in the bottom of the bowl to completely cover the opening on the bottom.

If the water in the bowl doesn’t cover the rubber part of the plunger, add water until there is enough to completely cover it. Water will often empty from the bowl through the clog, as gravity sucks it into the drain pipe.

Grab the handle with both hands and push down to collapse the rubber dome of the plunger. You should feel some resistance if it is firmly seated over the opening.

Pull up on the handle. If the rubber dome is firmly seated you should feel more resistance as you create a suction in the dome of the plunger.

Push down on the handle and quickly pull up again. Down to create pressure under the dome, then up to create suction. Don’t pull up so far that the plunger releases the suction, just enough so you feel the resistance.

Repeat this motion over and over, alternating pressure and suction as rapidly as you can. Remember, you’re trying to break apart the things that are jammed together.

After several times repeating the push/pull, jerk up on the handle vigorously as if trying to suck the clog completely back into the bowl. The plunger will likely be pulled out of the water at this time. This quick pull is what usually releases the clog.
If the bowl doesn’t quickly drain, repeat the above action until it does.


Sample Story

Razzberri and Strawberri and the Wizard

(Note:  Razzberri and Strawberri are fictional names that represent two sisters for stories I tell my two granddaughters. Razzberri’s nickname is Razzi, and Strawberri’s nickname is Berri.)

Just down the street from 8-year old Razzi and 11-year old Berri’s house was an old house with lots of weeds in the yard. It had an old iron fence all around it. There used to be a gate in the iron fence, but it had been gone for years. The house needed paint. It had been white, with a red door and red shutters around each window at one time. Some of the shutters were gone. One side of the house had a fairly fresh coat of white paint, and the front of the house had been partially painted, but had not been finished. It was a dingy gray where the paint had been left off. There was a covered front porch all across the front of the house. Some of the railing was missing, and some of the decking was broken.

There was a name placard by the front door. It said “Wizeman.” But many of the neighborhood kids said that the old man who lived there was really a wizard. His wife had died a couple of years ago. He had been in the process of painting the house when she died suddenly, without warning. He seldom came out of the house any more.

Razzi, Berri, and their friend Randi were playing jacks on the sidewalk. Razzi asked, “Is that old man in that house really a wizard?” pointing to the old house.

Berri replied, “That’s what everyone says.”

Randi said, “My mom says he’s just old and lonely. She says he used to be really friendly.”

A figure appeared at the front window and Berri let out a gasp. “Look, he’s watching us!”

“Oooh,” said Randi, “Let’s get out of here, I don’t like him watching me.”

So the girls got up and ran to the sisters’ house.

Later, Razzi and Berri were having a big argument. Berri called Razzi a name, and Razzi turned and poked Berri in the nose. Berri started crying. Razzi ran in the house and into her bedroom and slammed the door. Berri went to tell her mom. Mom was busy making a quilt for the church. She said, “Berri, I don’t want to hear it. You just have to handle it yourself. You have to get along with your sister. It’s your responsibility to be a good sister.”

Berri got really mad and ran out of the house and down the street. She didn’t know where she was going. She just wanted to get away. She ran into the yard of the old house and up onto the porch, Then she sat down and just bawled.

Her head was down, her eyes were closed, and she was crying too loudly to notice someone walk up behind her. A hand softly laid on her shoulder scared her badly. She stopped crying, but was frozen in place. She couldn’t move. She couldn’t even breath. Then a soft voice asked, “Why so sad, Strawberri?”

She didn’t recognize the voice. The words were spoken softly and kindly. But she was still scared stiff. Finally she got enough courage to ask, “How do you know my name?” She turned and look up into very blue eyes that twinkled with a kindly smile.

“I remember when you were born. I thought your name was very cute. And you’ve turned into a very pretty young lady.”

“Oh,” replied Berri, “So you know me. I think I know you. You’re the wizard.”

Mr. Wizeman laughed. “Is that what you think? You think I’m a wizard?”

“Uh huh!” Berri continued, “All my friends say you are. Can you do magic?”

“No, I can’t do magic. But you can.”

“I can?”

“Sure! Tell me why you’re so unhappy.”

Berri told him the story.

Mr. Wizeman then asked, “Do you like being unhappy?”

“No, not at all!”

“Do you want to know how to be happy, even when things don’t go well for you?”

“How can I do that?”

“Always take responsibility for whatever happens.”

Berri thought about that for a minute, then asked, “What does that mean?”

Mr. Wizeman clarified, “Just think, ‘Maybe I’m the one who caused this to happen.'”

“What if it’s not my fault?”

“It doesn’t matter. Still, always assume the responsibility. And then determine to make it better.”

“What do you mean? I still don’t get it.”

Mr. Wizeman further explained, “Well, for example, take what just happened. Let’s say, instead of running to tell Mom when Razzie poked you in the nose, you think to yourself, “It is my responsibility for her poking me, maybe something I did or said made her do it. Now, think, how can I make the situation better?”

“But isn’t she supposed to be in charge of her own feelings. Dad says nobody else can make you mad, only you can make you mad. So how can that be my fault?”

“Yes, that’s true. But that doesn’t matter. What the other person does, doesn’t matter to you. You take control by assuming the responsibility, assuming the fault. Then you can think about what you can do to improve the situation. Then you have all the options. If you leave the responsibility with the other person, you limit your choices. Now, you can choose to poke her back. You can choose to run and tell Mom. You can choose to give her a hug. You can choose to say, ‘I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make you mad.’ You have lots of choices.”

Berri said, “I think I’m starting to understand what you mean. But it seems so hard to remember that. I just want to get her back when she does things to me. It’s hard to say, ‘I’m sorry’ when I didn’t do anything wrong.”

Mr. Wizeman sympathized, “It’s often hard to do the right thing. Most people never learn to do it. If you can always think about how you love the other person, and then treat them like you do love them. If you always assuming the responsibility for what happens, you’ll be in charge. You’ll be happier.”

Then he continued, “Now, what is the best thing you can do in this situation?”

“I guess I should go home and apologize to Razzi. But what if she won’t accept my apology?”

“It doesn’t matter what she does. It only matters what you do. Think what Jesus would do. What would you do for someone you love very much? If you always think of the other person first, if you always try to love them and make them happy, then you will be happy. Let’s imagine that Razzi doesn’t immediately accept your apology. What if you were to then say, ‘I really am sorry. I love you Razzi. I don’t want to do things to make you mad. If you’re mad, then you can’t be happy. I want you to be happy.’ What do you think she’d say to that?”

Berri wrinkled up her nose and asked, “Is that how I do magic?”

“Now you’re getting it. When you decide to always stay calm and loving, most of the time you’ll make the situation better, you’ll magically change things from angry to happy. That’s true magic. Most people do not know how to do that.”

Berri was obviously thinking about it when she said, “Okay.”

“Now,” urged Mr. Wizeman, “Why don’t you go home and try and teach Razzi what I just talked to you about.”

Berri brightened up as she said, “Yeah! If she tries to make things better for me, we’ll both be a lot happier.” And she skipped off toward home.

Berri tried it and found that it worked most of the time. Sometimes she forgot and things didn’t turn out so good those times. But she worked at it and got better and better all the time. And she was much happier.

The girls never saw Mr. Wizeman outside his house again. Occasionally they’d see him looking out his window and they’d wave, and he’d wave back. It was a sad day when they saw an ambulance pull away from the old house, and a “For Sale” sign went up out front.

Sample Blog Post

A Blog Post from The Jim Hippen Report, a Political Blog

Why can’t the Conservative majority in the United States Senate fix the medical insurance problems in this country?

They complained that The Affordable Care Act needed to be repaired or replaced. They had several years to come up with a replacement plan. What have they done? Nothing. Bupkuss. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

In my opinion, they are afraid to be wrong. They are like a salesman I knew who wouldn’t make sales calls because he was afraid of his customers.

They hired an actuarial firm to give them the figures they would need to implement a realistic insurance program. If you are not familiar with actuaries, they are the guys who work at insurance companies and figure out statistically how much any insurance will cost, and how much it can be sold for.

I’m sure the politicians took the items they would like in a national insurance plan and cringed. Each item would cost so much. Adding together everything they wanted would cost so much more than they could sell the voters on.

So now it was time to start cutting back on their wants. Here’s where it hit a snag. No two senators, no two congressmen could agree on the cuts. “If I cut this program, the voters won’t like it. If I cut that program the other group of voters won’t like it and I won’t get re-elected. After all, the most important thing in the world is that I get re-elected.”

So let’s not re-elect anybody. If those in office were really interested in doing the right thing, and not just in getting re-elected, compromises would be made and a realistic plan could be put in place.

What is the solution?

Is single payer, like Bernie Sanders promotes, the solution? Ask the governor of Vermont. This was proposed and rejected because ALL taxes needed to double to pay for it.

Employer funded programs are only available to people working for large companies. The small neighborhood business and small startups cannot pay for such programs.

Since government can’t afford it, or can’t make a realistic decision on what to do, I think it’s time for the government to get out of the business of health insurance.

What?! What about Medicare, Medicaid, and VA hospitals?

Okay, those programs, which we have paid into all our working lives would have to continue. However, they could be cut off for anyone who has not yet been invested in those programs. Medicaid and military benefit programs would have to be continued.

We can’t cut off the poor or those who have sacrificed other opportunities for the benefit of the country.

The main problem with letting the market cover the rest of the people, is that people will not voluntarily buy enough insurance.

There would have to be some incentive program in place to encourage the purchase of what might be needed.

Every time the government gets involved, prices skyrocket or service deteriorates. Medicare caused a huge jump in medical costs. The VA hospitals are justifiably notorious for poor service. So I say, “Get the government out of health care.”