Since I scribbled my first words using a crayon, my grandmother Rose, aspired to turn me into a writer. Born in Russia, she migrated to America in the 1930’s along with her five sisters. Even though she knew not English before setting eyes on the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, she studied hard and became an amazing writer who longed to publish her work in time when a woman’s place was in the home.
Nevertheless, she took classes, submitted a few articles, and wrote stacks of commentaries, poems, plays, family histories, and invocations. She constantly scribbled on scraps of paper ideas for writing projects, observations, and lists detailing everything from what to serve with meats to how much to tip. An introvert – a topic she wrote about extensively – she preferred to express herself on paper rather than in person.
She also seemed to have a perpetual red pen to correct my school papers. It matter if I got an “A” on a paper. If it could be written more concisely or required more depth, she was quick to make corrections and recommendations!
By the time I entered college I could zip out a topnotch report and breeze through essay questions. I knew immediately I wanted to major in marketing, and tacked on a minor in economics to expand my understanding of how market and economic forces drive commerce.
My first job was with a small manufacturer of scientific equipment in Hillsboro, Oregon. Using a typewriter, I churned out copy for their catalog, press releases, and promotions. I learned new words like refractometer, spectrophotometer, centrifuge, and pH/reference/ATC electrode.
This job set the stage for doing marketing for many technology companies, including the “big three,” Intel, Dell, and Microsoft. In-between, I started my own writing and design company – scribbles – using a souped-up Macintosh, a ridiculously expensive and large laser printer, and professional lay-out and design software, courtesy of my then-boyfriend who owned a printing company.
Years later, I’m longing to return to my roots – writing. Over the Labor Day weekend, I recreated the scribbles logo (it’s a bit more ornate and more cyan than marine blue), checked out business licenses, and launched this site.
I also searched through samples of my past working, including this fun advertisement for TotalView, debugging software for multi-threaded applications. I remember having to write the ad, but couldn’t come up with any brilliant ideas. As the hour hand approached midnight, a thought occurred to me, “It’s 3 a.m. You’ve checked and rechecked, exhausting every possibility. Now your code, like your eyes, has become a blur. TotalView parallel debugger by Etnus…”
There’s never been a better time to scribble!