Writing Experience

Vector old typewriter with a paper

Writing is one of those catch all words that can have many meanings and nuances, but for me, words are doorways to other worlds – a way to experience and explore realities that are different from my own.

I have had the good fortunate to work in a variety of fields that allowed me to hone my writing skills, including electronics, computer software, education, medicine, marketing and communications and publishing. I have broken my experience down into four categories for you to explore. Please let me know which area I can help you with.

Freelance Writing and Syndicated Columns
I have written for a wide range of popular newspapers and print publications, including Backpacker, Mother Earth News, Women’s Health, Penn Stater, The ACCJ JournalBusiness WeekWINDS (Japan Airlines inflight magazine) and Cooking Light, but by far the articles I enjoyed writing the most have to do with nature and the environment. In particular I am fascinated by those who are making a difference in conservation, and have the great good fortune to interview inspirational people such as Terry Tempest Williams, Yvon Chouinard and Beau Turner. I am including a few links below, but please let me know if you would like to see more.

I am also the author of two syndicated columns, “Halfway Over the Hill: The humorous side of aging,” and “Acquired Tastes,” a restaurant review column I wrote for the Japan Times, Tokyo.

Marketing and Communication
Having created and run a small marketing and PR firm, dedicated to helping businesses get the word out about their products and services, I am intimately acquainted with the challenges of getting noticed in this noisy world.  Some of my clients have included:

Device Solutions
Write weekly articles about the company’s employees, products and community service programs to help stimulate interest and educate the community about the company’s products and vision.

CritterKin Kickstarter Campaign
Although ultimately not funded, the opportunity to plan, organize, write the marketing copy,  video script, and the book the project was  based on was a wonderful, eyeopening experience.

Not Perfect Hat Club Pubslush Campaign
Pubslush was a crowdfunding platform for authors. I created and ran a successful campaign on the platform to raise funds for publishing the fourth book, The Not Perfect Hat Club. Pubslush was eventually sold to and incorporated into another platform, but here is a screen capture of the campaign’s landing page. As you can see, it included videos.


Ongoing copy writing and edits to help the company define and refine its message.
Crafted a fundraising campaign, including artwork,  to help students affected by the earthquake in Nepal: https://www.pledgecents.com/cause/lltkrs/bridge2nepal

Art Center College of Design
Wrote and edited copy for a variety of print and online publications including the school’s quarterly magazine, weekly newsletters, websites, press releases and special events.

See samples here: http://jenaball.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Jena-Ball-Writing-SamplesB-Art-Center.docx

City of Hope
Generated copy for newsletters, brochures, and website to publicize the opening of their new hospital. Put out their weekly in house newsletter and produced their quarterly general newsletter.

Amkey, Inc. – Copywriter/Editor
Produced marketing collateral about nutrition and supplements including product brochures, web copy, press releases, direct mail pieces and promotional letters.

Synergy Medical Clinic – Copywriter
Produced marketing collateral  onnaturopathic medicine including web copy, brochures, direct mail pieces and articles for newsletters.

TELACU Industries, Inc. – Copywriter/Editor
Wrote ads, web copy, PSAs, and speeches for The East Los Angeles Community Union (TELACU).

Canter and Associates
Produced direct mail pieces featuring specific product offerings. See an example: http://critterkin.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Canter0001.pdf

Mountain Slope Water
Created print brochures for the company’s products and services.

Prudential Financial Group
Wrote company profile pieces and press releases for the San Francisco group.

Caldwell Banker Real Estate
Produced direct mail, brochures and newsletters for a small office located in Maui, Hawaii

Education is a favorite of mine. After teaching privately and in schools and corporations in Japan for 10 years, and helping author and edit several online courses for individuals and online schools, I decided to try my hand at creating and teaching my own courses. I called my little school,  “The Nature of Writing.” The focus of all the classes I created was telling compelling stories as personal essays. Below are brief intros to three of my classes. They should give you a taste of what they were like.

The Nature of Writing

Ed2Go Course Developer
Developed and taught a course in adventure writing.
Helped rewrite, edit and teach classes in Photoshop, Illustrator and FrontPage with and for ED2Go’s graphic design and illustration teacher, Sherry London.

Developed and taught classes in essay, memoir and food writing courses

Glencoe McGraw-Hill
Researched, wrote, edited and developed online resources  for several of Mc-Graw-Hill’s teen texts on drug and tobacoo use and sexuality/personal relationships.

Marubeni Corporation, Japan
Created and taught custom courses for businessmen traveling to the United States and England. This involved meeting with a variety of departments and employees to identify the most important skills and information employees would need to study, writing scripts for them to follow and videotaping them for feedback.

SONY Corporation
Co-authored an advanced ESL textbook for SONY’s English language school.

Technical Writing and Editing
My career in technical writing started in 1985 when I was hired by  SONY corporation in Japan to work on their English language support team. My work there included editing and rewriting technical papers as well as helping write the product specifications for the newly created CD ROM technology

Produced a training manual teaching students and teachers how to make a TouchCast video: http://bit.ly/1Ph2Yvg

PageMaker 6.5 Software Manual
Technical and copy editor and rewriter

Ed2Go – Technical Proofreader
Tech edited and proofed courses in Photoshop, Illustrator, Microsoft Office and graphic design courses

Prancing Pixel Designs
Editor of computer graphics courses taught online.

The Web Center
Generated original copy for the “Help” sections of the company’s custom designed Web editing tools.

SONY Corporation
Edited and rewrote technical papers by Japanese researchers on a variety of SONY products including Trinitron TV technology, the technology behind manufacturing tape, Walkmen, distributed feedback lasers and the specifications for CD Rom technology.