Vector old typewriter with a paper

Writing is one of those catch-all words that can have many meanings. For me, however, words are doorways to other worlds. They allow me to experience and explore realities that are different from my own.

I’ve had the good fortune to work in a variety of fields that have honed my writing and editing skills. These include electronics, computer software, education, medical, marketing and communications, and publishing.

I have been blogging, primarily about education, technology, and the natural world, for almost 20 years.

The Science of Kindness
Blog post discussing the importance of social-emotional skills and the neuroscience behind them.

Why Do Students Think They Have to be Perfect?
Guest post for Peter Dewitt’s “Finding Common Ground” blog on Education Week
Full Text:

Humanity is Not a Species
Post written following the loss of thousands of lives in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.
Full text:

Device Solutions Blog Posts
Weekly articles about the company’s employees, products, and community service programs to help stimulate interest and educate potential customers about the company’s vision.

The Heart of the Matter

Camino Seguara – Ensuring Safe Passage

Engineering Speak (When Words Collide):

Requirements Generation:

Spotlight on an Engineer, Tristan Novak: 

The Mother of Invention:

Investing in the Future:

Making It Real for Future Engineers

Connecting the Dots:

Putting Your Device to the Test:

The Million Dollar Question:

Horseshoes and Buggy Whips:

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 Journal, Business Week, WINDS (Japan Airlines in-flight magazine), E-The Environmental Magazine, and Cooking Light. However, the articles I’ve enjoyed writing the most had to do with nature and the environment. In particular, I am fascinated by those who are making a difference in conservation and have had the 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: A humor column exploring the funny side of aging. Syndicated in over 100 newspapers nationwide until I stopped writing it in 2005.

Acquired Tastes: A restaurant review column written for “The Japan Times.” In addition to exploring the culinary scene in one of the largest and most interesting cities in the world, I illustrated the column as well.

Marketing and Communication
Having created and run a small marketing and PR firm, I am intimately acquainted with the challenges of getting noticed in this noisy world.  Examples include:

Social Media – Twitter
Example of a live Twitter chat created for a global education audience:

Social Media – Pinterest
I have created and maintained dozens of PInterest boards chronicling CritterKin, LLC’s  global events.

CritterKin Kickstarter Campaign
Although ultimately not funded, the opportunity to plan, organize, write the marketing copy, and develop the video script was a wonderful, eyeopening experience. See:

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:

City of Hope
Generated copy for newsletters, brochures, press releases, and the corporate website. I was also responsible for putting out the weekly in-house newsletter and for producing the quarterly promotional material sent to donors.

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 on naturopathic medicine, including web copy, brochures, direct mail pieces, and articles for newsletters.

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

Canter and Associates
Produced direct mail pieces featuring specific product offerings. See an example:

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 Kihei, 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.

Course Developer and Teacher and Developmental Editor – ED2Go

  • Developed and taught a course in adventure writing.
  • Helped rewrite, edit and teach classes in Photoshop, Illustrator and FrontPage with and for graphic design and illustration expert, Sherry London.
Developed and taught classes in essay, memoir, and food writing.

Glencoe McGraw-Hill
Researched, developed, wrote, and edited online resources  for several of McGraw-Hill’s teen texts on drug and tobacco use and human sexuality.

Marubeni Corporation, Japan
Created and taught custom courses for businessmen traveling to the United States and England. This involved meeting with a variety of managers and subject matter experts to identify the most important skills and information employees would need to study. In addition to developing and writing the courses I worked with a team of videographers to tape the students.

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:

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 analog tape, Walkman, distributed feedback lasers, and the specifications for CD Rom technology.



Copyright 2017 by Jena Ball. All Rights Reserved.