About CC Ink
Thursday, 10 June 2010 15:45 | Written by Annie Tobey
Travel Writing & Other Freelance Writing
Exploring, learning, creating—as a writer, I have the opportunity to exercise my curiosity and share my experience with others, fueling their passion and curiosity, too.
For twenty years, I’ve been exploring and sharing my knowledge with readers, beginning with the Richmond Times-Dispatch supplements and various local and national publications. I’ve written on martial arts and asthma, gardening and cooking, employee development and the philosophy of Objectivism, travel and outdoor recreation. I’ve published a book, For Any Young Mother Who Lives in a Shoe and corporate communications materials. I won an award for my profile of Douglas Wilder, the first African-American governor of Virginia and the second of any U.S state. For over six years, I led the creation of V Magazine for Women, celebrating the strengths and achievements of women.
No assignments thrill me more than my travel writing opportunities. I emphasize the active side of travel, such as hiking, biking and kayaking, with frequent forays into adventurous pursuits like parasailing, ziplining, whitewater rafting, indoor sky diving and even Zorb globe riding. I venture out and share the best of my experiences with my readers. My mind is always eager to discover the history, the whys and the wherefores, and the hidden agenda and stories behind what the eye alone sees. I maintain my running during my travels, not just to burn the calories that I readily consume as I sample the local cuisine, beer and wine, but so I can see the sights from a different perspective.
I post some of my insights on my travel web site, ActiveWomanTraveler.com as well as for local and national periodicals. I've produced two walking tour travel apps, one on the Civil War in Richmond, VA and one on historic Easton, MD. I'm able to provide photographs as well as copy for many media products.
Whether pursuing my passions of my own accord or working on assignment, I enjoy crafting a product that inspires and informs my audience. Writing is intoxicating, but the research is sublime.
Writing for Hire
Ensure Superior Quality for the Words that Reflect Your Business
Consider the words that reflect you and your business. Every day, a client or customer—current or potential—sees copy that communicates who you are. Besides telling others about your products and services, your web site, brochures, press releases, newsletters, books, and other marketing pieces tell all about your quality.
Effective copywriting isn’t simply reactive—it’s head-on proactive, too. Consider the obvious communications that already reflect your business; then ask, “What more can I do to differentiate myself from my competition? How can I better communicate my credentials to my audience?” Our business copywriting services assist with all of your marketing pieces, including web sites, brochures, press releases, and newsletters. Besides communicating with clarity and accuracy, we work to understand your business, to make sure your message is heard.
Books, Articles and Blogs
Books aren’t just for storytellers and celebrities. A book can be a powerful marketing tool, branding you as a qualified subject matter expert. We can help you write the book that points to you as a subject matter expert, through coaching services, ghostwriting, editing, or publishing guidance. You can be free to focus on the content that you know so well, while we attend to grammar, punctuation, spelling, and composition.
In the very same way, you can ensure that your expertise is seen regularly and prominently in carefully written and placed periodicals, both in print and online, to build your brand, your credibility, and even your bottom line. Editors, writers, and the general public all need to know that you have the answers they need. When they have questions, they will know where to go.
Blogs, too, can build your credibility and your brand—if they adequately reflect the quality of your knowledge.
All of these marketing pieces need many key components, including masterful content, useful content, audience targeting, and error-free writing. Professional guidance can help you achieve them all.
Ideally, a press release makes it past the editor’s desk and in front of the readers. However, the more you send (within reason), the better your chances. And in the meantime, with each press release you send, you are reinforcing your status and expertise to the editors who see your subject line and your well-crafted copy.
Your web site is your virtual front office, attracting customers or turning them away. Carefully crafted web copywriting can ensure that their first impressions are positive. If your message is already written, our professional editing services can improve your clarity and accuracy. By using search engine optimization (SEO) strategies, web copy can increase your virtual “drive-by” traffic, too. Location, location, location—finding the best location was never so simple!
Through regular, useful communication with your clients—past, present, and future—you can keep your services and products foremost in their minds; but if your content and quality are poor, your message will have done more harm than good!
Professional Editing Services
Communication Creations Ink will help you make the most of your words.
If you would like to write the material yourself, we can help you polish it to a gleaming shine, through basic proofreading to catch spelling, grammar, punctuation, word usage, and similar errors; or through in-depth copyediting, providing suggestions for refining the clarity and quality of your language and content.
Dressed for Success
You would not show up to an important business meeting with ragged jeans and a torn T-shirt. Give the same care to dressing up your words! You would not decorate your store front or front office with hand-me-downs. Don’t produce rag-tag copy either!
Last Updated (Tuesday, 13 September 2011 11:33)
Friday, 28 January 2011 12:08 | Written by Annie Tobey
When I was out of college but still wondering what to do when I grew up, someone asked me what I’d do if money were no object. “I’d be a professional student,” I replied, “learning about lots of different topics and writing reports!” Soon I realized: That’s what a writer does.
For over twenty years, I’ve been learning about a wide range of topics and sharing my knowledge with readers. I’ve written on martial arts and asthma, gardening and cooking, employee development and the philosophy of Objectivism. I’ve written a book, freelance articles, and corporate communications materials. I won an award for my profile of Douglas Wilder, the first African-American governor of Virginia and the second of any U.S state. For over six years, I’ve led the creation of V Magazine for Women, celebrating the strengths and achievements of women. Perhaps my most enjoyable writing, though, has been my travel writing, with a focus on outdoor pursuits—after all, the “research” is phenomenal!
Since I started pursuing my passion, I have had the opportunity to ply my trade in a variety of ways: through publishing, writing articles, copywriting, writing books, editing, and designing. In addition to writing, I've exercised my creativity through photography, photo editing, and design and editing of e-newsletters, print magazines, and marketing materials.
My earliest writing was for the Richmond Times-Dispatch special supplements, Richmond Parents Monthly, martial arts magazines, and national Christian magazines. I later included Richmond's Fifty Plus and Pleasant Living in my portfolio, until editing and promoting V Magazine for Women became a full-time pursuit. Recent travel articles have been published in Pathfinders Travel, circulation 100,000, as well as at Active Woman Traveler and Examiner. My Examiner Richmond article on Ski New Mexico was picked up for national publication.
Some of my works have achieved national recognition, including a 2006 article on Richmond’s Mayor Doug Wilder, the nation’s first African-American governor. This article earned second place in the Profile category for the circulation bracket of FiftyPlus magazine with the North American Mature Publishers Association. “This story does a good job of catching the reader up on a political figure who once was a shining star in Democratic circles,” said the judges. “It traces his roots and brings the reader up to date on what he is doing now. A good piece of interviewing and writing.”
Technology makes writing in the 21st century ever more exciting and I've used several contemporary tools to enhance my communication. I've created two GPSmyCity apps, leading iPhone and iPad users on walking tours of Civil War sites in Richmond, Virginia and of the historical treasures of Easton, Maryland. I use GPS tools for hiking and running articles, YouTube videos, and an SPL meter. I also use social media to reach more readers.
The clips below represent my most recent articles and the photos that accompany them. Browse my portfolio of samples to read my clips.
Shenandoah with the Family
In Richmond Family, distributed at over 700 locations in Central Virginia.
Waterways in Hampton Roads, Virginia
Celebrate the Life of Frederick Douglass in Talbot County, Maryland
Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee
Walking Tour Travel Apps
Read more about these apps on my Active Woman Traveler web site.
Make Mountains of Memories and Recharge in the Valley
Click here to read my article and see my photos on Haywood County, NC.
FBI SAC Jennifer Love
Click here to read my article on Jennifer Smith Love, who was Special Agent in Charge of the Richmond FBI office.
Click here to read my call-to-arms on a case of property rights violations in Cumberland County, Virginia.
Click here to read about a great development on the James River in Richmond, VA.
Cape Charles Renewal
Click here to read my article and see my photos on this cozy town on Virginia's Eastern Shore.
Made for Motorcycles
Click here to read my article and see my photos on the thrills of motorcycle touring in Haywood County, NC.
V Magazine for Women
From 2004 through the present, I've had the privilege of helping to create, manage, and promote V Magazine for Women, a monthly magazine that celebrated the diversity of women. In each issue, we touted the achievements of local women and encouraged readers by emphasizing success, benevolence, and a positive sense of life. I emphasized themes and topics that would inspire our readers, and crafted a positive writing style, dubbed "Celebration Communication," that would empower and uplift. V gained a loyal following, with distribution of 26,000 at nearly 500 distribution locations in Central Virginia. Below are just a few of my favorite covers. Choosing was like proclaiming who's my favorite child!
From December 2009 till April 2010, V was also available to our readers in digital, turn-page edition. Not only could this be accessed by our readers from the convenience of their homes, offices, or wi-fi perches at local hangouts, but it could be accessed by women throughout the world, thanks to the wonders of the world wide web. Having V online also allowed extras that print cannot begin to touch: audio and video, slideshows, and fun graphic add-ons like confetti and snowflakes.
If you'd like an overview of Celebration Communication, visit my online article, "Effective Communications with Positive Pizzazz." Although our activity has slowed with the slowing of the economy, readers can still peruse our web site or follow our Tweets @AnnieTatV.
Active Woman Traveler
Since September 2010, I've indulged in creating a web site that focuses on my favorite passion and that targets a niche that is often overlooked in other media: travel for the active woman. Although the site may address the occasional spa or shopping destination, the dominant themes are outdoor activities and destinations, with a generous serving of beer and breweries and a side of dining and wineries. I am able to document some of my own travels, share editorial space with other active women, and publish press releases of interest to my readers. Besides online articles and e-newsletters, readers can follow me on Twitter @ActivWomnTravlr.
Those who excel at their business aren’t necessarily competent at communication, much less grammar and spelling, but a flawed message can ruin an expert’s credibility. That’s where a quality copywriter can help, communicating the message concisely yet artfully.
Click here for a larger image.
Click here for full brochure.
V Media Kit
Click here for a larger image.
Individual Rights, LLC
Click here for the complete bifold brochure.
Uniquely Fore Her Web Site
For Any Young Mother Who Lives in a Shoe
My first high-flying writing experience was the publication of my book. As a mother of three young children--twin boys and a girl two years later--I noticed that most authors of parenting books wrote the books when their children were older, viewing the whole experience through rose-colored glasses. I chose instead to write when my kids were still in diapers and training wheels, viewing the experience through Play-Doh-stained glasses.
For Any Young Mother Who Lives in a Shoe, published by Judson Press in Valley Forge, PA, was chosen as a featured book by a national Methodist women’s group. It received positive reviews from media as well as readers. Because of Shoe’s purpose, the most gratifying words were from readers. One Amazon reader from Michigan said, “I cannot believe I found this book its awesome!! There is not much out there for young christian moms. This has answer alot of my questions for young motherhood and it has helped me find things for my Young Christian Mommies group to study.” A reader from Yakima, WA said, “This book I found to be a humorous comfort and encouragement on the trials and reality of being the mother of preschool children. The author uses humorous examples and stories that offers encouragenment, practical ideas, and verses from the Bible on the survival of these first years. Most importantly it is a quick and easy read.” (Please ignore the readers’ typos. I sure did! And when a mother is dashing off a review during the kids’ naptime, punctuation and spelling are among the first things to go, after makeup and sleep.)
By combining practical experience, spiritual wisdom, and whimsical humor, I encouraged mothers of young children to remember the joys even during the trials.
Leadership Training Materials
As manager of program development at International Training Consultants, Inc., I had the opportunity to create complete training modules on leadership and management topics. I researched, wrote, and designed workbooks, study guides, assessments, PowerPoint presentations--all that was needed for a facilitator to present a powerful educational training class. Three of the products I created from starting line to finish were Dynamic Leadership for the 21st Century, Ethical Leadership for the 21st Century, and Still Talkin' Diversity. You can view excerpts of all of these products at Amazon.com through their "Look Inside" feature. Click the covers below for direct links to Amazon pages.
I'm currently engaged in a ghostwriting project that covers a child visitation and custody battle in Henrico County, VA. The case has been going on since September 2009, and I've been following the progress intimately since May 2010. My firsthand views and access to resource material on this ground-breaking case promises a riveting read.
Besides the numerous articles I've edited for V Magazine for Women and Pleasant Living and the corporate communications products I've worked with, I've been copyeditor for numerous books. Below are just a few of the books I've edited.
Part of the thrill of writing is creating a finished project. I enjoy extending that thrill to visual design, through the creation of e-newsletters, PowerPoint presentations, web sites, and marketing materials. Since February 2007, I've managed the V Magazine for Women e-news. In 2010, I began sending e-newsletters for Active Woman Traveler.
For my own speeches and for the training materials I produced for International Training Consultants, Inc., I designed PowerPoint presentations, always taking care that the slides were visually appealing as well as educationally supportive of the content.
The first web site I designed and managed in 1997 for East-West Martial Arts was designed entirely in HTML. Since then, I managed www.VMagazineforWomen.com using HTML (with Yahoo! Small Business web hosting), and www.MyVMagazine.com, www.ActiveWomanTraveler.com, and this site, www.CCInk.net, all using the Joomla content management system.
I have also done extensive editing of V and of Pleasant Living magazine in the design stage, gaining experience with Adobe InDesign software.
Contact Me for Your Project
Last Updated (Tuesday, 13 September 2011 12:09)
Thursday, 10 June 2010 15:45 | Written by Administrator
As a professional, you are an expert in your field. You know your subject, and you’ve fine-tuned your abilities. You’re ready to present yourself and your message to the world!
At CCInk, we want to make sure that your message gets the respect it deserves. The perfect power suit, a polished speech, a firm handshake, and a winning smile – they all fall flat in the face of poor grammar, a typo, flawed logic, or misplaced punctuation. Such errors affect your credibility, deserved or not. We know you wouldn’t make a presentation with a ketchup stain on your lapel – we want to make sure your written communications receive the same attention to perfection.
To ensure that your words reflect the authentic value of your message, we’ll help you clean up your manuscript, your biography, your newsletters, and other communication media. From simple copyediting to in-depth coaching to ghostwriting, we’ll help your message shine!
Last Updated (Friday, 28 January 2011 14:59)
Saturday, 23 July 2011 15:14 | Written by Annie Tobey
I was in elementary school when I first became enamored of writing. In high school, I thrilled to the challenge of unexpected essay questions. In college, I enjoyed writing term papers. It wasn’t until I was chatting with a friend after graduation that I began to realize that my passion was unusual.
“I’ve finished my research,” she said. “Now I have to write my dissertation.”
“Oh, the fun part!” I exclaimed.
She looked at me as if I had just replaced my teeth with a typewriter keyboard. “Oh, no,” she replied incredulously, “I hate writing.”
I began to realize that not all intelligent people enjoy composing, and I renewed my goal of writing for life.
Although the writers’ mantra of the day was “Write what you know,” I preferred to live by a variation of that mantra: “Write what you love.”
About that same time, my Discovery Toys sales supervisor gave me a gift. Although the mug was supposed to motivate me to book more home parties, it inspired me to begin writing as a career: "Success is doing what you love," the mug proclaimed.
More than 20 years later, I see where I am now, illuminated by the light of those early inspirations. If success is measured by the achievement of one’s goals and of the aphorisms that helped nurture them, then I continue to count myself as successful indeed.
Last Updated (Sunday, 24 July 2011 09:01)