magpie in flight


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magpie inked 8x10 - Copy

Magpie in Flight

Light and shadow create complex shapes on the bold feathers of a magpie in flight in this black and white drawing created with Micron 05 fine point pen, calligraphy pen, and Sharpie marker.

8×10 aspect ratio, from a high-resolution (300 dpi) scan.

Now in Print: Raising Healthy Children by Nancy Addison


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Author Nancy Addison will launch her new book this week, Raising Healthy Children: Health and Nutrition Information, Recipes, and Resources. You can now find it in paperback and Kindle versions on Amazon. I came to this project only near the end, but the team has been working hard the last three or four weeks to make important updates and changes before this week’s launch.

I love seeing my customers’ books go “live” on Amazon. Much of my technical work results in intangibles like Excel databases and spreadsheets, and the information inside them is confidential. But a printed book has form and substance, and the information inside is meant to be shared with others to enrich their lives. Working on books is often challenging but always satisfying.

RHC Addison cover for blog

Now in Print: Financial Wellness by Taras Collum


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Few things bring me more satisfaction than seeing a customer’s book transformed from a manuscript into a new book in print. This week, you will see a new author on Amazon: Dave Ramsey Certified Financial Coach Taras Collum. His 530-page guide to all the basics of personal and small business finance is called Financial Wellness: A Proven Process to Change Your Behavior and Start Winning with Money.

financial wellness full cover for web

The full-color cover came to us from graphic designer Laura Orsini of Write | Market | Design. I designed the interior, which means everything from choosing fonts to setting up page size and formatting all the graphic elements for print. Though most of the unfinished manuscript had been edited in 2013, Taras worked with me to create three new chapters and comprehensively update it.

Aside from editing and design, I also help authors navigate the process of setting up their books on the Createspace platform. It is a great platform for self-publishing, but there are many requirements to meet and decisions to make. It can be overwhelming for a first-time author. I know. I was one once!

But no matter how much support I offer, I always encourage authors to click that very last button to approve the final proof, making their book go live on the worldwide web. The only thing that beats that feeling is when the books show up at your office, in print and real at last.

Taras came to me as a referral from Katharine Halpin, whose leadership book Alignment for Success went live on Amazon last November.

Essays on Medicine & Genetics as Intellectual Property


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Now is an important time in human history. Viral outbreaks threaten lives and make headlines. We see new diseases appear and spread across the planet. We map our genetic code. And we now share the planet with lifeforms of our own creation.

A global communication system keeps us informed. But a global system of trade agreements plays a very important role we do not hear so much about. These trade agreements govern, among other things, patent protection for intellectual property.

When a nation accepts a trade agreement treating medicines as intellectual property, it can find itself ill-equipped to confront public health crises like outbreaks of viruses and disease. Genetic material, too, can become protected intellectual property, although the courts of different nations disagree on just what material and how protected it might be. Once the subject of futuristic science fiction novels, the commodification and ownership of human genetic material has become our reality in the 21st century.

The two essays in this booklet address the ethical concerns as well as the practical, administrative realities for the offices and courts where governments make decisions that affect all of us; our health, our genetic code, and our future.

Available as a single 70-page paperback on Amazon for $6.95: Patents & Public Health: Two Essays on Medicine & Genetics as Intellectual Property.
Also available for $2.99 as a Kindle book.


Presenting the Second Edition of The Fates of Stars


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Today we kick off 2015 with a new edition of The Fates of Stars and Other Poems. This second edition is revised, expanded, and illustrated. It contains new poems and ink drawings and over 30 new pages. Now over 100 pages! You can get it now in paperback from Amazon, and we offer a Kindle version, too.

fates of stars cover for web

From the Introduction:

The first edition of The Fates of Stars and Other Poems, published in January 2014, enjoyed a number of favorable reviews and sold both in the US and around the world. It collected a cycle of poems from 2012 and 2013 which grew out of sessions with a writers’ workshop. But in 2014, I completed a set of poems which continued the themes of that body of work. This second edition includes them.

While expanding the collection, it occurred to me that I created several poems in a process that may interest readers: redaction. So, some of the poems now sit side-by-side with images of their original redacted versions. These are pages of printed text blacked out with marker so new combinations of words or themes present themselves.

This second edition also includes many ink drawings added as visual complements to the poems. As a lifelong fan of comic books, I like to see words and pictures together. Maybe you do, too.

Finally, in terms of expanding this second edition, I made the pages and the font size larger. While quite successful in its Kindle format, the printed text of the first edition seemed a little too small. Designing the first edition opened the door to some professional work helping other authors in 2014. Those experiences gave me an improved sense of designing a book for print and encouraged me to give The Fates of Stars a tune up.

Patents and Public Health


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Below, you will find the abstract for my second major research paper of the Fall, 2014 semester. This one, I wrote for the class “Information Literacy.” I was pleasantly surprised to earn a 100% on this paper and the other one, too.

I learned many things writing it. International trade agreements and patent law are not my field of expertise. But, our class readings about TRIPS (The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) piqued my interest. One of the most controversial aspects of TRIPS involves pharmaceutical patents and how they affect the distribution of medicines to the poor and sick in developing nations.

If the abstract below piques your interest, you can now purchase both essays together in a single, 70-page paperback for $6.95 on Amazon. It is called Patents and Public Health: Two Essays on Medicine & Genetics as Intellectual Property. We plan to produce a Kindle version this month.

Patents and Public Health in the Age of TRIPS:
Why the Future Depends on Connecting Patent Offices with Public Health Agencies


Conflicts between public health and the commercial interests of multinational pharmaceutical companies have come to the forefront of TRIPS criticism in light of recent health crises, including viral outbreaks and HIV. Multinational pharmaceutical companies played a significant role in creating TRIPS. They use its provisions to apply for patents in developing nations. The patents give them legal rights to control the supply of that medicine in that country, something public health agencies often confront only after it is too late. Ironically, TRIPS regulations do contain many provisions that developing nations could invoke to protect public health, provisions called flexibilities. However, these flexibilities may never make it into the country’s legislation due to both a lack of resources in developing nations and pressure on patent offices to generate revenue by approving applications. Political pressures coerce nations to create TRIPS-based regulation granting pharmaceutical companies far more control than the nation needs to. In this high-powered, high-pressure global arena of TRIPS legislation, public health agencies desperately need to connect with patent offices to take a more influential role in developing and enforcing TRIPS regulations for their country. Administrative challenges faced by the patent offices also deserve attention, for the resources at the patent office in a developing nation do not equal those of developed nations. Therefore, the future of public health depends on the ability of patent offices around the world to achieve parity with the systems and resources of developed nations, and to connect in meaningful ways with public health agencies to fully evaluate the health implications of TRIPS legislation.

Keywords: Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, Doha Declaration, ethics, flexibilities, HIV/AIDS, intellectual property, intellectual property rights, international trade agreement, medicine, multinational pharmaceutical company, patent, patent office, pharmaceuticals, public administration, public health, TRIPS, TRIPS-plus, World Trade Organization.

Patenting Human Genes in the Global Market


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Below, you will find the abstract for my research paper for my Fall, 2014 class “Origins and Implications of the Knowledge Society.” I learned many things writing it, as international patent law is not my field of expertise.

A few months ago, I saw a news article where a Federal Court of Australia had reached a different decision than the US Supreme Court regarding the same company’s patents on two genes used to identify potential risk for breast cancer. Why would the courts of two nations reach two different decisions on the viability of these patents? Well, that’s what I set out to learn.

If the abstract below piques your interest, you can now purchase the full essay in a single, 70-page paperback for $6.95 on Amazon. It is called Patents and Public Health: Two Essays on Medicine & Genetics as Intellectual Property. The book contains a second essay on patenting medicines as part of TRIPS. We plan to produce a Kindle version this month.

Patenting Human Genes in the Global Market:
How Two Nations Reached Two Different Conclusions on the Myriad Genetics Case


The Myriad Genetics cases in the United States and Australia focus on patent control of two human gene sequences and the clinical methods of detecting them. Myriad Genetics patents refer to the genes as “17q-linked breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility gene” due to their location on the long arm of human chromosome 17. They received the names BRCA1 and BRCA2 from Mary Claire King, whose group at the University of California, Berkeley identified them in published research in 1990. Myriad Genetics’ subsequent patent claims on BRCA1 and BRCA2 entered litigation in the US in 2009 and Australia in 2010, and met with dispute in the European Union and Canada. The US Supreme Court issued a final decision on the validity of the patent claims in 2013, reversing an earlier decision at the Circuit Court level which had, in turn, reversed an initial decision at the District Court level. The Federal Court of Australia’s appeals court reached a judgment in September, 2014 upholding a Federal Court decision from 2013. While the US Supreme Court invalidated the patents covering the gene sequence, the Australian courts upheld them. The differences in both the legal precedents and the patent terminology in each country have a direct bearing on why such opposing decisions happened. The political and economic realities of today’s globalized business environment also influenced the decisions. To the extent that patents help enforce intellectual property rights, understanding how each nation came to its decision provides insight into the role of human genetic material in today’s global information society.

Keywords: BRCA1, BRCA2, discovery, genes, European Patent Office, Federal Court of Australia, Genetic Technologies, intellectual property, invention, litigation, Myriad Genetics, patent, US Supreme Court.

Book Launch for The Halpin Companies


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This afternoon, The Halpin Companies held a book launch for a project we’ve been hard at work on this summer and fall, Alignment for Success. Alignment for Success covers fundamentals of self-leadership and communication that leaders can use to build strongly aligned teams and organizations. It’s an excellent introduction to the coaching methodologies that The Halpin Companies have used to coach business to even greater levels of success for about twenty years now. I’ve worked on a number of projects for them since early 2007, and their leadership principles have profoundly affected me, my work, and my academic career.

Much of what I do for small businesses is confidential. It’s a challenge to tell people what I do, when I can only discuss a lot of it in the most general terms and can’t really show the final products of my work as a portfolio. So, it’s quite a thrill to be a part of the creation of this book and be able to show it off! Katharine, Bonnie, and I have put a lot of time and effort into this book, and we’re quite pleased with the results.

book cover 11 11 2014_front only for printing

Working with authors is one of my favorite things to do, whether as writing coach, editor, collaborator, proofreader, or advisor on the process of book design and self-publishing. Since beginning Alignment for Success, I’ve also begun working with another author on a book about financial planning. We expect to have printed copies in his hands in January for a public speaking engagement. It’s exciting!

If you have a book in process or are considering writing one, let’s talk! I spend a lot of time doing academic research and writing, but I find projects like this one even more satisfying. Just visit my Contact Page and connect by phone or email.


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