Saturday, September 11, 2010

It's the birthday of short-story writer O. Henry, (books by this author) born William Sidney Porter in Greensboro, North Carolina, on this day in 1862. He penned the witty, surprise-ending short stories "The Gift of the Magi," "The Ransom of Red Chief," "A Retrieved Reformation," and "The Cop and the Anthem."

In 1909, the year before he died, he conducted an "autobiographical interview" of himself for The New York Times. It appeared under the title: "'O. HENRY' ON HIMSELF, LIFE, AND OTHER THINGS; For the First Time the Author of 'The Four Million' Tells a Bit of the 'Story of My Life.'"

He wrote:

"What advice would you give to young writers?"

"I'll give you the whole secret of short-story writing. Here it is. Rule I: Write stories that please yourself. There is no Rule II."

Asked by himself about writer's block, O. Henry answered:

"Yes, I get dry spells. Sometimes I can't turn out a thing for three months. When one of those spells comes on I quit trying to work and go out and see something of life. You can't write a story that's got any life in it by sitting at a writing table and thinking. You've got to get out into the streets, into the crowds, talk with people, and feel the rush and throb of real life — that's the stimulant for a story writer."

From The Writer's Almanac for today.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

I've decided to start a new Small Business Chamber of Commerce.

For over 10 years I've been holding meetings of the Denver IDEA Cafe
startup workshop and helping people start or join peer advisory groups
I call Franklin Circles.

The new Small Business Chamber is a way to expand these activities.

I'll continue the weekly Denver IDEA Cafe meetings and encouraging
others to form similar groups in cities and towns across Colorado and
in other major cities.

We'll have a face-to-face membership meeting here in Denver once a
month, and we will have a monthly online meeting.

Small business (EF Schumacher defined a small business back in his day
as having 300 or fewer employees, today I'd say that's grown to 500)
has always created most of the new jobs.

If we are successful we could have an impact on the high unemployement rate.

Will you join us in this important work?

You can join for free at

If you have any questions, contact me at or (303)861-1447.

Together, we can accomplish more!

Monday, September 06, 2010

Denver IDEA Cafe Startup Workshop Friday (Sept 10)

We invite successful people to share their startup experience and we brainstorm. Free and open to all, we just ask that you bring your brain for the brainstorming!

To see who the speakers are this week (one is in the picture to the right, do you know who she is?) and to RSVP if you want a seat at the brainstorming table, see If you have any questions, and if you'd be willing to have us announce you as a speaker at an upcoming meeting, contact John Wren at or (303)861-1447.