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Free Resources

I love the idea of being of service, both to my clients and to the wide world at large, so I've designed this group of resources, including
  • Articles by Rocket Words—A series of articles about effective writing and communicating.
  • Grammar and other puzzles—Have a grammar or writing question? Send it on to me. I'll try to solve your dilemmas and settle your bar bets. (If I don't know the answer, I'll go find it for you.)
  • Newsletter archives—View back issues of the Rocket Words Gazette, featuring tips on writing, news and reviews of arts, music and literary events, and more.
  • The Rocket Words interviews—Full-length interviews with writers, artists and musicians.
Cool and Useful Websites:

Articles by Rocket Words

Grammar and Writing Tips

Newsletter Archives: The Rocket Words Gazette

  • May 2003. Tips on sharpening your writing with “sentence focus,” Cool website: Zero One, an arts and technology organization, jazz around the Bay, and more.
  • July 2003. Writing tips on prepositions, Cool website: Music in Schools Today, an organization promoting music in our public schools, jazz at the Dogpatch, a list of Sunday jam sessions, and more.

The Rocket Words interviews

Almost every feature story provides the opportunity to conduct an in-depth interview with a fascinating artist. I usually only get to include a small portion of the things I learn in my articles. So, as time permits, I'll be posting the complete transcriptions of some of my favorite interviews.
  • Bruce Forman, a modern guitar master talks about the evolution of his style and his many projects, including the non-profit JazzMasters Workshops.
  • Michael Zilber, jazz saxophonist, bandleader and educator, talks about his influences, his friendship with Dave Liebman, and his distinctive, high-energy new CD.

Resources for Musicians and Music Lovers

  • Music in Schools Today (MuST)—A terrific San Francisco-based non-profit dedicated to keeping music and music programs alive in our schools. The site features descriptions of the organization's many class offerings, information for and about young musicians, and a large catalogue of online interviews with musicians from all genres who serve as role models and mentors for MuST.
  • The Route 66 Challenge and the 49er Challenge—Famed jazz guitarist Bruce Forman has been traveling the highways of America with his Western Swing/jazz band Cow Bop, performing (mostly) impromptu concerts to raise money for JazzMasters Workshop, Forman's non-profit music education foundation. Last summer they rode the length of Route 66. This fall it was Route 49 through California's Gold Rush Country. Forman posted his hilarious daily chronicles on the site. Read about the first two trips and keep an eye out for announcements of future trips at
  •—A portal for independent bands, featuring website hosting, great information articles, CD production and other great services.
  • Epitonic—Listing and downloads—a great source for info about cutting edge bands of all genres. Check out the Fish Wrap page for the latest news of the day.
  • Harmony Central—A musicians' community center featuring equipment reviews, artists profiles, advice and how-to's, forums, and a lot more.
  • Music Biz Academy—A site dedicated to helping musicians use the Internet effectively.
  •—A terrific jazz portal featuring news, reviews, listings and profiles covering jazz on the West Coast.
  • all about jazz—Another great jazz site with a full range of interviews, articles, news and reviews. Great for the new jazz fan is the “Getting Started” section, including an overview of jazz history and tips on building a jazz music library.
  • JazzConnect—A jazz portal with links, mp3s, articles, musicians listings, services listings, a “CyberUnion” for musicians and music professionals and more.
  • Life Force Jazz—A non-profit whose primary mission is to assist jazz artists and/or producers with independent production, promotion and distribution of CDs, cassettes and video tapes.

Resources for Artists and Art Lovers

  • localpatron—An SF Bay Area organization dedicated to encouraging commissions by putting arts patrons in touch directly with a wide range of artists and designers. An interesting community and resource for artists & designers and arts lovers alike. Lots of beautiful galleries and design displays.
  • artAngels—An organization that connects small and mid-sized arts organizations with a new generation of art audiences and patrons. Includes listings of non-profit arts support organizations, publications, events and more.
  • CELLspace—A San Francisco non-profit collective that “provides a safe and supportive public environment for the exploration of art, education, performance and community building.”
  • Web Del Sol—A site that features news of the literary world, with fiction, journals, articles, events, how to's and job listings.
  • SF Station—A resource containing articles and a great calendar of San Francisco Bay Area literary events.
  • The Metal Arts Guild Metalwork and Jewelry Links page—Based in Ontario, Canada, this group's links page features professional organizations, information banks, and individual studios across North America. (There is also a San Francisco Metal Arts Guild that, alas, does not yet have website.)

Resources for Businesses (focusing on the San Francisco Bay Area)

  • SFBayBiz—A search engine for San Francisco area small businesses, categorized by business type and city.
  • San Francisco District Office of the Small Business Administration—Lots of information from this federal agency established "to assist, counsel, support and protect the interest of small business concerns and to assist them in their start-up and growth." Includes a small business startup kit.
  • The Small Business Commission page of the San Francisco City Government website. Information for small business owners in San Francisco. The commission was formed to " assist, counsel, support and protect the interest of small business concerns and to assist them in their start-up and growth." The site contains information about city legislation and meetings.
  • The San Francisco chapter of SCORE—An organization offering free counseling, seminars and access to a Business Information Center for small business entrepreneurs.
  • Quinn Interactive—Web design and production, content management and in-depth consulting services.

Resources for Writers

  •—A great source for books online and references for writers, including an online dictionary, thesaurus, grammar and usage guide, famous quotations and a lot more.
  • Writer—An online writers' community with a listing of publishing resources.
  • Help with the technical jargon associated with the Internet and World Wide Web (provided by Colbalt Multimedia)

Rocket Words’ Favorite Sites

Great sites of interesting, knowledgeable and creative people I am honored to call my friends and (in some cases) my clients, plus some others that I think you'll enjoy.
  • Kim Addonizio—Nationally known poet, a National Book Award finalist, and a great chronicler of the writer's life.
  • Bram Goodwin—A terrific photojournalist
  • The Strategic Pen—The site of environmental writer Hal Kane.
  • Clairdee—Check out the music and the myriad exciting projects of this wonderful Bay Area jazz and R&B singer.
  • Zilbersmith—The website of the dynamic husband and wife team of jazz sax master Mike Zilber and singer/actress/solo performer Carla Zilbersmith.
  • Mitch Marcus—A versatile and high-energy tenor saxophonist who leads the Mitch Marcus Quartet and is a member of about five additional bands (I can't keep track).
  • Vince Wallace—A 45-year veteran of the San Francisco Bay Area jazz scene who goes back to the heyday of jazz on Fillmore Street, Vince is still an active and fiery saxophonist and well worth checking out.
  • Aondrea h. Maynard—A wonderful painter and visual stylist.
  • Alps and Beyond—Experienced mountain guide Anna Bezzola, a long-time friend, leads fascinating, exhilarating hiking and mountain-climbing trips of all levels through the Swiss and Italian Alps.
  • Champagne's Swamp Tours—Next time you're in St. Martin Parish, Louisiana, take a Lake Martin swamp tour from Bryan Champagne. Not going down to the Bayou any time soon? Check out Bryan's Web Tour.
  • Maplewood Online—Visit the magical New Jersey town I grew up in.

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