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Refilling the Writer’s Well Through the Hemingway Journey

Posted by on Jan 26th, 2014 in Writing | 7 comments

Refilling the Writer’s Well Through the Hemingway Journey

“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” ~Ernest Hemingway

Rob and I recently imbibed in a glorious Key West vacation. This was my second trip to the southernmost mecca and for Rob, one of many. This cultural dichotomy and intriguing island melds young and old, touts the hip and historical, and encourages relaxed and gregarious activities and entertainment.

Of sites we intentionally revisited, we chose the home of world-renowned author and sometimes controversial personality, Ernest Hemingway.  Our writers' hearts sung as we traipsed through the many rooms: living, kitchen, bedroom and on through to Hemingway's writing quarters where he is known for standing up and writing.

The architecture and history, the arched windows and high ceilings, the plushness of the gardens, the six-toed cats and the overall charm and ambience of the historical venue captivated us. Integral to Hemingway's reputation, though, is his eloquent, yet concise writing style.

While Hemingway's multiple romances and marriages leave some questioning his character, you cannot help but to get swept up when reading the love letters between him and various love interests–some whom he romanced, others whom he eventually married. 

The Value of Letters In Telling Your Story

Jennifer Howard, author of Letters From Papa: An Unexpected Hemingway Emerges From His Correspondence quoted Patrick Hemingway, "To know what Ernest Hemingway was really like, don't read biographies of him. Read his letters."

Moreover, it seems Hemingway's writing gift also translated into tailored, idiosyncratic and lively conversational letters to friends, family and colleagues.

Howard continues by referencing the 'off-the-cuff-feel' of Hemingway's letters where he urged correspondents to 'screed' him (to write him back), calls friends and siblings 'kid' and 'old bean' and refers to his typewriter as, 'the typer.'

He addressed letters to his beloved last wife, Mary Welsh with, "My Dearest Pickle," according to an article in the ABC News, Letters Show Hemingway as 'Besotted Lover.' 

"I want to serve you well and true the way some very dull people want to serve their country and even sadder people want to serve their God. But sometimes are very happy at it," he wrote to her. "You're a very small god with a face that breaks my heart."

Vigorous Writing Impacts Emotion and Intellect

Vigorous writing that elicits love, hope, desire, warmth, affection, intellectual enthusiasm and inspiration is at the soul of impactful letters, and specifically what I have encountered in reading Hemingway's personal correspondence. 

As quoted in Critical Essays, Hemingway's Writing Style, Hemingway describes his own writing this way: "A writer's style should be direct and personal, his imagery rich and earthy, and his words simple and vigorous. The greatest writers have the gift of brilliant brevity, are hard workers, diligent scholars and competent stylists."

And he admitted to taking great pains with his work, "pruning and revising with a tireless hand," in order to "burnish (the creations) until they become brilliants."

Refill the Writer's Well Through the Hemingway Journey 

The essence of stories that are told through rigorously and vigilantly shaped content is powerful. The writer's well for inspiration is never quite full, and in particular, those of us who write stories for a living must work tirelessly to maintain our muse. Visiting Ernest Hemingway's estate and then following up with further research on this bigger-than-life author has been an inspiring journey that I began in 2010, restarted in 2014 and plan to continue for many years to come!


By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter | Writer and Partner, I Want To Write For You






What Did You Mean to Say?

Posted by on Jan 25th, 2014 in Featured | 6 comments

What Did You Mean to Say?

By Robert Poindexter

A young man being interviewed was asked what he felt would best describe his greatest asset. He answered confidently, “I am very spell woken.”

Realizing his mistake, he quickly corrected with, “I mean, well spoken.”

The interviewer chuckled and told the young man not to worry about it.

“Why, just the other day at dinner with my wife and kids," the HR Manager said as he leaned his chair back, “I meant to ask my wife to pass the mashed potatoes and it came out, 'you ruined my life you old hag!'”

There are times in life that regardless of our best intentions, the right words in the right order are just hard to find.

We watch countless hours of movies and television shows filled with people saying exactly the right thing at exactly the right time.

Do you want to know why? It’s no secret really.

It’s because they have a team of writers whose only job is to come up with smart answers and quick retorts in order to make the character look smarter than you and me or pretty much anyone you and I have ever met in real life. Sometimes we do get lucky and say the right thing at the right time, but often we wind up replaying the conversation later in our minds while injecting the just right responses well after the fact.

Wouldn’t it be fun to have a team of your own writers scripting your dialog every day? Perhaps, for a while, but I think most of us would agree that would get old in a hurry. Our own ability to form coherent dialog would most likely suffer at some point.

Still, there are times when the words just will not cooperate with our thoughts. Then, it would be nice to have those writers at our beck and call.

Our services at I Want To Write For You are built around those times.

Does your company require you send out a quarterly newsletter to their clients on top of all the other responsibilities you have?

Do you have a scripted sales staff?

Do you need help with a ‘Dear John’ or ‘Dear Jane’ letter?

Have a blog post due and no time to get to it?

Need a personal greeting or obituary?

Maybe you’re writing your first, second, third or 15th novel and just need some help making it come together?

Get in touch with us and we’ll put our combined 25 plus years of experience to work for you.

All projects, no matter how large or small, are welcome.

From thank you notes all the way to novels, we want to write them all for you.



Our Story

Posted by on Dec 27th, 2013 in Featured | 2 comments

Our Story

By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter

Seven years ago this month, on December 8, 2006, after responding to a simple, virtual Match.com ‘wink’ from Rob, a life-changing relationship commenced. Amidst thousands of Match.com profiles, Rob selected my dating resume and lightly and proactively reached out to me.


Akin to other online, social media and job search venues, Match.com facilitates courtship conversations for those willing to put themselves out there. As Karen Swim eloquently commented on my original Match.com post“The bottom line is that it is all relationship building. You have to put yourself out there and be willing to ‘meet’ new people and have a willingness to meet but not commit until you find the right fit.”


And so we did. Similar to job search and interview prep, after our initial, artfully and honestly created resumes (profiles) were shared, we extended the conversation through email.  Our intent was an engaging, thorough, yet enticingly and strategically edited communications exchange that would serve to both fulfill curiosities while also whetting the appetite for more.


To paint a picture for you (and with Rob’s permission), I share one of his early emails with me, as we danced around the possibility of an in-real-life (IRL) meeting.


I share his complete email (versus a snippet), including the little details, to show you both his willingness to engage across both the everyday, simple things as well as the more intimate feelings one experiences when looking for, connecting with and buying into a romantic and possible life partner. This combination is integral in creating a hook that virtually compels an in-person meeting and furthers the courtship.


Similarly, in job search, individuals willing to dive a bit deeper and knit a message that pulls threads of their past and present through the fabric of their target reader’s (hiring manager, recruiter, etc.) cloth, will boost the emotional appeal of the message, and thus opportunities for career courtship success. Ultimately, too, the choice to proceed more deeply into the interview process and perhaps even an employment marriage, increases.

Here goes. Note from MustangRob (e.g., mustangrodevot78) via TalkMatch.com!


Dec. 8, 2006

I’m off on Thursdays and Sundays so Wednesdays and Saturdays are usually when I go out if I do. Saturdays are usually pretty busy for me at work and I don’t like being tired and off my game if you know what I mean. So Fridays I tend to take it easy or at the very least make it an early nite.


My first name is Rob. My password was just Mustangrob; the site gave me this one. Mustang because that’s what I drive. I’ve owned several old and new, so I’m kinda into them.


Ummm, how would I show my romantic side? I think a first date should just be fun, the romance should be saved until everyone agrees that’s what they want; does that make sense? I mean, I don’t want to bring flowers to you just to find out you’re a flower hater!! ha ha. But walking around the Plaza just holding hands is romance to me. Especially if the hand you’re holding enjoys being there. Getting close under a street lamp for that first kiss after a great nite of dinner, laughter and some good music who wouldn’t like that? Ok your turn I really want to know what makes you happy and your own idea of romance.


As well, I’ll share two interview-cinching emails that swiftly led to my initial in-real-life meet-up with Rob and a meeting follow-up note that fortified my feelings. Consider this: are your career communication messages creative, yet real, pragmatic, yet appealing?

In this email, Rob responds to my questions: What makes you happiest … and what are you most passionate about?


Dec. 9, 2006

It’s really quite simple for me. I want to be missed when I’m not around. I don’t want to crowd the person I’m with and like you I want to look across the room and know she will be looking back at me mouthing something sweet because she really means it and can hardly wait to get me to herself again. I am passionate about my cars and my work. And I am passionate about my  relationships, pals or my lover or my family, and I call a lot of people family that I am not kin to by blood. This has been great, but I really must bid you goodnight sweet dreams and lets really consider a get together, k?


And this email blended a bit of humility, a dash of music and a dollop of flattery. It also was a follow-up to our first phone conversation.


Dec. 9, 2006

Very nice. We will surely get along where the music is concerned. I’m also a closet ABBA lover shhh our little secret, ok? By the way I looked at your pics again. NICE!! Well I’m headed to bed so, can I look forward to a response to the pics I send tomorrow sometime in the next few days? Even if you don’t like them will you let me know you got them? I’d appreciate it. Thanx for talking tonite. I really enjoyed it. Stay happy and don’t ever stop smiling, you do a great job of it –Rob


Finally, this one-liner lightly and magically pushed my post-first-date buttons. I suspected our relationship would sustain.


Dec. 15, 2006

Hey sweety, I’m headed to bed and so have a great night and I’ll talk to you later. So how are we doing on this “clicking thing?”


Simply put – both dating and job search are about ‘putting yourself out there’ and being enticing! Words, their context, their nuance, their romance, their lilt and their pragmatism all combine to raise an eyebrow and make a heart skip a beat and compel a reader to take action, to pick up the phone and call or even to accept a call from the inviting party. The ultimate goal, therefore, is finding the right-fit partner for longer-term engagement!



Where the Water Is Warm, and the Waves Do Perform

Posted by on Jul 15th, 2017 in Lake Texoma, Poem | 0 comments

Rob steering Pilar July 2017

Good morning from Lake Texoma

Where the water is warm,

And the waves do perform,

While you breathe in 

The ubiquitous aroma. 

Come visit us,

We'll make a big fuss,

While sharing skylines

Of Texas-Oklahoma.


Copyright 2017 // by Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter

Anchored by My Sisters | #SistersWeekend2017

Posted by on Jun 10th, 2017 in Sisters, SistersWeekend2017, Writing | 0 comments

Sisters Weekend, four of us, Highport

l to r: Jacqui (#3), Janet (#2), Susan (#1) and Kathy (#4) 


"In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed." ~Khalil Gibran

Echos of their voices and images of their faces mark my memory.

Janet pouring her light-filled "Good morning!" into the room followed by porch time, imbibing in freshly brewed coffee and warbling birds dancing around the feeder.

Susan delivering levity, the corners of her mouth slightly curled into her artful smile, one eyebrow teasingly lifted as she shared insights on life, work and everything in between.

Kathy's large brown eyes like a warm welcoming pool, and flirty long lashes beckoning as she shared bits of her soul.

Uniting on the Shores of Lake Texoma

Recently, we held our second annual Barrett Girl Sisters Weekend at Rob's and my North Texas cabana in Gordonville, Texas, on the shores of Lake Texoma. My three sisters and I gathered for three days to commingle in light, conversation and hope, sharing dreams, goals, fears and pain. We laughed, shed tears and sat together, peacefully.

Sisters weekend, and the months leading up to it renewed friendships among and between four girls in their forties and fifties whose lives organically had strewn across three states and hundreds of miles–separation and time creating light fissures in our relationships.

The caravanning nature of our weekend began with Janet (St. Charles, MO) flying and Kathy (Chillicothe, MO) driving into Tulsa, OK. They spent the night with my sister Susan and her husband, Jim, whose white-glove treatment included shrimp and steak, a wonderful start to their weekend!

The next day, all three girls arose early to drive together into Gordonville. The energy upon their arrival was immediately palpable. We luxuriated in a chicken salad and cosmopolitans on our deck and were exhilarated when rain began to lightly drop after which we regrouped under the roof of the Morgan building. 

We delivered several of Susan's Lake Texoma-, people-, and pet-focused oil paintings and prints to Pelican's Landing where the owner is now displaying them for sale. We welcomed Kathy's new line of organic foaming soap, bug spray, candles and more into our lives; we implemented a sky-blue serving tray and nautical basket into our daily mealtime festivities, and we learned a new card game, thanks to Janet's teaching.

We witnessed the beauty of nature, celebrated birthdays, rode with the top-down, wound through the Texas prairie to find a Catholic church (Janet and Kathy), shopped for whimsy, took photos of chickens, ate salads, barbecue and cake, sipped tasty beverages and of course, motored across the lake on our Four Winns, Pilar.

When I think of my sisters now, I am grounded in confidence that:

  • Our youthful history together still matters;
  • Our lives today, while geographically separate will continually be shaped by the time we shared growing up and living together, and will perpetually be fortified by the new stories we create and swap.
  • That I am stronger and more loved with my sisters by my side.

I learned about the origins of Kathy's Catholic faith, gained a deeper understanding of nutrition and our bodies through a.m. discussions with Janet, was edified by Susan's unique vantage point on entrepreneurism and oil painting, and realized that my 5th-7th-grade personal diaries still have meaning, probably more so today than when I wrote them. 

There is much more I learned, many more conversations that inscribed lasting memories on my heart and soul and actions I witnessed. Some which are so private, they will never be shared in a blog. Some which I'll remember fondly later, and weave into conversations and writing.

These weekends change me, and I am determined to make note while the memories are fresh, to cherish the time, to actualize the learnings and to be swept up again, during our next annual get together.

Please enjoy a few pictures below at the end of the post, captured during our gathering last weekend. I hope they give you a glimpse of the love and joy we felt.

A special shout out to my wonderful husband, Capt. Rob for being so present throughout the weekend, and for preparing a special birthday meal for us (honoring all my sisters, but particularly for Susan whose birthday fell on the Saturday of Sisters Weekend!). Another shout out to Tara Womack for the stunning beach-scened cake she designed that captured the favorite colors of all four sisters, our motto, "My Sisters Are My Anchor,"  and was baked with love, as she always does.

Moreover, we appreciated the beautifully handcrafted ankle bracelets and earrings designed by my dear friend and sister from another mother, Dawn Bugni. Hat tip also to Phil Wahl, a colleague of Rob's at North Texas Marine and friend of ours who has participated as co-captain now on both annual Sisters Weekends. Finally, the matching t-shirts that North Texas Vinyl created for us cemented our message; we proudly wore them during our Sunday outing to the lake and to lunch at Highport Marina.

Sisters Weekend, all 4 of us, shopping

My Sisters and me in Whitesboro, TX–Shopping Day!


Sisters Weekend, Susan and Rooster

Susan Hugging the Rooster! (in Whitesboro, TX)


Sisters weekend 2017, Susan and me

Susan and I Departing for Home From Whitesboro, Top Down!


Sisters weekend 2017, birthday cake

Stunning Birthday Cake–Celebrating Susan's 57th! (and honoring everyone's special day!)


sisters weekend, eating cake

Yum Yum! (And, boy we had fun, cake AND cocktails!)


Janet, in Pilar, blog

Boating Day – Yay! And Janet's Usual Jubilance on Display!

Kathy on the dock (blog)

Calm + Cool, That's How I Would Describe My Baby Sister, Kathy! (aka, Kathleen, hee-hee)


Rob and Phil, Pilar (blog)

Our Captain and Co-Captain! They Kept Us Safe and Also Showed Us a Great Time on Lake Texoma! Thank You, Rob and Phil!


Sisters Weekend, Susan and Kathy in the bow of Pilar (blog)

Aren't They Lovely? Kathy and Susan Enjoying the Ride in the Bow of Pilar

Worry No More

Posted by on Jan 22nd, 2017 in Calm, Poem, Worry | 0 comments

Lake Texoma, 1.22.17

This morning's view,
As I walked the shore,
The water so calm,
And I worried no more.

Sun streamed, clouds beamed,
Happily, I daydreamed,
That today, and tomorrow,
All spirits may be redeemed.

~Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter
1.22.17 // #LakeTexoma#Texas

To the Men + Women Who Faced the Terror on Sept. 11

Posted by on Sep 11th, 2016 in 9/11, September 11, Writing | 0 comments


by Rob Poindexter

When I think of the men and women who took their last shower, shaved for the last time, had breakfast with their families before rushing out the door with a to-go cup of coffee in their hands to catch a bus or a subway car to their jobs not having any idea of the terror they would face before they could break for lunch that day, my heart truly breaks. 

They were maintenance men and women, chefs, maids, waitresses, CEOs, young college graduates on their first jobs, seasoned executives with years in the trenches, IT professionals that kept it all humming along, delivery boys, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, black and white and brown all doing nothing more than setting their shoulders to the wheel for the day to complete tasks large and small while evil lurked nearby bent on destroying everything they had worked for. 

Fifteen years have gone by and I still remember the vivid images of those airplanes full of innocent civilians as they plowed through those towers.

I remember the hush that fell over an entire nation as it stood helplessly by while their fellow countrymen suffered a tragedy of such monumental proportions that, to this day I can scarcely believe.

May God bless the heroes who risked life and limb as they rushed toward this horrific scene with no regard for their own well-being. May God have mercy on the souls that were lost that day. May God offer His tender mercy to the families left behind and heal their hearts.

May God bless America with wise and moral leadership going forward.

Rest in Peace each and every one of you.


Posted by on May 9th, 2016 in Writing | 2 comments

Nicky in window_Fotor


Solitary feline 
in a window frame,
not seeking acclaim.
Simply sitting,
so befitting
of this kitty
known as Nicky.

by Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter

When you find yourself drifting from joy

Posted by on Dec 13th, 2015 in Poem, Writing | 2 comments

Lest we ever drift too far from what brings us absolute joy …

Sail today, sail yesterday,

Pull the tiller, run away,

Catch the wind, unfurl the jib,

Grab the sun, don't be glib,

The day will come,

For all not some,

To sail that last mile,

To share that last smile.

(Please enjoy the short brief sailing video below.)

Poem written and sailing video filmed by Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter and dedicated to Capt. Rob.

Ode to My Captain on Our 7th Wedding Anniversary

Posted by on Aug 7th, 2015 in Anniversary Poem, Writing | 2 comments



Bon anniversaire de mariage!

The adventures we have known,

The story fabrics we have sewn,

The boats bought and sold,

Three homes we've seen unfold,

The unnecessaries we've bequeathed,

And new careers we've unleashed,

A new nest that we've feathered,

Joining Barrett / Poindexter together,

Saying goodbye to little Louie,

Hello to our new three,

Building foundations for tomorrow

Beginning each day with hope and largo.

Going to Missouri Is Going Home

Posted by on Jul 26th, 2015 in Family, Going Home, Writing | 2 comments

On going home.

jac going to kansas cityAn early a.m. flight to Kansas City took me home to visit family.

Mom and Dad in big chair, July 2015 (sweet)I rediscovered the comfortable intimacy between Mom and Dad.

Dad under the trellis, July 2015And witnessed the beauty of a flower arbor in an urban community garden.

Prayer labyrinth, July 2015I walked a prayer labyrinth.

lunch at Dad and Mom's, July 2015And savored my parents' delicately prepared lunches: thinly sliced apples, oranges, jalapeno mac and cheese, sweet potato, cream corn and salmon patties.

schlitzI sipped on a cold beer.

Chickens and chicken coop, July 2015I lingered at my sister and brother-in-law's 30-acre timbered property, where chickens roamed.

Chickens, July 2015

Kathy's flowersAnd flowers blossomed.

Doug, Kathy an Josh on the 4-wheeler, + flagWhere four-wheeling was the norm.

kitty catAnd kitty cats played.

Dad, Mom, Doug, Kathy and JoshWhile smiles lit up the view.

Thank You, Dad

Posted by on Jun 20th, 2015 in Writing | 2 comments

blog_Dad and me at the Community Garden and Grape Arbor HE Spearheaded and Manages


Thank you for always asking good questions and caring about the details of my day to day.


Thank you for showing me what it looks like to enjoy fresh tomatoes from a garden.


Thank you for teaching me compassion and resolve and the confidence that tomorrow is a new day.


Thank you for modeling hard work and the value of a little sweat – and how much better a cold beer tastes at the end of a purposeful day.


Thank you for all the little things you do every day that you don't even know you do.


Thank you for demonstrating patience and how to be firm but loving.


Thank you for having strong hands and a soft heart.

You Are Beautiful

Posted by on Mar 28th, 2015 in Women's Inspiration, Writing, You Are Beautiful | 4 comments

beautiful lady


My husband, and partner at I Want To Write For You, Robert Poindexter, shared this short video with me last night.

I am compelled to share it with you. 
via TheAnimaSeries [Below is just a snippet of content from the video.]

"You are worthy of love and affection.

You are never too much, and you are always enough.

You are the most stunning of all God's creation.

You are worth more than you could ever imagine.

Worth more than the numbers on the scale, or the hair products you use."

Listen to the full 3.5-minute video here. It's powerful.


Passed along to you by Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter
Partner, IWantToWriteForYou.com


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