I fell in love with a goat.

No, my husband isn’t a goat. Let me clarify.

Back when I was 7, I fell in love with a goat at the Catskill game farm. We stared into each other’s eyes and I knew we were best friends. My parents had to pry me away. I clung to the fence and cried as they lovingly explained that our brick ranch in suburbia was not agriculturally-zoned. Fine, I huffed! But we need to move to a farm immediately. 

At 17, Simon the Shetland Pony had my heart.

On New Year’s Eve 2002, while everyone else was finding cute boys to kiss, I was outside under the bar’s dumpster trying to lure a stray kitten into my purse.

You get it. From donkeys to hummingbirds, animals fill me with joy. (Except for spiders; they fill me with terror.) So, you won’t be surprised that when hubby and I stopped renting and bought an animal shelter a house of our own, it didn’t take long to find some furry friends to come live with us.

I’m pleased to introduce you to Cannoli. Though she lived in the shelter for 4 years with her siblings, she is turning into a total love-bug with tons of personality. She is currently snoring on the couch in my office. I’m also fostering her sweet sister, Tootsie (the red one), who is available for adoption.


Here’s to infusing more joy into your life this year—in whatever way that means! If doing less writing yourself will increase your joy, I’d love to help.

Witness relocation for spiders

The only spider I ever squished was crawling on my arm while I was driving.

I was startled, and I didn’t have the compassion or reflexes to save him (or her). It was a panic-squish. Yes, I still feel bad.

All the other spiders get vacuumed up in my dust buster to “make friends” or “hang out” for the day—and they get released into the wild in the evenings.

The truth is, I dislike spiders very much. I worry they might crawl into my hair and make a spider-nest if I’m not vigilant.

My family makes fun of me because I have a “witness relocation” program for spiders—but I just see it as a small thing I can do to be nice, and at the same time, to cope with something that I’m scared of. Alas, being adults in the world, we occasionally find ourselves face to face with a spider—and we’ve got to cope somehow. This is how I cope.

The point?
It’s my firm belief that people want to work with humans, and sometimes it’s our quirks that make us human. So, all else being equal, if you want to work with me because I catch and release spiders, let me know. (I think that would be the very first time in history that has ever happened.) Or, if writing simply makes you want to panic-squish your keyboard, I can help release your fears.

Save the spiders!

Can you smell the Drakkar?

Radiohead was playing. I inhaled the smell of Auntie Anne’s pretzels, and I got a passing whiff of something like Drakkar. For a moment in the mall today, everything aligned and suddenly I was 17 again. It was perfect.

Then I snapped back into my semi-disgruntled, errand-running reality. Why was I disgruntled? In that split second, nothing had changed at all.

Now, I wouldn’t want to be 17-year-old Deidre again (too close to the mullet years), but I loved that feeling. It was freedom. Everything was so new, so exciting. The world was my oyster.

The point?
With cologne-filled nostrils, it hit me that youth is a feeling, a smell, a moment—a state of mind. We can be young, unburdened and lighthearted whenever we choose. If only we stop being so damn serious.

For me, creativity thrives on joy. This means that talking to chipmunks is pretty much a business necessity.

Just for a moment, what if we forget about life’s responsibilities and start thinking about its possibilities? Well, that’s exactly what I did. I ditched my errands and bought this youth-invoking reminder.

It’s yours too,

What would Frank do?

In one of the many joys of homeownership, I had to get my driveway resurfaced. Frank, the driveway company’s owner, gave me a few options at different prices. I said, “Well Frank, I don’t want the driveway to fall apart. If it were your driveway, what would you do?”

And he said, “Sweetheart, my driveway is stone. Asphalt driveways are too much damn work!”

I nearly peed myself laughing. I mean, really—the man who paves asphalt driveways for a living has a stone driveway. Is that not funny?

The point?
I believe in engaging website words.
I believe in them so much—that I use them myself.

Ready to pave the path to your business with golden words? I’m in!

Grateful word-paving doesn’t require wearing tar-covered boots,

Is it a bird … is it a plane?

Dreamy image of a Hummingbird feeding on Zinnia flower
Something that sounded like a gigantic bee (or a relatively small airplane) swooped towards me. Automatically, I started waving my hands to thwart attack. As I looked up, I discovered a teeny-tiny hummingbird checking out the feeder I had just hung five seconds ago. Boy, that was quick. 

I watched in awe as right next to me, the cutest little red-headed hummingbird daintily sipped a bit of nectar and darted off. With only a fleeting moment of guilt (I could be doing something so much more productive right now!), I just sat, for 30 entire minutes, and allowed myself to watch hummingbirds come and go. I just sat and watched the hummingbirds.Guess what happened after that? My wings started flapping faster too. I came inside and zipped through my work, almost effortlessly. Perhaps watching the hummingbirds was my nectar?

Want my creative wings to fly for your business? Let’s chirp.

Making time for the birds,

I have no idea. Literally.

Plastic bottles of body care and beauty products
I have this document where I keep my ideas (the collection of things I want to tell you about). In the shuffle of moving, I lost it. Panic set in—hard. I’ll never have an idea again! Clearly I found comfort in the backlog of random ideas. Even ridiculous things like “potato vs. potato chip” or “total yearly mileage of a mailman” meant I’d never be idea-less.

Evidently chickpeas, body wash and vitamins aren’t the only things I hoard. (Thankfully I didn’t lose them too. Only one safety net at a time!)

The point?
Well, I should probably be more careful with my idea vault? Bigger picture: Sometimes, the-way-we-do-things gets thrown off-kilter. But our processes don’t define us! We gotta have faith. As sure as the mailman gets more exercise than I do—we will prevail!

Want an idea vault for yourself? Here’s how:

  1. Stockpile ideas for upcoming newsletters and blog posts: include random thoughts, silly sentences, inspiring words, puzzling topics and questions clients ask you.
  2. Keep it someplace safer than I did.
With enough body wash for everyone,

It’s nothing like House Hunters on TV…

Foyer with wood paneling

I had this adorable little idea in my head:

Finding a house would be like it is on HGTV’s House Hunters. We’d find three suitable homes and agree on the perfect one over a glass of wine—all while my hair looked perfect. Plus, I’d be far less annoying than the usual house hunters. I don’t care about granite countertops, I’m not scared of a little wood paneling, and I’d never utter the term (that makes my fists rise in fury), “price point.”After seeing the world’s most claustrophobia-inducing box (house #12), only Cadbury Creme Eggs could keep hope alive. Realtor, hubby and I ate them while I muttered, “At least there’s chocolate…”

The point?
Words are easier to find than houses. Each house has its gems, for sure, but I can’t exactly smoosh them all together into the perfect abode. It’s not like writing web copy—where we tour the inner hallways of your brand empire and I build a house that authentically represents you. Need a web-word chateau—complete with stunning views (into you)? I’ll be your extremely patient and thorough guide.

Wood paneling: Bring it on,

Do you like nutmeg in your coffee, too?

This morning, as I’m drinking my nutmeg-spiced coffee (it makes every day taste like Christmas!) I’m thinking about connections. I think all of life’s goodness comes from connections. That’s why I named my business Connect with Copy—because connecting is everything.

When you read these notes, partner with me on projects, or reach out to say hello, it’s you who keeps my business moving forward—and you who keeps me smiling. You make my day more often than you know. With nutmeg-spiced gratitude,

Did we all move to Pumpkinville?

In Trader Joe’s last week, I was wildly entertained by the cornucopia of pumpkin productsPumpkin mochi? Pumpkin croutons? Ever since Trader Joe’s gave me flowers for my birthday last year, I will be forever loyal. (The cashier discovered it was my birthday, ran away, came back with a bouquet and said, “Happy birthday from Trader Joe’s!”) I was astounded. For so many reasons, I adore TJ’s…
  • Almond milk costs $2.99. The end. TJ’s prices are their prices—no sales, coupons, membership numbers, hoop-jumping. Thank you.
  • Washed, bagged, organic lettuce. They get my life and make it easier.
  • These pumpkins have a point. They pay attention. Evidently pumpkin items did well last year; I heard an employee say they’ve doubled the offerings.
  • Removed fear of coffee-grinding. They taught me how to use a coffee grinder (of which I was previously terrified).
  • This pumpkin walks into a bar! I could read their packaging all day.
  • Genuine friendliness. I’ve never met an un-lovely TJ’s employee.
  • Personality galore. Their products, website and branding have personality! (Their team-members wear Hawaiian shirts for goodness’ sake.)

The point?
Even though Trader Joe’s is a big company, these love-inducing concepts are universal. I bet your brand is already making life easy, paying attention, having personality, teaching and pricing straightforwardly. Next stop on the Pumpkinville Express? Letting your people know.

Happy October,

We are leaving at 6 AM…

Every summer, I go on vacation with my parents. Inevitably, at the absurd hour of 5:55 AM, there are bagels and coffee on the kitchen table—and my dad is waiting in the (already packed) car. Does he even sleep? My dad insists on driving because the rest of us operate a vehicle like we’re “half asleep,” plus, “We don’t have all day!”

As my husband pulls our car up, I jump out and run inside. My brother is wearing pajamas and my mom is scurrying around, throwing chargers and Chapstick into a bag as my father (who has come back inside to collect his tardy family) carries the bag to the door. I succeed in buying everyone 10 more minutes.

You see, there are rules when going on Rienzo family vacation! We depart at 6 AM to beat traffic. Bladders must be entirely emptied before leaving because “Rest stops are for babies!”

At 6:10 AM, we are all in the car. My dad smiles and says, “We’re late!”

My dad is easily the most productive person I know. If he were writing this newsletter, it would have been done two weeks ago (at 6 AM, of course). To add a (clearly) scholarly element, I interviewed him:

  • Me: “Dad, what’s the key to getting stuff done?”
  • Dad: “Why are you always asking me crazy questions?”
  • Me: “Come on, Dad, I’m serious.”
  • Dad: “You just do it.”
  • Me: “What if you don’t feel like it?”
  • Dad: “You gotta suck it up and do it!”

So if, like me, you are struggling to make the transition from summer, let’s suck it up and do it. And if you need help getting to your writing destination, I promise to get you there at a reasonable hour, with no dilly-dallying.

Don’t worry—I write better than I drive,