About Nora Firestone
The long story short
Born and raised on Long Island, NY, author Nora Firestone is a lifelong do-it-yourselfer and born creative entrepreneur with an educational and working background in commercial (advertising) art, writing, decorative painting, journalism, and specific design and technical arts. She lives in Virginia Beach, Va., as a professional writer, newspaper reporter, website designer, acquisitions editor for Koehler Books publishing company, and how-to instructor in writing for business, media relations and do-it-yourself website design/building. View a condensed portfolio here.
The short story long, first-person
God knows why, I emerged from an anomalous amalgamation of a gene pool in January 1966, ebbed and flowed with its distinctive currents as I grew, and nurtured a flair for diving deep into troves of creative and intellectual interests before dropping anchor somewhere in the murky ordainment to “honor the muse” as a serious writer.
Strange as it may seem, I recall teaching myself to climb out of my crib as a baby, accomplishing my first big do-it-yourself project — helping Dad build a bed for the third of four younger brothers — at age 5, and, at age 9, the disturbing epiphanies born of conversations with parents and grandparents that if a bank could lose its cache, surely so could its insurance fund, and that in a world where adults should be models of integrity, some of them would dumb down professional messaging to appeal to uneducated consumers — a thought scarier than monsters in the closet, for sure.
The educational and working background is about as diverse as the geography of Hawaii Island. Yet it all aligns with a creative and analytical nature and inherent penchants for writing, design, technology, exploration, learning, communicating, teaching and doing. A healthy dose of obsessive-compulsive disorder keeps me “focused”; a stubborn internal processor keeps me acutely attuned to errant punctuation marks and other potentially destructive “misplacements” within systems ranging from grammatical to interpersonal to political.
My professional writing experience dates back to the early 1990s and encompasses: script and lyrics for children’s television, magazine articles, radio commercials, talk-radio programs, special advertising/marketing projects, journalism, press releases and media outreach, brand journalism, website content and more. A fairly fat portfolio consists of thousands of published works with subjects ranging from human interest, health, mental illness, safety, veterans’ war accounts and the power of the virtue of gratitude, to home design and construction, building science, website design, and business leadership and trends, economics and advice.
In 2012 I began pulling away from my beloved full-time gig as a reporter for "The Virginian-Pilot" newspaper (and intermittent work for "Inside Business" news journal) to further the development of Step-by-Step Presentations -- instructional presentations and workshops first established in 2011 that merge my primary areas of expertise for the benefit of small-business owners, authors, marketers and others who need the depth and breadth of knowledge that I can convey. Step-by-Step instruction encompasses do-it-yourself website building and home-improvement, the inside scoop on effective media relations/outreach and writing for business messaging. My book "The $10,000 Apostrophe" (to be released in late 2016) is an essential blend of consumer and professional insights covering how to avoid some of the most common errors in public business messaging and why it's essential to do so (important refreshers of the rules of English language), fundamental principles of effective media relations/outreach, writing for the Web and search-engine optimization and more.
Currently I provide writing, media-relations and Weebly website-design services and instruction, keep a hand in reporting, write for "Inside Business Quarterly" (formerly "Inside Leadership") magazine and a column for "Inside Business" news journal in Hampton Roads, Va., and, as an acquisitions editor for Koehler Books publishing company, assist other writers on the road to authorship. I also host a weekly radio show on Freedom 1110, WKQA radio, in eastern Virginia, northeastern North Carolina and southern Maryland and am proud to be one of fewer than 100 official Weebly brand ambassadors nationwide.
I prefer downhill skiing to selfie taking, good chocolate to caviar, integrity to showmanship, Americanism to socialism, and independent, critical thinking to mob- and entitlement-mentality collectivism. Reach me by email here or call (don't text) 757-705-7174. I welcome questions, manuscript submissions, and inquiries about my services, presentations/speaking and instruction.
In death I'll probably stay on as somebody else's muse. Or perhaps as a ghost writer. I may be harder to reach, but feel free to try.
I believe in "giving back" to my clients by not taking too much from them in the first place. I see no virtue in overcharging one person in order to turn that excess over to someone else who hasn't earned it and then showcase myself as someone who "gives back." Instead I trust that my customers know how to spend, save and share their money according to their own morals and values, and I don't believe that's any of my business. I believe that if everyone earning money could keep more of it, they would be able to provide for their own obligations and make the choices that are right for them as individuals, as families, and as supporters of the causes of their choices, not mine. Meanwhile, I'll quietly support what I value most.
"You're amazing; now go be yourself,"
"You're amazing; now go be yourself,"