As the old saying goes, I couldn't have done it without them." In this case, "them" refers to quite a few enthusiastic and word-conscious people. First are my agent, Lisa Ross, who patiently, even willingly, listened to my ideas, and my editor, John Bell, whose invaluable advice about writing extends well beyond books.
In addition, I cannot express my indebtedness to all those enthusiastic players who understand the importance of high-quality writing at Liberty Mutual; John Hancock Group; the various Blue Cross and Blue Shield organizations; Polaroid; Mass Envelope, Plus; Summit Strategies; Pioneer Investments; VHB; Nichols Aircraft; and many others. In particular, thank you Ron Coyne, Steve Sullivan, John Cusolito, Ann Marie Doherty, Carl Mueller, Linda Newton, Ken Albert, Pat Ficociello, Michele Jalbert, Bob Rotchford, Steven Grossman, John Houghton, Jack Lyons, Joyce Gavenda, Tom Kucharvy, and, of course, Mary Sommer, for her professionalism and humor.
Special thanks to Mary Kleeman, client and dutiful friend; business guru Tom Peters, for spreading the word about Words at Work; and The Atlantic Monthly editor, Michael Curtis, for teaching me so much. Also much appreciation to those folks in the academic world of Berklee College of Music: Ron Bently, Charles Combs, Eric Kristensen, Reggie Loftin, and Lee Berk.
On the home front, thanks to Peter Quandt and Robert Capra for their interest and ideas; Pat Pattison, for his guidance and support for so many years; everyone at The Bookstore, in Gloucester,