My name is Ralph Heymsfeld. I’ve been writing and otherwise creating professionally in a variety of contexts for over 20 years. In this portfolio I pulled together some representative examples. In the links to right you’ll find articles I’ve published on various websites, scans from older print articles, and recordings of songs I’ve written.
My writing career began in the early 1990s when I started picking up stringer work for The Caledonian Record, a daily paper out of St. Johnsbury, Vermont. For my first paid gig I covered the biweekly meeting of the Lyndon Planning Commission. My byline appeared on page 10 of the October 22, 1993 edition of that paper under the headline “Agway Addition Approved.”
From such humble beginnings I would spend the next four years plying the journalist’s trade covering school board meetings, 4-H Fairs, fires, and jury trials. I have to say, there’s probably no better way to work on your writing chops than boots on the ground newspaper work. There are the obvious things, like learning to pay attention to details and learning to write fast (really, really fast). But more important, writing hundreds of articles for tough editors and an unforgiving audience pushed me to look at writing differently and gave me a perspective on the craft that would have been hard to come by otherwise.
Of course the Internet changed everything virtually overnight. The new medium broke down barriers to entry and opened up all kinds of new opportunities. For my own part I’ve tried to really leverage the ability to write for niche audiences. A lot of the work I’ve published in recent years captures my research on stamps, coins and other collectibles. I’ve also written on general history topics and even dabbled in electronics tutorials.
When I was a teenager it seemed like everyone played guitar – everyone I hung around with anyway. For me, writing songs was just a natural extension of playing music. I don’t write or even play quite as much as I used to, but the band I play in – Over Under Down Yonder – will still pick up a few gigs here and there. The tracks you can hear on this site are my own original songs – I’m singing and playing both guitar and banjo tracks. They were recorded as part of a project I did in 2005.