North of Jewfish Creek


Dear Friend & Subscriber,

In this newsletter, we are going to talk about what makes "Can You Guess Part II?" ("A Valentine For Jessica") such a good piece of writing.

I've already given you the reason why Part I and Part III of the "Can You Guess" series were so successful. Remember... the answer was...


But that is NOT the answer with "A Valentine For Jessica". And, for those of you who haven't guessed already, it was me who wrote "A Valentine For Jessica".

When I wrote that little essay, I'm not sure exactly why I did it. I think mostly I wrote it because so many people were always commenting about "The Gary Halbert Style" of writing. I think all good writers do develop a "style" of their own. But I think what I wanted to prove was, a really good writer could write in almost any kind of style and from almost any kind of "voice".

What most of you perceive as my "style" is what you read in my newsletters. But it's my conceit I could write a romance novel for women, an action novel for men, a "legalese" contract, an ad for the Surgery Eye Centers of Tennessee, and a Valentine for Jessica... and... none of the people who read each of those would ever guess they were written by the same person.

When it comes to writing... especially ad copy... the best writing of all is...


When you are selling something, you don't want people to notice your style. That's why I don't very often use graphics. That's why I am (for the most part) against graphic designers, website designers, photographs in advertising, and so forth. What I want is people to read the sales message... and... not get distracted by graphics, style, photographs, music, or anything else.

Bob Dylan was interviewed on the TV show, "60 Minutes" recently. He recited the lyrics from some of his earlier songs. He then commented something to the effect, "Where did that come from? The lyrics were absolutely magical. There was almost a cosmic aspect to them." He also commented he couldn't write like that now since he was unable to access and tap into whatever source it was that enabled him to write those lyrics.

Something akin to that happened while I was writing "A Valentine For Jessica". I have read it and reread it, and I honestly don't know if I could ever write like that again. It seems to me (and I'll prove it very dramatically a little later in this newsletter) it was an extremely important piece of writing. Until recently, I didn't know why it was important and for whom it was important.

But I'll tell you what: As "New Agey" and flowery and mushy as some people perceive "A Valentine For Jessica" to be, I personally think it is a very straight forward piece of writing. A marketing friend of mine emailed me to say, as far as he was concerned, there was nothing in that piece of writing for him.

He was correct. That piece wasn't written for him.

You know, it's almost like I didn't write that piece myself. It's almost like a "higher power" was guiding my thoughts and my hands. It's almost as though I were nothing but the "channel" through which an important message was being transmitted. (This doesn't sound like the same Gary Halbert you've come to love, adore, respect, and despise... does it?)

Anyway, let's give this little essay a surface examination. What we have here is a man who is smitten by a woman and contrives to meet her. As she reveals herself to him, he is enchanted. But, she is not enchanted by him. And one day, she just evaporates from his life with nary a backward glance. But, for the rest of his life, he is unable to forget his meeting with this incredible woman.

I think things like this happen every day. It reminds me of something I once read about a man who traveled the world searching for the perfect woman. But alas, when he found her, she was looking for the perfect man.

Anyway, the publication of "A Valentine For Jessica" on my website has fetched me, what I consider to be, the most precious testimonial I have ever received. And don't forget, I'm a guy who has received tens of thousands of testimonials and praise from people like John Carlton, David Ogilvy, Jay Abraham, Gary Bencivenga and every other direct marketing person of consequence. For some reason, I don't publish most of my testimonials even in my sales pitches. But, I want you to read this one and I think you will understand why it is so precious to me.



Jessica learned to accept people and things as they are and not try to change them into what she wanted them to be.  The man is nameless so he could be anyone - and he is most people.  That is the secret ingredient in this essay.

I have a special insight into this because I have Multiple Sclerosis.  Many people have told me that I have given up but that is so not true.  I have accepted - accepted what I can and cannot do on any given day.  I am at peace with this monster as Jessica is at peace with her life.  For 10 long years I have tried to decide what to do with the rest of my life.  It came to me almost in a flash.  I am going to write - copywrite to be exact.  I am now absorbing everything I can about this business. 

I have no idea how to market myself but I know it will come.  An idea will 'magically' pop into my head and I will know what to do.  That is being at peace with the universe and that is what the writer of this article imparted so eloquently.

Cathy Perkins



Here's the truth: I, myself, did not know what the "stand out" feature of my essay was until it was clarified for me by Cathy Perkins. But I think if something I write can touch someone suffering with the monster of Multiple Sclerosis... and... can help clarify for her what to do with the rest of her life... and... can give her faith that an idea will "magically" pop into her head and she will know what to do... and can put her at peace with the universe... well then... I think I and whomever or whatever guided my thoughts and my hand when I wrote "A Valentine For Jessica" achieved something very special.

In Cathy's reply to me she said, "I have no idea how to market myself but I know it will come." Well, with the help of my friends, I intend to see that perhaps "it" will come a bit faster for Cathy.

I Am Now Going To

Call In Some Favors

From A Few Of My Friends!

You know, that "call in favors" doesn't sound right. In truth, I probably owe the people I'm about to mention as many favors, if not more, than they owe me.

I'm going to start with Scott "Mongo" Haines. Scott has recently completed the writing of an amazing course called "Shortcut Copywriting Secrets". So Scott, here's what I want you to do: I would like you to mail a free copy of your absolutely great copywriting course to Cathy Perkins. (I'll give you her address a little later.)

Next up: Gary Bencivenga. Gary, you've had some personal experience with the uplifting feeling you get by helping people who carry an unusually heavy burden. I'm asking you to send Cathy, as a gift, some of your unique and amazingly informative marketing instructional materials you have created over the years.

And how about John Carlton? It would a personal favor to me, John, if you would send Cathy every back issue of your terrific marketing newsletter and some of your other materials.

Michel Fortin. Hey Mike, by now you know the deal: Please send Cathy by email or snail mail, anything you've created which might help her with her new endeavors.

Ed Dale and Frank Kern. I understand you've created an excellent product which tells people how to inexpensively create little cash-producing websites. I think Cathy deserves to get one of your courses.

Hey Joachim dePosada, Dan Kennedy, Brian Keith Voiles, Joe Polish, Peter Stone... Oh gosh darn it! Gosh darn it? Is this ME, Gary Halbert, writing or maybe I'm dreaming and somebody has hijacked my website. Ah, whatever. What I want is EVERYBODY who reads this newsletter and who has created or possesses some marketing instructional material... whether it's on copywriting, Internet marketing, how to put up a website, anything at all which would help Cathy... to send it to her...

Out Of The Goodness Of Your Heart

As A Free, No Strings Attached Gift!

And, I'd like you to do this right away. 

Here's what else I'd like: I'd like ALL of you who gift Cathy with the type of materials I've just described to email me and let me know you did so. I'd like to know who you are and what you sent her. Who knows? If you do this, maybe, just maybe, you'll get something special from me in return.

If you have something Cathy can download, you can email it to her at

If you have something to send Cathy by snail mail, you can send it to her at:

Cathy Perkins

196 Penny Lane

Hickory, NC  28601-9341

That's it for this month. I hope this newsletter has given some of you a fresh and slightly different perspective of the world. 



Gary C. Halbert



P.S.  God bless all of you.




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