An Iowa native who writes greeting cards for a living is returning to his home state this week for a little inspiration from the people who buy his company’s inexpensive but meaningful products. 53-year-old John Peterson says he looks forward to hearing from Iowa card-givers about how the small cardboard rectangles may have altered their views of the world. Peterson has been writing Hallmark Cards for ten years. Before that, he held 38 jobs, doing everything from truck driving to working on an oil rig. He says he enjoys this career and will stick with it. Greeting card-writing is a nine-to-five job, like many others, though he says he’s always ferreting out ideas for material. Peterson was born in Storm Lake, grew up in Sioux City and graduated from the University of Iowa with a B-A in English. Peterson says he’s not limited to writing any particular type of card — be it one to express sympathy or love, to toast a new bride and groom, to say goodbye or to mend a quarrel. “You write a lotta’ stuff that actually doesn’t get made into cards. I will write 100 things but maybe only 20 will get accepted and of those 20 maybe ten will make it into cards.” He says the easiest cards to write are the short, punchy, funny ones. One of his favorites features a little man saying “Take me, take me!” to a flying saucer while the alien refuses saying, “No, you’re ugly.” Peterson says other cards force him to be much more introspective. He says sympathy messages are the most important things he writes. Peterson and a few other Hallmark writers will be in Des Moines this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. To attend one of their free events, call 800 565-6617. Des Moines is among six cities nationwide being visited by the Hallmark Writers on Tour. Others are: Kansas City, San Diego, Fort Lauderdale, Philadelphia and Cincinnati.
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