Editing and More

Two Opportunities for Ventura County Writers

Two opportunities for Ventura County writers to learn more about the craft and the world of publishing are coming up in the next couple of weeks. In the first, editor Dennis Mathis will discuss his working relationship with author Sandra Cisneros. Mathis will speak at an October 27 dinner/lecture co-hosted by the Small Publishers, Artists, and Writers Network […]

Read More

Watchman vs. Mockingbird: An Editor’s View

Last week, like book-lovers around the world, I read Go Set a Watchman, the newly released manuscript by Harper Lee. Then I re-read To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee’s beloved novel released in 1960. Because I had already seen some reviews and articles about the two books, I wasn’t surprised to find that Watchman was a […]

Read More

Ode to the Squiggly Red Line

I’ve been proofreading on paper this week, and I’ve missed my squiggly red line. You know the one: the thin red line that pops up on the computer screen when Microsoft Word thinks it has detected a misspelling. I’m a good speller—and a good editor—so I can spot most misspelled words with or without Word’s assistance. But without […]

Read More

The Words Behind Selma

I went to see the movie “Selma” tonight, and I loved it. The movie is a powerful portrayal of events so recent that they were never included in my history schoolbooks but so distant that I can scarcely believe they happened in my country in my lifetime. The movie, which was directed by Ava DuVernay, […]

Read More

Voice of a Writer

As an editor, I pay a lot of attention to a writer’s voice. Any corrections I make or any revisions I suggest need to fit seamlessly into a piece so that they sound just like the author originally wrote it that way. I just finished reading a book that took the concept of voice to a […]

Read More

Can Editors Find Love?

A few months ago, I wrote the Top 10 ways to Make Your Editor Love You. It only seemed fair to write the flip side, giving editors some tips for How to Make Your Author Love You. The tips for editors were published in the September/October issue of The Freelancer, the bimonthly newsletter of the Editorial […]

Read More

A Working, Learning Writers Weekend

I came to the Central Coast Writers Conference to serve on a panel of editors to help teach would-be authors a few things about writing and publishing. I hope that I did that in some small ways. But as usually happens to me in these situations, I feel like I’m the one walking away with […]

Read More

Grateful Writing

This morning, it clicked. After 30 days of simply following best-practice advice, today, I finally get it. Last month, I made a personal commitment to spend five minutes each morning writing in a “gratitude journal.” I set the timer on my phone, pick up a notebook given to me for just this purpose more than […]

Read More

Yarn Spinning of Adequate Stupidity

Adequate stupidity? Yes, I think that about sums up “spinning,” a process that uses software to generate what Spinrobot.com claims is “legible, grammatically correct … syntax” with a single click. Spinning software is designed to allow you to revise written material in seconds by generating synonyms to replace at least 20% of the words in […]

Read More

Word Love

Like most writers and editors I know, I work in  Microsoft Word most of the time. And like most writers and editors I know, I have a love/hate relationship with the capital W Word program. But today, in honor of Valentine’s Day, I decided to focus on the love side. So here are five tricks […]

Read More