My World of Words

I’ve been looking for a forum to offer up my wisdom on writing and editing for a long time. Now that I have one, I’m not quite sure where to start.

So I guess I’ll try beginning at the beginning—or close to it. My mother tells me that long before I could read my favorite objects were books; I would beg not for toys or candy but a new Little Golden Book displayed near the checkout counter at the grocery store. My grandmother used to marvel at how long I would sit still while thumbing through her stacks of Reader’s Digest, wondering why I would choose to look at page after page of text when I couldn’t read a word of it.

Books became even more precious to me when I did learn to read, and I was rarely found without one. I learned to do many things while holding a book so that I didn’t have to interrupt my imagined adventures for mundane tasks like brushing my teeth or tying my shoes.

I chose a career in journalism and was thrilled to experience first-hand the power of words to inform, encourage, frighten and confuse. I loved the work but eventually discovered that I could not comfortably reconcile the demands of daily newspapers with the demands of a growing family.

Reluctantly leaving the newsroom, I was excited to find other ways I could engage in word work, and I have followed many such paths. Language continues to fascinate me, and I can find the same kind of delight in a well-crafted sentence as I do in a delicate flower or sunset-streaked sky.

I hope that I can craft a few such sentences to share in this space in the days to come.

January 5, 2011

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I appreciate Tammy’s willingness to ask questions when appropriate, flex on deadlines, offer sound advice, and rewrite sentences or sections as needed. Her command of substantive and copy editing ma… Read more
Patricia Ryan, International Council on Active Aging

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