How do you start a book? A better way to put it would be, how do you eat an elephant? One page (or bite) at a time. Writing a book about your life is a daunting project and I’ve known some writers who started taking memoir workshops with me ten years ago and they...read more
I’ve had the pleasure of leading literary open mics in my writers’ community in Raleigh since 2009. After a few years’ break, I co-host the monthly Main Street Rag Raleigh Reading Series at So & So Books in downtown Raleigh a block from the historic Krispy Kreme....read more
On Saturday morning I played my guitar and sang at the Western Wake Farmers’ Market for two solid hours. This was my first gig at the farmers’ market and I have four more already scheduled. It was a blast and next time I’ll even make sure the battery in my guitar...read more
Dave Baldwin of Raleigh (author/editor and content producer extraordinaire) is my guest blogger today and gives new authors fantastic tips on how to find viable support in the big, beautiful-ugly world of publishing. It comes down to finding the right professionals on...read more
How do you know when you’ve found the perfect workshop venue? It’s usually when your students ask you to teach more workshops in that space! Now depending on what you teach you’re going to have different requirements for your students. Some of you may even use your...read more
Before he was famous, George Washington loved fashion and well-tailored breeches—especially when his pants weren’t too tight around his legs and butt. He knew that clothes made the man and he accepted his high laundry bill because if you look good, you feel good and...read more
When my writing/editing business was a few years old, I’d edit through the night, sleep in my clothes and work through every weekend. I’d eventually catch up on my sleep, but then do the whole cycle again. And there’s still times like a few weeks ago I work at the...read more
I discovered infamous traitor Benedict Arnold as a fourth grader studying the American Revolution. Back then, books portrayed Arnold as an evil turncoat who tried to hand over West Point to the British on Sept 25, 1780. Fortunately, now there are many books for young...read more
National Poetry Month is finally here! I had the pleasure of Michele Tracy Berger of Pittsboro, NC, interview me about my poetry practice. Michele is a creativity coach, writer, professor and yoga teacher. In 2004, she launched The Creative Tickle™, a coaching...read more
It’s almost April and that means it’s almost National Poetry month. Throughout this month, I’ll post a poetry-based blog post every week. And if you live in the Triangle, I’m teaching a poetry workshop on Sunday, April 17th from 2 to 4 p.m. at Page 158 Books in Wake...read more
This topic makes me very uncomfortable because I am addicted to being busy. I feel weird and disjointed if I’m not working at all hours, if don’t have 10 projects stacked up, if I’m not stressed out. And when I’ve got downtime, I volunteer so I have something to...read more
Poetry is so important because it helps us understand and appreciate the world around us. Poetry's strength lies in its ability to shed a "sideways" light on the world, so the truth sneaks up on you. No question about it. Poetry teaches us how to live. Poetry is like...read more
Some weeks you just can't achieve any balance—I’m right in the middle of that right now, but you can set a priority of three things you need to accomplish each day. For me, that's editing paid client work, practicing my music (guitar/violin) or dance, and getting my...read more
If you have chronic stress, if you’re feeling burnt out, and are tired of hearing the judgy, Inner Critic voices telling you what you “should” do, then it’s time to let in awareness and compassion for yourself—not just for other people. You do this by asking for help...read more
Boba Fett is my muse. Why? He’s the best collection agent EVER, he doesn’t try to please everyone and he rocks his style. Josh Shaffer, a reporter at the News & Observer interviewed me about my Boba Fettish and got to the heart of why I write about him and other...read more
I am an adult Irish dancer. I took my first Irish dance class over two years ago and liked it so much I switched from a non-competitive to a competitive school, Trionoide Academy of Dance, last December. I never thought much of getting sports injuries because I...read more
We all have places of shame, embarrassment, regret and frustration. Crafty entrepreneurs know how to ask a potential client what are their pain points, so they can offer a service or product to help them fix them up. But after we identify our pain points, can we fix...read more
David Bowie, Alan Rickman, and now Glenn Frey. January is a little more than halfway over and we’ve already lost three amazing artists. Like you, I’m sad they’re all gone, but while they were with us they took risks, worked hard and never squandered their God-given...read more
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do / with your one wild and precious life?” Poet Mary Oliver’s famous words are battle cry to stop wasting your time and get your shit together. In this New Year, we’ve already made promises to ourselves about writing, exercising,...read more
I hit the gym for the first time in a long time right after Christmas and New Year’s. Due to having a stress fracture and a crazy travel schedule, I’ve gained five pounds. So I figured I better slog at the gym before I can’t slip into my jeans. My husband and I are...read more
Speaking of Star Wars, I also loved going to the movies where I’d beg my father to sit through the credits so I’d know where it was filmed and who did the sound editing. He always complied and never told me it was a little weird. Well, he probably understood me since he always pointed out anachronisms. For instance, in Raiders of Lost Ark which was supposed to take place in 1936, they showed a 1942 Ford, and boy did that mistake bother him! My husband, Keith, a vintage car owner, also loves to point out these issues to me, which makes only one trait my father and husband share.
Going to the movies and to the comic book store with my dad turned out to be one of our favorite things we’d do together. Thanks to Dad, he also bought me and my brother several comic book subscriptions: Spiderman, G.I. Joe and Star Wars that would arrive in our mailbox in brown paper wrapping. My brother never read the comic books meant for him, so I became an enormous G.I. Joe fan by reading the comic book while playing with all of his action figures. Again, I loved the strongly developed characters and how they picked on each other while laughing in the face of danger. One of my favorite lines was, “You’re about as funny as a hand grenade.” No wonder I loved Predator and The Hurt Locker; both war dramas with strong characters and intense action. You know I’m also a fan of Lost for these same reasons and haven’t missed an episode since it premiered in 2004.
In college I majored in business and worked at Belk in several capacities for nine years. I dabbled in writing, but it wasn’t until I began grad school at NC State in English did I enter “editing world” through the tutoring portal. I tutored students in writing and speaking throughout my grad school stint, but I edited too much. That was OK, I’m not a tutor; I’m an editor.
One of my strengths is finding plot inconsistencies and working out character timelines in addition to performing the grammar, proofreading and line editing functions. I also love fact checking like my dad used to do at the movies. My clients love this about me and never get weirded out when I bone up on their subject and totally immerse myself in their world.
There was a time about eighteen months ago I was thinking about giving up editing so I could concentrate on my own writing projects. Editing others’ work does take up your life, not leaving much room for your own creativity. Then a friend of mine said, “Don’t quit; there aren’t many really good editors out there; we need you!” So I stayed in the game and began receiving stronger work to edit. I realized that I was not being picky enough with my clients since after all, I’m a very picky reader! My mother also told me that my grandmother, her mother, was an editor. Soon after, I found out my first cousin had a 20-year editing career! Editing is definitely in my blood and I must embrace who I am. Like Luke Skywalker, I found my true calling after a lengthy search.
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