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Showing posts from January, 2013

Editing and Proofreading Checklist for Writers: A Guest Post with Karen S. Elliott

I am a big fan of Karen Elliott. I've known her via her blog ( I subscribe via email and you should, too) and through Facebook. If you want to learn about creating a platform, you should follow Karen.
She's also an editor extraordinaire and has dedicated her talents to making those of us who write without looking at the keyboard (or our manuscripts, it might seem) look better.
I asked Karen to do a guest post and then gave her free rein on the content. As you'll see below, she was incredibly generous... What you'll find is a checklist to guide you through the self-editing process. However, what I think you'll also find by the end of the post is why hiring an editor, like Karen, is really so necessary for an indie-author. 
I learned this lesson the hard way with my first book, when I received numerous reviews from readers who loved the story, but hated the typos and grammatical errors that were missed by me and MS Word spellcheck. It's absolutely true that a wri…

Me and My Hormones - Menopause With Training Wheels

A year ago I waved the white flag and began hormone replacement therapy, specifically a combination of estrogen patch and progesterone pill, after I was no longer able to handle severe daily hot flashes and insomnia.

The hormone replacement therapy worked wonders and within weeks I felt like myself again. What a relief! If you've never lived through hot flashes that rolled through several times a day and left your face red as a tomato and your body drenched in sweat, and your nerves standing on high alert... consider yourself lucky. Very. Lucky.

So...given the relief, why did I go off of the life saving hormones nine months later?

Two reasons: 1) The cost. The two prescriptions cost about $130 a month. That's the amount not covered by my high-deductible insurance. It's a lot of money to pay every month. 2) I'm the type of person who doesn't like to take medication of any variety. My idea of a pain killer is ibuprofen. And with all the conflicting messages about ho…

Just Write. Every. Day.

They say that confession is good for the soul.


Depends on who you're confessing to and what you're confessing.

I'll share a confession with you.

Up until three days ago, I had not opened my WIP since December 7th. That's right, nearly a month went by without a single word put to page.

Sure I had plenty of excuses.

Christmas. Guests in town. Big year-end work commitments. New Year's.

Feeling stuck at a crossroads in the novel and afraid that I'd take the wrong turn. (ah, there's the real culprit.)

But three days ago I opened the file and just started. And was amazed that new, unexpected, ideas started pouring right from brain to fingers, completely by-passing the critical, fearful, editor that is moi.

At the same time, I read a blog post somewhere (over at Amy Sue Nathan's Women's Fiction Writers) about two writers who'd decided to post a challenge to themselves and anyone else interested, to write at least 20 minutes a day for 365 days stra…

The Golden Rule 9 January 2013

Today's Verse:

Matthew 7:12

Jesus said: "Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets."

Reflections on Today's Reading:

Today's verse is known as the Golden Rule and is probably the most often quoted verse in the Bible, even when the speaker doesn't know that it's a verse from the Bible, or one of the central teachings of Jesus Christ. Perhaps, that is because of the universality of its sentiment.

After all...

don't we all wish that we could be treated as we treat others?


As I started to write this post, I was going to focus on what a lovely, peaceful world this would be if everyone else was just as kind and gentle as we were.

Smiley face.

Smiley face.

And then, just as I typed that bold-faced sentence above, my heart was convicted.

And I said a quick "Thank you, God" that there are moments when I am treated better than I have treated others.

Sometimes, th…

What's Your Word for 2013?

If you read my last two posts of 2012, you might have detected an (undercurrent?) of malaise.

I spent the last two days of 2012 reading through my journal and coming to the unhappy conclusion that many of the goals I want to accomplish in 2013 bore a close resemblance to the same ones I wanted to accomplish in many times can I wish to lose 20 pounds?

Which led me to a rumination about how I never accomplish anything and therefore have wasted the last 50 years of my life.

I'm nuanced like that.

And then...


I snapped out of it.

Instead of listing a litany of goals for the coming year, I will present a simple defining theme:


Yes, of course, I have specific goals that I want to accomplish, especially regarding the books that I want to publish this year:

2 children's picture books (the first one will launch in March, the second in September)2 novels (the first will launch in June, the second in time for Christmas shopping)
And other specific goals regar…