In 13 days, the Twin Miracles Editorial family will be at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland in Anaheim. We have a four-hour window during which time I am highly likely to hug every single costumed employee, droid, spaceship, and creature in the place. We’ve heard the wait time for Smuggler’s Run, the Millennium Falcon ride, is up to 90 minutes, but if we do get a chance to ride, I am absolutely going to turn in my chair to whomever is sitting behind me, relative or not, and tell them, “Traveling through hyperspace ain’t like dusting crops, boy!”
I saw Star Wars in the theater 7 times with my dad and brother in 1977 at the ripe old age of 3. It is the foundation of my love of all things Science Fiction that has only grown over the four decades since. In the years I’ve been freelancing, I’ve been fortunate enough to edit a few science-fiction pieces for burgeoning authors, including one recently that had some great homages to Star Wars, Star Trek, the Terminator series, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Superman.
When you get to read the work of a smart new author who clearly has a passion for the genre, is there anything better than getting paid money to do it too?
One of the things I miss most about print journalism is holding the physical representation of all your hard work in your hands. True, paper fades over time, but seeing the articles, headlines, photos, and design of newspaper sections and magazines that I had produced always gave me an extra feeling of accomplishment that the digital world has never been able to replicate.
Thus, I was super pleased on Wednesday to find a package in the mailbox from Honolulu and a recent client of mine, author Nico Crouch. I spent the last few months of 2018 and the first of 2019 editing Nico’s two-volume Earth-wandering, surfing, and self-discovery novel “2-1/2 Cents Worth a Million.” The book went on sale on Amazon two months ago and is clicking along with a very nice 4.1/5.0 rating to date.
Nico was the best kind of author to work with – patient, transparent, and most of all willing to set ego and ownership aside to make the book better. We never had an argument, we had discussions where we agreed to either change things or leave them as is. I’ve edited more than 50 books in my 6+ years as a full-time freelancer, and that sort of author is a very rare bird.
Nico was generous enough to include me in his acknowledgments, autograph a copy of his book, and it hurtling across the Pacific Ocean to my house. My old print journalism brain is happy today.
Coming up on my one-year anniversary with Storkey Media, a British-based marketing firm that provides copywriting and other services to a wide array of businesses “across the pond” along with LinkedIn profile writing services.
I started off as a straight editor but as the some of the staff has turned over, I’ve been able to pick up and help on the writing end as well.
This has meant a lot of writing on the British legal system for lawyer referral service Linkilaw, which has been a lot of fun as I’ve had several British clients over the past several years and it’s always fun to brush up on my UK spellings (I still can’t used to ‘tyre’) as well as watch the fascinating aftermath of Brexit unfold.
One of my most recent clients was a gentleman from Australia who specializes in Art as Therapy for both children and adults. I got to edit and touch up an article he had written for a magazine down under, but the real winner in the deal was me, as I got to learn a lot about this tremendously cool field of help / self-help. His website has a great 5-minute video on how art can be used as therapy that I’d recommend to anyone with an interest in either field.
I love that the Internet gives people who might never have considered writing a book the opportunity to do for a fairly low cost and fairly easily – it gives me plenty of extra work and occasionally a true diamond in the rough to be a part of.
But so many authors seem obsessed with the use of ellipses in their writing. They string them throughout paragraphs like so many Christmas lights, and clearly haven’t the faintest idea what they are doing.
In my journalism background, we only used them to express that words were being cut out either at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of a sentence.
In other written works, particularly novels, they are used for dialogue that is trailing off, for surprise or for a change of pace in conversation. Unfortunately, they are over-used, often taking the place of my favorite punctuation friend, the comma, who is vastly more economical and enjoys letting people know when it’s time to pause.
But now I see the ellipses everywhere, bulling its way into places formerly reserved for commas, colons, and semicolons, and laying havoc to any sort of thought continuity in their path like a herd of beagle descending on a butcher’s shop after an earthquake.
Please, please, dear writers, use your ellipses sparingly and correctly. I’m asking you … nicely.
A funny thing happened not too long ago, I was able to give my mom a quick lesson in the types of discrimination felt by teacher applicants in public school districts in Oklahoma. Why would I have this trove of available information? Because I edited a dissertation about it.
Academic editing, which I’m currently doing now for another client on the interesting topic of “Choice Fatigue”, has developed into one of my favorite types of work to take on. Not only is the level of writing (usually) outstanding, but I’m almost always guaranteed to learn something new, something interesting, and something that’s going to make me think.
The point I’ve made 50 times before on this blog can’t be overstated. Being a freelance editor takes you places you’d never thought you’d see, and it’s one of the things I’m most grateful for in this profession.
Late last night I got an email from a client from Australia who I worked for last September on a few articles he was submitting for publication. His name is Michael Clark and he runs a company Down Under that strives to help kids with dyslexia and trouble reading attain success, and goes outside the cultural norm of Australia, which involves a lot of labeling of kids, instead of trying to help them.
Working for clients like Michael, who are motivated to help children through tough times, is one of the best parts of being a freelancer, and given some of the struggles the Twin Miracles – former NICU micro-preemies – have had themselves, it’s exciting to see people out there who aren’t trying to use the Internet platform to turn a fast buck, but instead of make the world a better place.
Regardless of what continent you live on, if you have or know a child with problems reading, take a peek at his blog for some great information that could go a long way to improving someone’s life.