Before kid, I studied computer science. I worked as a programmer and a program manager. I learned how to break down problems, brainstorm solutions to those problems, and then communicate options to solve those problems.
You’d be amazed at how handy that skill is when I’m helping someone “debug” their novel’s plot.
After kid, I wrote and critiqued. I found I don’t really like to write my own stuff. I mean, wow! The patience y’all have, to sit with the same project day after day after day after…
I am in awe. Truly.
But I also found I loved critiquing my partners’ works. So, then I went and studied editing.
Through it all, I read. Everything. Science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, young adult, nonfiction, self-help, the back of cereal boxes. If it’s got words on it, and it isn’t moving, I’m reading it.
(Sometimes I'm reading it even if it is moving. But then I get motion sick...)
Fun fact: as of this writing, I’m reading my kid’s economics textbook. Not because I’m some super-parent who wants to help him with his homework. Pfft. I don’t need to do homework; I already graduated high school! It’s because I’m fascinated by how the world works.
(I’ve already learned that the price of Starbucks isn’t determined by the rent on the property. Rather, the rent on the property is determined by the price we’re willing to pay for that cup of coffee…)
My vice is curiosity; it hasn’t killed me yet. My other vice is sharing what I know. That’s come close a time or two…
I read, and I know things.
And I tell you about what I know.
About Egg and Feather
Jane Yolen’s beautiful rhyming story Child of Faerie, Child of Earth tells the story of a chance meeting between a human girl and a faerie boy. They take turns showing each other their different worlds, becoming great friends in the process. When they realize they each belong in their own worlds, the girl gifts the boy with a chicken egg, and he uses his fairy magic to draw a feather from it. As he does so, he says,
"I give you this that comes from that.” That is my philosophy of editing: a supportive partnership built on both our gifts.
You give me that: something knowledgeable or beautiful, but perhaps unpolished or rough.
I give you this: questions, suggestions, edits, and more to add that last layer of polish or those extra facets to make your work truly sparkle. (Yes. I said sparkle. Deal with it.)