A Fan Letter to my Freelance Editor

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

I remember the day when I pulled my car off I-95 and sat crying in a parking lot outside of a McDonald’s. And the day I went to bed at 1:00 in the afternoon and stayed there. Until 1:00 the next afternoon. And then there was the morning that I called my sister, yelling, “Fu*k it! I quit!” What prompted my outbursts, foul moods, and misery? Phone calls with my…

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My editorial letter: if it’s nice, say it twice

Friday, January 8, 2016

I was in a mild panic when I received my editorial letter. I’m grateful that my editor was especially encouraging. In particular, she wrote a glowing opening in the email and then repeated it in the opening of the word doc letter she attached. I tackled the issues in three parts: 1) the chapter-by-chapter changes she requested 2) the line-by-line edits on the manuscript and 3) the big picture edits….

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Teflon, some people. Not me.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

I imagine the easygoing among us don’t remember their first time receiving constructive criticism; teflon, some people, or indifferent. Not me. In primary school the report card system was E for excellent, S for satisfactory, and U for unsatisfactory. I swam in a pool of excellence until the day I received an S in handwriting. By the time my father returned from work I’d been crying so hard for so long I…

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A Sea of Red: Being Edited

Book Editing
Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A few years ago, I had an essay accepted at a literary journal. I was over the moon that they wanted my work, and when they informed me I’d be receiving edits, I figured it was no big deal; plenty of journals had tweaked my work, fixing grammatical errors or asking me to clarify a sentence or two. When this literary journal sent me back my work with edits, they…

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The Harshest Critique: Finding a Writing Group

A critique page
Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Feedback. I have to laugh when people talk about being stressed about workshops and critiques and feedback. Because I have received the mother of all feedback—no, sorry, the grandmother of all feedback—and I’ve lived to tell the tell. The stereotype of Jewish grandmothers is pretty well known. They are warm. Motherly. Perhaps they pile on the guilt a little heavily, but they mean well. They think you’re too skinny. “Eat…

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Feedback–Where to Find It

Monday, December 7, 2015

  We are talking about feedback this week. From critique partnering to participating in a year-long workshop, I’m pretty sure I have received feedback on THE CITY BAKER’S GUIDE TO COUNTRY LIVING in every possible form. So let’s start off with a question. Do you need feedback on your novel? The answer is yes. But it’s important to consider what kind of feedback you need in the moment. Here is…

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A Debut Author Gives Thanks

Monday, November 23, 2015

  The first thing I do when I open a new book is read the acknowledgements page. It’s so moving to see the writer expressing appreciation for everyone who has helped her along the way. Before I began writing a novel I used to marvel at how many people an author would thank. How could so many people be involved in the making of something that is such a solitary…

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