Welcome to My Wordy Life
For as long as I can remember, I've been besotted by words, in love with
the English language. My parents read to me (as I read to my son) practically
from the moment of my birth, and when I learned to read, I always received
books for Christmas and my birthday and had finished reading them within
the week. I still have some of my childhood books: old editions of
Grimms' Fairy Tales, Andrew Lang's fairy books,
The Wizard of Oz, all the Nancy Drew and Cherry Ames books. My mother
was a member of the Literary Guild and because she never got around to
sending the post cards back, I got to read her books, too. (I learned early
on how to climb up and get the ones on the top shelves.) She gave me her
official permission to read
Gone With the Wind when I was eleven. Boy, was that an eye-opener
for a naïve little girl! My parents also bought my brother and me
The Book of Knowledge; I read straight through all twenty volumes.
Yeah. I have been, as they say, bookish all my life. Today, of course,
I spend most of my time editing and writing.
To read my blog, please scroll down.
Secret Lives is now available at the on-line bookstores. Buy
Secret Lives today! And then write a review. And tell all
your friends how much you enjoyed the book.
You can also go to my
Secret Lives page and Like the book. Tell all your friends again!
Ask them to Like the book, too. Leave comments and questions. Wouldn't
it be nifty if
Secret Lives turned into a sort of interactive book via Facebook
and the FREE READER'S GUIDE on this site?
Notice the little witch! Because I didn’t want to rip off anyone’s art
and just use one of my 330 witches, I asked my brilliant daughter-in-law
to make me a witch. She—the witch, not Phish—is now sitting on the shelf
in my living room where you see her in the photo.
Let Me Be Your Editor
Are you writing a book? Thinking about writing a book? Let me be your
editor. I've edited more than 250 books (both fiction and nonfiction),
academic documents (theses and dissertations), web site copy, articles,
technical proposals, screenplays, poetry, and things I don't even remember
anymore. As you explore this site, you can read excerpts from my nonfiction
books and some of my articles and poems. If you're thinking about writing,
send me an email and we can talk about how I can help you. I never charge
for email conversations.
Note: if you like my work and want to use it, please do
not just copy and paste. As I have to explain from time to time to
an author whose work I'm editing, copying and pasting someone else's
copyrighted work without their permission is
plagiarism. Which is against the law. Which can get you an F in your
class. Which can get you prosecuted. It's usually easy to get permission
to reproduce someone else's copyrighted work:
just ask. If you want to reproduce anything on my site anywhere else,
please send me an email and ask. I'll no doubt tell you I'm honored that
you like what I've written and then tell you how to give me proper credit.
October 24, 2014
Read full article
A few months ago, a magazine editor sent me a novel,
The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker, to
review for her magazine. The blurb on the back of the book tells us that
a graduate student named Nora goes to a friend’s wedding, wanders off,
and “somehow finds herself in another realm.” She meets the “glamorous
and endlessly charming Ilissa, who introduces Nora to a decadent new world—and
to her gorgeous son. … It’s almost too good to be true.” But then Nora
wanders away from a party and comes into another realm in which she meets
two men who tell her that Ilissa’s realm is evil and Ilissa just kidnapped
her to breed an heir. Sure enough, she gets pregnant. The handsome prince,
having done his duty, takes up with other glamorous (but evil) women. But
Nora’s baby dies and—
I got as far as page 48. At which point I wrote to the magazine editor
and told her the book is not only poorly written but its plot is awful.
It’s a clichéd, Disneyfied, dark fairy tale/romance novel. “Ditch it,”
the magazine editor wrote back.
But, hey—I’m a novelist, too, and I like fairy tales a lot, and I have
a good imagination. So here goes.