Suggested Editing Websites, Blogs, and Resources

 

www.veteranwritingservices.com

Here is a list of editing resources that I hope may be useful to others.

AP Stylebook Blog

http://apstylebook.blogspot.com/

(Search query handy for quick reference)

Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab

https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/

(Lots of resources, references to style guides, and more)

Writer’s Knowledge Base

http://hiveword.com/wkb/search?q=Editing

(“Editing” in the search box brought up over 6000 entries)

Writing Forward – Write On, Shine On

http://www.writingforward.com/writing-tips/tips-for-self-editing

(Great five-step process at the end)

The Creative Penn

http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2012/06/28/editing-matt-gartland/

(An editor’s suggestions and a discussion about pricing)

Grammar Girl and Quick and Dirty Tips.com

http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl

(Fun, easily digestible grammar tips – huge following)

Editing TLC

http://www.editingtlc.com/editing_tlc

(Recommendation for excellent copyeditor)

You Tube Videos

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=editing+writing&page=2

(A quick search brought up 133,000 videos; pick some in accordance with interests)

These suggestions are not meant to supplant professional editors, just help educate writers. There is always so much to learn.

Inspirational Young Horse Saver

I reconnected with a childhood friend recently whose daughter, Nicole, volunteers with Freedom Hill Horse Rescue. My friend mentioned Nicole was preparing her end-of-year book report and diorama on my book, “Believing In Horses.” When I saw her diorama and read her report, I found it so touching that I wanted to share them with others. In times when children are often criticized for being self-centered and lazy, I’m happy to highlight one who is not.

So, from my youngest contributor to this blog, I bring you 10-year-old Nicole Cavanaugh, an inspirational young horse saver.

Nicole Cavanaugh's diorama for Believing In Horses

In this scene from “Believing in Horses” Sadie is going to Freedom Hill Horse Rescue for the first time. Sadie is visiting Freedom Hill to sign up as a volunteer and to show them her presentation about the horses that need to be saved. She is hoping they will help her save the horses that are going to be auctioned. This is an important moment for Sadie because this is the first time she asks for help to achieve her goal. (Nicole Cavanaugh)

Summary

The Navarros are moving to Bowie, Maryland, because Sadie’s Dad is in the military and is being reassigned for a few years. One of those years he will be in Afghanistan, which makes Sadie sad. Her reward for being so good about the situation is a horse. Sadie’s grandmother sends Sadie a horse. His name is Color Me Lucky but they call him Lucky. One day Sadie learned about 10 horses that needed to be saved because they were going to auction. Many horses that go to auction are killed for meat. Sadie decided she wanted to save these horses. She did some research and found Freedom Hill Horse Rescue and Thoroughbred Placement Resources (TPR). TPR specializes in helping people to be responsible in placing retired racehorses. Freedom Hill rescues any horse that is at risk and needs a home. Sadie put together a slide presentation and gave it to the people at Loftmar Stables, TPR, and Freedom Hill to try to convince them to help her save the horses. Through a lot of hard work and persuasiveness, Sadie was able to find homes for all 10 horses. Sadie was very proud of herself.

Opinion

I loved “Believing in Horses” by Valerie Ormond. I thought it was very impressive how Sadie set so many long-term goals and then worked so hard to achieve them. It was very difficult to find homes for all the horses, but she kept working at it and in the end her hard work paid off. I think this is a good book not only for kids who love horses (like me!) but also for kids who have parents in the military and have to learn to be without a parent for a long period of time.

This book was very special to me because it was set in Bowie, Maryland, and because I am a volunteer at Freedom Hill Horse Rescue. I could really relate to the book, and it helped me to feel very connected to Sadie as she worked through the challenges she faced. I highly recommend this book.

by Nicole Cavanaugh

Thank you, Nicole, for your thoughts and your hard work! Any other inspirational stories out there? If so, please share.

Working with a Small Publisher

I thought this was the single best article I’ve seen about working with a small publisher. I’ve published both my books with a small press, J.B. Max Publishing, out of Vancouver, BC. I agree with many of the points in the article by WritersDigest.com editor Brian Klems, but here are my top three:

1. A small press can take on projects that don’t conform to the mainstream commercial market.

2. A small press cares about the success of a book beyond its initial release. To quote: “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

3. Small press authors can expect to have a personal relationship with small presses, or as one small press publisher cites it, “Tender, loving care.”

Thank you, Writers Digest, for covering this subject. For the full article, please see the following:

http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/the-pros-and-cons-of-publishing-with-a-small-publisher?et_mid=670988&rid=240171765

 

 

The Synopsis and its Friends

This post sponsored by Grammarly. Use Grammarly’s plagiarism checker because you want to write right (Has anyone said that before? – No!)

© Chasbrutlag | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

© Chasbrutlag | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Image

When I am asked what my books are about, I try to respond with one sentence. That answer is not a synopsis, but what I would consider one of the synopsis’ “friends.” Books descriptions serve specific purposes. And just to make it easier, not everyone agrees on the rules. I’ve pulled together some thoughts and resources on what I consider the three most common forms of synopses.

Three Forms of Synopses [Read more...]

Farewell Shanghai

Shanghai 3 Please join me for the final installment of Vic Socotra’s thoughts on one of our Congressional trips to Asia, and a farewell to China.

We wandered down the street and over a couple of blocks. We found the entrance to the subway and went down. It was gleaming and shiny and not at all what I expected. We went down and got to the platform.

The little guy on the subway could have been sixty or he could have been eighty. He could have walked with Mao on the big swing around Chiang Kai Check’s Nationalists, and on to eventual victory in 1948.

He wore a little Mao hat and his gaze was implacable. He was staring at Val’s chest, or he was staring past her chest at me in my trench coat because he was exactly that tall. It was hard to tell. But it was a penetrating gaze, neither friendly nor particularly hostile. It was an intense and unwavering look, like that of a hawk on his prey. I leaned over to Val. [Read more...]

Long Marchers…Part Two

Please join me for Part Two of my friend and author  Vic Socotra‘s series of stories about one of our Congressional trips. We have now journeyed to Shanghai.

01 February 2001Shanghai skyline

Long Marchers

by Vic Socotra

I believe in traveling light, but there was no way for it on this trip- we would be in temperate, arctic and tropical climates. The bags went out full, and got fuller with each stop. The bags even began to multiply. It could have been worse. The last time I was in Hanoi, the famous Central Jail (“Hanoi Hilton”) was being torn down, and visitors were presented with bricks as unique souvenirs. Being the junior member on that trip, I wound up carrying a bag containing a major portion of an interior wall. But that is another story.

Downstairs at the Regal International East Asia there was a lavish breakfast buffet of both Chinese and Western delicacies. Rich coffee, eggs, fried cabbage, sausage, bacon, cucumbers, steamed dumplings, hare stew. Some items sampled, most not. After their travail, the infantry is only minutes late coming down, but they miss the breakfast. We have our bags in the van and waiting for them out front. [Read more...]