Monday, February 4, 2013

A Step in the Write Direction--February 4, 2013

“A Step in the Write Direction”
February 4, 2013

Not much to report. Edited two books and enjoyed the warm weather (70 in Arizona is warm). Have a couple speaking engagements coming up on “The Freedom of Letting Go” and also was invited to teach at the Amarillo conference in April. This is the fourth time I’ve been there and I also enjoy reuniting with old friends.

Thought for the Day:
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!
— “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” (verse 3), Thomas O. Chisholm, 1923.
Laugh for the Day:

A second grader came home from school and said to her grandmother, "Grandma, guess what? We learned how to make babies today."
The grandmother, more than a little surprised, tried to keep her cool. "That's interesting." she said... "How do you make babies?"
"It's simple," replied the girl. "You just change 'y' to 'i' and add 'es'."
Writers’ Tips
If you’re looking to make extra money, perhaps the section below will help. It’s a little long, but worth it if you’re looking to be a proofreader. A test follows for those who want to take it. (This is taken from the chapter “Extra Income for Writers” in my Step in the Write Direction book.)

Whenever I tell someone I’m a proofreader, I get one of two reactions: They think I look for mistakes in everything they send me, or they look for mistakes in everything I send them. Perhaps proofreading as a full-or part-time job interests you, and you wonder what qualifications are required. Good spelling is important, of course, but it takes more than that. It takes….
The Ability to Read Slowly: If you are a fast reader, you’ll have to unlearn this skill. In proofreading, you must read one letter at a time, and realize that each one is a potential mistake. Using a ruler works for many proofreaders.
Knowledge of Events, Past and Present: For 18 years I typed papers for university students. From this, I absorbed a myriad of information that has proven useful in proofreading. Because you will be working with materials covering a variety of subjects, it helps to be widely read. Also you should keep up with current events. Sometimes from the time a book is edited to when it is finally published, facts have changed. Or a book is reprinted from a previous edition and the author has failed to update information such as people who have died or the names of leaders and countries that have changed. Editors will appreciate you bringing these facts to their attention.
A Good Library: A wise investment for a proofreader is a good selection of reference material. My library includes such books as atlases, travel guides, poetry and quotation collections, a world almanac, and a one-volume encyclopedia, The Chicago Manual of Style, and the latest dictionary (at present Webster’s Collegiate 11th Edition), along with dictionaries from various professions. If you are working with religious materials, you also may want to purchase a hymnbook and different translations of the Bible. Of course, most of this information is also available on the Internet. Just be sure the Web site is up to date.
A Good Memory: The ability to remember details is important. For example, if you see a hyphenated word, do you recall that you saw that same word spelled earlier as one or two words? Or is the name of an author spelled one way in the book and another way in the endnotes or bibliography? What about capitalization? Was a word capitalized in one chapter, but lower case 10 chapters later? Because rules for such things as commas and capitalization may vary among publishers, it’s your job to know each publisher’s style and proofread accordingly, but consistency is critical.
Common Sense: As a proofreader, you will not do any editing (correct grammar or change sentences around); however, if you see an obvious error, let the editor know. For example, I read a novel that took place over the course of a month. Three different times during that month the author—in describing a romantic setting— wrote that there was “a full moon” (three full moons in a month?). In another book, a 12-year-old had broken her arm in a fall. The author wrote, “The next day as Judy braided her hair…” Braiding her hair with a cast on her arm? The next day? Does the color of a character’s hair or eyes change during the book? Did she age two years in the space of a year? Catching these mistakes will get you a gold star from publishers.
Know the Proofreading Symbols: You can find a list of proofreading symbols in every dictionary, or publishers may send you specific symbols their house uses. Use these symbols to make your corrections in the margin of the manuscript.
Where to Find Work:
· Contact local writers clubs
· Go to local print shops
· Write to the Production Manager (not the editor) of publishers listed in the Writers Market or the Christian Writers Market Guide
These hints will also pretty much apply to copy editing.
Proofreading Test
There are 17 errors in the following piece (actually 19, but the 18th rule I just learned recently and the 19th one spell check caught [please don’t do use spell check in your test!]). If you want to send back your results, use the tracking tools (will show corrections in red), then send it back as an attachment. Have fun!
Thankful Hart—or a Heart if Praise
Donna Clark Goodrich
“Develop an attitude of praise,’ our pastor told us in his Sunday message. “It will change your life”
I tried it. If it rained, I tried to be thankful it didn’t flood. If it was to hot, I gave Thanks for our air conditioner. For the ornery boy in my Sunday school class, I thanked god that his parents cared enough to bring him. It seemed to work—for awhile!
Then in the next few years, I found it harder to be thankful? My mother died of cancer. My husband had a serious car accident that put him out of work for three months. Then, a few years later he had a heart attack which—along with a number of other health problems—led to his retirement At the age of 48. Having three teenagers for seven years increased the stress.
“How can I be thankful?” I otfen asked. Then one day while I was listening to the the words of a song a friend was singing at church, the answer came to me: Being thankful is for things God gives to us; but a heart of praise is giving thanks for who He is.
Have we lost our sense of awe when we are in God’s presence? I remember when our family first moved to Arizona. All baseball fans, we were thrilled to learn that several major league teams held their spring training our in area.
My son grabbed his baseball autograph book and we took off for a batting practice where young players where more than happy to sign their names. Suddenly a tall, imposing figure walked toward us. I stopped, frozen in my tracks. Joe DiMaggio! I couldn’t speak, but our son—who knew no fear—ran up to him. “Hey, Joe!” he yelled. “Can I have your autograph.
I thought later, if I felt that much awe for a man who merely played baseball, how much more awe should I feel when I come before God
I can still have an “attitude of gratitude,” but now I realize that God deserves my highest praise—not because of what He gives me, but because of who he is.
Have a good week spreading the gospel through the printed page.
Donna Clark Goodrich
"A Step in the Write Direction--the Complete How-to Guide for Christian Writers"

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