An Announcement

As a kid I was very lucky to have a father who worked as a magazine editor. Well, I mean, I can look back now and call it lucky. At the time I was to busy crying from the pages and pages of red ink that he would hand to me when I showed him a paper I had written for school. Dad never pulled a punch in those days, which I had considered unfair. I’m still in school! Why can’t he take it easy on me? But it was precisely because he didn’t pull his punches that I learned much earlier than my classmates how to construct a decent sentence, paragraph, and paper.  I also learned that spelling is ultimately a visual process. (That whole “sound it out” thing is a load of hogwash in the English language.)

Since that time, I have worked as an editor, myself, as well as an admin upon which various executives relied for fixing their memos. I also spent a good chunk of time with blossoming writers, as well as growing my own writing career– and from direct experience, I learned  how to pinpoint parts of a manuscript that need to be tightened, yes, but also to point out where a manuscript is strong, so that writers know to keep doing that.

In other words, over the years my father’s red ink has served me well, and now it will serve me once again.

I have set out a shingle as a freelance editor specifically for small- and independent-press fiction writers. This is very exciting for me, because I get to do two things that I love: read and support blossoming writers and geek out on grammar and spelling a bit.

If you are interested or just curious about my services, you can check out my editing services page here.

And meanwhile, I’ve got a gig, so if you don’t hear from me for a bit, it’s because I’ve got my red pen out.

See you on the other side!

My House Smells So Good

There’s been a lot going on Chez Bear these days. I’ve been slamming out writing and editing projects around my full time job, and Honey has been dealing with dramatic changes at his job, plus slamming out… writing and editing projects. But, you know, totally different projects. Heh! No such thing as geeks at rest, I guess.

This weekend was a little different, though. Saturday, I went to a writing retreat out in the mountains of Monrovia, and I waved to all my friends who lived out there, but since they were probably more than a hundred yards away and on the other side of a lot of trees, I don’t think they saw me. But yes, the writing retreat was out in the woods on the side of a mountain, and there would be no grocery stores or restaurants within walking distance, so I knew I’d have to bring my own lunch. And for some reason, this put me in a little bit of a panic.

The embarrassing truth is that I haven’t packed my lunch in a very long time. At work, I have nearby eateries that can cater to my needs, and at home I have a refrigerator with things I can use to make a decent lunch/snack/breakfast thing. And Del Taco is nearby, too.

Also, I couldn’t think of a sandwich I could make for myself with what I had in the kitchen that would a) taste good, b) contain any sort of nutrition, and c) contain stuff I actually had in my kitchen. So I decided that rather than making a run to the grocery store for crappy GF sandwich bread, I’d make something in advance.

I made pepperoni rolls. I did not, however, read all of my notes from last time, so that recipe is still not quite perfect, more’s the pity. But it was still good enough that when the instructor of the retreat asked me what I was eating and I shared with her, she literally jumped up and down in her seat and waved her hands, trying to tell everyone else at the retreat about what I was eating. #PepperoniRollsFTW #CanYouEvenUseHashtagsInABlog #WhoCares #MyBlog

The thing about my recipe is that the bread recipe I use is already halved, but it still makes enough bread for a double batch, so I always have dough left over. (More dough than pepperoni, you see.) Sometimes I just bake the bread straight up– very good. Or I can make monkey bread. Yum! But this time, I wanted to make cinnamon rolls. Mmmm!

So Sunday, I knew I’d be making cinnamon rolls, using my Frankenstein recipe, where the dough, the filling and the frosting all come from different places, and got stitched together with me in the middle making minor tweaks. But I wasn’t done yet, so I also made buckwheat pancakes for breakfast, flourless brownies, and chicken casserole for dinner the next night. In short, I didn’t write. I didn’t edit. I didn’t go to Disneyland. But I had a blast.

And I posted the recipe for the cinnamon rolls over at a new blog I’m a joint member of, Food From Our Kitchens. Pop on over and check it out. And find out how to make easy-peasy cinnamon roll dough. (SO EASY.)