What Makes the Editor Tick

Sherlock the betta

Last Thursday, I was interviewed at Luscious Literaries. It was a fun interview, and I hope you pop over and take a look. Kassanna was a gracious host. :) It will help you learn a bit about me, you’ll see my cluttered desk, and get a peek into my crazy head. It’s good to get to know more about someone, isn’t it?

So, what makes the editor tick? Could it be the sound of bubbles popping at the surface of one of my aquariums? Really, it sounds like a fish store in here. If you ever went to a fish store in the 1970s (my mom was into fish at the time), they all sounded like bubbles. Back in the day, most of them ran in-the-tank filters that ran bubbles to the surface. It was a wet, plopping sound that I find soothing to this day.

Could my Chinese astrological sign of the water rabbit have something to do with how I tick? Maybe that’s why I like the sound of water? Hmmmm. I used to raise rabbits, but I don’t anymore. Now I chase literary rabbits in the form of commas hiding where they oughtn’t.

Could it be the excitement of helping to birth a book, to midwife it into being? I studied midwifery for years and birthed eight of my own children, who are the joys of my life. I never became a midwife, mostly because it was difficult to become an apprentice and attend the births necessary when we only had one car and my own children needed me. I could midwife a book while still attending to the needs of my children, half of whom are grown or mostly there. I did attend a few births as a doula… it was amazing. :)

Could it be my own inherent obsession with correct spelling and grammar? That’s probably a big part of it. I’ve been correcting things ever since I can remember. I have lots of fun stories from English class. In first grade, I got in trouble for refusing to read the word ‘darn’ out loud because my grandmother had taught me it was a bad word and I wasn’t to say it. But there it was in my reading book. What was a little girl to do? Then there was the class when I had the teacher in stitches because we were to write words on the chalkboard beginning with the letters ‘er’ and ‘ir.’ I wrote ‘erp’ and ‘irk.’ She questioned erp (which in my mind was another word for vomit) but she thought me imaginative, nonetheless. When I graduated high school, I gave my creative writing teacher a spelling dictionary so he could make it through the next year without me. I always corrected his handouts and gave them back to him. Helped me win the departmental award upon graduation, however. :) So, words and I go way back. I think this is mostly why I like to edit.

Words are meaningful. They can be silly. They can be powerful. They can be tender. They can tear someone apart or build them up. Words are amazing. While I can draw and paint a little and can be in awe over the feelings I get from looking at an amazing piece of art, words can take root in my soul. So, that’s what really makes this editor tick. I can’t speak for all the others out there, but deep down, I’d guess it’s something similar.

That’s why I write so much about learning the craft and words being a tool to use fully… they can do so many marvelous things if you know how to use them. They can become more than just letters arranged on a page. Just as a painter can make magic with color, so too can a writer make magic with words. I want to see magic on the page.