Freelance Book Polishing


I’m an excellent and experienced editor and love helping authors make their books the best possible. I’m very well-read—books are my heart and soul.

Editorial Services: Developmental/content editing, copy editing, proofreading, file formatting, story evaluation, series bibles, fact checking and research.

  • I have a great deal of experience in most fiction genres. I specialize in fantasy, urban fantasy, romance, cozy mysteries, paranormal, European/British historicals.
  • I read and enjoy middle-grade stories and edit them. I love children’s picture books, but there aren’t many words in them to edit. J I do YA fantasy and adventure (but not so much YA angst or real-life unpleasantness. Being a real teenager is painful, and painful to read about.)
  • I edit most types of non-fiction, including memoirs. I do not do politics, religion, war or true crime.

I am an advisor and partner to the author and help turn the manuscript into a polished gem. My editing philosophy is  (1) Represent the reader,  (2) The editor is not the writer [explain if something doesn’t work and offer suggestions, but don’t rewrite the author’s prose], and (3) If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it [respect the author’s style].

See my blog page for more information and rates:

Some books I have edited:



Fun Word Facts

No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver or purple.

“Stewardesses” is the longest word typed with only the left hand and “lollipop” with the right.

Maine is the only state whose name is just one syllable.

“Dreamt” is the only English word that ends in the letters “mt”.

The sentence “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” uses every letter of the alphabet.

The words racecar, kayak and level are palindromes—they are spelled the same whether they are read left to right or right to left.

There are only four words in the English language which end in “dous”: tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.

There are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order: abstemious and facetious.

“Typewriter” is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the typewriter keyboard.

Letter Quiz Fun

(No cheating by looking down at the answers first!)

What English word contains:

  1. All five vowels and the letter Y [2 words]
  2. The vowels a-e-i-o-u once and only once, in alphabetical order [2 words]
  3. The vowels a-e-i-o-u once and only once, in reverse alphabetical order [3 words]
  4. Sixteen letters, but only one vowel is used (repeatedly)
  5. Nine letters but only one vowel
  6. Seven letters but no vowel
  7. The letter “i” seven times
  8. Three sets of twin letters, all together


  1. unquestionably, revolutionary; 2. abstemious, facetious; 3. uncomplimentary, unnoticeably, subcontinental; 4. strengthlessness; 5. strengths; 6. rhythms; 7. indivisibilities; 8. bookkeeper

Writers on Books

A room without books is like a body without a soul.  ~  Cicero

When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.  ~  Desiderius Erasmus

Writing is easy; all you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until the drops of blood form on your forehead.  ~  Gene Fowler

No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.  ~  Robert Frost

I suppose I am a born novelist, for the things I imagine are more vital and vivid to me than the things I remember.  ~  Ellen Glasgow

Easy reading is damned hard writing.  ~  Nathaniel Hawthorne

These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves. From each of them goes out its own voice…  ~  Gilbert Highet

A book is a gift you can open again and again.  ~  Garrison Keillor

Only one hour in the normal day is more pleasurable than the hour spent in bed with a book before going to sleep, and that is the hour spent in bed with a book after being called in the morning.  ~  Rose Macaulay

Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.  ~  Groucho Marx

In literature, as in love, we are astonished at what is chosen by others.  ~  Andre Maurois

Just the knowledge that a good book is waiting one at the end of a long day makes that day happier.  ~  Kathleen Norris

There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.  ~  Red Smith

Writing a book just might be the hardest thing I’ve ever done, besides trying to get laid in college.  ~  Howard Stern

My books are water; those of the great geniuses are wine—everybody drinks water.  ~  Mark Twain

New Words

Our language constantly evolves. New words come into being, or existing terms acquire different meanings. And alas, sometimes grammatical or spelling errors become so common and entrenched that they are “accepted”. (NO, don’t do this! Defend clear communication by maintaining language clarity.)

Anyway…each year, the major dictionary companies compile changes. has just released its list of over 250 new or expanded-meaning words or multiword terms. Wow, it took them until now to add ransomware, troll, sriracha?

Check out the list at:


Adjective Order


I never knew this, but I find it fascinating. I can think of a few more exceptions to the rule, but in general he is correct–we all subconsciously put words in this sequence, I assume because that’s how we heard and learned them when we learned to talk and read.

From The Elements of Eloquence: How to Turn the Perfect English Phrase by Mark Forsyth  (2013)

Adjectives in English absolutely have to be in this order:

Opinion–size–age–shape–color–origin–material–purpose Noun

So you can have a lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife.

But if you mess with that word order in the slightest, you sound like a maniac. It’s an odd thing that every English speaker uses that list, but almost none of us could write it out. And as size comes before color, green great dragons can’t exist.

A beautiful large older yellow chaise lounge, NOT a yellow older beautiful large chaise lounge.

Of course, there are exceptions, phrases that have become standard: Big, bad wolf is size then opinion.


I’m clearing out old files on my laptop, and came across this list from several years ago. The editors I worked with had listed the funniest “that’s not what the author intended” typos they’d seen in books they were editing. Enjoy!

The heroine was a “wonton hussy”. (Ah, yes—a lover of Asian food.)

The hero reaches down to “adjust the bugle in his jeans”. (I’m just imagining his pants busting out with Reveille!)

He shitted in the saddle as he stared down at her. (Eww, I hope there’s some good saddle soap handy.)

We’d run pilot training flights over the dessert. (Mmm….pie…)

She put on her fury robe. (Now you know she’s mad!)

You’ve done an admiral job protecting her reputation. (Naval protection?)

The dress was “complimented” by a bright ribbon. (Picturing the ribbon saying “Hey, nice dress.”)

Going without underwear is NOT “going cammo”. (Green and black face paint?)

The pond was teaming with fish. (Imagining fishy sports.)

The earl stepped into the antichamber. (Regency England meets Star Trek?)

The characters have lunch at the “Diary Queen”.

Rivets of sweat ran down his torso. (Metal items rolling down his chest.)

His thumb pressed gently against her juggler vein. (And was there a clown present too?)

There was someone out there willing to act out even the most bazaar of fantasies.

For the first time since her bazaar journey started, she thought she might be able to adjust. (Visiting markets around the world, is she?)

She shuddered as her organism washed over her. (Don’t wanna know what little critters are involved here.)