Editing: Polishing the Diamond in the Rough

Editing polishing the diamond

Last Thursday, it was my privilege to address the Utah Valley Writers on editing. The title of my presentation was Editing: Polishing the Diamond in the Rough. (Just a side note, if you would like me to address your school, class, writing group, or conference, please don’t hesitate to contact me). I promised the attendees (and my blog readers) that I would post some of the notes and other information on this site.

As presentations and blog writing are two different “beasts” I won’t post the PowerPoint without commentary.  So using that experience as a guide, I’ll write a series on editing. There, I covered tools of writing that, if employed, would make editing much easier, the different levels of editing, and finally finished up the lecture answering some questions that the members of the group provided on the difference between freelance editors and publishing house editors.

Please follow the links below to find the posts that cover this material. They will be highlighted once the section is live. I will change the order and some of the materials (adding some and deleting some) from the actual presentation (just a heads up for those that attended). As a reader of these posts, if you have any other questions that you have for the final section, please ask in the comments and I would be happy to answer them.

  • Levels of Edits
  • The First Draft Debate (free-write or outline)
  • Types of Writers (knowing your strengths and weaknesses as a writer, to improve your craft, and to become a better writer)
  • Ideas (for self editing and critique group editing)
  • Finding an Editor
  • Answering any Extra Questions

Finally, just a reminder that editing is a very important part of writing, but it is quite different than writing. It requires a different set of skills that, if learned and used, will help improve your writing and your critiquing. It can also be a really fun part of the process as you help craft and polish a finished product that will be appreciated for years to come.

Release of the Book – I Can Do Hard Things with God

I’ve been working on a book with a dear friend for a few years now. It’s called, “I Can Do Hard Things with God” and it is a compilation of essays from Mormon Women that discusses all sorts of personal issues and struggles –  it begins with suicide and then covers chronic illness, problems with family life (including wayward children, death, divorce, financial struggles, loneliness, infertility, being single in a church that is focused on families, and physical and mental illness).

Each essay takes a very difficult and painful struggle and discusses how the writer has or is dealing with it. Each woman discusses how her relationship with God has been tested and then strengthened through the trial. It is an honest book and takes a fair amount of courage for each one to tell her story so publicly.
Hard Things official
I have not only helped to edit it, but I have written a chapter in it as well. When I say that it takes courage to do so, I mean it. It even takes courage for me to write this blog post to tell you that I have an essay in the book, and I haven’t even told you what my struggle is! I hesitate only because my story is not my own. It is one that involves my husband, and I’m not sure when he wants me to go public with it – but it’s coming  in 3 weeks and so he better be ready for it soon!  So I will keep the mystery of my struggle for a few more precious days and pretend that everything is normal. 😉

Anyway, the book will be released on February 3, 2015 and is available for pre-order today on Amazon.

The book will also be available at Deseret Book, Seagull Book and many other retailers at the beginning of February. It is really harrowing and difficult to read as you re-live the struggles with these women, but it is also full of joy and faith and hope. I encourage you to get your hands on a copy and read it. My hope is that you will enjoy the journey and be enriched by the experience.

We’re up on iBooks

Such exciting news! Jake Bowers is now available in the iBooks store. YAY!!!

You can download it on your apple devices and right now, because you’re my newest and bestest BFF, it is at a deeply discounted trial rate (seriously, check it out, you’ll flip at the price). 😉

Go through your iOS device’s iBookstore and search the title (see picture below).


Any ratings, feedback, etc. Would be MOST appreciated! Thank you!!

Jake Bowers Versus The Firebird is Available as an eBook

Thank you for reading the last few days. If you missed it, you can go back and read all six of the sample chapters here (that’s two more than you can usually find at the eBook retailers’ samples).

Chapter One: The Ziggurat
Chapter Two: Monterey Historic Raceway
Chapter Three: The Gullwing
Chapter Four: Farid’s Gift
Chapter Five: An Unexpected Phone Call
Chapter Six: Commander Bowers

If you liked what you read, the rest of the book is a steal at a mere $2.99 for the entire eBook! I love that about eBooks – we can keep the cost low. Now, if you’re thinking, I can’t read it, I don’t have an eReading device (like a Nook, Kindle, or iPhone) have no fear – you can read it on your computer! Here are two sites that enable you to do that –

Read Anywhere with Kindle Reading Apps
Smashwords – Read online, as a PDF, etc.  

You can read this book on any of the devices listed below. Yesiree! You can now find my book at your favorite eBook retailer (well, almost all, still working with iBooks and a few others). To do so, click the picture.

JB Header


Here’s the short teaser –

While other kids ride their bikes, Jake is learning to fly on a carpet. They’re playing video games, he’s being hunted by cyborg-scorpions. They face popularity contests, he is in a face-off with a Firebird. But Jake is not alone. Other kids at Hale Junior High are finding that the world is quite unusual. They must work together to save Jake’s Uncle and search history to uncover their futures.

It is a middle grade read (simply due to the age of the protagonists) though the reading level is zharkahigher middle grade. If you know of a cute son, daughter, nephew, niece, cousin, friend’s kid, etc. that likes to read, please pass it along. Also, this book is great for the whole family, so while you’re at it, read it for yourself and tell me what you think.

Click the picture to find the eBook retailer site that’s best for you!

And, just looking to the future, it will also be available soon as a paperback book.

Finally, if you are a librarian, please note that JBvFb can be purchased and downloaded through Smashwords. Thank you.