Refiner's Fire Editing

Inspiring Excellence in Writers

About the Editor

In the Beginning

I've always been a reader, a fact perhaps no more clearly evident than on the day when, as a child, I toddled into the local public library with my mother and raced past a librarian re-shelving books from a step-ladder. In the same aisle, my mother says, I knelt and pulled a book from the shelf, and said, "Look, Mommy, Tomie dePaola."


The librarian nearly fell off her step-ladder. "How old is she?"


"Eighteen months," said my long-suffering mother, who had been a children's librarian, herself, in a past life.


~

Want to Read a Book?

Being a voracious reader makes me that much better an editor and proofreader. When I was eight years old, I wrote and illustrated a twelve-page masterpiece (IMHO) about a wizard who kidnapped a princess and then fell in love with her. (Not quite politically correct.) I knew that I needed to grip my readers from the get-go, and describe my fairy-tale world so readers could feel involved, and make my characters likable. (My efforts leaned more toward the melodramatic and purple prose at the time.)


It's that kind of insight --- from years of experience reading everything I could get my hands on, from soup cans and cereal boxes to literary theory and astronomy textbooks to memoir and a wide range of fiction --- that enables me to pick apart a manuscript at the micro level and not only identify its strengths and weaknesses but also suggest solutions and improvements.


Some people see the forest.


I see individual twigs and leaves on separate branches on single trees that make up the forest.


It's my job and calling to inspire excellence in my clients, and I take it to heart.


~

I see individual twigs and leaves on separate branches on single trees that make up the forest.

Background

After high school, I tried majoring in music, education, and music education (no, really) before I realized that I was missing my calling.


Once a writer, always a writer.


I'm a proud and delighted graduate of Southern New Hampshire University, where I received both an MA and a BA in creative writing and English, with an emphasis in fiction and a background in literary theory, poetry, and both American and global literature.


Because I like to keep everyone, including myself, guessing, and to maintain as eclectic and unsalable a resume as possible, I also hold a BA in art history from Mansfield University and an accredited certificate of floral design from Front Range Community College.


I was busily critiquing and editing my classmates' submissions in our online discussion forums, as per course requirements, when two things happened, relatively close together. First, I realized how much I was enjoying myself, incisively picking apart others' writing (in the nicest, most constructive ways possible) and seeing their work improve over the course of the class from their judicious application of their classmates' advice and input.


Second, a classmate approached me, wholly unexpectedly, to ask if I provided editing and/or critiquing services outside of the classroom realm. I didn't, at the time, but it didn't take long for me to build a website, take a course in freelancing, and hang out my shingle.


I haven't looked back once.


~

Current News

In other news, I remain both a writer and a poet. My current fiction project is a novel-length (okay, epic-length, actually) work of speculative fiction in which an unpredictable police officer stumbles on another world where a holocaust of the creatures who live there is about to happen. In poetry, I'm accruing select of my works to publish in a chapbook sometime.


In my spare time, I kill houseplants (not on purpose) and spend time with family. Meanwhile, I can't stop learning about everything that happens to fascinate me, so I'm studying French and Welsh, interior design, color psychology, the culture of New Orleans, victim advocacy, J.R.R. Tolkien, and how not to kill houseplants.