Last night, I finished editing yet another book for an indie author. It's just an invigorating feeling to me. It all began back in the 80s when I was a kid. Which of you remembers the days before texting? When note-writing was the thing to do. My girlfriends used to pen me their thoughts every day about boys and clothes and boys ... and boys. I remember dotting my i's with circles and hearts, writing in different colors of ink in the same note just to make it awesome.
Then I remember how irritated I would get when my friends gave me typo-ridden notes. I kid you not, I actually used to go through and correct all their typos before reading the whole thing attentively. Is that psycho? I would crumple up a note, even if I was half-way done writing, if I made an error that would require me to have a dreaded scratch-out! White-out didn't make me feel better. It was lumpy, and sometimes I could still see the color seeping through. =/
This obsession continued throughout my adult life. I would relentlessly discover typos in novels, magazines, newspapers, signs, flyers, worksheets, applications, everywhere! I couldn't turn it off! I was the ghost editor at this one clinic I worked at (before my journalism days). The management even held a special impromptu meeting with all the staff to confront the issue of the "red pen bandit." I used to go into the break room where the memo board was posted and edit their horrendously- written memos that had so many errors I had a hard time respecting those in authority who crafted them. They scoffed at the person who was correcting them and said it was very rude and disrespectful. I thought it was generous, to be quite honest.
This is all my mom's doing! Yea. It's her ... fau ... well, I shouldn't call it a "fault," because she gave me the power of the written word and prepared me for a life of English crime fighting. This little homemaker taught me how to read way before Kindergarten. I was so bored until 2nd grade. Thanks to my mom, I spent the first couple years in grade school thinking everyone else was totally dumb but me. A rude awakening found me later in life when I crossed paths with other, sharp-witted, would-be grammarians. Another lesson my good ole mum taught me was that I'm not better than anyone else; we're all here with a purpose, all with special talents and weaknesses just the same. She warned me not to be big-headed and pompous and that she was repulsed by such types. That stuck with me all my life, as did my love for words. I spent my childhood in the library while other kids were at the park, slumber parties or planning their next outfit. Even as I got older, my face was in a book alone in my room while others were at parties, dating, raving about the latest fashion trends and hot guys. I wouldn't go back to change it even if I could.
I miss the days when we actually could recognize each other's handwriting. I guess that handwriting excellence award I won in 1st grade was destined for worthlessness in this ever-evolving world. I used to be so proud (and sneaky) about being ambidextrous. I have three handwritings, one on the left and two on the right, and I loved to confuse the teachers when I was a kid, as they were totally keen on whose handwriting was whose. Once I was accused of having someone else do my homework because the teacher said the handwriting didn't match "mine." I sat down at her desk and demonstrated my abilities, and, after that, she was always in awe of me. Long gone are such days where you can woo someone with your penmanship. Does that word even exist in the minds of today's youth?
Anyway, what I'm getting at is the world is changing so fast. Those inky days seem like yesterday, and now I spend more than half my life behind a keyboard typing away, indulging in my happy place - the world of words. I love being a writer, a journalist, an author and also an editor. Wiping out those embarrassing typos, unintended innuendos, misuse of common or not-so-common words, confused tenses and all those ailments I discover makes my life happy and fulfilled. Well, one part of it anyway. The other parts are motherhood and wifehood, of course. <3
Then end ... for now.