Monthly Archives: March, 2013

I’m Available for Freelance Writer / Editor Work

I am an excellent manuscript editor–aiding writers to develop their own voices while ensuring the highest standards in concept, narrative structure, and dialog.

I am a skilled copywriter with particular experience in television scriptwriting, online content, and explaining technical subjects to a non-technical audience.

Those are my primary strengths, but my experience has taught me that I can write almost anything–from obituaries to PowerPoint to standup comedy.

I spent 20 years at ABC News-working for Good Morning America News and Nightline and producing stories from all corners of the world: the US Presidential Election,The Fall of the Berlin Wall , Apartheid in South Africa, Tienanmen Square. I’ve written and edited anchor copy for Ted Koppel, Wolf Blitzer, and Aaron Brown; produced, written, or researched over a dozen documentaries, and been published online at,, and UPI. My work has been recognized by the highest awards in my profession: Emmys, DuPonts, Peabodys, and Tellys among others.

After becoming a freelancer in 1993, I authored a CD-ROM History of the World, was an executive in two dotcom startups, and designed and demonstrated a prototype of ‘Global Business Network’: an online executive education and research resource. I have created videos, marketing plans, white papers, and brochures for many clients, including the American Trucking Associations, Porter-Novelli, Cisco, Asgard Technology, Maslow Media, and The Harvard Club.

I believe that my best work is the dozens of young journalists, producers, and writers who have told me that my mentoring and instruction was a key factor in their later career.

Recommendations from many of those who have worked for me, a complete CV, video resume reel, and samples of my writing can be seen at


Fiction Manuscripts

1. Analysis of broad problems: after a complete read of your manuscript (plot structure, characterization, genre aspects, pacing, etc) is a single charge of $400. 50% in advance and 50% at completion. Only PayPal accepted. (I’m not going to walk away after the initial analysis so we will continue to discuss your book without further charge unless it gets silly. We’ll both know when that happens.)
2. A line by line rewrite. $500 daily rate (Example: 300 pages, 80,000 words, 5 Days at $500 per day = $2500.) 50% of estimated cost in advance and remainder at completion. Only PayPal accepted. Again, further discussion and changes are included until the ‘silliness’ clause kicks in (see #1).
3. Ghostwriting. You supply the characters, plot, location, genre and major plot points and I will write your book. $500 per day actual time spent. $1000 in advance and remainder on completion. Only PayPal accepted. One full second draft is included at a rate of $250 per day. Additional drafts are at full day rate.


1. $500 per day for research and writing. I do not offer ‘half-days.’
2. $500 (one day) in advance, 50% of the amount of days worked upon completion of first draft. Remainder upon completion of second draft.
3, If you specify a limit to the number of days, I will finish a complete draft and will lay out where I think it can be improved with additional time.
4. Please note that all my experience in journalism has trained me to write quickly and in a client’s ‘voice’ and I usually complete the task in fewer days than estimated.


I generally work without a contract but, if you prefer, I will prepare either a Letter of Agreement or a Contract under the standard freelance guidelines as provided by the Editorial Freelancers Association.

On all my work, I will provide a free sample of the assignment–no more than 5 pages–prior to any agreement or fee.

If, in my own judgement, I do not feel that I can create a product up to my professional standards, there is no charge and you are free to use any of my work already completed.

On copywriting, if, at the completion of a first draft, you feel that my work is completely unacceptable, you have the choice of
a) a single complete new concept and rewrite for an additional $500 or
b) severing our working relationship (I retain the advance fee).

If, however, I discover that you have used my writing in substantial degree after ‘rejecting’ it… Well, I don’t expect you will, so why worry about it?

Please Note

I do not do proofreading. I generally adhere to Chicago Style and will endeavor to give you a error-free manuscript but I would strongly suggest using a proofreader (just as I do) for for the inevitable commas, semi-colons, and typos.
For a book manuscript, I will do a complete read-through of the final proof and provide notes gratis.  I’ll have an investment in your work by that point and want it to be the best it can be.


What makes people so AWESOME | A.C. Rooks

I’ve fallen in love folks. That’s right, me, the girl whose really has only had one romantic relationship in my entire life. I’ve fallen in love so wholeheartedly, so magnificently, that I question why I’m not running outside crowding the world with my affections. It’s a love I don’t think I can live without anymore, one where it’s hard not to criticize the rest of the world for not having. It’s a love that has stolen part of my heart.

Interested in knowing who it is? Well, darn, that’s not what I meant. It’s more a question of WHAT.

CHARACTERS. That’s right, within the contexts of stories; I love a well-thought out, deep, wonderful, realistic person. One who I can read the story, and feel like that man or woman could pop out of the television screen/book and instantly become a part of my life without the world wondering why I’m walking with a cardboard cutout of a human. I love characters with a lot of layers, or at least with something different about them, something that makes them step out of the cookie-cutter character mold and become something more than just a tool to propel a story. I’m talking about someone who inspires something, like a man who speaks like a painting, with every layer of paint meaning something.

via What makes people so AWESOME | A.C. Rooks.

Writer Unboxed » Killing Your Darlings is Not Enough

At some point in your life as a writer, you’ve probably had someone tell you to “kill your darlings.” In fact, this phrase is used so often in writing groups and workshops that—like its cousin “show, don’t tell”—”kill your darlings” has become one of the favorite clichés of the critique repertoire.

But do we really understand what “kill your darlings” means? As with most things in life, there’s an easy interpretation and we would all like that to be the end of the story. But if we look closely, we’ll find another interpretation lurking underneath, one that forces us to question who we are as writers.

via Writer Unboxed » Killing Your Darlings is Not Enough.

Why we should stop criminalizing practices that are confused with plagiarism | Poynter.

it is time to decriminalize certain practices now described under the rubric of plagiarism.

via Why we should stop criminalizing practices that are confused with plagiarism | Poynter..

How to Drink Like a Gentleman: The Things to Do and the Things Not To, as Learned in 30 Years’ Extensive Research: H.L. Mencken

Do you realize that your unthinking indulgence in ice-cream sodas during prohibition is now weakening the lumbar muscles and even displacing the kidneys of present-day bartenders? The heartless or ill-informed bar designer is putting forth a monstrosity modeled upon the soda fountain, which places between the bartender and the bar top the ice boxes, the receptacles for empties, and anything else you can think of to make the bartender bend at the waist. This cruelty must stop!

via How to Drink Like a Gentleman: The Things to Do and the Things Not To, as Learned in 30 Years’ Extensive Research.

How To Market Yourself As A Speaker | Six Pixels of Separation – Marketing and Communications Blog – By Mitch Joel at Twist Image

How To Market Yourself As A Speaker | Six Pixels of Separation – Marketing and Communications Blog – By Mitch Joel at Twist Image.

People Try To Put Us d-Down, Talkin’ ’bout Your Reputation – Part 1

I’m sure that we all understand that our business’s (as well as our personal) reputation on the web is critical to our success and ability to prosper. In the prehistoric ’80s and ’90s, businesses and their brands pretty much controlled their own public image on the web by “pushing” out marketing and public relations communications to an interested public. Friends, those days are gone forever!

via People Try To Put Us d-Down, Talkin’ ’bout Your Reputation – Part 1.

People Try To Put Us d-Down, Talkin’ ’bout Your Reputation – Part 2

in Part 1 on this topic I wrote about why it’s so important that businesses of every size and type get on board with online reputation management. I also discussed the importance of “listening” to what’s being said about your business online and pointed out a few tools that are available to help you do so.

Yes, starting your reputation management program by “listening” is important, but if you don’t take the time to understand what you’ve found and you don’t take appropriate and timely action, then listening is pretty much a waste of time.

So, in this post, I’m going to discuss the two other critical and inter-related components to an effective reputation management program; understanding and acting on what you’ve discovered.

via People Try To Put Us d-Down, Talkin’ ’bout Your Reputation – Part 2.

EXCLUSIVE #3 Lloyd Tackitt’s Palms Sweat as Release Date Draws Near | Novel Ideas

Lloyd Tackitt is a man you can’t just pin down. His many obligations mean that you grab interview time when you can. Luckily, this guy doesn’t give up and I managed to get Novel Ideas another exclusive interview with a writer who will soon release his brand new bestseller. What is it about Tackitt that makes him one of the elite bestsellers? I think it’s probably a mix of sincerity and talent. I also think he knows his subject so well he can just write about it and get the reader instantly hooked. Yeah, I have babbled on enough. Let’s go see what Lloyd has to say…

via EXCLUSIVE #3 Lloyd Tackitt’s Palms Sweat as Release Date Draws Near | Novel Ideas.

Review: Holocaust chapter written in ‘Rescue in the Philippines’ –

What makes this story even more unique is the unusual alliance that propelled this international plan of rescue and settlement. Philippines President Manuel Quezon, U.S. High Commissioner Paul McNutt, then-Army Col. Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Frieder brothers, a quintet of Jewish American cigar magnates, joined forces — politically, financially and spiritually — to help transport European Jews to a safe and productive life in the far-off Philippines.

via Review: Holocaust chapter written in ‘Rescue in the Philippines’ –

‘Rescue in the Philippines,’ by Russell C. Hodge –

The fascinating documentary “Rescue in the Philippines: Refuge From the Holocaust,” with narration by Liev Schreiber, recounts a little-known chapter of World War II heroism that is as heartbreaking as it is courageous. While much of the world was reluctant to help early victims of Nazi Germany, an effort devised in Manila during late-night poker games eventually delivered more than 1,200 European Jews to safety in the tropics.

via ‘Rescue in the Philippines,’ by Russell C. Hodge –

Why You Must Create a Compelling Book Description | change it up editing

Why You Must Create a Compelling Book Description | change it up editing.

Writer Unboxed » How to Write a Screenplay: 7 Starting Tips for Adapting Your Own Novel

Plenty of times, writers come up with an idea for a novel that could translate visually to film. The good news is that if you want to see your manuscript converted into a screenplay, there are two different routes that would make an adaptation possible.

via Writer Unboxed » How to Write a Screenplay: 7 Starting Tips for Adapting Your Own Novel.

Copyediting or Proofreading: 5 Steps to Determine What You Need

Change It Up Editing

ProofreadingIn the past few weeks I’ve received queries from several writers about my editing services. “How much do you charge to edit a 110,000 word novel?” and “What will it cost to copyedit my nonfiction book. It’s about 300 pages.”

These seem like perfectly reasonable questions, don’t they? The problem for me, as an editor, is that they are too vague. Editing is a very broad term that covers every function from development through line editing to proofreading—soup to nuts in editorial services, so to speak.

When you’re on a budget (and really, who isn’t?), it’s important to plan for your upcoming expenses. Your editorial budget should not be an exception! All writers who publish—traditionally or through self-publishing—are going to have to buy some level of editorial services. When you plan to seek an agent or query publishers directly, you should use at least one professional editor before you submit…

View original post 1,034 more words

Learn How to Build Your Own AK with the Rifle Dynamics AK Builder Class

[OK, We’re cooking with GAS now! -Terry]

Rifle Dynamics is one of the most innovative rifle manufacturers in the in the industry; continuously pushing the boundaries of what’s capable with the AK platform and designing purpose built firearms that become highly valued for their craftsmanship, functionality and attention to detail on every level.

However, Rifle Dynamics is much more than the great firearms they produce. They’re a company that I highly respect for their passion, integrity and ingenuity in a platform of firearms that’s largely ignored when compared to the popularity of the AR-15.

via Learn How to Build Your Own AK with the Rifle Dynamics AK Builder Class.

Book Country: Discover New Fiction with the Genre Map – StumbleUpon

Book Country: Discover New Fiction with the Genre Map – StumbleUpon.

The 5 Worst Writing Tips I’ve Ever Received

The Z-Axis

As someone who tries to write very consciously and deliberately, I like to pay attention to writing tips from agents, publishers, and other authors. I also got a fair few back in English classes when I was a young’un in high school. I’ve seen some pretty awful writing tips in my day, and I wanted to point out how absurd some of those are. Here’s a quick summary of the five worst pieces of advice I’ve ever received, and why I think they’re so dumb.

5. Outline your stories before you write.

Okay, I get that it works for some people, maybe, but it sure doesn’t work for me. When I try to outline I end up boxing myself into corners without giving my characters room to live, breathe, and make their own choices. My characters come to life on the page, sometimes almost without my consent, and do things…

View original post 552 more words

Should you Self-Publish?

A very good analysis of a very common dilemma

Self-Publish 101

There is a certain stigma that comes with self-publishing, the term being branded as vanity publishing. However, a deeper understanding of how publishing works can help you know what truly is in store for you in terms of self-publishing.
Many aspiring authors who have grown tired of trying to get an agent, let alone get their book published. With so many authors, a mountain of manuscripts and limited shelf-space, these authors have taken things into their own hands, going en-route self-publishing.
According to Bowker, the agency that assigns ISBNs and publishes the Books in Print database, self-published books have outnumbered traditional titles in production last year.
Self-publishing, just like traditional publishing, is not for everyone. However, it can be right for you. If you find yourself in any of these situations, then self-publishing just might work to your advantage:
• You know that your book has real potential but…

View original post 193 more words

Goodreads | Charles Stross’s Blog – Things publishers can’t do yet – March 19, 2013 05:01

[I just LOVE this quote!]

Contract law is essentially a defensive scorched-earth battleground where the constant question is, “if my business partner was possessed by a brain-eating monster from beyond spacetime tomorrow, what is the worst thing they could do to me?”

via Goodreads | Charles Stross’s Blog – Things publishers can’t do yet – March 19, 2013 05:01.

Nichole Bernier: Does Publishing a Novel Change Your Life? –

[God I hope so]

Nichole is a journalist by training – she won the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism’s award for long-form literary journalism and has written for Psychology Today, Elle, Health, Self, Salon, and The Huffington Post. Her post … well, I don’t want to spoil it by saying too much, but her take on what publishing a novel does to your life is charming, and funny, and so very very true. – Meg

via Nichole Bernier: Does Publishing a Novel Change Your Life? – 1st BOOKS: Reading and Writing with Friends | 1st BOOKS: Reading and Writing with Friends.


Want to Write a Book? Start By Writing a Book Proposal. | C.C. Chapman

As a writer, people ask me all the time for advice on writing books.

They want to know how I found a publisher (they came to me), how my books have been successful (they are good books) and how to market them (hustle, hustle, hustle).

via Want to Write a Book? Start By Writing a Book Proposal. | C.C. Chapman.

Creative Writing Tip: DON’T go crazy editing one paragraph (or chunk of text) | Creative Writing with the Crimson League

Today’s piece of advice for writing a novel is one I learned the hard way. While editing, I am guilty as all get out of violating this nugget of wisdom time and again. Even after I’ve learned the value of it from experience, I still go against the rule way more than I should. But the times I do realize what I’m doing and check myself, things go much smoother when I edit.

So, what’s the tip?

DON’T continuously edit one paragraph or chunk of paragraphs for too long in one sitting.

via Creative Writing Tip: DON’T go crazy editing one paragraph (or chunk of text) | Creative Writing with the Crimson League.

Walking on the Writing Side of Me: Nick Wale Interviews Clif | Novel Ideas

Cliff Popkey is a guy who has done a lot in his life. Interviewers normally ask him about his political career, his many jobs, seek small business advice or ask him what he had for lunch. I normally delve into the life of writers I work with… sure, that’s the territory. This interview will touch upon his career, but let’s get to the MEAT. What does Cliff write and why does he write it? He has written several books. We will cover many of them in this interview and you will enjoy the writing side of Cliff Popkey!

via Walking on the Writing Side of Me: Nick Wale Interviews Clif | Novel Ideas.

You Are Already Great | famousmangoes

Last week I finished reading the book Proof of Heaven by neurosurgeon Eben Alexander based truly on an NDE Near death experience which he experienced.20130225-002601.jpg“We are connected as One through our divine link with God.”Reading the book is now one of the best decisions I’ve made my whole life. It’s such an awesomely empowering read and speaks about the truth of our origin in God.

via You Are Already Great | famousmangoes.

Review of Nineteen Eighty-Four from 1949 – Boing Boing

Nineteen Eighty-Four is a book that goes through the reader like an east wind, cracking the skin, opening the sores; hope has died in Mr Orwell’s wintry mind, and only pain is known. I do not think I have ever read a novel more frightening and depressing; and yet, such are the originality, the suspense, the speed of writing and withering indignation that it is impossible to put the book down.

via Review of Nineteen Eighty-Four from 1949 – Boing Boing.

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