Follow the evolution of the Writer Knapsack (and even participate and help make decisions) as I create the face and materials of a new and different take on helping writers in this crazy world of publishing. Join me from the beginning and watch the website change as I work on sketches to a final logo, offer tips and tales toward final production, and develop an array of materials for those living the writing life...all to fill the pockets of your own writer knapsack.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


It is very important for every author to have their own self-editing sheet.  I say "their own" because, though a sample sheet from someone or somewhere might be used, each self-editing sheet should be constantly added to, customized, making this amazing device unique to each author.  Anytime a critique partner, proof-reader, or editor notes something to you such as a constant correction they are finding or making, add it to your list.

I have a sheet I use when editing manuscripts and which has evolved and grown over the years--things I've added because a number of authors may have issues with them in their manuscripts, or something new I've learned (yes, even editors learn something new every day), or little things I want to make sure I didn't overlook (because sometimes stories are so good I catch myself being a reader and have to go back a few pages to re-read as an editor.)  Some items on my list are simple, some more complex.

I realized the other day that it would be a great idea to do a regular blog post on helpful items to add to your own self-editing sheet.

First up, it seems only fitting to share a few of the initial ones I began with on my own list:

a) taught vs taut--this is one of those that the spelling is so close you might glance over it quickly, your mind filling in the blanks automatically.  This happens with a lot of words because you are often so focused on looking for bigger things.  It also falls into the same jumbled word category as one of my previous posts with reign vs rein. Taught = teach, taut = pulled tight, stretched, controlled.

b) alright--technically, this is not a word and should be changed to "all right" as the correct use.

c) blond vs blonde--though the difference is masculine vs feminine, it is actually okay to use either word for both males and females.  However, the most important thing to remember and note is to keep to one style throughout your manuscript.  You should not have a blond male and blonde female and then later in the story have a blond female.  Make a choice and keep it unified throughout.  As soon as I come across the first reference in a manuscript I'm editing, I circle the author's choice on my sheet; this way, I can fix any references that then come up in a different style.

You can check out a few more items to add to your list on another of my previous posts HERE.

Self-editing sheet...don't submit without using one first!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Blink - is that spring?

I have to admit, for a little while there, every time I thought maybe, just maybe winter was over, another snowfall would happen, or worse, ice rain--ick!  It had been quite a few stressful months, making the whole world appear depressed.

But, I looked up today and the sun was shining, people were in T-shirts, and everyone was cheerful and the dark clouds had shifted away from over their heads.  

And I was like, Ya baby, Spring!

So, to all those still dealing with the cold and white crystals of winter, hang in there.  It won't be long until you can raise your face to the sunshine, take a breath deep, and sigh with the fresh pleasure, too.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Repurposed office furniture

I hate to admit this, but I getting older.  Working all day in a law office then at night in the editing office has started to take a toll on these baby blues.

I do wear glasses, but for distance only--as in I only put them on when I am driving or watching a school play type thing.  But I don't need them to read.  Still, I've notice the last couple months that my monitor keeps overtaking my desk closer and closer.  The problem, however, is that pulling my monitor forward takes up too much of my desk space when I want to write things manually.

Then, on the weekend, while revamping my desk for the umpteenth time trying to find a comfortable "feng shui" as my husband teases, I found my old keyboard shelf.  I had taken it off because I preferred typing on the desk, so it had just been in my way underneath.  I looked it over and figured maybe if I turned it upside down, it might be the right height for my monitor to raise it to a better eye-level.  And it was, as you can see...

THEN, because the shelf was built to move forward and back under the desk...I discovered that, remarkably, it does the same thing on top of the desk.  I know, surprise, right :)

A few screws to secure it later, and VOILA!  I can now move my monitor forward and back when needed and still keep my desk free.

Lesson learned--don't hesitate to think outside the box.  You never know what might come from repurposing items...or ideas.