Writing is like a game of Scrabble…you need the right letters to make the right words…


 I am a notorious wordsmith; this is my obsession.

I agonize over a conjunction or a preposition.

Adjectives are dear friends to me,

But my descriptive pals must let me see

A word painting come to life on the page!

I don’t count the words to set my gauge

Of whether I’ve said enough or way too much.

I brainstorm the words in a mad rush,

Then go back to the start and begin again.

I cut and I add, question and doubt, change and rearrange.

It’s like a Scrabble game; you make the words fit

With the luck of the draw, bit by bit,

Combined with the letters on the gameboard in play

To select words in a new and different way.

Such is the story and frank admission

Of a writer of words with a crazed obsession.

Deborah A. Bowman, wordsmith

Writing, printing, editing, and proofreading are essential to each other, but they’re totally different disciplines.


Everyone’s set of skills are different. It’s what makes the world go round. What you do well and I do well should complement each other. That’s a great way to keep harmony and peace in the world.

My life has been centered around the written word and training my eye to see discrepancies, typos, inconsistencies, errors, grammar, spelling, and format. I guess that makes me the bad guy to many writers. But I also wear a white hat. I want to present someone else’s thoughts, prose, poetry, songs, and business/advertising materials to show off the author, not the editor. I’m in the background, and I enjoy that role.

Just in the past year or so, I’ve finally finished that novel that had been collecting dust for some time, started a series of novellas, and started using my own by-line on fiction, my first and true love, instead of newspaper articles and a short, yet heartfelt, acknowledgement when I was the “ghost”.

Ghost writing is an art, and not cut out for all writers. If you sound like yourself, you’ve missed the point. You have to sound like the author, using his/her terminology, “voice”, mannerisms, and factual material (I still check the facts a second time, though; ingrained in me, I guess).

Fiction has let my heart soar free! It’s what I really, really want to do. But ghost writing, editing, proofreading, etc., pays. Fiction, not so much. Yet, I believe if I stick with it and learn to market (not one of my skills), it will grow, evolve, and I’ll become what I’m supposed to be in this life.

It’s definitely a younger person’s market. The more you know about online social media, advertising, publishing, etc., the better your chances are. A year ago I didn’t know a tweet from a facebook page. I never had time for social media. Now I tweet, post, blog, write and still pursue my one-woman crusade of fixing all the typos in the world. Each time I learn something new, I progress a little closer to realizing my dream. And the most wonderful part of it all? I’ve met the most wonderful people who encourage, cajole, laugh, and commiserate. Wow! I don’t have to hide in a basement or a bunker anymore with no contact to the outside world. It’s great!

I end my little blog today with something I have said many times before, but I keep saying it because you never know when someone will read me for the first time and I can help them stop feeling guilty for the errors they missed, the words that were out of place and left out, using “form” when it should be “from”, or realizing “you’re” is a contraction for “your are”, not “your” ____ (any noun will work).

YOU CAN’T PROOFREAD YOUR OWN COPY. It is a physical, organic impossibility as the function of the brain. Your brain sees what you think is there. After all, you wrote it, and therefore, it’s ingrained in your brain. You may not know it. You may think after a while you won’t remember it, but you do…on a subconscious level.

Editors can be the bad guys, but they’re an important asset in making the author look good.

That said, who will proofread for me?





Book Reviews

Book Reviews, two small words . . . one BIG subject!

We all write because we have to . . . keeping the feelings and descriptions within us would be detrimental to our health, and I am being serious, not “flip” or comical.

Of course, once you write, you want someone, anyone, to read your words. You want to share. You write because you care . . . about humanity, about life, about others in your chosen craft. We write because we are readers first! We are not competing–we are giving. Only life experiences have brought me to this comfortable place.

So how do you get others to read what you write? How do you get Book Reviews? This seems to be the question I hear most from authors of all genres–fiction and nonfiction.

I can’t speak for anyone else. I can only tell you what I choose to do. I review at least one book a week. Please bear with me, just a few more moments, a few more sentences so I can share . . .  this time.

I’m retired, though slightly younger than retirement age–not much–and my mobility is somewhat restricted, not as bad as it once was. Yet, I’m not slowing down–I’m speeding up–busier than I’ve ever been when I worked full-time.

In retirement, all I wanted to do was write fiction–the one form of writing that eluded me during my entire working career. I wrote for others and made their words and images look nice, made them accurate, took pride in them, regardless of the subject matter. So now I thought I had time to write my own words and I have. I felt true freedom for the first time since I wrote poetry as a child, wrote songs and lyrics as a young performer, and wrote silly notes to my friends to make them laugh. But that was a long time ago.

Then, somehow, just recently I returned to my roots. My fiction writing was temporarily halted as I began ghost writing for someone else, using “his” voice–not mine–laying out the pages, making “his” words and the images I selected to enhance “his” words look nice, made them accurate, took pride in them . . . I’m not quite finished with this project, but I’m pleased with it. Upon completion, it will be camera-ready, published as an eBook by myself as a gift to my client, and ready for him to use for his own personal crusade–and it is a very noble one.

Even though my time is scarce, and my personal writing is crying out to me for attention, I still review one book a week. I hope to be able to do more in the future. After all, I’m going to be reading anyway. I still write fiction in little “snippets.” It’s progress.

There is so much to learn, so much to share, so much to give. I want to “learn” something from every book I read.

There is a massive amount of writing out there to be read. It was different when I first started writing. Fiction was hard to publish, finishing a book of any genre was a massive accomplishment, many people started books and never finished them, myself included.

I started my first novel on a $99.00 Montgomery Wards portable typewriter, then I paid someone to put it on a word processor. I rewrote it five times. Then I helped launch an eBook site in the late 1990’s, a little premature for eBooks. But, I began learning how to use my skills in editing, writing, layout, format, etc.,  on a computer with other people’s books. It allowed me to list my own. I introduced one novel and one anthology of short stories that no longer exist, but still live inside me.

Book Reviews . . . two small words . . . one BIG subject!

New Series of Writing/Editing Blogs starting after Labor Day

I’ve worked in the editing/writing field for close to 30 years. I saw the old-fashioned way of getting a book, business article, academia work, technical report, newspaper, newsletter, poem, song published. Now, I’m using the new, rapid, technology-based Internet publishing through my company Clasid Consultants Publishing.

Whew! Hold the world still so I can get off! That’s how I felt at first. I just couldn’t see how the two disciplines could meet in the middle. There are pros and cons to both. But with a little work, imagination, and creativity, I realized you didn’t have to sacrifice the high quality of the slow, old-fashioned publishing process to the super-fast technology of the Internet. You can have both!

Starting after Labor Day (yikes! Next week!), I will be doing a series of blogs on how the old versus the new can be combined to best represent your literary achievements and especially, YOURSELF!

Some of these tricks of the trade are quick, easy fixes that can add so much to the finished product. Some are more involved, but still do-able for all authors, aspiring first-timers to seasoned authors who use to let the publishing house handle all the details. Don’t you want to be involved in the process every step of the way?
Control is a powerful tool, when you know how to use it.

Just like any other talent, writing must be studied, learned, practiced, and adjusted to fit your audience, your budget, and your timeframe. Maybe you’re writing the right stuff, but showing it to the wrong people. Maybe you’re spending money to make money, but you never make any money. Maybe it takes you too long to complete your writing project, or you’re writing it too fast and leaving out the formatting, proofreading, editing that is essential to getting the manuscript read. I’ll have some free helpful hints to aid you in your research, your preparation, and your publishing.

Please share my free class/blog with your friends, work associates, and even your family. After all, who supports you the most in any writing endeavor, but your family? Whether it is fiction, nonfiction, a resume, a dissertation, or a personal journal?

Don’t be afraid, and don’t give up. We can learn together as we go through this evolving process. Suggestions and comments are always welcomed.

Until next week, enjoy the Holiday and let’s get down to work . . . together.