Tag Archive | proofreading

Back to work?

It has been four years since I left my last full-time position, and, maybe surprisingly, I’m ready to go back. I have been home when I was needed most, I’ve gotten my kids past the most critical stage and now that my daughter is old enough to start driving herself around, I can reach for more. I wouldn’t change anything about the last four years. It was absolutely what I needed to do.

But this is what I need to do now. I miss contributing something vital to the world, something on a bigger scope. I miss being part of a team that’s working together to make the world a better place, one step at a time. I love my creative endeavors, but they’re small, low-impact, solitary. I miss collaboration. I miss using my brain to learn new things and then helping others learn those things. I loved being a trainer, loved helping my peers and staff grow. I loved making a difference in clients’ lives. I’ve got these writing skills, and I feel like I could be using them in so many more ways. I could make an impact in the community…and that’s thrilling.

In no way do I mean this as a criticism of stay-at-home parents. I’ve done it in two long stretches now, and appreciated it both times. Parenting is a huge responsibility, and I admire and respect those to do it full-time. I *know* it’s a job, and a hard one. But it’s also a personal choice, and what works for one family may not be the best choice for another. It was the right choice at that point in time.

But now, my kids have grown up a lot. For that matter, I’ve grown up a lot after all the things I’ve faced the last four or five years. I have more to give, and I want to make a bigger difference. I will still knit, though I might focus more on what sparks my creativity and less on custom orders. I will still write and work on getting my book published. I will still proofread for other writers, though it might take me a little bit longer. But I want to do more. I want to challenge myself. I feel like this is my second wind, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.


I’m a good girl

You’ll be pleased to know that I stayed focused and got a lot of “must haves” done yesterday! (Or maybe you won’t, but let’s pretend, just for fun.) I made my list of chores for the week and half are already crossed off. Sure, they’re the easier ones, but it’s a start. When I can do that, get a workout in, AND get some work done, that’s a good day. I finished the first pass through the sci-fi book I’m proofreading (it’s the sequel to Mostly Human by Antoinette Houston. I’m not a sci-fi person but I have fun reading these.) and I got a few rows done on the mermaid blanket during Jeopardy! and I even managed to do some fun knitting before bed, starting another set of fingerless gloves. IMG_6084I needed another travel project, and these are perfect.

Now, I need you guys to send me some willpower: I’m going to the yarn store with the mother today. She wants a scarf to go with a certain dress, so we’re going together to pick out a color. I really really need to be good and not come home with extra yarn, so please send good mojo, or juju, or whatever. And tomorrow, I’ll be sure to show what I come with anyway. Sigh.

Here, have a couple of pupdates: IMG_6081Jack follows me around all day long. This is what I have whenever I’m working in my craft room.

IMG_6083And this is why my couches are a wreck. Both of them are in front of big windows, and the puppies have to keep watch whenever possible. I guess I’d rather have happy puppies than pristine couches. (Not sure the husband agrees.)

We had big storms yesterday and last night and this morning everything is bright and shiny and sparkling. Even the power lines have little rainbow droplets. Hope your day is bright too!

New Website

If you read my blog on an actual computer, you may notice that it looks a little different. I’ve had the same theme since I started two years ago, and I wanted something more colorful, more fun. Plus, I have a better grasp of how WordPress works now, so even though there were a few kinks here and there, I was able to create something a little more complex than before. I’m really pleased with it. The main change is of course the color, but the sidebar moved to the right, since I think that’s where the eye naturally goes. I added a couple of things to the sidebar and re-ordered it. I also updated my About page and added a new page, Shop, which features some of my Etsy items.

Of course, WordPress also reminded me that I’ve almost hit my storage limit, which means within the next month I’ll be making some decisions about the next step. I’m leaning toward upgrading my WordPress plan for a few reasons: the cost includes the domain, it has plenty of storage, it will continue to allow readers to easily comment on posts, and most importantly, it’s what I’m familiar and comfortable with. With any luck, it will allow me to keep going without causing any hiccups for me or you!

Now, let me get to the more exciting part of yesterday: I created a website for my proofreading, bonnymoseley.com! It’s a work in progress; I’m sure I’ll be fine-tuning it for a while. But it’s a solid start, a way for potential clients to find me, get an idea of how I can help them, and see that I take it seriously. Before you comment that there’s no mention of cost/pricing/rates: yep, I know. I’m working that bit out and didn’t want to put it out there before I was ready. It will be on there in the near future. Feel free to share with any of your writing friends, or keep me in mind for YOUR writing project!

No knitting from yesterday; I was busy on the computer all day long. And when I did pick up my knitting late last night before bed, I knit an extra row of gray on the striped hat and yes it looks noticeable and yes I need to tink back and yes I put it in timeout and went to bed. So I’ll give you a puppy photo instead. IMG_5031“Can we go outside now mom pleeeeeeease???”

Joining the Modern World

I think I did something really cool this weekend, something that will help my small businesses. I’ve been working on a computer that’s ten years old. Thanks to my husband, it had a huge hard drive, but not much memory and a very slow processing speed. (I don’t speak computer fluently. This is the best I can do.) Anyway, after my word processor kept locking up while I was working on my proofreading job, I decided enough was enough, and I upgraded. I now have a modern computer that runs quickly and smoothly. I have an upgraded version of Pages, with lots of features I didn’t know existed, though soon I’ll be adding Word. The photo editing websites, like PicMonkey, work much faster now, so I can more easily create cool graphics for my Bonny Knits stuff. The proofreading end results are the same, but I can get there faster and more easily, and that’s a huge plus. I’m really excited!

So with this new tool, I’ve decided I’m going to set up a website for my proofreading. Even if I’m mostly getting jobs by word-of-mouth, I’d like to have something people can be referred to, something professional and clear. So I’m checking out hosting sites and trying to decide which route to take. Soon I’ll be asking my authors for testimonials to add to the site, and then it’ll go live and I’ll get jobs to help pay for my computer upgrade and I’ll be even more excited!

Most of my weekend was taken up with words (I did finish my proofreading job and sent back to the author this morning) but last night I cast on for a new hat. I’ve got a small craft show this Saturday, so I’ve been making a few inexpensive pieces to fill out my inventory. I really like this one! IMG_5025Toddler-sized basic beanie in sparkly acrylic, and of course I’ll add a pompom too. The coolest thing is that I learned how to do the jog-less join and now my “seam” is practically invisible! IMG_5026

I love it! But before I can finish it, I should probably do some work toward my newest website. Happy Monday, friends!

The Book’s Not Terrible

Whew, what a relief! My friend and I met yesterday morning and she didn’t tear my book to shreds. In fact, she even said I’m a good writer; that always feels good to hear. She did give me some solid feedback that I’m going to incorporate, and we had a really nice conversation. Now I’ve got the book with another, more objective reader (more objective because she wasn’t there for the whole thing) and I’m looking forward to her reaction. Her reaction when I told her what it was about? “Oh, good, it’ll be juicy!” Haha! I don’t know about that, but maybe.

After our meeting, I somehow ended up at my old LYS. No idea how that happened. Okay, yes I do. I’m making a rainbow cowl for my mom, and it had stalled. I’d started a Honey Cowl, DK weight yarn on size 6s, but I wasn’t enjoying it. It was slow, it hurt my elbow, I resisted working on it. Plus it had a lot of purling in it, and I’ve switched to the “right” way to purl, so I didn’t want to go back to this project with the “wrong” purling. I frogged it, and decided to add a second strand to speed things up. I tried white and didn’t like it, so my goal with the LYS was to find a black fingering weight wool to add to it. Not surprisingly, I found one! IMG_5003This was my test to see if I liked them together, and I do! I think it’s very striking, and tones down the brightness of the rainbow. (I love the brightness; not sure if my mom would.) I picked a different pattern, the Hartwell Scarf, and this morning cast on with size 8 needles. So far I’m very pleased with it, and I can tell it’ll go more quickly than it would have before.

Somehow I also made it home with this. IMG_4998Malabrigo Rios, color Teal Feather. Oh, Malabrigo. Why are you so irresistible? I’m pretty sure it will become another Barley hat, because that seems to be the perfect combination. I mean, look at my Pink Frost Barley, finished just last night: IMG_5004IMG_5005So, so pretty! This is a child’s size, and I have enough yarn left to do another one. I think I want to do a baby Barley. That would be perfection. But first I need to get in a solid chunk of proofreading, and then tonight I’ll reward myself with more knitting.

Playing with Words

One of the joys of being a proofreader is that I get to read books, books very few people have read before. It’s fun, being part of a tiny circle of readers, although sometimes the book isn’t something I would choose to read otherwise. My current proofreading job is a good one: a memoir about a woman who stopped shopping for a year and examines her relationship to shopping and clothes and self-esteem, and how all those things are intertwined. Her writing is personable, light-hearted and funny while tackling some serious issues. It’s really good, a fun read, and I know I’m supposed to be reading it for the mistakes but I keep getting caught up in the story too. It especially resonates with me, since I worked in the retail clothing business and now buy very few new clothes. Hopefully in the near future I’ll be able to tell you that it’s widely available for sale!

Speaking of memoirs, I’m meeting with my co-worker friend this morning, the one who agreed to be an early reader for my manuscript. I’m scared. I messaged her the other day, saying I was going nuts and was it terrible? The only response I got was, “Can you meet this day?” Well. That’s not very reassuring. Now, I know this woman, and she’s lovely and she will be kind, but she will also be honest, which is what I need from her. Still. Honesty is scary. I truly don’t think my book is terrible, but maybe it’s not interesting enough for a wide readership. Maybe I’m too harsh on some of my former co-workers. Maybe I’m an unfailing pessimist who always assumes the worst. Yep. That last one. Anyway, I’ll let you know how it goes. Unless it goes horribly, and then you just won’t hear from me for a while. Either way, I guess you’ll know!

Knitting was my reward last night for a full day of proofreading. I cast on with some Malabrigo Worsted in Pink Frost in a delightful pattern called Barley by TinCanKnits, and it’s coming along nicely. IMG_4996As you can see, it’s also good purling practice for me, since it has that 22-stitch section of garter stitch. I’m rather enjoying my “new” way of purling, and it absolutely makes knitting the next row SO much easier. I really want to curl up and finish this hat, but alas, I have to get cleaned up so I can go listen to someone tell me what’s wrong with the book I wrote. Ack! Cross your fingers for me!

I am not just a Knitter

Again, another day with zero knitting. But it was okay, because I spent it doing the other thing I love: reading. I do a bit of freelance proofreading, and I’ve got one prolific author who seems to like what I do: this is the third book she’s had me proofread for her. Her name is Antoinette J. Houston, and she’s got two paranormal novels on Amazon right now. This third one is science fiction, which is not a genre I typically read. But I enjoyed this one, even if I was focusing mostly on grammar and punctuation and stuff like that. It took me all day to do my first read-through but I got it done!

Today I’m taking a wee break from the proofreading and spending time with my yarn (at least until I force myself to run my errands). I’ve got some Cascade Cloud on my needles, and wow, it’s nice stuff. Feels so good in my hands, dense but springy and soft. I’m making an All-Day Beret with it and enjoying every stitch.11150838_1624885424401537_2563179216556120231_nOf course I still have to fulfill my role as chauffeur. The girl has play rehearsal all week after school (almost Tech Week!) plus two nights of band rehearsal and one band concert. I have no idea how we’re going to fit in choir next year, but it’s a good problem to have.

Mostly, though, the puppies and I have been enjoying our downtime after nine days of spring break. IMG_1802Until next time, happy reading/writing/knitting/crocheting/puppy loving!

When I grow up, I want to be…

I’m so jealous of my husband. Alex actually knows what he wants to be when he grows up. He’s worked for a local software company for over 15 years, but in his heart, he wants to focus on his woodworking and build custom furniture. He’s thinking ahead, trying to plan it out so that it will actually be feasible in the future. But me? It depends on the day, and to be honest, I don’t know what my future will hold, or even what I want it to hold.

I quit my full-time job about two years ago to be a stay-at-home mom. I’d been in retail management for six years and I was beyond burnt out. Add in some family crises, and the job became even less important. We revised our budget, cut back a lot of expenses, and let loose of a lot of stress. It was wonderful–it’s been wonderful–in so many ways. I am beyond grateful that my husband has been willing to let me take this time to focus on family. I’m grateful that my kids have accepted the sacrifices I ask them to make so we can live within our means.

For the first few months, I worked on a book. I’d started a memoir about my retail adventures while I was still working, and I was inspired to finish it while the memories were still fresh. Once (I thought) it was done, my time opened up in front of me. Most people would see it as a huge blessing, and part of me did. But part of me saw it as huge pressure too. Alex and I had talked about my writing, and how this was the best opportunity for me to focus on it. And it was. It is. So why didn’t I revise my book, edit and polish it, and start querying agents?

Fear. Plain and simple.

Rejection is part of writing, every writer knows that. I try to brace myself for it, but it always knocks me down a little. And at that time, I think I knew I wasn’t emotionally strong enough to push through that process.

Now it’s two years later, and I’ve worked on the book a lot more. I’m venturing into the world of writers and agents in social media, and maybe it’s time to take that leap. I could finish this book, maybe find an agent and get it published, or self-publish. I’ve been writing for years, so maybe I could pull out the two completed manuscripts I’ve got in my closet and see if they’re worth revising. I could be a writer when I grow up.

But. Wait. In those two years, I’ve also started doing some freelance proofreading, and I love it. I was a copy editor in both high school and college, and English has always been my strong suit. I read widely and voraciously, and correcting spelling, grammar and punctuation is second nature to me. I love taking another writer’s work and polishing it so it shines. I’ve worked on four books so far and would love to do more. There are a lot of freelance websites out there, and if I put forth the effort to bid on jobs, I could probably make a bit of money from it. And when the kids are a bit older and I don’t need to be home so much, I could find a permanent proofreading position.

Hold on, though. I have a passion for yarn, for crochet and knitting. I have visions of a sunny, friendly yarn store where I could spend my days helping people with their own crafting. Alex and I have talked about a joint venture, a storefront where we have both yarn and furniture displayed for sale. We even have a potential name and we’ve scouted out buildings that would work well.

Picture an end table with a lacy runner decorating it, or a coffee table holding bowls of yarn and vases of handmade wood knitting needles. Picture a mannequin wearing a scarf decorated with a wood scarf pin. It’s a relaxing vision, a happy vision. It would allow Alex and I to spend time together, sharing our love for making beautiful pieces. It would keep me from having to answer to a boss, like I would with a “real” job. The kids could work there too, after school and summers. Maybe the dog would be mellow enough to come to work with me sometimes.

I think of doing this and smile. It would be a hard choice, though, with unreliable income, less time off, not much freedom to be spontaneous. I’d have to learn how to run a business, which isn’t why I would do it. I’d do it to be with yarn and other yarn-lovers, to create a space that’s lacking in my neighborhood.

So what do I do? How do I decide what to focus on? I know I can have all these things in my life to some extent, but I feel like I’m supposed to have a goal. What should I be working toward? How do I figure out which one is my true passion?