Editor Debtor

An idea slowly came across my mind today.

The origin of the idea came from my last story submission, in which I went ahead and shot Lord Lucan a small amount of money for his help in editing the beast. You see, when favors become habitual, it’s time to stop calling them favors and start paying for it. While I don’t mind a few freebie edits between friends, continued use of that aid should be compensated.

After I submitted my story, I began to consider the possibility of perhaps paying for Lucan’s editor certifications. I cannot claim to fully understand the system but I am aware of some of the fees.

And I began to think, “You know. There’s an opportunity here.”

Editing is not an easy task, especially for the author of the work itself. Nothing eats away at our self esteem quite like catching every mistake, every poorly constructed sentence and every moment where we sit up and ask, “What the hell was I thinking?”

That is why I feel it pays to have another party handle editing. While I cannot claim that a friend is impartial, he is certainly more impartial than the author himself (him/her, you know what I mean.)

So I’ve quietly began contemplating setting up a certification fund, the money generated would pay for the certifications to transform hobby editors into professional ones. I cannot foresee vast sums for edited works. But a few dollars here, a pound or two there for each piece can accumulate over time. The editor could keep track of works he’s edited so he can claim partial credit for proofreading, letting them build up a portfolio of work and contacts.

I’ve been scratching my chin, thinking about the work that would have to be done:
1) Research into the guilds and associations, which differ base on Britain and the US. Many of my writing friends are from the UK. (Paypal handles currency conversions, so that is not an issue.)
2) How would the divying of funds work? Should each junior editor get their own account or should it be pooled?
3) How would we handle failures of editors to finish editing on time? Many of my friends and I have started to work under deadlines and limited submission windows. Time’s a factor.

Other questions are undoubtedly going to arise. Leave a comment if you’ve a thought, please.

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Quakin’

I wish it was that kinda Quake...

Quake II wasn't bad, but Quake D.C. kind of sucked.

Alright, so yours truly was temporarily delayed yesterday thanks to tremors that struck the east coast of the United States.

The rumbling started while I was at my desk at work. For a moment, I wondered if someone was jumping around or intentionally shaking my cubicle, but when other people mentioned it as well I realized it was quake tremors. I imagine that explosives, like some people guessed, are more likely to be a powerful shake and then done. That is unless they were placed to demolish a building, where proper placement and timed detonations would collapse a building. Hence when it started going down, I acted on my elementary school training and threw myself under my desk should anything fall. About five seconds later,  I was told we were to evacuate the building. So I snatched my bag and joined everyone else in orderly but hasty departure.

Everyone dashed outside after swamping the staircases. We assembled in the parking lot, laughing about it. My Facebook news feed was abuzz with news about it, and during the jog down ten flights of stairs I even managed to squeeze out a message via my phone. Everyone was fine, just shook up by the experience. Unlike the west coast, we don’t get many earth jiggles in these parts. Still, we slowly began to laugh and take it easy about the news. 5.8 in Virginia. Could have been worse than a few broken bottles and minor scraps. Phone signals were weakened by traffic of people calling but still got through to make sure my family was alright after a few tries.

Still, you can’t go through a mid-sized earthquake without some collateral damage. The news later said that the Washington Monument and National Cathedral both took some structural damage. The Cathedral definitely got it worse, with three of the four pinnacles falling. Those tops are the highest in all of D.C., so repairing them will be a pain. Still, anyone who has attended the church on a Sunday knows that they’re good for it, either now or soon enough.

Also of interest, certain animals at the Washington Zoo started acted erratically a full fifteen minutes before the tremors ever struck. Taken from the Washington Post’s article:

The first warnings of the earthquake may have occurred at the National Zoo, where officials said some animals seemed to feel it coming before people did. The red ruffed lemurs began “alarm calling” a full 15 minutes before the quake hit, zoo spokeswoman Pamela Baker-Masson said. In the Great Ape House, Iris, an orangutan, let out a guttural holler 10 seconds before keepers felt the quake. The flamingos huddled together in the water seconds before people felt the rumbling. The rheas got excited. And the hooded mergansers — a kind of duck — dashed for the safety of the water.

We WILL persevere!

We WILL persevere!

So we’re fine over here. Let go early, so we jetted on home. Some people were a little shook up over it, but we’ll be alright.

My plans to see Conan the Barbarian tonight got canceled however as traffic flooded the streets, so I parked myself at my favorite bar and chatted with my bartender, and backlogged a review for C.L. Werner’s Blood for the Blood God.

So that’s all the news for now. Working on a few reviews and am considering a musing piece about Khorne that may rock your socks off. Might try to line up another 10 songs for writing, probably looking for more ambient tunes and music. Then I’ll be hitting up the rest of my piece for September. Got to stay focused, earthquakes be damned.