Monthly Archives: July 2013

Publishing Institute Post #4: Those Crazy Copy Editors.

Well? Does it?

See if you were a copy editor you’d know the answer to this. For the rest of us, myself included, questions like these leave us scratching our heads.

For those of us not trying to defend the honor of the mess that is the English Language, details like this seem kind of pointless. I mean, who reads a book and says “oh those words don’t have a hyphen. This work must be burned! BURNED I SAY!”


For your consideration: please throw all typo ridden narratives here.

Well believe it or not the answer is “more than you’d think.” While most people wouldn’t react in this way, it honestly doesn’t take a lot to see how important proper grammar is in writing. I mean, if I wrote like this:


Chances are I wouldn’t have any readers.

Now, if you want a less satirical point then consider this article, or this article.

See, grammar is important in how others perceive and receive your work. Anything laden with typos is guaranteed to be sent back with poor grades. For those of you aspiring to be a writer consider this: Rob Spillman, Head Editor of Tin House, once said, “I immediately throw out any manuscript with a typo on the first page. It simply means they didn’t care.”

Spillman Pen

Disclaimer: these are not actually his words, but imagine if they were… yikes…

Now, before you get out your stories and search for every small mistake, keep in mind that it’s also normal to have a few typos. As long as they aren’t too numerous, you’ll be okay in sending in your manuscript. After all, that’s what Copy Editors are for.


Cue the triumphant music.

While most don’t spend their lives painstakingly slaving over every detail, there are some that make a living from it and enjoy it! Well.. maybe enjoy isn’t the right word, but it’s darn close.

The copy editor is a strange creature indeed. Armed with a keen eye for detail and a dictionary bigger than your head, these men and women charge valiantly into the untamed wilderness that is a newly acquired manuscript. As I described in my previous post, these are the editors that won’t compromise on quality. While they may discuss the occasional stylistic detail their job is, for the most part, set in stone.

What do I mean by that? I mean that, as of my last 2 weeks in this program, I learned just how important this book is to an editor:


In this reference material, which gets updated every so often, lies every stylistic and grammatical rule every Editor in American publishing must follow. It’s over 1000 pages long and chock full of information. Good news for you: it’s mostly available online here. Bad news for me: I still have to carry the physical copy.

So what does this mean for all that MLA and APA stuff we had to do in high school and undergrad? Well…


Yup, keep feeding that fire.

This is not to say those styles are useless. In the world of academia, and even some professional careers, they are still quite relevant. Some publishing houses even use of those styles. However, most will stick to Chicago Style.

For those of you wondering where to begin, here are a few things I gathered from the wonderful Alice Levine.
(no not this one. I meant this one.)

  1. Never forget the Oxford Comma. (I want to eat ice cream, chocolate, and oranges.)
  2. Get your possessive pronouns right. (Hers, His, Its.)
  3. It’s = It is. (Correct: It’s my birthday.) (Wrong: I want to touch it’s fur.)
  4. Gray is American. Grey is European.
  5. For words like the one above, if you spell it one way, keep it consistent throughout the narrative.
  6. Hyphens are used only when it comes after the subject. (Correct: That jerk is anal-retentive) (Wrong: What an anal-retentive jerk.)
  7. Learn the difference between the En-Dash and Em-Dash. Hint: it’s not just the length of the dash.
  8. Keep a style sheet for terms, places, and names. It’ll help you stay consistent.
  9. Only capitalize titles if they are attached to a name. (Correct: Senator Jane) (Wrong: Jane the Senator)
  10. Commas are always confusing. Try not to overuse them.

Mind you these are only a few rules. The Chicago Manual of style has so many different laws and regulations that sometimes even a copy editor feels burnt out. However, if you stick to these few at first, and try not to misspell anything, you’ll be one leg ahead of anyone who doesn’t know/care.

As for the heavy lifting, be sure to trust in your copy editor. Yes, the acquisitions editor may have given you the deal but it’s the copy editor’s job to make sure yours doesn’t get thrown into the fire pile.


Exhibit 1. A.K.A. Me a year ago.

Copy editors are a wonderful sort and deserve far more credit for your favorite author’s novels than we may realize. Thanks to them our printed words aren’t a bastion of typos and grammatical nonsense.


So what kinds of editing experience do you all have? Do you use the Chicago manual or are you set in the MLA/APA ways? Knowing most of you, the process of editing is a glorious yet painful thing to experience. If so how do you get through it?

Leave a comment below. Otherwise, until next time.


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Publishing Institute Post # 3: Of Tea and Editors

Tsunami Tea

Imagine miles of tea! Stacks of cups everywhere! Every type of tasty tea you could possibly imagine! The water of which is like a tsunami of delicious warm beverage barraging your senses with soothing thoughts and boundless comfort!

If the above sentence made you shudder with excitement chances are you love tea… or have a certain proclivity toward exclamation marks. (I won’t judge.)

If it’s the former, you’re probably a tea enthusiast and that’s okay. Tea, as I’ve learned, is a wonderful drink that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Why, ask my friend Lauren. She likes tea…

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Scratch that… my friend Lauren LOVES tea. Before I met her in person she introduced herself on the DPI Facebook group. She fit right in with the rest of us, detailing her love of social dancing, Doctor Who, and all things English on our massive “Get To Know Us” post.

Seriously, I think the whole thing, comments and all, is over 50,000 words.

We had our first major conversation over lunch one day, and I can tell you it won’t be one I forget anytime soon. In the brief period of exchanged words I learned that she seemed to have the delicious brew understood from the inside out  And she could tell you about it too! From where it comes from, to what goes with which. From the types of food best eaten, to why it even exists. So deep is her passion that, when she’s not working to become a publisher, she’s co-managing her own tea business. If you have time I suggest checking it out here and here.

So why all the praise? Well, if I must be honest, without her I wouldn’t have a post. Not today, heck not even for a while.

See, I don’t drink a lot of tea. I know less about tea than my ten year old cousin (he thinks Instant Coffee/Tea is the best *shudders*). To me, the brew was not much more than tasty hot leaf juice, but that’s like saying Cake is just surgary bread. Much to my enjoyment Lauren taught me that tea was so much more than that, and since then I’ve been enamored with the stuff to an almost unhealthy extent.

At the same time, I’ve learned a lot about Editors in the publishing profession. Unlike the Freelance Editors I described in an earlier post, these are the people who are employed by a Publishing House. If/When your manuscript is approved, these are the people with whom you’ll deal with until you have the finished project.

Now when I say deal with I don’t mean it as a “these are the threshold guardians threatening your chance for fame and fortune.” Instead I’m referring to them in the sense that they exist to help bring your manuscript to it’s fullest potential. In a sense they are become not only your teacher, but also your partner, and student, for you both have much to gain from interacting.

You may be wondering why I refer to your Editor as “they” rather than “he” or “she.” Well the thing is, like many people, before I came to DPI, I thought there was only one person who does the job. .After several editing workshops I discovered this is not the case; inf fact, like tea, they come in all of flavors. On a rudimentary level they all perform the same job, but what exactly they do is different depending on the department. Daunting as it sounds, if your manuscript is good chances are you’ll only need three with which to work.

So, in an effort to shamelessly show off my new found tea knowledge, and help you all get to understand these editing types. I put together the following list.


1) The Aquisition Editor – Green Tea

At the front line of the Publishing world, it is the Acquisition’s Editor’s job to make sure anything that gets accepted is worth publishing in the first place. In a sense these editors are the jack of all trades, for they have to think of the manuscript as a whole. This will be made clearer with the other two types of editors.

The reason I liken them to Green Tea is because of their diplomacy. In countries around the world, Green Tea is used both for energizing and relaxation the drinker. It does not contain as much caffeine as black tea, which is why it’s often used for nerves, but if you’re calm and need a pick me up then this is your drink.

What does this have to do with editing? Well, the Acquisitions Editor doesn’t just work with the author but also answers to the various sects of the Publishing House. As such, a good Acquisitions Editor must be visceral in both demeanor and energy. They know how to put their time to good use and are capable of changing to suit both the author and market. All the while they manage to keep to their principles, for flexibility is inherent in who they are.

Also because the ones I’ve met seem to like sugar. (Edit: Don’t drink your Green Tea with sugar. Honey tastes a bajillion times better.)

2) The Line Editor – Black Tea

One of the newer types of Editors, the Line Editor is tasked to seek out anything problematic in the manuscript. These are the people who will likely tell you when a plot device falls flat, or when a character is unneeded. They’re the ones who look at your story like it was a puzzle, and all the while they make sure the pieces fit the right way.

In some senses, Line Editors are the ones who will get the most out of your story. Like you, they invest their creativity and taste into the manuscript so it can be told in the most appropriate manner. This, however, makes them heavily opinionated and even a bit pushy. Sometimes they’ll suggest making drastic cuts to your story, and sometimes may ask you to rewrite entire arcs.

Harsh as that may sound, if you can convince them the flaw has a purpose (not fully explained, or necessary to a theme, etc.) then they may be willing to work it out. It is for this reason I liken them to Black Tea, a beverage known to be high in flavor and caffeine. No matter how good you are, a Line Editor will make you think, make you work, and will do so while coaching your every word. While you can add milk to the mix, and soften a line editor’s mood, the fact remains that the tea is black and your manuscript may need work.

3) Copy Editors – Oolong Tea


Strong, Oolong Tea does not go well with sugar. It is not softened with milk, and is a very specific type of tea with a very specific type of stigma. Unlike the other two, which are made with leaves, Oolong comes from specific herbs. Yes the flavor may vary, but ultimately Oolong tea is Oolong tea, and enjoying it means taking it as it is.

The Copy Editor is a lot like that. For them, they don’t have the luxury of being flexible or diplomatic. They don’t have the honor of speaking to the author and asking if certain changes are alright. What exactly do they do? Why, the answer is simple: They proofread.

See, while the Line Editor handles ideas and the Acquistions Editor talks the talk, the Copy Editor has a specific playbook by which their job is done. Armed with countless dictionaries and reference materials, theses are the people who make sure you dot the i’s, cross the t’s, and hope to whatever God they worship that you use the Oxford comma.

I could speak more about this brew of Editor, but I think i’ll save it for the next post.


So that’s the Editing Profession in a nutshell. Believe it or not some places have more than 6 types of editors, all of whom are either offshoots or freelancers. However, all of them will always answer to these three, for they are the backbone of the creative side of your manuscript.

That being said, I hope this was as informative to you as it was for me. Should you wish to go into editing as a profession I recommend picking up the following books:

  • The Chicago Manual of Style: ALWAYS get the latest volume of this one. All manuscripts in America are judged by the Chicago Style, so knowing this will be half the battle.
  • Editors on Editing (Gerald C. Gross) : Self explanatory, but it serves as a fantastic book on the insights of publishing. Do no miss this one, lest you feel going into the profession blind is a good idea.
  • The Elements of Style (William Strunk and E.B. White): A classic guide to writing style. Usually referred to in the publishing world as Strunk and White.
  • An Excellent College Level Dictionary: No that isn’t the title, I mean actually go get a good dictionary. Try to find one that is a 1,500+ paged hardcover. If it comes with an etymology even better. However, no Editor would be caught dead without a handy dictionary.

And with that you are on your way. Remember, education is an important tool. For those who work with books this fact remains truer than ever, especially with the advent of E-books and Self Publishing sites. It never hurts to glean more from your desired path, and if you learn to enjoy something new in the process then so be it.

That being said, it’s time for me to put down the laptop and pick up that hot cup of tea beside me. This one’s for you Lauren.


Until next time.


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Publishing Institute Post #2: What’s an Agent? Why should you get one?

Golden Gate Bridge

(Warning: the following lesson may not be appropriate for those who want to self-publish or send excerpts and short stories to magazines or publishing books. For everyone else: enjoy.)

So picture this:

Many moons ago you had an idea, nay, an urge to write. For weeks you slaved over details, world building, character creation, and crafting. You’ve received good and bad advice. You’ve struggled with writer’s block. You’ve neglected the dirty dishes in the sink. After an undefined period of time, you’ve finally done it! You’ve written a novel. Now all that’s left is to send it in to a publisher right? After that the big bucks come flowing in… right?

Wait… Why am I not getting any feedback? (I sent it to like… seven Publishing houses)

Why is my story being ignored? (I worked so hard on it. I even bought books on writing)

Why won’t anyone take me seriously? (I swear I showered last night!)

If the above sounds like an exaggerated version of you, do not lose hope. It’s not that your story is bad, or that you’re unlikeable. It’s that you have no representation.

Now you might be wondering: What the heck is this nut talking about? Representation? Isn’t my skill enough?

It’s a fair question, but have you ever heard of Nikolai Tesla? The man was a genius, crafting marvels of scientific wonder and shattering the per-conceived notions of his time. He’s the reason electricity works the way it does, and is partially responsible for the name of an amazing 80’s heavy metal band.

"I'm on the highway to that one place full of bad people." -Heavily paraphrased by me.

“I’m on the highway to that one place full of bad people.”
-Heavily paraphrased by me.

Unfortunately, the man died broke and shamed. It wasn’t that his talent wasn’t enough, but that no one wanted to vouch for his brilliance. In fact, the man had most of his inventions stolen by a dude who crafted the lightbulb. The ones that weren’t stolen were disavowed or made infamous by a man with way more money and influence.

So what went wrong? Well it wasn’t that the man wasn’t talented, that’s for certain. Instead it’s that he wasn’t very well represented in his life. Had he the lauding and background we give him today things might have been different for good ‘ol Tesla.

Fortunately for you, dear writer, you don’t need to pass on to gain representation. The States are a much more forgiving place nowadays, and anyone with an iota of brilliance can gain the representation they need to help make their dreams a reality. How, you ask?

Why, with an Agent of course!

"You called?"

“You called?”

Wrong Agent…

Actually, the kind of agent i’m talking about is a Publishing Agent. Should one choose to go the traditional route, these people are your first step to getting your story published. Paid by commission, these men and women work tirelessly to make your manuscript as perfect a possible. All the while they act as a liaison between you and the Publishing company, ensuring you come out of the bargain with the best possible rewards and rights.

“But wait!” you might say, “What if this agent is no help at all? What if they try to steal my work I so lovingly crafted?”

Again another fair question. As writers we often feel wary with sharing with other people our works. It’s the ultimate paradox really, for we are careful with disclosure, but we want people to see and love our works. Thus I say to you, aspiring writers, if you wish to let others see your work, why not start with one who’s life goal is to help those like you?

See, in a previous article I talked about people who work by commission. Like a freelance editor, an agent works the same way. The difference: rather than be paid up front, the agent is paid when you are paid by the publishing company. In essence their entire livelihood exists solely because writer’s like you need representation. Thus many agents are more than happy to give that, should time or skill permit.

In addition to that, the very word “Agent” has quite the history in and of itself. It’s origin, agere, is the Latin word for “to set in motion, drive, lead, or conduct.” Seems fitting for one who tries to get your work noticed, no? Well wait, it gets better! In the 1550’s, the decade before Shakespeare himself was born, the term had a much more powerful meaning. According to the Online Etymology “Agent” meant “Any natural force or substance which produces a phenomenon,” a fitting definition for one who wishes to help stories succeed. Four decades later it meant “the representative,” again another fitting definition. It wasn’t until the 1910’s that the word became synonymous with “spies,” but I digress.

“Well they sound great and all, but where can I find one?” you may ask. Fortunately the answer is quite simple.

Take a novel you like, preferably one you’re novel resembles in tone or genre, and look at the dedications. Often times authors will acknowledge their agent in the dedications of their books. While this is a good start, there is also no harm in searching for agents online. Agents’ webpages and blogs pepper the internet far and wide. Oftentimes they’ll list what they’ve worked on and what they want to endorse. All it takes is one email.

Or,you could use this website:

I mean… I guess you could look up your favorite books. Maybe the agent will be listed. I suppose you could pay for the full service, i’m told it might be totally worth it.

Like the picture above, an agent is like a bridge. They serve to connect what is naturally separate, in this case the writer and publishers. In addition they support those who wish to cross, as they will do for your manuscript as it goes to the publisher. If things pan out the bridge will help make it to the other side, and will even support you on the way back. That’s what bridges do, and I feel agents do that just as well.

And if your bridge is bad then you could always find another one.


So that’s my word on bri- I mean agents. I know I said I’d talk about editors this time around but I felt this needed to be said first. I promise the next one will talk about the various kinds of editors that help shape your books to excellence.

In the meantime, does anyone have a personal experience with an agents? Have you ever found a good one? Are there any you find particularly exciting?

If you want, leave a comment below. Until next time.


Posted by on July 19, 2013 in Advice, Publishing Institute


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Publishing Institute Post #1: Opening Day, And The Great Peter Osnos


On July 14th, 2013, the Denver Publishing Institute had it’s orientation. One day later (more like 19 hours, 15 minutes, and 24 seconds but who’s counting?) we had our official Opening Breakfast. During which the wonderful Joyce Meskis, head of the program, was accompanied by Governor John Hickenlooper in the introductory speech. To say I was both honored and amazed would be a massive understatement as the Colorado Governor took the time out his busy schedule to laud and applaud our aspirations.

As if this weren’t an already phenomenal start to our program, our first lecture was held by none other than Peter Osnos.

Peter Osnos

Now if the name above leaves you scratching your head, it’s okay. This man would rather dedicate his life to producing and publishing quality over being a public figure. He’s a man who’d rather have his legacy do the talking, and what a legacy he has!

Having worked for the Washington Post for 18 years, he went on to become the Editor At Large of the publishing house Public Affairs. In addition to this he:

  • Became the Vice Chairman to the Columbia Journalism Review
  • Managed the Caravan Project as the Executive Director.
  • Was a Bureau Chief (aka in charge of the news) in Indochina and London.
  • Is a member on the Council of Foreign Relations
  • Worked as a Moscow Correspondent during the Cold War.

In spite of this some of his greatest achievements came from his time as the Editor At Large. Chances are you’ve never noticed something with his name, since most editors go unnoticed. Nevertheless if you’ve heard of:

This guy,


This dude,


This Lady,


This woman,

Molly Ivins

And this individual,


Then keep in mind these are but a few of the people he has worked with personally. Throughout his career as the Editor At Large, he was the one these fine men and women turned to when they wanted their stories told. Hence, if you’ve seen these books in your local Barnes & Noble:

e6821af208_51N8M2PQ6GL Dreams_From_My_Father  Between_Hope_and_History_(Bill_Clinton_book)_cover_art

Then know that Peter Osnos was the man who helped channel the voices of these public giants.

And yet, in spite of his pedestal, crafted from years of hard work and dedication, the man was remarkably humble. Rather than talk about himself during his lecture, he talked about the people with whom he worked. He regaled the class with lessons he learned from working with these people. From meeting and learning about President Regan through his wife’s musings, to the sleeper hit that was Obama’s book, he spared no detail in these stories all with the hope that it will help us be better publishers.

I could write for several more pages about his lecture, but for the sake of keeping this from becoming a novel I’ll leave it with a quote.

“There is no substitute for the conscientiousness of a good editor… or the value of a dedicated sales team. We are here to serve.”

In a previous posting, you may recall that I claimed Editors to be like waiters or coaches. From the sincerity of Peter Osnos’ words, to the actions and meetings I’ve had with the people of this institute, I can honestly say this is nothing but the truth.

With a final kernel of wisdom, and an uplifting message, Peter Osnos concluded our first lecture by reminding us of why we chose this profession, and how to continue from there. For that I will always be grateful, for both his wisdom and the opportunity this institute provides.

So this is my first post on the Publishing Institute. For the next four weeks expect updates regarding information relevant to what the Institute is teaching. If you wish to know anything, or wish for me to focus on anything in particular, drop a message in the comments below. Otherwise, stick around! I promise it will be worth your while.

Until next time.

Leave a comment

Posted by on July 16, 2013 in Publishing Institute


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Pre- Publishing Institute: Marketing Basics



Hey everyone,

So I finally made it to Denver. After a day of unpacking, meeting, greeting, and overall having a good time I figured I’d squeeze in one last post before the Denver Publishing Institute officially began.

Since Orientation begins in about 30 minutes that doesn’t give me a whole lot of time to write. This may be good for those of you who have more important things to do on a Sunday (like Church, or mowing the lawn), but for those of you who enjoy procrastinating (on things like Church or mowing the lawn) this may buy you some more time.

One of our other readings, called Editors on Editing, is a series of letters and essays written by people in the Publishing Profession. The book is littered with advice ranging from basic common sense, to practices one must keep in mind to survive in the business end of books. Chief among those lessons is a simple rule:

Who is going to read this book?

For those of you who write, keep in mind: you may write the next great work of literature, or the most profound interpretation on modern philosophy, but if there is no market chances are it won’t even get past the Editor.

It seems cutthroat but that’s because it is. While there are many factors that determine whether a manuscript gets published or not, the biggest one often deals with the market, or lack thereof. Not to say you can’t get your book published, but even then it’s a major gamble. Sometimes it’s best to wait until the market comes back up, or maybe someone will set a trend. These are things you can’t control, but even so it’s good to keep them in mind.

So what are people willing to buy? What are people willing to read? That’s, overall, a general question that varies depending on whom you ask. However, the wonderful people with whom I am studying provided this fantastic picture:



Originating from this article, this picture shows what is being read, how long they read, and what demographic tends to read what. It may not be the best source of information, but it’s a good place to start.

Thus concludes this lesson. Do any of you wonder if your book will get published? What do you think of this article? Do you fit any of the demographics on that picture?

I’d stay and chat but I gotta go to Orientation. Until next time.


Posted by on July 14, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Pre-Publishing Institute: Things Your Editor Is Not


Totally a picture of me… If I were a woman… and had money…

I’ve been reading a book titled The Chicago Manual of Style.

For those who don’t know, it’s basically everything you need to know about the technicalities of being a Professional Editor.

Seeing as this is a highly likely career choice, I read this book with much gusto. As such, many times I made this face while reading:


And said this:


And when people asked if I enjoyed reading it i’d respond:


Now if you thought goofed around more than I read you might not be far from the truth. However, like a good student, I did in fact glean some useful information. The lesson that stood out the most is, in a nutshell, what an Editor is supposed to do.

Mind you, I did not say what an Editor is “expected” to do. If I were to do that I’d probably render half the book moot due to stereotypes. So, for the sake of my fellow readers and anyone else who dares to read this poor excuse for a blog, I shall list:

Things Your Editor is NOT Going To, Allowed To, or Will Do.

1) Your editor is NOT in it for the money.
-For some reason people my age think Editing is a lucrative job. They think that editors pull out their expensive quill pens from the 15th century, lean back on their authentic Shakespearean recliners, and draw strands of red ink across a page while huge stacks of money get delivered to them by the dump truck.

Hate to say it but editing is not the most high paying profession. If you’re an editor, chances are you’re paid by commission. Pay on commission means: you get paid whenever someone wants you to work for them, and you charge for your services. I don’t know about you guys, but living on $30-50  a commission doesn’t sound as glamorous when you only get 2-3 commissions a week, if they come that often.

2) Your editor is NOT out to steal your work.
-As someone who works via commission, getting work in the first place means your name needs to be known. When you business spreads via word of mouth/internet/smoke signal/etc. the most important facet is your reputation. The better it is, the more commissions you get: plain and simple.

So if an Editor, for some reason, thinks it’s a good idea to disregard International Copyright Laws and steal ideas from patrons, chances are they won’t being working for long.

3) Your editor is NOT out to get you.
-Remember what I said about reputation? In a way being an Editor is a lot like being a server in a restaurant. One who cares about their job only wants to serve and see other people do well. It’s this kind of selfless delusion that implies that some people might, for some strange reason, consider that the happiness of others is somewhat important. However, while a server may end up getting tips from stroking your ego, an editor’s job is much different. In fact, editors get by on constructive criticism, which is basically the same as your server telling you not to eat that steak because of your cholesterol.

Actually being an editor is a lot like being a coach: and I’ve yet to know of a good coach that doesn’t yell at his/her team every once in a while. If you don’t like it, you can always go to a different one, but please don’t expect them to lie and stroke egos if your work sucks. Being critical is their way of helping you succeed.

I could go on, but I find this list is sufficient. Besides, I have a lot more material to cover this month, especially before I head out for Denver on the 12th. Anyone with any follow up opinions or comments is more than welcome to contribute. If I got something wrong please don’t hesitate to scold me down below. And with that, I bid thee all adieu.

Until next time.


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Nominated for the Liebster Award! – Fun Facts About Me.

In a shocking turn of events someone found my blog interesting enough to nominate!

Emily Ramos, who writes the fantastic blog Adventures in Fantasy, sent me this nomination. As I understand it, this award is to help recognize new, smaller blogs of people with less than 200 followers. In addition there are a few rules to being nominated. They are as follows:

1. Thank the Liebster Blog presenter who nominated you and link back to their blog.

2. Post 11 facts about yourself, answer the 11 questions you were asked and create 11 questions for your nominees.

3. Nominate 11 blogs who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen.

4. Display the Liebster award logo.

5.  No tag backs.



1. My dad still has the first picture I ever colored for him in his office. It still brings a smile to my face everytime I see it.

2. I love coffee, especially espresso.

3. I have read 7 books in the last 4 weeks because that’s how I roll.

4. My favorite videogame right now is Xenoblade Chronicles

5. I prefer writing in pen even though I always have something that needs erasing.

6. I love learning about other religions and beliefs.

7. I’m seriously craving tacos right now.

8. I miss my friends in the mid-west a lot.

9. I have set foot on 4 continents and 10 countries.

10. I believe the most important thing in the world is empathy.

11. I can snap all my fingers at once.


1. What is your ideal weather?
Bright blue sky with massive white, fluffy clouds.

2. What is your favorite genre for books?
Drama. Fantasy comes in close second.

3. What is your favorite genre for movies/TV shows?
Drama or Action. I tend to not like most Fantasy movies I watch.

4. Do you speak (or are you learning) any foreign languages?
Spanish (poorly/rudimentary) and Latin (write, not speak). I hope to be fluent in both someday.

5. What was your childhood nickname?
Wack. Or Zach the Legomaniac.

6. What is the best book you’ve ever read?
I have a page for that now! But if I were to pick it’d be Elantris by Brandon Sanderson.

7. What is your favorite band?
Explosions in the Sky.

8. Do you like the candy Milk Duds?
Yes. Very much so.

9. What is your favorite candy?
Reese’s Fast Break.

10. If you write, is it typically the same genre you prefer to read?
Yeah. Fantasy and Drama are my jam.

11. What has been the best part of your day?
Seeing the steaks in the fridge have finally defrosted.


1. What’s the first word that comes to mind right now?

2. Beef, Chicken, or Tofu?

3. What is your favorite song right now?

4. What is your favorite book right now?

5. What is your favorite movie right now?

6. What is your favorite video game right now?

7. Coffee or Tea?

8. What is one place outside of your home country that you would want to live?

9. How did you feel about going from Elementary to Middle School?
Or (for non US) How did you feel about going from primary to secondary education?

10. What is your favorite season?

11. Can you make a few words using the letters of your name?

And now, the nominees (of which I don’t have eleven, sad to say):

1. A Journalist’s Fantasy

2. The Literary Omnivore

3. Plotting Bunnies

4. Somewhere Nowhere In My Kingdom

5. Tales of Lyelle

6. A Place That Does Not Exist

Happy writing!


Posted by on July 5, 2013 in Uncategorized


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