10.30.2014

The Rage

As was evidenced by my car naps, it takes me approximately .476 seconds to fall asleep at night. I go to bed before Jordan almost every night, and even if he's only five minutes behind me, there's a strong possibility I'll be passed out by the time he comes in the room.

Example:

I lie down. 
Jordan goes to brush his teeth. 
He comes out of the bathroom. 
I am asleep.

He tries to be quiet when he comes in, but sometimes he coughs or, you know, breathes. That's when the rage hits.

The rage is what we've started calling the irrational state of mind that exists between me being fully awake and fully asleep. It doesn't happen every night, but I'd say every other week I go into rage mode.

Basically, what happens is that Jordan accidentally wakes me up, and I become full of rage. Except I'm not fully awake, so everything is super dramatic and exaggerated, even though I firmly believe I'm awake and being normal.

The rage usually involves me yelling at him to be quiet. But I don't stop there. I've also tried to punch/kick him in...places.

One time, I yelled at him then started crying. We're talking legit sobbing crying, not fake crying. After I got done sobbing my eyes out (approximately 3.2 seconds later) I glared at him, grabbed my pillow, and marched out of the room, vowing to sleep on the couch until morning.

Halfway to the door I forgot what I was doing and came back to bed. The rage doesn't hold grudges.

Sometimes I yell at him then start laughing hysterically. Jordan, finding this hilarious, will start laughing, and that will make me really mad and I'll yell at him. Then I'll start crying. The best part is, once the state of rage has passed and sleep has resumed, I will wake up the next morning and not remember anything.

Occasionally I remember parts of it, but it all feels like a dream. Thankfully, Jordan thinks it's hilarious. I'm glad he's not mad at me for yelling at him for no reason, but he understands that I'm asleep and don't know what I'm doing.
Just last week, Jordan was calmly reading and I was sleeping beside him, when he got a text, and his phone pinged. I instantly woke up in a rage. I grabbed my pillow and stormed into the other room and locked the door behind me. Jordan chased me down and promised to be quiet if I just came to bed. No sooner had I shut my eyes before he farted the loudest fart ever. You guys, it was so loud, and Jordan was just about dying laughing. Let's just say the rage was not happy.

I swear I wasn't this weird of a sleeper until I got married. It does things to you!


Anyone else know what I'm talking about with the rage? I can't be the only one.
What are your weird sleeping habits?
___________

Related:
Ways I Annoy Jordan While Sleeping [PART ONE | PART TWO | PART THREE]

10.27.2014

Life of an Editor: FAQs (Part 1)


In the first part of this series, I wrote about what I do on a daily basis, my editing process, and how I got into professional editing in the first place. For that post, go here.

You guys asked some great questions about my job, and I'm really excited you are interested in what I do. I will have 2 posts of FAQs since I didn't want this to get insanely long. 
Here's part 1 of part 2 <-- that was confusing.

1) HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH DIFFERENT WRITING STYLES? (ALSO SIMILAR: DO YOU FIND YOURSELF REWRITING A LOT AS YOU EDIT?)

This is such a great question. Everyone has different writing styles, and it's extremely important to me to maintain the author's original voice and tone. I never want an author to feel like their book is not their own.

That said, it isn't unusual for me to have a suggestion for rephrasing. Sometimes it's an individual sentence that needs to be rewritten because it's incomplete or incorrect. Sometimes it's an entire introduction or scene that's missing a vital component or just doesn't sound quite right. In my experience working with hundreds of authors on both fiction and nonfiction books and articles, I've found that it's much easier to show what I am suggesting rather than to try to explain it.

So, what I normally do is summarize my suggestion and then say something like this: "Here's an example of how you could rephrase. Feel free to rework this using your own author voice." [Then I provide a rewrite in my own words]

That way, I can rewrite the part I feel needs to be rewritten BUT I give them the option to rewrite my words into something that sounds like they wrote it in the first place. Does that make sense? Usually what ends up happening is the author will use my basic example but maybe switch a few words around or revise just slightly. Or, they take the basic idea of the rewrite and write a new scene/section on their own. My point gets across and the revision is made, but the author doesn't feel as though I've completely taken over and changed their book.

2) WHAT DO YOU FIND IS YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE AS AN EDITOR?

This isn't so much a challenge, but one of the most annoying things about being an editor is how quick other people are to point out when I make a mistake. I'll say the wrong word or misspell something, and they'll instantly be like, "Hey! But you're an editor. I can't believe you made that mistake." 

I want to be like EDITORS ARE PEOPLE TOO.

There is not one blog post I have ever written that doesn't have a mistake in it. Hopefully I catch it during my editing before it's published, but not all the time. It's actually a lot easier to catch mistakes in other people's writing than to catch them in your own. (<-- IRONY! I had a mistake in that very sentence I had to fix.) Also, on the weekends and basically whenever I'm not actually working, either at my day job or freelancing, it's like my brain shuts off or something, because I routinely do and say stupid things. I like to joke and say I'm "off duty" and my brain is resting.

I'd say one of my biggest challenges is trying to explain a difficult edit to someone. Sometimes I see the edit that needs to be made, but I can't figure out the right way to explain it. (See question #1)

3) IS IT CHALLENGING TO EDIT SOMETHING THAT IS VERY TECHNICAL AND DRY?

Yes and no. Obviously there are certain subjects I am more interested in than others. For me, it's going to be more interesting to read about, say, running than finance. But I have actually edited a few financial books, and I've enjoyed them! When I'm editing something, I'm thinking about that subject matter and how I can improve what I have before me.

There are a few things at my current work that I have to edit every month that literally put me to sleep. Like, I'm actually sitting at my desk nodding off. Clearly I'm not doing a good job editing something if I'm half asleep.

In that case, if something is really, truly just dull, I will give myself a set number of pages or a set amount of time I am going to edit before I move on to something else. That way, I can work in chunks and still do a good editing job even though the thing I'm editing might be super boring.

Also, in many cases (depending, of course, on the subject matter) if a book is dry, that means I as the editor need to do a good job making it not dry, which then makes editing it interesting, if that makes sense.

4) WHAT DO YOU DO IN A COLLEGE ENGLISH CLASS?

Mostly I read a lot of books, wrote a lot of essays, and discussed a lot of symbolism. A lot of symbolism. I also took some creative writing classes, so I wrote short stories. And I took a journalism class.

Actually, the reason I added a second major (religion) was because you can really only take so many English classes at once before you literally do not have enough time in the day to read all those books. (Yes, I actually read the books. I didn't use SparkNotes.) I had some holes to fill in my schedule and decided to tack on another major. Overachiever, anyone?

In my college English classes, we didn't talk about grammar that much, or at all, really. I learned grammar by looking up tons and tons of rules in the style book until I had them memorized. I still often refresh myself on rules just to make sure I'm doing it right, and I always look something up if I have a question.

Okay that's it for now! Next time I'll cover the following questions:

1) Are you ever able to just read for fun without editing what you're reading?
2) Do you edit other people's emails/blog posts/tweets?
3) Do you mentally edit people when they're talking?
4) Do you ever see yourself doing freelance editing full time?
5) Are you ever going to go back to school?
6) What does your supervisor do?

If you have a burning question that I haven't covered yet or don't have listed to cover in part 2, let me know so I can add it.

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