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Editorial Freelancers Association in Georgia

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In the middle of 2018, I moved across the country. My husband and I traveled far away from family, friends, and the familiar places and faces we had always known. Nearly nine hundred miles from those roots, I knew I wouldn ’ t thrive if I didn ’ t put down new ones. As we settled into our new town, I did just that, searching for water to nourish my transplanted editing career and displaced social circles. I longed for the community and support I had left, and, ever practical, decided I would begin seeking professional relationships I had left behind with the North Texas chapter of the Editorial Freelancers Association . Almost entirely a volunteer organization, the EFA provides innumerable tangible and intangible benefits to its members. The publishing industry has changed so much from what it once was, and there is a huge freelancer population just doing what we can to educate ourselves, excel in our fields, and help authors and presses, all while trying to make a living to suppo

Meet Luke

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We’ve been a bit busy the last four months. I know. Everyone on your social media is probably graduating, getting engaged or married, or having babies. I’m just one of the many. You’ve got a lot of scrolling to do. So I’ll be brief. For most people, a friend or family member’s baby means a gift or card, a post like or congratulatory comment, or (for those close by) maybe a photo op. For those with the baby (or babies), it’s a total life change. Luke is our first child, so he’s our gateway drug. (No, grandparents, don’t expect another one soon. Unless God wills it.) So for those who haven’t had the chance yet, I’d like to introduce you to our son. Luke had a rough first week of life, but lucky us, he knew no better and weathered it magnificently. He has my eyes and Walker’s brow, meaning we’ve been enjoying his entertaining expressions since day one. Our son’s inquisitiveness has grown marvelously in a few short months (along with the strength of his eyesight), although

Surpassing Worth

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Warning: This blog post contains a personal and detailed description of my birth experience that may be difficult for some readers. --- I feel like I got hit by a truck. Emotionally. Physically. Mentally. The most beautiful truck I’ve ever seen. Okay, so maybe that’s not how people often describe new parenthood. But walk with me. Saturday, February 6, 2021. My family had traveled all the way from Texas, braving COVID, dealing with work and school absences, all to meet our baby. And two days before they were to return home, I was still pregnant. We spent the day relaxing, eating, playing games, looking at old photographs, and enjoying each other’s company. I had been having mildly uncomfortable contractions all day, like I had been practically all week. I had made my peace with the likelihood that I would still be pregnant when they left. A final hurrah before the chaos of the newborn stage, I thought. That night at about 7:00 p.m. while we ate dinner, I started timi

Anticipation

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I’ve always wanted to be a mom. From the time I held my first little sibling to the years I spent babysitting three of the most wonderful girls (shout-out to Sydney, Ashley, and Riley), being a parent felt like my destiny. In my teens, I had no illusions that this “destiny” might not be in the cards for me. Marriage was a required prerequisite, and who knew if I’d ever be granted the opportunity? Even then, countless other potential hurdles—education, income, infertility, loss—dampened my hopes and made me certain that I would have to wait a long time (or maybe forever) for motherhood. Then, I met the man of my dreams. That first impossible hurdle—marriage—was suddenly not just possible but likely , and then a reality . Parenthood for me then shifted from a possibility to a calling. My prayers changed from please, maybe? to how can I best prepare, Lord? So I’ve done my best to follow God’s direction and prepare my marriage, my professional life, and my heart for this incredib

How to Make Your Readers Think

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If you survived English or literature classes in school, you’ve probably heard the term “critical reading.” Teachers want students to learn how to engage intellectually with the text they are reading, not just passively absorb it. Critical reading involves questioning a way of thought (whether someone else’s or your own), recognizing contradictions, and following foreign rationales. If you’re nerdy like me, you probably loved this aspect of assigned reading. While some people read to have their emotions tugged, I read primarily to have my thought patterns and beliefs challenged and grown. If you want to promote critical thinking for your readers, here are three ways to do it: ask open-ended questions, walk a character or two through a crisis of belief to a resolution (or use an anecdote), and show relationships between characters or people with beliefs that contradict. Ask Open-Ended Questions Open-ended questions are designed to provoke thought and help the reader internali

Leap of Faith

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In 2018, my sixteen-year-old brother jokingly told me, “I’m probably going to have kids before you and Walker.” “You better not,” I shot back, laughing. Walker and I had been married for almost four years at the time. We hadn’t planned to have kids until Walker was out of school. A process that I originally thought would take a year and a half from the time we got married. Then he decided to get a master’s degree. Then a PhD.  “We’re going to be thirty before you graduate,” I told my husband one day during dinner. He paused, fork in the air. “Oh,” he said, and that look of calculating focus came over his face. “I don’t want to wait that long to have kids.” “Me neither.” So the discussion began. Our entire lives thus far had been defined by waiting. Everything we achieved, every step forward, signaled the next stage of waiting. Years of education, years of marriage, years of paying off debt, years of saving and waiting . . . for what? This was our

Horror and Hope

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In February 2020, I had lunch with a colleague. It was one of those hours-long lunches that leaves you thoughtful and feeling grateful to have that person as a friend. We touched on two polarized worldviews that are common in modern America—and, I think, might even transcend cultures. These two views can be generalized by how people think the world is versus how it ought to be. A person with the first worldview thinks the world ought to be good, fair, and beautiful. They see beauty and love and joy and believe that the world should only be full of these good things. Because the world contains ugliness and hate, this person is at risk to live most of their life sheltered or angry and despairing when the smallest things go wrong. The world doesn’t align to their beliefs, no matter how hard they fight. This is a horror-based view. Someone who holds the second worldview thinks the world ought to be bad, unfair, and ugly. They see destruction and hate and despair and believe that