The Devil Drives . . .

There’s an old saying: “when needs must the Devil drives.”  If you follow me on Facebook then you’ve had a ring-side seat to my particular devils — homelessness (in every sense of the word, as my childhood home — the same home I live in, now — is offered up to the highest bidder quite against my will while my family is kicked to the curb), unemployment, and the need to work through this soul-crushing turmoil so I can meet upcoming deadlines.  There is nothing healthy in compounding grief, worry, anger and a colossal sense of betrayal with depression and despair — but it’s also damned hard to perform at the top of your creative game under those circumstances.  I’ve spent the last few weeks seeking outside employment, something to bring in a bit of money while I work at completing my outstanding contracts (I’m not without long-term prospects, and while I can see the glow of a bright future just over the horizon, my ship sits becalmed in the present).

It has been more than a decade since I’ve worked a “real” job.  Things have changed since then, and changed mightily.  Jobs are posted and applications processed online, removing the job-petitioners ability to show up out of the blue and wow the powers-that-be.  Now, you’re just a faceless blot of data, relegated to a file until someone has need of you.  I tried applying to various online venues that were seeking writers, and had one tell me I lacked experience; I’ve been training as a remote transcription editor, but that’s looking a bit spotty — especially after I totally whiffed transcribing a math lecture and was only saved from the axe by my grammar and usage skills.  I stewed for a day or five, but then . . .

Flashback to last year.  I had the idea to start up an editorial service.  I mean, I’m a multi-published author who once served as a submissions editor for a small literary agent; I’d taught classes in manuscript and submission preparation.  I’ve even suggested a few unpublished books to my editor, which resulted in sales.  I could do this.  So, I made a website, connected it to Paypal, and mentioned it on Facebook.  I got a nibble from a writer whose work I’d rather edit for free, as a way of saying thanks for the help she gave me with Memnon.  Otherwise . . . nothing.

But then . . . a friend on Facebook asked how much I’d charge to do a light edit and critique of his historical novel.  I tossed out a figure, he accepted, and a new business was born, phoenix-like, from the ashes of the old.

THE EDITORIAL GOBLIN has come, and while you’re sleeping he’ll creep from hiding; he’ll ignore your shoes (that’s elf-work, dammit!) and give you a second set of eyes on your manuscript, looking for plot holes, bad grammar, weak usage, and many other things.  Click the link, check out the site, and spread the word, please!

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