Tag Archives: super-hero

I thought I was a freaky-good editor…until I met Shawn

After years of reading, writing, editing, proofreading, blogging, FBing, tweeting, attending conferences, taking classes at UNM and UCLA and online, I am ready to publish. Somebody, call the NY Times!

I will publish a collection of short stories and poetry under The Orangeberry Group umbrella.

I stress the importance of hiring an editor. I am taking my own advice. I hired an editor.

I hired Shawn MacKenzie.

Shawn and I have been chatting and blogging and emailing and FBing and commiserating and bitching and laughing on a very regular basis for quite some time.

As much as I love Shawn and what she recently inspired in me, this article is not about her (her links are at the end).

This article is about hiring a kick-butt editor. My editor happens to be Shawn MacKenzie.

I thought my writing was good. I’ve been writing long enough, it should be good, eh?

Shawn takes a story and looks at it front to back and then screams a 360. She slaps it upside the head and stomps on it with heavy boots.

With poetry, Shawn suggests a stronger word or a softer word; she suggests changes to improve cadence.

Shawn imagines scenery and offers additional hints to enhance the feeling. Check this out…I had a blood-spattered Georgia O’Keeffe painting in one scene, and Shawn suggested a Jackson Pollock in a subsequent scene. Brilliant!

Shawn offers suggestions on additional pronouns (to take away the human side of a despicable character), and she suggests a squeeze and a pinch to improve visual clarity to a story’s southwest landscape.

Shawn does not cringe at the details of my squishy horror story but instead asks, “When did she toss the leg?”

Geez oh man, she so gets me.

Shawn activates a vroom of ideas I would never have had without her.

She makes me reach for it.

Shawn is like the super-hero of editors.

She is editing this blog post in her head I’m sure.

Shawn MacKenzie

Shawn MacKenzie had her first Dragon encounter when she was four years old and happened upon a copy of The Dragon Green by J. Bissell-Thomas. That was the beginning of a lifelong friendship. A graduate of Bennington College, she’s a writer of sci-fi/fantasy and an editor of crossword puzzles. Her stories have been published in Southshire Pepper-Pot, 2010 Skyline Review, and as a winner of the 2010 Shires Press Award for Short Stories. Shawn is an avid student of myth, religion, philosophy, and animals, real and imaginary, great and small. Thoughts, writings, and ramblings can be found at her website, MacKenzie’s Dragon’s Nest or at her Dragon’s Nest blog.

MacKenzie’s The Dragon Keeper’s Handbook

Find Shawn’s latest book The Dragon Keeper’s Handbook on Amazon here or find it at Llewellyn.

Shawn’s stories on my blog –

December 25, 2011 – Of Avalon and mistletoe, a solstice carol

August 16, 2011 – Have you fed your Dragon today?


Filed under Editing & Proofreading, Editor Spotlight, Uncategorized