Saturday, January 10, 2015

For the Love of Editing


Writing is certainly a passion of mine, but I also adore the editorial process. 
Off-Site Copy Editing | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
The background noise of a fast food
restaurant helps me concentrate on
writing and editing. The coffee helps, too.


For six years, one of my duties with an advertising firm was copyediting. Reading for the purpose of correcting and improving a document was both challenging and interesting. Although, in advertising, copy editors must stick to grammar basics, including a occasional gentle suggestion for sentence reconstruction. Re-writes are taboo unless a copy writer asks for help. And that made sense to me, because the copy writers were in on the concepting meetings and knew what they were trying to convey. Copy editors simply made sure the subject and verb were in agreement in the copy deck--not an easy task when you have unruly parts of speech--North Carolina was spelled correctly in the television ad, and the phone number appeared accurately in the print ad.
Bleeding Pen | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
I use the back of the page to write
notes, expand on ideas, and draft
entirely new paragraphs. 

But when I am editing my own work, I have the opportunity to rewrite, expand upon, or delete whatever necessary to improve my work. Like a potter working in clay, I mold and shape the written word until my glob of wet goo prose evolves into a shiny, smooth, unique work of art. Sometimes this involves hacking off a lump that does not work or wadding the whole thing into a ball and starting over. 

Currently, I am elbow deep in the wet goo of a book I am eager to complete. I am working diligently to create a glowing masterpiece out of a rough manuscript. One that will move readers and fill me with a humble, surreal pride. 
Finalizing a Manuscript | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
After I mark up the entire manuscript,
I will head back to the computer and
update the digital version. Then one
more round of proofreading
before I am done.


When I write, I become engrossed in translating ideas and experiences into a written story. When I edit, I am swallowed whole by the process of tweaking and reworking the story so that it can reach its full potential. Either way, I am in my element, working my passion, and living my dream.

That is why, in the end, there is a piece of my soul in every column, blog, and book that bears my byline. 

Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, daughter & writer is the author of Thurston T. Turtle children's books. 
Email: mickibare (at) gmail.com
Connect with Micki on Google+
Like Thurston T. Turtle on Facebook
Follow Micki on Twitter: @TurtleAuthor
View Micki's pics on Instagram @mickibare
Copyright 2015 Michele Bare 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Shortest Day


It is a blessing that today was the shortest day of the year.
Alzheimer's Caregiver Flower | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
Yellow: I am supporting or caring
for someone with Alzheimer's.


Since Mom's diagnosis, I have done my best to focus on the positive. There are lots of obstacles to overcome, but there are also lots of shining rays of happiness filtering through the trees of the dark forest. That's what I strive to keep top-of-mind.

But there are days, like today, when despair overtakes positive thinking; when nagging thoughts creep in and push out the knowledge that typically keeps me strong.

I know, for instance, that this time next year will be much different than today. But I also know, regardless of what the future holds, that this time next year will be worse, because it's Alzheimer's.

With other diseases, there is always hope for a cure; the notion that things might still be okay and your loved one could still pull through. But that is not the case with Alzheimer's. Rather, we live in the shadows of the knowledge that this moment is as good as it gets.

The approaching holidays make it nearly impossible to push out thoughts of those who chose to abandon my mom, me, and our family. Thoughts of efforts to reach out going unanswered. Thoughts of close relations who prioritize other things that pull their attention and compassion away from us. The pain is acutely sharp and persistent. Pleas for support fall on deaf ears that exist in the realm of denial; a realm to which I have no access.

On days like these, when buckets of negative thoughts rain down, I try to busy myself with soothing chores, such as baking. Today, I baked ten loaves of bread. Every morsel will be given away. The process, including giving it away, is therapeutic. 

But still, as a day like today wares on, there comes a moment when there is only one thing that can be done; as bread in the oven baked and the dough in the bowl rose; I sat quietly in my room where the light was growing dim and I wept.

The tears silently streamed down my cheeks, warming my face like the soft embrace of an angel's hug. The poison of hurt, frustration, and anger spilled out. Hubby retrieved a box of tissues and placed it on the table beside my chair.

When the tears were spent, there was room once again for good thoughts; loving family that supports us on our journey; amazing friends that help us through each day without hesitation; amazing, strong, sons who cook supper, run errands, and tell goofy jokes; happy, loving moments shared with Mom. 

For now, the darkness is held at bay. Tomorrow will be another day with the promise of just a little more light than today. Some days, a little more is all any of us need.

But at this moment, with dryer eyes, I can honestly say that for me, it is a blessing that today was the shortest day of the year.

Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, daughter & writer is the author of Thurston T. Turtle children's books. 
Email: mickibare (at) gmail.com
Connect with Micki on Google+
Like Thurston T. Turtle on Facebook
Follow Micki on Twitter: @TurtleAuthor
View Micki's pics on Instagram @mickibare
Copyright 2014 Michele Bare 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Easy Soy-Free Fudge for Mom


Fudge for Dessert | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
Mom will be pleased that she, too, can
enjoy a piece or two of fudge for dessert.
Last year, I discovered Mrs. Happy Homemaker. She was on a local television news program showing us how to make candy dishes out of hard mint candy. After the show, I looked up the recipe on her website and made a couple of candy cheese plates. This year, I even noted in my column that candy canes can be used to make edible dish ware. That's how impressed I was with Mrs. Happy Homemaker's festive idea and her easy-to-follow instructions. 

This year, while perusing Twitter, I could not resist clicking on the link in a tweet that suggested I could make fudge with only two ingredients. Fudge always eluded me. But if it was that easy, and did not require baking, boiling, simmering, or any other patience-required kitchen dance, it was worth a try. While I know patience is an important ingredient for many recipes, patience is in short supply around my kitchen during the holiday season.

The two ingredients for the fudge were milk chocolate chips and coconut pecan frosting. My heart sank as I read the two simple ingredients. My mom has a soy allergy. How was I going to find chocolate chips as well as a tub of frosting that each contained no soy or soy products? 
Soy-Free Easy Fudge | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
Thanks to Betty Crocker, Hershey's, and
Nestlé, mom can have fudge again.


It being the Christmas season, I decided to head to the grocery store and read labels. To my surprise and joy, I came across Hershey's chocolate caramel frosting by Betty Crocker. It was soy-free. I was elated enough to start rummaging through the wall of morsels in search of something without soy lecithin. It took a little longer, but I finally unearthed Nestlé dark chocolate morsels (53% cacao). It was a holiday miracle! I was going to be able to make chocolate caramel fudge that even my mom could enjoy.

The instructions were, again, easy to follow. My adaptations included using the chocolate caramel frosting and dark chocolate morsels as well as putting down parchment paper instead of foil and forgoing the cooking spray. 
Parchment paper works just as well
as foil and cooking spray.


While at first it smelled like those Easy Bake Oven cakes my sister and I made a million years ago, it set up just as Mrs. Happy Homemaker said it would after thirty minutes in my refrigerator. And the final result smelled like decadent fudge. 

In years past, I put brownies on our Christmas cookie plates for friends and neighbors. This year, they are getting fudge. Thank you Mrs. Happy Homemaker!

Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, daughter & writer is the author of Thurston T. Turtle children's books. 
Email: mickibare (at) gmail.com
Connect with Micki on Google+
Like Thurston T. Turtle on Facebook
Follow Micki on Twitter: @TurtleAuthor
View Micki's pics on Instagram @mickibare
Copyright 2014 Michele Bare