Nice to meet you, authors!
Nicknamed "Dictionary" in the fifth grade, I'm a lifer when it comes to wordsmithery.
That was the year our class read and performed Macbeth, and reaped the consequences when the kid in the title role ran amok at rehearsal—Mr. F, believing he could bore us into Shakespearean shape, passed out pages of four-simple-sentence clusters, each of which we were challenged to combine into a single complex sentence.
"Sentence combining," he called it, or "the building blocks of copy editing," as I recognize it now . . .
How I won second prize at the Math Super Bowl that year but squandered the school-wide spelling bee trophy on "interrelated" we will never know.
The point is, I learned to love and respect the craft of writing and realized that I, already a devourer of fiction, could (no, would!) read for a living.
After earning my bachelor's degree in literature from the College of Creative Studies at the University of California–Santa Barbara in 2000, I fancied pursuing poetry or becoming the next "great American novelist," and I could have gone the reading teacher route, but like my home town I kept coming back to that fine-tuning, fact-checking feeling.
And that—catching errors and striking them "out, damned spot!"—is what I'm here to share with you, to help you present your best work.
EXPERT: American Psychological Association (7th ed.), Chicago (17th ed.).
PROFICIENT: American Medical Association (11th ed.), Associated Press (55th ed.), Bluebook (21st ed.).