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The Great Gig on the Side

Last night was a time for editing, but never once did I bring up my work.  Say what?

I was chatting last night.  I was chatting with a friend who writes as well, for it seems that I’ve made a lot of writing friends over the last two years–almost three since I restarted everything with a class in the fall of 2010.  I was in the mood to chat after driving for over any hour through a torrential downpour that is still going on this morning.  So the brain wasn’t doing what it was suppose to do, and I was relaxing until it could.

As I chatted with my friend, the discussion turned to a story she’s writing.  She’s been inspired of late, and has pushed her tale into Novelette County, which is only slightly less sleazy than the Country of Novella, where I find myself hanging out a lot.  (If you know your Stephen King, you’ll get the joke.)  After a few minutes of talking about it, the question came:  if I was sent a copy of the first few chapters, would I be interested in looking it over and giving my opinion?

This has been happening to me a lot of late.  In the past month I’ve done a bit of beta reading for some friends, and from time to time I’ve been asked to look a story over and see if it needs some polish.  Now, I’m not an editor by trade.  If anything, I’ve developed my skills, such as they are, over the last couple of years, since it became obvious that if I needed to get my stories polished, I’d learn how to do it myself, or start paying people a considerable amount of money to do it instead.

But I’m a nice person, so I do what I can to help those who want to get ahead.  The people I know aren’t vampires thriving on drama and attention:  they are writers.  Beside, the vampires have all defriended and blocked me, so it make the selection process easier . . . anyway, I looked the story over, and did my little turn on the catwalk, marking up a few things, and leaving a comment or two where needed.

In doing this act I helped my friend a bit, which is always a good thing because we need that karma boost in our lives.  But wait!  There’s more . . .

A week back I was contacted by another writer and asked if I’d do a big favor:  would I help them edit their books.  They’re making a push to get their old stuff cleaned up and their new stuff in similar shape, and asked if I’d join in the band and help them out.  Naturally I said yes, because I’m good.  And I believe I can help get their stories whipped into the shape they desire.

What about your own work, Cassie? I hear you say.  Nothing is going to fall behind there:  Demonic Majesty is coming along, I’ll get back into it tonight, but I will help others where I can.

Who knows–maybe there’s something here I can turn into a worth-while vocation.

It beats slinging code, let me tell ya.

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