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Pretending To Be Human

by a neoandertal

Time stands still-borne in all-black free space.  Then, in a whirl
Fat colourful letters chase cloudy words but careen off grey numbers and greekletter-thingies,
Like a tetraplex of billiard balls each with their own spectrum
Of stickiness and deference and smile and fear and curiosity,
Or lifeless thunk..
Space is empty…except for us billiard balls.  Then

A dark fuzziness grows in my amygdala
Pulling the hairs on my scalp from within.
A stark fuzziness takes my mind from without,
Where white is black and she is he and life is,
Life is only marginally better than not-life.

Seeing is bedeviling.
When is reality now?
Is it only real after we put it into memory?
What I see is not what you see, so whose reality is real?

Should I jump into the trembling tomorrow,
Armed with knowing only that I know little?
Should I smile at this stranger,
Leading with a heart on my open sleeve,
As she gazes with doubt below my eyes
At my heart of fearful smiles?
To jump?  Or to sleep forever
In the safe gauze of youthful certainty…

A beginning for her starts with an event.
Time for him is relative,
Part of the whole,
Pulled out by a pointing finger,
To be analyzed.

Entangled, the probabilistic string between them sings a tense inframelody.
He cries, she cringes, feeling a cold breath on her fifth dimension.

“In the news today”, said the radio,
“Rosanne fights and beats Super Mario;
The pope has an audience with Vincent Rosario;
A new wave of riots in a latin barrio;
Guards shoot teacher stringing rainbow display;
And inclement weather claims new victims, today.”

Disentangling, the probabilistic string between them flops discordantly.
He cringes in pain.
She brushes her hair,
Hopping randomly between dimensions,
Wondering why there is a loose knot
And who wanted it tied, anyway.

Dreaming in a coma
Reaming in a comad
Eaming in a comadr
Aming in a comadre
Ming in a comadrea
Ing in a comadream
Ng in a comadreami
G in a comadreamin
In a comadreaming
translated from Neoandertal

by George Opacic



Through the abyss of indigo blue
Plowing into the dawn of the world
Just a tiny tinkling bell
Filled with incandescence of youth
Growing in the boundless churning ocean of humanity
After a pause of blessed tranquility, a flash
Gone back to your hearth and fathers, Simion
The memory of your presence, shining an eternal blue white
Carrying me through the fog of sorrow
Spurring me on to the vibrant stage of my own being
There is no time to wail
There are no more tears to waste away.
I will plod on to see what you could not see
I will leap to touch what you were not able to feel
I will proceed through the darkness of creation
To ring your bell throughout the cosmos
I will.
translated from Japanese

by Fumie Fukuda


See Who

Crystal glass in buildings sit, mirroring.

In our city, which glass has not captured your face?

Is there a window which has not framed your smile?

You are.  Beautiful. You draw all eyes…

Oh, the full moon shimmers and glints in your deep pupils!

Is your face still framed lovely?

Blame the moon.

translated from Persian

poem and caligraphy by Bashir Rahimi

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Choosing an Editor

Editing • Proofreading • Spell-checkingIdeas

An Editor may be contracted to perform any of several functions. First, one must clearly define the type of work to be done. Is it intended to be “editing” or “proofreading”? Further, there are two broad considerations for a contract, along with several more within each path. It can get complicated!

A commonly-used term for a quick reading with corrections of basic spelling, grammar and minor suggestions is called “blue-penciling”.

Regarding definitions, editing may be a simple reading of chapters to confirm that each one follows the overall trajectory, and that locations, characters and concepts are consistent; more value-added editing is done by penciling in suggestions for elements like tone, story development, character growth, concept extensions, or chapter additions. Proofreading can be as simple as checking for spelling and appropriate grammar.

More formally, copy editing addresses the mechanics of the paragraph, highlighting grammar issues. Line editing takes that a step further by working on the tone, tempo and time-line. The more interesting and extensive form of editing is referred to as developmental editing. An analogy for these would be in the progression that an athlete would take. A runner might start by feeling good that he/she can run faster than the others in class; then an instructor could show some details such as stride length, pace and push-off; later, a coach could match training and practice regimens; next, the athlete’s career is considered in context, incorporating capability and competition. This is the same as developmental editing, where you step back to look at the overall product and make long-term decisions.

A contract may be time-based or lump-sum based. For instance, doing the least expensive version of proofreading would be done electronically via tools like MS Word’s spell-checker and grammar checker (which authors can do by themselves) for $25 to $50. There are online services that do this. Some services charge by the page, which may be between 50 to $2. Blue-pencil readings can be $20 to $50 for a one-hour session.

If the fee is time-based, it could be anywhere from $5 per hour to $40 per hour. This could quickly escalate to a very high cost. The lower the rate, the longer it usually takes to be completed.

A version of lump-sum contracts gives you the security of knowing what the final cost will be and that the reader is committed to finishing to a deadline.

Editing adds the real value. General editing will cost upwards of $500. This will be a process that includes a certain amount of back-and-forth discussion with the author regarding elements of the plot, characterizations, tone, style and intended audience.

Finally, the best end result may be obtained by engaging an editor who acts almost as a ghost-writer. If the author has great ideas but is not experienced in writing for the publishing market, this can be the preferred choice for the most professional outcome. Fees for this service may start with a down-payment, depending on the genre, of between $100 to $1000; with a monthly fee of $100 to $600. A fee reduction may be offered in exchange for a percentage of gross sales.

Another advantage to Media_film-man engaging the right editor is employing one who can convert the story to filmscript format. As this is a completely different way of writing, with many formal and stylistic changes applied to a story, the fee is negotiated separately.

To discuss your editing needs, please contact George Opacic