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Of Broken Glass and Reference Books

February 26, 2013

Today was a pretty good day for Highs and Lows.

If I have to name a low, it would be that my oldest son broke my built-in glass-top stove.   He slammed two frozen-together turkey-burger patties down on the counter in an attempt to separate them.

Only he missed the counter and SLAMMED MY GLASS-TOP STOVE.

Apparently it never occurred to him that the stove was breakable — probably because it never occurred to him that it is made of glass.

Tyler is a twenty-six-year-old single male. It seems reasonable that this information escaped him. To be fair, I can’t honestly say I have ever called it a glass-top stove in front of him, nor have I ever specifically forbidden frozen-food slamming on my stove. *sigh*

Glass-top stoves aren’t cheap, but I surprised myself by how calmly I handled the situation. I wasn’t happy by any means, but I decided not to let it ruin my day (which required a few deep breaths and internal chanting that people are more important than things).

I detected a hint of dread in Tyler’s voice when he asked how much it would cost to replace it, but I’m pretty sure he’s good for it.

The fact that he asked means he’s good for it . . .right?

I couldn’t access the part of my memory that held that information, but I told him there is no rush.  Only the lower left corner was damaged and all four burners are still fully functional. As long as the cracks don’t spread and the stove still works safely, a little aesthetic problem can wait.

If I suddenly decide to remodel my kitchen or sell my house, then we’ll talk replacement costs—or maybe when Tim finds out, depending on whether his internal chants are as effective as mine.

The rest of the day was better. For starters, we got snowed in.  I realize that wouldn’t be a high point for a lot of people, but it is for me.

I love being snowed in.  I am a homebody at heart,  but it seems the days I don’t have to go anywhere are few and far between.  I make plans to run as many errands as I can on days I already have to be out of the house. Theoretically, this would leave days I don’t have to go anywhere. Sometimes that works, but not often.

Snow days not only allow me to stay home, they pretty much require it. That makes me happy.

The bonus on this snow day was that I got to use these bad boys:

Things that fill my heart with joy: A coffee cup from a trip to San Antonio with my mom, pottery hand-crafted by Whitney, a paperweight  Kensi made in elementary school, and -- that's right --  copy-editing reference books.

Things that fill my heart with joy:
A coffee cup from a San Antonio trip with my mom,
pottery hand-crafted by Whitney,
a paperweight Kensi made in elementary school,
and — that’s right — copy-editing reference books.

I took a professional editing class last fall.  These books are from the instructor’s list of recommended reference materials for editors. Is it weird that I immediately bought every book on the list?

Anything worth doing . . . say it with me . . . is worth over-doing.

If loving them is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.

Tim laughs at me because I get giddy over this kind of thing.  Every time one of these books arrived in the mail, I opened the package with elated anticipation matching that of a small child on Christmas morning.

My initial excitement soon faded, though.  These aren’t exactly the kind of books you sit down and read cover to cover. As soon as I finished the editing class, I no longer had a reason to use them.

Until today. I am honored to be among a small group of beta readers for award-winning author, Pamela Hutchins.  We are reading her latest novel, to be released this summer.  It is the sequel to Saving Grace. In my limited experience I’ve learned that beta-reading is  more like proofreading than editing. (Pamela already has a kick-butt editor.)

This manuscript has already gone through Pamela’s editor at least once, so all the hard work has already been done.  We beta readers were to read through the manuscript to spot things like missed grammatical errors and typos, and give feedback if desired. Easy-peasy, and entertaining to boot.

But that didn’t stop me from using all my beloved resources.  Grammar, spelling, sentence structure, and pretty much anything involving words has always come somewhat naturally to me.  I took the editing class to learn about editing as a profession.  I aced the class but I have zero experience.

I decided to use this beta-read to practice my editing skills.  I pulled out every single book and made myself a style sheet, and set my mind to carpe the heck out of the diem.  I used the reference books even when I didn’t need to, just to feel the rush of validating grammatical correctness.

I don’t expect you to understand that.

That darn Katie Connell  kept interfering with my editing practice, though. She’s the main character. I kept finding myself so engrossed in the story I kept forgetting to look for errors. But there will be plenty of time to talk about that when the book is released.

For now, it’s time to get some shut-eye so I can carpe the heck out of the diem again tomorrow. Looks like another snow day. 🙂

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  1. Whitney Cox permalink

    Very interesting read today. I cant believe that’s how your stove top got broken! It’s just silly enough though, that I can totally see Tyler doing it. 🙂 Glad you got use your books even though I dont see you needing them.

    • Ha ha, that’s what I said to mom (basically) when she got her interior decorating license. And yes, when Tyler told me how the stove got broken, it didn’t surprise me at all. I was prepared for things like this to happen when he moved back in. What’s surprising is how long it took.

  2. Gloria Jackson permalink

    I love reading all of your dizzy stirs! I am always a proud mom, amazed, and yet not, at the talent you have. You seem to at the very least, put a smile on my face, but usually I have one of my hardy laughs. Yes, even out loud! You keep up the good work! Love ya like crazy! I don’t really post cause I am no Rhonda!!!! Mom.

    • I understand Mom, just like you understand why my house doesn’t look like a magazine like yours does. I’m no Gloria Jackson! haha Glad you get some good laughs out of this, wish I was there to hear it!

  3. Kensi Kempf permalink

    Once again you had me laughing at the thought Tyler slamming the turkey patties on the stove and then again think of the face he must have made when he realized he broke it. Lol. Giggled yet again thinking about you getting excited and giddy about your editing books. Not a lot of people get excited about EDITING!

  4. You did an awesome job on Leaving Annalise AND on My Dream of Freedom. You have a gift. And a broken stove. One is more rare than the other.

    • Ha ha! One is more fun than the other, too!
      Thanks for letting me be a part of the process for Leaving Annalise and My Dream of Freedom. I’m honored that you let me.
      Thanks for reading and leaving a comment…as you can see comments to my posts are kinda rare, too. haha

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