I'm a little bit bleary-eyed.

Whew!  Just got back from Emerald City Writers Conference which is presented  by the Greater Seattle Romance Writers Association. 

I know, a lot of you do not, nor ever will write romance. But here's the thing, writers conferences are valuable. There are classes on marketing, project management, taxes, pitching, as well as the craft of writing itself.

 Add to that the value of networking with other writers, and a weekend conference is worthy of the time and expense.  

So check around and see if there are any writers conferences near you that may help you with your own particular project. 

And yeah, I have indeed started writing. But, I will always be a reader. 

It 's all about me!


I was born in Pembroke Ontario Canada, December 12, 1962 – the year of the big snow. I thought that I was the second of four girls up until the time I discovered that I was actually the third of  my dad’s five children. I have an older brother whom I didn’t meet until I was forty.


Two things shaped my childhood – the close ties to my nearest siblings (Dawn is eighteen months older and Kim is eighteen months younger) and having a mentally and physically disabled sister – Erin Joy Bells. I was a very good girl, well-behaved, decent student, polite, and respectful. We were brought up to place others before ourselves. My sisters and I live that way to this day – except for Erin. She’s a princess. ;-)

After high school I attended Trinity Western College in Langley BC before transferring to the University of British Columbia to study education. That was not to be so I graduated with a degree in geography. 

In 1989 Matt and I moved from Vancouver to the Bay area. Unable to work, I became pregnant and our son Will was born in San Rafael. Shortly afterwards, we followed Matt’s mentor up to Microsoft in Redmond WA. Joy was born in 1992 and that was the year we found Bothell UMC. Joy needed to be baptized and Will was ready for Sunday school. I have been serving in a variety of capacities at Bothell ever since. Giving of myself to others is easy when you are with the right people. Being in the background, doing something useful, makes me happy. 

I am influenced by two strong women. Virginia Searls, who after retiring from being an educational administrator worked tirelessly here at Bothell. Organized and efficient, she was a huge asset to this church. The other influence is my mum. If she had a motto, it would be to “put on your big girl panties and deal with it.” After her own retirement from health administration, she spends considerable time working at her own church. She is not a warm and fuzzy person. But she has always had my back, although often I did not realize the moments when she was being my champion. 

Becoming an editor has changed the way I view myself and has allowed me to finally recognize my spiritual gift. It is the ability to help others give voice to their love of God and their desire to share it with the world. By sprinkling commas and capitals, I transform (at times) inarticulate phrases into meaningful text. 

I am so thankful that I live in a family of readers. Dad took us to the library every week for new material. I wooed Matt with my library card, and to this day my children never travel without a book. 

It is through working with authors that I intend to make my impact on this world. 

What are you reading?

Why you need an editor.

December  10, 2017

I am almost finished reading a book that is not particularly good. At times, I considered adding it to my reject pile, but something kept pulling me back.

This happens to me a lot.    

In the past, I have kicked many books to the curb without a backwards glance. But since becoming a professional reader, I have become a more compassionate reader.

Yes, I managed to say that with a straight face.

The thing is, I have great respect for writers, particularly writers who have the grit and stamina to finish a book. And writers who are then willing to share their work with the world? Wow.

Which is why I don’t post negative reviews on social media or Amazon. Especially for books that have been self-published. Often, self-published books have never been professionally edited and have significant errors. I understand authors thinking that they are saving themselves some money, but in the long run, a negative review can cost a lot more than a proof-read.

An author’s first book is often not their best book. Like everything else, writing improves with practice. One friend gives an author a two-book try, before making a judgement. Another friend, when encountering a new author, does not start with the author’s first book. Not a bad idea, but difficult if it is the start of a series.

So tonight, I will finish reading that book, and appreciate the author’s efforts to take a story from an idea to publication.