Hi there. If you were looking around before you landed here, you may have noticed that I am a freelance copy editor and proofreader. This is true. This website is home to my freelance information, for writers out there in need of that sort of thing (and we are all in need of that sort of thing). I love to edit and proofread, I’m good at it, and I love to help fellow writers. The reason for this website, as well as the questions, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and, “How do you want to make an impact with your one life?” can be answered like this:
- I want to make a positive impact as a creative writer. I want to tell truths, promote empathy, compassion, inclusivity, and kindness. I want to make people laugh, forget their problems for a few hours, move them, create characters they identify with, and leave behind storytelling love notes for the world to read.
- I recognize that other writers want this, too, and I want to help them do it. I don’t want them to have to worry if they caught all their own errors, or if the story structure is sound, or if a plotline was left hanging or forgotten about. I want to help them address those errors and polish their work until it shines.
So here we are.
Now that we’ve established the “why” of mab-creative, let me tell you a bit about the woman behind the curtain.
My name is Melissa, but you can call me Mel. I have been blogging off and on for five years, in various locations. My first blog sprung from an editorial internship with a small press, which permanently altered the trajectory of my life when I realized I could actually make a living that involved books and writing. It still lives here, chronicling what I learned from that internship, the first (and so far, only) time I had two short stories published in an anthology, book reviews, etc. The second blog lives under ChicagoNow, a fabulous blogging site of Chicago-based bloggers. I had a lovely, wonderful professor (who I interned with during my undergrad) push me to start blogging again. That blog is home to more personal ramblings.
I live in Chicago, on the north side, in an old brownstone by the lake (so old, in fact, that there are no outlets in the bathroom and the walls are pistachio green. It suits me). I’m a proofreader, copy editor, and copywriter at a media production company by day…which had not been the plan two years ago. The Plan had been to snag an editorial position at a trade publishing company and work my way up from there. I had that in common with about 90% of the students at the Denver Publishing Institute (which I talk about here). Some of us made it into publishing at Penguin Random House, Bloomsbury, Candlewick Press, Rowman & Littlefield, Sourcebooks, etc. Some of us didn’t. (So it goes.)
As circumstances would have it, The Plan was not so much linear for me, which is fine and dandy, because I like to meander, and occasionally wander off. I fell into media production, but I still get to work with educational publishing companies like Cengage’s National Geographic Learning. It’s also a dog-friendly office, and nothing beats the ability to go find a dog for a cuddle if you’re having a stressful work day.
I own a cat, and I kind of adore him.
Denali is eleven months, likes lap cuddles, chasing balls, sitting in the bathtub and watching me get ready for the day, and sliding off the couch like a liquid. He is more floof than cat, and has knee-high white socks. You’ll be hearing about him again in the future, I’m sure.
I am, predictably, an avid reader of many genres. The most influential books of my childhood were the Little House on the Prairie book series, Wind in the Willows, and Anne of Green Gables. As I grew older, Brian Jacques and K.A. Applegate and Stephen King became my mentors. I wrote my first bad novel at fourteen. Modernist literature is a favorite of mine, and poetry moves me beyond words. As a writer, I was heavily influenced by Francesca Lia Block in high school, and now, Toni Morrison and Shirley Jackson.
One of the most memorable and influential meetings I’ve had with an author was Nikki Giovanni, who came to my university to give a commencement speech. I was an editor of the college’s literary journal and invited to sit and talk with her for a few hours the night before graduation. There was laughter, and tears, and advice she gave that I will carry in my heart indefinitely.
I am a road-tripping kind of gal, which will have something to do with a little passion project of mine that will find a home on mab-creative. More on that, I think, in a different post; in the meantime, let’s just say it involves authors, book settings, road trips, and narrative nonfiction. A visit to a certain hotel deep in the mountains hatched this idea, and I can’t wait to get it started. Essentially, the kind of blog material you’ll be seeing will be divided into two categories: all things writing, editing, and publishing, and the above narrative nonfiction. I aim to entertain as well as inform!
Welcome to mad-creative, dear reader. Thank you for coming by. I hope we meet again, through freelance, blog conversation, or elsewhere.