Kelly Barr, Professional Freelance Editor

I am a Professional Freelance Editor. I have four years of experience editing fiction.  I am a member of The Christian Pen: The Proofreaders and Editors Network. If you have a fiction manuscript or short story you would like edited, check out my “Editing Services” page for more details–simply click on the “Editing Services” tab at the top of the page.

Here are some books I have worked on:

The Sorcerer's Bane (The Seven Words Book 1) by [Wachter, C. S. ]    Bride Tree (Secrets of Versailles Book 2) by [Robinson, JP]

Here is what some of my clients have to say about my work:

“Kelly is a pleasure to work with. She is well-versed enough to understand the nuances of my genre (Christian Speculative) even though she doesn’t write Speculative. She knows her craft and is sensitive and gentle when giving input about things that need to be corrected or rewritten. Her notes are thoughtful and her suggestions made my book a better read and a more polished final product. ‘The Sorcerer’s Bane‘, book one of my series The Seven Words, is slated to be released soon and I will continue to seek her professional help on future manuscripts.  — C. S. Wachter

Kelly Barr did a very thorough job, generating a final product that truly expresses what I had in mind. Also, they shortened it by about 1600 words and that’s always a plus! 🙂 There were some that I chose not to apply, but the vast majority of the edits proposed were golden. — J. P. Robinson

What I’ve Learned About Church

This will be a post that has to do with my Christian beliefs and what I have learned about church throughout my life. You may or may not choose to read it, and you may or may not agree with me if you do read it, and that is certainly your prerogative.

As a child, my family didn’t attend church much, but my mother took me to church sporadically. When she did, we always went to the same church. After my high school graduation as my friends moved out of the area or went off to school and I stayed behind, I decided something was missing from my life, and I decided to go back to church. Because I was only familiar with one church, that is the church I went to and I remained at that church for more than twenty years.

However, as my husband and I were raising a family, at one point we felt we needed a to attend a different church. We prayed about it and God led us to a church that was a forty minute drive from our home, but we believed it was where we needed to be and we remained a part of that church for ten years.

Both of these churches were good for us during the time we attended them. However, as we learn and grow in our walk with the Lord, we sometimes feel a need to move to a different church. Sometimes it’s because of something we are struggling with inside the church. Sometimes it’s a change our kids need. Sometimes it’s because of something we are struggling with inside ourselves. And sometimes it’s a combination of things, but one thing I have learned in the few churches I’ve been a part of is that people put too much emphasis on theology and not enough emphasis on the Bible.

You see, the Bible, according to my beliefs, is God’s word, His truth–the one and only real truth, and I measure everything against God’s word. In other words, if it contradicts God’s word, it’s not true. And what I have learned, in the two churches I was a part of, us that when you focus on theology, you are focusing on one man’s teaching or interpretation of Scripture (the Bible). One church we went to was Armenian and focused on Scripture that supported the teachings of John Wesley, and one church we went to was Reformed and focused on Scripture that supported the teachings of John Calvin.

However, what I came to realize is that the Scriptures that supported both these teachings are ALL part of the Bible–God’s word. Therefore, ALL of those Scriptures are true. So my question became: is there a church, a pastor that teaches ALL of these Scriptures, ALL of this truth. Because what I came to realize is that when you focus on one teaching, you focus on the Sovereignty of God, and I believe God is Sovereign — nothing happens that He is not aware of and that doesn’t fit into his perfect plan for us. (Yes, He is aware of all of the bad things that happen, but those things happen because of man’s sinfulness, and though bad things happen, God never leaves or nor forsakes us. He is always there to help us and to pick up the pieces.)                                                                  If you focus on the other teaching, you focus on man’s free will and man’s responsibility. Focusing on just one or the other creates problems because if we focus only on God’s Sovereignty, we don’t think that anything we do matters, so why should we share the message of Jesus with anyone? It’s like we’re robots or something. And if we focus only on man’s free will and responsibility, we can’t believe that Grace is a free gift that only requires us to believe and have faith in Jesus Christ. We don’t have to DO anything to earn salvation. And, so we’re always trying to do something that’s good enough.

That doesn’t mean we aren’t supposed to do good works, but if we believe in God and Jesus and feel the love He has for us, then we will want to do things to please Him, not to EARN something, but just to please Him. Like a child who recognizes his parent’s love and because he loves his parents in return, he wants to please them.

So, what I have learned is that we need to accept that God is Sovereign and also do good works and share Jesus Christ with others because we love Him, not because we have to earn our way to heaven.

And I am thankful that we have recently found a church whose pastor recently preached a sermon, putting these two things together, and whose focus is on The Word of God (the Bible), not a specific theology. That is how I know we have found the church that is right for us now, because it is what I prayed for because I want All of God’s Truth from All of God’s Word.

I welcome comments, whether or not you agree with me, as long as you are respectful in your use of language.

Tea and Poetry

“Thank God for tea! What would the world do
without tea?
How did it exist? I am glad I was not born
before tea.”

—Reverend Sydney Smith


The Exhilaration of the Dance
by Kelly F. Barr

Whenever I hear music with a good beat
I cannot help but tap my feet.
My leg may bounce with my toe’s tap
And my hands may even begin to clap.

I cannot help myself as music fills the air;
I have to get up out of my chair.
My heart lightens as I take the chance
And my lips smile as I begin to dance.

No matter the type of dance I do
In bare feet, stockings, or shoes;
My worries and troubles flee
As my spirit is set free!

A Most Peculiar Circumstance by Jen Turano

A Most Peculiar Circumstance (Ladies of Distinction Book #2) by [Turano, Jen]

I have heard others speak of Jen Turano several times, so when I saw this book in a gift shop, I just had to buy it.

A Most Peculiar Circumstance was a delightful read. Arabella Becket is a young lady who has a knack for getting into trouble, but all she wants is to support the women’s suffrage movement. When Mr. Theodore Wilder, a private investigator hired by his friend Hamilton Beckett to locate Hamilton’s sister, finds Miss Beckett in jail, she exhibits a fiercely independent streak, bringing him to his wit’s end. However, as their paths continue to cross when they return to New York, Theodore finds himself intrigued by Arabella.

Ms. Turano does a wonderful job of creating well-developed characters that sometimes made me laugh out loud. Ms. Turano is also very adept at drawing her readers into the story with clear descriptions and clearly showing the thoughts and feelings of her characters through their actions and reactions as well as their dialogue. She had me cheering for Miss Beckett and Mr. Wilder as Miss Beckett went from one spot of trouble to the next. Miss Beckett became quite endearing as she realized some things about herself and determined to help those less fortunate than herself.

As a writer, I appreciate quality writing, and I found myself noting the way Ms. Turano worded things in a way that drew me into the story and the character’s minds–something I hope to accomplish with my own writing because it not only makes reading a story an adventure, but an experience.

This may have been my first Jen Turano book, but it will not be my last. I look forward to reading more of her books very soon.

Tea and Poetry

Today’s Tea Tidbit:

Why, the club was just the quietest place in the
world, a place where a woman could run in to
brush her hair and wash her hands, and change
her library book, and have a cup of tea.

Kathleen Thompson Norris,
“Saturday’s Child”

In A Library
by Emily Dickinson

A Precious, mouldering pleasure ’tis
To meet an antique book,
In just the dress his century wore;
A privilege, I think,

His venerable hand to take,
And warming in our own,
A passage back, or two, to make
To times when he was young.

His quaint opinions to inspect,
His knowledge to unfold
On what concerns our mutual mind,
The literature of old;

What interested scholars most,
What competitions ran
When Plato was certainty,
and Sophocles a man;

When Sappho was a living girl,
And Beatrice wore
The gown that Dante deified.
Facts, centuries before,

He traverses familiar,
As one should come to town
And tell you all your dreams were true:
He lived where dreams were sown.

His presence is enchantment,
You beg him not to go;
Old volumes shake their vellum heads
And tantalize, just so.

Gods They Never Knew by Julie Helms

gods ebook FINAL

This is J.S. Helms’s debut novel, but she already writes like a pro. Gods They Had Never Known grabbed my attention right from the start and the book kept me turning page after page.

I believe it is natural to wonder about some of the things mentioned in Biblical history that are simply that — mentioned — not much detail, explanation or completion of what is mentioned, and J. S. Helms writes in Gods They Had Never Known about such a mentioned item, expanding upon it. Though this is a fiction piece, it is obvious J.S. Helms did her research to make the story as realistic to the time period as possible. Her descriptions are vivid, painting the places and characters in my mind.

The story begins in a peaceful little village. A village where Haven lives and listens to the Teller who brings the message of Shalliyt to the villagers. Many of the villagers begin to question why they should listen to the Teller. Then some of the immortal Guardians come into the village. They teach many of the villagers how to make more money, all the while desiring to take the daughters of the villagers as their wives.

Soon the village is faced with violence, death, and destruction, and many of the villagers have turned a deaf ear to the Teller. The woman Haven loves is desired by one of the immortal Guardians.

Will Haven be able to win the heart of the woman he loves and save the village? Like me, you’ll have to read the book to find out. You won’t be disappointed.