Kelly Barr, Professional Freelance Editor

I am a Professional Freelance Editor. I have five years of experience editing fiction. 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]     Gods They Had Never Known by [Helms, J. S.]

For more books I’ve edited, click the “Editing Services” link at the top of the page.

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

Flash Fiction Friday

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Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

A Budding Romance at Walmart

by Kelly F. Barr

As I stood waiting for my dad to finish in the self-checkout line at Walmart, I saw a very attractive blonde approaching the area. I tried to watch her without making it obvious.

She walked to the register right behind us, and I watched as she began ringing up her items.

My heart sank as a guy wearing baggy black jeans covered in chains, a dog collar, and about ten earrings in one ear approached the girl of my dreams. I took a step toward them in an effort to overhear their conversation.

Mr. Chainman spoke first. “Hello, gorgeous. You got somewhere you need to be after you finish here?”

The girl’s eyes moved swiftly from his head to the floor, where his baggy jeans covered wherever his feet were hidden by about four extra inches of pant-legs. He was actually walking on them.

She forced a smile. “Actually, I do have to be somewhere.”

“Well, how ’bout you give me your cell phone number and I can call you later? I’d love to spend some time with you.” Mr. Chainman leaned toward her and wiggled his eyebrows.

The blonde took a step back. “Is that a dog collar you’re wearing around your neck?”

“Yeah.”

“So, if I were to go out with you, would I need to bring a leash?”

I turned back toward my dad to stifle a laugh. My dad raised his eyebrow at me, but I turned back toward the blonde and Mr. Chainman.

“Aw, I don’t think you’d have any need for that ’cause I’d be willing to follow you anywhere.”

I groaned, and my dad put a hand on my shoulder. I turned to look at him, and he spoke in a quiet voice, “Why don’t you go interrupt and talk to her?”

I widened my eyes. “Are you nuts! Mr. Chainman would probably wait for me in the parking lot! And what would I say anyway?”

My dad looked over at the girl of my dreams and Mr. Chainman, then looked back at me. “She doesn’t look interested in that guy. Actually, she looks uncomfortable. You could pretend to be an old schoolmate who hasn’t seen her for a while. I’ll bet she’d be happy to play along.”

I stood staring at my dad, contemplating.

He said, “Go,” and waved his fingers in a motion of dismissal.

I took a deep breath, wiped my sweaty palms on my pants, and moved toward the attractive blonde.

She noticed my approach, gave me the once-over with her eyes, then offered me a bright smile.

That gave me the courage I’d been lacking. “Hi, uh, Sarah. How’ve you been? It’s been a long time.”

“Yeah, it has. I’m doing well. How about you? You look great. I haven’t seen too many guys in Walmart in a suit coat.”

From the corner of my eye Mr. Chainman glared at me, and I turned to face him. “Oh, I’m sorry, man. Did I interrupt something? It’s just that I know Sarah from back in elementary school and wanted to say ‘hello’.”

Before he could say anything, the blonde touched my arm. “No, you didn’t interrupt anything. I’m glad you stopped to say ‘hello’. So, what have you been up to?”

Mr. Chainman huffed and walked away.

As soon as he was out the Walmart door, the girl of my dreams relaxed her shoulders. Her hand was still on my arm and her fingers were trembling. I put my other hand over hers. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine. Thank you so much for coming over. I really wasn’t interested in that guy, and I didn’t know how I was going to get away from him. I mean … he seemed nice, but a little too forward and pushy, you know?” She paused and studied my face. “By the way, my name really is Sarah, Sarah Johnson, but I don’t think I’ve ever met you before.”

“No, I don’t think you have. Sarah was just a lucky guess. My name’s Hunter, Hunter Mayfield. I just, uh, thought I’d help you out of an uncomfortable situation.”

She didn’t try to remove her hand from between my hand and my arm. “So, Hunter, are you from around here?”

“Yeah, are you?”

“Yes, I’m local. Listen, would you like to go out for pizza or something? I’d like to treat you for coming to my rescue.”

I looked over my shoulder and my Dad emphatically nodded his head. I grinned, then turned back to Sarah.

“That sounds great. Here, let me help you with your bags.”

She grabbed two bags in one hand, and I did the same, and as we walked toward the Walmart exit, she placed her free hand in mine.

Tea and Poetry Tuesday

Tea Tidbit:

Sherpa tea is frequently used to raise the internal body temperature and prevent hypothermia in mountain hikers. It’s common practice to make it in the same pot that the last meal was cooked in and before the pot is cleaned. This salvages food from the pot and adds flavor and nutrients to the tea.

 

But a tree has
a long suffering shapeIs
spread in half
by 2 limbed fate
Rises from gray rain
pavements
To traffic in the bleak
brown air
Of cities radar television
nameless dumb &numb mis connicumb
Throwing twigs the
color of ink To white souled
heaven, with
A reality of its own uses

 

A New Writing Position

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Have you noticed the new button on my sidebar? It looks just like the one pictured above, and I’m so excited to share with you that I have been accepted to become a new columnist for the “Almost and Author” blog. It’s a blog that is really more like a website and it offers so much to writers — those just starting out as well as those who’ve been writing for a while. There are posts for every genre, posts on the writing craft, posts on grammar, and so much more. I will be writing four posts a year for the Historical genre and four posts a year for the Romance genre. Since my WIP is a Historical Romance, I am qualified to write for both genres that my one genre encompasses. My first post will appear at the beginning of March in the Romance genre.

If you’re a writer or are interested in becoming a writer, and you haven’t explored the A3 website, I encourage you to do so.  And I hope if you have an interest in writing  in the Romance genre, you’ll check out my March post on the A3 website. The “Almost and Author” website is on the following lists:

Writer’s Digest Top 101 Best

Websites for Writers

The Write Life Top 100 Best

And, we were just added to the 50 Best Writing Blogs in 2018

 

Writers’ Retreat

 

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Last Saturday, January 26, 2019, a writing friend opened her home, like she does a couple times a year, for a group of writing friends to spend the day writing in a place where we can write in quiet and without interruption.

We began the day with a devotion and a writing exercise to get our creative juices flowing. Then we separated into different rooms–different spaces to spend a couple hours writing. Lunch time we came together to eat and fellowship with one another, then we did another writing exercise to stir up our creativity again, followed by a few more hours of writing before saying our goodbyes.

I really appreciate the ladies who came up with the writing exercises and the instructions they gave us because those exercises really did get kick-start my creativity,  and gave me material for one of my upcoming novels as the second writing exercise was supposed to be written from one of our character’s perspectives. Since I am just about finished with my current WIP, I chose to write from the perspective of a character from an upcoming novel, and I thought the exercise lent itself very well to that particular character and story line.

The first writing exercise required us to pull a paper bag from a box, but NOT look inside. Instead, we were to put our hand in and feel what was in the bag. Then we were to write about either the experience of placing our hand into a bag without the knowledge of what it held. Or we could use just our sense of touch or other senses to try to determine what the bag held and write about what we thought was in the bag. After fifteen minutes, we could take turns reading what we wrote and sharing what was in our bags, to see how what we wrote applied (or didn’t apply) to what the bag held. (The picture at the top of this post is of the hostess’s kitten playing with one of the bags from this exercise. She made us all smile.)

It turned out that each bag held three items. I had determined one of my items quite accurately, one I guessed fairly closely, and one I had no idea. However, the rest of the group enjoyed what I had written.

The second writing exercise required us to draw an index card from two arrays of index cards–one labeled “Truth” and the other labeled “Dare”. Then we were to read what was on the other side of each card and write about the situation on the “Truth” card from our character’s perspective. Then we were to write whether or not our character would take the “Dare” on the “Dare” card and explain or show why the character would or would not take the dare based on that character’s perspective.

I enjoyed both exercises, but I think I actually enjoyed the second one a little more than the first one because I was able to really get into one of my character’s heads and now I have two very possible scenes for one of my upcoming novels.

During our free writing time, I would have loved to have had some time to work on my WIP. However, I first needed to write a Flash Fiction story for a contest I wanted to enter, so that ended up being the only writing project I was able to do because it was difficult to write what I wanted to write and fit it into the limited 500 word count. However, another writer friend encouraged me through it, and before the day was done, I had completed the story within the word count and am happy with it. (There will be a future post here on my blog, after I hear the contest results).