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

Tea and Poetry Tuesday

 

Today’s Tea Tidbit:

“Tea is quiet and our thirst for tea is never far from our craving for beauty.”

James Norwood Pratt

 

He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven
by Y. B. Yeats

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

Flash Fiction Friday: A Personal Ad

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Photo by taha ajmi on Unsplash

A Personal Ad

by Kelly F. Barr

My wife and a group of her friends went out for “ladies night” – dinner and a movie. I can’t remember the last time she and I had dinner and a movie together. The kids are grown and on their own. I’m forty-five years old, and my wife and I have slipped away from one another. She has her friends and activities, and I have … not much.

Reading the local paper, I notice a new section of ads – personal ads. Apparently, single, lonely people run ads looking for dates. I suppose I’m not—technically—single, but I am lonely. My wife goes out with her friends more than I do. She goes once a week; me … once a month.

I miss the companionship, the passion, the softness of her skin under my touch, and her sweet kisses. I miss walks, holding hands, and long talks.

A notepad and pen lie within reach. I grab them and write:

If you like holding hands, walks in the rain,
dinner and dancing, cuddling by a fire in a

secluded cabin in the woods, long talks,
and moonlit walks on the beach, you’re the
lady I’m looking for.
Write to me and
take an adventure.

Reading over it, an old song came to mind – “The Piña Colada Song”. I chuckled. I tore the slip from the pad, folded it, and slipped it into my pocket.

In the morning, before leaving for work, I reached into my pocket, searching for my keys. I pulled out a folded up paper, realized what it was, and slipped it back into my pocket. I found my keys and headed out the door. On my way to work, I stopped by the local paper and took out a personal ad.

Three days later, I was reading the paper in bed. I saw this:

I like walks in the rain, swing dancing, and
Chinese food. Snuggling by a fire puts me
“in the mood”. Meet me tomorrow at noon
at Gilda’s Café and we’ll plan our adventure.

My stomach did a flip. Someone had answered my ad. Excitement at the possibility of an adventure with a beautiful young woman quickly waned when my wife rolled over and asked when I was going to turn off the light. Guilt washed over me as I folded the paper and turned off the lamp.

The next day I arrived at Gilda’s Café at 11:45 a.m. I took a seat at a table for two with a clear view of the door. My stomach was in knots as I waited. Then she walked in and I was again reminded of “The Piña Colada Song” – I was living it. I knew her smile in an instant and her confident gait. It was my own beautiful wife, and she said, Oh, it’s you.”

I said, “I never knew you like swing dancing and walks in the rain.”

She smiled and sat down. “I guess we’ve lost touch.”

I reached across the table and took her hand. I gazed into her eyes. “I’ve missed you.”

She leaned toward me. “Me too.”

I leaned in and kissed her sweet lips.

After lunch, we walked out of the café hand-in-hand.

At home she called to reserve a cabin and I began to pack. She came into the bedroom to pack her bags while I took mine to the car. A few minutes later, she locked the house and handed her bags to me. I put them in the car and turned to find her still standing beside me. She moved in front of me and slid her hands up my arms. “I think this is going to be good for us.”

I put my arms around her, pulled her close against me, and gave her a lingering kiss. Then I whispered in her ear, “It’s a new beginning … a fresh start, and it’s going to be a-ma-zing.” I nuzzled her neck, then led her to the passenger door, opened it, and she stepped in.

I ran around to my side of the car, feeling like I did when I took her on our first date twenty-four years ago.

Four hours later, when we reached the cabin, the first thing I did was start a fire in the fireplace.

Tea and Poetry Tuesday

Image result for tea quotes

 

“Why Publish?”

Dusty and brown on some forgotten shelf

a century hence—or two, let dreams be grand!—

this wry and slanted gloss upon myself

has slipped into some stranger’s browsing hand.

A woman, maybe, growing old like me,

or a young man ambitious for his name,

curious about my antique prosody

but pleased to find our motives much the same.

He cannot know—nor she—what this one life

from the late twentieth craved, or cost, or found;

he will forget my name; but mother, wife,

daughter, has struck a chord, sings from the ground

a moment to his ear, as now to yours,

for what is ours in common and endures.

 

Rhina P. Espaillat

 

 

From Where Horizons Go, New Odyssey Press,

© 1998.  Reprinted by permission of the author.

What’s Going on with my WIP

I attended the Lancaster Christian Writers’ Super Saturday one-day writers’ conference the first Saturday of April this year. I’ve been a member of LCW for just about six years now and have attended their Super Saturday one-day conferences every year in that time period. I always enjoy the conference and have met and made lots of wonderful friends and valuable writing connections through this one-day event.

I thought last year’s conference was the best yet. Then I went this year, and this year’s conference topped last year’s! I attended a very informative session about how to market your book and I attended a session that I found would be extremely helpful as I edit my WIP.

So, what does all of this have to do with my WIP, which is what the title of this post is about?

Well, when I went to this year’s Super Saturday conference, I had completed my WIP and needed to begin the edits, but I decided to take my first chapter along and meet with one of the published authors that was offering one-on-one appointments, and it turned out to be the best one-on-one appointment I ever had.

But before I explain that, I need to take a small step back a few years first. I had made up my mind, not long after starting this WIP, that I was going to indie publish. Then, two years ago, I attended the Greater Philly Writers’ conference and had a one-on-one appointment where the person I met with was impressed with what I showed her of my WIP, and she encouraged me to try traditional publishing first. However, because my WIP was incomplete at that time, I couldn’t really do anything about it at that time. So, as time passed, I went back to my original plan to indie publish.

Now, return to this year and my explanation as to why this year’s one-on-one appointment was my best ever: this author loved my first chapter and she asked if I had begun to shop my manuscript around yet. When I said I hadn’t and that I was figuring I’d just indie publish, she encouraged me to try traditional publishing first. However, she didn’t stop there. She took the time to explain to me how to go about writing a good Book Proposal and suggested several agents and agencies to query. This all made me think, ‘wow, God must really want me to try traditional publishing first. This is the second time He made sure I was confronted about it, and this time, I was given direction.’

So, I prepared a Book Proposal, and I’ll tell you, I thought writing a Book Proposal is more difficult than writing my novel. However, I did it, and I have submitted it to the first agent. I decided not to send it to more than one at first. I really want to see what happens with this agent. If this one turns me down, then I will begin to submit it to a few agents simultaneously because I don’t want to waste too much time, either, but I have just begun my edits, so I don’t want to have to send my unedited WIP either.

As my WIP continues its journey into publication, I will keep you posted.