Showing posts with label proofreading. Show all posts
Showing posts with label proofreading. Show all posts

Saturday, August 23, 2014

A Writing Tip from Kathy Ide

Multi-published author, Kathy Ide has a tip for better writing for us. I confess this is one I struggle with. Should I use as or when?

AS vs. WHEN: Tips for Better Writing

By Kathy Ide


As (when used as a conjunction, as in “As this happened, that happened”) implies that the second thing occurred while (within the same time frame as, during the time in which) the first thing was in the process of happening.


When implies that the second thing happened at the same moment in time that the first thing happened (a specific time being the essential element).




"As the garage door came down (while it was in the process of coming down), the cat scurried under it."


"When the garage door came down (at the moment it touched the concrete), it hit the cat."


As she bid him farewell, a tear fell down her cheek.” (During the time it took for the tear to fall, she was in the process of bidding him farewell. Both took about the same amount of time.)


When she bid him farewell, a tear blurred her vision.” (At the moment in time when she told him good-bye, a tear appeared.)


“When the dance ended, she thought, I’ll never see him again.” (At the moment in time when the dance ended, that thought came to her mind. The two things happened at approximately the same point in time.)


The Dictionary of Problem Words and Expressions by Harry Shaw says that as is “one of the most useful and most overworked words in the language. … As a conjunction, however, as is usually weaker (less effective) than since, because, and when, each of which is more exact.”


The Wordwatcher’s Guide to Good Grammar and Word Usage (by Morton S. Freeman) says that as (when used as a conjunction) is often “fuzzy” because it is ambiguous. “It may be conveying the idea of time (which needs when) or of cause (which needs because).”


Their example: “As the time grew short, the people became fidgety” could mean either “When the time grew short, the people became fidgety” or “Because the time grew short, the people became fidgety.” They recommend using when or because instead of as to avoid ambiguity or possible misreading.



Kathy Ide is a published author/ghostwriter, editor/mentor, and writers’ conference speaker. Her latest book is Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors. To order, visit Kathy is the founder and coordinator of The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network ( and the Christian Editor Connection ( To find out more, visit  

Sounds like a book all writers need. Thanks, Kathy, for visiting Writing with God's Hope blog today. I think I understand the as vs. when dilemma. Anyone else have a problem with that besides me?

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Interview with Donna Clark Goodrich

Today, my Writing with God's Hope blog welcomes author, proofreader, editor, speaker Donna Clark Goodrich. I met Donna online through the Christian Writers Fellowship International. I ordered and read her book about keeping up with a writer's income tax liability. Realizing I knew little about her, I asked her to visit with us today.
1.  Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born in Jackson, Michigan and moved to Kansas City when I was 20 to take a job as secretary to the book editor at the Nazarene Publishing House. Met my husband, who was a student at Nazarene Theological Seminary, when I typed his term paper. We got engaged 3 weeks after we met and have been married for 53 years. He pastored 1 year in Michigan, then we moved back to Jackson for 3 years, coming to Arizona in 1969 because of his health. We have 1 son and 2 daughters, one is married to a minister and they live in Cushing, Oklahoma, with our 2 granddaughters. My husband has been on disability since his heart attack at the age of 48, and now has 12 different diseases he is dealing with.

  2.  Sounds like God has led you through a lot. Tell us a little about your writing journey.  

 I've always loved to write. Wrote my first 2 poems at the age of 9--one for Mother's Day and one for Veteran's Day (our pastor put it in the church bulletin). Sold my first poem at 14 (for $1.40) and my first short story to our church S.S. paper at 18 (for $12). After I began work at the publishing house and got to know a lot of the editors, I started selling more. Sold my first book in 1971--a puzzle book, 3 devotional books in 1972, then it took off after that. Most have been devotional books, 2 cookbooks, a biography, 2 secular how-to books with John Wiley & Sons, self-help books, and compiled and edited 3 anthologies.
3. You've been writing for a long time. I probably have viewers who, like me, are saying, "I'd like to read the poems, or see the cookbook."  Your writing encompasses varied subjects. Did you ever feel like giving up?  And how did you press through this?

The one depressing time I remember was when I broke my wrist and had a cast on for 4 months. I thought, "Now I have time to write," sent out dozens of things, sat back, and waited for responses. They came; 12 rejections in one day. I threw them on the floor and told my husband, "I quit, I'm not writing anymore." And it seemed God spoke to me, "I just want you to use this time to get close to Me." I have so many things I still want to write, I don't think I'll ever really quit.

 4.  Tell us about your latest book.
I'd like to tell about my two latest ones. For years I wanted something to offer to people who called and said, "I want to be a writer. How do I get started?" So I took all the material I've been teaching in workshops over the years and put it in book form. It came out 2 years ago under the title: A Step in the Write Direction--the Complete How-to Book for Christian Writers. I also brought out a second, similar student edition with assignments throughout....The second book The Freedom of Letting Go came about after it took me 11 years to let go of my mother after she died. When I was finally to do that, I realized it wasn't just letting go of her; it was the whole principle of letting go of the past. The book covers such things as: letting go of grief, success, failure, material things, children, your youth, people who have hurt you, etc., and then ends with "The Land Beyond Letting Go." I also speak on this subject at different churches.

5.  How do you feel this book will help readers?
The writing book will help beginning writers get started, and encourage advanced writers to keep going. There are also chapters on income taxes for writers, Microsoft Word hints, collaborating with other writers, etc. ... The Letting Go book will help people "forget those things which are behind and press forward."
.    6. What other writing-related careers will we find on your resume?
 I teach my own one- and two-day workshops across the U.S. (just need a location and a registrar), teach at other conferences, and I also proofread and edit manuscripts for writers and publishers.
7.     If your writing resembled a song, what would that song be?
"For all that You've done I will thank You, for all that You're going to do. For all that You've promised and all that You are is all that has carried me through. Jesus, I thank You."  The songwriter is Dennis Jernigan.
8.     Anything more you'd like to add?
 The following quotation changed my life. Up to that time I had sold 4 books and over 200 manuscripts, but writing was just a hobby for me. Then I heard Harold Ivan Smith say, "We are called to write and I feel we will be held responsible at the Judgment for the people we could have helped but didn't because we didn't write what God laid on our hearts to write." That took writing out of the hobby category for me and made it a calling. I feel I'm as called to write as a preacher is called to preach.

     9. I will remember that quote. So inspirational How can readers find you?
My web site is:  and I write a blog for writers every Monday morning at  I'll send it automatically via email to anyone who requests it. Email me at: It includes a personal update, a Thought for the Day, a Laugh for the Day, and Writer's Hints (including answering questions sent in).
Wow, Donna, I've learned so much. I never knew you worked for the Nazarene Publishing House. I was raised in a Nazarene church and have published short stories in Standard, so that publisher is close to my heart.  Thanks for stopping by and answering my questions.
After talking with Donna, I ordered both of these books. Since I teach a weight loss class, I know I'll use the principles of The Freedom of Letting Go there. I'm more than halfway through reading A Step in the Write Direction. Watch for my review on that book on October 6 on  Three other writers and I take turns reviewing books, especially books on the craft of writing. We also view websites, newsletters, conferences, and some fiction books, anything that helps writers.
Thank you, Donna, for visiting with us today. I'm eager to delve into the other book. Reader, if you have further questions or comments for Donna, or for me, leave a comment. Also notice on the side of this page where you can sign up as a follower for Writing with God's Hope blog. Every Saturday, I post. I write devotions, author interviews, weight loss tips, and sometimes, plain fun stuff.