How to Self-Edit Your Writing – CAKKALS

Edited draft of Declaration of Independence
Thomas Jefferson’s draft of the Declaration of Independence with edits by Ben Franklin, 1776

As painful as it can be to accept the criticisms and revisions of an editor, most writers would agree that it’s far more difficult to edit your own writing. A fresh set of eyes – especially skillful editor eyes – is dangerous to forego.

But there are times when all of us have to write something that no one else will take a crack at – a letter, a report, an essay, a blog post. Once I’ve finished drafting something that won’t benefit from another’s input, I go through a painstaking self-editing checklist summed up as the acronym, CAKKALS.

Yes, Dear Reader, it’s pronounced just like the hysterical sounds of relief you’ll make when you finish self-editing. Continue reading “How to Self-Edit Your Writing – CAKKALS”

Over My Head: A Halloween Ghost Story

One bag of candy.

Over My Head: A Halloween Ghost StoryThat’s all I bought to hand out at Halloween. I live on a block in Old Town with only five townhouses on one side shaded by giant old oak trees. The other side is taken up with spare brick commercial buildings, which were shuttered on Halloween night.

It’s a lonely block for trick-or-treaters, I rarely get more than two or three groups. So I only ever bother getting one bag of candy – Mini Snickers bars – chosen with leftovers in mind.

That night, I was washing dinner dishes when I heard the first knock. I grabbed the Mini Snickers and walked to the front door. Continue reading “Over My Head: A Halloween Ghost Story”