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Editors Unplugged: Get to know our panellists for Breaking Down Barriers to a Career in Editing

Interviews conducted by Catherine Dorton. 

Our popular monthly program meetings often feature a jam-packed agenda. We like to keep our introductions short, so you can hear more from our panellists and less from us! It’s hard to do justice to the incredible wealth of experience these guests bring to the table, so we are offering you a preview with this short Q&A beforehand.  

This month, we are honoured to be joined by Jessica De Bruyn, Gagandeep Bimbh, and Ronan Sadler. We were able to sit down with two of this month’s panellists for this Q&A. Meet all three panellists in person at this month’s program meeting on May 28.

Jessica De Bruyn 

Experience: A noun or a verb? Discuss.

Because I am in job hunting mode, my first instinct is to say noun. But I think that it can be a very ominous word in that context because it is difficult to know what employers or contractors are really looking for. However, I like it more as a verb because it highlights that it’s better to just get out there and do something. Whether it’s volunteering or starting your own project, it’s more about experiencing different things than it is about getting the “right” experience.

What is something you’re proud of in your working life?

Probably that I haven’t quit! Establishing a business as a freelancer has definitely not been easy. There were lots of times when I was working more than forty-hour weeks at joe jobs just to make ends meet and was wondering why I was doing this to myself. But eventually a manuscript would come in and I’d get to dive into this world that I loved so much, and I’d see myself getting a little closer to my goals. It is one step forward, one step back sometimes, though.

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Editors Unplugged: Get to know our panellists for Sound Mind: A Celebration of Mindfulness and Mental Health through Fiction, Memoir, and Music

Interviews conducted by Catherine Dorton.

Our popular monthly program meetings often feature a jam-packed agenda. We like to keep our introductions short, so you can hear more from our panellists and less from us! It’s hard to do justice to the incredible wealth of experience these guests bring to the table, so we are offering you a preview with this short Q&A beforehand. 

This month, we are honoured to be joined by Ranjini George, Rebecca Higgins, and Erika Nielsen.

Photo of Ranjini George by Fred Loek for Mississauga News

Photo of Ranjini George by Fred Loek for Mississauga News

Ranjini George 

We hear you use a gong. What’s that for?

Sound is a wonderful way to centre oneself and move beyond the carousel of non-stop thoughts. It is a way to be present to the Now, the Present Moment. The gong is a way of coming home to oneself. I love the words of Zen master Thích Nhất Hạnh regarding the bell/gong: “Listen, listen to the sound of the bell that calls you back to your true home.”

Try this: If you walk by the lake, listen to the sound of the waves. If you’re taking a neighbourhood walk (yes, spring is here!), listen to the sound of the birds. Notice your breath. Feel your feet on the earth. Breathe. Be present.

Listen to the lovely bell chant offered by the Plum Village community.

Why do writers and editors need mindfulness training?

I think it’s not just writers or editors who need mindfulness training. I think mindfulness is something that can help anyone. We enter this life with our first breath and transition from it with our last. So, we always have our breath.

Mindfulness is a way of using our breath—it is a way of being awake to our lives. Mindfulness is a practice: it is a simple and profound way of creating peace in our hearts. In our work as editors or writers, mindfulness helps create focus and clarity. We can bring the energy of mindfulness into our home, our workplace, and the world.

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Editors Unplugged: Get to know our panellists for Editing Worlds: Speculative Fiction and the Editorial Process

Interviews conducted by Catherine Dorton.

More details on the program forthcoming.

Our popular monthly program meetings often feature a jam-packed agenda. We like to keep our introductions short, so you can hear more from our panellists and less from us! It’s hard to do justice to the incredible wealth of experience these guests bring to the table, so we are offering you a preview with this short Q&A beforehand.

This month, we are honoured to be joined by Jen Frankel, JF Garrard, Dominik Parisien, and Drew Hayden Taylor.

Photo of Jen FrankelJen Frankel

If you could co-write a piece of speculative fiction with a famous author of any genre, who would you pick?

Definitely Anne McCaffrey. As long as I’m allowed to go back in time to do it. If I’m limited to now, Val McDermid. I’d drag her to the dark side and make her consider some supernatural interjections.

Star Wars, Star Trek, or Doctor Who? 

Marry: Star Trek. Date: Star Wars. Kill: Doctor Who. I really want to love the Doctor, but ever since the reboot, I feel like I’m in a downward spiral toward despair. But I haven’t watched the new season…

Who is your favourite monster? 

My favourite monster is Lilith, mother of all monsters and I’m absolutely sure totally maligned!

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Editors Unplugged: Get to know our panellists for Winning Two Gillers: A Conversation with Esi Edugyan and Her Editors

Interviews conducted by Catherine Dorton.

Our popular monthly program meetings often feature a jam-packed agenda. We like to keep our introductions short, so you can hear more from our panellists and less from us! It’s hard to do justice to the incredible wealth of experience these guests bring to the table, so we are offering you a preview with this short Q&A beforehand.

This month, we are honoured to be joined by not only acclaimed novelist Esi Edugyan, but also four (!) of her editors: Patrick Crean, John Sweet, Jane Warren, and Marie-Lynn Hammond.

Patrick CreanPatrick Crean

If you could travel to any fictional world, where would you go?

If you mean an entirely made-up place in fiction, then I would love to visit Alice in Wonderland! Oddly enough, I wouldn’t mind visiting Orwell’s 1984 (Orwell is an all-time fave of mine) as long as I didn’t get stuck there…. But if you mean real settings in fiction, I would want to visit the Alexandria in Lawrence Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet and/or the Morocco of Paul Bowles’s novel The Sheltering Sky.

What’s your favourite way of procrastinating? And how do you get back to work?

Procrastinating? I can’t say I do a lot of that, but if I am having a tough start to an editing day, I’ll make another pot of coffee and clean up the kitchen before heading back to my manuscripts. A good way to reboot for me is to power walk five km around the Central Tech track near our house! Or I might do an aural tune-up by reading something by Chekhov or W.H. Auden or Elizabeth Bishop or J.D. Salinger or James Salter.

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Editors Unplugged: Get to know our panellists for Professional Editorial Standards in Action (Part II)

Interviews conducted by Catherine Dorton.

Our popular monthly program meetings often feature a jam-packed agenda. We like to keep our introductions short, so you can hear more from our panellists and less from us! It’s hard to do justice to the incredible wealth of experience these guests bring to the table, so we are offering you a preview with this short Q&A beforehand.

 

Jennifer DinsmoreJennifer Dinsmore

What were your goals when you started your career and have you reached them?

When I first started this career and got my Creative Book Publishing certificate from Humber College, I definitely saw myself as an in-house editor. But the job market didn’t make that easy. I went on to complete an internship and bounced around a bit in related roles, the longest as a publicist/proofreader for a small academic publisher. I still wanted to focus on editing, so I started a freelance editorial business three years ago. Now, my goal is to help independent and self-publishing authors prepare their books for market or to query [literary] agents. When a client tells me how much I’ve helped them, I know I’ve been successful, but it’s something I strive toward all the time.

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Editors Unplugged: Get to know our panellists for Professional Editorial Standards in Action (Part I)

Interviews conducted by Catherine Dorton.

Our popular monthly program meetings often feature a jam-packed agenda. We like to keep our introductions short, so you can hear more from our panellists and less from us! It’s hard to do justice to the incredible wealth of experience these guests bring to the table, so we are offering you a preview with this short Q&A beforehand.

 

Amy BrownAmy Brown

What were your goals when you started your career and have you reached them?

I was looking for a career that I could develop on my own time, do from home, and be intellectually engaging. Editing absolutely fit the bill on all three counts! As I’ve matured as an editor, I have learned so much about communication, respect, and empathy.

If you could pick a new profession, what would you be and why?

Funny you should ask. As of this month, I am training to become a personal and business development coach. I wanted to keep the freedom and challenge of freelance editing and add more human contact; I’m perhaps too much of an extrovert to be a full-time editor!

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Editor for Life: Freelance editor Catherine Dorton

Interview conducted by Jennifer D. FosterCatherine Dorton

A career as an editor is often a solo adventure, especially if you’re a freelancer. So we thought one way to better connect with fellow editors was to ask them the W5: who, what, where, when, and why. Read on for some thought-provoking, enlightening tidbits from those of us who choose to work with words to earn our keep.

Catherine, please tell us a little about yourself, the kind of work you do, and how long you’ve been an editor.

I’ve been working as a freelance editor for 10 years after working in-house as a production editor at Penguin. I love the freedom and flexibility of freelancing and the amazing variety of projects I do. I work on trade books—all kinds—but with a special passion for children’s books. When I’m not editing, I’m often out hauling water to thirsty trees, biking, or sitting on my porch enjoying a coffee and a book.

Who: If you could edit one famous author, living or dead, who would it be?

Being an editor may be solitary, but I don’t welcome communing with ghosts! However, if I were to be haunted by a dead author (with manuscript in hand), I’d pick a Brontë, preferably Charlotte. I think we are kindred spirits.

Closer to home and the present, I’ve been a huge admirer of Deborah Ellis ever since my son and I “tandem” read The Breadwinner series last summer. She is an activist, and her books are a great catalyst for change among kids who can see themselves in the “ordinariness” of her characters as they prevail in the most difficult circumstances. From war-torn Afghanistan to the coca fields of Bolivia and beyond, she tackles big issues––drug trafficking, homelessness, child labour, leprosy, HIV––but somehow leaves the reader feeling renewed and hopeful. Kids are capable of so much empathy, and she really taps into that gift. It would be a pleasure and an honour to work on one of her books. (more…)