My name is Ronda Swolley. That is in some ways the least important thing you need to know about me.
I am a daughter, a wife, a mother, a stepmother, a grandmother, a woman, a human, and myself. My other names are Mom, Honey, Kari’s mom (or variations of same based on which of the kids is referred to), Gramma, Sis, Ronders (my step-kids’ name for me), and a variety of other names – including Ma’am, now that I am old and decrepit; but that one bugs me since it is supposed to denote my mother’s friends, not me.
I am a science geek and a people watcher, so understandably I hold degrees in psychology and general science; and I have over fifty years of life experiences that most people would need a dozen lifetimes to live through.
I know how to milk a cow, ride a horse, can peaches, bake a pie, drive a tractor, build a beehive, skin a coon, pluck a chicken, shovel shit (both kinds), paint a building, paint a painting, read palms, balance a checkbook, raise lab cultures, administer and evaluate IQ tests, identify about four hundred different kinds of rock by sight, run software to do real time analysis of video feed, write a macro, read a chemical formula, do statistical analysis with or without software (several different software programs, actually), manage a restaurant, manage an office, manage a household, clean a toilet… well – you get the picture. I have done a lot of things in my life. More important, if I DON’T know how to do something, I know how to find out about it.
I have never left the United States (though it is on my bucket list to actually NEED a passport someday); however, I have been to all the states except Alaska and Hawaii, and have lived on both coasts as well as in a variety of other locations scattered across the U.S., fairly well distributed into a mix of almost any population size you can imagine from countryside to major city.
I have been homeless, and I have lived in an apartment, a loft, a hotel, a bus that was remodeled into a camper, houses so old they were falling down around me, brand new houses, remodeled houses, a trailer house, and for the past nearly twenty years I have lived in a house with three living rooms and five bedrooms – but only one bathroom (the legacy of raising six children). Trust me; we could have used another bathroom, even at the cost of one of those living rooms. I am hoping to soon move into a much smaller home with my husband when he retires, so that those children (all of them adults now) will stop coming home for year-long visits.
I have no intention of ever retiring myself, at least not until I become senile. I work from home via the internet, which gives me a lot of versatility in ways I had not considered when I started. I can work whatever hours suit me on any given day, or any day of the week, month, or year. Conversely, as long as I am able to meet deadlines I can take any day off I want, for whatever reason, and don’t have to explain myself! I can work in my pajamas. If I move, my job will go with me since all I need is a computer, electricity, and access to the internet. I can work for people that live on the other side of the world and never leave my home. I am able to claim part of my household expenses as a business deduction on my income taxes (no small thing, that).
And I have the best job in the world – for me. I get to read all day long, and nothing makes me happier. Even when I knock off work for the day, I pick up a book.
I am a copy editor, and while I usually copyedit textbooks for one particular business (American Book Design), I have been exploring other sources of income (and reading material). I have been a beta reader for a few fiction authors, most of whom are published, for at least eight years now. I tried writing for a while, even dusted off a few things I had written when I was younger, and joined some writers’ groups. But I found that I was so much more interested in reading (and editing) the other authors’ work than in creating my own, that I never spent any time writing!
After a few years of thinking about writing and not really doing it, I have bowed to the inevitable conclusion that I don’t really LIKE writing unless it is for the purpose of helping other writers.
One of the authors I was doing beta reading for told me that he wanted to pay me for my work. This may have been so that he could be assured of having his manuscript back quickly, since up until then I had to bump all beta reading to the back burner when a paid job came in. It went well, so I started doing more as a paid copy editor for indie authors, picked up a few more steady customers, and decided to expand further into fiction editing. After all, fiction and novels are a lot more fun to edit than computer chip manuals…
And therefore, I am looking for authors that need and want to hire a good copy editor to help them achieve their goal of creating the best manuscript they can.