Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Get to Know Pure Green! Erica Midkiff

This week we're meeting Erica, PGM's Copy Editor.  Sweet as can be, Erica is dedicated to and loves what she does - from newsletter, blog posts, columns to articles, she's got your spelling mistakes covered. (Or, in my case, excessive abuse of the comma!) Get more from Erica here (website under construction)! In the meantime, get to know her a little better with PGM!

Hi Erica! Please Introduce Yourself!
Hi! I’m Erica, a copy editor who works with small business and individuals. I am a southern Virginia native currently living in Boston, but I’m moving to Birmingham, Alabama in a month. (Eek!) I am engaged to the love of my life, to whom I owe so much of my success, and I’m gaining two step-kitties in the process. (I could make this whole paragraph about them—but I’ll refrain.) I love editing, but I also have a real passion for visual creativity; I dabble in photography, and I love making my own jewelry. I read a lot, I love meeting new people, and I’m thrilled to be moving south again. (Yes, I know it’s humid! Brace yourself: I LIKE heat and humidity. Though, ask me again in August...)

How did you become interested in copy editing?

First, for those of you who don’t know (I can certainly recall the time when I didn’t), a copy editor reads and edits a document for correctness and consistency in grammar, punctuation, spelling, style, and concision; the focus is on creating clarity for readers while maintaining the author’s voice and message.

I have been editing for what feels like forever, giving those in my path my very best editing advice—solicited and otherwise. The process of meticulous reading, of questioning every comma, preposition, word choice, of consulting the dictionary just in case (even though I know I have looked up a word seven times)--those things truly get my heart racing. I love editing. And I'm not afraid to shout it from the rooftops.

I originally moved to Boston to pursue a career in publishing, but never did quite get my foot in the door—thankfully. I took another job, did a ton of research into types of editing, schools, career paths, and found the perfect fit. I love the work that I do with people like Celine. It is a much more individual process than working for a big company, and it is hugely gratifying.

What's next on your reading list?

Such a dangerous question! I read a LOT; I’m a Goodreads addict. Lately, it has been an escape from some of the stress in my life (the moving alone will do it). I have been really enjoying a lot of the books written for young adults lately. I’m not talking Twilight here, though I know that’s a big draw for many. But there are so many smart, well-written, thought-provoking books out there for a younger audience. If you want recommendations, just ask. (Please!) Right now, though, Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom is by my bed. I’ve heard so many good things!

Words to live by?
The following has gotten me through good times and bad. It is taped above my desk, and I imagine that it always will be.

Do not be impatient with your seemingly slow progress. Do not try to run faster than you presently can. If you are studying, reflecting, and trying, you are making progress whether you are aware of it or not. A traveler walking the road in the darkness of night is still going forward. Someday, some way, everything will break open, like the natural unfolding of a rosebud. :: Vernon Howard

What does living green mean to you?

So many things! Recycling; if I have a coffee while I’m out, I stick the cup in my bag to recycle at home. (I also grab the cups of those with me—and sometimes get strange looks.) Eating less meat; I only eat it once or twice a week. Spending wisely; looking at the practices of the company that you’re considering supporting (an area in which I could do better). Buying vintage; it’s fun, and you’re not sending yet another item off to a landfill.

Living green means remaining conscious of what is happening in the world around us, and taking what steps (small and large) we can take to preserve the resources we have.

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