Last Sunday I went to church and lost my sole. Really.

 As I walked into a meeting room, my right foot crunched down. Because I wanted to look like I knew what I was doing, after the crunch, I proceeded to walk. Now it felt as if something huge was stuck to the bottom of my shoe. That wasn’t the case. In fact, the bottom of my shoe was leaving me behind. My heel had crumbled (nothing could heal it), and I had lost my sole – in church.

 I go to church to restore my soul, and this usually works. Music, words, prayers, and good people uplift me.

Regardless, as I entered the room, my sole had let me down.

English is not the only language that has puns. Even American Sign Language is filled with them. I’ve heard punning called the lowest form of humor, but people who love wordplay think they are punny wonderful, and in my experience, these people are relentless.

Homophones give us a laughs and headaches. If the past tense of read is read, why is the past tense of lead led and not lead? For instance, we have the expressions “get the lead out of your pants” versus, “he was led by the seat of his pants.”

As writers, when we are dancing with the muse of story and wonder, who wants to think about these things?

Other dilemmas: Facebook’s Grammarly recently asked, “If the plural of man is always called men, why shouldn’t the plural of pan be called pen? If I speak of my foot and show you my feet, and I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?”

 I say, “Call the editor!”

Some people are good at dancing with the muse and getting words on paper – rich, full words that feed the soul. Others of us are good at
cleaning up the homophones and weird spelling rules and questionable punctuation conventions of our language. It just might feed an editor’s soul to be called to work. It may help the authors among us, too.

 
 
Picture
 When my grandparents moved from the farm to a tiny home in a tiny Iowa
community, my grandmother no longer had the room or the energy to garden, can,
and preserve as she had for decades. Nonetheless, every time we visited, the
table was replete with golden canned peaches, homemade apple sauce, and, in summer, fresh tomatoes, okra, green beans, and corn that had made their way in boxes onto the back stoop.

 At the end of an abundant meal, my grandfather would push his chair back and say, “Thank you, mother. That was a fine meal. We can’t cultivate our garden anymore, but we can cultivate our friends.”

As a kid, I usually lived around water: the Black Hawk River; the five
lakes of Madison, Wisconsin; Green Lake in Minnesota; and the Illinois River. We had a boat, and I loved it. Last Monday night, I was gifted with a boating outing on the Willamette River canal. What a night. It rained, and then it didn’t. The sky was dark, and then it was clear. The great blue herons dined along the shore and then flocked overhead to roost for the night. I needed to be by the water, and I needed some help from my friends because they had the boat, and I didn’t.

 I view editing the same way. When I work on someone else’s writing, I
feel I have the chance to make something already worthy, better. I provide a little help as a friend. Isn’t that what we do for one another?


 
 
So a new webpage has been born. I did hit publish a little prematurely, though, so we are in the neonatal unit receiving oxygen and being handled with care. Expect more soon.