Before we emigrated from Portugal, my father was a respected journalist. My eldest brother is an award-winning screenwriter. My college journalism professor said I had writing talent, but I didn’t believe him.
On my 30th birthday, I had my first astrological reading. After giving me an overview of my horoscope, the astrologer asked me:
“Are you a writer?”
Shrugging, I replied, ” I am a court reporter and write what people say.”
“No. I mean creative writing.”
She shook her head and said, “I see writing, writing, writing all over your chart!”
Her exclamation apparently pointing to some innate writing talent stirred something in me. Five months later, I purchased my first journal and began writing. That was the first of many over the next two decades. Eventually, I stopped journaling regularly, and my keyboard has replaced my pen because thoughts come pouring out faster than I can write legibly. Those journals have been invaluable in providing important details that I had long forgotten for my memoir.
EAGLE EYES TRANSCRIBING & PROOFREADING
In 7th grade, a classmate explained why kids laughed when I read aloud: my inability to correctly enunciate words beginning with “th.” Those letters don’t exist in the Portuguese language, at least not together. My family and I pronounced them like “d” – dis, dat, dees, dose, dem. A lightbulb went on. Why hadn’t any of my teachers caught that?
That night, I decided to lose my Portuguese accent and master English. A year later, my teacher was so impressed with my English, spelling, grammar, and conjugation skills that she invited me to be her assistant, which included grading papers of the kids who had mocked my speech. I was fair, neutral, and unswayed by bribery attempts or fake promises of friendship. Sweet justice.
Later, in my 35-year court reporting career, I read thousands of transcripts – mine, other reporters’, and students’. As a result, I developed the ability to absorb content and instantly spot areas that are inconsistent, nonsensical, or contain poor grammar, spelling, or punctuation. They JUMP at me.
My love of photography and composition further enhanced these skills when I was marketing director for several years at a church, and I could easily see misspellings or when text, graphics, or other media were out of alignment, skewed, or did not fit the intended message.
Court reporters and other legal professionals, authors, entrepreneurs, and marketing personnel are amazed at my ability to spot errors.
Rita Marie Johnson, Executive Director of Rasur Foundation and author of Completely Connected: Uniting Our Empathy and Insight for Extraordinary Results, wrote:
“Ana proofread my book, Completely Connected, which has 256 pages. She spotted details that needed fixing that both my editor and proofreader had missed. Her proofreading corrections were accurate and her suggestions for improvement of the content were also valuable. I would highly recommend Ana to anyone who needs assistance in developing written material.“
Several of my articles have been published in legal magazines, blog pages, and newsletters. I regularly write content for my websites and social media accounts. In October 2015, I published 0-225: Your Guide to Writing Mastery (see my eBook page for details). For five years, I was marketing coordinator for the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Paralegal Section and wrote and/or edited our monthly Paralegal Corner column.
Get in touch if you are looking for accurate, high-quality writing, proofreading, and editing.