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About Natalie

Professional Bio

Texas-born. Midwest-raised. Studied in Chicago and now settled in Houston. I work remotely as an editing instructor for UC Berkeley and freelance edit for publishers (primarily HarperCollins but occasionally others).

Eager to finish college to be free for other adventures, I earned my bachelor’s degree in 2.5 years with a GPA somewhere around 3.75ish (my one C–in aerobics, because I kept skipping class–messed it up). After college I traveled to the Middle East, then moved to Japan, then to Alaska, and generally soaked in as many experiences as possible.

After some tumultuous years (that belongs better in the personal bio below), I spent a year sitting under the editors of the Chicago Manual of Style at the University of Chicago earning the graduate Editing Certificate. From there I was lucky enough to be given chances to learn and grow at publishing houses as a proofreader and editor.

I’ve been working at a furious pace for 6 years, which is how I was able to complete more than 500 book projects for publishers, including proofreading more than 30,000 pages (when I hit those numbers I stopped counting, but someday I’ll figure out more recent stats). I love my job and am thankful for the professionals who mentored me and gave me the chance to make mistakes, learn, and become a more capable editor.

education/Training

Introduction to Typography | California School of the Arts
Learning to Teach Online | University of New South Wales
Editing Certificate | University of Chicago
Bachelor of Science | Moody Bible Institute
1 year Craftsman | Christian Writers Guild
2-year Apprenticeship | Christian Writers Guild

experience/Knowledge

Ancient Near East studies
Archaeology
Anthropology
Biblical studies
General Medicine
Mental Illness treatments and therapies
Psychiatry
Psychology
PTSD and trauma recovery
Languages (some experience/familiar, not fluent):

  • American Sign Language
  • Chinese
  • French
  • Greek
  • Hebrew
  • Japanese
  • Latin
  • Spanish

speaking/Teaching

Four years experience teaching workshops at industry conferences including:

  • ACES National Conference
  • Maranatha Christian Writers Conference
  • PENCON (Proofreader and Editors Network)
  • Write-to-Publish Conference

PEN Institute online courses:

  • Freelancing for publishers
  • Chicago Manual of Style
  • Style manuals for book publishing

software/styles

Adobe Acrobat & Acrobat Reader
Canvas
Egnyte
InDesign
Microsoft Office Suite 365
PDF-XChange Editor
Slack
WordPress

Chicago Manual of Style 17th ed.
Christian Writers Manual of Style 4th ed.
Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) Handbook of Style 2nd ed.
Turabian style (Chicago)

Personal Bio

I love my job–I’ve even been caught formatting notes to relax at night (plus, when you spend 8 years as a single mom, your options of what to do after 8 p.m. are limited). My child is the sunshine in my world, cliche though it sounds. My relationship with God is the rock bottom that has kept me from falling off the deep end during the worst times. He’s been with me whether I sought him at an Orthodox, Anglican, or nondenominational church–or even no church at all. Labels aren’t my thing but I take him very seriously.

God gave me a second chance at life after 2 divorces in 3 years mixed with trauma plus a newborn left me a suicidal, wrecked shell. Years of support from family, friends, hospitals, therapists, and a life-changing trauma recovery center helped me rebuild a life while parenting and launching a career. I still carry scars, but I’ve learned to live despite or around them–even the amnesia I developed in 2012 that means I can’t remember a a decade of life.

When I hear music I unconsciously choreograph dance steps in my head. I’m one of those dancers who is painfully awkward in regular life, and I can’t run, jump, twist, or lift more than 10 pounds because I need (another) back surgery so serious the surgeons won’t put me through it yet. This physical body often feels like my enemy; between the chronic back/leg pain/numbness and daily battles with migraines/vertigo, I’ve learned to ignore the nausea, dizziness, and pain to a certain severity.

Then there’s the whole fact I can’t eat anything unless I know from experience it’s a “safe” food or I read the label/know every ingredient. When  asked what I can’t eat, I just shake my head. The list is so long I can’t list it all off the top of my head. Chocolate, cheese, caffeine, most artificial additives, many processed foods…if I cheat I face anything from nausea and dizziness to a trip to the ER, depending on the severity.

Why mention all this? It’s my daily reality and impacts how I live and view the world.