I Love Mondays

HA! Just kidding.

I don’t hate Mondays, but we’ll never be in love. Monday is is like an annoying mother-in-law, cold, rainy days in autumn, or pants that chafe your thighs. Inevitable and uncomfortable, but they don’t last forever even if it seems that way.

Schedule Updates

With the change of seasons comes a change in scheduling. My guidelines remain the same, but I thought I’d update my Rates and Services page so you all know the best time to get a hold of me. Any questions, just email me.

Newsletter News

I missed October’s newsletter. I’m not sure if anyone noticed, but there will be a newsletter on November 3 with the next installment of editing tips and the new releases of September/October. But let me ask you a question–what would you like to see in a newsletter from me? Are the editing tips helpful? I am totally open to suggestions, so if you have one (or a few), go ahead and throw them out there for consideration. After all, the newsletter is for YOU and I want to provide what’s useful to you.

If you’re interested in the writing side of things, visit Annetta Ribken-Literary Home and sign up for the newsletter there for updates on my writing endeavors.

Speaking of Writing News…

Not Nice and Other Understatements has received a makeover :) She’s nice and shiny, and hopefully will be released on October 15th. People who have purchased the Kindle edition in the past will receive the update at no charge. There will be a new print edition available for those interested. More info on the writing website.

And that’s it for Monday. Hopefully yours is going well. :)


Editing With Netta~Basic Chores

You will find as many ways of editing your manuscript as there are grains of sand upon the beach. That’s because editing is as much an art form as writing. No two people do it exactly the same, nor should they.

However, when it comes to self-editing, there are some basic chores you need to do to get your ‘script ready for a professional edit. These are my Top Five Recommendations:

1. Put your manuscript away for a couple of weeks. Longer, if possible. Why? Because it’s too soon, you’re too close, and you’re not going to see what needs to be changed or corrected when you’re right on top of it. Let the manuscript “cool” for a little bit. You’ll be amazed at what you see when you re-open the document.

2. Take the editing in rounds, big picture to little picture. If you try to get everything in one round, it’s likely you’ll experience frustration, discouragement, and probably rage. You might reach for a hammer. Slow down, tiger, and take one round at a time.

3. Outline. If you’re a die-hard pantser and did not work from an outline, that’s fabulous. Everyone has their own way of writing, and there’s no “right” way or “wrong” way. But for the purpose of getting your ‘script into fighting shape, whether you outlined or not, it’s a good idea to create an outline from the completed material. Things could have changed from your original outline. It doesn’t have to be detailed, but enough to keep you in a straight line. *Note: It’s a good idea to share these kinds of documents with your editor.

4. Construct a style sheet or compendium. Especially if you’re working on a series, a style sheet or compendium is a must. If you start it now, it will save you so many headaches down the line. Include the proper spelling of names, locations, physical attributes of your characters…you can use an Excel spreadsheet to help. Trust me, you’ll thank me for this later when you’re in book three and can’t remember what color so-and-so’s eyes were in the first book.

5. Include a Bug Word list. Every writer has bug words. These are words you may overuse and just don’t see anymore when you’re writing. And, the bug words can change from manuscript to manuscript. TRUE STORY. Keep a list of the ones you see most often, and utilize your Search and Find function. This can really save you a lot of time when you’re whipping through a manuscript.

Next post we’ll talk about the FIRST READ. Sign up for the monthly newsletter and get your editing tips and tricks before the crowd!


Good News and New News!

Here we are in September! I’m so happy not to be frying like bacon in a pan (mmmm, bacon!) and am really enjoying the cooler weather. Remind of that when I’m bitching about the cold, okay?

Yeah. This doesn't look good.
Yeah. This doesn’t look good.

You know that’s coming up sooner rather than later, right?

But I said GOOD NEWS!

I am pleased and happy to report Jennifer Wingard and I won an award for editing Forever Road by Catie Rhodes. Jennifer was the copy editor, and I served as content editor. Love, love, LOVE me some Peri Jean Mace! She’s really my kind of gal, and I had so much fun working with Catie. It’s a great story.


In New News, this blog will concentrate on the editing side of things. If you’d like to keep up with my own writing, you can visit me at AnnettaRibken.com for updates on what’s happening. While you’re there, sign up for the newsletter–you’ll see covers, trailers, and excerpts before anyone else and as a subscriber, be eligible for special giveaways just for YOU. Since my production schedule is hardly blistering right now, you won’t be spammed to death with emails, promise. :)



Speaking of subscribers, the newsletter here on Word Webbing provides valuable editing tips and new releases from my clients as they happen. So make sure you sign up–it comes out once a month and you don’t want to miss it.

Another change coming up is on Wednesdays, I’ll be posting the editing tips here. They’re six months behind, so signing up for the newsletter ensures you get the latest right away.

Work continues on both sites as I update and clean out stuff. It’s almost like tackling the closet where you throw everything because you don’t know where else to put it. Don’t play. I know you know what I’m talking about.

Yep. You know this closet.
Yep. You know this closet.

In the meantime, I hope you’re writing and having a good month! Tell me what you’re up to in the comments :)



Welcome to my new digs! Sometimes, in seeming catastrophe, good things can happen.

I’ve had the plan for some time to break off my editing brain from my writerly brain but still have them linked. Due to unavoidable circumstances, the timeline for that process has been bumped up considerably.

Instead of looking at it as a disaster, I’m going to take it and shape it into an OPPORTUNITY.

Here on annettaribken.com, you will find the editing half of my brain. Later on this year, I’ll introduce you to the writerly half.

I’ll let you guess which half is which. Photo courtesy of morguefile.com.

In the meantime, hang tight while I hang curtains and throw a little paint on the walls. I’ll have it spiffy in no time!

Before you leave, take a quick minute and sign up for my monthly newsletter. It’s chock-full of editing goodness and the latest on new releases from some outstanding authors. See you there!


What’s Going On

Well, you know. The usual. Busy is BUSY, but that’s nothing unusual for not only me, but most everyone I know. And while busy is good, it can also be frazzling sometimes. Especially when you share space with a judgmental and obnoxious cat who is all up in your business 24/7. Not mentioning any names.

The bitchiest cat face on the planet. Judging. Always judging.

I’m not the most dedicated of bloggers on the planet, that’s for sure. And when I do decide to post, I have ten million ideas but when I open up a blank document, do you think I can find a brain cell? Hell, no. They scatter like rats deserting the Black Pearl sucked into a black, watery vortex. Please tell me I’m not the only one.

Since I’ve wanted to impart some editing tips and tricks for the longest time, I figured the easiest way was to create a monthly newsletter. You can sign up at the top of this page–and it will be information you won’t see posted on the blog. I’ll also include a shout-out to the writers I know who are releasing some outstanding work.

The first newsletter launched January 31st, and included five important editing tips when starting the editing process. On February 28th, the newsletter will continue on this editing journey with what you should look for in your First Read. Tell you what–sign up today and I’ll make sure you get the first five tips, too.

Now to get this feline out of my face so I can work. Wish me luck. Heh.


MeiLin Miranda Reads VISTA BRIDGE At ComicCon!

Yes! It’s true! Here’s our own MeiLin Miranda reading her story based on the Wheel of Fortune card from Allegories of the Tarot

at ComicCon:

What a fabulous job

Two quick things: If you purchase the paperback copy of Allegories you get the KINDLE version FOR FREE. Yes. You do.

AND…the first monthly Word Webber newsletter will be coming out January 31st. Sign up now so you don’t miss anything! Like new releases, some editing tips, and a SPECIAL SURPRISE. Heh.

Go on, now. Go kick Monday in the taco!



Preditors and Editors Reader’s Awards of 2013

While you’re here, don’t forget to sign up for the new monthly newsletter! It will include new release news, tasty tidbits, and probably some shenanigans. Because that’s how I roll.

So the results of the Preditor and Editors Readers Poll of 2013 are in. Congratulations to all the participants and to the winners!

As you may be able to tell from the nifty new badges on the sidebar, Allegories of the Tarot placed in the top ten, and I also placed in the top ten. What those badges don’t tell you is Allegories placed at number five out of a field of sixty fabulous anthologies, and I placed at number two.



I’m thrilled because each and every one of the contributors to the anthology worked their asses off, and every single one brought their A game. I’m so incredibly proud of the volume we put together I can hardly stand it. I know I might be biased, but I really feel this is the best group of stories I’ve ever read. Working on the anthology with this group of writers was AMAZING. It was fun, wild, crazy, and one of the best experiences of my life, not just my editing career. Just…man. Thank you, guys. You are wonderful to work with, and I am honored you came along with me on this ride. MAD LOVE.

I’d also like to thank all the backers from the Indiegogo campaign who helped make this happen. We couldn’t have done it without you, so this is your victory as much as it is ours. THANK YOU, for believing in this project and helping us realize our vision.

As for the editor award–I’m gobsmacked and yes, very happy. An editor’s job is to make the work the best it can be, and for it to look like an editor was never there. We’re the shadow people So to be honored with an award like this is really validating, although if I’m to be completely honest, it feels a little weird, too. The editor/writer relationship is between two people, and it’s special. I’d like to thank my absolutely stellar clients who keep me on my toes, total involvement in the editing process, and most of all, for the trust they have in me. I’m grateful and feel so honored.




Vote For Your Favorite Editor and Anthology!

Yes, it’s that time of year–the Annual Preditors and Editors Reading Poll. I’m really thrilled and honored to be nominated for the Best Editor award this year–and today is the last day to vote.


I can’t even tell you how much I appreciate being nominated in the first place. I work with some amazing authors and I absolutely love what I do. Allegories of the Tarot was a major project in 2013, and I’m beyond proud at the teamwork producing an outstanding collection.

If you feel the same way and would like to show your support, you can vote for the anthology here and if you happen to have a favorite editor *cough cough* you can vote for Best Editor here.

While you’re at it, take a look at the categories–you may find some favorite authors, books, and artists you can support. The site loads a little slow at times, but this kind of endorsement and affirmation means a lot to the indies who work hard to publish quality books for your reading pleasure.

Please take a minute to cast your vote for your favorites. We all appreciate it so much!

Good luck to all the nominees!





WOW. November was one busy month and it FLEW. Once ALLEGORIES OF THE TAROT released it was one huge blur until the end of the amazing blog tour sponsored by Badass Marketing. And let me tell you, it was BADASS. The contest was a resounding success, and the winners announced here and will be contacted later today with their prizes or arrangements to deliver their prizes.

I have nothing but wonderful things to say about Badass Marketing. They were on top of EVERYTHING which relieved a huge amount of pressure from me. Organized, accessible, friendly, and tons of fun. If you’re looking for a marketing ninja, I can’t recommend this company highly enough.

Allegories of the Tarot was a special project straight from my heart. I wrote about what it meant to me here. It really was one of the best experiences of my life, and I’m thrilled with its reception, although I’m feeling the sadz that’s it’s all over. I loved every minute of putting this together, and I had the best team in the history of teams. Make sure to look up the authors included in this volume of outstanding talent–you will not be disappointed.

Please leave a review if you’ve read Allegories–I’d love to hear your opinion. Reviews and word of mouth is so important to indies, and we appreciate every single review, no matter your opinion. And remember, if you buy the print version, you’ll get the Kindle version for free. A great Christmas present!


Speaking of great Christmas presents, it can be quite a conundrum to decide what to give to the writer in your life. I can help you with that. This year, for the first time, I am offering a limited number of gift certificates for editing services.

Manuscript Evaluation: An overall manuscript evaluation is available. A manuscript evaluation includes an assessment of the overall plot, story arc, characterization, and story flow. It does not include line edits, copy edits, or in-line comments. A complete document will be provided with an honest opinion of strengths and weaknesses and where improvements can be made, up to a 50k word count. Additional charges will be assessed for longer material. Normally, this service runs for $250, but for the holiday season only the purchase price is $199. You will be provided with a printable gift certificate to present to your beloved writer.

Three Chapter Evaluation: A three-chapter evaluation includes suggestions on improving the opening chapters to draw in the reader, establishment of character and inciting incident. It does not include line edits, copy edits, or in-line comments. A complete document will be provided with an honest opinion of strengths, weaknesses, and where improvements can be made. For the holiday season, this service is only $50. This also comes with a printable gift certificate to slip into your favorite writer’s stocking.
Both services are in limited number, so get ‘em while you can!
Contact me at annetta(dot)ribken(at)gmail.com for more information and details.
And finally, I just want to remind you that you can keep up with the new releases on my Editing Work page. I try to keep it updated, but if you want great reading, that’s the place to find it.
In the meantime, thanks to everyone for all their support for ALLEGORIES. Go forth and READ ALL THE WORDS!



allegoriesblogtourbannerGet to know Timothy Bryant Smith, one of the 22 contributors to the recently-released Allegories of the Tarot Anthology (which is already trailblazing its way up the fantasy anthology charts on Amazon!). Timothy wrote his tale, Transformation, based on the Death card.

Get the Allegories of the Tarot Anthology in on AmazonSmashwords,Kobo, and everywhere else e-books are sold. Add the Allegories of the Tarot Anthology to your Goodreads to-read shelf!

About Timothy

timothy-smithTimothy Smith lives in North Carolina where he and his wife split their time between running their restaurant, indulging in creative projects, and spending time with their two dogs. A lifelong student of symbolism and creative expression, Timothy has always enjoyed exploring the eclectic myths and archetypal characters of various religions and their respective cultures throughout history. Inspired in his youth by the insights of Jung, Campbell, and other authors who defined the field of comparative mythologies and their impact on culture and the human condition, Timothy has studied and practiced various systems of divination since his childhood.

This is Timothy’s first contribution to an anthology, but hopefully not his last.

Just a few questions…

What intrigues you about this particular Tarot card? Aside from the Lovers card, the Death card is (perhaps) one of the most frequently misinterpreted cards in the deck. Death, as an inevitability of living, is such a taboo subject to begin with. The Death card invokes such vivid imagery, sadly, it only serves to confound the neophyte interpreter into thinking an issue of mortality must be at hand. The involuntarily and reflexively dire associations that come with drawing the Death card are, unavoidably, a manifestation and expression of the individual’s fear of dying—as if drawing this card is some sort of harbinger of physical death. This, of course, is completely inaccurate and a repeatedly misused portend of what this card is actually meant to represent. The specter of the Death card (as a harbinger the physical event) is often abused in movies, television, and pop culture. Just as the Lovers card is often falsely portrayed as the dealing with sex, or the Devil card having something to do with the ultimate personification of evil, these types of cursory interpretations have always frustrated me when I see them. The Death card offers a sacred knowledge so very much more profound than what pop culture has attempted to paint it as meaning.

Why did you decide to get roped into this project? I have repeatedly broken a promise to my special friend Annetta Ribken to write something worthy of publishing. This might be my chance to make good on that promise.

Have you ever had dealings with the Tarot before? Yes. I was that weird little kid who had a deck of Tarot cards hidden under his bed instead of Playboy magazines (ok… I had a few of those as well). Divination has fascinated me my entire life and continues to fascinate me to this day. It has always provided me with a special counsel; a conduit of imagery, metaphor, and allusion which allows me to transmogrify unconscious desire into lucid intent.

What other projects do you have planned? I have often wanted to create an in-depth compendium of divination, its systems and the cultures from which they originate, and an interactive experience by which people could learn what real divination can be and mean to the journey we must all go through. Maybe even help reclaim it from the ridicule both science and religion have heaped upon it (having never actually studied it or simply fearing it, respectively). Divination provides an answer that both science and religion have, to date, failed to provide. This project, sadly, remains an infrequently visited folder on the desktop of my life.

How did you decide what to write about? When Annetta asked me to write one of the stories (I was a bit late to the selection of cards) nearly all of them had been picked by other writers.  I was both pleasantly surprised and a bit perplexed the Death card had not yet been picked.  It was one of maybe three or four left to choose from, so I grabbed it as soon as I saw it was available.

I toyed around with writing the story of the Death card as a metanarrative—the personification of Death expressing a narrative about the various takes and misconceptions of what Death is, how it’s perceived, and what it has come to mean to the cultures who fear, avoid, embrace, and worship it.  Sort of a 3000-word Facebook rant by the Grim Reaper as if It had a few minutes of humanity’s time to set them straight on a few things.  I just couldn’t get it right.  The first few drafts sounded too absolutist and didn’t leave much to the questions a reader’s imagination might have—as most metanarratives are wont to do.  I realized it lacked compassion and the ability of the readers to sympathize or immerse themselves in what was being said.  There wasn’t any real plot device or thematic vehicle to what I was writing.  So I choose instead to go back and explore a more approachable story with characters, settings, and dialogue about an event in a young woman’s life that I felt we could all relate to some degree while still getting across the idea that Death isn’t about dying, it’s about transforming in order to continue existing.

How literal did you want to get with your card? That’s problematic with the Death card, as the Death card is not meant to be taken literally.  I really wanted people to see Death the way the Tarot intends for it to be seen and understood—as a transformation from one state to another; a passageway through the cycle or circumstance of existence.  Humanity sees Death as an end of the body, something to be mourned, avoided, feared.  The Tarot intends for the Death card to be seen as a willing rite of passage the soul must make on its way back to the Source.

Is your story a part of something you’ve written about previously? Only in my story’s setting.  I am still developing a novel that is based, at least in part, in Knoxville, Tennessee the same as my allegories story.  I have no idea why this story took me there, it just happened.  I should really go there sometime, I suppose.

Would you like to have written about any other card?  Which card?  Why? I would have loved to write about any (or all) of the other cards.  Fortunately, Annetta has some amazing authors who beat me to it.  This is a really special collection of stories written by some really talented writers.

If you could have the power to divine the future, would you or would you not and why? I believe we all have this ability as long as the information is put into the correct context.  Divination, in my experience, is not really about predicting the future, it’s about becoming conscious of the present, making a choice, and having some insight as to where that choice might take you.  The deepest, powerful, and most lucid moments of personal transformation lies in being honest and aware about where you’re coming from, where you are now, what is influencing you, where your path will lead, and the new situation which will likely unfold from that awareness.  This is not magic or divination per se, rather a basic ritual of self-awareness.

The Tarot cards are tools in the guise of symbols.  Each encapsulates an archetypal area of self-awareness.  Ultimately, though, the hammer, screwdriver, saw blade, and measuring tape are useless in building the abode of Self unless you take the time to understand and accept their appropriate usage and technique.  Or perhaps one could think of the Tarot cards as just one set of musical instruments one might play in orchestrating the symphony of the soul.  These symbols/tools/instruments are just “allegories” of Self and what an honor it has been getting to tell the story of at least one of them!

About Allegories of the Tarot

allegoriestarotcoverOnce upon a time, there was an editor with a fascination for the Tarot. She was struck one day by a crazy idea. “Hey,” she said. “What if twenty-two writers each wrote a story about the twenty-two cards of the Major Arcana of the Tarot and were fashioned into an anthology?”

The idea would not leave her alone.

And thus, the Allegories of the Tarot was born.

Crowdfunded by a campaign on Indiegogo with the help and support of an amazing group of writers, twenty-two stories were crafted around the mysteries of the Tarot. The group includes a Pushcart Prize nominee, a Pulp Ark nominee, a former Bigfoot researcher, a journalist, an award-winning YA author, and a Rhysling Award winner. Professional writers, new talent, and a range of genres boggling the mind: Horror, Speculative Fiction, Bizarro Fiction, Erotica, Mystery, Humor, Paranormal, Epic Fantasy, Literary, Romance, and Historical Fantasy.

What has emerged is an outstanding collection of fiction, unique and mysterious. Stories that will make you cry, make you laugh, and make you think. Stories that make you feel the touch of the Universe.

Dare to step through the portal to shadowy realms and emotional journeys.

Get the book!

Allegories of the Tarot is available in e-book and paperback format on AmazonKobo, and in multiple e-book formats on Smashwords.

Don’t forget to add Allegories of the Tarot to your to-read shelf on Goodreads.

Connect with the Allegories of the Tarot Anthology on its websiteFacebook, and Twitter.