Interview with Lucie Winborne
Brenda: Hello everybody, I am with Ask God Today Ministries, and today I am so excited to introduce you to Lucie Winborne. Lucie is amazing. We just love Lucie so much. You know all the posts that go out with Ask God Today—Lucie edits them for us. So she enhances our work; she makes us sound a little more grammatical than we are sometimes. She catches our mistakes and she’s just amazing, so we are so thankful for you, Lucie.
I just want to open up and introduce you and ask you a couple of questions so that our readers and our followers can get to know you, because they don’t see you a lot; you’re not out in the forefront, you’re not writing a lot of posts for us, but you are involved with all of them, and so thank you for what you do for Ask God Today.
First I want to ask you a little bit about how you were called to write and to edit.
Lucie: Well, the call to write is funny—somebody asked me about that
not long ago; they said something about, “You evidently found your passion,” and I said, “Well, I’m not even so sure that it’s a passion, because it’s very difficult to write well and it’s not always that enjoyable. Sometimes it is, but the curious thing is, I said it wasn’t that I found it; I think it found me, and why I don’t know—there are some other writers in my family, but they were on the journalistic side, whereas when I was ten years old, for some reason one evening, on a whim, I said, “I think I’m going to write a story,” and I sat down at my family’s kitchen table and wrote a story which I wish very much had survived, because it must have been hilarious. We’re talking 45 years ago; I would love to know what I wrote. I have no idea, but I started writing short stories after that, and then went through a period where I didn’t really write much of anything for years, and so I’ve never been one of those writers—I wish I was one of those writers who absolutely has this obsessive need to write, and is very disciplined to do it every day. I’m unfortunately not. I think once I actually get into it, I’m okay, but I’ll put it off as long as I possibly can, at the same time. So I would say it found me, I’m not really sure how.
Now as for editing, I think maybe that’s just something we’re born with . . .
Brenda: Not me! (laughs)
Lucie: Well, there is this obsessive, fault-finding eye that you have to have, and I’m one of those people who will find typos everywhere—in the newspaper, on the Internet, on a cereal box—you name it, I’ll find it, most of the time . . . everybody misses some. But I simply can’t help myself, it’s just one of those things I do because I simply can’t help it, and so I guess that’s some weird, innate ability, but I enjoy it for a lot of reasons. I think all editors must have a little control freak in them, that they just like to correct things, but in my case it goes beyond, “Oh, I can’t stand it when somebody does that, when somebody uses an apostrophe the wrong way!” It actually goes beyond that. I have a very strong heart for making writers look better if I’m able to do that, because I think they deserve that. I think their work deserves to be presented as professionally as possible, and that’s very important to me, that you put your best printed self forward. Working with these ladies has given me the opportunity to make them sound better, in some ways, though frankly y’all don’t need a whole lot of work. Most of you write very well; I’m sorry, all of you do, really, and my work is kind of a sinecure. But it’s just very important . . . any client I work with, I feel very strongly about helping them look good on paper. The writers I’ve worked with have not been a huge number, but at the same time what’s interesting is that they’ve run across a very broad spectrum of ability, from the teenagers who were writing their first novels—one had never even taken a writing course in his life, so he needed coaching and mentoring—all the way to seasoned professionals like yourself and the other ladies at Ask God Today who have been doing this for a while and who know how to put sentence structures together, so it’s been fascinating to help a variety of people. It makes me feel good to do that.
Brenda: Well, you’re such a blessing to all of us, and it’s just amazing, because sometimes I’ll come back and think, “Now why didn’t I think to put the sentence in that structure or that way?” So we really thank you for what you do for us.
Tell everybody a little bit about how you met me and how you got involved with Ask God Today.
Lucie: I actually had to stop and think back to how we met, and I’m pretty sure it was through Tribe Writers.
Brenda: It was.
Lucie: And I believe I had put out a call, this was a couple of years ago, when I was really just beginning to figure out I wanted to eventually move in a professional editing direction and not just do it on the side as I had for so many years, and I put out a call to the Tribe Writers and said, “If anybody needs any help, I’m available, I can edit and proofread for you, and I believe you were one of those who answered the call. That’s how I got to proof your book, Joy Beyond, which I very much enjoyed and it’s sitting on my shelf right now, my signed copy. As I remember, it was last winter that you put out an email that said, “I’ve got this ministry and I could use some help with a bunch of things,” and I looked down the list and thought, “Oh gee, she lives in South Carolina and I live in Florida, and I can’t help her address envelopes or do things like that,” but then I saw you needed some help with editing and writing, so I immediately shot off that email and said, “Guess what, Brenda, I’m still in between day jobs, so I can help!” And the rest is history, and I’ve been very happy to do it.
Brenda: Well, thank you. Like I said, you’re amazing. We all love you so much. What do you like about working for Ask God Today Ministries?”
Lucie: There are several things, but the thing that really stands out is that the ladies have been so gracious. I know, because I’m a writer myself, how hard it is to put your work in somebody else’s hands. I have an editor myself, actually a couple of them now, but I have an editor I’ve been working with for at least three years now, whom I’ve never even met in person. We’ve talked on the phone one time; all of our communications are done by email, but he has been wonderful to me. He’s not only an excellent writer, he’s an excellent editor, and I trust him implicitly. He’s always been kind. But I know how it feels. I’ve been working for this magazine for three years, and every article that I send, there’s still a little piece of me that’s a little bit apprehensive: “Are they going to change something, or are they not going to like the angle I took?” So I fully understand what these ladies are doing, to trust me with their work, and the fact that they’ve always been so unfailingly gracious is, I think, amazing, compared to some stories I hear from other editors. They’ve just been incredibly kind about me making or suggesting changes. Another thing that I’ve enjoyed is that sometimes I’ve really learned from them. Several times in the past, I might be struggling with a particular issue that I haven’t even mentioned to someone, and a blog post will come in for me to look at, and lo and behold, it’s something I was thinking about that very week, and the timing is simply remarkable.
The third thing I like is that even though I have not met any of them personally, it’s nice to get a look inside their lives and inside their minds, and certain things about them and things they’ve been through. It’s been very interesting learning about them.
Brenda: Yes, we’ve got some amazing writers. They all have stories of God’s grace and how He’s carried us all through some stuff.
What do you like most about the writing and editing in general?
Lucie: Oh my goodness . . . there’s a quote and I’m not sure who said this; it may have been Dorothy Parker, it may have been someone else, but I always repeat this when somebody asks me this question, what’s the best part about writing: I would say, “When it’s over.” The sense of relief that it’s actually accomplished.
Brenda: And you hit that “Publish” button!
Lucie: That’s one of the best parts, I think, or when you . . . when I write fiction, which is actually not that often, but when I do write fiction, I think . . . seeing characters take a turn that I never anticipated. This happened with a novel I wrote during National Novel Writing Month a few years ago. I would be driving along to work and all of a sudden a character insight would pop into my head as if somebody spoke it out loud into my car, and I would think, “Oh, that’s why he did that!” That’s fun, seeing your characters take turns you don’t expect. That part is fun and enjoyable.
And sometimes the subject matter is fun. For example, I do celebrity profiles for the magazine I write for, and I think the first one I ever wrote was on Barbie, and that was an absolute hoot, because I decided to take it as if she was a real person, and approach it that way, and I had enormous fun with that.
The best part about editing, though, is feeling like I made somebody look a little bit better, even though they already looked good. I think of most of the authors I deal with as diamonds, and I just come along and flick a little dust cloth over them and polish them a little bit. That’s how I look at the editing process for most of them. And believe me, I don’t want to make it sound like I know everything about editing, because I certainly don’t, and I know I probably miss things, but if I can apply just a little of that dust cloth and polish to make it shine a little bit more, that just gives me a feeling of satisfaction.
Brenda: Well, we’re totally grateful for you. What is one thing that somebody might be surprised to know about you?
Lucie: I’m pretty conservative, I live a pretty quiet life; however, about a decade ago I went through a midlife crisis, and I decided when I felt like one was coming on that I was going to do one of two things. I had two choices, Brenda. I said, “I can either get depressed, or I can have fun with this, and I chose the latter. So I used it as the perfect excuse to do all the crazy things I’d wanted to do for years but never had the nerve to do, because that’s what you’re supposed to do when you have a midlife crisis, so I highly recommend this approach, and one of the things I did, number one was that I went skydiving, and that was one of the greatest experiences of my life; I still talk about it ten years later. And the other one—a lot of people don’t know this, but some do—is that I finally went and got a tattoo, which I’d been wanting to do since I was a teenager. So at 45, I got my first tattoo. When I tell people that, they’re very surprised, believe me.
Brenda: Well, my son would love you; he’s got several of them. I’m sure we’ve got a writer or two on the team that has some.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers to get to know you any better?
Lucie: I can’t think of a thing. I think I’ve already probably talked way too long.
Brenda: Oh, well, you’re awesome. How could somebody find you if they were to want to get in touch with you or maybe they needed to hire you?
Lucie: My website is almost done, I do have a designer working on that, and that will be done soon. Right now they could go through my blog website. That’s called Postcards From My Head, or they could find me on Facebook, and send me a message, and I would absolutely love to work with someone new. I’m open for business.
Brenda: Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Lucie. Again, this is Lucie Winborne and she is our editor at Ask God Today. We’re so grateful for you.
Goodbye everybody, we’ll talk to you next time!
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