Author Archives: Erika Orrick

Erika Orrick
Erika Orrick wanted to be a writer when she grew up, but detoured into computers when she realized she actually wanted to eat. Financial stability established, she eased her way back into storytelling by fixing other people’s words and discovered she had a knack. An admitted geek, she is constantly distracted from resuming her quest to be a writer by all the shiny. Luckily, since she hasn’t yet grown up, no one can say she hasn’t met her goal. She has tried (and failed) to escape Texas twice and in fact now lives on the north side of Houston, less than 100 miles from where she started. Erika can be found on Twitter at @erikaeditsbooks or email at
Proof that I am nice to Jo on occasion


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In Light of Recent Events

This is one is the best explanations of what the bible does and doesn’t say about marriage–any marriage–and what that means to us today.

This is the text of the sermon I preached on Sunday, June 28, setting aside my summer sermon series to address a number of recent events in our nation.  I publish it here by request: On Thursday Christy and I drove from Richmond, Virginia, to Niagara Falls, Ontario, which means that we waited in line […]

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Cool Word search hack
I will occasionally get manuscripts that still have mixed quotes in them. Although I know how to do a blanket search and replace to flip straight quotes to smart quotes, I don’t want to do this for manuscripts that are already mostly right, since a search and replace tends to mess up apostrophes used at the beginning of words (’em, ’til, etc) and I don’t want to have to go back and fix those.
Instead, you can just search for ^034 (double quotes) or ^039 (single quote) and then fix just the incorrect items.
Once you find the incorrect quotes, on Windows, you can type CTRL + ‘ + ‘ to insert a single quote going the correct direction in front of a truncated word.
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What Color Were His Eyes Again?

My latest guest Writing Tips post over on Jo Peterson’s blog is all about style sheets.

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Story mapping with Excel

This week’s Turtle writing tip over on Jo Peterson’s blog.

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Coordinate and Cumulative Adjectives

This week’s writing tip on Jo Peterson’s blog.

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Searching for numerals in Word

If, like most publishers, your publisher expects you to conform to pretty much any style guide regarding the spelling out of numbers, you are going to want to double check that you caught them all. If you want use search to ensure you have caught all the numerals that should be spelled out, you can set up a search using wildcards to pick them out.

Open the Find dialog (Ctrl+F)
If the left sidebar opens up for you (instead of the pop-up), click on the down arrow at the far right of the search box and select Advanced Find
Click on the More>> button
Check Use Wildcards
Then, as your search string, enter [0-9]*
Now you can click Find Next to advance to the first number. Obviously you don’t want to do a straight Replace using this method, but it is an easy way to jump to each numeral so you can make a decision on what to do with it.
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Interesting link about animals

Are you looking for ideas for animals? Need to know what a male or female is called or what a group of a particular animal is? Check out this Wikipedia link.

List of English terms of venery, by animal



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