Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Estate Agent Code, Gardening, Roast Dinners, Numerology, Italian Cookery, Editing, music and Books galore..

Welcome to the round up of posts on Smorgasbord this week that you might have missed.

It has been a varied week weather wise as we had a false spring for two days and then were plunged back into frosts and rain. I sat out for an hour in the garden those two days and it was wonderful. I was tempted to come out of hibernation but I am now back in the cave waiting for the real deal.

We need good weather for the next phase of the garden renovation at the back of the house which will have the current tarmac extended and the creation of an outside eating area to take advantage of the summer late evenings. With the addition of some benches in various places and some more tubs of flowers the garden will be complete.

We have a few jobs left inside and the plan is to put the house on the market, probably spring of 2020 and then downsize. We have been here for three years in June and it was always intended as a ‘doerupper’ as far too big for just two of us. It has gone from a wreck to a lovely family home and deserves to have children running around it to bring it to life.

We have no idea where we will go next, but at least with the Internet, google maps and satellite views, you can explore everywhere these days and see every detail of a property in relation to towns and facilities to the neighbours. Estate agents rarely (never) provide any downsides to a property, using a creative approach to descriptions, as you will see from this info graphic courtesy of House Simple

As always my thanks to the contributors who create some amazing posts to share here. And to everyone who has visited this week and like, commented and shared the posts.

This week Paul shares the beauty of primulas..

How to get fluffy Yorkshire puddings crisp on the outside, and produce the perfect pork crackling…

Annette Rochelle Aben shares the universal energy for the month of March and what it means for us as individuals.

Sarah Calfee is an editor who specializes in romance, and all the sub-genres. In this first post, she shares the various roles involved in editing.

This week’s guest is childrens/YA author Audrey Driscoll. Sharing her love of Tofino, dislike of swimming and the contents of her purse.

A new guest writer Silvia Todesco, and her first post is an appetizer and in the coming weeks she will be sharing a full Italian menu for us to enjoy.


I was very honoured to be nominated for the Sunshine Blogger award by Mary Smith of Mary Smith’s Place to whom I am most grateful….if you want to find out about my first attempts at forgery at age 7……

I was the guest of Sue Vincent this week with a story about Sam, our Shaggy Dog and Henry the feral cat… Henry shares his story

Guest author: Sally Cronin ~ Henry’s Story from Sam, a Shaggy Dog Story

Another post in the series The R’s of Life, and this week part one of a look at the basic human rights as laid out by the United Nations.. and our obligations to respect and protect those rights.

The second part of the romantic ballad requests from Valentines day by Brigid Gallagher, Mary Smith, Jennie Fitzkee, Darlene Foster and a special performance by William Price King..

Our first trip to Atlanta in 1986, Gone with the Wind and home of Coco-Cola

My response to Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 125. From Cave to Stars – Double Etheree

In this post, I share how to starve the overgrowth of Candida Albicans, at the same time as nourishing the body.

Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge -‘Buried in the Snow.

Poet Balroop Singh shares memories of her family home and how we become attached to them throughout our lives.

Children’s author Darlene Foster shares some of her family’s history and their arrival in Canada from southern Russia.

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Jennie Fitzkee shares her memories of living in her log house and listening to the trains at night.

A lovely tribute to Robbie Cheadle’s mother

Sharon Marchisello shares her mother’s very wise advice when it comes to money.

New book on the shelves

Author Updates and Reviews

Thank you for dropping in and I hope to see you again next week.. thanks Sally


Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Writer – Demystifying the Levels of Fiction #Editing (a bit) by Sarah Calfee

Delighted to welcome a new guest writer to the blog. Sarah Calfee is an editor specialising in Romance novels. In her first post, she is demystifying the various elements of book editing, so that you can select the service that is most beneficial to you and your book.

Demystifying the Levels of Fiction Editing (a bit) by Sarah Calfee

Just imagine, you’ve written a cozy murder mystery you’d like to indie publish. You’re thinking, maybe I could use a proofread. You’re thinking, I’ll just type “editor” into google … suddenly, you’re facing a rabbit hole the size and depth the Mariana Trench.

Now, assuming you didn’t faint, you’re still facing a multitude of terms like: book doctoring, manuscript critique, developmental editing, content editing, substantive editing, stylistic editing, line editing, copyediting, proof-editing, proofreading. But it’s all going to be okay, though, because, lucky you, you have me here as your geeky editing guide.

(Disclaimer, my own definitions will vary from others and I won’t be explaining them exactly in the correct order of actual editing practice!)

Let’s begin with “proofreading” the term most people know—and believe they have an accurate definition for. Here is what a traditional proofreading actually means: for the love of God, DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING. Just make sure that the punctuation, spelling, and grammar are okay and get the f**k out, cause making changes usually introduces more errors. So, basically a proofreading is the last and final edit that your manuscript should receive, and it’s really only about minor details.

There are two major sides to writing a solid novel—one is prose and the other story structure, and so it follows that there are two main editing levels that address these areas specifically.

For editing actual writing (paragraphs, sentences, words, grammar and punctuation), you’ll find proof-editing, copyediting, line editing and stylistic editing. Here are my quick and easy, possibly over simplified, definitions.

Proof-editing: this is the love-child of a copy edit and proofread, which might occur when the manuscript needs more work than the editor or author originally expected. Or sometimes it’s just the type of edit some editors actually mean when they offer a proofreading service.

Copy editing: the rules of grammar and punctuation are generally applied—or purposefully ignored—and consistency is the number one priority, and these consistency choices are recorded on a style sheet. For example, is the spelling choice whiskey or whisky? Numbers—spelled out or numerals? Should certain words be hyphenated, open or closed? Oxford comma?

Light, medium, heavy copy editing: I don’t know. I really don’t. My guess is it has something to do with how far an individual editor is prepared to take an edit, and also how much work a manuscript actually needs.

Line or stylistic edit: these two terms are synonymous. The edit is all about communicating clearly with your reader while retaining your voice. Many editors won’t actually change the text during a line or stylistic edit much themselves but instead comment on issues like wordiness, or suggest deleting/revising repeated words and phrases, or they might ask the author to clarify a scene if, for example, at the beginning a new location isn’t stated or perhaps not all characters present are mentioned.

Copy and line editing: many freelance editors provide this service together. You’ll find some editors who swear that both these services could never be performed at the same time and done properly, while others always mean both with their offer of a “copy edit.”

While all the definitions for editing prose do vary, the many terms for editing story structure—book doctoring, manuscript critique, developmental editing, content editing, substantive editing—pretty much all mean the same thing in my opinion.

What this type of edit does, besides the tightening of the sphincter muscles, is ask an author to potentially revise and even rewrite chunks of their manuscript. This is done with an editorial report—about ten to twenty-five pages long—which will comment on plot, the subplots, the characters, their individual arcs, goals, motivation, conflict, tension, resolution … and quite a bit more.

Some developmental editors (my favorite term) may additionally offer a “scene list” where a short summary of each scene is recorded, chapter by chapter. In the actual manuscript, there should also be comments and examples where the developmental editor can support their editorial report in more detail.

There is one main difference in this terminology—a manuscript critique is only an editorial report and the manuscript itself will remain untouched.

Hopefully, this guide has demystified the fiction editing levels (a bit!) and armed you with enough baseline knowledge to prepare you for an expedition into that Mariana Trench-sized rabbit hole.

©Sarah Calfee 2019

About Sarah Calfee

I was born in Quebec, Canada, lived in the USA for twenty years (Baton Rouge, Orlando, Chicago), and spent two years in Dublin, Ireland. For the past nine years, I’ve lived in London and loved it. Living on both sides of the pond has given me an excellent ear for both American and British English. This means I can help characters swear authentically in either idiom. You’re welcome!

Why am I an editor?

Because I’m a total story addict, and it’s a fun way to support both my habit and my family. The reason I became a romance specialist is because there are many different genre-specific story structures with different plot points (or beats) to follow, and I wanted to become an expert in one. This allows me to help romance authors with the intricacies of the romance story structure—which never ever gets boring because…romance subgenres. (I love them all!)

If you’re an author with a manuscript that features love with oh-so-many reasons the couple just can’t be together, only to have them find their happily ever after at the end—you’ve come to the right place. Whatever your preferred subgenre (historical mysteries, friends to lovers, romantic suspense) or favorite type of heroine or hero, I can help you and your book reach your very own HEA.

To find out whether I’m the right editor for you, please contact me for a free sample edit.

• 500 to 800 word line/copy edit
• Email correspondence
• Fee assessment

You can find out more about Sarah Calfee and the services that she offers:

Connect to Sarah


Sarah would be very happy to answer any of your questions and it would be great if you could share the post around your own social media.. Thanks Sally.