• Testimonials

      

    April 2018

    I suppose I could call something that just happened a pinnacle of my post-retirement life:

    Noted author and storyteller Anne Hillerman of Santa Fe gave me a pat on the back in the acknowledgments of her newest book, “Cave of Bones.”

    On Page 308, Anne wrote: “. . . and editing by Jim Wagner of Daddy Wags saved me from considerable embarrassment. I am in your debt.”

    It should have said “Daddy Wags Editing.” Oh, well.

    It was in January 2017, I seem to recall, that I had finished reading one of Anne’s books. And the numerous comma errors bugged the heck out of me. There were commas in the wrong places, and in places where there should have been commas, there weren’t. This is nuts, I thought. A big-time writer should have perfect content. And then when I read in the acknowledgments of “Song of the Lion” that Anne thanked one of her people for “eradicating a plague of unnecessary commas,” I had had enough!

    A few weeks later, at a book signing in Old Town, I bought Anne’s next book, stood in line for her autograph, and as we made small talk, I handed her my Daddy Wags Editing card, told her that I believed there were comma issues in her writing, and that I would offer to be a “comma cop” for her next book. I had worried that Anne might see me as a verbal accoster, a know-it-all, an imposter. But she showed absolutely no alarm at all. She was gracious. She even acknowledged that, yes, none of us is perfect. And if there was time, she told me, she would try to remember my offer. Her manuscript was still weeks from being completed, she told me.

    Well, two months went by. She had forgotten about me, I figured. Then an email arrived. By then, it was late March, I seem to recall. And the email had an attachment. Oh my gosh! It was the next book, “Cave of Bones.”

    Over the next week, I read the story, red pen in hand, editing. A few days later, my wife, Roberta, and I met Anne and a friend at the Range Café in Bernalillo. I handed over the stack of edited pages. We ate dinner together. Anne picked up the check. And she and her friend departed. She never even looked at my work.

    For the next 12 months, I wondered, did Anne or anyone on her staff or at HarperCollins even bother to examine my work?

    They had. In late March of this year, an email arrived, from Anne. It announced her schedule of book signings. The first would be April 2, in Scottsdale, Ariz. Others would follow in Albuquerque. I showed up at the one at the South Broadway Cultural Center. I purchased the book, flipped pages for the “Acknowledgments,” and there was my name on Page 308. Tears came to my eyes.

    I could not stay that evening for Anne’s reading of passages of the book and for the book signing. But I gave one of my business cards to one of her people, and on it, I wrote something like: “I want to help with the next book too.”

    I love doing this and appreciate all of the scores of women and men who have trusted me to be sure the commas and semicolons are in the right places! To all of you, thank you………….

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    From a  university instructor:

    Thank you for the explanations. This is always a  great help for me to understand English better. As a non-native English speaker, as you already may have noticed, an article and a preposition are always difficult to understand. Thank you again!

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    From a university student who just earned a Ph.D.

    Thanks, Jim! I appreciate the positive feedback. Looking forward to your editing.

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    From a university student who just earned a master's degree:

    I am so glad you wrote. I am on the verge of putting my project together. Your encouragement and support is exactly what I needed.

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    From a university student who just earned a Ph.D.:

    I hope this email finds you well. Here is a rough draft of one of my summer research projects. I was hoping to send the draft to a faculty by Monday afternoon. Any chance you have some time to do some editing?

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    From a woman entrepreneur who has launched a cooking service:

    Thank you for taking the time to review my site; I truly appreciate it!

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    From an author, who wonderful book  offers sage advice to his son:

    Jim, you always follow a colon with a capital letter, right. Or, do I have this mistaken?

    (Answer: Yes, if what follows the colon could stand alone as a complete sentence.)

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    From a female university student who is seeking admittance into a Ph.D. program: 

    Thank you so much for your feedback. This grant was given to me on extremely short notice. I really appreciated all of your help.

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    Chinese woman at a university in China:

    Thank you so much! I think my poor English is a big obstacle to my writing.

    A few days later:

    Thank you so much! I received the edited report. Could you send me a PayPal request?


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    Female university instructor:

    Thank you, Jim. I do want to continue with you and will be in touch when you return next week.

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    Female international student studying at a university in Chicago:

    I got your point. Thanks for the suggestion. I was worrying about if the length is long, the committee may lose interest or lose on track. Have a good night out there and I appreciate your great help.

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    Female university student who just earned a Ph.D.:

    Jim! Thank you for getting the ball rolling. your initial paragraph really helped me focus the paper and I agree and disagree with your comments and organization. I think I just felt that z had no audience and having your read it inspired me to write it so that it is not just another boring academic paper!

    Later, from the same woman:

    In the meantime can you edit this policy recommendation? I am stuck and would love your feedback. I am having trouble making policy recommendations based off of he qualitative data we found from focus groups and the brief survey 5 question we conducted with MD. Can you help?

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    Female director of a department of a major hospital:

    Thank you again! Your work is amazing!

    The next day:

    Is it Ok if I share your information with all of my classmates? I would like to give them your website and e-mail address.

    Several days later:

    One of my Committee members gave me the reference to the editor that she had used for her project. He used to be a volunteer at the Graduate Resource Center and has a lot of experience.​ I have been EXTREMELY pleased with his work and wanted to share his information. His prices are very reasonable and he did a great job of making my "words" flow and make sense. His turn around time was great too! 

    He has a website that you can look at and see some other people's comments and his general information

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    Female executive I know through a contact at an entrepreneurial group:

    Thanks for all the edits. Will adjust accordingly.

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    Female university-level human resources executive whose doctoral dissertation I worked on:

    Just want to extend my gratitude to you for helping me polish my dissertation by sharing your expertise in editing. I will always be grateful to you for prioritizing my work. It made a world of difference! Much appreciated.

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    Male author whose book I worked on:

    Thanks for all of your hard work and effort, Jim. I am looking forward to receiving the completed project.

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    Female Native American doctoral student at the University of New Mexico:

    I brag about you all the time.

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    Male doctoral student at the

    University of New Mexico: 

    I was enormously pleased with Jim Wagner's editing knowledge and skills. His attention to editorial detail was superb and showed real mastery at finding grammatical errors. He was well organized and had excellent turn around time. I appreciated his knowledge of the American Psychological Association style. His rates were reasonable and all questions readily answered. I highly recommend Jim as an editor who will work with you to obtain a final professional copy that is ready to be published.

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    Newspaper reporter/editor/publisher I worked with for years:

    Jim Wagner is like the sands of time. Relentless. Accurate. On time. Anyone looking for a professional, detail-oriented copy editor should either retain Jim Wagner to make the product as good as it can be, or hope he doesn't come across it later and mail you a marked-up copy.

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    Female doctoral student at the University of New Mexico:

    I just wrapped up a dissertation and passed without corrections, which IS a big deal. And I have to say that I owe much of that to the work Jim, with Daddy Wags Editing, did with me cleaning up my writing.  He was willing to take time to explain his corrections or suggestions to improve the writing. He was fast. And he really took an interest in the work I was doing. I can highly recommend Daddy Wags Editing. 

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    Female doctoral student at the University of New Mexico:

    Many thanks! It has been great working with you. Your services were fantastic. My committee was really happy with the strong, clear, and concise writing. I would highly encourage others to utilize your services. I learned a lot as well and I am becoming a better writer. Thank you for your time. I appreciate that your editing is done with careful attention and each change was clearly indicated. I also appreciated that your services were done in a timely manner -- turn round times were always perfect. Thank you once again for all your help and flexibility. I look forward to future dialogue on other projects. As you promised when we first spoke on the phone, the product will be better, and it was.

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    Male doctoral student from Turkey who was studying in England:

    I am happy that you found my writing clear, and thank you so much for your valuable comments.

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    Female doctoral student at the University of New Mexico:

    Thank you so much for your editing help, there is no possible way I could have submitted a draft to my advisor in time!

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    Female student from Japan whose dissertation I worked on at the University of New Mexico:

    You have done such a great job very promptly. I am extremely thankful with your work and help.

    Another time:

    Thank you so much for your great work every time! Wish me luck getting into a PhD program!

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    Female Chinese doctoral student at the University of New Mexico:

    Thank you so much, Jim! You are truly amazing. I'm very lucky to find you.

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    Female student at the University of New Mexico:

    Once again, thank you for the great feedback ad quick turnaround.

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    Male doctoral student at the University of New Mexico:

    Thank you, Jim. I thoroughly enjoyed working with you.

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    Female Hispanic student at the University of New Mexico:

    You always find a way to help and provide the feedback we need. . . . Thank you for your continuing help and support. It means a lot to me.

    Another time:

    Thank you so much for your help and advice, Jim. Please wish me luck so I get a job when I graduate.

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