Last month, WCEA partners gathered for a long-overdue celebration of former partner Frances Peck’s retirement.
There has never been a West Coast Editorial Associates without Barbara Tomlin—until now. On January 1, 2016, Barbara officially retired from the partnership she co-founded with six other experienced editors in 1992.
Barbara is not “retired retired.” She continues to edit and teach for select clients. But she’s also doing more of the things she loves: travelling and adventuring with her husband, Terry Hood; enjoying books, galleries, and guilty TV pleasures; taking long walks with her dog; and scanning the horizon for whatever might capture her immense creativity and intelligence next.
It would be impossible in a short article to list a fraction of the projects and clients fortunate enough to have snagged Barbara as an editor, writer, or trainer. And forget about trying to capture her decades of teaching and volunteering outside the partnership. Instead, we’ve come up with 10 things you might not know about the talented Ms. Tomlin.
1. She was a child actor with the Bastion Theatre Company in Victoria and almost made acting her career.
2. An ace scientific editor, including of the BC Medical Journal, she’s certified as an Editor in the Life Sciences, one of the most rigorous editing credentials around.
3. For a time she went everywhere, even client meetings and classrooms, with a puppy she was training for guide dog school. The puppy didn’t make the cut (too social) and settled permanently into the Tomlin household.
4. Editors Canada certification benefited hugely from her volunteer efforts, including as co-chair of the certification steering committee (2008–2010).
5. With her keen analytical mind, she not only project-managed complex jobs, she also became our go-to partner for anything to do with the website or partnership archives.
6. With her boundlessly creative mind, she not only wrote on topics from lawn care to flu drugs but celebrated partners and special occasions in video and lyrics.
7. Besides teaching in SFU’s writing and publishing program since 1988 (no, not a typo), she spent over a decade on the editing advisory committee, steering the development of SFU’s now sought-after editing certificate.
8. She swims like a fish and twists easily into any yoga pose.
9. She won an Award of Excellence (2001) from the Society for Technical Communication for three patient guides about breast cancer, later published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
10. Oh, and did we mention that while she did all this, she and Terry raised three exceptional children?
Barbara’s days (and sometimes nights) of full-time work with West Coast Editorial Associates are over. Our days—and months and years—of missing her in our midst have only just begun.