As a novice writer, I could not judge whether a short piece of creative nonfiction was on the right track for publication. Although readers responded positively, I had significant doubts. I shared my work with Gail. Gail quickly and kindly identified the structural flaws of the piece and provided very specific suggestions to improve it. Gail also explained her review methodology, which helped me understand her overarching critical frame and the elements of a good story. Gail also noted the parts she liked. With spirited encouragement, Gail equipped and inspired me to redraft the piece completely. Her critique helped me to find the true heart of the piece. The result was a short essay that told a story I hadn't originally realized I needed to tell. Without Gail's help, I would not have reached that authentic and, I hope, compelling place.
I have worked with Gail off and on for the past 11 years. One of her truly invaluable abilities, an ability that makes her truly unique, is that she can go through a lot of complex and diverse information with lots of subtleties and boil it down to its essence. She is then able to present that information in very practical and impactful terms. In all the work she has done for me, she always figures out what needs to be said, and then says it in a way that everyone understands.