Marlane embraces the catchphrase of Sgt. Joe Friday from TV’s Dragnet, “Just the facts, ma’am. Just the facts,” and that’s why technical writing and editing holds an appeal for her—no adjectives or adverbs, no spin or hyperbole—just the facts.
She launched her writing career as a newspaper reporter for what was then the nation’s largest weekly—the Lapeer County Press, in Michigan. With no previous reporting experience, Marlane begged her way into a couple of trial assignments, was ultimately hired, and soon became the highest producer. Her claim to fame was creating the environmental beat for the area with US Superfund (hazardous waste) sites, landfills at capacity, and heated debates about the then-new concept of recycling.
Warmer weather beckoned Marlane to Houston where she forayed into the medical field—editing physicians’ manuscripts, book chapters, and abstracts by day and attending college by night. She completed her B.S. and M.S. degrees in five years.
Transitioning from the world of medicine to the oil and gas industry wasn’t a great leap for Marlane. After all, both industries deal with systems, pressures, temperatures, maintenance, operations, and diagnostics. “Each industry change,” she says, “is about learning a different language while applying a solid background of English standards.”
Marlane speaks Cat and is learning to speak Dog. Having proudly worn the moniker of “Crazy Cat Lady” for many years, all but one of her cat-children have crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. The family now includes two dogs: Conan, a mix of Lab Retriever and Shar Pei, and Walter, a mix of mainly Chihuahua and American Pit Bull, plus lots of other love and DNA. Watching them run and play, unleashed in the dog park, is a most joyful spectacle.