Turbo Transcripts owner Shawna Ortega earned the nickname “Flyin’ Fingers” during her twelfth grade typing class (oh so long ago) and has been tickling the keyboards ever since.

Not only has she been clocked at 105 words per minute, but she also worked a typewriter so hard once that it burst into flames. Okay … a small flame. She admits that she’s an information junkie, eating up the new knowledge she gains when she’s transcribing. But – most importantly – in the over-25 years that she’s operated her transcribing business, she’s proud to have never received a complaint from a client. She’s never missed a deadline, either.

In fact, Shawna’s dedication borders on obsession, as witnessed by the client who requested a speedy turnaround for his children’s custody hearing. Receiving the tape at 6 p.m. – with a 7 a.m. deadline the next day – Shawna was confident she could deliver. And even though she was stricken with a serious medical issue that evening and could sit upright for only five minutes at a stretch, she hammered away. In five-minute intervals all night. Type, type, type. Lie down. Type, type, type. Lie down. She did, in fact, deliver. And then checked herself into the hospital for a three-day stay.

Shawna’s dedication extends to other areas of her personal and professional life as well. Close with her family, Shawna asked her mom to create a visual of the transcriber’s crazy life – hands flying, papers sailing through the air (see drawing above). She passed the certification exam (both the written and practical) with ease on the first try, and earned her Certificate of Scoping in the Court Reporting Program at Gateway Community College the same year. On the side, Shawna’s an award-winning lyricist and poet with several creative writing scholarships (poetry and essay) under her belt.

She’s also a contributing writer for Songfacts.com, a Web site dubbed “a virtual Behind the Music” by USA Weekly, as well as its sister site, Songplaces.com. Shawna talks to songwriters and gets the stories behind their music. She’s interviewed such artists as 3 Doors Down, the Gin Blossoms, Sugarland, Little Big Town, and They Might Be Giants, to name just a few.

Other hats worn over the years have included executive assistant to the sales manager at a San Diego-based music production company and office assistant to a 25-person sales staff. Shawna says she can’t hide it: she’s an overly organized people pleaser who loves making other people’s jobs easier for them.

Her interest in transcribing grew from one of her very first jobs at a private investigations firm. “I transcribed their surreptitiously taped interviews with witnesses and victims of accidents or assaults – or people who claimed to be injured on worker’s comp, but were out playing basketball. It was pretty fun.”

Her career goal? To be the company name that is on everyone’s lips when seeking a great transcriber or scopist. “Legal proceedings fascinate me,” she says. “I love this stuff.”