What It Is (posts below left; rate sheet, client list, other stuff below right)

My name is Bob Land. I am a full-time freelance editor, indexer, and proofreader. This blog is my website.

You'll find my rate sheet and client list here, as well as musings on the life of a freelancer; editing, proofreading, and indexing concerns and issues; my ongoing battles with books and production; and the occasional personal revelation.

Feel free to contact me directly with additional questions: landondemand@gmail.com.

Thanks for visiting. Leave me a comment. Come back often.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Day's Still Young, Though

Typo of the day:

"Like many college campuses, mine often hosted artistic showcases or open mic nights, but they were mostly geared toward aspirating acoustic songwriters. . . ."

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Doubling Down on the Lattice

I'm working on a book -- without giving away too much -- about student poetry, and regular visitors to this space are well aware of my feelings about most verse, even that written by adults. Frankly, I'm not a fan, once you leave the canon (Western or Eastern). Sorry to say it, but there it is. I'm convinced that much of the poetry that appears in the New Yorker, for example, would never receive an airing if not for the contributor's name.

I also work not infrequently (a construction, I've come to learn, that baffles nonnative English speakers) at a local 24-hour bakery that must have Pandora's Great American Songbook on repeat, because I hear the same music every two hours, including what seems like thrice-hourly versions of "Mack the Knife." The bakery also presents serious distractions that earplugs can't cancel out, such as luscious coeds from the local universities. One is about eight feet from me right now, blissfully unaware of the letch typing near her.

But down the row of tables I see another student agonizing over a laptop. As I just went to replenish my coffee, I noticed one of the books he is working from: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing Poetry. I can't quickly formulate a witty response to that setup, but trust me, it's not for lack of material.

Ah, well. Back to the coed -- uh, I mean, work.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Thanks, Merriam-Webster's

Main Entry:hip*hop
Etymology:perhaps from 4 hip + 1 hop


Saturday, March 11, 2017

Indexing Thought

Sure is nice when an author decides to bring up new topics and new research in the last 10 pages of the book. At least I know it's not going to go on forever.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Post-Roadtrip Report

As a follow-up to the previous post, I threw deadlines to the breeze and made a hasty and wonderful trip to Chicago to see the Necks on Thursday evening with my son. An excellent weekend all around with fine food and entertainment, quality time with my 27-year-old (that's just so hard to believe), and some too-rare time with one of this blog's dedicated readers-- always a joy.

Actually, the last time I addressed my readership, I received a nice email from another follower -- whose own first issue shares a birthday with my own first issue, referenced above. So it all ties together.


I am working on a manuscript in which the author has misspelled -- more precisely, mis-oddly capitalized -- his own name.

Not often (I mean, I don't think about it that much), but I am occasionally grateful for having a name as simple as I do, although in the course of a lifetime, people have mangled it in a variety of ways. My favorite was when this son and grandson of automobile dealers was transformed into a v-hikl, which is what they call anything you drive here in Bristol.

My wife and I last November were boarding the ferry across the Gibraltar Strait from Spain to Tangier, Morocco. Boarding passes were printed out last name, first name. Remember from seventh-grade Spanish class that v is pronounced closer to b:


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

In this case, my elder issue. One nice thing about raising kids with a diverse musical palate (pallet? pallette?) is that they have enough time to keep you apprised of the really good stuff you miss.

Oh. My. God. This is what's happening in my head:

The Necks 30th Anniversary Concert

My son's name is Mitchell Land. If you're in Chicago, look him up and see if he's playing anywhere, either by himself or as (with) JoeyMitchell, whom (or which) you can find on the rats' nest (Facebook).

Monday, February 27, 2017

Two Questions

1. What awful dictionary did Microsoft Word base its spell check on that it doesn't recognize "diaspora"?

2. If you're just finding this blog and you arrived here via Facebook, please let me know how. You can leave a comment or email me.

The Proprietor

Today's Indexing Tongue-Twister

Seashore, C., 296

Sunday, February 26, 2017

On Classical Music

From the current project. Actually pretty interesting, although getting a little repetitive around page 350.

Goodman’s famous assertion that one wrong note or dynamic disqualifies a performance from representing the work, but that a vast latitude in areas not specified by the score is permissible, is a purely philosophical exercise of no interest or importance in the musical world. However, Urmson takes a more practical if also philosophically stern line in suggesting that performers have an ethical obligation to proffer the audience something as true as possible to what they believe is (e.g.) Handel’s Messiah if that is what is promised on the programme.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Oh, Where the Series of Tubes Takes You

From an issue of the American Physician, July 1907:

A certain young man of great gumption
'Mongst cannibals had the presumption
To go--but alack,
He never came back; 
They say 'twas a case of consumption.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Today's Chuckle

From the endnotes to a book on Mormon ecclesiology: a journal article titled, "Try the Spirits."

Sunday, February 5, 2017

From a Twenty-Year Atlanta Resident

This blog has probably had fewer sports-informed than politics-informed posts (I think the score was 3-0, now about to be 3-1). But if you've spent any time around ATL sports franchises, you know that the outcome of tonight's game was not a matter of what the result would be, but in what shamelessly horrid fashion it would take place.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Well, Never Mind

Color me humbled.

This book on the American nonvoter has obviously been in development for years, and it ends at 2012. I was ready for it to be outdated from the get-go.

Instead, the authors must have been clicking their heels and clucking their tongues as election day 2016 unraveled -- entirely confirming their thesis, which, as obvious as it seems, they say has never been investigated.

Basically -- and I don't think I'll be cutting into their royalties -- they claim that uncertainty in the campaign climate is the greatest influence on voting participation. High certainty of what will happen with the election and its results leads to nonvoting. A situation like last year's mitigates against nonvoting. They nailed it.

And I'm actually, almost, enjoying the indexing.

Now if the damned news wasn't so alluring. I've lost more productive hours in the last six months to reading news than in any comparable period. Damn Internet.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

When Worlds Collide, or Not

I could go on for hours (well, maybe an hour at this point in my life) about the author who cowrote When Worlds Collide. If you ever want to read a novel set in the framework of open marriage among the wealthy during the depths of the Great Depression, and which came out the same year as When Worlds Collide (1934), check out a personal fave titled Finnley Wren. You can usually find it online for a few bucks. I've bought about six of them and I distribute them accordingly.


I have two audiences, which comprise maybe about eight people (accurately, more like three). I have four friends on the rats' nest of Facebook: my wife, my two sons, and my future daughter-in-law. My younger son and his fiance never post and rarely comment or like, so it's really more like two.

This blog (now in its 10th year, I s'pose, although not exactly a force) has a steady readership of which I'm aware of exactly one. God knows my family never looks here. They might learn something if they did, or they've probably heard it all before. So this gives me the opportunity to post something here that I've also put on the rats' nest, and no one feels like they're not getting what they didn't pay for.

My FB post:

I worked concessions at Virginia High tonight, and I heard this wistfully uttered remembrance of Bristol history: "Yeah, I was there the day Old Man Lilley opened his last pack of honey weenies."

From my one experience with honey weenies, they are inedible. My younger son -- the one who avoids Facebook -- and I once went to a local establishment called the Corner Dog House. It's been around here forever, although I've never heard it mentioned. He was around 9 years old.

We each ordered a hot dog, and when Harry bit into his, I said, "Nope. That's it. Throw it out. We're going somewhere else." I've never seen that shade of pink before in something passed off as food. It might have come from a Nazi lab.

I later came to find out that the Corner Dog House serves honey weenies.

And as the good doctor Hunter S. Thompson once wrote, you can tell a writer's in real trouble when he starts stealing his own material.

A Most Anticipated Title

I'm about to start an index for a book titled The American Nonvoter.  Umm . . .

1. A lot of them just voted.

2. Here we are.

Monday, January 30, 2017

This Year's Word Apparently Is


Every. Damn. Book.

It's like the 1980s, when I couldn't turn a page without running into Maslow's needs hierarchy. Enough already.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Today's Gripes

1. Publically. It's publicly, regardless of what alternative Messrs. Merriam & Webster offer.

2. The messianic Jewish bagel shop in downtown Bristol has changed hands. It seems now to be a theologically unaffiliated bagel shop, but some things don't change.

I very rarely salt my food (fried chicken mainly), but I like salty food. I've always liked salt bagels. At Manna Bagel, all the salt is on one side, so what you really have is half a salt bagel and half a plain bagel. I was in there yesterday, and the fetching (interesting pun) young woman behind the counter asked if I'd like some of the salt taken off of the salt bagel. After psychically recovering from that query, I told her that what I'd really like is a salt bagel with salt all over it -- the way they manage to make their everything bagels, their poppy seed bagels, et al.

I'm not often nostalgic for my geographic roots, and I can always sprinkle kosher salt on top of cream cheese -- a realization I came to about thirty years too late. But bagels and pizza are different -- and generally wrong, even if tasty -- everywhere else.

Curmudgeon out.