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, proofreader, and occasional indexer. 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: email@example.com.
Thanks for visiting. Leave me a comment. Come back often.
Monday, December 17, 2018
Even though folk music right at the moment depicted in the film's days was way too earnest for my taste, the movie did take place in the neighborhood that kinda grounded my teenage years. As I remarked when watching the movie, "I was born in the right place, just about twenty years too late."
Anyway, I'm wasting time (see title) waiting for my goddamn phone to charge up so that I can get a VPN code to log into one of my work emails. When I was in Denver last month, I showed my younger issue how, considering different programs and phone codes and all that nonsense, I had to open up nine different computer screens and phone messages just to get started. And that's what I'm doing now. Waiting. For something to charge. That. I.
Wrong century, folks.
And I hate to harp on it, but I'm still not up on the world since November 7. This—in a construction that baffled the Eurotrash we housed for a few months—is not unlike measuring sobriety. I actually clicked on one of my usual news sites today and managed to click away before it loaded. It was like sticking your head in a bar wondering if you could get back out. I am learning firsthand about the phrase "ignorance is bliss." I think there's stuff my wife wants to talk to me about or show me on TV. She said, "You can't keep this up forever." I replied, "I can keep it up as long as I want to."
So, rather than give people hell under an assumed name and enjoying and not enjoying the game, I'm here, typing to no one.
Thoughts of authors are colliding. In the resurrection, does your virtual life go with you?
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Though with no attachment to the word “theology,” I would like to use it in the sense of expressing any possible reaction of Man in front of the Ultimate Mystery. . . . But if theology is understood in our above-described sense of any possible reaction of Man in front of the Ultimate, then the name logos stands for a symbol that transcends its commonly accepted concept.
Everything's fine here. We received about 10 inches. The only time we lose power is when it's 70 degrees and sunny outside, with a slight breeze blowing. As Dave Barry would say, I am not making this up. Of course, my car and house are encased in and surrounded by snow and ice, but we have nowhere to go. The streets are clear. The dogs are confused.
All the snow and ice around the house will be gone in a few days when the rain comes. And the side of our house where we do 100 percent of our egress and ingress is all northern exposure and the driveways are blocked by the house, so they never see the sun this time of year.
Looks like the package will arrive here on time, if they can ever figure out how to eject it from the Nutmeg State. I'll keep you posted.
Saturday, December 8, 2018
Where things get tricky in the South is the lack of preparation. I was in the middle of Snowjam '82 in Atlanta, which was an epic clusterfnck. Plenty of stories. I forget if it was during that or another weather event in Atlanta when I worked the solo 16-hour shift at Dittler Brothers, home of the late, lamented airline timetables; rigged scratch-off games; and one of my two great collections of fellow staffers. (Again, so many stories, especially from when Atlanta was still in its very early crazy-growth stage, on the cusp of the AIDS era, and I could and have and will go on.)
I loved the 16-hour shift, alone. The same South Atlanta crackers who ran the proof room said good-bye to me in daylight at 4pm, then returned at 8am the next day to find me still there. When they asked where everyone else was, I said, "Some couldn't make it. The others called in and asked me if they should come in, and I said, 'Don't bother. There's not much to do, and I'm here already. No reason to risk it.'"
8 hours @ $6.25/hr = $50
8 hours @ $9.375/ hr = $75
1 days' work (1982) = $125
And we were often told, at the last minute, "You're working 12-hour days for the rest of the week, then 12-hour days all weekend." At one point, we'd worked 42 consecutive days, often at 10 and 12 hours a day. We were the only hourly nonunion people in the printing plant. Only one person refused to work any additional hours, and that was the late Bill Leonard, whose passing was covered in this blog. He was a great proofreader and always gave off the air of, "What are you actually going to do about it?" Never received any blowback.
Monthly expenses at the time:
$60? utilities and insurance
gas and food
As I've said, I never had more money in my life than when I was making $6.25/hour: mostly because of forced perpetual overtime, no time to spend the earnings, and nothing particularly I needed to spend it on.
Oh, and I forgot the entire purpose of the post: I suspect that today's Bristol Christmas Tour of Homes will be canceled due to snow. Around here that's known as the War on Christmas.
Friday, December 7, 2018
I just finished signing up to pay on one of our credit cards; my dear esposa has been handling it for years, not that I'm Mr. Money Management. But the card does have my name on it . . . and it is my credit score.
So, for the infernal security questions, a ladder of four appears. Suffice it to say that these questions scare the hell out of me, unless they are the most obvious of notions:
- In what city did you meet your wife?
- What was your first car?
- What's your mother's maiden name?
On all of these, I think I'll score 100 percent until I can't answer questions anymore.
For this credit card, each of the four questions offered six choices. Out of twenty-four possibilities, I could maybe answer, much less remember, four authoritatively. I tried to leave the last blank. The rest posed too many questions:
- What was your first manager's name? (Hmm, what do they mean by "manager"?)
- What was the street name where your favorite job was? (Did I have one? Which one? And what was the address? How much information do they want? What if I forget to abbreviate?)
- After your immediate family, who would you call if you won the lottery? (Can I say the IRS?)
- What was your favorite place to go on vacation as a child? (Geez, that's a fraught question.)
And on and on. If I knew the answers—or even had any—I'd probably remember more of the questions.
Thursday, December 6, 2018
Homeowners Insurance Makes No Sense
|the old home place|
|the wyfe pleaser, TVA no. 4-H-174|
(Although it's a little more finished now, and about ten years older.)
By the way, feel free to suggest a price on either, much preferably the former. If you live in a city with a six-figure population, you'd be amazed at how little the top joint would cost you. Come live in an area of natural beauty, deep-rooted culture, and some of the roughest-looking civilians you will ever see. And that's the septuaginarians at Kroger at one in the afternoon.
Tuesday, December 4, 2018
2. Develop Reynaud's Syndrome, so that the longer digits on one's right hand turn a deathly, pasty, waxy white while sitting in one's office, which is surrounded on three sides by brick and drafty ninety-year-old windows, with no insulation above and garage below.
3. Go into hock to get the damn heat pump replaced.
4. Turn thermostat to 68 degrees.
5. Puzzle through about half an hour of not knowing how to respond to the climate change without weeping.
6. Get over it, and get back to the production line. Too bad the line is suffering temporary difficulties because the current project is a complete nightmare.
Sunday, December 2, 2018
As Damon Runyon might have written, "Do not be a welch."
We'd taken these boys on vacation, etc. Hate conquers all.
And from the "Oh, that's no big deal; boys will be boys" department, in eighth grade, when the class was asked in art class to do something in the style of a well-known artist, the latter perp did a Warhol Campbell's Soup can, with the final s in Campbell's and the first s in Soup in the style of the Schutzstaffel. Nothing to see here; move along. When I saw the reports from Charlottesville in 2017, I could clearly imagine that kid's face among the tiki lights.
Such it is that, after 58 years and in this time in our nation's history, I'm fairly damn proud of Jews making it this long—and to be one of them.
I remember the words of my dear great-aunt Etta Kaganov: "Bobby, it doesn't matter what you say you are. When the Nazis come back, they're gonna get you too."
Not if, but when.
Aunt Ettie was one of a kind—and probably no small influence on where I've ended up in my life. Aunt Ettie was a New York City schoolteacher for 50 years or so. When I was four years old, she used to take me to her principal and others in the school system who didn't believe I could read the New York Times at that age. Now I'm scared to look at it.
Still haven't seen the news. That's since November 7. Shiksa goddess and I were going out to eat yesterday, and I noticed the flags were at half-staff. She told me that H.W. had died, figuring I'd at least want to be informed of that and that it wouldn't harm me too badly. I had some problems with H.W. (I don't think any former CIA chief should be president), but in retrospect, he may have been the last of the liberal Republicans—at least in the 1980 primaries. What I'd give for a few of those right now.
Friday, November 30, 2018
- That person is never me.
- The jobs are always on-site, none of them within 300 miles of the Land on Demand Intergalactic HQ.
I wanted to check with you regarding a position I'm recruiting for at the B2B training company Acme Education. Acme Education provides how-to training to thousands of healthcare and scientific professionals nationwide. The company needs a provien editorial leader to manage an existing group of editors and devleop and maximize the value and usability of Acme Education content.
The mission of the Managing Editor will be to assist AE's profiessional audence to be more successful and profitable by breaking down complex and confusing government, legal and regulatory requirements. Then, with the hlp of industry experts, present the information in an easy-to-use, understandable format.
The ideal candidate has experience not just writing content, but producing how-to, usable information. You'll be expected to stay at the forefront of government reguilatory changes, manage a productive editorial team, and have the ability to identify and develop new products.
The compensation for this position is up to $80K salary contingent on past history. No 401(K)). No health benefits.
The full job description can be found on our site.
If you know anyone who would be a good candidate please let me know or have him or her contact me.
Thanks very much--I'm grateful for your help.
Sunday, November 25, 2018
The only pieces of writing I've seen of my younger son's were a paper or two my wife liberated from his apartment one time while staying there when he and our future D-I-L were out of town. The reports that always came from his teachers were that they wished he wrote more. He presented his ideas with such economy of language that, while answering the questions, his assignments rarely approached the word limit. Could be worse problems.
So, while walking down the streets of Denver, my daughter-in-law mentioned that she and a student were having trouble deciding on capitalization of a certain term or category of terms. I tried to explain not only the proper approach (AP and Chicago agree) but that they really didn't have to puzzle this crap out for themselves. While Grammar Girl is pretty neat, so's your old man, so to speak.
As are these resources. The list is cribbed from the AP Stylebook. Thanks in advance to AP, which has not granted permission to reprint, but which has also of late realized the value of the serial comma. Mirabile dictu.
AP Stylebook editors refer to the following resources to help guide style decisions. If you do not find your answer in the Stylebook, try checking one of these other sources. You can buy them for yourself using the links below.
I am surprised to find in an online rendering—a free download, natch—of Abbie Hoffman's Steal This Book that the name of an alias to which I have attached my own self for 40 years now does not appear. I am wondering from whence it came. Must be another work.
I'm not holding this against you, although you can hold against me the lateness of the project, because it's ultimately my fault. But please, never again tell me a project is in good shape unless you know it firsthand from reading it cover to cover—and if that is never destined to happen, that's perfectly fine by me. I'd just as soon go into a project blind as with wrong expectations, because it then messes up my schedule and the publisher's schedule when the assessment of the manuscript is incorrect. I've got literally seven different projects in various stages of completion, partially because this thing wasn't off my desk much sooner. Again, my fault entirely. I start feeling weird if I have two projects going simultaneously. And this one seems to get worse as it gets further; maybe it's just me.
Saturday, November 24, 2018
Freelancer's hint: Send correspondence like this in a separate email, so the recipient doesn't, hopefully, foul up and forward it to the client.
Tuesday, November 20, 2018
- 35 years of experience
- no need for additional but only replacement work
- an exhibit hall full of present clients who can and will happily leave their perch and vouch for one's services
One thing that occurred to me just now: That dopey English professor at UMass-Lowell who refused to pay me for an index a few years back and that dopey southern university press (link most intentional*) that agreed he was an @hole of an author but refused to stand behind me wash far in the background when I'm meeting face-to-face with world-class theologians and publishers who are genuinely happy to speak with me and who value my work -- and who lament my (mostly) getting out of indexing.
So many nice people. And coming from where I live, being in a gathering of thousands of scholars, none of whom appear to be morbidly obese or emaciated and meth-driven, was joyous. From the time I left Tri-Cities, TN, airport on Friday morning -- traveling through the ATL airport, 2.5 days in downtown Denver, coming back -- I did not see a single morbidly obese person until returning to the gate for the return flight to Tri-Cities. A woman in her mid- to late 20s, and a two-seater.
* LSU Press notwithstanding. Tennessee also.
I remain news-free. Twelve days. A lot of people still are moving and smiling, and not just the crazy ones. And I feel a lot better.