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.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Drawing That Line in the Sand

But thanks to this work, people from all over learned about the repression [in Nicaragua]. I was told the bloody dictator of Uganda, Idi Amín, was compared to Somoza and he became furious and said he could eat the liver of his enemies but he did not bomb his own people like Somoza.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Peace on You

Scroll down for a refreshing golden shower update.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

That's What This Blog Is All About, Charlie Brown

When I entered blogworld back in 2007 (is that possible?), the main impetus and motivation were my good pal Moi, whom I'd met during an incredible act of hubris on the part of a mutual client who brought together all of his employees and freelancers to a vacation cottage in Tybee Island, GA. Of course, that moment was probably the high-water mark of the business, which seemed to have taken a decidely southward turn shortly thereafter. (The Great Recession was probably a greater problem than the hubris.) The company's now in Chapter 11, although last year it was still one of my top two book publishing clients. Strange days.

Ah, talk about an old-school blog post. Off on three or two tangents one paragraph in. And, truth be told, Moi being a good pal is a result of blogworld; I only knew her by name before Tybee, and I admired the hell out of her work.

Another tangent.

This blog serves, as the header above states, as my business's website. Thanks to the Google for the cyberrealestate. I've attracted over time clients from Kuwait and Australia, not to mention Oxford University Press, based on people who've found this work diary. That was back in the day when the Google's algorithms were a variation on the old Stalin line: "Paper tolerates anything written on it."

Tangent 4: You know the line attributed to Stalin, "To make an omelette you have to break a few eggs"? Seems that he cribbed that from my notorious cousin Lazar Kaganovich, although Lazar probably picked it up from somewhere else. For all of his, uh, charms, I don't think that original thought was high on Iron Lazar's list.

Anyway, even in spite of the Google's algorithm changes, a year or so ago, the author of a nascent Fred Neil biography found a posting I'd done about one of the few surviving video clips of the late, great Fred Neil. Alas, in the interim we've met and hit it off quite nicely, and tomorrow I'll receive the complete manuscript.

The notion that I'll have a heavy hand in a Fred Neil biography is one of the things that makes my crazy work life worthwhile. That, and nailing a friend's father years back for telling me he taught ethics at the School of the Americas with the line, "How interesting. A good friend of mine did the original English translation of Gutierrez's A Theology of Liberation." Perhaps my greatest party moment ever -- well, at least in my mind. You could just about see the steam coming out of this man's ears. No telling how many times he'd gotten away with that line.

Not as dumb as I look,

I remain,

Yr. humble and obedient servant,

[drum roll]

Geo. Washington

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Put Out That Candle, Diogenes

I've said before somewhere on this blog that when I mention to a press that I think a book's got problems, the press is usually aware of it already.

New indexing client, and I was so bold as to offer this slightly edited in-progress report:

"The index is presently running about 26 double-spaced pages, short of the allotted 34. I didn't try to hold back on length when indexing. As any of my clients can tell you, if anything I'm usually trying to cut my original data drastically to make the text fit. I think the length is more a factor of the book's organization. The author is fond of the 'say what you'll say, say it, say what you've said' approach -- not only within chapters but through the whole book. Too, the same ground sometimes seems to be covered in two or three places (at least), and as an indexer I'm not fond of sending readers to multiple pages only to find the same information. I hope my approach is okay. I've also tried to follow the press guidelines on not trying to outline the book or capture every detail. Having said all that, I don't feel that someone looking at the index would conclude that I'd cut any corners."

Response (slightly edited)

"Thanks for this update, Bob. Your approach to indexing this book sounds right. You don't need to hit the max no. of pages. This author's dissertation advisor should have steered him away from this topic, which sounds good but is almost impossible to pull off and still do justice to all the issues involved. So I'm not surprised at the vacuity you have encountered. We rejected the ms at one point, but a 'friend of the Press' thought we should reconsider."

+++

"Vacuity." That's some harsh stuff.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Learn Something New Every Day in This Line of Work: Golden Shower Update

I posted the following back on June 11, thinking I was clever. If you've read this post already, please revisit.

=================

Man, and I thought the New Testament was whack. . . .

Don’t you remember the myth, Justin, how Zeus in the form of a golden shower descends upon the virgin daughter of King Argos, Danaë, from whom Perseus then subsequently issues forth?

+++

A "golden shower"? Wow.

Thanks to Messrs. Merriam and Webster for capturing for posterity what most folks, except maybe this author, seem to know:

Main Entry:golden shower
Function:noun
Date:1968

 : the act of urinating on another person usually as part of a sex act

================

The proofs I worked on arrived at the press on June 17, and the following email exchange ensued, with the title, "Zeus & Danaë, per Klimt."

Managing Editor: Interpret as you will. /D



LandonDemand: Huh. When I checked some references, they all referred to a shower of gold, which this could depict. However, that's different from a golden shower. If, indeed, this is showing a golden shower, then Zeus must have consumed a godlike amount of Nepenthe before delivering it.


Managing Editor: hey, he’s a god; his capacities are infinite, including his capacity for perversion (ask Leda & Io, to name just a couple)


LandonDemand: But I'm keeping an open mind.

Managing Editor: always important when dealing w/ a deity

LandonDemand: So, ultimately, the phrase "golden shower" and its present-day connotation was entirely willful and intentional on the author's part? Was the "shower of gold" I read numerous references to just an obfuscation / G-rated version of the original text?

Managing Editor: let it go, Bob; you’ve done your job, and I appreciate it. Google results for “golden shower” (in quotation marks) + Danae: 41K hits; for “shower of gold” + Danae, 29K hits. Moreover, most readers of this book—probably the vast majority of readers of this book—will be blissfully ignorant of any naughty meaning. And if you change it to “of gold,” you have two “of” phrases in rapid succession, and it’s simply not reworking further to protect a reader from naughtiness. In fact, I applaud a little subversive naughtiness.


LandonDemand: Thanks. I'm just trying to fill in the education I missed all along the way.

Managing Editor: as are we all—or should be anyway. I just learned that New Hampshire and Vermont are so topographically different because each is from a different continent, which smushed together and then split again, leaving a different landmass mix.

LandonDemand: That might explain the Manchester Union-Leader in one state and Bernie Sanders next door.

Managing Editor: That’s what one of my fellow managing editors said, only in less polite terms.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Hoping This Doesn't Become Regular

A few days ago, another friend of the family suffered what will end up being a fatal heart attack, if the next few days play out as the doctors expect. Woman around 60 without prior heart problems, husband had just retired, and they'd planned all the things they'd be doing in their leisure.

If these things happen in threes and I'm number three, well, it's been -- uh -- it's hard exactly to classify what it's been, whatever "it" is.

I guess working in my favor is that I do indeed have some heart health issues and have been warned. My father, from what the doctors say, shouldn't be sucking air at all at this point because of heart problems, but he looks and feels pretty good.

No sense.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Bill Leonard, RIP

Just another week (actually, this all kinda came together on the same day, if I remember correctly [questionable]):

Three-day stomach virus concomitant with panic attack? Check.

Home water heater ceases to function? Check.

First friend made out of college dies unexpectedly out of nowhere? Fifty-eight years old and no apparent prior health issues? Check.

Bill Leonard, whom I first came to know while proofreading airline timetables and lottery tickets in Atlanta in 1981-1982, had a heart attack while hiking with his dogs in Asheville, NC. I went to the celebration of his life yesterday and saw a lot of folks with incredible memories whom I hadn't seen in 30-plus years. Plenty of stories that I'd heard and not heard. The fleeting incidents that managed to stick in their heads for all of this time blew me away. I'm lucky if I can remember the manuscript I was working on earlier in the day.

This commercial printing joint where I met Bill did, however, spawn three people who ended up writing or editing for a living -- the third remains one of my dearest friends in the world -- so there's something to be said for slave labor right out of college, although it helps that it's in one's desired field.

Bill leaves behind a wife and two daughters, both of whom are far too young to have their very devoted father taken away from them.

Bill was a witty, brilliant, talented communicator who had deep knowledge and love of many issues and activities -- and he was perfectly happy to remind you in detail of any of those at the drop of a hat. He was a life-lover in the extreme. And if whatever you brought up didn't measure up with his standards, he'd tell you that, too. Imagine how special a person . . . who could proudly live up to that description -- and still have legions of admirers.

Once, at a mutual friend's wedding reception, the czarina mentioned that we were in Bristol now, and Bill and his family should come up and visit. Bill's response? "Why would I do that? Asheville's better." Classic Bill.

Sad day . . . and throwing off plenty of harmonic echoes in my own world. The drive back from Asheville and some of the hours since have been some of the more introspective and psychically disruptive of my life.

Going to a Reiki session tomorrow -- my first. The timing cannot be coincidental.

See ya, Bill. It ain't right. Your life was honored well, but you know that.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Another Author Bites Back

Fiction author for whom I've edited five or six books has a character in the most recent tome who shape-shifts into a venomous snake -- evil's right hand. The character's cover story? Freelance copyeditor.

Thanks, boss.



Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Just a Brutal Sentence

African liberative theologies will persevere and be fruitful through the consistent appropriation of Christian faith made possible by the inculturation that draws out meanings in African cultural values in the light of the changes and transformations these cultural values have undergone in response to various agents of social transformation on account of modernity and multifaceted globalizing trends.

Another Happy Customer

Oh, that they were all this easy to please:

I just love all your periods and commas! Gives such a feeling of security!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Author Fights Back

I love this. One of my publishers has produced about a dozen of this particular author's works. Every six months he comes out with another little book of religious writings (about 80 m/s pages). If I had to classify the genre, and for as long as the Google lets this video sit here, please enjoy:




So his current manuscript comes in with this section in the Preface. Fight the power!


Special Note to My Publisher and Editor, as Well as to All Readers
            It may not be politically correct to adopt such a change in policy. But this is to serve notice that, from hence forth, I plan to capitalize not only nouns but all pronouns that refer to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. By way of further example, since Jesus is the “light of the world,” I will capitalize the word Light when it refers to Jesus as being the Light. The same with the Lord as being Provider, Guide, and Companion—also the Light of His Presence.
            Enough said! Hopefully you get the idea. I may miss a word here and there, but at least you get the drift of my intentions. That’s one good thing about self-publishing: the author has the last word! 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Bibliographic Entry of the Day

Been good to know ya.

So, R. J. and Long, H. (2013). Network Analysis and the Sociology of Modernism. Boundary 2, 40(2): 147–82, doi:10.1215/01903659-2151839.

Pigs

The Google, maybe in cahoots with the evil Facebook, has apparently seen fit to remove the photo of John Cale, the czarina, and me that used to appear at this posting. That kinda sucks.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Stick Around Long Enough

If you read a few million words a month, every month, rain or shine, sooner or later you come across a gem.

From the current project:

While the president decried Kristallnacht, he announced there would be no change in America’s harsh immigration laws. Strict numeric quotas would remain in place, effectively closing the nation’s doors to the large number of Jews seeking refuge in the United States. But some courageous American leaders pressed for increased immigration. Following Kristallnacht, in February 1939, Senator Wagner and Representative Edith Nourse Rogers (1881–1960), a Massachusetts Republican, cosponsored a bill permitting twenty thousand German Jewish children, a modest number, to enter the United States as nonquota immigrants. Eleanor Roosevelt unsuccessfully urged her husband to support the bipartisan Wagner-Rogers bill. Anti-Semites and isolationists attacked the legislation, as did the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the bill died in committee.

FDR’s cousin, Laura Delano Houghteling (1893–1978), whose husband was the US commissioner for immigration and naturalization, opposed the Wagner-Rogers legislation, declaring, “Twenty thousand charming children would all too soon grow into 20,000 ugly adults.”[i]

[i] Richard Cohen, “Muffling the Drums of War with Iran,” Washington Post, October 1, 2012.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

I'll say . . .

McCracken, G. (1988). The Long Interview. Vol. 13. SAGE, Newbury Park, CA. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

More Lattice

"Hanging out with him, if one could ever be said to hang out with Gene McCarthy, I began to see a very complex man. He was skeptical in the way that intelligent people are. His doubts could easily be read as cynicism. He once said, 'Being in politics is like being a football coach. You have to be smart enough to understand the game, and dumb enough to think it’s important.'" 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Has Journalism Grown Stupid(er), or Am I Increasingly Intolerant?

So I'm taking a break from proofreading, of all things, college football calendars (ah, college football -- speaking of stupidity and my intolerance), chomping on an ice cream bar and avoiding my perpetual work backup. (See also blogging.) I click on the AP news and see a story about which I had no prior knowledge nor any particular interest, but it looked odd enough to catch my attention.

Link: Facebook fraud suspect on the lam; family, dog also missing

Part of my attraction is that I've always liked the phrase "on the lam." One of my favorite movies is Petrified Forest (1930s; Bogart, Bette Davis, Leslie Howard), and one of Duke Mantee's gang tells him a few times, "C'mon, boss, let's lam on outta here." I saw the movie on TV one afternoon back in my 20s and fell in love with it. (I just looked it up on YouTube, and only one clip is available, but I did see that there was a live TV version done in the 1950s with Bogart and Henry Fonda. Don't know who plays the Bette Davis role, but the original movie is notable -- among many other reasons -- because Bette Davis plays an idealistic young goddess, not a hardened bitch.)

Oh, yeah, journalism.

If you've clicked on the link above, you perhaps noted something interesting. Here's a story about a guy who tried to pull a multibillion-dollar scam on Mark Zuckerberg, and intrepid AP journalist Larry Neumeister offers up this detail in paragraph 3:

"And the search widened Thursday: Ceglia's wife and two young sons and his family's Jack Russell terrier, Buddy, also have disappeared."

Great reporting there, sport. Too bad you didn't mention the names of the other missing humans until seven paragraphs deeper into the story.

I mean, what gives? Is the dog's name important whatsoever? And Buddy? What a pedestrian name for a dog. Now if the dog's name was Zarathustra or Moon Unit or J.R. "Bob" Dobbs, that's crucial information. But "Buddy"? 

Besides, as far as I'm concerned, you could vaporize every freaking Jack Russell terrorist on earth, and I wouldn't bat an eye. What a godawful breed of dog.

Ah, well. Time to see how Vanderbilt did against Ole Miss on October 8, 1949. I wish I was kidding. My whoredom knows no limits, although I did turn down an index the other day. Even with my tolerance (!) for obscure theological prose, this one would have pushed me right over the edge. It's nice to be in a position, ephemeral as it is, to turn away work once in a while that I really don't want to do.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Bears Repeating: An Oldie but a Goodie

"Take time to familiarize yourself with this manual. The slightest deviation from the style described herein will lead directly to the collapse of our carefully constructed editorial house of cards, economic upheaval, spiritual and moral chaos, and the end of civilization as we know it."


APWA Style Guide, 2nd ed., American Public Welfare Association, 1995

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Authors: Call for Books

I want to be paid for books that appeal to my prurient interests. Is that too much to ask?

Sports or theatre books -- also good.

Celebrity bios? Well-written young adult fiction?

Anybody? Bueller?


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Math Note for Authors

This type of construction drives me crazy, but I see it a few times a year.

"A 200 percent reduction."

Wouldn't a 100 percent reduction in anything bring it to zero? I think what the author is usually getting at is "reduced to a quarter of the size."

I checked with a statistician friend who offered the following response:

"The only way you can have a 200% reduction in a quantity is if negative quantities are allowed. In theory, if your company went from a 50K profit a 50K loss, you have had a 200% reduction in profit. But I don't recommend that construction.

"For the record, percentage change is (Current Value - Previous Value) / Previous Value, times 100. Thus, going from 50K to 60K profit is (10/50) * 100 or a 20% increase."

You know what else drives me crazy? That the Google has embedded some crap in its email that turns all text copied and pasted from it into this white background when I put it into my blog -- and that's after putting it into a Word doc, hitting Clear Formatting, saving as Plain Text, and pasting it here.

My email problems, though, pale compared to Mrs. Clinton's, if today's news is any indication. I wouldn't mind at all seeing a (D) alternative or two or three step up. Or seeing Bernie Sanders run the table on the whole lot of them.

Then there's Mark Warner, one of my U.S. senators. Matter of fact, here's a very interesting website: