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 and 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: landondemand@gmail.com.

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

Monday, January 21, 2019

End in Sight, It Must Be Right

Two weeks in, and my wife appears to be headed home later today (Monday). Fingers are crossed. I'm spending the night here, writing an index in a dark hospital room in the middle of the night. It's about 10 degrees outside. Tere is resting quite comfortably, and I've managed to find 9 hours of music-type sounds that mimic our backyard, once you filter out the barking dogs, whom I hope to spring on Tuesday from a week of boarding, which followed a week of bizarre nonroutines for them. Poor puppies. But Tere's got something to listen to overnight instead of the occasional person hollin' oudda they head.

Our outdoor cats (in my mind, they're outdoor) seem to have flown the coop. While I feed them, I'm sure they know that Tere is their main advocate, and they probably sense she's not there. And once the dogs were boarded, the cats didn't have much entertainment or other warm bodies to rub up against. But I kept putting food out, and they'd show up occasionally. Not so much the last few days.

World's Handsomest Mutt Zooey doesn't pay much attention to the felines, but the hound and the gray cat, Suzzy, are buddies. Suzzy and Maggie, our little tortoise-shell beast, are both hunters and pretty clever, and I have no concern that they could survive outdoors. Maybe someone else has taken them in and is letting them pee on their valued rugs.

Once Tere and the dogs are repatriated to the Commonwealth, with my luck the cats'll show back up.

I remember when we left Florida 19 years ago, we had a crazy indoor/outdoor cat that we hoped wouldn't show back up when moving day came. She'd disappear for a week or two at a time, so long absences weren't uncommon, but by the time I finally pulled up stakes, four weeks had passed since I last saw her. Probably nabbed by a hawk or decided to seek higher ground on the mainland. I remember leaving the house for the last time, thinking, Georgia, please don't show up. Because if she did, I'd have been compelled to take her with me. I am not going to knowingly leave a pet behind, even a cat that could survive perfectly well on the North Florida coast surrounded by seafood, barring outdoor dangers. In 33 years, we've only ever lost one cat to a car, and it was a great cat. Poor Hobbes. And poor Otis, another great animal and Elvis's mentor, probably succumbed to the circle of life near the marsh, or he started walking back to Atlanta, when we moved to Fernandina.

We had Elvis for 19 years, and after him, I'm pretty ambivalent about cats. If one's around, that's fine, but it better be doing its business out of doors. Every. Goddamn. Time.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Riding His Wife's Rather Disgusting Coattails

My news boycott continues, but I was compelled to visit the tubez to check on the first name of the junior US senator from that other state that sits about a mile from here and that continues to house my dear wife in intensive care.

Marsha Blackburn.

Read through some of her Wikipedia page. God, what a brainless hack. But there is this:

Her husband is the founder of the International Bow Tie Society (IBTS). 

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Nice Indexing Juxtaposition

Just the way it turned out. I had nothing to do with it.

trolls, 154–55, 160, 161–62, 168, 177
Trump, Donald, 145, 147n9, 149n13, 167
    communication in service of, 160

    regime of, 39

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Today's Index Entry Winner: Everybody in the Pool

But the day is still very young:

Dipolog-Iligan-Ozamis-Pagadian-Ipil-Marawi Committee on Mining Issues, 112 

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

We All Look Alike, Too

A light moment amid a bit of a crisis. My dear wife is in the ICU with double pneumonia and sepsis. A young woman comes in today to take her breakfast and lunch orders for the next day. She looks at the three of us and says, "Where are you from?"

Our very good friend sitting with us is from Greenville, TN. Certainly in summer 1954, when he was born, it was pretty much country, and our friend can tell you tales for hours about it and makes a living at doing exactly that. My wife, three months older, is from Montgomery, AL, and Atlanta, GA. You don't get more southern than these two. The Virginia/Tennessee state line is the farthest north my wife has ever lived.

But hospital girl heard my voice, and that was all it took.

"Well, I've lived in the South for more than 40 years, but I grew up in New York and that'll never go away."

Her response: "I met people from Maryland once. They were mean."

Yeah, Maryland. Boy, what Yankees they are—that slave state during the War of Northern Aggression. That far-off land that happens to share a border with Virginia. For all I know, though, except for the part of Bristol over the state line (the hospital is in Tennessee, god help us), the young woman may never have ventured any deeper into the Commonwealth.

Back when mi esposa and I were dating, we were visiting my homeplace: the Mississippi of the Northeast. My father was a car dealer, and one time we needed to board a flight to return to Atlanta but my father was pressed for time to get us to the airport. Since I grew up on Staten Island, we'd fly out of Newark, NJ. My father corraled one of the young porters or mechanics to give us a ride--about 15 minutes. The young man averred that it was his first time off Staten Island. At the time, and still, I find that hard to believe, but after living in this part of the world for the last 19 years, it's far more plausible than it used to be.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Today's Peek into Gaming, and a Family Update

Along with hunting, opera, beekeeping, marathon running, and a thousand other diversions, gaming has absolutely no place in my life. Thus I am amused in the course of my online editorial gig to come across statements such as:

Unlocks Dead Ops Arcade and Presidential Zombie Mode (where you can play as Nixon, Kennedy, Castro, or McNamara)

On another note, the czarina is presently hospitalized and in the hands of the diagnostic geniuses at Bristol Regional Medical Center. Let's all hope for the best.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Coming Up on 200 Years, and Folks Still Talk This Way Here

And write it, which is, well, horrifying.

Young woman's journal in Grayson County, VA, 1843, east of here:

One Sunday morning, Betsy stayed home from church meeting. “Jan 29 1843. This day James went to meeting. I could have went if I had wished it—"

I hear this every day, sweetheart. Hon, you have a blessed day, y'hear?

I wonder what the Staten Island equivalent of a "Hi, hon" restaurant is. "Hey, da fuck you want? You gotta problem?"

One of the iconic venues of my yute.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

One Method of Writing a Descriptive Book Title

“The Southern Harmony, and musical companion : containing a choice collection of tunes, hymns, psalms, odes, and anthems : selected from the most eminent authors in the United States : together with nearly one hundred new tunes, which have never before been published ; suited to most of the metres contained in Watts’s hymns and psalms, Mercer’s cluster, Dossey’s choice, Dover selection, Methodist hymn book, and Baptist harmony ; and well adapted to Christian churches of every denomination, singing schools, and private societies : also, an easy introduction to the grounds of music, the rudiments of music, and plain rules for beginners by William Walker.”

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Long-Held Beliefs Disspelled Here!

Well, second- or thirdhand . . .

"Musicologist Eileen Southern has disproved the view that spirituals were born in the fields of southern plantations. Instead, she argues, they originated in the worship of independent black congregations in the Philadelphia area. The crucial source is an early hymnbook compiled by Richard Allen, a former slave who became the first bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Printed in 1801 in Philadelphia, Allen’s A Collection of Spiritual Songs and Hymns, Selected from Various Authors took its title from a phrase in Psalm 150, 'hymns and spiritual songs,' perhaps following on the standard collection by that name by the eighteenth-century English hymnist Isaac Watts. It was the first collection of sacred song that was highly regarded by black Christians and the first to include the 'wandering choruses'—short refrains attached randomly to standard hymn stanzas—that were characteristic of black song. Critically, Southern has traced texts in the landmark collection Slave Songs of the United States (1867) back to Allen’s hymnbook."

American Education and Publishing: Some Things Never Change

“It is lamentable that many of our children,” he wrote, “leave school knowing but a little more about the grammar of their language than a horse does about handling a musket.”

And later from the same volume:

"One editor warned would-be poets that there was 'postage to pay, paper to waste, and patience to weary' with the piles of submissions he received" (emphasis added).

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

And We Go on to the Next Round Robin

Hope 2019 has been OK so far. 8,752 hours to go, one at a time.

The following image is cribbed from the FB page of a local author whose short reminiscences of her horrific but probably not unusual childhood I am now rewriting. I am putting this work in place of three other jobs I'd rather not be doing just at this moment. 

In all honesty, I'm just killing time until I return to some self-prescribed catch-up sleep. The new year starts . . . maƱana.

Image may contain: 1 person, text

Sunday, December 30, 2018

From a Neighborhood Close By, from a Neighborhood Website

Love the syntax. Use of "common" is not of this century, but it's Bristol, baby.

Christmas decorations stolen out our yard

I wanted to warn people of our area I'm at xxx xxxxxx Avenue and I enjoy decorating for everyone to enjoy and to show our Christmas spirit it's just so hard for me to believe theres some one around our neighborhood that's common enough to steal one of our very expensive light displays on side of our house. also I recently found my camper door opened at 5:00 in the morning I didn't notice anything taken probably because theres not much in there but I know it was locked so with all this please be on the lookout for suspicious people and watch out for your stuff I feel like with all the other stories on here theres definitely someone out there shopping around in our neighborhood.
And from one of the current projects—an index I'm almost enjoying. The book is set in two counties within an hour's drive of here:
Like Appalachia and the greater South, the Blue Ridge region has been perceived to have a strange relationship with modernity. Accounts of the region estimate that time was somehow warped there, yet its story mirrors that of much of the United States. As the ancestral home of the Cherokees, the Blue Ridge became a backcountry upon early European coastal settlement. It gained a reputation as remote even as it lay at the busy crossroads of early migration routes that transformed it from backcountry to frontier and then to backcountry again as settlers pushed further west. Men with money eventually turned up to exploit the mountains’ potential as a stage for industry. Missionaries followed, determined to redeem people who were already deeply Christian from the backwardness that the capitalists could not cure. By the twentieth century, folklorists had arrived to safeguard what they regarded as traditional culture, which was in danger of destruction by modernization. Government agencies declared a war on the region’s poverty in the mid-twentieth century, although they could not decide whether its backwardness or its exploitation by modern industry was to blame. Finally, environmentalists tried to repair the damage imposed by progressives of all kinds whose schemes had failed not just the people but the land as well.

How Tough Was He?

“Known as a 'rough hewn and stern featured man' who once tried to get the [Georgia Methodist] conference to censure a peer for shaving on the Sabbath . . .”

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Sentence of the Day

"Yes, I’ll face the contradiction that time can bring about a change, but until that day comes, I choose to engage in sweat equity with a penis on my own terms."

Friday, December 28, 2018

Technology Update

It's a twisted string of events, but I am now the owner of two smartphones, desiring two fewer. At least this latest one has the benefit of providing me telephone and internet service, something the former model seemed to find troublesome more often than not.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Well, Thank God That's Over


While it does usually result in some pleasurable moments, overall it's a season to loathe.

I spent a very nice five days in Denver with what constitutes pretty much the entirety of my family: my wife, our two sons, one daughter-in-law, and one daughter-in-law-apparent. While having such a small group keeps things simple, there's a little melancholy from not having a larger gathering. But both sons are with people who have large families -- and they can have them.

Neither my wife nor I came from small families, nor over-the-top large ones. We had our healthy share of aunts and uncles and cousins, and even siblings, growing up, and I knew all my grandparents into my teens. But now, for a variety of reasons, really it's just the two (or four) or us. Our kids have never had the regular presence of any family members during their lives, except for their parents and their maternal grandparents, until they passed last decade. They have exactly one first cousin, who is two years younger than me.

We went dogsledding in Breckinridge, Colorado, and I nearly only screwed everything up once, which isn't a bad percentage. Lotsa fun, and being around more dogs than people is always a good scenario. And those dogs love what they are doing and certainly lead healthier lives than I do.

But Christmas. What it's come down to is that I just loathe retail—and really, Linus, in 2018, that's what it's all about. And it's a secular holiday. Just ask any non-Christian if Christmas affects their lives. Then go ask someone at the Freewill Pentecostal Holiness Church of God the last time they had their lives interrupted by Yom Kippur.

Well, then again, Yom Kippur only covers two days. Christmas starts the day after Labor Day.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The Lattice Strikes Again

I'm copyediting a book that deals with national issues in 1943–1945. One of the players is Edward Stettinius, who for a time was secretary of state under FDR and Truman, and whom I have never heard of until this book.

I was distracted for a moment and landed upon Wikipedia's page for people from Staten Island. 

  • Edward Stettinius Jr. – Chairman of US Steel; left to become Secretary of State to FDR Administration; former home is now Staten Island Academy, Todt Hill. . . . [from the famous people from Staten Island page]
  • Stettinius grew up in a mansion on the family's estate on Staten Island and graduated from the Pomfret School in 1920 after which he attended the University of Virginia until 1924. [from Stettinius's page]

I doubt his former home is now Staten Island Academy, because Staten Island Academy tore down its original big schoolhouse-type structure, which very well could have been a home, in the 1970s and rebuilt its entire campus — unless the school has purchased one of the grand old Vanderbilt-era homes that borders the now much more developed campus than existed there when I lived over the hill from it.

Perhaps the former Staten Island Academy structure was Stettinius's family estate, in which case that's where I attended first through fourth grades. I had repeating dreams of launching off the tops of the big stair landings there and being able to fly. And in real life I held Beth Leventhal's hand in second grade and spoke of marriage. Years later we were in summer camp at the same place and time and both were so painfully shy we couldn't even look at much less speak to each other. 

Monday, December 17, 2018

Killing Time in the Twenty-First Century

The czarina and I watched Inside Llewyn Davis a few days ago. I think that's the right spelling. Coen Brothers movie about the New York City folk music scene in, well, really you can pin it down to a few days in 1960 or 1961 based on one of the closing shots of the movie.

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

Panikkar's Getting Close

After reading a few million words of Raimon Panikkar's output over the last six years (three more years to go) and after working on maybe close to a thousand books on religion and theology over the last eighteen years (and if I had an intern with hours to kill, I'd have that person catalog my reading over that time), I finally came upon a statement that just about sums it up for me (emphases added):

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. 

Weather Report

Turned out to be a record one-day December snowfall. Just sent to a Northeast-based press that had inquired:

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.