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, October 26, 2016

Index Entry of the Day

Martin, Luther, 94

Monday, October 24, 2016

Damn Authors

Sometimes I just don't even know what to say.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

I've About Had It with Excuses

1. I have a client that owes me about $2000. Invoice was sent in April with plenty of advance warning. After a month or so, the client asks if I've deposited the check -- which I'd never received. What happened? Here's the story I was told and have experienced. A regional energy company (not in the client's region) got a check made out to Bob Land, cashed it, and stonewalled my client for four months about a refund of the money. I contacted the energy company, which knew nothing about the situation but offered to follow up and to pay me or my client immediately. Once the client started getting calls and emails from the energy company to track down the check, all of a sudden the client says the situation has been resolved. Client is waiting for the check from the energy company. Client receives the check. I receive a check for half the amount invoiced. "It's all I can afford."

2. I am in a war with a national pest control company, which has agreed to refund me $1220 for useless services rendered. I received a check today . . . for $1020 -- which I will not cash, so as not to indicate acceptance of an offer. I am in touch again with corporate customer service.

3. I presently have no health insurance. We have COBRA through my wife's former job, but claims are being denied because the insurer canceled my wife's former employer's policy after a premium was misapplied -- so the employer says. It's taking weeks to remedy the insurer's error. So the employer says.

Some days (most days? all days?), I really do yearn for an escape from capitalism and a whole lot of other stuff.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Today in Literary News

[n.b.: Cribbed from an email to a former reader of this blog. Lo, the world has passed me by. Won't somebody get up and fix the rabbit ears?]

Well, with Dylan winning the Nobel and everything . . .

This band I'm playing with -- very local, very informal -- has a Facebook page I recently discovered. 250 likes, so you know we're not burning down the world.

You know whose name just showed up for liking it? Barbara Kingsolver. Our guitarist/songwriter/lead joker seems to know everyone within about a 50-mile radius. Actually, now that I think of it, it was at her restaurant that I first heard the band last year and told Tere, "I think I could play with them."

So, in case you want to throw in with Barbara Kingsolver,


Friday, October 14, 2016

When, as an Indexer, Planning Ahead Helps

Thankfully, the press said up front to watch out for overlapping names:


John, Gospel of, 18
      chapter 21, 3, 6, 46, 55, 86–89, 100, 102, 129–34
      on Peter, 81–89
John II (the Beautiful; emperor), 268
John II (pope), 188
John II of Constantinople (patriarch), 185
John II of Kiev, 261–62
John III Vatatzes (emperor), 295, 299, 301
John IV (the Faster; patriarch), 190, 191, 194, 264
John IV (pope), 199
John IV Lascaris (emperor), 296n73, 301n102
John V (emperor), 318–21
John VI Cantacuzenos (emperor), 313, 318–20
John VII (the Grammarian; patriarch), 219
John VIII (emperor), 324–25
John VIII (pope), 229–30, 231
John X (pope), 233, 234
John X Kamateros (patriarch), 278–80, 284, 286
John XI (pope), 233, 235
John XI Bekkos (patriarch), 305–9
John XII (pope), 235–36
John XIX (pope), 242–43
John XXI (pope), 307
John XXII (pope), 310
John XXIII (pope), 12, 357n158, 369, 379–80, 383
John of Damascus, 120
John the Deacon, 210–11
John of Montenero, 333–34
John Paul I (pope), 406
John Paul II (pope), 13, 367n214, 369, 392, 406, 409–12
John Tzimisces (emperor), 236

Not Knowing at All

I'm sitting here negotiating the uphill slope of six consecutive indexes -- none of them short, none of them nonscholarly -- and thinking back on one of the many times I've submitted an index on a topic about which I had no clue.

After decades of doing mostly nothing but reading scholarly tomes, I've learned to identify minor concepts about which authors feel a particular warmth. When they see the term in the index, I imagine them getting that tingle up their leg.

So I'd plucked out some obscure term used once in the book and threw it in the index, because I knew the author enjoyed putting that bit of text in the book.

Author's response: "It's good to work with an indexer who understands the material."

Monday, October 10, 2016

Word of the Day

irredentism: a political principle or policy directed toward the incorporation of irredentas within the boundaries of their historically or ethnically related political unit.

Uhhh . . .

irredenta: a territory historically or ethnically related to one political unit but under the political control of another

I'm surprised I've never seen this word. My vocabulary ain't too good, but I'll remember a word if I've seen it, even if not the definition. And I certainly won't remember this one.

From a surprisingly easy-to-read (and -index, so far) monograph on the treatment of religious minorities in Pakistan -- not that I care a lick about the topic. But I am very happy for cutting and pasting subcontinent names. Any spelling errors, courtesy of the author

Thursday, October 6, 2016

True Dat

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.: "Objective truth is a pure ideal that if everyone was as clever and educated as you they would agree with you and then the universe would be conquered. But even if we all agreed in everything, I don’t see the guaranty that this universe would agree with us.”

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Catch of the Day

The song titled “Half Breed” and recorded by Cher in the 1970s resulted in great strides being made in overcoming, if not totally eliminating, the presence of this stigma. Like Cher, my mother was not afraid of her heritage; in fact, she was quite proud to be a Native American and always wore her heritage as a badge of honor. [QY: Note, from imdb.com: “Cher is of Armenian heritage on her father's side, and of English and German, with more distant Irish, Dutch, and French, heritage on her mother's side.”]

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Author Doesn't Get It

Query: Is this a direct quote?

Answer: Close enough, yes.

Class, what is wrong with this answer?


A client I've had since Atlanta days is a fabulously successful businessman who came here from South Korea in 1976 with $200 and barely passable English. He got off his flight at Indianapolis and wondered, "What do I do now?" Forty years later, he's an institution in Atlanta, in his chosen industries nationwide, and in his family's hometown in Korea.

Very dignified gentleman, I guess now in his mid-70s.

Just received an email from him with a :-) . I'm horrified, but at least when it comes to cutesy keyboard stuff, he's a few years behind the times. Of course, not as far behind the times as I am. My idea of an emoticon is "[insert emoticon here.]."

People read what they want to anyway.

We've had three teenagers from other countries staying with us roughly since the beginning of the school year. My wife and I recently told them to leave their phones and computers downstairs and they can use them only for a few hours a day in the common areas.

Law of unintended consequences no. 1: Left them without alarm clocks.

Law of unintended consequences no. 1a: Do you know how hard it is these days to find AM/FM alarm clocks? Smartphones have killed them. Finally found a few at Walmarx. You can get just alarm clocks (no radios), and of course you can get all kinds of digital crapola and stuff to plug your phones into.

Get 'em while they last
A big kick for me growing up was listening to AM radio late at night to stations from different cities. Between 1969 and 1977, I lived on the 10th story of an apartment building on Staten Island, NY, facing away from the Empire State Building, which was the primary broadcast tower for NYC at the time. For major TV networks we got Philadelphia TV, not NYC, and at night I would spin the radio dial and pick up the clear-channel stations from Chicago, Nashville, St. Louis, et al., and on rare occasions, I believe, Salt Lake City.

I posted a picture of that building very early in this blog's history. I wonder if the Google has taken it out, along with pictures of my dog and John Cale, although they are not together. That would be a sight.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Today's Quote: Retail

The next couple of decades saw two additional iterations of the no-frills grocery store—the self-service market and the supermarket. The first innovation came from Clarence Saunders’ Memphis, Tennessee, Piggly Wiggly store in 1916. The place was rather small compared to most groceries of the day. His idea was to have the customers pick up the goods in the store themselves (instead of asking a clerk for assistance) and then pay at a central checkout area. Saunders knew this strategy would enable him to cut down on labor costs. He was also convinced customers would buy more if they could see and touch all the merchandise themselves. He therefore created aisles that facilitated customers’ handling of the goods, and he provided baskets in which shoppers could collect the items they wanted to buy. Like with department stores, the public spin on the setup was one of democratic privilege. As early as 1922, the Piggly Wiggly chain boasted that its self-service model “fosters the spirit of independence—the soul of democratic institutions, teaching men, women, and children to do for themselves.”