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.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

State of the Mascot

1 yr., 1 mo.

Approx. 35 (very stubborn) pounds--yes, indeed, she's turned out to be a miniature basset. I was talking with a guy last week whose girlfriend just had to have a basset, so they now have 10-week-old Duke, whose father weighs 125 pounds. I cannot imagine what you do when the basset sits and refuses to walk, which happens not infrequently. This little bundle of joy can turn into a stack of cinder blocks at the drop of a hat. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

The Days Do Pass

Twenty-ninth wedding anniversary today. My wife received what I think is the modern 29th-anniversary gift: a retractable/extendable back scratcher.

We're also getting our 160,000-mile Prius detailed and going to ATL for the weekend. I'm already getting vibes that the 30th anniversary is going to be a little different. Yeah, well.

Holidays line up as follows:

December: Christmas/Hanukkah
February: Valentine's Day
March: Birthday (hers); birthday (his)
April: Anniversary
May: Mother's Day
June: Father's Day

Our anniversary falls right after tax day, so I'm usually a wreck before and after anyway. After dinner tonight, Tere reminded me that our wedding took place on the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter to accommodate my mother's teaching schedule. On a bunch of different accounts, I can't imagine what we were thinking about.

For the Good Friday rehearsal dinner (Jeez Louise), we had it catered by Home Folks, a now-long-gone barbecue joint in Jackson, GA. (Great story was eating there with some state troopers who'd recently come from an execution; Georgia's Old Sparky is in Jackson.) Well, it being Friday, my wife's brother and sister-in-law (Catholics) couldn't eat the pork barbecue (the Jews had no problem), especially because it was Good Friday. One of my groomsmen, who happened to work in the food bidness, had to arrange some fish dinners.

Yes, folks, I used to have dark hair (see below). That would be my brother the proofreader also seated. He still has all his hair (turns 61 this year) and has put on quite a few more kilos.

DH Bond, where are you?

Friday, April 8, 2016

You Read It Here First

Or maybe not. AP sez "internet" is lowercased as of June 1, 2016.

A lot's actually happened since the last post. In no particular order, trip to Chicago that included seeing son no. 1 perform, a few other wild cultural events, and a trip to the Baha'i Temple north of Chicago, which is simply breathtaking.

And it's also possible to experience peace. I know because I've had the same feeling in two similar but wildly disparate places: the Baha'i Temple and -- can you guess, longtime readers -- the Abbey of Gethsemani in Trappist, KY. Tere and I were walking very slowly around the outside of the temple in the dormant gardens area (probably exploding soon) and I leaned over and said, "Feel that? . . . That's what Gethsemani feels like." And she said, "I get it."

Don't want to jinx anything, but I've felt oddly peaceful since that day. I'll take it lasting a while longer.

Good news is rumbling on the Fred Neil front. Just saying.

A fascinating linguistic moment in Chicago. We were at a staging (not exactly a performance) of The Last Defender, which entails a team of 16 working together to prevent nuclear annihilation. Without giving anything away (I hope; the show has been extended five or six months from its original date), at one point people need to line up and hook themselves together. The young woman (say, 30 years old) next to me said to everyone else, "Those of you with the receptive end, get ready."

I leaned over (I do a lot of leaning over and talking to women, I guess) and said, "Very good. 'Receptive.' I never would have come up with that." And she said, "I had to say something, and that was the best I could do."

Folks, a few years from now electrical outlets or tools or what have you won't have a male and a female end anymore.

Oh! Younger son and fiance will be teaching outside Denver in the fall. Haven't even graduated yet. Everyone is most pleased and proud. Son no. 2 is going to be teaching 11th-grade English. His kids are in for a ride.

I think I got on here to do something else.

Friday, March 11, 2016

If You Can't Shill for Your Own Spawn . . . Chicago -- "Hey Peter, Bye Peter"

"Hey Peter, Bye Peter" at the Annoyance Theatre, Chicago

Joey Mitchell

Already extended a week, and it hasn't even opened yet. If you're within 100 miles of Chicago, or farther, carve out a Friday night in the next five weeks and go. There's a 20 percent chance you'll see me there.

You're welcome.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Fog's Rolling In

The present book I'm indexing and the last two -- from three different publishers about three different topics -- have some of the same entries and subentries. I gave up trying to remember which client I'm working for a few days ago (not that it should matter that much), but I'm growing very confused.

I'm also getting older. As I tell mi esposa these days, "I've sat down . . . and I can't get up."

Not an endorsement.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Basic Typing Rule

If the first character of one of your pieces of communication begins with a shifted character on the number line that's not 4, 8, 9, or 0, I probably don't want anything to do with it.

This notion goes to everyone  out there who want to engulf me in # this and @ that. When did everyone's thoughts become so important that I'm exposed to them in the place of fact? On an election night when Wolf Blitzer is on the air, the only thing I want to know from the Twitterers are what desk they're under.

CNN is the worst, and that's from an admittedly limited sample. I don't need to know EDfromLA9642's (sorry if you're really out there) 140 characters or less about anything in the context of a freaking news story.

I just went to look up information on a company history, and before the page loaded I had to watch a mosaic of a buncha huge quotes from people's Twitter feeds. That makes me care about the company less.

I protect my flip phone these days because I know where its loss, failure, or accidental laundering ends up next, and I don't like it.

Be There or Be Square

Click the link.

2016 Appalachian Heritage Writers Symposium, June 10-11, Enhancing Pride in Appalachian Literature and Culture

I'm in there with a group of regional intellectual heavyweights, it appears. The conference has stepped up its game since my last go-round in 2010. I'll get by with my usual unscripted 45-minute ramble and rant, followed with 15 minutes of questions. Last time I presented, I was off-topic within the first 15 words of my prepared comments, and that was it for the prepared comments.

The author listed below me in the symposium engages the Land on Demand editing staff, so that's fun.

Photo at the link was taken by the czarina in a wonderful new brewpub in Bristol, VA, called Studio Brew. While Bristol is a Good Place to Live (the sign below says so), going into Studio Brew makes you feel like you've gone into a different city, which sometimes isn't a bad thing at all.

(If you can't read the caption, it says "Picture of a Mountaineer in Virginia, His Ass in Tennessee.'")

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Thanks for Nothing, Messrs. Merriam and Webster


often not capitalized : of extraordinary power, extent, intensity, or difficulty

*Herculean tasks*  *Herculean proportions*

Friday, February 26, 2016

You Just Can't Leave a Comment Like This Hanging

Also, some continue to insist upon full adherence to all cultural mortuary customs that may involve sexual contact.

[QY: Please clarify the phrase, "mortuary customs that may involve sexual contact."] 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

How Obscure Are These Authors?

Google, which could probably find my keys, busted my chops for being one letter off in the spelling of a name -- and the name was about five syllables.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Saying "Plate of Shrimp" Is So Much Easier

The lattice of coincidence. Who shows up again?

Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Getting Some Things Off My Mind


1. The length of the text near it has nothing to do with whether a semicolon should appear.
2. Unless it's a proper noun, the word following a semicolon should not be capitalized.

Corporate personhood: So, is this phrasing now correct? IBM, who began operations . . . 

Flat Earth society
: Please don't write, "across the globe."

Both: I once received a manuscript from a university press in which the managing editor had skillfully stripped every unnecessary instance of "both," which was most of them. I find that I can usually do the same.

Words that drive me crazy: bespoke, quotidian, salience.

Citations: You can't have Spring 2012 and n.d. in the same listing.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

"Brown Shoes Don't Make It"

What doesn't make it in this case is citing a relative's unpublished manuscript.

Bonus points for readers who can identify the source of the title quote. Webz search verboten.

Leave me a comment with an answer, or an insult, or a special favorite you want to hear. Gets lonely occasionally here in blogland.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Today's Gripe

Although as an indexer, I'd be perfectly delighted, because I've never worked with a publisher that didn't include such pages in the billable page count.

But, why, o lord, is it necessary to have 11 pages of Works Cited for 24 pages of text? I wonder if some of these scholars aren't being paid by the citation. I also wonder where they are leaving room for original thought.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

In School, We Just Called Him "Eye Chart"

Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator


You know, I've probably made this same stupid joke before on this blog. Not only would I not be surprised, as I know I've come across this name before, but I'm too lazy to search for it. Some things bear repeating.

Monday, February 8, 2016

The Head Family

(l-r) Chuckle- (Zooey, the Rorschach dog) and Knuckle- (Franny, miniature Basset par excellence and Land on Demand mascot):

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

This Is More Like It

Two sports books delivered yesterday. For proofreading. One I've already copyedited. The other . . . uhhh . . . buddy, if you're going to bother putting together an incomplete style sheet, have the common courtesy to at least alphabetize it?

Friday, January 29, 2016

Completely Out of My Element

Bears repeating that indexing is sometimes a game of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey.

I'm working on a book now that is so far beyond my ken that I'm crafting an index based on more than a modicum of intuition, because the text itself is meaningless to me.

There might even be a musicality to this type of indexing, where mellifluous phrases substitute for substance.

The battling tendencies are (a) to overindex -- trying to capture details that hopefully are important -- or (b) to succumb to the MEGO effect and grasp at a catchy clause now and then.

This work is neither easy nor simple. But it'll all be worth it. Sales of this book should hit the dozens.

My namesake

With all due respect to the author:

It would be disastrous if the formalist were forced by this admission to the metamathematical conclusion that there is no fact of the matter whether ZFC is consistent. But Kitcher is not quite forced to this conclusion. The metamathematical, combinatorial claim that there is no proof of “0 = 1” in ZFC is, for all Kitcher says, a fully contentful claim whose truth does not consist in its derivability. That claim might therefore be true, in the ordinary sense, even if the number- theoretic statement Con(ZFC) is neither derivable nor refutable, hence neither true nor false in the only sense appropriate to it. The difficulty is that this severs the link, essential to foundational research in mathematics, between metamathematical claims of consistency and derivability, on the one hand, and the ground- level mathematical claims that we normally take to formalize or code them. This part of mathematics is predicated on the assumption that we can convert modal or combinatorial claims about the consistency of formal systems into mathematical claims— claims about the existence of models or about the existence of (numbers coding) formal derivations. The objection is that Kitcher-style formalism would call this aspect of mathematical practice into question. Understood as a modal/ combinatorial question, the consistency of ZFC appears to be a factual question with an answer— albeit a question we cannot answer within established mathematics. By contrast the mathematical question whether there exists a number that codes a proof of “0 = 1” in ZFC, or the question whether there exists a model of the ZFC axioms, must be understood as a question that has no answer at all, since the candidate answers are underivable in every authorized game and hence untrue in the
only sense pertinent to such claims.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016