Friday, October 20, 2017
I've Been in a Mood
I'd say it started about two weeks ago. The czarina had gone off to Atlanta to stay with friends in their recently rebuilt home in what used to be a fear zone close to downtown. When our friend moved there 25 years ago, Domino's wouldn't deliver. Now, it's great. The czarina left essentially to lay eyes on our older son, who was there to be in a wedding of some people he'd met while acting. We hadn't seen him since, uh, July, and before that it was way back in, uh, June. Yeah, well, whatever.
A hurricane was moving through Atlanta, so the wedding was moved across the street. It was supposed to be where the czarina and I were hitched, oddly enough. Our son was going to be a groosman at the same place. They still dressed there, and the restaurant, now under a different name, had at least one Thornton Dial on the wall, as well as some other cool stuff. Mitchell had everyone talking about the art.
I was here in Bristol, baby, with the shedding menagerie. My father's eighty-fifth birthday would have been the seventh of the month; my work game has been off; the electronic gig had backed up two weeks of work into about four days, on top of the usual Lucy and the chocolates; mid-October was coming; eating, sleeping, basic maintenance, all shot to hell . . . I'm down to 177, and the last time I saw that, I was on my way to 145. Couple years after my mother died. "Lotta ins and outs. Lotta what-have-yous."
So—how much you getting paid for this?—I just sent off an index for a book to a company that has certainly in some way affected your life in a significant way (this readership's life) with ramifications, published by a university you know, by some coeditors who are or were the equivalent of C-suite gentlemen in this particular field. "Not exactly lightweights," judging from their bios.
I'm feeling a little better having accomplished something, and I guess I was feeling my oats. This was after asking the receiver of the invoice if I could send and he could process speedy delivery. I've never worked with the guy or any of these people before, except the press, which won't be involved until I send the index to them author-approved.
Nine hours after the fact, I'm rereading the email I sent them. I guess it's professional enough. The letter is verbatim from Gmail. I love it because I can use it again and again. Absolutely generic, except I did take out the name of the university. It's somewhere east of the Mississippi, I'm pretty certain.
A peek behind the curtain. The underlying tone is, "I really hope you leave this thing alone." I'm almost scared to send off an index anymore. It's also coming up on the one-year anniversary of that experience. I'm not sure I ever addressed that incident in this space. Lordy. Pathetic. Talk about some horseshit scholarship.
Hi, all. First, thanks again for your patience, and apologies for the earlier bait-and-switch.
I've attached the index manuscript as well as a marked-up PDF noting some things I saw along the way. You've probably already caught most of these issues while reviewing the page proofs.
From looking at your distinguished bios, I'm guessing y'all have been to this rodeo before, but a few notes:
* Multiauthor books present a challenge in that different chapters, especially if they've been printed elsewhere before, might refer to the same concepts using slightly different language. I've tried to consolidate different terminology here, so please keep an eye out for where I may have misinterpreted. I've also presented a lot of cross-references but may have missed opportunities for additional ones. Feel free to add.
* Another challenge with this type of book is avoiding the rabbit hole of trying to present data in the index in addition to the conceptual items. Of course, with an index, a guide to the book's data is not desired. The index would become unwieldy very quickly, and it's also against standard indexing practices, as XXUP's guidelines aver.
* If you want to make or handle any changes on your side, please do so, although track the changes so that I can see what you've done, to ensure that the index still adheres to standard protocols.
The deadline for the press is Monday, 10/23. Hopefully you'll find the index to your liking and any back-and-forth will be brief (although, of course, the index needs to satisfy the authors, within reasonable constraints). I do have a few very minor queries in the index. If you could address to those, I'd appreciate it. They may result in no changes at all.
If you have any questions, let me know. Thanks for an interesting read.