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.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Room 8166

Posting from a hospital bed. Open ventral hernia repair with component separation. Complex gut reconstruction following the aftermath of my perforated colon almost three years ago to the day.

I seem to be getting along pretty well, given that I left the post-op recovery room about fifteen hours ago. My first experience with a semiprivate room. Neighbor is either snoring or watching TV. The only channel on my TV that does not work is the soothing music channel, but the white noise does the trick. I think he was watching some version of Spiderman last night, from what I could tell while trying to ignore it.

I hope they keep me here the expected three nights. First must have a bowel movement before I go anywhere. TMI?

On an epidural and assorted other meds. Have already accepted a huge job from Oxford starting in mid-June, so at least I know the production line will be starting back up. Eighth edition of Ehrman's The New Testament, which should be pleasant enough. I can't imagine many bumps in an 8th edition.

Signing off. 

Monday, March 13, 2023

A rare musical interlude

Also, in case you were wondering what the back of my head looked like.


Sunday, February 26, 2023

If You're a Press's Managing Editor, Be Glad You Didn't Receive This Email

It's not often that I go off like this, but rarely are rancid pieces of meat dropped in my lap by publishers that should know better.


Letting you know that I'm about 60 percent through the text, then it's tackling the notes, which will be largely rewritten top to bottom, using whatever resources I can get to. I didn't know that that would be expected of me going into the project -- or more specifically that you'd be doing it if I didn't. That's not your job, or shouldn't be. When the production transmittal said to leave the book alone, I can largely do that with the running text, as it's interesting and well-written, as long as one overlooks this writer's apparent lack of vocabulary for introducing quotes. I'm changing some of that. And it still needed a thorough technical copyedit/scrubbing.

If it were me, and it's not, I'd tell [the copyeditor/typesetter originally signed up for this project] that this job is being sent to someone else for typesetting. She shouldn't be able to pick and choose what aspects of the job are easiest for her. If she bitches about any of my copyediting decisions, she can go straight to hell.

And I'm going to say in my notes to you that most of my publishers, from talking with those acquiring editors to whom I have access, would immediately send back to the author a manuscript that had these kinds of notes to do their own fucking job, or their contract would be void. It's not up to the press to make the book complete; according to style, yes, but filling in a million blanks, no. These notes are a total fucking embarrassment, prepared with the least amount of effort required, and anyone associated with [insert well-known university here] presenting this as sufficient work ought to be hanging their head in shame. I'd love to be one of [her] students and shove this unedited manuscript back in her face. It's a fucking travesty.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

"Are You Jewish, or Are You Just Here?"

Well, right now I just feel like posting something. We have a dear friend staying with us who's enduring their own struggles but getting through them with a whole lot more equanimity than I've ever exhibited. 

Not the point.

These days, the Census box I check is Taoist-leaning Jewish agnostic heavily influenced by Catholic social teaching, which doesn't mean much to anyone -- but it wouldn't surprise me if a few others out there are like me. JuBus, with a heavy dose of reading from the right kind of clients. A former, and late, client of mine was an inspirational speaker named Charlie "Tremendous" Jones. I had the good fortune of meeting him once when my wife and I were making one of our many descents south. His publishing house was a few rooms stocked floor to ceiling and wall to wall with about every motivational book ever printed. He was known for his saying, "You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read." I really can't argue with that.

Also not the point.

Some years back, I decided to attend the only real Jewish synagogue around here, in Blountville, TN. (The area has a few messianic Jewish congregations. Don't get me started. The "rabbi" may be Jewish, but the congregations are Pentecostals looking for another day in church. IMHO.) The temple in Blountville has been around since the late 1800s, but there ain't many Jews around here, so they don't have a full-time rabbi, or haven't for most of the 23 years I've been living in Bristol. Every few weeks, as I remember, a rabbinical student would come down from the seminary in Cincinnati to do whatever needed to be done. 

On one of my visits there, I ended up next to a gentleman who was the husband of the president of the Sisterhood -- in other words, the woman who runs the show. He was or is a retired professor from the East Tennessee State University School of Medicine, which probably isn't too bad a joint, despite the name if you're an ignorant displaced Yankee like me. But he was clearly heavily into his medications that night. We were separated by a seat, and he leaned over to me and asked, "So, are you Jewish, or are you just here?" 

I answered, "Both."

Once he found out what this nice young Jewish man did (shanda fur de goyim, I am not a doctor or lawyer), he lit up. 

"Would you edit my CV for me?" Sure thing, I said. No charge.

He emailed me a forty-page, single-spaced resume, most of which seemed impressive enough. At some point in his life, he probably had his shit together. Every damn thing he'd ever done was in these forty pages, but the show-stopper came on about page 38.

"Read most books: 3rd grade." 

Well, now, all I remember from my third-grade year at Staten Island Academy was playing hangman in what passed for the English/verbal part of the curriculum. Supposed to be a spelling exercise, I guess. I stumped everyone, including Mrs. Bartlett, with the word "rhubarb." After getting the puzzled looks I would grow accustomed to later in life, I explained to the best of my seven-year-old ability, "It's a fight in baseball." I'm certain I didn't associate the word with anything to do with nature. Like "the tools of ignorance," I figured the term was common knowledge. And if you don't know what that term means, as Professor Yogi Berra once said, "You can look it up." Click the link.

But Professor Prescription's capper came when I asked him why there were so many people listed with birthdays in the temple's weekly program (maybe five or six for each day of the week), but every time I went to shul there, the congregation had about 15 people in it. His answer was a classic.

"You ever hear of the 82nd Airborne?"


"How about the 101st Airborne?"

"Yes, of course."

"Did you ever wonder what happened to the rest of them? We're the same way. We just keep counting them until they tell us not to."

Sh'ma Yisrael adonai elohaynu adonai echod.
Baruch shem kivod malchuso lay'olam vaed.

Some things never leave you.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

RANT Deliverance! (with apologies to Cornel West)

Oh, the twisted road of word processing.

When I began working as an editor in 1984, only one person out of about 15 or so in my employer's curriculum and examinations department had their own computer. That person, still among my dearest friends, was writing one of the primary moneymaking textbooks for the company, so he rated the special treatment. The rest of us, as far as I remember, either typed or handwrote whatever we were working on and passed it off to the recently rebranded "administrative assistant" to key in the text on an IBM Selectric with an OCR ball so that the product could then be sent along to the data processing department for scanning. And they later became "information processing." The dark days.

Eventually we received our own computers, which were put to best use with the introduction around 1985/6 of interoffice email, which was great for running football pools and writing song lyrics for our house band, including the prophetic "Working at Home," which an enlightened manager allowed his writers and editors to do in the mid-1980s, thus these lyrics, 34 years before COVID:

We're all working at home.
Don't call us on the telephone.
You don't deserve us, so don't disturb us,
While we're working at home.

That's 1986, folks. Talk about prophesy deliverance (!).

When word processing truly hit, we worked in Lotus AmiPro, and I was still laboring in that program as of the late 1990s and early 2000s. I have some invoices from back then I can't access because it's kinda hard to find AmiPro-to-Word conversion software. I guess it existed at some point.

Then came the glorious Word 2003. I still receive files from publishers that have been created in that program. With the updates that came down the pike, it did everything I needed it to do, and I could find all the commands easily. Anyone who thinks Apple/Mac products are intuitive have a different neurological operating system than I do. When mi esposa hands me one of her infernal devices to figure out, I just want to throw up (my hands).

Word 2007 was hardly a step forward. They took all the functionality of Word 2003 with updates and placed it where it didn't belong. So for years I toggled between the two programs as circumstances required.

Everything was fine until sometime in the mid-2010s, when one of my favorite authors, an Aussie who found this blog back before Google developed its ever-evolving algorithms and has used me ever since, roped me into editing the papers and related materials for a conference he was heading up on, I believe, the digital humanities -- the first time that conference was ever held in the southern hemisphere. He was very proud, and should have been. However, it turned into one of the most hellish projects I've ever worked on.

I ended up receiving manuscripts from all over the world, many written by nonnative-English authors, which was bad enough. But because about half of these folks were leading-edge technophiles I also started receiving emails giving me shit for requiring that manuscripts be written in Word. That I didn't use Linux or some other noncommercial program branded me as a Luddite worthy of all the derision they could heap on me. And they did.

My Aussie pal had entrusted much of the project management to one of his colleagues, who was too busy running the conference, so that task also fell to me—as did things like properly positioning art within the Word documents, a job that I'd never even attempted. It was hell times four, at least. My requested rate skyrocketed, though, but no amount of money could have made it worth it, especially given . . . 

That because I was dealing with so many different sources of input, I had my first experience with Office 365, or whatever Microsoft was calling their online suite at the time. So I had to download  this program onto a new laptop I'd purchased in case my old one ever failed. That was after the three days of updates required when I first plugged the machine in, since I'd never even opened the box. To date, in 25 years of freelancing, I'm on just my third computer, as far as I recall.

So, here I am, dealing with a worldwide collection of goddamn malcontents on a laptop with word processing software with which I'm unfamiliar, doing tasks I've never attempted. I finally got the grasp of the whole thing by the time my work was wrapping up. 

My next move, naturally, was to uninstall Office 365, hoping to never see it again.

Big mistake.

Bill Gates might be out to save the world, but his small type ruined my life. Buried in the agreement to install Office 365 was that if it was ever uninstalled, said uninstallation would take with it all updates to previous versions of Word. I could almost handle dealing with an unadulterated Word 2007, for which updates could still be had. But being left with a virgin version of Word 2003, when they'd stopped supporting the product a year or two earlier? That realization caused a pit in my stomach that could very well have been one of the proximate causes of my guts exploding sometime in May 2020: a perforated colon (a semicolon in my vernacular), emergency surgery (positive for COVID on the operating table, which later turned out to be false; no doubt a joy for the surgeons), four months with an ostomy bag, and now a gut with multiple large hernias requiring very complicated surgery to get me looking at all normal again. (Surgery pending, but that's another battle and a major rant.) Imagine the moguls on a freestyle ski slope, and you'll have an idea of what my midsection looks like -- on top of a rather emaciated 152-pound frame. And I struggle to keep that weight.

Fast-forward to March 2021, as my life is crumbling on a number of different fronts (although there are the occasional joys over the years, such as sons marrying wonderful women and the onset of grandparenthood). Because I'd been using laptops for years, I'd also been using external keyboards, for both the size of the keys and the number keypad to the right. I've also never used a touchpad. Ever, ever, ever. First thing I do is find out how to disable the fucking thing.

Late March 2021, the keyboard functionality fails, somehow also on the external keyboard, which my laptop will no longer recognize. Story of my life, along with many family members being medical mysteries (unfortunately my medical history is rather obvious) . . . even the Geek Squad is baffled. They asked, "Have you tried an external keyboard?" I'm sure the obvious Do you think I'm a goddamn idiot came through in my voice. They pushed as many buttons as they could and did whatever their geekdom could pull out, but no keyboard response. At least my data was still accessible, not that I need 95 percent of it. After my publishers get my work, I could delete it from my system and no one would care.

So, cheapskate that I am, I wander over to the laptop aisle at Best Buy and purchase the second-cheapest laptop on the shelf, figuring that I do no gaming, I'm not making any videos, I'm not streaming porn. My computer usage is entirely limited to word processing, email, internet searches for work, and YouTube. The greatest gift I've ever received was for Father's Day about four years ago when my sons signed me up with YouTube Premium, which I'd never do on my own. I told them to keep that up and they never needed to buy me another Father's Day present. We've all held to that agreement. All for the music, and plenty that's not available on any other streaming service.

Also, idiot that I am, I didn't realize that I was purchasing a glorified tablet. No storage space for software and certainly not for my 20 years of unnecessary work files. So while I'm still with the external keyboard and an old TV monitor for my screen, which I don't mind at all, I'm thrown into the world of external hard drives and, later, cloud storage. Am I done yet? By no means.

I did buy an external hard drive about 15 years ago, but of course would do backups about once every six years. The only thing worthwhile on there is a bunch of my wife's old recipes, from the days when she could still negotiate a Mac computer. So I had that. A friend who's worked for Oracle for decades sent me a solid state drive that he was no longer using that I now use as my primary storage, which was great until it no longer would recognize my new rig. A six-dollar cable from Amazon fixed that problem. (As he says, "Trust the Buddha and buy good cables.") Then I had to figure out, a state that  comes and goes, how to back that up to my old external hard drive. 

And then comes a new client a month ago that insists that everything be backed up to the cloud, a place I'd never been. Why I all of a sudden wanted to listen to a new client about something they'd have no way to verify is a mystery to me, except that my client base is shriveling up these days and I want to make folks happy. This whole "Land on Demand" thing was out of control years ago. I aim to please.

So, Google One. My Oracle pal assures me that it's easy with good support. Uh-huh. After installation, nothing seems to be working the way it's supposed to, and I spent two hours computer-chatting with Cynthia or Diane or Elmo or someone, with no resolution. Then they start emailing me asking for my opinion on their support. I let them know I was having many troubles and their chatline was worthless. So what do they ask me for? Not only screenshots, but I'm supposed to capture the movements in progress of what's happening on my screen when I do certain things and send that to them. I can do that about as well as I can touch my right hand to my right elbow. I finally cancelled the subscription, which I'd had for less than 24 hours. I asked them what would happen to the 30GB of files or so I'd uploaded. Could I still access them with my free 15GB that comes with my Google account? Yes, of course, but nothing would be updated.

While I was pondering my next step (Dropbox is far, far more expensive, but at least I'd sort of used it before), Google One fixed itself overnight. All of a sudden, icons I didn't see before were where they should have been the previous day, I can do backups, etc. A few mysteries remain, but I'm still in the game . . . for my new client who's now gone silent on me when I have many questions to be answered on a book of Catholic litcrit. I was told years ago by one of my university presses not to even bother with a medium edit on literary criticism, because the authors usually suck and are resistant to editing. 

Does anything make any sense?

Monday, February 20, 2023


I've been battling this beast for many years, mostly as the result of a longtime prescription given to me by a doctor who should have known better. Whatever beneficial effects it had for me also seemed to have turned off for a long time the switch in my brain to indicate sleep. At one point, it was five days without a wink: in New York City. We were staying with a friend in a 1.5-room fifth floor walkup on Madison and 82nd in mid-February. The apartment had no real walls so I couldn't really get any privacy even to read, and it was too cold to walk to Washington Square and back, and I'd have felt perfectly safe doing so. But dying of hypothermia is one of my few fears (death itself is not one of them), and I didn't really want to risk it. And I was kinda lazy. But it was the kind of wakefulness like Malcolm McDowell in A Clockword Orange with revulsion therapy. My eyes seemed propped open.

A good thing is that, over time, I've learned or trained myself not to ruminate. I don't lie awake thinking about the mess I've made of my life, or why I didn't ever allow myself to learn to waterski, or what bills remain unpaid, or the debts I owe to an alphabet soup of governmental agencies and financial institutions. I lay mostly in silence, although in the last year I've added Nichiren Buddhist chanting to the mix. Music, darkness, heavy food intake don't help. Nam Yoho Rengo Kyo has passed a lot of hours.

I just went to Sheetz for a footlong meatball sandwich, at 4am, hoping some gut loading would do the trick. Occasionally it does, but tonight I'm not so sure. Antihistamines, even industrial amounts of prescription medications don't often help much.

Side note: one of my readers once inquired where you get a meatball hero at 4 a.m. I explained that when you live within 2 miles of a decent interstate exchange anywhere in the South, you can get just about anything you please. Don't even get me started on Buc-ees, the closest of which is about 240 miles NW of here. As the billboard says, "If you know, you know."

The reports say that insomniacs underestimate the amount they sleep, and that's probably true. But most of my nights, to the extent I sleep at all, it's never a deep sleep, and the only reason I know I've been asleep is that I'll remember fragments of a dream. But still wake up tired. And if I feel like I've only gotten 1.5 hours of sleep and it's really 2.5, well, that ain't helping.

And once 6am hits, forget it, and it's getting perilously close to that now. My options are to take another pill, hope it helps, and maybe my mascot won't wake me too much to cater to her every need. They don't call it "hounding" for nothing.

Used to be, in my younger days, I'd just stay awake all night working. Don't even care to do that anymore, and unfortunately or not, I don't have the four-foot-high stacks of paper to plow through that I used to. They provided some sense of security, anxiety, and something to do all the same time. 

And everyone else whose name is Land, at least those I'll lay claim to, sleeps like a charm. Mi esposa can get her eight hours in, and then a few more during the day, maybe a few times a day. This isn't necessarily a good thing at all, given the overall picture, but it does make for some jealously on my part. And there's nothing like watching a basset sleep. Completely given in to pure bliss.

I used to tell a friend that sleep was the highest one could get, which perhaps explains my pursuit of it.  His question, a reasonable one: If you're asleep how would you know? But one fascinating experience with lucid dreaming a few weeks ago convinced me that, in the right moment, sleep could be quite damn exhilarating.

I also used to say that my lack of sleep make up for my excess of it between the ages of 16 and 25. But that karma's been paid back, in spades, many years ago.

I'd love to check into a sleep clinic and just stare at the monitoring people for eight hours.

And I've asked my doctor, whatever happened to sedatives or barbiturates? I guess those are just for the hospitalized these days. I've wished for such action before, with horrid results. But now that I need them, insurance do not allow for it (credit to S. Q. Liquor). 

Anyway, time to determine the next step. I do have a relatively quick book on crosses to get through, and if it wasn't accompanied by one of the most twisted style guides I've ever received, the job might even be easy.

A basic rule: Whenever clients say a project should be easy, most of the time they are lying, I hope unintentionally.

Signing off, if not exactly out.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Copyediting: Response to Instructions

D—: I should have this wrapped up in the next day or so. The writing is pretty clean, so thanks for that. I'll use Track Changes and also provide a clean copy if you and the editor would rather work from that as opposed to vetting each of the changes. If not, I'll skip that step.

I'd like to use Word's Comments feature for queries, as opposed to in-line queries [QY: like this], as they're simpler and have less chance of messing up the text.

Regarding the notes, I'll use the basic available information in a style that's pretty close to Chicago that I've established with a few of my nonprofits that traffic heavily in these types of medical/social science citations. The notes provide the usual information, with a standardized form or forms for the URLs/DOIs. It's a simple approach and gives the readers everything they need to find the citations online -- or not, if they'd rather not. Something for everyone, and not too complicated. My main question for you, though, is do you want the notes numbered consecutively through the book? Since there are relatively few of them for a book of this length, that may not be a bad approach, and it also saves the book from having a bunch of notes numbered 1 or 2, which sometimes seems a little goofy to me. Your call. It's easy to do either way, mostly a function of setting up page breaks with section breaks rather than page breaks.

And I'll assume, unless you tell me otherwise, that you want page breaks before each new chapter. Even without coding added at this stage, I think it would be easier for your designers.

So many people are working on weekends these days, even the salaried folks, so if I hear from you today, that's great. If Monday, that's fine, too. But I'll probably be able to start keying today.


Response to a Copyediting Query from a Previously Slowing-Down Client


If the "better" refers to the cleanup of my iPhone-generated headshots, anything is an improvement over the basic material. They're great.

There's a lot going on in this m/s, which seems to be a diary from 1900, with a lot of formatting to clean up and recipes, which are always a pain in the patootie as far as consistency-making, even when trying to adhere to the original. The end also seems to have placeholders for art, which ideally you or I could strip out before or while editing, as they only get it the way. I could always insert "art goes here." The saving grace is that I'd assume the text should stay untouched as much as possible, although I'd query inconsistencies. 

Since we're moving into a new era with the press, I'd love it if we could use Word's Comments feature instead of in-text queries [QY: like this] as the comments are easily deleted if that's what you and the authors want to do and have very limited possibility of mangling the text, unlike going into the words and deleting that way. Comments are very easy to deal with -- and much faster -- once getting the hang of them, which should only take a few moments of practice. We can do a test run if needed, but I do think they'd make things easier for everyone, except for maybe Kerry, whose typist only creates more work for everyone. Those jobs would take half the time if she (I presume it's a she) didn't use auto lists for what ends up being half his copy.

Anyway, because of all the extenuating circumstances (formatting, recipes, dealing with copy not to be edited [which does create issues of its own]), $5/page * 290 pages = $1450.

And an FYI, if I've not mentioned: I'm dealing with upcoming major surgery, which could take place as early as March 14 in Charlotte (!), if all goes according to (my) plan. Anthem has different ideas, and only the deity knows what his or her plans are, so everything's up in the air and causing ridiculous stress on my end. My primary and valued clients need to know about this. I'm expecting three or four days hospitalized, and thankfully recovery would involve sitting around and not doing much except reading, which is how I spend my days anyway, and getting paid for it. I'd also be bringing a manuscript with me to the hospital, presuming they'd leave me alone long enough to read it. (Right now, it's scheduled to be a book about Joseph Smith and his golden plates, which should be a romp.)

Anyway, keep me posted. Seems like these beach books are usually a go, and early March might be a good time for me to fit this in.

Thanks, K—. The thought of the press cranking up is a great, great thing for me -- and for you too, I presume.


As the Late-Night Talk Show Hosts Say, "And We're Back."

My pal at one of my publishers said I seemed like a happier person when I was posting to my blog. (I didn't bother to mention the details in which my life's gone to hell since then.) I'm going to attempt again to do so, but it'll be repurposing my daily emails. All will be scrubbed for personal items and, maybe, too-personal revelations, so apologies for any duplication my readers may encounter. But my voluminous email output, since I eschew social media, are my running diary and journal; God only knows if my longsuffering esposa ever happened upon my email and text messages she'd be horrified, and since she only remembers what happens in the present as long as it involves her resentments against me, she'd have plenty of fodder to keep her mind occupied, when she's not chatting with catfishing randos in Egypt. That was yesterday's joy. 

So, reinstallment one of an attempt to keep my vast readership of maybe half-a-dozen—on a good day—forthwith. You get what you pay for.


[In reference to a job offer] Sign me up.

I'm scheduled for surgery on March 14, but Anthem Healthkeepers is fucking me over in astoundingly creative and infuriating ways, so I doubt that date's gonna hold, if it takes place at all, at least with my preferred provider. All Anthem cares about is that my "ventral hernia repair with possible component separation" is done in Virginia, even if that means it's done by a team of snake handlers, barbers, and meth freaks with switchblades and their filed-down vampire teeth, as long as they are in-network. 
But if by some divine intervention (your most unexpected words, given that "it's all fiction") it takes place, I am motivated to have the decks cleared by March 12, since I have to make my way down to Charlotte by myself on March 13 and am horrified to find out that Greyhound doesn't deliver. I guess the days are over when they'll take you anywhere. I was hoping for some interesting adventure. So it'll be a one-way plane ticket arranged by my elder issue, since online booking of air travel might as well be trying to negotiate a Sanskrit-to-Koine-Greek translation for me. Last time I tried to book a plane flight online I think I bought six round-trip tickets, only two of which were necessary. I wrote the other ones off as probably taking too much time and effort to unravel them.

My early March is kinda thin right now anyway, and a 150-page scriptural index shouldn't present much of a problem.  If there's any way you can unearth it from your designer in late February so that I can get it in by the end of the month and not wait 66 days for payment I'd be most appreciative, but I understand if not.

Hope all's well with you. I sure could use me some Bagel Bitch right now. Some of mi esposa's friends claim to be coming up from Atlanta in mid-March for an early prebirthday visit with her, and her Christmas-celebrating Jewish friend will be bringing deli, but it ain't the same. I eagerly await our move to northern Virginia, which may take place sometime this year, when I'll be only 4.5 hours from real NYC bagels and a decent slice of thin and greasy pizza. First stop, though: Dorothy Day's gravesite on Staten Island, at Our Lady of Perpetual Sadomasochism convent, or whatever it's called. Funny if you look it up on Wikipedia. Notables buried there are St. Dorothy-in-waiting and a passel of Staten Island mobsters, which is par for the course. Ah, home.

So, these emails, for as long as I keep it up, will be written with an unidentified third-party reader in the background -- and since you and maybe my other managing editor pal and my brother are the only ones who ever seemed to read the damn thing, I guess you'll find a few things new. But I might post everything, inshallah.

Peace and love,

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

The URL says it all

Now here's a blogger who has probably had some second thoughts. Found this in a recent bibliography on a book about the theology of migration.



Sunday, March 13, 2022

Today's Dumb Bible Paraphrasing

The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. (Jn. 1:14 MSG)

Monday, February 21, 2022

And the Occasional Personal Revelation

Dateline, Bristol, VA; Central Appalachia, USA

If you request anything down here stronger than aspirin, they notify the DEA and Interpol. 

More Questions

 Well, this is easy.

On capitalization of races, Brown is always capitalized but appears not too frequently; Black almost always; White rarely, but sometimes. How would you like to treat?

Maybe a dozen or so quotes or concepts are missing citations where I think they should appear. Should I try to find these and suggest notes in their proper form, and then the author can sign off on them? Probably a path of lesser effort than asking the author to create them, given that the notes in their existing form are less than satisfying.

I'm trying to leave her voice alone, of course, but sometimes the incomplete sentences cause me to read a few times to get what she's saying. On the lengthier incomplete sentences, sometimes it's fine. Otherwise, I'm trying to use other punctuation such as commas and em dashes to get the same effect but make it more readable. Hope that's OK.

A Coding Issue

From the mindset of, I should be posting here, and I write enough stuff in emails that would be suitable content.

This question has been keeping me awake at nights for years: In a prose extract that includes 2nd and more paragraphs, would you/the compositor want a tab on the subsequent paragraphs? I forget which press I've worked for recently that said "no tabs in the manuscript." Didn't know if the compositors' codes/styles accounted for same.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Today's pet peeve

 Which might also have been a pet peeve 10 years ago.

For Chrissakes, if you're on page 160 of a 165-page book, I don't want to be reading about things you're still going to be talking about.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Copyediting query boilerplate

For copyediting that type of volume, presuming no complicating factors, my rate is $4.75/page, with a page defined as 265 words. The project rate based on that word count, then, would be 128 pages (34000/265) @ $4.75/page = $608.

Complicating factors would be, for example, line editing to the point that many/most sentences need restructuring -- or extensive reworking of documentation such as notes or bibliography, which probably wouldn't apply here. But if I thought reassessing the rate was necessary for any reason, I'd let you know before I went too far down the road.

The process is pretty simple. I'd ask for one-month turnaround from date of receipt, and no payment is necessary until the job is complete. You send me a Word file, and I return to you three files:

1. The edited manuscript with all the changes indicated/tracked.
2. The same document with all the changes accepted. This would be the working document going forward.
3. A style sheet for the book, indicating editorial and spelling decisions, style and consistency notes, and so on. 

The manuscript will likely include some queries for you, and I prefer to handle those with Word's comments feature (the little balloons in the margins), if you'd be comfortable with that. If not, I can always present them as inline queries [QY: like this.]. Your call.

Occasionally I'll have need to contact an author at some point during the process with, for example, some repeating issue that I want to make sure I don't miscorrect. Doesn't happen that often -- and I know authors are always available for questions -- but typically it seems that once I receive a manuscript, unless I'm running late (ugh), the next time you should expect to hear from me is with the three files above, followed by an invoice. 

I think that's it. If you have any other questions, please let me know.

Thanks again.

Monday, March 8, 2021

Changing My Mind

I'd posted this back in spring 2020.

Newsroom quandary: Should ‘black’ be capitalized?
You're welcome.

Am I allowed to change my mind? I have. Black, Brown, White, Blue, I presume (police).

Mid-manuscript revelation at some point.

And I'm coming back here. I think.

Google Docs: Damn

 Working in a Google Doc now for a national nonprofit.

1. Commenting in auto-notes allowed!
2. For the footnotes, when URL is present, a pop-up appears asking if Google Doc should replace it with the title of the site! Of course, the pop-up is a pain in the ass for my purposes, but damn.

Will AI replace copyeditors and proofreaders? Dunno. Will it replace cockroaches?

Friday, June 12, 2020

Instant Survey

Is everyone having fun yet?

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Someday . . .

I'll get back to posting here. In the meantime, quote of the day from the YouTube comments section, in response to Brian Eno, New Space Music.

Eno’s records are accidental weapons against the tyranny of the open floor workspace.