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, January 27, 2015

Still Dealing with It

CT scan yesterday because of re-increasing symptoms revealed inflamed intestines, aggravated diverticulosis, stool blocking a bowel. Apparently all I need to do is drink 120 ounces of water a day, and I should be OK. Sure. Just set my workstation up over a trough.

Important fact learned after the fact. "Make sure you drink plenty of water with that Metamucil. Otherwise it'll turn into bricks in your stomach." Don't you think that information would be especially important for someone who is doubled over in pain because of something that feels like bricks in the stomach?

I was getting the scan done, and the radiology technician and I were talking. I figured we were about the same age, although he ended up being a little younger. After about five words came out of my mouth, he asked, "Where are you from?" Then clarified, "Where are you from originally?"

I said, "The Northeast. New York. Staten Island."

He said, "I thought so. I grew up in Nassau County" [Long Island].

He picked it right up from my voice, which I thought interesting because a friend of my wife's whom I haven't spoken with in many years and I were on the phone the other day, and he commented he could hear no trace of a New York accent. I guess it's knowing what to listen for. Not that I can explain it.

So, the doc says let him know if I continue to have problems with things moving apace through my system or if the significant pain comes back. (I was timing spasms last weekend at 10- or 14-minute intervals that might last one to three minutes. Kinda exhausting.) When I spoke with him today, he was glad to hear I had two days of antibiotics left, or based on the inflamed intestines, he might have put me on a double new dose of antibiotic.

All I want at this point is to be as regular as my dog. And he doesn't have to drink 120 oz. of water a day. Thank god.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

No Fun

If what I am just getting over with antibiotics and two or three days of serious freaking pain is diverticulitis, I wouldn't recommend it. For me, without the initial "Oh my God, I'm gonna die" feeling, it's about like having been kicked in the nuts for two days straight.

But I guess it's better than one of my organs exploding, which was one of the other options. Apparently my bloodwork came back "great."


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Today in Infamy

I’m indexing the name “Bull Connor,” and I figured I’d do my A-student thing and check his real first name. I thought it was Eugene.

Well, sorta.

Theophilus Eugene Connor. How could you go so wrong with a name like Theophilus?

Friday, January 9, 2015

So . . . So, So That

I didn't even know until a fellow editor brought it up in the context of another conversation a few years back that I was probably screwing up the difference between "so" and "so that" for so many years.

Online explanations are invariably confusing. While I think I grok it now, I can't explain it -- kind of like the Supreme Court justice said about obscenity: "I know it when I see it."

But from one of the online explanations, I've culled and massaged an example that I should keep taped to my forehead.

Pavlov rang the bell, so the dog salivated.

Pavlov rang the bell so that the dog would salivate.

Think about it. It's easier than the accompanying explanations.

Credit, sorta, to the Regent Univ. writing center. I can't imagine any other context in which I'd be giving Pat Robertson credit for anything, except a huge amount of entertainment over the years.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Elvis Has Left the Building

1996-2015. RIP.


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The 2014 Obscurity Review

Regular readers of this blog as well as people who know me understand that every day I work mostly on books that, if all goes well, may be read by a few hundred people -- and some volumes won't be that popular, if that's even the right word. While I labor over a small percentage of books that are for a private audience -- the yesterday-mentioned corporate histories among them -- most of the books I proofread, edit, or index are of great interest only to the author and (maybe) a small handful of other scholars and insiders. I doubt even the author's parents would pick up these volumes and read them anywhere close to cover to cover. The parents might not even brag about them at parties.

Which is not to say that some of these aren't damn fine books; they are. But their topic matters are so obscure that folks are often amazed when I tell them not only what I've read but, if I can remember it, the batch of books that either just left my desk or are about to arrive. The variety and scope of the obscurity is also impressive.

For years, it seemed that I worked primarily on theological tomes. Now with changes in clients, changes in amount of work from certain clients, and indeed changes at the clients themselves, the theology isn't as heavy. Seems that international relations and social sciences are creeping in more and more. One press, and it's not exactly a secret if you look at their catalog, and if you know anything about the presses listed at the right, has moved largely from the fascinating (seriously) world of the intersection of science and religion -- nuclear physics and other topics that I don't understand -- into the realm of libertarian politics and economics. Or at least that's what I'm seeing. At this point in my life, I can't say that I like the trade-off, although the latter books are generally written by popular authors, and the writing is breezy.


The idea for this blog posting comes from an idea for an email. The producing artistic director of the theatre where my wife works has always been amused at my reading list. I thought I'd compile a month-by-month list for him of my most obscure titles for the year. I've done so and listed them below. Instead, he'll get a copy of this blog posting. He doesn't read blogs anyway, but I've alerted him that I was doing a blog posting in his honor. Maybe he'll read this email, or just skip to the list.

And, please, keep in mind that I really did like some of these books. One of the authors, I have a reason for presuming, followed this blog for a while after I worked on his book. I hope he doesn't take offense at seeing his book here if he checks back in.

The titles in the 2014 Obscurity Review are also a function of what else I worked on that month. I didn't factor in corporate histories or self-published books. The books listed below are all available for sale from their publishers, which I've not listed here, but which I assume hoped for some success for these books, however that might be measured. So if you're a lucky author, none of whom I've named here, who ended up in a month in which I had more self-published books than others, your book had a much better chance of being chosen. Congratulations.

Turns out that most of these books are indexing, because I only get indexes from this particular client, which happens to publish plenty of these kinds of books, bless their hearts.

Books by month, title, and job function:

Securing the West: Politics, Public Lands, and the Fate of the Old Republic, 1785–1850 [index]

Uphill Battle: Reflections on Viet Nam Counterinsurgency [proofread]

Newton and Empiricism [index]

A Polity of Persuasion: Gift and Grief of Anglicanism [index]

A Complete Identity: The Youthful Hero in the Work of G. A. Henty and George MacDonald [index]

Diplomacy on Ice: Energy and the Environment in the Arctic and Antarctic [proofreading]

All Things New: The Trinitarian Nature of the Human Calling in Maximus the Confessor and J├╝rgen Moltmann [index]

Hidden Riches: A Sourcebook for the Comparative Study of the Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East [proofreading]

The Creativity Crisis: Reinventing Science to Unleash Possibility [proof/edit]

Politics and Culture in Contemporary Iran: Challenging the Status Quo [copyedit]

November (tie)
St. Francis and the Foolishness of God [proof]

Urban Villages and Local Identities: Germans from Russia, Omaha Indians, and Vietnamese in Lincoln, Nebraska [copyedit]

Pastoral Leadership: A Case Study, including Reference to John Chrysostom [index]

One day I'll do a post about when I get out of the house to go work at the public library. That a whole 'nother story.

Well, back to copyediting. Might be an early entry for next year's list: Perspectives in Interdisciplinary and Interactive Studies.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Too Much Excitement in the Publishing World

Being a freelance comma juggler doesn't come with a lot of fireworks. 

I've been involved with a particular corporate history for going on three years. Anytime a project lingers that long -- especially a corporate history, which is usually tied to some anniversary date -- you know something's gone wrong.

I copyedited a draft of the lengthy manuscript almost three years ago. The pages came for proofing in early fall of 2014. Uh-oh. And that was before things got weird.

I wrote the publisher today to find out if the book might ever make it to indexing. The response?

"I truly don’t know. They’ve put an indefinite hold on it pending some outcome on the homicide investigation."

As the label says, life in these United States.