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.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Still Here

In case you're keeping score at home.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Happy Birthday to Me

Well, I turn 57 years old today, and given the physical events of the last few days, I think my best bet for not waking up dead in the morning is to stay up all night reading an easy book on a difficult subject.

"Why is this night different from all other nights?" It's somewhere near Passover, right?

(Looks like even the rats' nest is hedging its bets. Zuckerberg hasn't posted greetings on my timeline yet. Maybe he still thinks I'm dead from some Facebook glitch last year.)

I recall an interview with Annie Liebovitz (no relation, that I know of [Land was changed from Liebovitz back in the '40s]) in which the photographer gave one-word answers to every question. My favorite:

"What do you like least about your family?"


Many of my fellow tribespeople can likely relate.

I remember Passover every year on the 23rd floor of my maternal grandparents' apartment building on Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn -- greatest view ever, overlooking the lights of every neighborhood in Brooklyn with the Manhattan skyline as a backdrop (although the view from the other side of the building was the entrance to New York harbor; not too shabby either). You'd get out of the elevator, and the odors of Jewfood lured you down the hallway.

We'd begin the seder with my 4-foot-11 great-grandfather chanting and davening in the old style. Family would pay attention for about 10 minutes. Then the kids got involved hiding the matzoh and asking the Four Questions, and my two great aunts would start in on the bickering. They despised each other: my grandfather's spinster sister and her other brother's wife. About the latter came one of the great putdowns I've heard and remember to this day: "Your aunt was blind as a bat, but she could spot a flaw in a diamond a mile away." About the former, she had an opinion on everything, offered loudly and with a voice that the word "raspy" doesn't begin to cover. And my poor little Grandpa Isaac, trying his best to maintain decorum.

Passover was hell. Not exactly a culinarily enticing holiday, either. All I wanted was a hunk of pizza, or to go to Nathan's -- about a mile walk.

Sooner or later, this blog might return to the editorial world. Maybe. In the meantime, I'm pretty darn certain this was the building:

And if you've ever seen the bizarre and horrific Requiem for a Dream, I'm also pretty certain that some of the street scenes were filmed on or very near this block -- although much of this part of Brooklyn was, or is, pretty interchangeable with whatever's on the next street.

Good times? Hell, not really. Although, speaking of childhood, I came to a strange epiphany last night that relates to a much earlier part of my life: my next Basset hound will be named Rosebud.

I mean . . . just in case I do indeed wake up dead and anyone tries to make any sense of . . . anything.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

There's Always Hope

"Subjectivity, if it has any real existence at all, is destined to be completely obliterated when the cosmos returns physically to the eternal sleep of original mindlessness" (emphasis added). The author doesn't agree with the statement, and I'm taking it way out of context . . . but on some level, it's got some real appeal.

The Day's Still Young, Though

Typo of the day:

"Like many college campuses, mine often hosted artistic showcases or open mic nights, but they were mostly geared toward aspirating acoustic songwriters. . . ."

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Doubling Down on the Lattice

I'm working on a book -- without giving away too much -- about student poetry, and regular visitors to this space are well aware of my feelings about most verse, even that written by adults. Frankly, I'm not a fan, once you leave the canon (Western or Eastern). Sorry to say it, but there it is. I'm convinced that much of the poetry that appears in the New Yorker, for example, would never receive an airing if not for the contributor's name.

I also work not infrequently (a construction, I've come to learn, that baffles nonnative English speakers) at a local 24-hour bakery that must have Pandora's Great American Songbook on repeat, because I hear the same music every two hours, including what seems like thrice-hourly versions of "Mack the Knife." The bakery also presents serious distractions that earplugs can't cancel out, such as coeds from the local universities. One is about eight feet from me right now, blissfully unaware of the letch typing near her.

But down the row of tables I see another student agonizing over a laptop. As I just went to replenish my coffee, I noticed one of the books he is working from: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing Poetry. I can't quickly formulate a witty response to that setup, but trust me, it's not for lack of material.

Ah, well. Back to the coed -- uh, I mean, work.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Thanks, Merriam-Webster's

Main Entry:hip*hop
Etymology:perhaps from 4 hip + 1 hop


Saturday, March 11, 2017

Indexing Thought

Sure is nice when an author decides to bring up new topics and new research in the last 10 pages of the book. At least I know it's not going to go on forever.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Post-Roadtrip Report

As a follow-up to the previous post, I threw deadlines to the breeze and made a hasty and wonderful trip to Chicago to see the Necks on Thursday evening with my son. An excellent weekend all around with fine food and entertainment, quality time with my 27-year-old (that's just so hard to believe), and some too-rare time with one of this blog's dedicated readers-- always a joy.

Actually, the last time I addressed my readership, I received a nice email from another follower -- whose own first issue shares a birthday with my own first issue, referenced above. So it all ties together.


I am working on a manuscript in which the author has misspelled -- more precisely, mis-oddly capitalized -- his own name.

Not often (I mean, I don't think about it that much), but I am occasionally grateful for having a name as simple as I do, although in the course of a lifetime, people have mangled it in a variety of ways. My favorite was when this son and grandson of automobile dealers was transformed into a v-hikl, which is what they call anything you drive here in Bristol.

My wife and I last November were boarding the ferry across the Gibraltar Strait from Spain to Tangier, Morocco. Boarding passes were printed out last name, first name. Remember from seventh-grade Spanish class that v is pronounced closer to b: