You understand: the last allegedly book-length manuscript I read was a little over 12,000 words… This is pretty large, for a journal article, which you would usually expect to run 3,000 to 5,000 words. And extremely arcane: a statistical study trying to make sense of the relationship between corporate board structure, Chinese laws, and the life cycle of firms over a period of 10 or 15 years.
The authors surfaced late last week and said they want it turned around by the end of the month. That is like right now.
Fortunately, by way of saving a few yuan, the co-authors asked me not to review the tables. That was a mercy, because tables cause some big problems with Office.
I sincerely hope the problem was the tables. Wyrd is allergic to tables and typically will react, after enough is enough, by swooning into a catastrophic crash, causing you to lose all your data not only in the file you’re working on but in any other files that are open at the time!
This can be dealt with by setting Wyrd’s auto-recover function to save every five minutes. Thus you lose only a few minutes of work, rather than a quarter-hour’s worth. Sounds good, eh?
Well…. It’s not nice to fool Mother Microsoft… Yesterday the thing started throwing up an error message to the effect that the computer was out of space and the document couldn’t be saved.
On the home stretch, fucking exhausted, anxious to get done…I knew I was GUNNA DIE if this thing decided it wouldn’t save to disk.
Rescued what I’d done by saving to RTF and, as fast as I could, emailing it to myself. This kept all the changes up to the point where these messages – which interestingly enough, occurred every five minutes – began to warn of an impending (current?) crash.
Opened it on the freaking enormous overpowered iMac, found nothing had been lost, and resumed working. Believe me, there’s more than enough space on that thing.
But…the file is still telling me it’s not being saved. Same irritating, nerve-wracking message.
Suspicious, think I, that it saved everything right up to the last edit before I launched it into the email ether. Hmmm…
I hit command-S (which is alt-FS in the real world), and it seems to save. Hm.
Again I email the file to myself…and again the saved attachment does contain all the edits I’ve entered.
At this point, I conclude the problem lies not in the Mac but in our corrupted file. Even the RTF version generates the same aggravating messages. It’s probably the tables.
So I keep working, frantically, and saving manually about at the end of every sentence. Then I have to go through and verify page after page after endless page of references. And yea verily, our worthies have included eight or ten sources to which they haven’t referred in-text. And the References section isn’t alphabetized. Or rather it is, in a cursory way…it takes looking at it with the glazing removed from one’s eyes to realize the problem isn’t just a couple of entries incorrectly entered, but that the entire thing is fucked over.
In a file that has corrupted. Oh, good.
But I finally manage to finish, finally manage to get it saved. Run a compare-docs operation to generate the edited version; then have to review the 23 pages of edits. Oh, God! What a jumble!
And of course, this file, too, keeps generating – every five minutes – the “I ain’t a-savin’ this thing” message.
At last the project is as done it can get, at least until such time as the journal’s editor arrives at the office and finds my query: I need to know how the journal formats References entries for books. This journal uses a bastardization of APA style. It’s largely APA, but with weird quirks…like bold-face italic c/lc for journal titles. My god!
The thing comes out through Oxford. Why the hell not use Oxford style? Ohhhhh no. We have to get weird.
I’m drafting this post in Wyrd by way of seeing what happens.
The answer: nothing. Evidently the problem was in the file, not in the hard drive.
This paper will generate almost $400.
The Copyeditor’s Desk hauled in a phenomenal amount of work this spring. To hit my $20,000 goal for all of 2017 by the first of July, I’ll only need a couple of articles like this a month, or one book-length editing project per month, or one major index per month. That is effing amazing.
If this keeps on, the S-corp will start to generate, for the first time in its existence, enough that I can draw down a salary. Hot dang!
Problem is, I’m pretty fuzzy about where all this business came from. Word of mouth, I think. It’s a little hard to believe that the switch from a page rate to a word rate worked effectively enough to open the floodgates.
The writing bookoid, which I intend not to market on Amazon so much as to use as a marketing tool for the bidness by handing it out at speaking engagements, has yet to go to press, simply because I haven’t had time to fiddle with it. I believe the ebook designer is about done with it, but for the past month I’ve been too sick to go to the weekly networking meeting where he and I see each other on a regular basis, so have no idea where we are there.
I’ve also got to re-up for Toastmaster’s, another task that I’ve been too lazy/busy/sick to attend to.
And so, onward…