Coffee heat rising

When It Rains…

Wow! The sheer amount of work that’s pouring in the door defies belief!

One pair of clients, co-editors of a collection of original essays, is ready to send their (really wonderful!) MS to University of New Mexico Press. Naturally, we prepared it in APA style — most of the contributors are social scientists or in businesses or professions that use APA. UNM wants, much more naturally, Chicago style. So tons of reference sections have to be completely reformatted, creating a monster headache. The press has a number of other idiosyncracies that will require reformatting the body copy for every damn essay, too — morphing what is normally a large job into a ridiculous job.

I’m now halfway through one of three books emanating from another client. This also is an extraordinarily interesting collection of his own essays, well written, unusual, and engaging.

Yet another client is having a good time rewriting chapter after chapter and sending them back for new reviews.

Another Singaporean graduate student showed up at the doorstep, begging for help on her English-language dissertation in an arcane subject. Foisted that project onto the associate editor, being beyond maxed myself.

I sent off a proposal for the novel — 53 pages, all told — to the agent who was advertised (ahem…last October) as being in the market for adult fiction. Naturally after I’d e-mailed it I spotted a typo. Never fails. Anyway, that was a huge job: to write the narrative outline required me to synopsize 79 chapters. Short chapters (average length is around 2000 words), but still…79 of them. Then I had to tighten and blend all that copy into the most compact form I could come up with and try to do it in an engaging way. And add a query, and a table of contents, and a new bio and on and on and on. As you can imagine, by the time I finished that, I was whipped.

Then the division chair at Heavenly Gardens pounced: asked if I would teach an online section of English 102. Welp…online is the only circumstance in which I would agree to do such a thing (and even then, it’s iffy). But he sounded like his back was against the wall, and besides, I can always use some more spending money.

In the new simplified bookkeeping regime, teaching income does not get hoarded, as was the case in the cookie-jar scheme. I’m now using drawdowns from Fidelity and the S-corp plus Social Security to cover base costs of living, and the teaching income will cover short-term emergencies and small indulgences. That’s assuming I can get said drawdowns: the bank rejected Fidelity’s attempt to deposit 15 grand, claiming the name on the account didn’t match the account number. Lovely. So I had to spend part of yesterday morning hassling with that, as if I didn’t have enough to do.

The North Scottsdale Chamber has folded and melded itself into the Greater Scottsdale Chamber. For moi, the result has been that the North Phoenix Chamber has been actively soliciting me to come over there — and really, I’d rather, because they do meet at venues a lot closer to where I live. The weekly trips to Scottsdale for the Scottsdale Business Assn meetings provide about enough junkets to the east side, thanks.

And finally, just to put the frosting on the cupcake, I’m getting another cold. Damn it. I wasn’t over the last one! I’ve already missed three weeks of choir…I may have to drop out for the rest of the year, since I can’t sing while I’m coughing and gagging. Went to bed after 11 p.m., having wrestling with copy for something over four hours, and then spent most of the night awake choking and gasping for air. The first stage of a cold often causes a throat spasm for me — so far they haven’t killed me, but I’ll tellya, last night’s was damn scary. Oh well. There’s usually only one…hope that will be it.

And so…to feed the dog and then get started writing that 102 syllabus. Ain’t retirement grand?


5 thoughts on “When It Rains…”

    • Oh, wait… are you meaning the annoying “default widget” box? Argh. That went away on the frontpage, but lo! Here it is inside the individual post. Isn’t that aggravating? Well…we’ll sic Jesse on that little monster.

      More about blog appearance later…wellllll…maybe even today! That would provide something to talk about. 🙂

  1. LOL! 675 words is barely a diary entry. Seriously…I use the blog to warm up before the heavy lifting.

    Proofreading? I don’t see anything. WordPress didn’t like synopsize, but Oxford Eng. Dictionary likes it. So do I…am using it on my students this spring. That’ll scare ’em!

    Thot i wuz gonna die yesterday…worked till after 10 pm again and then got an email from the chair pointing out that the 102 syllabus — TWENTY-ONE EFFING PAGES LONG — contained passages of boilerplate that go with the 101 course, not the 102 course. Like…does he really think students read that drivel? They look puzzled when you tell them you don’t accept late papers….partly because anything of substance in your syllabus is smushed in between layer after layer of irrelevant boilerplate.

    Client’s copy contains articles that either were not vetted by authors or are older versions…we don’t seem to be able to figure out which. She verging on a nervous breakdown by noon, we decided to delay untangling that mess until next Monday, when she gets back into town. Meanwhile, I’m drudging through converting bibliographies to Chicago…from APA, from MLA, from some writer’s imaginations. Finding many errors in documentation — how do you get to be a Full Bull when you’re too damn careless to get the full bibliographical documentation — and get it right — for your research?

    There must be something about career-building that I’m missing…

  2. Your post made me think about the sheer volume of written words being produced EVERY SECOND around the world.

    And here are a few more.

    Amazing, and kudos for all the extra work coming in.

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