KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf
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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Elegance from My Husband the Master Cabinetmaker

My Husband the Master Cabinetmakertm, otherwise known as Ed, is building an intricate half-round bench with back slats for a kitchen breakfast nook. He'll soon install the bench in the guesthouse of a home in the Hamptons.

Here are some progress photos. (Click on any photo to see a larger version of it.) The picture at the top left shows a cutting jig (pattern) that he had to make up before he could even cut any pieces for the bench. The vertical back of the bench (the part that people will rest their backs against) will eventually have 33 vertical tapered slats on it. The actual seat (the horizontal surface) will have no slats; it will be solid. The vertical part that will show behind where people's legs will be will have 14 vertical tapered slats on it.

I'm always astounded at my husband's brilliance in the wood shop.

Updated June 1, 2010, at 8:36 a.m.: More photos added.

Updated June 2, 2010, at 10:35 a.m.: And more photos added.

Updated June 6, 2010, at 7:01 p.m.: Ed finished installing the seat today. I've added photos 24 through 27. After this, the painters hired to paint the room will paint the bench (Ed was asked to just prime it), and then the home owners will have a cushion added to the seat.

1: cutting jig (pattern)

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Reporting in From the Writing Trenches

I've been very quiet here lately, so I thought I should report in.

My workload has been heavy. And right now, I'm writing updates to the second edition of a college's how-to-be-a-successful-student-and-grown-up textbook, for which I will be given coauthor status.

I am so amazed—I can do this book-writing stuff! But writing is requiring so much more brain power than editing does for me, most likely because I haven't been doing it on a daily basis in decades. (The last time I wrote for pay was as a journalist in the early 1980s.) I get a reprieve from the intensity of writing today because today is an edit-the-Indian-gentleman's-giant-cultural-history-and-genealogy-manuscript day, but I might sneak in a little writing anyway just because it keeps astounding me that I can still write, and I want to check to see if that ability has suddenly disappeared. I'm wiped out at the end of a day spent writing because of (1) the brain-power usage issue, (2) the exhilaration of being able to write, (3) fear that I will blow the deadline, and (4) worry that I'm missing important things at home because I've been concentrating so intensely on what's on my screen. You know: "Oldest child—any new grandkids from you? You other two kids—either of you grow up while my brain was away?"

Remember that feeling, way back in your student days, right after a final exam? That feeling that you'd just dumped all of your intelligence into the test and temporarily had none left? That's how I feel at the end of a day of writing. I suppose that if I were to do it for pay more often—instead of mostly just for personal use or for blogging or for mentoring—it would feel easier and take a little less out of me.

But damn, I do feel so alive!


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