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

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Run 'Em Over!

Bush in tractorIf this event isn't a metaphor for the Bush presidency, I don't know what is.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Prenatal Grandchild Pictures

This is so cool—I have photos made from ultrasound images of my grandchild-to-be! My daughter's obstetrician is "pretty sure" that the baby is a girl.

Side view of my grandchildThere's a baby in there! This is a ultrasound side view of Becky and Li's baby at 5 months' gestation. The baby is due to arrive sometime after May 18, which is Li's birthday and when Becky is supposed to graduate from the State University of New York at Stony Brook with a master's degree in social work.

Measuring the baby's headThe obstetrician measured the baby's head.

Hearing the baby's heartbeatBecky and Li were thrilled to hear their baby's heartbeat, which was recorded by ultrasound.

Becky says that the next time the physician orders ultrasound viewing, it will be with the new three-dimensional technology, which wasn't available even as recently as 2001, when I was pregnant with Becky's youngest brother. That will be amazing, because we'll all be able to see what the baby's face looks like.

Of course, I also find it very cool to watch Becky's belly to catch quick baby movements. I've warned Becky that I'm gonna glom the baby whenever she and Li bring their child over to visit. :-)

daughter Becky son-in-law Li baby pregnant grandmother grandchild ultrasound

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Vital Office Tool

Vital office tool for editorial professionalsFor all of January, I have been working just about double my usual number of hours, 7 days a week, so that I can earn enough money to replace the ancient family Toyota Tercel (a 1992 model), may it rest in peace, with another used economy car in decent shape.

That means that there are many more hours each day during which the usual kid, pet, and spousal noises can strain my concentration. But I have a special tool: one of the many sets of hearing-protection devices that My Husband the Master Cabinetmakertm keeps in our wood shop. It doesn't eradicate all noise, but it muffles it enough so that I can't make out what anyone is saying. I can't wear it for long stretches of time, because my ears get claustrophobic, but using it as needed sure does improve my work mood.

Good tools are where you find them.

Updated 9:55 p.m.: A colleague has asked where one goes to find this device and what one asks for once one is there. One goes to Home Depot or other home supply superstore or the local hardware store and asks for "hearing protection" or "hearing protectors" or "ear muffs." The devices come in many styles.


Thursday, January 18, 2007

Stop the Iraq Escalation

Stop the escalation
Find out where individual U.S. senators and representatives stand on the escalation in Iraq.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Have Operating Uterus, Am Not a Barbie Doll, Can Still Lead People

Think Americans have reached a level of enlightenment in which we talk only about public servants' qualifications for office and not about their physical packaging? Think again.

The mainstream media is concerned not about women's qualifications for political offices but about how closely they adhere to the traditional qualifications for being a woman: producing children and being sexy.

Don't believe me? Take a look at page 6 of the January–February 2006 issue of the Columbia Journalism Review, in the "Hard Numbers" column:
259: Number of stories that mention speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi's status as a grandmother, 9/1/2006 to 12/1/2006.

6: Number of stories that mention ex-speaker Dennis Hastert's status as a grandfather, 6/27/1999 to 12/1/2006.
What the hell does the fact that Nancy Pelosi's uterus was productive have to do with her leadership abilities? Should we deduce that Hastert's poor ability to confront the truth about pedophile Mark Foley is related to his status as a grandfather?

Have we seen stories in the mainstream media describing what Hastert was wearing? I haven't. But I sure have seen plenty talking about Pelosi's outfits. What a person wears has nothing to do with how she or he governs.

Yeah, sure, we're all sexual beings biologically programmed to notice others' looks. And sure, if we're parents or grandparents, we notice whether others have reproduced. But these things have absolutely nothing to do with how qualified politicians are to govern.

I remember being incensed at how often the mainstream media referred to what they perceived as former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno's lack of good looks. Do they discuss male politicos' looks? Not often.

Doesn't seem to matter what a woman achieves; somewhere, by some men (and, astoundingly, by some women), she's going to also be judged by how she looks or whether she reproduced. Sexism lives.

Dr. Martin Luther King, we have not yet learned to generalize the lessons you taught. Shame on us.

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Lunatic in the White House

It being Friday night and the Dems having gotten a good start on keeping their word, I'm not much in the mood to craft a good rant about George W. Bush. So I'll let two other talented folks do it for me, let them express better than I can just how dangerous and insane the man we call president is:

Cliff at AMERICAblog expresses just what I've wondered all these years—what's taken everyone so long to see what a mess Bush really is. (But hey—who am I for anyone to listen to? Before Bush stole into office the first time, even my family members looked at me, when I predicted the man would start World War III, as if I were a two-headed Cassandra. Was I right, folks? I was.)

And Keith Olbermann editorializes about the president who's cried wolf throughout the presidency of Cliff Notes.

Call your senators and representative now and demand that they start impeachment proceedings against Bush and Cheney now, for war crimes and for crimes against the U.S. constitution. If we impeach Bush alone, that will leave Cheney the puppeteer still in power. Call now, before it's too late. Call again and again, until they listen.

No More Rewarding Convicted Congress Members

The Senate has just unanimously approved a measure that would make members of Congress convicted of serious crimes lose their pensions, which we taxpayers fund. Now, this is politics that I understand! Bravo!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Grilled Condi for Lunch

I'm listening to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee members quiz Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (through MSNBC.com) about what Bush said in last night's speech on his proposed military surge/escalation in Iraq.

Pitiful. She's full of it, just as her boss is. But the senators are going after her and trying to pin her down. They're calling her on her bullshit, and they're saying they aren't going to put up the money to fund this folly.

It's about damn time.

Updated 2:23 p.m., 1/11/07: And the U.S. House is having Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff General Peter Pace for dessert. Hot damn! One representative just said, "This is the craziest, dumbest plan I’ve ever heard!"

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Taking War to Somalia

Why in hell are we now starting a war in Somalia?! It must be related to oil somehow. I mean, why not? We Americans bloody our hands with illegal oil elsewhere in Africa (subscription required; or go here).

I'll keep saying it until somebody listens: George W. Bush is insane—completely and utterly insane. I predicted, before he stole into office the first time, that he'd start World War III. I hate being right about that. Bush and Cheney must be impeached now, before they can destroy any more of the world and what's left of the U.S.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

My Author Wins a Major Award!

I'm just so excited!

I do a lot of editing of medical journal articles for non-American authors for whom English is a second language. Many of them are from Asia, and these days, more and more Asian authors are getting their articles accepted for publication by U.S. journals.

I just heard from one of my authors, an orthopedic surgeon in Korea who specializes in hip-replacement surgery. He tells me that an article on which I did substantive editing for him is the article that has won him the Hip Society's prestigious 2007 John Charnley Award, which is given to those deemed to have done innovative research that advances the management of hip disorders. Sir John Charnley was a pioneering orthopedic surgeon in Great Britain who invented the low-friction hip replacement in the early 1960s. Surgeons from all over the world often traveled to study under him. Knee and shoulder replacement surgery developed directly out of his work on the artificial hip.

This is why I became an editor: to help authors communicate important information so that others can use it. And I feel that by working with authors all over the world, from many different cultures, I do my very small part in working for world peace. Yesssss!


Friday, January 05, 2007

Good Karmic Prep for Self-Employment

These are just some of the things I did as an employee that eased my path toward full-time freelancing, and you can adapt them to your needs:

  • Get business cards: Have these made up ahead of time as if you are already self-employed. Then hand them out to every contact you make, in work-related situations and in personal settings. You never know who will have need of your services or will know someone who will have need of them.

  • Build a contact list: Keep contact info for everyone you meet on the job and in work-related capacities. They might become clients one day.

  • Be helpful: Become known at work as the person to go to for solutions. That powerful image will stick in the minds of those you work with, and they'll think of you later on when you're freelancing. And I don't mean that you should be helpful only when you know you're getting paid for it. Trade favors with a colleague on your personal time. Maybe she needs her résumé revamped because she's secretly looking for a job elsewhere. Help her out; she may become one of your clients when you're freelancing. Or she may tell others in a position to contract for your services that you're someone they should consider.

  • Build a client list: Every time you come across information about a new company at work, file that information away for future use. Don't violate confidentiality, of course. Whenever I'm online to confirm something, for example, and I come across a publisher's name that I haven't seen before, I hunt down the publisher's web site and bookmark it. I may want to have that company as a client one day.

  • Own your work: Make sure your name and some kind of contact information for you is attached to absolutely everything you write or edit, whether at work, on your own time, on e-mail lists (always have a professional signature line), on blog posts, on message boards. If people don't know you produced the work, how are they going to know whom to contact when they want more such work?

  • Share your knowledge: Don't be secretive and possessive about your knowledge. Whatever your field of expertise, you're not the only one in it, and yet there's enough work to go around for everyone in it. Work with others, not in competition with others. If you are generous, others often will be generous in return. Suspicion and mistrust is isolating, and isolation won't get you the freelance work you want.

  • Be straightforward: When you make a mistake, immediately own up to it but don't grovel, and then fix it. The worst you can do is to keep silent about a mistake. Then your coworkers and supervisors—who could eventually become your clients—won't trust you. And trust is one of your best tools as a freelancer.

There's more, but I must head back to my next project. Please feel free to add on to my list.


Thursday, January 04, 2007

2007 So Far, So Fast

Bang! That's how 2007's begun.

At Chez Copyeditor, we're all just about over The Cold from Hell. Thank goodness, because we're all tired of humidifiers with Vicks VapoRub, menthol cough drops, nasal lavage, and a symphony of coughing, sneezing, and moaning in pain and misery.

Just-barely-5 kindergartner Jared's sounding out words now and will be reading War and Peace any moment now. Seventh-grader Neil's suddenly a fan of historical novels about young teens—black cowboys, young whalers, nascent civil-rights advocates.

New clients are bursting out all over, one of them just yesterday, and longtime and fairly new clients are coming up with more, more, more fun projects, so I'm editing like a madwoman. (Are any editors really sane? Don't answer that.) I'm even writing press releases, which I haven't done professionally in more than 20 years, but apparently, I've still got it.

And my grandchild-to-be is big enough, at almost 20 weeks, that my daughter Rebecca can feel him or her swimming around in the womb. Don't I feel like part of the circle of life, with a 5-year-old child of my own whose weaning just over a year ago is still fresh in my memory, as I wait to morph into Grandma!

Out of the blue today, a colleague sent me contact info for someone who's always looking to add freelance copyeditors to her list. Must've been due to good karma, but damn if I remember what nice thing I've done for said colleague lately.

And this is my second day in a row pulling a 12-hour workday. Yikes!

And WE HAVE A WOMAN AS SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE. Sorry for shouting, but that's just so damn fine!

If this year gets any better, somebody's gonna have to prop me up, 'cause I'll just swoon. But I still haven't even done the family Christmas cards or my client New Year's cards.

Oh ... invite Rep. Virgil Goode to go visit a mosque.

Good night!


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

How Misogyny in Medicine Caused Breast Cancer

The recent data on breast cancer rates suggest that millions of women could have developed and even died from the disease because of excessive use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

How did this happen?

A good place to look is a book called Feminine Forever, by Dr. Robert A. Wilson. A best seller when it was published 40 years ago, the book helped persuade millions of physicians and their female patients that HRT was not just helpful, but necessary. It also offers a sobering and occasionally comical look at the misogyny that pervaded medicine in those days and has certainly not disappeared. ...
Read the rest here. I am perimenopausal, have hot flashes, and have no intention of seeking a "cure" for a natural process.

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