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

Friday, June 29, 2007

Tell Me Again: Why Did I Have Children?

This has been only the first full week of summer vacation for my sons, and it's been a long one. They've been wild monkeys all day, every day.

Next year, I don't know how we'll do it, but we'll find the money to send both of them off to separate summer day camps. Otherwise, I'll be completely bald because I'll have pulled all of my hair out.


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Latest Granddaughter Photo

Ana, 1.5 months old
My granddaughter, Ana, age 6 weeks: beautiful, soft, ultrasnuggly. Happiness is touching baby skin.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Cheney, the Puppeteer

I can't understand why anybody is surprised to find out that Dick Cheney is the puppeteer of the Bush administration.

I saw early on what he was doing. The first sign was the closed-door meetings with representatives of Big Oil, not long after the first Bushco inauguration in 2001. I was driving around town, running errands, on the morning that I heard a radio news report about the meetings. I felt a deep, painful sense of impending doom.

If I could see this, why couldn't the rest of the country? I'm no political science expert, though I am a news junkie. I'd always liked to think of Americans as being relatively intelligent. I guess I was wrong. And that's sad.

Bright White Publishing

U.S. book publishing professionals were pretty much all white and mostly female when I joined the industry in the mid-1980s.

Almost 25 years later, that hasn't changed much. I know only one black woman in publishing; she's in middle management. And I know only two Latinas; both are production editors.

Oh, it's great that there are so many women in power in publishing. But the overall homogeneity of the industry doesn't provide much variety of professional backgrounds, life experiences, or points of view. Publishing is already a small, incestuously interconnected industry; it needs all the variety it can get.

Freelancer writer and book promoter Bella Stander noticed, at Book Expo America earlier this month, that the ranks of authors are pretty pale too. But Bella's not the only one who's noticed: see this, this, and this.

How skewed are the worldviews presented in American books if most of the authors who get published and most of the publishing professionals who work on those books are white and if authors of color who do get published see their books placed in ethnic sections in bookstores? And how do we make it possible for more writers of color to be published by the big publishers? How do we make mainstream book publishing more accessible and desirable as a career to people of color?

Friday, June 22, 2007

My Preteen Son Notices Girls

Oh my! I wasn't ready for this, I suppose because Neil, now 12½, has never had any clue what to make of girls, other than playmates.

Since kindergarten, Neil's played at M's house and she's played here. Now, M., though very sweet, is not a girly girl. But within the last year, she's been showing up here freshly showered and smelling faintly of floral cologne—and sometimes even wearing barely colored lip gloss. I commented on her nice scent to Neil, after she'd left one day, and he said that he hadn't even noticed it.

Neil and his little brother are now out of school for the summer, so about an hour ago he decided to call M., who, like him, just finished seventh grade, and invite her over. He got off the phone quickly and told me, his face wearing his it's-no-big-deal look that barely hid his smile, "M's coming over in a few minutes." She lives a couple of blocks away.

Next thing I know, I smell my husband's musky cologne. Neil had gone into the bathroom to spiff up. He didn't think of combing his hair—I had to mention that to him, because it was sticking out in all directions, and that wasn't on purpose either. But then he reached up into the medicine cabinet, found one of his dad's favorite colognes, and spritzed himself with it. Manly-smelling preteen.

I didn't have long to think about the fact that Neil is growing up.

In his rush to be ready by the time M. was at our front door, Neil left his father's cologne bottle out on the bathroom counter, uncapped. A few minutes later, he and M. went into the backyard to hang out. Suddenly, I started coughing uncontrollably. Apparently, 5-year-old Jared had decided he wanted to imitate his brother and wear cologne ... but sprayed all over his body instead of one gentle spritz.

Then I tried to convince Jared that he should play in the front yard or indoors while M. was over, to give her and Neil some space, rather than running out into the backyard to play around them. After all of that, Neil looks in through the back-door window, sees Jared helping me out with something but watching him and M., and invites Jared to come out and play.

I guess Neil hasn't grown up that much yet.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Michael Moore's Sicko: U.S. Versus Other Health Care Systems

I have a heavy workload and am approaching a deadline right now, so I haven't had time to delve into most of the commentary on Michael Moore's new film, Sicko, about the broken U.S. health care system. It was pirated and posted on You Tube for a short while before behing pulled. It's scheduled to officially open on June 29.

But one blogger whose opinions and writing I respect got to see it before it was removed from You Tube. I think she's done a great analysis of it and the U.S. system, and she did some digging on her own to be able to compare the U.S. health care system to other major systems around the world. Go read her post—it's long. And come back here and tell me what you think.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Headline News Chez EditorMom

Breaking news today at EditorMom's:
Doc Says Triglycerides Too High, Take More Meds, Get Off Butt and Move

Husband Calls at Lunch, Says, "I Told You So"

Wife Tries to Reach Through Phone and Clock Husband on Balding Head

Middle Son Whines, "There's Nothing Fun to Do-o-o-o-o!"

Youngest Son Arriving Home on School Bus Shortly; Experts Predict He'll Pick Fight with Big Brother

Experts Proven Right

EditorMom Heroically Transmutes Manuscript's Medical Korean English to Medical English

Husband Waltzes in Front Door with Restaurant Lasagna

EditorMom Vows to Change Family's Eating Habits

Family Chows Down While Relaxing with Stupid TV

Thursday, June 14, 2007

8 Random Facts

I've been tagged for memes before but have ducked participating. This time, Songbird tagged me. I don't dare duck; she's a minister, and You Know Who is on her side!

Here are 8 random facts about me:

  1. I had straight, thin hair most of my life. When it had gone mostly gray, though, it changed texture and became wavy! (You can't really be sure by looking at my photo in the sidebar at the right, but I used to have brown hair.)

  2. As a child, I could never get enough of The Secret Garden. I started reading it in elementary school. By the time I left junior high school (what's now called middle school), I must have checked out the school library's copy hundreds of times. I wanted Mary Lennox's life.

  3. I have telephonophobia. This means I hate talking on the telephone. If you want to gab with me, e-mail me.

  4. That's due to my being an introvert. Oh yeah, I'll yak forever by e-mail or on this blog, but going to parties and hanging out with friends, though enjoyable in small doses, wear me out mentally and emotionally. I need plenty of quiet time to be centered.

  5. I am an alto. I have a good voice, but I'd need voice lessons to loosen up enough to do folk music well, which is one of my fantasies. I do best with liturgical pieces. Of course, now that I'm in this period of not attending church, I'm not getting much singing practice in.

  6. I took piano lessons for years, from about third grade through my senior year in high school. I loved it, playing classical music, contemporary soft rock, and church hymns. I occasionally filled in for the church pianist, who was my piano teacher. While I was in college, I'd go to a local nursing home and play a few hymns on the ancient piano for residents who gathered there. I'll always remember the delight on their faces every time I walked into the room. It was like having lots of grandparents.

  7. I am a secret fan of trashy bodice-rippers. I haven't had time to read any in a few years, so I'm overdue for a binge.

  8. I've taken quite a trip through the various flavors of Christianity, becoming more liberal with each change: I grew up a Southern Baptist in Texas, which took me years and lots of therapy to recover from. (My childhood itself took years and lots of therapy to recover from.) I did a brief stint as a Roman Catholic during my first marriage, which neither First Husband nor I sought to have annulled by the Catholic church, so technically, we're living in sin because we've long since been married to new partners. I've been part of the Presbyterian Church USA since 1995; I'm an ordained church elder. I stopped attending church about 18 months ago, after the very liberal pastor (who got me all excited about actively living my faith) left my church for another church. Her absence revealed to me just how liberal that particular church was not, and I realized I could not be who I am supposed to be in that place. I tell myself I'm probably a good candidate for membership in the United Church of Christ, which is pretty much the most liberal Christian denomination around, but I'm rather leery of diving into another church wholeheartedly again.

And now, I tag the Peaceable Imperatrix, Karoli, Katie Allison Granju, Erin, and Redneck Mother. If I haven't named you and you'd like to play along, please provide your 8 facts as a comment on this post.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

My Son, the Pacifist

This week my seventh-grader had me write this letter to his homeroom teacher:
Dear Ms. D,

Neil tells me that one of the assignments coming up in class involves writing a letter to a U.S. soldier stationed in Iraq. Neil is a pacifist and strongly believes that writing letters to soldiers would imply that he supports the war in Iraq, which he does not. I am writing you to say that I support Neil’s beliefs and that I respectfully request that he be allowed to complete a different assignment in lieu of this one.
I'm so proud of him.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Bush Drinking Again?

I've seen the tabloids' headlines that alcoholic George Bush, long supposedly sober, is drinking again and that Laura is furious at him because of it. Who believes the tabloids, though?

But it's in the news today that Bush missed some meetings at the G8 summit because of a stomach ailment of some kind. And AMERICAblog reports (and the Daily Mail has photos showing) that Bush was drinking near beer at a dinner the previous night with summit attendees. Hmmm. Could that have upset the poor schlub's tummy? Near beer isn't completely alcohol-free, you know. It just has a lot less alcohol than the regular stuff. The Times of London wryly mentions his beverage choice (see page 2 of the article):

Yesterday afternoon Mr Bush was photographed sipping something that resembled beer, while sitting around a picnic table in a small group with Ms Merkel, but as the President has not drunk alcohol for more than 20 years it is unlikely that it was anything stronger than a fizzy drink.
If Bush, already the worst U.S. president in history, has fallen off the wagon or is heading that way, we citizens need to know about it—fast. It's long seemed as if we've had an alcoholic at the wheel of our nation. If we really do have one, the world is in serious danger and has the right to know it.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

So Much Reading, So Little Time

I'd occasionally wondered why, in the last few years, I've come to hardly ever read a novel or book just for fun.

Maybe it had something to do with my being paid to read, as a self-employed copyeditor, I thought. You know—after reading all day long at work, who feels like spare-time reading? Or maybe it had something to do with my having school-age children at home. They take up a lot of my time.

But then today, on one of the editorial e-mail lists that I subscribe to, we began discussing what materials we pay subscriptions for and what materials we read for free, and why. Here's my list.

Paid subscriptions:
  • ADDitudemagazine about attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); print subscription; because I live in the House of ADHD
  • Attitude!—magazine about ADHD, produced by CHADD; print subscription; because I live in the House of ADHD
  • Copy Editor—newsletter; print subscription; because I'm an editor
  • Lancet—medical journal; online subscription only; because I'm a medical editor
  • Mothering—magazine; print subscription; because I'm a parent; dropped this only within last year or so
  • New York Times—newspaper; online subscription only; for the news and features
  • Newsweek—weekly news magazine; print subscription since I was in college in the late '70s; for news analysis

Free subscriptions/reading addictions:
  • 69 blogs—I'm a fast skimmer; because they're funny, personal, newsy, political, or focus on issues I'm interested in
  • MSNBC—news organization; online only; for the news
  • PW Daily (Publishers Weekly's daily e-mail newsletter; because I'm an editor

No wonder I never read novels anymore! I don't have time to because I read too much!

What do you read?

Friday, June 01, 2007

Victory! Scientific Community Protests End Sponsorship of Weapons Fairs!

I'd been fervently hoping for this, but I'd been afraid I'd never see it. Reed Exhibitions, sister company to mega medical publisher Elsevier, announced today that it will stop hosting international weapons fairs:
Reed Elsevier to exit the defence exhibitions sector
01 June 2007

Reed Elsevier announced today that it is to exit the defence exhibitions sector. This portfolio of five shows is part of Reed Elsevier's global Business division and represents around 0.5% of group annual turnover.

Sir Crispin Davis, Chief Executive Officer of Reed Elsevier, said:

"Our defence shows are quality businesses which have performed well in recent years. Nonetheless, it has become increasingly clear that growing numbers of important customers and authors have very real concerns about our involvement in the defence exhibitions business.

"We have listened closely to these concerns and this has led us to conclude that the defence shows are no longer compatible with Reed Elsevier's position as a leading publisher of scientific, medical, legal and business content."

Reed Elsevier intends to complete its withdrawal during the second half of 2007, subject to honouring its obligations to partners, customers and other key stakeholders.

As a freelance medical copyeditor and a pacifist, I am thrilled to be able to end my boycott of all Elsevier journals. I am sure that other publishing professionals and scientists will happily end their boycott too.

We spoke out, and the giant listened.

Updated 9:05 a.m.: Here is some background, provided by Reed Elsevier, on Reed Elsevier and the weapons fairs that its Reed Exhibitions division has hosted:
Reed Elsevier is a world leading publisher and information provider. It is owned equally by its two parent companies, Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV. The parent companies are listed on the London, Amsterdam and New York Stock Exchanges, under the following ticker symbols: London: REL; Amsterdam: REN; New York: RUK and ENL. In 2006, Reed Elsevier made adjusted profit before taxation of £1,052 million on turnover of £5,398 million. The group employs 37,000 people, including approximately 20,000 in North America. Operating in the scientific, legal, educational and business-to-business sectors, Reed Elsevier provides high value and flexible information solutions to professional end users, with increasing emphasis on internet delivery.

Reed Exhibitions is the world's leading events organiser. In 2006, Reed brought together over six million industry professionals from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today, Reed events are held in 34 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, and organised by 37 fully staffed offices. As part of Reed Elsevier's Business division, Reed Exhibitions organises a wide range of events, including exhibitions, conferences, congresses and meetings. Its portfolio of over 460 events serves 52 industry sectors.

Within the aerospace and defence portfolio of its Reed Exhibitions division this announcement will affect the following shows: DSEi, IDEX, ITEC, LAAD and TADTE.

DSEi (Defence Systems and Equipment International) is held every two years in London and is the world's fastest growing defence exhibition

IDEX is held every two years in Abu Dhabi and is the Middle East's premier defence exhibition and conference

ITEC is a training and simulation exhibition held every year in different European cities

LAAD (Latin American Aero and Defence) is held every two years in Rio de Janeiro

TADTE (Taipei Aerospace & Defence Technology Exhibition) is held every two years in Taiwan

Updated 9:19 a.m.: The Lancet, an Elsevier journal that has been in the forefront of the uproar over Reed Exhibitions' involvement in weapons fairs, has written an editorial about Reed Exhibitions' change of heart.


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