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

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Your Job Is So Easy, Anyone Can Do It

Don't you just hate it when people with no clue about your profession think that the work you do is so easy that anyone can do it without much training at all?

That scenario is why my cabinetmaker husband and I added this special page to his business web site late last night. It seems that lots of weekend warriors think that they or a handy-type person they know can whip out an intricate custom cabinet in no time at all, so Ed should charge Home Depot's mass-production prices (before markup) or even less for his work ... because they think that he, as a solo cabinetmaker, has less overhead than a furniture factory does. Not gonna happen!

When I encounter civilians who think that they can just jump right into copyediting—or newbie writers who think that now that they've written down their life story, I should be able to edit it for about the cost of one week's worth of groceries for a family of four—I send them to this page and ask them to read carefully the information accessed through all of the links found there concerning various types of editing. Then I then send them to this page.

Nearly all of these folks then vanish. The ones who don't are possibly ready to study to be copyeditors or to pay realistic fees for having their manuscripts edited.

Monday, July 28, 2008

A New Bedtime Story

Goodnight Bush: A ParodyRemember Goodnight Moon, that classic children's bedtime story? (It's more than 60 years old!) There's a new version out that politically oriented parents might want to read to their children: Goodnight Bush: A Parody.

Too bad the publisher hasn't let Amazon.com show any of the inside of the book. I'd love to read even just a page or two of it.

Publishers Weekly has an interview with one of authors of the parody, Gan Golan:
While the Bush administration is ending in an official sense, I think it’s left a deeply injurious effect on the country and also upon us as individuals. And as much as we’re looking forward to change, we’ve been left with a lot of unprocessed feelings of trauma. We liken it to the fact that we’ve finally gotten out of this eight-year abusive relationship but now we all need therapy to process what the hell happened—and just as importantly how we allowed it to happen to us. So I think the book allows people to retrace our steps through that very difficult history and come out with a greater sense of the whole, some perspective. Basically if there was a support group called Adult Survivors of the Bush Administration this would be required reading.
Now, that's a great reason to buy a book, if ever I've heard one!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Voted Off Font Island

Admit it—you have your favorite fonts. You love your fonts so much that you can see their individual personalities just oozing from their ascenders and descenders. If I've just described you, this video's for you.

Webmastering Makes My Brain Hurt

Ahhhh. That's a sigh of relief that I will no longer go to sleep dreaming web-site-building dreams each night.

Why? Because—yay!—I've finished my cabinetmaker spouse's web site:

Master Cabinetworks, Inc.

I can't take credit for the site's lovely design and architecture; that was done by a professional, the same one who revamped my business site a few years ago and who writes her own code and enjoys "every exasperating step of the way." But I wrote the code for the six newest project subpages (by copying and pasting other subpages' code and editing it), and I wrote all of the text for every page and subpage on the site. I even created a "404 page not found" page for when errors happen. And I've registered the site with Google, Yahoo, and DMOZ so that search engines can index the site's pages.

Ye can teach an editor new tricks, such as XHTML and CSS. But och, me brain aches. Maybe those are just growing pains.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Who Is That Woman Posting on This Blog?

Why yes, I am still alive, and no, I have not given up blogging. Thanks for asking.

I've just been working a lot. And here's a sneak peek at what I've been working on getting ready for prime time—the spouse's business web site:

Projects page of web site for Master Cabinetworks, Inc.

That's my favorite page of the site, the Projects page. Here's the temporary home page. The full site isn't ready to go live yet, so it's all hiding behind this page. But I'm hoping to be ready to take it live within about a week. All (!) that's left to do is sit down with the spouster and write descriptions for the first 6 projects on the Projects page, each of which entails 5 to 11 separate pages. That's not as much writing as it sounds like, because each page gets only 1 to 3 sentences apiece; the photos are the real stars of the pages, not the words.

I don't want you all to think that I created the lovely look of the site. No, a web site designer did that. But she and I disagreeably parted ways in a mutual decision after she got the basic structure set up, so I'm finishing up. (Lesson learned: Some friends should never become people you do business with.) I'm comfortable working around HTML, but I've been learning how to work around XHTML and CSS with this site. It's mentally exhausting but exhilarating too, because I'm gaining new skills.

Editing work has gone back to a normal level, instead of the insane level it was at for a while. Ed and the boys and our daughter and son-in-law and Ed's parents are all fine. And we get to babysit our 1-year-old granddaughter both days this weekend while her mom works and her dad works security at a wrestling match.

And I'm prepping to take the BELS exam in early October, to become board certified as an editor in the life sciences. I'm one of those dinosaur medical editors who learned her trade on the job rather than through having an advanced science degree (my degree is a bachelor of arts degree in journalism), so now that I'm just about a year away from 50, it's about darn time I get some fancy initials after my name to show that I do indeed know what I'm doing. (Forty-nine next month—how the heck did that sneak up on me?)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Cabinetmaker News

The first ever Master Cabinetworks vanIt's summertime, the boys are home from school, work keeps on coming in, and I've been lazy about posting here lately. But here's some fun news:

Ed and I ordered magnetic signs for the sides of our personal minivan, which he uses for work when he heads out to install cabinetry that he's created for clients. The signs arrived from the manufacturer yesterday afternoon, so today was his first chance to drive around in the first ever Master Cabinetworks van. (Yes, that's the prow of our boat that you see on the right side of the photo.) Because he just started up his company last fall, we don't have the funds yet to buy a company-dedicated work van with a custom paint job that includes his company's logo, so the magnetic signs will have to do for now. But it's a happy start.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

I Will Always Love You

Fifteen years ago todayFifteen years ago today, I married my best friend and lover.

Ed, you still make me feel weak in the knees, you still exasperate me, you still make me laugh. I am honored that you share yourself with me. That puppy-dog look you give me when I'm angry with you never ceases to get to me, and I will always happily roll my eyes at your corny puns.

Thank you for loving me as I am.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Sweet Dreams, Snuggles (1992–2008)

photo: Snuggles
Snuggles O'Moore-Klopf, aka Snugs and Puma, had just barely turned 16, and then she went off by herself and died.

Snugs, a patchwork American Shorthair kitty, was Ed's and my first furry child together. She had been our cat as long as Ed and I have been together thus far; April 2008 marked 16 years that we've been together, and July 3 will mark our fifteenth wedding anniversary.

We had her out of wedlock, bringing her to live with us when we were engaged and happily living in sin. She had an excellent academic pedigree, having been born in the dormitories of the Brooklyn campus of Pratt Institute, which has produced many wonderful photographers, graphic designers, and clothing designers, including, years and years ago, Ed's mother, D., who was a designer of children's clothing in Manhattan back when the majority of American women did not have careers.

Our favorite early memory of her was as a kitten. She loved to attack the fishing-pole-type cat toy that was suction-cupped to our refrigerator door. She'd play so hard with the toy that she'd fall asleep on her back in front of the frig, toy and string in her mouth and cute little kitty belly rising and falling adorably with each breath. In those early years, she had a tendency to nibble on my hair when she was very happy because she was being petted a great deal. When she was still new to us, our bed was a low-to-the-floor futon. My hair, a little shorter than shoulder length, sometimes hung off the end of the futon, and Snugs would wake me up by chewing on my hair.

She moved with us into our first home and learned to deal with there being a dog in the house, because we bought Ed's parents' home from them, and then made an apartment within the home for them to live in, with their dog, while we lived in the main part of the house upstairs. We're still there. Over the years, she dealt with a change of in-laws' dogs (the first one, and then a second, died), the death of two of their cats, the addition of their Maine Coon cat, the moving in and out of my daughter from my first marriage, the birth of Ed's and my two sons, our loss of one pregnancy, the birth of our first grandchild, and the addition of Emily, another American Shorthair, to our household.

First, she was nanny cat to Becky, my daughter, always snuggling up to Becky, who named her, sight unseen, before we brought Snugs home to live with us. Snugs would get so happy that Becky was petting her that she'd drool and get a goofy, sweet look on her face. Then, when Becky was almost 12, our son Neil was born. As Becky grew up and spent less and less time with us, Snugs appointed herself Neil's nanny cat. When my in-laws would follow toddler Neil on the street in front of our home as he learned to ride his tricycle, Snugs would follow them, not sure that these grownups knew which home to take him back to at the end of the journey. Later, when Neil was a preschooler, I'd take him to our neighbors' home a few days a week so that he could play with the children whom the wife baby-sat while I worked. (I started freelancing full time at home when Neil was 2 weeks old.) Often, Snugs would follow me to the neighbors' home and even try to follow me inside as I was dropping Neil off; she seemed to think that maybe she'd better go along and try to rescue him and bring him back home, where she thought he should stay. As Neil headed toward adolescence, she'd sleep in his bed with him at night, and he'd confide in her when he thought that the rest of us weren't listening to him as well as he wanted us to. When Neil was 6, Jared was born, and Snugs had another child to be a nanny to. She'd follow Jared around and make sure that he was being taken care of. Once, when he was lying down asleep as a baby, neither Ed nor I picked him up quickly enough, in Snugs's estimation, so she came and nipped at our ankles. She must have thought we weren't the swiftest of human parents. Anytime any of our children cried, as small children or large, she'd run in to let us know and stare at us to make us do something to fix our human kittens.

She was nicknamed Puma by my mother-in-law because she was a fierce warrior-nanny, very outspoken in caring for our children, and because—and this part, I don't want brickbats for—she was a good hunter. Yes, she was an indoor-outdoor cat.

Snugs was healthy pretty much to the end. Just in the last couple of months, she seemed to start wearing out, bit by bit, wanting less food and less water. She'd become frail-looking, which was sad because she'd always been almost plump. We were keeping her in the house all of the time by then. But by Friday night she couldn't keep any food or water down, and she meowed pitifully, begging and begging to be taken outside. I knew why she wanted to be out there: she knew that it was time for her to go, and she didn't want us to fall apart as she died in the house. So I picked up her very light self gently and she settled easily into my arms. I carried her out the back door, kissed her on the head and called her "Mommy's girl," and set her down on the back landing. It must have been about a half hour later when I checked back, and she wasn't there anymore.

We've spent the last few days looking everywhere to find her body so that we could bury her. But Snugs outsmarted us and found a last hiding place that we can't find. So tonight, Ed, Neil, Jared, and I buried her food bowl and a few small cat toys in the backyard. We just ordered a small stone engraved with her name and birth and death years to mark the spot.

Sweet dreams, Snuggles. We miss you.

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