New Toy for the Little Miss

I.T. is love, at least for today… They just installed In Design and Photoshop on Jehleen (my work PC). I needed In Design for creating an automated index for a particular title that I am editing. They have this really neat function of making indexing so much easier. It’s also a feature present in MS Word but here at work, it is better to do it in In Design to complement the layout artists’ files and paginations on each book.

Photoshop installation was just a bonus. It just so happened that the I.T. guy’s installer was a package containing the In Design software and Photoshop. I was so fascinated with the illustrators’ creations in Photoshop and I am a little, just a little, curious about it.

The installation took so long, but just like finding a nice woman you can spend the rest of your life with, it was worth the wait…

And my reading list just got increased anew. I managed to get 100+ e-books from a friend here and I have not yet finished my bedroom reading list! I am super swamped and swimming in books. And add to that around five pending movies to watch. I truly wish I had 50 hours extra this whole week just to cram them all in.

Now that I have all these things in my computer, the possibilities of learning are endless. But I still have herculean editing tasks in my midst and time is something I am struggling to manage better. I still have to figure out how to achieve all these goals.

Here I am again, wanting so many things. And at the same time, wanting to be all Zen and calm.

I hope the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde split on the things I want be settled very soon.

(I can’t go on pining for many things and living like this, this is already so inhumane.)

Meanwhile, I resume my editing and hope that time management improves and life simplifies, eventually.

Works Cited 4U: Biblio-making Just Got Automated!

The most crappy part of preparing a manuscript is the mechanical task of typing up the Bibliography page according to the specified format. For editors, it’s hell when the author sends in his manuscript and just cites the sources in whatever way he wants. The task of aligning and proofreading it according to the required standards of the publisher takes such a long time to do. Can you just imagine how hard it is to construct the whole thing (manuscript or research work) and edit its content? And then you still have to deal with this additional time-consuming task?

However taxing and tedious the task, this is the one part of the book or research that we cannot do without. This spells the difference between a properly cited piece of research versus a plagiarized one. Copyright infringement can hurt; a well-arranged bibliography is the way to ensure that your intellectual piece does not lead you to publication demise.

But gone are those days of manual hassle in typing up and creating the format on each item, thanks to four researching geniuses who decided to take the hellish repetitive motion out of creating bibliographies of any sort of citation (MLA, APA, Chicago). As of time of posting, the service is for free when you visit their website.

Check out the interface of this neat bibliography maker with this screenshot here:

Basically, it will just ask you to input the required fields for a book, periodical or any other form of research source. If you already have it stored previously, you can let the system remember it and retrieve it for you without typing the whole thing again. It will create the Bibliography format for you at any format of your choice (APA, Chicago or MLA, to be more specific!).

The output is already print ready. A little tweaking in MS Word or any word processor and voila, you have your list ready and aligned to the specified citation standard of your choice. Heck, you can even prepare three types of Bibliographies to make it friendly for all publishing platforms.

Researchers, thesis makers and editors like me may explore more on Works Cited 4 U by experiencing it directly here.

I just love online freebies for editors and writers!

Propounding Profoundness with Philoso-Peewee

Inspired by the Mona Lisa of proofing (please see previous post entitled The Verdict for a backgrounder), I made a strict resolution to be as neat as possible with my corrections. And voila, I have a new manuscript to baby who shall benefit from this resolution. I affectionately name him Peewee. Take a look at my Peewee here:

It’s not like the Mona Lisa of proofing just yet, but it’s way better than the bloodbath I had made of Frose. Sighs. The guinea pigs we make of the firstborns shape us up, indeed.

Peewee is a philosophical manuscript which takes twice as much time to edit but is  written by a very prolific writer. He has a very rich vocabulary; I think I just had three new vocabulary words added to my brain yesterday from the first chapter alone. My favorite word at the moment, eclipsing “attenuation,” is PROPOUND (it’s a verb which means to advocate). I really think the author is propounding philosophical profoundness with the things he wrote.

I have secret pet names for the authors too, the non-derogatory type. It makes life so much fun as an editor when you have pet names for the manuscripts and authors. It makes them more… endearing. (That’s just my style; I don’t know how others cultivate their love for their jobs. But for me, this works pretty well.)

Frose, my first project, is already on its way for first editing. Meanwhile, Peewee is the second project. And a third one is on the way. I am already thinking of a good name for it. We are tasked to work on simultaneous projects, and I love it!!! I can’t imagine myself working anywhere else. :mrgreen: Assisting me in shaping up these manuscripts is Jehleen, my workdesk computer.

Babying a manuscript is a bit like giving birth. It takes six months to a year before a raw manuscript gets printed. And it undergoes so much filtering, editing and amending during that period. It was always for the better. And a book is not just an author’s work. It’s a collaboration of all the people who had something contributed to it: the editors, the illustrators, and the layout artists, among many others.

As a voracious reader, I never saw the need to bother with the copyright page and the excess fly leaf in front (what I know now to be formally called the book’s Front Matters or Prelims). I barely cared about the pagination or the fonts of the headings (although I got pissed one time with my copy of “Para Kay B” because it had missing two or three pages, and I had to guess what happened to the character then). I occasionally read the full detail of the stuff on the book cover (in publishing jargon, it’s called book blurbs) . And when I am in an industrious mood, I read the Preface (pronounced as ‘pre-fis’, not ‘prifeys’!), too.

But now, I have to care for them all, on top of making sure the content is good. It’s how tedious the whole thing is. It’s like giving birth to a child and raising it well. With titles that have more than one edition, editing is a never-ending thing.

Initially my editing style was intuitive. Sometimes, I read the words out loud and see if they “sound” right. Years of reading actually give you an idea of what grammatically “sounds” right even if you do not have the grammar book figured out to the letter.

It still is intuitive now, but I learned to be more specific with menial mechanics and syntax, too. Knowing where certain punctuations go, what specific words to use and where to slice the extremely long sentences are just some of the things I am learning to love. I must love these particulars as much as I adore intuitively editing a manuscript.

From time to time, I find myself checking grammar rules. The word comprise, for example, is often used with the word “of” after it. ‘Comprised of’ may sound right to some people, but in reality, comprise stands alone as a word. It is synonymous to the word include. Just a bit of useful grammar information that some random reader might actually find useful. 😀

Whew. Finally, it’s a weekend. I decided to take Peewee. I take my manuscripts home so that my mom and my sister can “meet” them.

My direct boss (the Mona Lisa proof from previous post was done by the bigger boss) told me last night that we editors are allowed to blog the titles of the manuscripts once they have transformed into full-pledged books. So, someday, Frose and Peewee will be called by their true and official names. Haha. But they will forever be Frose and Peewee to me.

Bigger boss (Mona Lisa of proofing) wanted to see if I can do well in editing a manuscript outside engineering field. He thinks I did pretty well on Frose, an engineering manuscript. That’s why I am hoping that Peewee also passes his standards when I submit it to him. Crossed fingers. :mrgrreen:

Frose, Jehleen et Moi

Frose and I are getting along really well. She gave me a headache in Chapter 7, but other than that, we’re really cool. I think we will be spending some more hours firming her up before she dances with the printing machines and undergoes metamorphosis from manuscript to book.

Oh, and Frose taught me a new word today: ATTENUATION. Haha. I love this job!

Also, I have a work desk PC. I was just customizing it this afternoon in between page proofs when I thought of what name to give it. I decided to name it Jehleen.

She has a ninong named Jehzeel, who volunteered that his name is the best name to give my soon-to-be-overworked desktop in the office. LOL. (Ninong Jehz, namamasko si Jehleen….:-P)

You might be thinking I am just talking to inanimate objects in my office. Au contraire, the people are so nice and welcoming. There is so much work at this point, so it’s quite hard to socialize. But there’s a Christmas party to look forward to, among many other future occasions.

I am amazed because I see that they like working with an unobtrusive music player snugly nestled on their ears, like me. They read fast, like me. They are very O.C. with the grammar (we’re paid to do that naman kasi), like me. They also eat fast, like me. And yes, they love Google too (don’t we all? :mrgreen:) I’ve been going there and marvelling at the whole thing, because I just know I’m in the right place. And I don’t get that deep impressions of inner certainty all the time. In fact, this is the first time.

*Yawns* This fulltime work has made me quite sleepy the last three days. I promised myself to sleep more this weekend. I’ll just let my mind rest and share fresher thoughts tomorrow.

Bon Weekend!