changeling: (writing)
Neil Gaiman talks in this video about there being three reasons why people keep hiring freelancers:
  • The work is good
  • The work is on time
  • You're a pleasure to deal with

And, he says, you don't even have to be all three! People will deal with you being unpleasant if the work is good and always on time!

(And so on.)


And now I know, working in the industry. I am mostly dealing with freelancers indirectly, but it's SO TRUE. It's safest to be all three, of course, but people will forgive one of the three if you excel at the other two.
changeling: (writing)
Sitting here waiting for a podmate to GO HOME so I can put on some music to jive to while I knock over some more work on the Project of Doom (I forgot my headphones to my music player today).
For all I know, she's sitting there thinking the same thing.
changeling: (sick)
I'm suffering rather at the moment from what my folkie friends and I have been calling Typhoid Kevan. Kevan came to the National Folk Festival (over the Easter weekend) with some sort of nasty respiratory infection and spread it around with every affectionate bear hug he gave, and he gave a lot. So I missed the last night of the festival because I was in bed by eight (but Cherie and I watched the first episode of the new season of Doctor Who together, so that was something).

The next day I had to help pack up camp and drive home with Jus – he kindly did most of the eightish hours' drive, though. I did about an hour and a half. Let me tell you: when you're feeling sick and wobbly, the last thing you want to do is stand in the cold and pull up tent pegs.

So then I stayed at home for two days. It was nice apart from a serious attack of Guilt from my Guilt Gnome, who doesn't really believe that I'm allowed to take sick leave, and is afraid that I'm going to be fired for it. There are Reasons for this, unfortunately, but I wasn't really feeling up to having a monster conversation with him/her/it about it yesterday.

Today I'm back at work. I have lots of things on my plate at the moment, the most immediate of which is processing our Annual Reprints. I came in to a desk entirely covered in the sodding things. Piles of textbooks, all with print-outs of corrections in place.

The interesting thing about reprints is that all the pages I have to check pretty much look the same. Some of them are printed and some of them are emailed PDFs, but the corrections should just look like the printed book except fixed. So if someone leaves a pile of books on my desk with no note and pages inside, I'm going to check them against the marked up book and notate my spreadsheet.

Guess what! The piles were just the reprints guy leaving a bunch of books I'd already done two weeks ago on my desk! AWESOME. Just wasted my morning.

I would like to go back to bed now, please.
changeling: (Default)
Yesterday it worked;
Today, InDesign won't start.
Macs are cruel like that.


ARGH. I am THISCLOSE to just saying "Fuck it", and going home. In fact, I think I will, since the main thing I have to do today is work on a manuscript in InDesign. I'll have to go via Steph's work to get her keys, though. Wish I knew where mine were.
changeling: (Default)
Everytime I think I have reached the depths of my hate and excruciating boredom with the maps for this bird book, I sink a little deeper. It's like an unpleasant sexual metaphor that I'm not even going to type out.

Steph just remarked on how crazy I am (due to a highly entertaining conversation that neither of us can remember, despite the fact that it only took place five minutes ago, but man, it was funny) and asked if I'm like this every day when I'm home by myself. The answer is, at least when working on this book, yes. Yes I am.

She looked over my shoulder at the book whose maps I'm scandalously ripping off.

"Which one are you doing?"

I pointed at a map, then glanced over at the bird accompanying it. Brown Falcon. Which is fine, and man, more power to the Brown-falconites. Except I'm meant to be working on the Nankeen Kestral, the entry below that one. And I've been working on the wrong map for three hours today. And, in fact, I worked on the wrong map for an hour yesterday.

I have no words for my anguish.

And now, Steph's contribution to this post: pants!
changeling: (Default)
My boss has just sent me an email about Book B. The author has just sent a list of the order the birds should go in, so that the new and old material is admixed!

There are not enough synonyms for 'no' in the English language. The book is freaking well TYPESET already. It was due to go to the printer by the end of last month!!! It's just waiting on me to finish the SIXTY bloody maps! I don't want to waste another day rejigging the entire page order!

This is IT. This has TORN IT. Tonight I'm going to start applying for new jobs. Babe, want to help?
changeling: (Default)
I want to get the happiness-making thing out of the way first, to remind myself that not all sucks. This comic, particularly the final two panels, made me laugh. Funniest thing ever. I wanted to send it to my science-y friends, but I wasn't sure whether they'd sufficiently appreciate it outside the context of the larger comic. Maybe I'll send it to them anyway.

So: down to the suck.

I'm behind sending three – THREE! – books to the printer due to pleurisy, and, frankly, the authors. One (book A) is over a month behind because I didn't get the Ms for typesetting until half a week after it was due to be sent off. One (book B) is a heavily picture-based book, that I'm having to create over SIXTY bird-territory maps for. One (book C) is a novel, the third this author has published with us. It has been dragged behind deadline due to my boss's insistence on getting the first and second books done.

Now book A's author has sent me an email that, teehee!, she has forgotten to include some stuff in the book! And book B's author has emailed to say that there's a bird he's completely forgotten to include, and he wants it in! These are books, by the way, that are pretty much typeset already. If you don't see why this is a problem, you've never used any typesetting program, and have never worked for a publisher. MS Word does not count.

Right now I'm starting to get sympathy for the American culture of ultraviolence. Book B already has one bird that I'm not sure we can include, because we have text for it, but an image for a similarly named bird. We won't have an image for this new bird. And I haven't even finished all the maps for the birds that we already were including.

I think I want to just finish the novel and get the other two to the printer when I can – hopefully sometime before next year.

Maybe Steph is right. Maybe I need to find another job, where my cortisol levels aren't so high that they live in Amsterdam. It can't be any good for my immune system.

As Charlie Brown would say: Good grief.

Home now.

Jun. 18th, 2007 05:31 pm
changeling: (Default)
My shirt is made of WIN today, and frankly, so am I. I've created two alternate covers for the play I've been typesetting, including making a composite image out of engraved, out-of-copyright images. I think it looks awesome. I may have a headache, but I have one more thing to add to the design portfolio I'm putting together for use at prospective jobs. Yay!

I feel ill. I think I should have declined my boss's offer of a drink. I do not think that soy hot chocolates and I are on speaking terms.

I tried to find a new notebook for my morning pages today, and instead found a little notebook made up of envelopes for storing your receipts in for tax-deductions. This will be enormously useful; I'll no longer store them in my pile of paper where they might get lost. Woohoo!
changeling: (Default)
I haven't updated for awhile, and I didn't even notice (much), because I've been updating Reynard's Feast like a madwoman. I still have Indonesian Tempeh, Nettle Soup and Golden Lasagne to type up. I'm trying to get them up while the foods are still in season, so I should get those up in the next week or so.

I'm still working on The Design Book From Hell. It's frustrating, because every time I think I'm nearly done, the finish line gets moved back a few metres. Guess I'm not going to get that other book completely finished this week (not that I thought I would).

Crap, I've just remembered that I was planning on getting in to work in an hour (in case the author drops by to sign off), which means I need to leave now. Well, actually I was going to get in at 10, but that's completely unrealistic.

Dammit, I'm no damn good in the morning!

Also, I really like Tori Amos' new song "Big Wheel", but it is very earwormy and then gets stuck in my brainmeats.

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