Yes, I’m missing in action. In all senses of that phrase. I am getting my ass kicked a bit at the moment as I’m proofing three final projects: a 130-page magazine, a nearly 400-page non-fiction book and a novel. Proofing is an odd aspect of my profession, and might very well be my least favorite. Mainly for two reasons: It saps nearly every ounce of creativity and it is not my natural talent.
I’ve known editors who I swear were born “proofers” — more science than art, impeccable memory, always missed the forest for the trees, letter-by-letter readers. Just a few of the skills that great proofers need. I have few of those. I proof by gritting my teeth and slowing myself down, by listening to every word read aloud from Word into my headphones (by a sexy female voice none-the-less) and by not allowing myself to look at the next word until she says it. It’s slow, arduous and I’m always incredibly afraid that I’m going to miss something.
Add those proofing projects to the genre class (which I just finished teaching), the poetry class (which I just finished taking), a sickly household (which seems to be never-ending this year), two more proofing projects on the horizon (which I’m already dreading, a bit) and the other projects I’m juggling at the moment (which seem to be multiplying even as I whack away at them), and you can see why the word blog has fallen out of my vocabulary.
If you want tips on ie vs. eg, or lay vs. lie, or whether you should use an N dash or a M dash, or even the proper spellings of anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and antidepressants and antioxidants…well, then, I’m your girl.
Few more days, few more projects, few more hours of sleep and I hope to be back with something creative and funny, something inspired even. Something pretty and witty and wise. (And, of course, grammatically perfect).