The official blog of Susan Landis-Steward, writer of whatever she likes, and co-founder of Puddletown Publishing Group

Posts tagged ‘indexing’

One More Thing before Bed

right now I have four books on my desk. Well, not exactly on my desk, but on my calendar. Two for authors who contacted me, too from my bread-and-butter customer, a major publishing house. Under normal circumstances, I can do 500-700 pages a week.  So far this week, I’ve done less than 100. Which means I have 300 more pages to do by Sunday then need to do over 100 as quickly as possible for one of the authors.  Then I start on another book for my primary customer and another book for an author. And knowing my  primary client, they’ll sneak another book in there somewhere. I like being busy, I like the money, I love my work. What I don’t like is a broken  wrist. I know, I know, I’m whining. I don’t know which I like better, whining or playing with the software.  But it hasn’t been a week yet so I get to whine some more.  I figure I should get at least two weeks to whine, more if the news is bad on Monday. Six months in a cast  deserves at least a month of whining, with intermittent whining at four-week intervals. So if you happen to be one of the lucky people who know me in real life prepare for a long, hard  whine.

oh yeah, I remember where I was going with this. The floor in our new house is buckling, and needs to be ripped out. Our son-in-law, who installed the floor, is coming on Thursday to fix it. I think it’s a bigger job  than can be done in two days. I’d be ripping floor out, but my main ripping instrument is in the cast. I realize I have a  matched set, but after half a century of being purely decorative, my left hand is stretched to its limits. I am learning to move a mouse with my left hand, to get a fork all the way to my mouth, and to pick up a cup without spilling water all over the floor.

Someone assured me today that this will actually be good for my brain. You know left brain right brain. That crap. But here’s a scary thought. Although I am right handed and therefore should be left brained, my right brain seems to be doing just fine. In fact, it’s in overdrive. I tend to be wildly creative, mostly in the making up of absurd theories that tend to drive the people around me insane. If my right brain is strengthened by the incessant use of my left arm, we could all be in trouble.

You guys all better hope that I get my right hand back soon. I promise, if I’m in a cast for six months, that I will come to your house and haunt you with my whining. Now.   TIME FOR BED!

Where HAVE I been?

Not at my desk. Which is frightening because I have A LOT of work to do. But the Divine Miss M aka Maggie has been keeping me busy. College doesn’t start until late September but she’s off for a month in Kansas with her older sister and she HAD to get her new computer and iPod before she leaves. So Monday, I dropped a large amount of money and a full day buying her a new MacBook.

Yesterday, when I COULD have worked, I spent most of the day either in bed with “fibro flu” or in the recliner knitting. This is not to say I didn’t work. I don’t have the luxury of not working at all because I have two substantial projects on my desk, both in the early stages, both due a week from today. So I work most of the time I’m not with the kid or sleeping. I even eat most of my meals at my desk.

It’s raining. It is, last time I checked, August 20th. This is a day I should be complaining about high temps and moving all the fans in the house into my office. Instead, it’s raining. And rain means fibro pain and general irritability on my part. So be glad you have some distance between us because right now I am not a fun person.

More later. Got to get some work done. Got a quota of pages to fill……30 on the theology book, 40 on the education book for a total of 70 pages. And, actually, I should try to double that because tomorrow I will be at a hospital on the other side of the city sitting with a friend whose husband is having open heart surgery. If you are the praying sort, please pray for Elizabeth, Jeff, and their daughter, Candace.

Red Flag Warning

If you go to the NOAA weather site, the red blotch you see on the map is ME. No, it’s not acne. I’m way to old for that. And it’s not heat rash. Yet. It probably will be by this time tomorrow. My first thought was “red skies at morning, sailors take warning. Red skies at night, sailors delight.” But then I read the stupid legend and it means HTH! That’s shortcut for hotter than hell. And extreme fire danger.

I’m sitting here by the creek where it’s lush and green and cool. But I know that tomorrow it will be lush and green and HTH. Yep, folks, it’s going into the high 90s/low 100s tomorrow and this time I know about it. Prepare for the whining.

Why? No A/C. One measly fan. Just tonight we talked about getting the ceiling fans we’re wired for but I think it’s a bit late. Which means tomorrow I will be sitting in my own easy-bake oven of an office, finishing up the last 80 pages of a book full of statistics (math! heat! my two least favorite things!). No trip to the river. No scootering to create my own A/C. No sitting on the shady deck with my knitting or a good book. Maybe I’ll go the grocery store and stick my head in something cool. But mostly I will be working.

Did I mention I love my work? NOT WHEN IT’S BLOODY HOT.

The Queue

As of 9:30 am, I now have four books in the indexing queue. Two I start tomorrow. Being double booked is nice for the bank account but hard on the eyes, mind, and body. Fortunately, they have different due dates.

Ah, well, just glad I’m working a lot. Not sure I’ll ever retire. I like what I do, my boss is fantastic, and access to my bed is a real plus. Also being able to work at night when it’s not hot is great.

Midnight Musings

It’s actually 1 am and I JUST finished indexing the Portfolio Management book. It was a long haul, and chapters came late, and it’s due tomorrow. It’s still too hot so I’m drinking Mike’s hard lemonade. Over ice. With a straw. On the presumption that the faster you drink it, the faster it will put you to sleep. I want to sleep. I crave sleep. But I can never sleep right after working and I can NEVER sleep when it’s too damned hot. So booze.

Jenny and the evil cat generate a lot of heat and they are already in bed. And Jenny believes that a comforter and a quilt are necessary even when it’s too damned hot. I’d sleep in the guest room but we just moved in, the barn was just built, and the guest room is full of crap that belongs in the barn. For example, a crib. We have no use for a crib, but we are hopeful that there will be more grandkids someday, so we keep a crib. Actually, the crib I slept in. It’s very cool because it folds. But it still takes up too much room. All the art is also on the guest room bed and somewhere in there are the discs to fix the problem this computer is having with my laser printer. I should move stuff to the barn. But it’s too damned hot.

Besides, I have three books in the index queue and had an email from an author in my inbox when we got home. So that may be four books in the queue.  I’m not sure what is going on but suddenly I’m getting almost more work than I can handle. It’s nice, but it means I’m not doing much else. Well, catching up on some bills, putting some away for taxes, saving a little. But I’d like to ride my scooter more! And record all the old cassette tapes into iTunes. And hang the art.

I do get some extra points because I worked for awhile on the novel I’m writing. I’m really enjoying this one, although I’m having to do a lot of research for it, and try to work on it daily. Which means once a week mostly, usually just the night before I need pages for writer’s group. Which is tomorrow. And I’m going to ride my scooter there. And send the Portfolio book in. AND THE INVOICE. My favorite part.

So, the Mike’s is gone and I’m still here.  Can’t have another because, due to a brain injury six years ago, I take every drug known to man as long as it ends in -zepam. Drugs to fall asleep, drugs to stay asleep, drugs to keep me from kicking Jenny out of bed, drugs to keep me from acting out my dreams (Jenny REALLY hates that one), and drugs just for the sake of drugs. Brain injuries are interesting, and some day I’ll write more about it, but the upshot for me was fibromyalgia and six? seven? sleep disorders. I’ve lost track. All I know is there are EEGs out there of me sleeping and I was a mess before the drugs. Now I’m not a mess, but I am drugged.

And the dog has decided that it is her job to alert me if Jenny leaves the house. Which she does, four days a week, at a bit before six am. Now, it’s 1 am plus and I’m still up. I’m not fond of six am. I’m not even fond of 8 am. And I’m particularly not fond of a dog barking in my face, demanding I open the door just so the dog can sit on the porch and stare at the driveway, willing Jenny to come back. And she doesn’t even like Jenny best. But she likes to annoy me most.


I love my work. I commute from the bedroom to my office (about 30 feet), park the dog on a Turkish kilim, and go to work. First I check my email and recharge my iPod. Next I see what folks are twittering about. Maybe I pay a bill. Get some breakfast. Refill my drink. Take the dog outside.

You see where this is going, don’t you? I love my work. Once I get around to it.

Working for yourself seems to be everyone’s dream. But it’s not easy. Oh, sure, I get to sleep in, stay up late, work when I feel like it. But my only office buddy has vocabulary limited to sit, down, outside, car, treat, and no. (Although, during my cube rat days I had some coworkers who were about the same. Even some supervisors.)

And, if I’m not procrastinating, I’m forgetting to move until my legs fall asleep and then I have to stump around until they wake up. Still, as my sister observed, I have the perfect job for me. I get paid to read books and play with a computer. In fact, when I’m doing a particularly dry tome on, say, econometrics or portfolio construction, I often reward myself with real computer play. Two chapters of this book buys me 30 minutes of World of Warcraft. Finishing my quota for the day nets me a scoot down the road or some more WoW time.

And, if I’m really smoking, and manage to actually work on my current write-it-myself book, I can do pretty much what I damn well please for the rest of the day.

However, I tend to procrastinate and find myself where I am now: 400 pages into a book that is supposed to be 622 pages and is definitely due on Wednesday. However, I have 613 pages downloaded into my computer and the project manager says there are four more chapters to come. Sounds more like 700 or 800 pages. Which means I’m way behind schedule. Which means the sun can shine all it wants, I’m not going out in it expect to meet the dog’s biological requirements.

Flip side: more pages to index, more money. Silver lining, folks.

Now, time to get some marionberry shortcake (my favorite) and pull a better-part-of-the-nighter.

Today’s quota: 200 pages. Done: 141 pages. 59 to go!

Books in the indexing queue: Three after this one. No rest for the wicked.

Books I’m writing:  Four. One in final edits, one on hiatus because I lost my way, one on hold until the one on hiatus is finished because the first three are a series, and one roughed out waiting for me to do the hard part: research. All are mysteries. Two are theological in nature. All involve lesbians.

Saving Money, Odd Ways To

The title of this post is an index entry. Not a great one, but an example of what I do all day. Anyway, I just got this as a Twitter from someone and I like it. It reminds me of my mother. She saved one dollar bills. When she had twenty, she would paper clip them together and put them in an envelope. When the envelope had five packs of ones, she would put it in a shoebox. When she died, we found THOUSANDS of dollars. Literally.

However, I think this approach makes better sense and I’m going to give it a try.
The Five Dollar Plan

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