Blog

Celebration

Cartoon depicting several stick-figure editors gleefully dancing on a stage while a dog with floppy ears plays guitar, curly-haired editor plays piano and another editor plays upright base. It's a tribute to the dance scene from A Charlie Brown Christmas.
Creative Commons LicenseIf you’re planning to attend the Editors Canada conference (June 21–23) in Vancouver and would be interested in picking up a copy of An Editorial Cartoon in person, please fill out this form by May 25, and I’ll contact you to make arrangements.

Because I can order directly from the printer (and assuming I get enough interest to put in a bulk order), I can offer a modest discount—and of course you’d save on shipping. See the form for details!

As usual, one dollar from each copy sold will be donated to the Indigenous Editors Association.

Continue reading “Celebration”

Hazardous cleanup

Six-frame cartoon. Frame 1: Bespectacled editor and curly-haired editor are each holding a litter picker and a trash bag. The littler pickers have cursors at their tips. The editors are sweeping rolling hills of text, picking up stray commas and misplaced apostrophes. Frame 2: Bespectacled editor notices a "thorough" that should be "through" and reaches with her litter picker to pick up the O. Frame 3: As she does, the cursor at the tip turns into a hand. Curly-haired editor yells, "Look out!" Frame 5: All we see is a flash of light. Frame 6: The editors find themselves in a jagged, windswept valley. Bespectacled editor says, "Dammit—that was a link!"
Creative Commons License

(See the mouseover text if you’re in this situation in a PDF and aren’t aware of the quick way to get back.)

A rant might not be the most auspicious way to start a new year, but the 2023 Acrobat interface change has effectively doubled the time it takes me to input my proofing markup, and I want to talk about it, dammit. The changes started rolling out in March 2023 but didn’t affect me till the fall.

I was debating whether my old brain is now just inflexible to change but have concluded that, no, Adobe has, in fact, created a worse user experience for those of us who use Acrobat as professional proofreaders.

If you’re not already familiar with the changes to Acrobat (including Acrobat Reader), check out Adrienne Montgomerie’s orientation video for a summary. (And see her PDF Markup Basics demo for an excellent primer on how proofreaders tend to use Acrobat’s tools.)

Some proofreaders might have a different workflow from mine—especially if they use stamps to mark up. My clients have expected me to use the built-in annotation and commenting tools, and in the new interface I’ve come across several points of friction that have contributed to my frustration. Continue reading “Hazardous cleanup”

Due diligence

Three-frame cartoon. Frame 1: A managing editor sits at his desk. Bespectacled editor is standing in his office, facing him. The managing editor says, "You barely changed anything.” Bespectacled editor says, “I suggest changes only when they’re needed. The author was clear and concise, and when I checked all the facts—“ Frame 2: The managing editor says, “And you’re invoicing for how much?!” Bespectacled editor says, “Well, as I was saying, I checked all the facts. Most of them were fine, but I did find a few inaccuracies, and I’m sure the author will appreciate—“ Frame 3: The managing editor says, “How could editing so little have possibly have taken you so this long?” Bespectacled editor, exasperated, says, “I. Checked. All. The. Facts.”
Creative Commons License

Sometimes the most important editing is invisible, even to clients.

I’ll be leading a 3-hour seminar on fact checking for Editors BC in spring 2024. It will be online—open to everyone—and include hands-on exercises. If you have any burning fact-checking questions you’d like me to answer at that session, please get in touch!

***

An Editorial Cartoon, a collection of the first ten years of this webcomic, is available from your favourite online book retailer. One dollar from each copy sold goes to the Indigenous Editors Association.

Midlife No. 2 available to pre-order

Two years ago, before COVID-19 vaccines were widely available and when we were still mostly keeping to our homes, my old student journalism pals got the band back together, and over just four months, 27 of us wrote and self-published the essay collection Midlife.

The project gave us a unique, lovely way to catch up with friends, some of whom we hadn’t seen in two decades. Reading my friends’ witty, incisive, and poignant essays reminded me just how amazing these folks are and how lucky I’d been to have met them and worked with them when I did.

We made the book as a gift to one another but figured that others might enjoy the writing as well, so we sold it online and through a couple of bookstores. After selling out our first print run almost immediately, we reprinted it and even briefly ended up on the bestseller list in Edmonton, where we had all met.

Wanting to keep the creativity, collaboration, and social connection going, we embarked on creating a new collection of essays a few months after launching Midlife. But by that time, the world was opening up, some of us had to return to the office (and to the commute), kids were back at their after-school activities, and life got super busy again.

After writing and editing in fits and starts, and supported by a heap of patience, perseverance, and coordination from the collection’s editors, Sarah Chan and Jhenifer Pabillano, we’re pleased to announce that Midlife No. 2 is available to pre-order. On midlifebook.ca, you’ll be able to preview the book’s introduction and see the list of contributors and essays, as well as get a closer look at the cover illustration, another Raymond Biesinger original.

A purple book embossed with a silver foil M representing "Midlife." The M is an elaborate line illustration of a building with different rooms and people engaged in activities like shopping and gardening. The text next to the book says "Pre-order now. Release date November 24, 2023" Continue readingMidlife No. 2 available to pre-order”