ASI Conference Location(2017)

I’ve not been to Portland ME for ages, but I’m looking forward to another visit–and to the conference! Being an inveterate “foodie” I’m ready to start exploring restaurants online in anticipation of some fine seafood.

ASI Announces 2017 Conference Location

ASI Annual Conference
Portland, Maine
June 15-17, 2017
The 2017 ASI Conference will be June 15-17, 2017, in beautiful Portland, Maine, with views of Casco Bay, a dozen museums-among them the Wadsworth Longfellow House, a rich culinary culture, and plenty to see and do including symphony, ballet, and theatre.
Hearing your input to our venue survey, the Board, Conference Committee, and staff are excited to see ASI members in Portland, a winner in the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice™ awards for Destinations on the Rise for 2016.

Highly walkable, this foodie city has “A commitment to sustainable seafood, and the farm-to-table movement has quality food at dock-side diners, cafés and bistros that line Casco Bay or elegantly converted warehouses, barns, and churches.”
Whether you choose to fly directly into Portland or use convenient ground transportation from the Boston airport, you’ll be warmly welcomed to our conference hotel, where we’ve negotiated very favorable rates for conference attendees.
The call for session proposals, registration information, and travel details will be coming soon. Mark your calendar now and save the dates. We’ll see you in the “City by the Sea”!
Contact ASI Office with any technical questions.

The Visit Portland ME website has an”Eat and Drink” page that should provide an early start on exploration of the food scene. From Business Insider and Maine Foodie Tours there’s more on the food scene–yes, I admit to having a lot of interest in food and I know it’s a bit soon to be thinking about airplane tickets, but I was so happy to see that Southwest Airlines does have service to Portland ME!

See you in Portland!





Indexing blogs….

img_20141212_110634096_hdrI’m a subscriber to the Potomac Indexing blog–a great source of “continuing education” and thought-provoking articles.

Since usability concerns us all this article on cross references seems particularly pertinent; I’m looking forward to the next in the series.


Computer use safety

We all spend hours working at our computers–and at times end our workday aching and stiff, especially as deadlines loom menacingly. The thought of job-related injury is not something that we think of often–after all, we’re not using dangerous equipment; we are only sitting, reading, and writing–but it’s not something we should ignore.

Often work breaks consist of checking on our Facebook page–more computer use. As a veteran of computer-use repetitive stress injury (RSI), occupational overuse syndrome (OOS), or many other sobriquets and acronyms, that necessitated several hand surgeries, I’ve had to be more alert to these  problems to prevent recurrence. I’m always looking for ways to avoid the wrist splints at nighttime.

While browsing my Facebook page this morning I saw a notification of a post from Editors’ Association of Earth by AElfwine Mischler commenting on such problems. A link to “Protecting Yourself From Injury While Using a Computer – Part 2” was included. I thought there was good advice for all of us in this article. After reading it, I also “backtracked” to Part 1 as well–more good advice here, too, on seating, and workplace layout.Part 2 addresses hand and arm problems and possible solutions.

break-time software

In addition to attending to the larger issues of avoiding injury while using the computer, the thing I’ve found most useful in my  safe-use efforts (while still maintaining my work) is taking frequent breaks.

I can become so engrossed in working that hours pass quickly until I’m disturbed by a pain here and an ache there, so I resort to software to help me avoid recurrent problems. I’ve not tested the software mentioned in the articles above–I’m still using WorkPace (reinstalled along with PawSense after I had to do a computer upgrade and to be reinstalled after my next impending upgrade). When I’m working intensely I particularly like its “microbreak”  capability of WorkPace–although I don’t get many interruptions from it. Just like PawSense effectively trained Frankie to stay off the keyboard (it hisses at him–and me especially in the mornings before my brain is fully functional), WorkPace has trained me to a pace of work that makes it almost unnecessary for it to interrupt me–so I have unobtrusive injury prevention going on at all times.

For my own protection I have set the software to enforce rigorously my longer breaks every two hours, with stretching exercises. If I’m really concentrating I can continue doing that at the same time as I’m doing some stretching exercises. Admittedly, at times I may curse the software for interruptions, but at the end of the day I feel much better because of those interruptions.



Client relations

One of the blogs to which I subscribe is from Potomac Indexing. The post from 15 November 2016 is particularly pertinent for indexers just starting out (but for all of us as well)–I’d really recommend a subscription to this blog.

The post on Setting Boundaries with Clients addresses an issue that all of us need to consider–and which can be difficult when you are trying to start you freelance business.

As a bonus there’s also a link to some good articles from Northern Editorial on setting up and managing a freelance business.

From a book designer….

20161114_120021I’m sure that many of us do get referrals from book designers and/or cover designers–I certainly do. Those referrals give me a fantastic variety of work that I enjoy immensely although I’ve seldom had occasion to discuss the index with either of them.

I was so glad to see this post on “The end matters–on designing a book’s index” posted in our very informal indexing group on Facebook.

(The view from my office door on a rain day–that makes me so happy to be working from home. Chilly rainy days can be such good working days! Especially if you’re enjoying wonderful aromas from cooking drifting in from the kitchen.)

Happy indexing!


Absolute discombobulation!

img_20141209_214515I just finished the indexing project in InDesign last night–(huge sigh of relief here and immediate crash with some mindless reading and sleep).

This project resulted in absolute, utter, raging discombobulation around here. Not because of the material, not because of the people with whom I was working, but because of software and file problems. Still, the time spent solving those problems engendered chaos. My to do list is astronomical: car to be inspected, taxes to be paid, house to be cleaned, bee hives to be inspected…. Frankie (the cat) has yet to forgive me, and even the ladies of the hives felt it–I changed their feeders to a different style just because cleaning and replacing was much faster.

In spite of that list, I’m contemplating something to do tomorrow that will be total pleasure. I came close today with an unhurried trip to the grocery store to get milk. Not to feel that I should be home working while I accomplished such a minor errand was wonderful. (The down from my grocery store trip was to learn that Maple View Farm–that provides milk in glass bottles was damaged by fire so won’t be supplying milk for about four weeks.)

Tomorrow, however, is going to be part of my post-work crash. I think I’ll indulge myself with a trip to Weaver Street Market, which also means I’ll be passing the “bee store” just in case there is anything the ladies need. I’m in search of some of my favorite “convenience” supplies for the freezer when I’m really pushed for time: Dorot frozen herbs, garlic, and ginger. (Of course that choice of the market location couldn’t possibly have had anything to do with proximity to Matthew’s Chocolates, could it?  No, certainly not!)

Now, back to what I really started to post about: all the problems with files for this project. Before I started this project I let the compositor know that I was working in Adobe CC 2016. We did a file test with me saving my .indd files back to .idml. Worked perfectly. So I started indexing the first section–biochemistry–and returned the file as planned. img_20141212_110527255_hdrProblem–wouldn’t open; redo in CC 2014 and save as .idml. Problem–file opened but all the track changes which were essential to the editing staff were gone.

Download CS6 from Adobe CC. Redo biochemistry and microbiology–files open, track changes are kept. Problem for me–program crashes as I’m trying to delete and add to the existing index. Those of you working in InDesign know it’s not an instant load–much time spent restarting the program, until Lucie Haskins let me know a kind of work-around. (Thank you, Lucie!)

You just don’t delete but mark the necessary deletes for manual delete. (I have to say I appreciate all the comments from Facebook friends that helped with this problem, too.) So instead of clicking the delete button on the index panel, I started typing DELETE into the records that needed to be removed. (The compositor was kind and said that would work.) The frustrating part of all this–well it takes longer to type DELETE and save than to simply delete–but less time than restarting InDesign multiple times.

I finally “bitched” to the editor and I think I found the source of the problem–these are files that have been around for ages, and have undergone multiple index revisions  (this is the fourth that I know about) so they are littered with markers that are probably unused in the current versions! I did have a friend test on a different computer and these files still crashed InDesign. After the editor gave me the history of the files, I suggested that in the interest of preserving those files and having an updated index, it would be best to remove all the index markers, and re-index the book for a fresh start. (This is a book that gets a yearly content revision and index revision.) I’ve not had a reply to that email yet.

All in all, this has been a serious learning experience. I’m pretty comfortable with InDesign now, and I certainly learned something about my work habits under adverse conditions. I don’t lose it regard work, or the bees, but I do lose it with cooking and cleaning. I don’t get too PO’d with Frankie since I have PawSense to handle his forays across the keyboard when he thinks he’s been ignored for too long.

Fortunately there were some immediately edible things in the freezer–but any cooking simply fell through the cracks–and with it went the weight-loss plan that had accounted for 13 pounds! There were too many trips to the local diner , sometimes for meals because I simply couldn’t face cooking, and sometimes just to get out of the house and away from the computer. That’s part of my work-from-home that suffered from my lack of cooking. Usually my grocery shopping takes care of the need to see the outside world.

With luck, I won’t encounter this kind of thing again but I need handle the cooking and housekeeping better while it’s happening.  Calls for some thought on how I can do that (since Frankie simply will not cook or clean) and the bees need to be fed when there’s a dearth. img_20141212_110634096_hdr