Friday, July 6, 2012

Praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition!

It may surprise you to know that I don't really do very much in Paris. I go see movies, I walk around and window shop, I sit in Starbucks and enjoy my chai and this wonderful French Starbucks creation called the donut blanc (it's a donut enrobed in white and dark chocolate, also known as what I had for dinner today), but that's really it. Of course I've done the touristy stuff but after eight weeks in Paris and a limited budget, I'm kind of running out of classic tourist stuff to do.

My weekends are largely composed of reading free books on my kindle, or iPad/iPhone through iBooks. In fact, if you've never done this before I highly recommend giving it a shot just to see what kind of stuff people are putting out there for free. Sometimes it's good and sometimes it's horrific, but quite a few new eBook darlings (cough Fifty Shades of Grey cough Amanda Hocking cough) got their start as free or über-cheap books available on the kindle. Honestly, the most I pay for a book right now is $2.99, and that only when it's an author I know(ish) because I've read one of their free creations.

Sometimes, reading free kindle books is worth it for the sheer amusement value alone. My new goal (should I never find gainful employment as an attorney...I'm covering my bases) is to start an editing service for authors who are going to put their books on kindle for free or substantially reduced prices. I know I will make NO money, but I'm reading this crap for free anyways, I might as well edit it while I'm at it.

Which leads me number one free book pet peeve -- homonym mistakes. And I'm talking beyond your usual your/you're to/two/too mistakes, which are annoying enough as it is.

I'm talking great literary gems like:

"He pailed at the sight of her blood."
No son, we pale at the sight of blood. Pail is a bucket.

"I can't believe she baled on us!"
Yeah, I'm not that fond of chicks when they bale hay on me either. God forbid she bail on me!

"The tight tank top really showed off her bear arms."
Like the Second Amendment? Granted, this actually could be a legit sentence. Teenage paranormal romance being its own genre now, I could see there being a character with a human form, all but her bare bear arms. Heehee.

"Yeah, mmhmm, she's always been kind of lose."
Really? Loose and lose aren't even homonyms!

And the grand finale....

"He heard the squeak of footsteps on the stairs and quickly caulked his gun."

I almost rolled of my loft bed when I read that one. I just pictured our handyman hero getting out the caulk in response to a potential home invasion, and then caulking his gun. Which really could not help the gun. Even though they test some of those things like underwater and what not, I can't see caulk forming part of the testing battery.

On another note, I made a stupido stupido mistake today. I pranced out of the house this morning, excited because I had been sick all this week and today I was feeling back like my old self. It was a beautiful day, and this niggling little thought told me, "Oh huh, I totes thought it was going to rain at some point today but the sunny cloudless sky this morning probably means it's not gonna, so NO NEED TO CLOSE THE SKYLIGHT OVER MY BED, nuh-uh."

About 6:00, I'm looking up stuff about how long you have to archive your tax records for in France, when Tropical Storm Debby's twin, Debbée, arrives in Paris. This was some serious rain, and I stare out the window in HORROR thinking about my poor bed and how it doesn't deserve it.

I arrive home long about 9:30, and clamber up the ladder to my loft bed to find it not quite as wet as I might have thought but still more than damp. I bust out my hairdryer and go to work, so that worked out well enough. But sadly, my stuffed friend Watercolor Bunny (I never got around to giving her a real name, that's just the model name from Build-a-Bear) got a little drenched as well.

So I bust out the hairdryer aging and try my darnedest to dry her off, too. It worked to some extent, but her fur is not quite as...fluffy as it once was.

Which reminds me of an old bear I had named Ali, short for Ali Ba Bear, if you must know. Dear Ali was hanging out in my car after I packed up my stuff to go home from college for the summer one time. I was staying at a hotel near my school because I was hanging out after dorm kick out day because of my DEAR COUSIN'S graduation and wedding. So, I moved some of my stuff into the hotel, thinking that I had left Ali safe and sound in the backseat.

Next day, after a torrential southern Illinois thunderstorm I'm trotting out to my cousin's car to go on some errand and I notice Ali sitting on my car's trunk. Sodden, sopping, with little bits of gravel on his face. I guess he tumbled out of the car when I was moving my stuff and someone put him on the trunk. Ali and I had never discussed his end of life care, so I made the executive decision to chuck him unceremoniously in the trash bin in front of the hotel. I think he was beyond the hairdryer method.

Ironically, I just noticed that the song playing while I wrote those last three paragraphs was "Bring on the Rain" by Jo Dee Messina. And who said iTunes shuffle doesn't have a sense of humor!


  1. I burst out laughing so loud at the caulking his gun quote!

  2. hey Cate,

    I love reading your blog, and am so excited that you post a new one!

    I just wanted to throw some ideas your way about the idea of going into editing, particularly the part where you said that you would make no money editing. Think again!!

    Since January I have been enrolled in a professional editing certificate program at the University of Washington. For an academic manuscript that I am editing, the following rates are standard (copied from the cover letter submitted back to the client with my edits):

    "For developmental editing, with 11 hours spent at $40/hr,the charge would be $440. For $50/hr= $550, $60/hr=$660 $70/hr= $770 and $80/hr= $880.
    For line editing, I would expect $ 30-60/hr (x 2hrs) = $60-120 (x 3 hrs) $90-$180
    For copyediting, I would expect $25-40/hr (x 2 hrs max)= $50-$80
    Thus, the total amount I would expect for my services, depending on how much my client wishes to pay me, would be between $550-$1080.

    If you combine the higher end of prices paid per hour (each author varies depending on how much they are willing to spend on their work, in addition to how badly the work needs editing) you are looking at an annual income of over $100,000 which is more than some of the typical Boeing or Microsoft employees.

    150k might not be the expected salary of an experienced attorney, but when you consider the economy and how many attorneys aren't receiving the work they thought they would, it's a pretty lucrative career!

  3. Hey there A! I just meant that these authors - selling their books for free or little money - probably aren't hiring editors in the first place so working for them might not really be a profitable thing. Thanks for sharing the info about the rates though, really I retesting to know. Editing could definitely be a cool gig!