The occasional ramblings of a freelance lexicographer

Monday, June 27, 2011

DIY results

I just thought I'd update on my last post ... After a week of painting and hammering in half-hour breaks away from my desk, over the weekend, I finally finished off the 'raised beds' to house my French beans on the roof terrace:

I was rather proud of the result. Far more satisfying than producing a few pages of text. Now that's an idea if I ever fancy a change of career ...

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Monday, June 20, 2011

The joys of freelancing #6 ... dealing with downtime

My broadband internet connection is generally pretty fast and reliable (thanks BT!), but just occasionally, it decides to stop working, like it did after lunch today. I tried switching my router off and on again, to no avail, and as I was working on some online corpus research, I couldn't really get on until I was back online.

Rather than staying sat at my desk, feeling frustrated and clicking away every couple of minutes, I headed down to the garage instead and spent a very satisfying half an hour painting some more planks of wood (that I'm using to build some raised beds), while listening to the cricket commentary on the radio! I can definitely see the attraction of sheds ...

Anyway, by the time I'd rinsed out my brush, washed my hands and headed back up to my desk, I was back online and able to carry on having had a good break and achieved something too.

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Wednesday, June 01, 2011


Starting my publishing career in the area of lexicography, I was rather spoilt with incredibly detailed briefs. Because a dictionary project is so complex and involves so many contributors, it has to have a really detailed brief or style guide for everyone to work from that documents every little bit of formatting, policy and style, right down to the punctuation. Since I moved into working on other types of materials, over the years I've come across every manner of brief from long, rambling documents containing lots of irrelevant stuff cut and paste from proposals and marketing blurb through to piecemeal notes and queries in emails.

Having experienced several of the latter type on recent projects, I was really pleased to get a lovely, clear brief the other day setting out a very simple, concise background to the project and all the relevant key information I needed about level, dates, format, fees, even the names and contact details of all the relevant people working on the project with me. Heaven! Interestingly, the document came from a freelance editor, who's clearly used to being on the other end of dodgy briefs. I'll definitely be keeping it as a template should I find myself in the position of needing to brief others in the future - thanks Jane!

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