Eva van Emden, Freelance Editor

Certified Copy Editor and Proofreader


August 22, 2011

Hugo Awards 2011

The winners of the 2011 Hugo Awards were announced last weekend at the World Science Fiction Convention. See the list of nominees here. I notice that three out of five of the nominees for best novel were also on the Locus nominees list. Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis won both the Locus Award and the Hugo for best novel.

August 19, 2011

Taming the online dictionary with AdBlock (Merriam-Webster, I’m looking at you)

Screenshot: website before Adblock Plus
When I saw my dad looking something up in the Open Dictionary, I thought I was being helpful when I mentioned that Merriam-Webster is online. He was aghast. “Have you seen their website?” In its natural state, the site assaults you with so many pictures, ads, and videos that it looks more like the Million Dollar Home Page than a dictionary.

I use the online Webster all the time—it’s the spelling reference for most of the US English projects I work on, and the online version is complete and easy to use—but I’d forgotten about the ad salad because I always use ad blocking software. Using Google Chrome with Adblock Plus, the screenshot below right shows what the site looks like for me. What a relief!

Screenshot: website after Adblock Plus

Getting your web pages nice and clean takes a bit of configuration. If you’re using Adblock Plus, choose “Block element” from the Adblock menu, and Adblock will interactively help you block all the elements on the page that you want hidden.

A variety of ad blocking software is available for different browsers. Check out Adblock Plus and AdBlock. Another option is Privoxy. It’s a proxy server, which makes it browser-independent, and it offers very powerful filtering capabilities. It filters a lot of annoying stuff automatically, and if you’re willing to dig through the configuration files, you can configure it to block or rewrite anything you want.

August 18, 2011

A Prehistoric Odyssey by Marie Mai Perron

Cover art for A Prehistoric Odyssey by Marie Mai Perron
A book that I copy edited last spring just came out a little while ago. It’s a great story, and I thoroughly enjoyed working on it.

When his friend tells him he’s solved time travel, Matthew Carrington jumps at the opportunity to prove his theory that dinosaurs could have been as intelligent as mammals. But in his desperation to save his career, he is forced to accept too many compromises in planning the expedition. Facing the prehistoric environment with incomplete information, unreliable technology, and a dangerously unstable team, science soon takes a back seat to survival.

The prehistoric environment is vividly described, with plenty of biological detail. The characters are very real, and their motives and agendas play out in a way that’s inevitable and surprising at the same time.

A Prehistoric Odyssey is for sale at iUniverse.com
ISBN: 978-1462018666
See a preview

August 17, 2011

Editing workshop: Writing and editing for the web

The Editors’ Association of Canada, BC branch, is putting a workshop on writing and editing for the web, taught by Lisa Manfield. The workshop is Saturday, September 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Simon Fraser University, Harbour Centre. The cost for the workshop is $100/$160 (members/non-members) until August 31, and $120/$180 until September 7.

EAC-BC professional development workshops
Writing and Editing for the Web registration

August 6, 2011

The life of a writer

Since I’ve been working at home as a freelancer, wondering whether today’s mail has been delivered yet, I often think of Robert Heinlein’s description of the writer’s life:
A writer spends his professional time in solitary confinement . . . surrounded by a dreary forest of reference books and somewhat-organized papers. The high point of his day is the breathless excitement of waiting for the postman. (The low point is usually immediately thereafter.)

—Robert Heinlein, Expanded Universe

I love my reference books though.