Sometimes days at the Quill go by without a hitch: few questions for Tim, even fewer mistakes, good weather and a happy lunch break. Then there are the less fortunate days: lots of questions, and even more mistakes — and most of them pretty embarrassing. After all my good days, karma bit back and this past week was full of whoppers.
One of my ongoing tasks has been to do the digital pre-press work for George A. Walker’s Book of Hours. This means I have to paginate his images and also create documents on the computer that will guide the style and printing of each galley (which is a sixteen-page chunk, or a signature, as I’ve already mentioned in this blog). I also have to print proofs of each page, to ensure that the images are aligned and sized properly — and it’s a lucky thing I did so, since that’s how I found out that I had accidentally scaled a couple of images so that they were not aligned properly on the page. How I had managed to scale them was a mystery, until I realized that the program I was using to print the images had had its defaults changed since the last time I used it, and its defaults were now set to ‘scale image to page’. Problem solved.
Another problem quickly arose, however. Book of Hours is going to be a 192-page book, or twelve signatures long. That means twelve galleys on the computer. Somehow, of course, as I was creating these galleys, I also managed to delete an entire galley — galley eight, if you must know — after I had created and printed all of its proofs — and then I apparently inaccurately numbered the remaining four galleys.
I’m still not sure exactly how I managed that. Linux is still very complicated to me and the smallest mistake can, I’ve realized, lead to serious, serious problems. Re-creating galley eight and re-numbering galleys nine to twelve will take up an hour or so of my time this week.
Speaking of serious problems, I accidentally deleted a file for P. K. Page’s Kaleidoscope, too. At this point in my nightmarish week, I was prepared to re-type all of the information by hand before asking for more help — only after realizing that I didn’t even know how to do that properly did I meekly confess to Tim my mistake. Luckily he was able to recover a back-up version of the file. The problem again lies largely in my unfamiliarity with Linux, and hopefully as the summer progresses I’ll become more comfortable in the commands necessary to navigate the system, and avoid these mistakes in the future.
In other news, I’ve also been assigned to write an article on George A. Walker for an upcoming magazine feature, as well as to investigate the mysterious National Directory of Magazines: What is it? What purpose does it serve? Why do they want the Devil’s Artisan to update its profile? I’m very grateful for these projects: it’s not even June yet and I have a nasty sunburn — I need to stay inside!