Victory dances

Caleigh Minshall

When the proofs of Walker’s Book of Hours were returned in the mail a few weeks ago, it was easy as pie to input Doris and George’s corrections. Granted, this was partly because most of the book is in image — hard to make a typo when you’re dealing with art — but still. Easy. Pie. What’s not to love?

Over the weekend, Kaleidoscope’s proofs came back in the mail … and it was quite a lot less pretty than Book of Hours, let me tell you! Doris and Zailig had taken, not a pen, but a flaming red sword to the pages, and I’ve spent the last two days fixing and changing and updating. It seems as if I celebrated too soon when I put the first round of proofs in the mail at the beginning of the summer!

I’m consoling myself with the fact that Kaleidoscope was my first hack at typesetting on the job (other than Book of Hours, which is, as I said, made up mostly of artwork). Three months ago I didn’t know that glosas have to go on facing pages (now I do), or that en-dashes, not hyphens, signify series of numbers (e.g. ‘1999—2000,’ not ‘1999-2000’). I also console myself with the fact that there was some miscommunication, not entirely my fault, that led to some of the other errors; the manuscript I consulted for formatting was not, in fact, the most accurate manuscript! But there are some problems that just fall squarely on my shoulders — missing italics, incorrect line or page breaks, etc. Hopefully the next proofs that come back in the mail will be a little better off — consider Kaleidoscope my practice run — but the real moral of the story is that there’s no such thing as perfect. Oh, and also that there can never be too much copyediting.

But after two days of fixing mistakes, formatting images, re-paginating four galleys, and generally getting intimate with the vi line-editor, I finally finished right at the end of the work day. I still have to print all of the proofs and double-check my fixes (I’d hate to introduce more errors!), and of course I still have to update the page numbers in the title and first line index (you know, after re-paginating four galleys) … but, well, I’m still giving my back a well-deserved pat. What seemed disastrous at first (‘You have a ton of work to do,’ Tim announced — perhaps, dare I say it, gleefully) is now an excuse for celebration and victory dances!

That is, until this second round of proofs is returned in the mail …

In other, less exciting news, I’m finally hard at work on the portfolio required for admission by Simon Fraser’s MPub and Centennial College’s Book + Magazine publishing program. Although I’ve learned a lot about the Porcupine’s Quill’s way of designing books, I’m still not very good at it — so I’m creating my portfolio on InDesign. Eventually I’ll have a pdf version and I’ll try to remember to post it up on Scribd so everyone can see (and give feedback!).

Until next time,

Caleigh Minshall

About Caleigh

Intern at the Porcupine's Quill.
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The Porcupine's Quill would like to acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts for our publishing program. The financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF) is also gratefully acknowledged.