Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The Birth of a Book

It's five weeks since I last posted here.  What have I been up to?  

Workwise, I've started my part-time secondment as a postdoc researcher on an AHRC-funded project.  That entails looking at lots of late 18th and early 19th collections of Scottish fiddle tunes, with or without bass (or keyboard) accompaniments.

Disgruntled Song Collectors?

My Scottish song-collectors' 18th and 19th century noses are quite out of joint that I'm looking at a slightly different repertoire, but anything I learn in the fiddle books will doubtless affect the way I look at songbooks in future, so - as they say in modern parlance, 'It's all good'.

Besides, I've given a talk about Alexander Campbell's Highlands and Islands trip, to
Comann Gàidhlig Ghlaschu (the Glasgow Gaelic Society), so it's not as though I have forgotten about the old boy.  

I've also spoken about doing a part-time PhD (What Karen Did, and What Karen Did Next) to doctoral students at the University of Glasgow (here's my PowerPoint on
Research, Careers and Making an Impact), and I'm booked to be on an emerging scholar panel at a seminar on practice-based research, next week.  So - I'm an emerging scholar?  Nice.

I have a secret fetish about semi-colons

But my spare time for the past week or so has been devoted to editing the Word Proofs of my Ashgate book.  It's an eye-poppingly fiddly task.  Formatting is a very obscure science! I hadn't realised how much I care about my semi-colons.  And then there are the little comments and suggestions for the bibliography.  So I've been diligently inserting the things my desk-editor thinks ought to be there, and - guess what?  - finding tiny details that need improving, or that I now needed more bibliographical details about.  All to the good, if it makes for a better book.

The whole document is due back with the editor by next Monday.  I'd like to do better than that, but it's probably better to take the time and make sure it's perfect.

And then I have to wait for the pdf proofs, and forward them to my indexer.

Yet again -watch this space!

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