Vulcan’s Peak

Did you stay tuned?

July 6, 2006 9:31 pm

And here begins the tale of another summer internship. So let’s start with the point where I walked in the door yesterday morning. I had been told to come at 8:30 on Wednesday so that another intern and I could get the all the introductory explanations at the same time. We sat down with an assisstant editor, to get a run down of the steps that a book goes through while it is in the hands of the editorial department. We also met the managing editor and the woman I had been in contact with. (A nice lady, she is older, Australian–judging from her accent and her posters–and seems to be, like me, the sort of person who is awkward when talking to people she doesn’t really know.)

The other intern is a grad student in history from the Univ. of Mass. of all places. (I suddenly felt like such a local! –which turned out to be somewhat fallacious; he is originally from Louisiana. However, I DID feel less absurd for having gone all the way to NH for an internship last summer. It’s really nice to have a fellow college kid, a big contrast to being the only person under about 35 last year.

NOT making comparisons to last summer right and left is really tough, especaially since I am, in essence, starting all over again. The first couple of days have not been terribly excitng, and I have to remember that the first two days last summer were probably not the most exciting, either. The content here is less interesting
too…everything I’ve seen is professors’ books, definately not kiddie lit! And now I’m just being picky. This IS a university press, after all. (Which, by the way, I’m probably going to abbreviate UP for the rest of the summer.)

I spent Wednesday doing editorial cleanup, a step roughly in the middle of the process. The manuscript has been marked up by the project editor (i.e., the editor in charge of the book), a paper copy sent to the author, and returned. This is where the publishing industry’s current position half on the computer and half not seems to create work: guess who gets to take the author’s changes and make the computer file reflect those changes? You got it: the intern. Sounds like monkey work–and to an extent it is, but the way the process is set up right now, it does have to get done. Not sure what I think about this.

Similarly, anytime multiple people proofread or mark up a manuscript, someone has to go through and make those changes on a master copy, which is what my comrade spent yesterday and this morning doing. I did that sort of thing last summer, but of course the scale is much smaller for a 48 page magazine.

I spent today going through files related to books that have come out in the last few years. These files start with a basic description of the manuscript that the acquisitions editors send to the editorial department and grow from there to include copies of all sorts of correspondences (lots of print-outs of e-mail and digital images–for reference, i.e., which pictures were on that CD again?). This is also where any photos, slides, and CDs or discs of images end up. And eventually, one really has to go through this mess, return the pictures, etc. to the author, and ditch the rest. So that was my day–complete with fixing up form letters and mailing slips to go with them. I know that not everything I did last summer was always exciting and challenging…why do I feel like I’m complaining so much after only two days? Am I that jaded already??

It also looks like I won’t be working full time this summer. I was
handing a manuscript back to the managing editor at the end of the day yesterday when she noted that we hadn’t really settled on a schedule for me. I said I was flexible and she told me that most interns work about 10 hours a week. Possibly I should have told her that I wanted to be around more than that, but at the moment, it seemed that they were having a hard time coming up with projects for us, that we were finishing things faster than expected. And there’s a balance between being in the way, being helpful, and being able to learn. At any rate, I’m “scheduled” for Tuesday/Thursday at the moment–everything is very flexible there and people seem to work from home a lot of the time and within reason, I can come and go when I like. So I will probably stretch it at least to all day Tuesday/Thursday, or at least as long as they have something for me to do. I’m really not sure what I think about it. I’m attracted to the idea of having some quiet days here when I could just sit and write and see what I could do with that kind of free time. Of course, since Pug’s work schedule is also quite flexible, I also like that we could just take off for a five day weekend–Savannah is under discussion at the moment; so is St. Augustine (though that’s quite close; wouldn’t need that long a weekend). It’s summer; it would be nice to (continue to) take it slow for a bit. Or I could even try to find an actual paying job, though I don’t know if anyone outside the fast food industry would hire me for a month and a half…


For something completely different, we did indeed find some fireworks Tuesday night! Just south of Gainesville is historic Micanopy, pop. 653, according to wikipedia. But it’s only about a ten or fifteen minute drive from here (these days, it’s practically a suburb of Gainesville, only it’s older than most places around here, it’s a little ways out, and they sell lots of antiques), and we couldn’t find news or advertisements of anything else in town for Tuesday night (nothing closer than St. Augustine–which would have been really cool, I’m sure, but also bad traffic getting out and coming back fairly late for getting up early next morning. (Did that make sense?)

Anyway, we went down to the Micanopy ballfield with most of the 653. As it was getting dark, there were relay races for the kids (naturally involving things like balloons and potato sacks). We could see the fireworks set out on the other side of the field and postulated that they would last about ten minutes. To the town’s credit, they lasted at least twenty minutes, and were really quite nice! Not quite as fancy as FWB’s show gets, but fancier than you might think; certainly proper 4th of July fireworks. PLUS, it only took us five minutes to walk back to the car AND get out of town.

2 Responses to “Did you stay tuned?”

Tae wrote a comment on July 7, 2006

Feast or famine? ;P
Anyways, Savannah is beautiful. I wish I could take time off in the summer but alas, condos suck.

Odette wrote a comment on July 7, 2006

That’s a good way of putting it. 😉

Any particular recommendations for Savannah attractions?

Care to comment?