Thursday, November 19, 2009

Random Randoms

- I'm reading some "sample books" in my field for models of introductions etc; well, reading the first one on the pile, to be more precise. I had dinner and cleaned some of the ginormous pile of dishes and managed to make it to the end of the chapter I was on before my brain sorta gave out. So I'm taking a break right now.

- There are different people who teach spin class at my gym/studio/whatever it's called, and one of them is too good at motivating me. She brings out my competitive streak for some reason and when she pushes the class to do more and harder, I go for it. Then I come home and have to collapse back into bed. That was yesterday. I was really achy and sore today. And hungry yesterday, so I ate lots of random unhealthy things, so it's not like spinning myself into exhaustion is helping me lose weight or whatever. And yet, my schedule only fits this one way, so I guess I need to just learn to hold back a bit.

- A simple logistical question for the book-writing people: when you worked on your manuscript, did you keep it all in one computer file or have each chapter in its own file? I wrote the diss and saved everything in separate chapters, but when I went to print it out I printed it from the "big file" that I used to file the diss. Either way, I need to reformat it from "crazy dissertation margins" to standard ones.

- Is it too soon to be freaking out and looking at the wiki? Please tell me it is too soon to be getting requests for more materials, cause it's been as quiet as the grave here on that front. Sigh. I have plenty to do between now and the end of December but *sigh* it looks like an interminable stretch of waiting from here. Too bad it takes so much less mental effort to pore over the wiki than it does to outline someone's introduction; these evenings are tough.

- It's been really lovely and sunny weather here, at least. Sunny and cold. Well, that's "chilly" for all you non-Californians out there. I guess if I have to be unemployed and poor and writing a book somewhere, there are worse places to do it. Although there are certainly less expensive places, that's for sure.

- I'm really craving a chocolate brownie right now, but where would I even get a good one at this hour? Hmm.

- Other than that, my life is really boring. Maybe I'll start making up interesting things to put on the blog. Clearly I need some sort of secret, alternate, superhero-like identity. Let me go get my Lone Ranger-esque mask.


Susan said...

Separate chapters. And I never constructed one book file; I just did the pagination manually. (I know, there is undoubtedly an easier way, but it worked.)
I'm down at your end of the state right now, and it is lovely weather!

Dr. Crazy said...

I kept it in separate chapter files until it was (per a publisher) advised to make it one big file.

Re: the wiki: all I can tell you is that we've asked people for more stuff now. (Just letters of rec., for all we asked for initially was the cover letter and cv.) That said, I've been on the market where this has not been the case at this point. I can tell you that we're this on the ball because I've been cajoling my colleagues that we should be. In other words, no, you shouldn't be wigging at this point, but some places are asking people for more stuff at this point in the calendar. I know that this is no help whatsoever.

Fie upon this quiet life! said...

I've been wiki trolling, but none of the six schools I applied to have asked for materials. (Of course, a lot of them asked for several things upfront.) Looks like 13 out of 38 (about a third) of the total number of jobs in my field have asked for additional materials at this point. But again, none of the ones I applied to. Probably still a bit early. Are all the jobs you applied to doing MLA interviews? If not, they might not be on the ball about this until the end of the semester.

Shane in SLC said...

Funny, my publisher specified that the book should be submitted in separate chapters, since Word files of more than 100 pages or so tend to be unstable.

With my dissertation, I played around with the "Master Document" function in Word, but it also just made things unstable. So for the book I too just formatted the pagination of each chapter manually.

P said...

separate chapters. you know how I feel about the wiki in general by now. me no likey.

Dr. Emma said...

I would say separate chapters and then chuck those into a masterfile. if that becomes unstable you can just delete it without harm to your chapter files as it's technically just a collection of links. once you have compiled you footnotes and page numbers, index, list of figure, etc. you turn the masterfile into a single pdf (particularly nice and easy on a mac) -et voila, your book :)

And a second thing that might look odious at this stage if you haven't done it for the diss: use the formatting pane (styles and style sheets) extensively. so, instead of italicizing, for example, film titles as you go along in your text, you make up a new style called 'film title' and define it as 'italicized based on normal'. every time you write a film title you select that style for your title. Why is this great? because if the publisher comes back and says, "we love your book, but we need you to change all your film titles to ALL CAPS and bold it", you just select the style and define it as 'bold' and 'all caps' and *magic* all film titles in the whole manuscript will be transformed in one hit.

styles and master documents (coupled with backups) have changed my life :) YMMV of course...

Anonymous said...

Separate files - but I write in LaTeX and have a masterfile which contains all formats.
My husband wrote his in separate files as well and after having been through the whole process of handing it in, defending, and publishing it with him I highly recommend using OpenOffice - you can save it as a word document (if you really need to), you can turn it into a pdf easily, it is way more stable with bigger files (at least in my experiences when working with it) - and the files are much smaller.