#amwriting

Friday, 30 September 2011 20:37
strange_complex: (Snape writing)
I'm afraid I am completely rubbish at livejournal at the moment, because I am busy trying to meet article deadlines - and this state of affairs is guaranteed to last until at least November. Still, the good news is that I submitted one article today, bang on the required deadline. This is a Wordle of the final product:


Betcha can't guess what it was about! (There's a clue in my tags).

Meanwhile, I have finished implementing all but one of the editor's suggests on another article (actually submitted several months ago), but I still need to arrange the illustrations for it. I'm less panicky about that now than I was a week ago, though, as I have discovered a nice chap in the University's Print and Copy bureau who can draw plans better than I can, and have already been working successfully with him on the illustrations for the article I submitted today. This means I feel confident about asking him to do the illustrations for the other article as well, which will cover all of them except for one photograph that I will need to go through the tedious process of tracking down permission to reproduce.

And I've now at last started work on the written version of the paper on the clustering of workshops in Roman cities which I delivered in Oxford in July - rather later than I'd have liked to, given that it is due for submission on November 1st ARGH, and term has started ARGH and I have two guest talks to deliver during October ARGH and how will I find the time ARGH! But I guess I will just have to, and I have at least managed to plan it out properly and write the first 500 words over the last two days. Evenings and weekends will clearly be things that happen to other people while I keep on writing for the next month... but there's a reasonable chance I'll have at least something to submit, along with another set of illustrations, by the end of the month.

Meanwhile, here are two things which pleased me immensely (for quite different reasons) on reading through the OUP style guide which we were sent for the book of which the clustering paper will form a part:
  • "A hallmark of our house style is the serial comma [otherwise known as the Oxford comma, natch], the comma before ‘and’ or ‘or’ in lists of three or more items: ‘red, white, and blue’, ‘feminine, masculine, or neuter’."
  • "Please make every effort to avoid any form of language or expression that might be interpreted by a reader as racist or sexist, derogatory of a particular religion or creed, or otherwise offensive. The gender-specific pronouns ‘he’, ‘his’, ‘him’ should be avoided in any reference relevant to males and females; to achieve this, pluralize the reference, repeat the noun, use the passive voice, or use both pronoun forms (though the last solution is clumsy and undesirable for more than occasional use)." - exactly the point I made myself at the actual conference!
Apologies in advance if I'm now completely silent, or post only about work, for the next month or so. Once this batch of articles is finished, I will pretty much have my REF submission in the bag - everything will have been written, although one long-delayed article will still need chasing, and possibly rescuing and submitting to an alternative publication outlet if necessary. I'll then be able to concentrate properly on developing exciting new projects, like my work on the upcoming bimillennium of Augustus' death in 2014... and, yanno, maybe have a life a bit as well. But for the moment, I just need to jump over this final hurdle.

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Oh, FFS!

Friday, 19 November 2010 12:05
strange_complex: (Penny Dreadful)
So, remember how last Friday morning I woke up to find out that my fence had blown down? Well, this Friday morning I've woken up to this:



It seems not unreasonable to start feeling a little put-upon at this stage.

Thankfully, unlike with the fence, there is no ambiguity this time over ownership or insurance issues, so I have already made all the necessary phone-calls, and a very friendly-sounding chap from Autoglass is coming to replace the window at some point within the next couple of hours.

But I really don't have much in the way of spare time to be mucking about dealing with these sorts of things at the moment, given that I have an article due for December 1st and am already working every single evening and weekend in a desperate attempt to get it finished.

It is also galling to recognise that I could probably have saved myself the trouble of this particular incident. I did know that one is advised not to leave even the suction pad for a Sat Nav visible in a parked car, since it alerts thieves to the fact that you own one, and encourages them to break in in the hope of finding it in your glove-box. Given that I'd blithely ignored this advice (on the grounds that it's inconvenient to keep detaching and re-attaching the pad), and given where the window has been smashed, I'm pretty sure that is the story here. I'm not keen on victim blaming, so I'm trying to avoid doing that to myself in this particular situation. But I think I've learnt a hard lesson there. I've certainly taken my Sat Nav suction pad out of the car this morning, and will make sure that I don't leave it in there again.

Going back to the fence, I have made some progress, in that my gardener has said that he (and some contacts he has) can do the work to fix it. He's great and very reliable, so I'd entirely trust him to do it and charge fairly for the work. And I've also established that my own buildings and contents insurance does not cover me for fences blown over in storms. :-( But the issue of exactly who is responsible for the fence remains unresolved - and I'd value some advice here from the legally-trained types on my friendslist. I have found the following paragraph in my land registry title:
"The walls fences spouts and fallpipes separating the property hereby conveyed from the adjoining property of the Vendors or from property formerly forming part of the Vendors said Moorfield Estate or used or enjoyed jointly therewith or with any part or parts thereof are mesne or party walls fences spouts and fallpipes and shall forever hereafter be upheld maintained repaired and enjoyed accordingly."
Does that actually mean that the fence is the joint responsibility of the owners of the two properties which it divides? It sounds a bit like that to me, but I could be wrong. If you're in a position to confirm or correct that impression for me, I'd be really grateful.

If it helps, 'Moorfield Estate' is simply the name of the land on which the 1930s Art Deco houses that make up the development where I live were built. It's pretty obvious that the ruling concerns fences that stand either between houses within the 1930s development, or between the edges of the 1930s development and any adjoining land still owned by the original vendors. But does the phrase 'mesne or party' indeed mean (as it seems to me) that responsibility for maintenance and repair is joint? Tell me if you know!

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