Jan. 22nd, 2009

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I don't know how to embed videos, but this was a moving short film about the power of language (and compassion):
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I meant to post more on Monday, which was a busy day. I worked so much translating while in Barcelona, I was looking forward to if not resting per se at least catching up on some of my own projects.

But I got called by a new publishing company here in Spain before I left BCN, to translate a short fantasy novel into English. Met with the editor yesterday, very good feeling, I'll be doing this book and then likely over the summer a second book by the author (which will actually be book 1 of a trilogy).

I like the translating, it is relaxing in a way, different than writing, and in any event, it's work, which given how grim everything is across the board, I'm very grateful to be getting offers and am not taking for granted that they'll always be there, so... Will work while there's work available.

Also on Monday I got a call from an editor who's been sitting on a children's picture book text, which I wrote specifically for them, for maybe three years. So now they want to publish it in a hurry to have the books out in time for the Madrid Book Fair in May.

So hopefully contracts for both of those will be forthcoming next week or so.

Meanwhile, I've been going back and forth with a different client, an institution, who wants me to translate a series of books for them. They are soliciting funding from the EU so they need to use the EU rate, which is determined as a set amount every 1500 characters (not words, but characters).

Now, they sent me the contracts with a global amount but no indicator of how they reached it.

I asked them to spell the math out for me in the contract, since someone had to do the sums at some point.

It turns out that they have problems understanding that even if the EU determines a page to be 1500 characters or less (that is, a partial page is still paid as a full page) they can't just multiply the per-page rate by the number of printed pages in the book in question, without making an adjustment for the difference between how many characters are on the printed page and the pay rate.

They don't have electronic versions of the books, which would be the easiest thing (just divide the total characters by 1500).

I had the woman take a sample printed page and count how many lines there were and then how many characters in the longest line, to give a ballpark estimate, which was a bit over 1900 characters.

So she sees that just multiplying the EU rate by the number of printed pages in the book doesn't equal the sum they should be paying me. But she seems unable or unwilling to do the math herself.

It's all complicated because the institution in question farms out this sort of thing to a service company, but the woman I was working there (who I think is the one who did the original math) is no longer with the company.

But hopefully we'll get it all sorted out, and soon, so that they can get the signed contracts in time for them to present the project by Feb 1 for funding...

Otherwise, I think I'm behind on every other project of my own I am or should be working on.

But that's not exactly new... Alas!


Jan. 22nd, 2009 11:10 pm
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Oh, forgot to mention that today I got a contributor's copy of the Russian translation of THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF SERIOUSLY COMIC FANTASY. Very handsome edition: hardcover, surprisingly thin given how many pages the darned thing is. I was pleased to be able to identify myself in the ToC, and confirmed this since the bio note at the start of my story did then have my name and birth year in English.

I know there're Russian editions of some other anthologies I don't have, so it was nice to get this one.

But then, it's always been a pleasure working with Mike Ashley (the editor of this anthology).


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Lawrence Schimel

July 2009

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