The election for president and two board members is open until March 9. ASI members can read the candidates’ statements and vote online. If you have not already done so, be sure to cast your vote for these future ASI leaders.
Indexers Rock! Conference in Cleveland
ASI 2018 Conference
ASI's conference committee booked a fantastic lineup of interesting and informative sessions at this year's conference, "Indexers Rock!" From "Keeping the Beat: How Controlled Metadata Affects Indexing" to "The Naked Indexer on Stage" to "Riffing with Publishers about the Industry's Relationship with Indexing," you'll find much to learn and plenty to jam about with your indexing colleagues.
Our conference city, Cleveland, Ohio, provides lots of attractions itself including Playhouse Square—the country’s largest performing arts center outside of New York City, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Botanical Garden, a pedestrian-friendly throughway packed with popular eateries on East Fourth Street, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.
Chapter and SIG News
The Pacific Northwest Chapter (PNW) hosted a successful Virtual Peer Review meeting via Zoom on Thursday, February 22. Twenty participants from a wide diversity of locations joined in for the discussion of three indexes, submitted anonymously ahead of time. The feedback has been very positive, leading to hopes that there will be more virtual peer review meetings. Thanks go out to organizers Sam Arnold-Boyd and Judy Staigmiller; moderators Carolyn Weaver, Madge Walls, and Erica Cardido; and to ASI and Gwen Henson for use of and help with Zoom.
The Gardening/Environmental Studies SIG held its election for SIG leader in February, and Donna Drialo was re-elected. Visit its website here.
The History/Archaeology SIG has a new membership coordinator, Shannon Li. The SIG is in the process of updating its website. The Find an Indexer now brings up names in random order.
Did You Know?
ASI’s special interest groups are open to members of other indexing societies. Learn more here.
When Claire Splan wrote in an indexers’ e-group that she was glad that she had joined ASI again after many years, I asked her to tell us more about her indexing experience. If you would like to nominate someone to be in the Spotlight or be in it yourself, contact the editor, Ælfwine Mischler.
Where do you live now? Where are you originally from? Do you share your home with pets or family?
I live in my hometown—Alameda, California, across the bay from San Francisco—with my dog, Roxie.
What is your educational background?
I did my undergrad studies first at California State University, Hayward (now called California State University, East Bay), then at the University of Southern California, where I got a BA in journalism. After a few years working, I went back to school at the University of San Francisco and got an MA in Writing. A few years later I took the UC Extension course in indexing taught by Nancy Mulvany. About ten years ago I started taking classes in landscape horticulture at Merritt College; I’m just a few units shy of completing that certificate program.
Do you have any hobbies, travels, volunteer work, or other interesting things to share?
Once I got interested in gardening, I began a garden blog, which I continued for ten years. That led to other garden writing, which led to writing two books on gardening in California (published by Cool Springs Press in 2012 and 2014). I’ve stepped back from garden writing in the last year or so, but I still love gardening. It’s a great break from sitting at my desk.
What kind of work did you do before you studied indexing? Are you still doing that or other work in addition to indexing?
Right after college I worked for a nonprofit organization related to library services, then worked for a law firm and then a legal publisher. That was followed by five years as an in-house project editor for Osborne/McGraw-Hill (now McGraw-Hill Education). I’ve been a freelancer for the past 20 years. Aside from indexing, my work has generally been writing or editing/proofreading. I’ve been working on a book proposal for a book I want to write about a ship that sank in the Golden Gate in 1901. I’m hoping to get an agent for that this year. Writing is really the thing I most enjoy, but indexing is satisfying in a different way.
When did you start indexing? When did you join ASI?
I think it was 1996 when I took Nancy Mulvany’s indexing course. At the time I was a project editor hiring indexers and I just wanted to have a better understanding of what went into creating an index. When I went freelance a couple years later, indexing became a big part of my business. I was an ASI member for about a year or so then, but I really didn’t get much out of it at the time, so I let my membership lapse. I didn’t rejoin until last year and now I find that ASI has so much more to offer.
For you, what is the best advantage of ASI membership?
To be honest, a couple years ago I felt completely burned out on indexing, which was made worse by the fact that my rates had been stagnant for so long and my clients were just not open to going higher. I thought about quitting, but indexing was still the most profitable part of my editorial services. I decided that instead of quitting I should try going deeper—learning more, broadening the range of my indexing services, and re-evaluating my work processes. Rejoining ASI was the first step in doing that. The webinars and publications are helping me branch out into new subject areas and learn ways to work more efficiently. The chapter meetings have been great too. It’s easy when freelancing to get isolated, and networking with other indexers is so valuable.
I’m feeling somewhat more optimistic about my work life now. While I’ve indexed lots of computer and business books, I hope to do more books in topics like gardening and cookery. I’ve added a second monitor to my workstation and I’m shifting to working more from PDFs than from printouts, which saves some time and money. I’m also working hard to promote my services and reach new clients—not my favorite thing to do but so necessary. With a little luck, this year will be my busiest and most profitable yet.