Certificate in Interpretation

Interpretation certificate

I’m excited to share a recent certificate I’ve earned. Earlier this month I completed a course on the foundations of interpretation with Indiana University’s Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands.

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Gift Guide | Gifts for Word Lovers, Round 2

gift ideas for writers, readers, editors, librarians, authors | Kelsey Mitchener Editing Services

I had a lot of fun putting together my previous gift guide for word lovers, so I thought I’d assemble one more for this holiday season. Here are some additional picks for writers, readers, editors, and anyone else who loves the written word.

1. Card Catalog Cuff Bracelet, Book Stack Cuff Bracelet, and Henry David Thoreau Quote Bangle | Accessoreads on Etsy, $38, $38, $20
There’s lots of great literary-themed jewelry from this shop. I especially love the Thoreau quote on this bangle: “All good things are wild and free.”

2. Word Dominoes | Chronicle Books, $25

3. Card Catalog Box with Notecards | Chronicle Books on Amazon, $18

4. Pen Nib Lapel Pin | The Literary Gift Company, £4

5. Chicago Manual of Style, 17th Edition | University of Chicago Press on Amazon, $41
Every list needs at least one practical item, right? The online version of CMOS is also handy, but nothing beats a physical reference book. (Here’s another reference book on my wishlist this year.)

6. Borges Library Cushion Cover | The Literary Gift Company, £15
Love Jorge Luis Borges.

7. Old Books Candle | Frostbeard on Etsy, $18
This candle uses a weird but somehow perfect blend of timber, white tea, newsprint, and must scents to create that unique “old books” smell—so good. Also check out their Oxford Library (oakmoss, amber, sandalwood, tobacco, and leather) and Book Cellar (“dirt,” “basement,” and vanilla bean) candles.

8. Library Due Date Scarf | Cyberoptix on Etsy, $44

9. BookBook Laptop Case | Twelve South on Amazon, $67
It’s a splurge, but this beautiful leather case looks and feels just like a hardcover book. (I’ve seen it in person!)

What other ideas have you come across online? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to check out your recommendations!

Kelsey Mitchener, editor

Looking for an editor? Kelsey Mitchener Editing specializes in nonfiction copy editing and proofreading. Get in touch and let’s work together on your next project!

Toolkit | Toggl Time Tracker

clock photo by Sonja Langford via Unsplash

Just thought I’d pop in this morning to share a new tool I’ve found that’s become invaluable to my editing work. It’s Toggl, a simple online tool for time tracking.

There are lots of apps and options for this, but I like Toggl because it allows you to set up a personal account and store your hours in one place (rather than using a timer and recording the total hours worked somewhere else, like an Excel spreadsheet). Better still, all I had to provide to set up an account was an email address. I also like that it has some basic extra features, like organizing by project and running reports. Since I do almost all of my editing on my laptop, it’s easy to just run Toggl in another tab. I’m really enjoying it so far. #notsponsored Haha!

Lately I’ve been making an effort to get a better handle on how long it takes me to work through a project. I have a general idea of how much time I spend per page, but this tool will allow me to zero in on my time per page for different types of editing (like substantive editing vs. proofreading) and different types of writing (like marketing copy vs. fiction)—not to mention varying levels of needed intervention. 🙂 I’m working on updating my pricing page and this data will be so useful for that. And while I’ve never had an issue focusing on a project when I’m charging by the hour, I’ve also found that this tool gives me a sense of being “on the clock” that helps me avoid Pinterest breaks even on projects with flat-rate fees.

Do you use time-tracking tools? Let me know which ones you recommend! I’d also love to hear your thoughts on pricing—there’s so much to consider!

photo by Sonja Langford via Unsplash

Kelsey Mitchener, editor

Toolkit | Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style

inside cover The Elements of Style illustrated

I’ve always had a soft spot for beautiful books. Bright covers, deckle-edge pages, crisp dust jackets, engravings, illustrations… there are a thousand ways to make a gorgeous book, and they are why I will buy the hardcover over the ebook every time.

Have I ever purchased a book just because it was beautiful? Well, I have to want the actual copy between the covers; I don’t own a book I wouldn’t actually read. But there have been many times that I’ve purchased a book I already have just because the design was so lovely. I’m most guilty of this with Jane Eyre, my favorite book: I have 29 different editions of Jane Eyre (don’t laugh!).

I’m always growing my toolkit of editing resources, including reference books. Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style is next on my list, and while I’m building my reference library, why not choose the most beautiful editions? This illustrated edition (with work by Maira Kalman) from Penguin fits the bill.

Which to choose: the cherry-red hardcover or the whimsical softcover? Regardless, I love the pretty illustrations.

inside The Elements of Style illustrated, via Alabama Chanin

photos via CopyStrands and Alabama Chanin

It all seems wonderfully over-the-top for a somewhat dry (but oh-so-useful) little writing manual. I think I’m in love.

What do you think? Any beautiful books you’ve fallen for lately?

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