Monday, 20 June 2011

Knives Forks and Spoons Press

Toms' days off last week culminated in a trip to Bolton on the Wednesday. We went for a wander round the shops and grabbed lunch at what used to be BL1. Mine was very much KFC on a plate. When we got to HMV, I realised that 'Paul' had been released on DVD. That was a must buy. I also found an album for The Neon Trees and bought it on the basis of their track 'Animal' which is really catchy. I have to say that, of what I have heard so far (which isn't much) I am going to hope that it's a grower...

On Thursday, Andy wanted us at the flat to help him move a new sofa in. We set off early enough but by the time we got there it had already arrived.The broken sofa still needed removing. Andy had shopping to do, so when we dropped Adele at the bus stop, it was another trip to the supermarket for the three of us. Of course, I managed to lose them. It's a large warehouse with no phone signal. Fun. When we returned, they shifted the sofa and we locked Tom outside in the rain, he did say he wanted to test out his North Face jacket!

Rachel arrived soon after we let him back in. We had incorporated a baking list in the shopping and, together, had ingredients for brownies and cupcakes. The lads made the brownies and we made the cupcakes. There was only a shallow baking tray for the brownies, so they actually ended up tasting like chocolate biscuits, not bad! The cupcakes were baked in some reusable cases but they didn't rise brilliantly, still, they tasted fine. Everyone still managed a meal at The Cock Hotel, which was followed by a haphazard game of darts from the girls and pool from the boys.

Amazingly, despite the downpour on Wednesday, Thursday was quite nice. Alex and I did the Advertisers on foot with two trolleys and it only took us two hours!

I started my work experience today! Up at 6:45am, my bag was already packed and I was ready to leave at 7.15. I had a lift with a friend of mums' from the church. The roads were surprisingly clear and we were soon at Worsley roundabout. On the way we were talking about what kinds of things I would like to do in my career and I voiced my interest in PR work. Joanne works at the hospital and she was quick to fill me in on the PR department there, who are currently promoting a new radiotherapy unit which opens soon.

I never really considered PR outside of the media or large conglomerates, but it seems as though it could be more of a requirement than people realise. The journey ended and I was soon crossing the motorway bridge for the train station at Eccles. At the ticket office I had to swallow my tongue when, of course, I paid peak fare at £6.70 for a return. I look at it as an investment in my own future because the more willing and flexible you are, the further it will get you.

Alec let me in and I was immediately a cause for excitement for Zoe the Jack Russell. She was very hyper and remained that way for most of the day - jumping on and off my lap repeatedly. I was given a health and safety talk and shown the printers, guillotine and binding machine. I will never use the binder because there are   four or five different possible hazards including burns and (as a demonstrator in China found out when his tie got trapped) decapitation.

I have my own coat for the 'dirty work' and will require earplugs too when the binder is in motion. The dirtiest I got today was when Zoe decided to paw my t-shirt, I can live with that! I was given a manuscript and read it through twice over. It was a submission which had been sent previously but deemed too long, so I saw the heavily edited version. I really enjoyed it and would like to research the subject matter a bit more. When I had finished, Alec asked me whether I thought it was publishable. I was surprised that my opinion counted so soon but was pleased to agree that it was.

I don't use Apple Mac computers so it took a little bit of getting used to but another manuscript, in PDF format, was opened for me to see. I had to proofread the document and then transfer it into iWorks to typeset. Because there are so many thousands of fonts, we were unable to match up the one used and had to find one which fittest the closest for page numbers.

I was taught the meaning of recto and verso pages (i.e. odd and even numbers) and had a diagram of how to set out a galley proof. The numbers were printed on alternating pages so that they would read through correctly when bound.This seemed quite clear and I started work setting the margins in centimeters. I thought it worked relatively well and, when I checked the page numbers against the original PDF, it was correct. This was right up until the center page spread where it went awry. I think it will be my job tomorrow to fix that. The author sent us a cover page so all that was left to do, once we had fixed the title page etc, was pick the card for the chapbook. Alec showed me a green sheet and paired it with a brown inlay, I didn't particularly like the match so he changed it to green and black.

Soon after I was back at the station and in Eccles there was a collision on the motorway. We had to wind our way through Monton to get home. Tomorrow I'm heading back to see what I'll learn next!

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