It’s Been One of Those Days

One of the things I’ve decided to do as a result of my 365 days of blogging self-challenge is to share more of my day-to-day here. I’ve never really done this here before, but I’ve been finding that blogging daily has given me a more intimate connection to my blog, if that makes sense, and within this new sort of relationship I’m having with my writing here, the occasional day-to-day type of post seems like a good fit.

Well, okay. What I’m really saying is that I may occasionally express some frustration here. Like right now, in this post.

Because it’s been one of those days.

It was supposed to be a GOOD day. I had a few more freelance blog posts to write for one client, my own daily blog post here, some reading lined up, and a couple of indexing deadlines to work on. A lighter version of my normal day. I was looking forward to it.

But then I woke up, and Ward tells me “that cat” ate my new favourite sweater.

“That cat” is Hobbes. We have two cats (the other one is Creeper), but whenever we say “that cat”, it always means Hobbes.

This is Hobbes, pretending to be a good cat (or rather, being made to pretend to be a good cat – my son is holding him, as it was the only way I could take his picture for this post):

Photo 2014-12-12, 9 22 31 PM


This is my sweater:

Photo 2014-12-12, 9 18 18 PM

I like it so much, I can’t bear to throw it out so I’m telling myself I’m still going to wear it around the house (we’ll see about that, I guess.)

So with that nice big welcome to my day, I sat down at my laptop and checked my email.

Only to find one of my editors had forwarded me an irate email from an author about an index I’d prepared for his book. The author was upset because I had indexed material he hadn’t wanted included in the index. He also appeared to have serious concerns about my skills because he’d found a term that “is nowhere in the text” and he’d like to know “how that could happen?” The entire tone of the email (and the previous emails in the thread which had also been forwarded to me) was quite off-putting.

Now, I don’t  often make mistakes in my work, but when I do, I’m the very first to own up to them. But in this case, there wasn’t anything to own up to. I hadn’t been instructed to leave out the things the author wanted left out. They were things I would normally include. And the term he said wasn’t in the text, which presumably made him concerned about the veracity of the rest of entries in the index? It was in the text. On the actual page referred to in the index (like it should be).

When things like this happen, I get reminded A LOT how I’d much rather be making things up for a living, as Neil Gaiman calls the novelist’s life. After all, I’m good at making stuff up. I like to think I’m even better at making stuff up than I am at indexing (but no, this doesn’t mean I make a practice of putting non-existent entries into the indexes I prepare).

After I revised the index to the new specifications and wrote out a long  and, I hope, professional email carefully addressing in great detail (it was either that or be snarky, and you can’t be snarky and professional at the same time) the author’s concerns, we headed out to the suburbs for my father-in-law’s birthday dinner at a restaurant out there.

And since it was still “one of those days”, we got caught in rush hour traffic. A trip that would normally take under an hour took an hour and a half. Which made us late. Which meant we had to wait for our order while everyone else was already eating.

But the good news? Eventually the cycle does get broken. “One of those days” has to eventually end, become a new day. Luckily for me I didn’t even have to go to sleep in order to wake up to a new day. The dinner was lovely and greatly revived my mood, and the drive home took half an hour less than the drive there.

Now I’m back home, and ready to make good use of a day that’s left “one of those days” behind. I’ve got kefir cheese dripping whey in the fridge, three blog posts to write for a client, an index to mark up, a book I’m in the middle of reading and another one I’m in the middle of listening to.

I’m still on track for my deadlines, so the work stuff can actually wait until tomorrow. And yes, a book beckons. And I can answer its call. Now that’s a GOOD night.

10 thoughts on “It’s Been One of Those Days

  1. rhapsodyinbooks

    OMG re the sweater! And re the index, how weird. To me, the more there is in an index, the better, and I have been known to down-rate a book for an insufficient index. I especially appreciate cross-referencing and concept additions, so I would love it if an exact word were not in the text but the idea was there, and it was indexed. Very weird (to me) that the author wanted things left OUT.

  2. Kate @ Midnight Book Girl

    Your poor sweater! Thankfully our cats aren’t sweater eaters, but our one cat (who is our that cat) definitely rules the roost.

    And you should write your own book! Then you can be the author who chooses NOT to be unprofessional and send insulting and demanding emails.

    I hope you got to curl up with a good book last night!

  3. Susan

    That sweater! That cat! lol we have a cat somewhat like that, except his ‘I love you” when he tries to get close to us involves his claws (and shrieks), which we can’t cure him of. He definitely rules his house. But he doesn’t eat sweaters! I love cats and how different they all can be.

    I’m coming out of one of those ‘late afternoons/goes into evening’ days like that yesterday. It was mostly me not being able to contain my anxiety when things happened, and it snowballed. *sigh*. Today is better, though I also realize I’m home and not going out!

    You should write your own book! and what on earth was that author complaining about when you referred to something in the text that was there? All he had to say was, I’ve changed my mind and don’t want it indexed, instead of blaming you.

    1. Belle Wong Post author

      So glad it got better, Susan. I know exactly what you mean about anxiety snowballing – I had my share of that during the summer.

  4. Suey

    I am loving these posts about your daily life and struggles! And do cats really eat sweaters? So crazy! Glad your day ended up better than it started. :)

  5. Ti

    My cat chewed on my clothes but only if they were covered in dry cleaning plastic. He ate plastic and then just kept eating the frabric. One of the weirdo things he did. I bet your cat was doing that kneading, purring thing. Some cats do. I often think they were weaned too soon.

    1. Belle Wong Post author

      I had a cat who chewed clothes in the past too, and he was definitely weaned much too early. He definitely did that kneading thing, too. But Hobbes was late leaving his mom! I think it might be the Siamese coming out in him. Apparently it’s something Siamese cats tend to do (my other cat who chewed clothes was also Siamese). And (fingers crossed) they are supposed to grow out of it at around two or three. I’m pretty sure my other cat did, because I don’t remember having to hide the clothes from him when he was older. But he wasn’t a troublemaker. Hobbes, unfortunately, definitely is.


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