I didn't publish a blog post last month, for the first time since I started blogging last August. I went away for a few days after Easter, with my family, to Beaulieu in Hampshire – a beautiful place indeed. While I was away I decided it was time to start a course in copy-editing. I booked onto the online course before checking out of the hotel on the Thursday morning so that I could start studying as soon as I arrived home and spend a long weekend working on it.
I was making good progress when, on the Monday morning, I received an email from Pinter & Martin asking if I was available to proofread a book. Absolutely. So they sent me the manuscript.
It's not every day you get 100 penises in your inbox, unless you get a lot of spam – luckily I don't. Far from being an unwanted communication, this was a very welcome opportunity to proofread a groundbreaking new book.
Two years ago, Bare Reality: 100 women, their breasts, their stories was published – a collection of interviews and photographs by Laura Dodsworth, who has now followed up this fascinating project with Manhood: the bare reality, in which 100 men also reveal all – their penises, as well as their life experiences and their thoughts on masculinity and what that word even means in this day and age. Laura was interviewed on Loose Women about the first book, and it was featured in magazines including Cosmopolitan (for the full list of media coverage see here), so I'm looking forward to seeing how this new book will be received – there has already been a preview in The Guardian (which has been shared more than 30,000 times!) prior to publication on 15 June.
I've worked on another very special book this month, also for Pinter & Martin: Why Starting Solids Matters by Amy Brown. It's a book I would have found invaluable four years ago when my own child was about to start eating solid foods. It’s a tricky time for parents, trying to navigate the torrent of conflicting advice from well-meaning family and friends, healthcare professionals, the media and various parenting guides. Amy is an associate professor in child public health at Swansea University and an expert in infant nutrition, and in this small but information-packed book she explains the science behind the available options, enabling parents to make informed decisions. This one has also attracted some media attention already, prior to publication on 8 June, on the websites of several national newspapers, including the Daily Express. (I’m not including the link to The Sunday Times because that article misrepresented what the author said, and I refuse to link to the Daily Mail!)
It's been an incredibly busy month and my feet haven't touched the floor. As well as the above I’ve also proofread a Master’s dissertation, and I'm currently working on a historically significant project (more on that at a later date), which I’m very excited about and which has involved meeting with my client at the tea-room of Tredegar House in Newport (below) – a convenient location for us both, which just happens to be beautiful. It’s also occasionally the chosen location for our local SfEP group meetings. It's safe to say I'm loving the freelance life!