Giving Back: Middle Way House

According to the National Coalition against Domestic Violence,

  • Nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.
  • Women between the ages of 18–24 are most commonly abused by an intimate partner.
  • On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.
  • 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men in the United States has been raped in their lifetime.
  • 1 in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year, and 90% of these children are eyewitnesses to this violence.

These statistics are sobering.

In such a violent world, Bloomington is grateful to have Middle Way House, whose mission is to “end violence, both structural and interpersonal, in the lives of women and children.” This amazing organization provides a 24-hour crisis line, an emergency shelter, transitional housing, legal advocacy, prevention education, and more to women and children who have had to endure domestic violence and sexual assault. In 2013, they provided emergency shelter to 246 women and children, 87% of whom were able to leave their abuser. That same year, they provided transitional housing to 50 women and over 100 children, 87% of whom now maintain permanent housing. Beyond the hands-on work of helping victims, they collaborate with other organizations and with local government to make real cultural change.

Middle Way HouseAs they write,

We at Middle Way House believe that acts of domestic violence and sexual assault, and our society’s tolerance of them, are expressions of deeply rooted sexism in our culture. Consequently, Middle Way House cannot hope to end violence against women without doing the hard work of changing the culture, addressing gaps in legislation and enforcement pertinent to crimes of violence against women, and demanding equity in our social and economic arrangements.

When we started Inkblot, one goal was to give back to our amazing community. Each quarter, we donate to a local organization, and this quarter, we have chosen to thank Middle Way House. They do such important work in our community, and we’re honored to be able to donate to their cause.

If you find yourself in the position to give, consider Middle Way House or the many other worthy organizations in your community.

Tracking Submissions (with free download!)

Once you start sending out your work to prospective journals and magazines, it is very important to keep your submissions organized. It would not look good to send the same essay to the same journal a month apart. But fear not! Inkblot Editing has your back! We’ve created a submissions tracker just for you. Download it here!

Below is a partially filled out example. Continue reading “Tracking Submissions (with free download!)”

The Sound of Productivity

When working alone at home, in an office, or even in a coffee shop, sometimes you need a little white noise (that you can control the volume of) to help you concentrate.

Researchers Ravi Mehta, Rui (Juliet) Zhu, and Amar Cheema write in their article “Is Noise Always Bad? Exploring the Effects of Ambient Noise on Creative Cognition” that “a moderate . . . level of ambient noise enhances performance on creative tasks.” I know from experience that while I can’t edit with lyrics on, I also have a hard time focusing if the office is dead quiet. The in-between—the space for creative productivity—is ambient sound or white noise.

via Sound Effects HD Indie Studios
via Sound Effects HD Indie Studios

Here are some of our favorite sources to help you concentrate:

  • Noisli: This site, and the accompanying app, allows you to combine various sounds at different volumes. To work, I use a combination of rain, storm, leaves, and a tiny bit of coffee shop. To sleep, because I use this app nearly every night as well, I use rain, wind, leaves, and river.
  • Listen to Wikipedia: Experience Wikipedia with your ears! For every user added or piece of content edited, you hear a tone. The more users who sign up at once, the bigger the musical swell. The bigger the content edit, the deeper the tone. It’s fascinating and soothing.
  • Hipstersound: Here you hear a variety of coffee shop noises to keep the sound of silence at bay. One awesome option with this site is that you can listen to a Parisian cafe. Working to French mumblings is somehow comforting and energizing.

If you prefer actual music, but lyrics break your concentration, try these playlists on Spotify:

Hopefully these options give you a bit of relaxation and focus during your work!

Great Green Gobs of . . .

You know the rest, I hope. If not, you missed out during your childhood. While some people cringe at the sentence for reasons of extreme grossness, everyone would cringe if I’d said, “Green great gobs of . . .” But why? How do native English speakers know what order adjectives go in? My answer: brain magic!

Somehow we have internalized the accepted order of what are known as “adjective regions.”

Adjective chart via the The Guide to Grammar and Writing by the Capital Community College Foundation
Adjective chart via the The Guide to Grammar and Writing by the Capital Community College Foundation

Continue reading “Great Green Gobs of . . .”

Prompts from the Interwebs

We’ve made it to another Friday, friends. (This one is an accomplishment for Rachel, since this was her first week back after a trip to Costa Rica. Yeah, it was as beautiful as you’re imagining. #notsorry)

To begin the weekend right, let’s explore the magic of the Internet for inspiration. It’s chock-full of stories, essays, and poems waiting to be written. Let us know how you end up using them!

Happy weekend, everyone!

Chicago Manual of Style Q&A | September 2016

Every month, the Chicago Manual of Style folks answer questions they’ve received. Following are a couple excerpts from the Q&A of September 2016. To read the full month’s Q&A, visit

Q. I wrote a report at work, and whenever I wrote a sentence such as “Most businesses pay taxes monthly, however, some small businesses pay taxes quarterly,” the sentence was changed to “Most businesses pay taxes monthly. However, some small businesses pay taxes quarterly.” Is this correct?

A. It’s fine to use however in the middle of a sentence (“In the morning, however, I like to have coffee”). But you used however to join two sentences: (1) “Most businesses pay taxes monthly” and (2) “some small businesses pay taxes quarterly.” Your editor was correct to separate them properly. The editor could also have chosen to join your sentences with a semicolon or dash: “Most businesses pay taxes monthly; however, some small businesses pay taxes quarterly.” Please see CMOS 5.207 and 6.55.

Q. When tables are double enumerated (3.1, 3.2, etc.) is a full stop placed after the number and before the space separating it from the table title?

A. This is usually a design decision rather than an editorial one. You can see examples of it with and without the period at CMOS 3.52 (“Table titles”).

Meet an Indexer: Sandy Sadow

Here at Inkblot, we are pretty proud of the work we do. Want to know our secret? We have an amazing team of freelancers supporting us. They make the wheels go ’round and put smiles on our faces and the faces of our clients. To show our enthusiasm for this wealth of talent, we will be sharing short interviews so you can get to know them too.

Today, we’d like to introduce Sandy Sadow, indexer extraordinaire!


She was kind enough to answer a few questions for us!

How did you get into indexing?

I took a course in abstracting and indexing in (what was then called) Library School.  I was asked to take on an indexing project at my regular Law Library job.  I enjoyed it, and I have been doing indexing ever since.


What is the hardest part about indexing?

The hardest part of indexing is getting inside the author’s head, and trying to provide an index that truly represents the important ideas of the manuscript, as well as conveying that information to the prospective reader.


Do you prefer letter-by-letter or word-by-word alphabetization, and why?

There are advantages and disadvantages to both methods. Word-by-word works better for keeping names together. Letter-by-letter has advantages when foreign characters and symbols are involved.


What advice would you give to someone interested in beginning a career in indexing?

Start out working for a publisher. Learn about book publishing, make contacts, and of course, study the process of indexing.


As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

From the time I was in high school, I wanted to be a librarian. I volunteered at our school library. The school librarian had previously worked at the Donnell Library in Manhattan. She was so knowledgeable!


What’s your favorite book?

I have always loved science fiction, and I really enjoyed the Harry Potter series.

Thank you, Sandy, for sharing a bit about yourself. And thanks for being part of the Inkblot family!