I love words.  I love how they can take you to magical places or provide you with the answers to perplexing problems.  What I don’t like is when I have a pressing question, open what seems to be an appropriate book and can’t find the information I need.  That actually happened recently.  For an index I am working on for a local historical society I was trying to find out the origins of the name of a community.  Off of one of their shelves I pulled down a two volume set about Southern California ranchos.  Great I thought.  There should be something here within all these lovely pages full of photos, drawings, and lots of information.  I glanced at the Table of Contents—nothing there.  So I flipped to the end of the book.  Nothing.  Are you kidding.  I grabbed up the second volume and went straight to the end of the book.  Nothing.  Really?  There was no index.  I put the books back up on the shelf with a sigh.  For now they were worthless to me.

This saddened me.  Here was a lot of good information which was only marginally accessible.  This was not the only such example I have seen.  I have a cookbook with a terrible index which I plan to rewrite some day.  In my spare time I like to dabble in various art media.  I also own a book on Chinese brush painting which has an index but all the page references are incorrect and, thus, useless.

We live in an age of information.  Which is great—if we can find what we want.  Search engines are amazing but too often give us more “hits” then a person can possible review.  As a mechanism by which to logically organize information so that a reader may access it, indexing is becoming even more vital to today’s information industry.  This holds true regardless of the delivery method whether it be a pBook, eBook, periodical, website, etc.  As an author, packager, or publisher you need to be able to stand out in the very crowded world of words.  Making your words accessible through a good index is a vital step in this process.

Like every indexer I have had people give me a blank stare when given the answer to their question of “What do you do for a job?”  Most people don’t know that there are actually real individuals that write those indexes at the back of the books they have been using since they were young.  I admit that I was one of those people as well until a few years ago.  My daughter who has a creative writing degree was taken by a family friend to a SDPEN (www.SDPEN.com) meeting where the guest speakers were two indexers from the local ASI (www.ASIndexing.org) chapter to talk about their craft.  That evening when she told me about the meeting was the first time I had heard of indexing as a profession.  “Interesting” I responded then quickly forgot about it.  I was still happily being a substitute teacher for the middle and high schools in the local school district.  Then after a dozen years of doing this the recession hit, the teachers got pink slipped, and the substitute job openings plummeted.  It was time to think of other career options.

My daughter reminded me of indexing as such an option.  Pointing out that I am a detail oriented and organized person (a polite way of saying picky) she suggested that I might revisit that idea.  Which I did.  After taking Sylvia Coates’ UC Berkeley indexing course (Lucie Haskins was my instructor) I set up shop.  I have my business computer, website, filing cabinet, and red pens.  I’m ready.  For you.

When you are ready I am ready to help you with your words.  Your important words which deserve to be read. 

Even if you are not ready for an index right now but just have an indexing question please feel free to call me at the number below.  Sure, I would like an indexing job but I am also interested in promoting the art of indexing itself.




Indexing Education

University of California Berkeley indexing course

Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science periodical/database indexing course

Membership in the Southern California chapter of the American Society for Indexing (ASI)

Subscription to Key Words (ASI) and Indexing (SI)

College Education

University of California Los Angeles:  B.A. in Biology

California State University Northridge:  Single Subject Teaching Credential in Biology


American Society for Indexing (ASI) (www.ASIndexing.org)

Publishers & Writers of San Diego (PWSD) (www.publisherswriters.org)


       ASI southern California chapter--president 2013-2016

Indexing for the Rancho Bernardo Historical Society  2013-2014 http://rbhistoricalsociety.org/ 

List of Works

       Dec 2015. A Newbie Gets Noticed. Key Words. American Society for Indexing.

       Jun 2015. The Newbie and the Newspaper. Key Words. American Society for Indexing.

       Aug 2014. More Notes From a Newbie. Key Words. American Society for Indexing.

       May 2014. What Is Indexing? Publishers & Writers Monthly. Publishers & Writers San Diego.

       Jan 2014. Newbie Reflections. Key Words. American Society for Indexing.

       Apr 2013. A Newbie Gets Organized. Key Words. American Society for Indexing.

       Jan 2013. Notes From a Newbie. Key Words. American Society for Indexing.

       Dec 2012. Indexing. The Writer’s Life. San Diego Writers/Editors Guild.

       Jul-Sep 2012. Indexing Standards. Key Words. American Society for Indexing.


        May 2014. Indexing Basics. San Diego Professional Editors Network (SDPEN)

Books Indexed

       Outlasting The Nazis And Communists--My Life in Vienna and Prague

            Paul Vantoch. Pumish Publishing. 2013

            Find it at Amazon:  http://tinyurl.com/p9ejply

            A personal memoir of author's experiences as a mischlinge in Vienna and Prague during WWII and

            the subsequent socialist regime followed by his escape to America.

       Blinded By Progress

            Lee Van Ham. One Earth Publishing. 2013

            Find it at Amazon: www.tinyurl.com/mf9t3a4

            A study on how current business and social pactices have had profound negative impacts upon 

            our planet and well-being.

       Master of the Mission Inn

            Maurice Hodgen. Ashburton Publishing. 2014  

            Find it at Amazon:  www.tinyurl.com/n45jpsk

            A biography of Frank Augustus Miller, the driving force behind the development of Riverside CA,

            especially his beloved Mission Inn.

       Jewels of Allah

             Nina Ansary. Revela Press. 2015

             Find it at Amazon:  http://tinyurl.com/pgqk6qa

             A history of the feminist movement in Iran since the time of Genghis Khan.

       Tom Waits for No One:  The Illustrated Scrapbook

             John Lamb. 2015

             Find it at Amazon:  http://tinyurl.com/o5pa87q

             A fun and colorful scrapbook of the first rotoscoped music video (1979) of singer Tom Waits.

       Tastes Of The Camino:  30 Authentic Recipes Along The French Way 

              Yosmar Monique Martinez. 2016

              Find it at Amazon:  http://tinyurl.com/gtwgnsr

              A delightful culinary journey with delicious recipes.

       Register Your Book:  The Essential Guide to ISBNs, Barcodes, Copyright, and LCCNs

              David Wogahn. 2016

              Find it at Amazon:  http://tinyurl.com/z6x4gb6

              An essential guide for anyone who is serious about self-publishing.

       Quest For Water:  Tulare Irrigation District--Its History, People And Progression

               Richard Zack. 2016

       Find at the Tulare Irrigation District: http://tulareid.org

               The definitive guide to TID and an interesting look at the history of water in California.

        Africa in Black Liberation Activism:  Malcome X, Stokely Carmichael, and Walter Rodney

                Tunde Adeleke. 2016

                Find it at Amazon:  http://tinyurl.com/zqyc9cp

                An in-depth comparative analysis of three of the most well-known black activists.

       Simply Indian

                Nita Desai. 2017

                Explains how to cook Indian food and offers the best in everyday recipes for a family.

                Find it at Amazon:  https://tinyurl.com/yd2b5a9y

       California Land Use & Planning Law, 36th Ed.

               Cecily Talbert Barclay & Matthew S. Gray. 2018

                Definitive analysis of California's land use laws.

                Find it at Amazon:  https://tinyurl.com/y8ds34sv

       Guide to California Planning, 4th Ed.

                William Fulton & Paul Shigley. 2018

                Detailed discussion on how government and citizen groups intereact to direct CA land use.

                Find it at Amazon:  https://tinyurl.com/y7wkjhos





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