A break is…

There are breaks, and there are breaks–not all breaks are equivalent. There are times when a “head” break is needed–away from the index, away from the computer, and sometimes even away from the cat. Then there are the breaks that are for RSI prevention. Those are distinctly different from “head” breaks!

Sometimes I hate my WorkPace break software–I’m in the “zone” and I truly don’t want to be interrupted, but needs must. I’ve gotten just a bit too far into working so that my pace of work has triggered the software to hop up and make me take a break for the sake of not finishing my day with aching wrists, tingling and burning fingers which will keep me awake at night. I did use the word “make” advisedly because the software (not the cat here) will literally force me to take the break by locking the computer mouse and keyboard. Locked out for 10 minutes out of every two hours–and I don’t want to quit work and do something else even for ten minutes.

Most of my working time I don’t hate WorkPace because it’s adaptable and unobtrusive as long as my keying speed isn’t excessive; most of the time during writing an index it’s not. WorkPace doesn’t have to lock the computer and make me go away. Most of the time the software doesn’t even have to make me take the micro-pause kind of breaks either. But

Cat grooming on keyboard of laptop
The other break-time software

there are times when I do need those and the “major” breaks to avoid overuse effects.

 

I’ve finally found a solution to this enforced break-taking when it occurs. Those ten-minute periods are reserved for doing something mindless so my brain can keep thinking about indexing without intrusions or interruptions–I don’t get out of the “zone”. Mindless tasks include lots of things that I really don’t like doing anyway (probably just because they are rather mindless), but those are good in short intervals: dusting, vacuuming, general tidying, sorting laundry, and the like. Ten minutes is about all I can tolerate at one time. (Did I mention that I’m NOT a fan of housework?)

It turns out that this is really a win-win situation for me. I don’t think that the WorkPace designers had in mind that it would be used to actively encourage housework but it is amazing how much housework you can accomplish in a few ten-minute breaks. I’ve done something worthwhile without really interrupting my thinking process so I’m ready to go back to work without having to make a shift in my mindset. True, the Swiffer duster is always prominently displayed so that I can pick it up without even having to go looking for it–but then I did say “mindless” didn’t I?

Ginger tabby (large) lying on my laptop keyboard.

Editors

As an indexer we’re part of the publishing process, so the more we know about that process the better even though we don’t really see the manuscript until near the end. I’ve found that the Newsletter from Editorial Inspirations from April Michelle Davis most informative. I’ve always known that and editor is not an editor is not an editor; I have a friend who is a copy editor, and I certainly knew that she did more that correct spelling and grammar errors, but a succinct description of the various types of editing is helpful. So for those of us newer to the publishing process, I though this might be helpful.

I’ve reproduced here (with permission) a section for the Editorial Inspirations newsletter:

Many people do not understand that there are different types of editing. They think editing is simply correcting grammatical mistakes and spelling errors. Understanding the three main types of editing and the type of editing each manuscript needs is important in having the manuscript reach its full potential.

Developmental Editing—This kind of editing looks at the work as a whole, not searching for grammatical issues but looking to improve the work in other ways, including developing the plot or setting, making sure the characters are not flat, researching any needed information, and creating vivid imagery.

Copyediting—Not only does this type of editing include the basic spelling and grammar, but it also includes looking for inconsistencies, finding and correcting errors, and omitting anything unnecessary. Sometimes it can even include checking the accuracy of facts in the work and correcting them.

Proofreading—This type of editing covers the basics: spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Proofreading usually takes place after the work has been edited in some other way, mostly as the last run through to catch any missed errors and to fix any problems that were made during the design process. Proofreading is typically performed after the manuscript has been laid out to look like a book.

Each of these types of editing has its own place and importance in improving the manuscript and making it ready to publish. For example, developmental editing would come before copyediting and copyediting would come before proofreading. Recognizing and deciding how to apply these three types of editing can help people choose whether to self-edit or send the work out for someone else to edit.

Singular They: Older than you Think

I had not realized that there was history about this issue–I’ve read some current articles on the use of the singular they.

Nicholas C. Rossis

Singular they | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books Image: aas.org

Elle Boca, a dear author friend of mine, went through my Beats manuscript with a fine comb (for which I can’t thank her enough).

Most of her comments I readily accepted. To my surprise, however, she repeatedly complained about my use of singular they, which she assumed were typos.

This prompted this post, as I’m curious to hear what you think.

What is Singular They?

Wikipedia defines singular they as the use in English of the pronoun they, or its inflected or derivative forms, such as them, their, themself, or themselves, as a gender-neutral pronoun to refer to a single person or an antecedent that is grammatically singular. It typically occurs with an antecedent of indeterminate gender, as in sentences such as:

  • Somebody left their umbrella in the office. Would they please collect it?”
  • The patient should be told at the outset how much they will…

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ASI Conference Location(2017)

I’ve not been to Portland ME for ages, but I’m looking forward to another visit–and to the conference! Being an inveterate “foodie” I’m ready to start exploring restaurants online in anticipation of some fine seafood.

ASI Announces 2017 Conference Location

ASI Annual Conference
Portland, Maine
June 15-17, 2017
The 2017 ASI Conference will be June 15-17, 2017, in beautiful Portland, Maine, with views of Casco Bay, a dozen museums-among them the Wadsworth Longfellow House, a rich culinary culture, and plenty to see and do including symphony, ballet, and theatre.
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Hearing your input to our venue survey, the Board, Conference Committee, and staff are excited to see ASI members in Portland, a winner in the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice™ awards for Destinations on the Rise for 2016.
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Highly walkable, this foodie city has “A commitment to sustainable seafood, and the farm-to-table movement has quality food at dock-side diners, cafés and bistros that line Casco Bay or elegantly converted warehouses, barns, and churches.”
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Whether you choose to fly directly into Portland or use convenient ground transportation from the Boston airport, you’ll be warmly welcomed to our conference hotel, where we’ve negotiated very favorable rates for conference attendees.
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The call for session proposals, registration information, and travel details will be coming soon. Mark your calendar now and save the dates. We’ll see you in the “City by the Sea”!
Contact ASI Office with any technical questions.

The Visit Portland ME website has an”Eat and Drink” page that should provide an early start on exploration of the food scene. From Business Insider and Maine Foodie Tours there’s more on the food scene–yes, I admit to having a lot of interest in food and I know it’s a bit soon to be thinking about airplane tickets, but I was so happy to see that Southwest Airlines does have service to Portland ME!

See you in Portland!

 

 

 

 

Indexing blogs….

img_20141212_110634096_hdrI’m a subscriber to the Potomac Indexing blog–a great source of “continuing education” and thought-provoking articles.

Since usability concerns us all this article on cross references seems particularly pertinent; I’m looking forward to the next in the series.