Can a Font be Controversial?

[begin rant]

DreamPunk Press uses opendyslexic font for all publications, and has used it for the last couple of years. It is a font designed to be easier for those with Dyslexia to read. Even though I don’t have Dyslexia, I like using this font and find it easier to read on a computer. (You can download it from: http://www.opendyslexic.org.)

But in person, when explaining to folx that we use this font, and why–that we feel everyone should be able to enjoy reading–some people sneer and walk away.

“That’s too hard to read.”

Really? Have you ever had to squint at Times New Roman in 9 point? Now that’s hard to read.

I find it a little difficult that a font designed to be easy to read would be hard for someone to read (except those with sever Dyslexia, of course, or those with other reading or sight issues).

Maybe I’m being too hard on folx, but I wish they would read a page or two before sneering. I think they’d find it not that hard to read after all.

Do you have a favorite font? What are your thoughts on a publisher using a font like opendyslexic for all its publishing?

[end rant]

A Valentine’s Ficlet

The chili sloshed in the crock, and Janie stopped her slow, unsteady pace to the back door of the building she worked in. Whose bright idea was it have a chili cook-off the day before Valentines?

Oh, yeah. Her crush. Carson McMichaelson.

Which was why, even though she was a vegetarian, she’d spent fifty bucks on ingredients, borrowed her neighbors crock pot, and made chili last night. She’d left it on cooking all night on low; she;d had to, it hadn’t been put together until five minutes past her bedtime.

So the pot was hot, wrapped in a large bath towel, and set into her laundry basket for the ride into base and for the treacherous walk across the lot to the building.

It still might not make it all the way in.

Struggling–her purse wanted to slide down her shoulder and it took her three minutes to find her badge onthe end of the lanyard withonly one hand while resting her laden laundry basket against the wall–she made it into the building and to the conference room where everything had been set up the day before.

“Just put yourpot nextto a number, thenput your name by that number on this sheet of paper.” Karen, fromaccounting, waved the printed paper in her face.

Janie wasn’t overly fond of Karen; the young woman had a tendency to wave papers–and other items–in her face. She was also pretty and slim and talked with Carson a lot.

Doing as she was told, Janie left the room in a rush, basket and towel in hand, and marched to her desk. Being on the bottom of the ladder in Admin meant she needed to be at her desk, working, before the supervisor came in.

Mrs. Bradshaw was nice to work for, in all honesty. She didn’t expect Janie, only 3 months in to the job, to know everything she needed to know and was a very good teacher. There were instruction and policies to follow, and Janie appreciated that to no end.

The woman just had a few odd rules that Janie sometimes had trouble complying with. Like being at her desk, busy, when walked in the door.

Mrs. Bradshaw smiled at Janie then frowned at the empty desk on the other side of the room. “Millie not in yet?”

“I haven’t seen her, Ma’am.” Janie winced. Poor Millie was going to get an earful later. Even if she had a good reason.

“Did you bring a chili in?” Mrs. Bradshaw smoothed her dark grey curls away from her face and hung her grey greatcoat on the coat rack.

“Yes, I did. I took it in sgtraight away.”

Mrs. Bradshaw smiled, “Oh, good,” and went into her office, almost closing the door behind her.

It was a busy morning without Millie–who had indeed gotten an earful from Mrs. Bradshaw when she’d finally called in to let them know she was sick. there was a slight easing of the lecture when Millie explained she;d been at the hospital emergency room.

At lunch, everyone crowded into the conference room to hear the announcment of the winner and then to chow down on the offerings. It would cost money to get a bowl of the winning chili (as well and second and third)–that would go tto the winners as part of their prize. Everyone else was free.

Carson–who was a stand-in judge when the Deputy had a meeting–was pale and sweating. Janie wondered ifhe had the same bug as Millie.

Janie hadn’t won, of course. She hadn’t expected to, after all, her’s didn’t even have meat in it, but a soy and wheat substitute.And it was her first chili.No one won with their first chili.

Though getting her picture taken with the Colonel and Carson would have been nice.

A loud retching noise made everyone pause and look.

Poor Carson wasn’t pale anymore, but flushed, with vomit on the floor in front of him.

“Oh, God!” Karen gasped–she’d been standing closest to him–and waved her papers in front of this face, backing away. “Carson!”

The Colonel, who’d been standing next closest seemed unfazed–which was probably a good quality in a Colonel. “You okay, buddy?” He called everyone Major and below “buddy”, even his civilians.

Carson shook his head,doubling over. “Soy..wh..wheat. Allergy..allergies.”

Janie felt sick herself. She’d poisoned Carson with her chili.

[I hope you enjoyed this little fic–inspired by the chili cook-off at my work–dubbed “heart-burn day” that we hold the Thursday before Valentine’s.]

It’s Wednesday again…or About an Editor

So, I’m beginning to suspect that my subconscious is trying to tell me something…like Mondays will not be my day to post here.

So, Wednesday it will be.

Let’s cross our fingers that I’ll be able to stick with it.

On to my actual post.

I want to share a bit about editing, since my day job that pays the bills is as a technical (generalist) editor. I use generalist because most technical editors work within a specific field that they have a background in. They are responsible for checking the technical content in what they edit.

That’s not what I do.

I’m a copy editor, for technical documents. I have a technical background from my time in the Navy, which helps, but I’m editing in a technical subject that I don’t have a background in. What my time in the Navy did was give me a technical acumen and familiarity with how technical jargon works, and that allows me to help smooth and clarify an array of subjects for digestion by folks like me–folks without the same technical background as the author.

That doesn’t mean I don’t have an editing education: I have a Bachelor’s in English (and at this point, nearing 20 years of editing), as well as many editing and communication courses over those 20 years.

I also edit fiction for a select number of individuals (namely, folks I know). While the basics of editing remain the same, the mechanics are different. While for a technical document I’m ensuring the system under discussion is always called my the same name–EVERY TIME–in fiction, it’s different; variety is the key in fiction, though not so much that the reader thinks it is something else.

Putting together newsletters and press releases and articles (all of which I have take formal classes in, and have at one time or another been paid to do) also take a slightly different angle on editing; in the end, it all boils down to the audience, and the editor understanding who that audience is.

Which is why I will never edit a dissertation for anyone ever again (unless we share close blood) because that is an audience I will never, ever understand…but I digress.

When looking for an editor, check what they’ve already edited (be suspicious if they have a web site but don’t share who they’ve worked with or what they’ve edited) and ask for references. Don’t be afraid to ask other folks doing the same thing as you who they use, or don’t use. At the same time, don’t be afraid to take a risk on someone trying to break into a different type of editing (as long as they are giving you a break on the cost).

You may find the best editor ever.