|This is a Weekly Coffee Share hosted by Eclectic Alli.
Alli manages a weekly list of posts from a small group of bloggers who want to just stay in touch, chat about blogging, writing, travel, photography, children, pets, work, life hacks or just about anything else that might be of interest.
|Link to Last week’s list||Link to This week’s list|
|Link to my Story Blog. Come share a laugh with me.|
Good day all,
I missed you all these past two weeks. I thought I had this down to a system, but then life and work happened. So let’s catch up.
First, I’d like again to ask if any of you know the generic name for a graphic used in writing to change topics or point of view, just like the characters below?
# # # <– what would an editor call this?
I know they meant to be lesser tool than chapter breaks but stronger than a paragraph break. Some authors use just 1-3 simple characters. They are also used to change “person” as in writing in 1st, 2nd or 3rd person – which I find just weird. They help to let us make a change in the story (who is speaking, where the focus is and perhaps a switch in time) without using the larger hammer of a chapter break. I know there is a name for these floating traffic cones for readers and it bugs me that I can’t recall their name.
The articles I’ve reviewed about good use of POV switches don’t commonly address these simple floating characters or images, but I see them used often and find them helpful if wisely matched to the type of writing.
Technical writing commonly uses very simple non-thought provoking devices like a simple extra space or horizontal line that signals the change without giving the reader something to think about or figure out. Preceding technical discussion with intricate images that themselves invite reader’s focus would work against the very reason for the technical writing – that being for the reader to understand some very specific details rather than enjoy the symmetry of a nice set of interwoven Celtic hearts.
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I’ve had an interesting couple of weeks. I had a family celebration of life down near San Diego,Calif. which is about 10 hours of driving one way from home. I decided to go early, work from our office there and visit a long time friend I’ve not seen for 2 decades.
My work is always a challenge, but last weekend proved to be over the top weird. I had my badge setup to allow access to the San Diego office but when I arrived, virtually everyone was gone – replaced with rooms of moving boxes (uh-oh) and cubes being disassembled. I found a sole guy who knew the story and told me that they are closing this office and moving down the street. Okay. I was not badged for that office so, could I make due here? As it turns out the answer was, sort of. . . I had to find a phone and power socket that still worked and a desk that still had a working network inside the firewall. Once I got all that settled, I got online and added the new building to my badge for the next day (Saturday) because I had lost so much time trying to get stuff done already that I was going to need to work part of the weekend.
I managed to get some work done but finally decided to put off the big stuff until the next day at the new office, but when I got there Saturday morning, I found no one – no one at all at the new building and, while my badge would likely have worked for the new downsized suite – it did not work at the entrance to the building – which was locked up tight with no one around to plead my case to. So I went back to the first office hoping to pick up somewhere near where I left off only to find that now there was no network, arggg! I did a few things that could be done off-line then called it a day and drug myself off for lunch and a movie. Enough was enough. It was time to sit back and let the weekend be the weekend and deal with the leftovers when I could get back to a normal working environment.
That night though – I met with my friend which made up for all the frustration. I hope you have such a friend who knows you well enough to thoroughly embarrass you but loves you too much to ever do so. He or she would have bonded to you over many years of life challenges, stood with you when you started new loves, crashed them, learned from them and moved on, changed jobs, homes and hair and pant styles, all while forcing you to keep laughing, growing and occasionally making a fool of yourself just for fun.
Joseph and I had not seen each other since the mid 1990s but, with glasses of wine in hand, we pretty much picked up right where we left off, recalling things that are still funny, stunts we pulled and mistakes we only wish we could forget. I did come away with his permission to drop his real name into the stories that he appears in. I hope to get that done later today.
Joseph shows up in several of my stories. Which is my favorite changes with my mood but, The Most Audacious Birthday Gift, is at the top of my list today.
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My “writing” time has been almost non-existent unless I can count a few clever text messages dictated while driving south or later back north on the famous Interstate 5 which bisects California pretty much down the rough vertical middle.
When I came back to work, it was time for my big quarterly project and this round I was finishing the training of an amazing woman who could be my second on the project so I would (after 12+ years) no longer be a single point of failure if I could not produce the work one day or left the company or worse. She did great, but then someone sent a note of appreciation to someone else who reacted with concern about a small point of how my report was being used by a few people. This somehow turned into a huge issue and right after completing both the English and Spanish version distributions, I and my VP sponsor were told to put a hold on distribution. Unless they get things figured out, close to 400 customer companies around the globe and going to be impacted over this question.
So today finds me, thankful for great friends, a strong family, a job I like doing (mostly) and for a bit of time to sit back and tinker with my story collection. Not knowing the name of those little floating characters for doing topic or POV switches is making me nuts as are some very talented colleagues at work who don’t understand the world the way I do. The whole question leaves me pensive with concern that they have the power to completely shut my project down after all these years. Sigh – another problem to sort out.
Maybe I should just drive back down to San Diego with another bottle of wine to share with Joe. A good friend can be like cool lotion on the dry skin of our soul.
Thank you, yet again, Alli for hosting our weekly coffee share.