Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I edit, but only socially...

I've recently become fascinated by Wordonistas and Grammar Nazis who professionally edit grammar and punctuation. I've always been interested in the subtleties of language, but only recently have I become aware that you can edit socially (as opposed to editing in a cold dark classroom alone). See my list of journalists' blogs on the right? Fully half of those are editors' blogs - and the list is far from complete. How EXCITING!

No? Not exciting? Maybe you agree with this columnist. Then again, maybe you don't...

In my reader

A friend of mine has just started a blog and was asking about what I read. I thought I'd take a moment to write about the kind of things you'd find in my Google Reader... as a sort of pay-it-forward/thank-you-for-blogging moment of recognition to some of the folks who are part of my weekly routine.

The true value of the online experience is that we are able to connect as human beings, so I've tried to express here what I appreciate about each blog. It's not the tool that's important, it's the content.


Achenblog - Joel Achenbach at the Washington Post always has amusing news or non-news (by which I mean opinion prose) to share. His humorist prose is stronger for the fact that he writes to readers as if they were human.

The Latest from Capitol Hill - This is the Sacramento Bee's Capitol Alert service (by subscription only, but subscription is free). The Sacramento political stories are quick and easy to read, and best of all, the writers have a sense of what makes "real news" to a political junkie like me.

365 Days of Trash - "Sustainable Dave" has pledged to throw nothing away for one year. He keeps all his trash and recycling in his basement, and does everything he can to cut back on waste. He usually blogs about news related to sustainable living.

Creative Endeavors

Some of these artists are personal friends of mine, and some I have never met. They are all driven by an enormous love for their craft, and I admire their work and follow it closely - because these blogs allow me to do that. It's a joy to enjoy the arts, and that's what the arts are there for!

Musings and Meanderings - A blog by sci fi/fantasy author Christie Golden, who lovingly brings to life many of my favorite characters.
Ommatidia - 101-word short stories, five days a week, by Brendan Adkins. The prose is idea-heavy (my favorite kind), and has to be - it's hard to get across an entire story in 101 words!
On My Easel - Thoughts and works of artist Michael Georges. I find his oil paintings can just light up my imagination.
Penny Arcade - Not only for the hilarious comics drawn by Mike Krahulik, but I adore the written prose by Jerry Holkins. I believe he's one of the most truly influential literary critics alive today. (I don't mean to say he's a critic of literature - rather, his written critiques are literary in themselves.)
Phoenix Requiem - A comic by Sarah Ellerton - I find it hard to understand most graphic novels spatially, but this one has captured my interest despite that.
Poker Face - ED Lindquist is an award-winning author who writes weekly shorts and novels. I especially love the rich descriptions - the way a phrase turns from under her pen can be so pleasing, and conjure such captivating images.
Selserene's Machinimasochism - This machinima artist bases all her movies in the online game World of Warcraft. I love her sense of aesthetics - and humor.

Then of course come the Write Club blogs, which you can learn about here.

Copy Editors

My 'Journalism' links may belong in a seperate post. There are too many to cover. So here are the fun ones, the ones that both embrace, and break wildly free from, banality.

Bill Walsh's Blogslot - Wit from a Washington Post editor/grammar book author. See, told ya editing was fun.

The Engine Room - These two subs (UK copy editors) have a keen eye and funny, keeping-it-real voice. I suspect normal people (aka, non-editors) enjoy their blog too.

Conjugate Visits - Another fun grammar blog. Egad, Brain! They're everywhere!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Help an Egyptian journalist of Twitter fame

UPDATE: The email address listed for His Excellency Habib al-Adly appears not to be working. If you have a fax machine please let me know if that is working!

Two months ago you may have seen this story about a Journalism grad student who twittered his way out of jail. He was covering protests in Egypt when police tossed him and his translator in jail. Because he still had his cell phone, James Karl Buck was able to use Twitter, a text-messaging network, to let his teacher and colleagues know he had been arrested. From there, his friends hired a lawyer to help him out of jail, and he was released within 24 hours.

The sad news is Buck's translator and journalist friend, an Egyptian named Mohammed Maree, is still being held in jail. He needs our help to get him free.

Egypt has a bad reputation for detainee human rights. But as Amnesty International has proven, global concern for the welfare of a prisoner can pressure those in power to ease off.

From Buck's Web site, here's how you can help (from June 9th):

Help Mohammed - send an email or make a phone call to your Senator or Congressperson and asking them to support Mohammed’s release. Ask them to call the State Department and the Embassy — or you can call them directly:

  • State department Egypt desk Larry Cohen (202) 647 4680,
  • American Embassy Egypt political officer Ed White, +2 012 219 1768,
Fax or email the Egyptian interior minister, the one who ordered Mohammed’s detention:
  • His Excellency Habib al-Adly
    Interior Minister
    Al-Sheikh Rihan St.
    Bab Al-Louk, Al-Tahrir
    Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt *- Not working
    Fax: 002 022 579-2031

If you write, please let me know and/or send me a copy of your letter. Remember to call for his immediate and unconditional release, and remind Egypt's government that the world is very concerned for Maree's safety.