Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My Newsletter: West Nile Virus, Gen Probe testing, and new building name

Click here to read the October 2012 issue of The Laboratorian.

"Laboratory Testing Key in West Nile Virus Surveillance" was one of the most difficult articles that I have written for The Laboratorian — mostly because of the dearth of interview subjects. I don't really blame them. Being involved in outbreak response makes for long, intense days. Even though I felt like I was extracting material one tiny grain at a time,  information did gradually trickle in. A couple of people even agreed to be quoted. They were duly interviewed on the phone, via email and in person. Their contributions made a significant improvement by allowing me to include more than "just facts," for which I am extremely grateful. Writing about West Nile turned out to be a great learning experience, and the result is one of my favorite newsletter articles to date.

In comparison, the article titled "Laboratory Building Named for Former Legislator" came together quickly. My sources were willing and very helpful in providing information and verification via email.

The article on "Gen Probe Testing for Gonorrhea and Chlamydia" is the result of hard work by a member of my newsletter committee. Jan persevered in tackling a subject that often makes people squeamish. According to an old adage, “What you don’t know can’t hurt you.” As much as those of us who don’t like going to the doctor would like to argue, this is certainly not true in Public Health where diseases left undetected and untreated often lead to severe health problems.

Another member of my newsletter committee stepped out of his comfort zone to write the editorial on water testing. Andrew also willingly served as the photographer for many of the photos in this issue. I am extremely grateful for his help, which allowed me time to coordinate the numerous other details that go into a completed publication. Each issue brings its own behind-the-scenes challenges, and I couldn't do it without my dedicated group of volunteer committee members.

The layout of the publication is still lacking — due to limitations imposed by the work-in-progress that is our Web Content Management System — but the information is what really matters. I doubt that there are many out there scrutinizing it with my critical artistic eye.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Addendum: How do you spell ebook / eBook / e-book?

Being a writer and editor is a contiuous learning process. Over a year ago, I posted a blog on "How do you spell ebook / eBook / e-book?" My prediction at the time was that the natural language trend would lead us to simplify the spelling to ebook.

I recently invested in a copy of the 2012 AP Stylebook, also known as "The Journalist's 'Bible,'" to use in editing my work newsletter. (Now that I have the book I realize how sorely I needed the reference.) In working my way through the pages, I found the below instruction on the topic of electronic books:
"e-book The electronic, nonpaper version of a book or publication, sold digitally and commonly consumed on an e-book reader or e-reader, such as Amazon's Kindle."
As much as I would like to consider myself ahead of the curve, I plan on listening to the grammar authorities and using e-book.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have another "See entry in..." to track down. The 2012 AP Stylebook is strangely mesmerizing. If only it didn't come with the risk of paper cuts. I wish an e-book version was available for my new Kindle Paperwhite.