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  • Fragments, Part III

    Paraphrasing from a recent Facebook post: As an editor, you learn that some pieces are labors of love. Others feel like the writer was going through labor ... and left it for you to deliver.

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    I always tell my children: “Don’t tempt karma.” The minute you feel like everything is going great is the same moment fate’s shoe gets ready to drop and step on your head. This week’s example: Just when I started feeling good about the holiday season, the garbage disposal breaks, the plumber comes five hours late, and the replacement is defective — all because I bragged that my daughters got along at the mall a few hours earlier…

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    Most of us move through life in relative anonymity. Remember when it used to be that the only public recognition most people received was is in the police blotter (too bad) or the obituaries (too late)? Now, with the rise of social networking and the connections you make through Facebook, Twitter, et al, anonymity is fighting with print to become the “new vinyl.”

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    Recently in North Carolina, I rediscovered something that folks there have turned into an art form. Drivers pull out in front of you without hesitation, tires screeching. They travel about 30 feet and signal to turn left. Drives me up a tree (so far only figuratively).

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    Despite being a writer and editor for a full 3/5ths of my life, I do believe that print eventually will go the way of the vinyl record. School textbooks already are obsolete thanks to technology and our ability to instantly access information. And the Internet goes a long way toward satisfying our need for instant gratification, which in turn feeds into people having less and less patience to wait for what’s on the printed page. Why should they, when you can have it fed to you through headphones?

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    That said, I believe print still has a place because, like the vinyl record, paper provides a rich, full-bodied experience that you can’t get by tapping on a computer screen. Although, after getting one for Christmas, I must say the iPad comes close…