Wednesday, May 12, 2010

An Author's Life: Balls (XIII)

Finally back on track after attending the Associated Church Press ("serving religious publishers since 1916") convention in Crystal City, Virginia* where I had the pleasure of meeting folks I'd only encountered in print or online.

Thursday, I enjoyed listening to Cokie Roberts, who accomplished the miraculous feat of making me feel proud to be a Roman Catholic woman. Friday, I presented one workshop highlighting The Virtual Abbey as an example of faith community building and another that was an intro to managing social media. On Saturday morning, I got a last-nanosecond invite to join a panel about blogging ─ more about that in another post.

Here, I'll zoom in on a conversation, one that ended up being a Luddite memory fĂȘte. This always happen whenever I speak up about how high tech supports the world "high touch" (i.e., interpersonal and community engagement). Not a problem for me, I can talk typewriter ─ manual and electric.

And I can talk balls, which I did during a delightful hallway chat that included reminiscing about the relative virtues of Courier and Prestige Elite.

Courier was, of course, the preferred font for real writers writing real stuff like essays, articles and books. Only executives and their secretaries used Prestige Elite for letters and interoffice memos. I know this because like every other woman in my cohort, I worked as a secretary on my way to becoming a writer and author.

Epiphanous moment?

Perhaps this explains why I used Courier as the default font on my computers for the longest time and why I'm exceedingly fond of Georgia these days.

*Note: Unless you like the smell of cat pee, bring your own soap, shampoo, and body lotion if you stay at the Hyatt in Crystal City.


  1. Oh my gosh those balls bring back memories. I worked as an executive secretary - having those balls meant you were working in a high class place. I know because I also worked as a church secretary and we did NOT have those balls!

  2. Joelle! Really and truly and really fancy pants places had a slew of balls, including the one for script. And of course only those WITH balls were allowed to be in management, which is why so many of us grew brass ovaries.


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