Tag Archives: archaic typewriter

As I Sit in Front of My Computer Screen, Hashing Out My Next Novel, Occasionally My Mind Will Wonder

As I sit in front of my computer screen, hashing out my next novel, occasionally my mind will wonder. One topic that seems to be my go-to (brought about by the ability to write on an electric screen) concerns the way people accomplished tasks not so many years ago, as opposed to today.

I remember watching someone type. The die would physically strike a piece of paper through a ribbon infused with ink transferring the letter. By pressing any number of keys labeled with the alphabet, numbers, and a plethora of various symbols  printing process actively delivered letter to paper. These older keyboards are not unlike today’s computer keyboards save where the years between the two would dictate that necessity.

 Heaven help you if the misfortune of making a mistake ever crossed one of your hard fought words. You had two options: discard the page and totally retype or use an archaic small piece of white paper. This you held over the offending letter, struck the paper and letter a second time to transfer the white substance that, in theory, covered the mistake and gave you a clean surface to retype the correct letter . . . Good luck.

The fun part of a day’s work with one of these machines was maintenance, such as changing a ribbon. If by fortune you inherited this task in the morning, you could spend the remaining hours of your day covered in a non-removable black ink.

As an author thinking, about using one of these ancient devices to pen a novel makes me want to pick up pencil and paper.

Well, how about that trip down memory lane. It’ll make you think next time you complain about your modern-day typing device.

Have a great week, and may God bless you and yours!

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Be Careful What You Wish For Because You Just Never Know

Have you ever heard someone say, “I’d like to live back in the days of the old west?” In my younger years, I’ll have to admit it seemed like a desirable experience; however, when I give that notion more consideration, it tends to take a different route.

First, I’d have to weigh the romanticized version of the west we see on television, against common sense.

It would be pretty cool to carry a gun strapped to my side, a rifle in my saddle holster and saddle bags full of everything from necessities to gold.

During cold weather, I’d wear a long black oil skin coat. Of course, I would never be caught without my leather chaps, cowboy boots and Stetson hat (or something equivalent).

My horse would be my best friend, and I would ride the range, sleeping under the stars, and cooking what I shot for dinner over an honest to goodness fire I made with my own two hands.

Occasionally, I would venture into town for a few shots of the ore red-eye and maybe some female companionship.

Then, I shift my thoughts to instances as simple as a toothache. What would be a painless procedure in this day and time, one hundred fifty years ago, would require and overabundance of whiskey and several men to hold the patient down while the barber/dentist removed the offending enamel object.

If I were not to mention sanitation, rotten meat, simple wounds becoming infected and the deadly diseases that are easily curable today, I would be remiss not to declare the lack of hygiene that getting close to anyone, (especially intimately) would likely result in bringing about a puke fest.

As an author, I cannot imagine performing edits and rewrites on an archaic typewriter. My latest novel includes time travel, boy am I glad it’s just Science Fiction!

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