Books, news, & views from Karen Traviss

The age of steam

Old Technology Baffles Pissed Old Hack*
I've been meaning to get a manual typewriter for some time, just to see how much it changes my writing process, so I now have an old Adler Gabrielle sitting on the sideboard. When I unpacked the parcel it came in, I found it even had its own resident spider.

One thing I'd forgotten is how big and heavy typewriters are. I haven't typed the old fashioned way for thirty years, but it's amazing how fast muscle memory kicks back in and you find yourself clattering away and hitting the carriage return like Lunchtime O'Booze.

I'm not sure I'm up to tackling a 150,000 word novel on it, but we'll see. It's an experiment. I'll report back on how much it rewires my brain. But no, I have no plans to track down one of the "mobile" phones we used to use, because that would be hernia-inducing madness. (Actually, when I was a young hack, we didn't even have mobiles.) Kids today wouldn't believe it. The first one I used in my TV days was bigger and heavier than the ones shown here.

(* You may be too young and/or too foreign to be familiar with Private Eye, so check out the ref. You know you're getting old when the people pilloried in the Eye are your former colleagues and even former bosses. And when you gloat about it.)