Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Wot the Dickens? (groan)
Well, I've -
Had a birthday (21 again)
Painted the bedroom (twice - the first shade of yellow I'd picked made my eyes hurt. A classic case of a colour not doing what it said on the tin!)
Worked overtime at the library (people are still dropping like flies with The Bug).
And now it's back to my Favourite Thing...fannying about on the computer. I accidentally came across an article about Charles Dickens. I was meant to be looking up how to convert American cups into English ounces for a nice cake recipe, but got lost on the way. Anyway, it made me wonder. How in hell's fiery furnace would I have managed to do any writing at all in that era? There am I, messing abart wiv me "chapters in progress" - cutting and pasting, deleting and inserting, editing and elaborating, finding and replacing at leisure - and there he was, bless him - desperately working from 8.30 am to 1pm, to make the most of what natural light there was...using a quill. A quill, for god's sake!! Can you imagine? Yet he managed to write about 27 books and only ever missed two deadlines, and one of those was because he died. Which as good an excuse as any I could have come up with.
I used to get annoyed using a typewriter, years ago, because I'd make so many mistakes and use so much correction fluid that my pages always looked like a seagull with the runs had flown overhead. I rarely sent anything out, because it never looked up to scratch - plus my stories were rubbish, but that's incidental. So, how I'd have managed with a quill, some splodgy ink and no electric, I've NO IDEA. Having said that...at least there weren't any distractions, I suppose. He just got on with it. Wonder how he'd have fared these days, with t'Internet at his fingertips? I like to think he'd have spent his days looking for blotters on e-bay and researching his family tree.
Jane Austen's handwriting was annoyingly neat, for someone who didn't have access to gel pens and those rollerball thingies that glide across the page, and those space-age pens you can write upside down with. I don't suppose she ever got so annoyed that her pen had run out of ink and she couldn't find another one, that she got a pencil and scribbled really hard over everything she'd written, until the page ripped and then hurled it on the fire...like someone I could mention. Not me.
Eeh - we don't know we're born, as m'gran would have said. And did, frequently.
On a completely different note, I was passed this rather lovely award from the fabulous Lane, which made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I'm going to pass it on to Cally Taylor, because her's was the first blog I ever came across, after typing Writers Writing about Writing into Google (look, I was young and naive and still looking for the Magic Formula okay?) and it was so interesting and fun that I kept on reading. Still waiting for the Magic Formula though ;)
Actually, I think I know what it is.
I just need to buy a quill.