It’s probably just me being chronically restless, which I tend to be, but I love experimenting with different methods of writing things. I learned to write by hand, advanced to a manual typewriter, then electric, and then eventually found these computer things. I was very impressed with how fast and efficiently a computer could garble up and lose something I’d written. Way faster than a typewriter!
I never really switched modes because I had to. It wasn’t Gee, I’d best start typing my stuff up so I can send it out. I just switched because I was curious, I wanted to experiment, and I eventually found a groove on each device and continued to use it until a new groove came along. I was always content in the knowledge that if computers irked me enough, I could go back to typewriting, and if that irked me enough, I could revert all the way back to handwriting. The versatility was important to me.
One thing I always do in art stores is ogle the sets of calligraphy pens which comes in attractive little packages. I like the pens with their fountain pen like points (being a sucker for fountain pens) and I like the little bottles of various inks. I always dream of scratching out a short story like this. I just never got around to buying any.
Fast forward to tonight. My sister, who has heard about this several times, comes out with a little bottle of black ink and a set of calligraphy pens and points and sets them down in front of me. I am busy sitting like someone in a coma, practically drooling, with a Hulkbuster of a headache and pain caused by the Brownian motion of air molecules brushing against each other.
Still, I’m delighted to try it. You’re never too old to try new things! So I set aside my manuscript that I’m working on, by hand, and I put down a blank piece of paper and I go to try it.
I have no idea why I thought this was a good idea.
I scratch out one little line. And then, in the process of going to dip the pen into the ink again…I catch the pen tip on the edge of the bottle, upend it, and spill three fourths of the bottle of ink.
I spill it in a pretty puddle all over the table, two of my fingers…and three of my manuscript pages.
I haven’t typed up any of this manuscript. I promised myself I wouldn’t type it up until I’d finished chapter one. So you can imagine my screaming.
Fortunately, I only lost a handful of words, most of which I can probably guess. It’s not like it blotted out half a page, said half containing such words of brilliance as to move the readers of the world to tears. I just have sentences that now go “You cannot be said with a flush.*
So, this proves that experimenting is a Very Bad Idea indeed, and I will now stick safely to the modes of writing that I learned when I was younger. No more of this crazy boat-rocking for me. Nossir. For one thing, it took me five minutes to scrub the ink off my fingers.
It did make me appreciate my cartridge-based fountain pen all the more.
And I think I should probably buy my sister a new bottle of ink, since her old bottle of ink is currently a large black stain (but it’s on a large black table, so that’s all right.)
* This is not an actual sentence. For one thing, this sentence is terrible, which is exactly the sort of sentence I don’t write. So never fear.