One day we had trouble with our DVD player. The prospect of it not being usable bothered my then nine-year-old daughter. Trying to be helpful, I said, “I didn’t have a DVD player when I was your age. They weren’t invented yet.” Then, as if the floodgates of repressed memories opened, I added, “And we didn’t have VCRs or personal computers.” For some reason I stopped short of telling her that when I was growing up we only had black-and-white television, and could get three channels…maybe four if the weather was just right. I chose not to mention thatI never had ANY video games…until PONG came along. And that hardly counts. I even resisted the and I had to walk to school every day–through knee-deep snow…uphill…both ways!
And never once did I seriously entertain the notion of telling her that the only time we had electricity when I was growing up was when lightning hit the outhouse. A tad too dramatic. Not to mention factually inaccurate.
What I DID mention was effective enough. She was sufficiently horrified by the thought of growing up without computers and videos. She looked at me, sad eyes filled with pity, probably thinking that the reason our family owns several seasons of Little House On The Prairie (On DVD) was because the Ingalls were my next door neighbors. Which, by the way, they weren’t.
But I didn’t have access to the technology that kids today are raised with. And when it comes to writing, sometimes that’s awkward. I’ve had to learn how to email manuscripts, deal with track changes, and create proposals in digital form. And don’t get me started on the whole formatting my WIP thing! Indent here…don’t indent there…double spacing every where, except here, here, and over there…no spacing…ittalics okay…ittalics not okay…NO semi-colons…ever…under any circumstances…and Word this…Mac that…Manomanoman! To be honest, it’s not been easy for me. But it’s just part of the writer’s life now.
What’s been the most challenging part for you as a writer?
By the way, did I mention that when I was a kid, the only time we had electricity was when…oh, never mind.