Pens and Pencils



I began writing seriously in 1964, but I’ve most often kept it as a hobby in order to keep it fun, a relief valve, as it were. Once in a while I’d earn more than a smile or a frown but never enough cash to place my income in a higher tax bracket. Well, once I was offered an associate editor position with Ag-pilot International Magazine, an aircraft agricultural crop-spraying journal enjoying worldwide circulation. I accepted the offer. The pay was great and it was fun. Another time I was offered the City Desk position with a medium-sized newspaper in the Pacific Northwest. But I turned it down. The pay was decent, but my job would have entailed chasing city stories, covering city council meetings, and other jobs. I prefer fiction and that job would strangled my creativity.

During those early years my finished manuscripts were always finished on a Sears portable. But the rough draft was almost always accomplished in pencil. It was not that I was continually erasing what it written. Pencils gave me the confidence of knowing that I could make corrections should it be necessary.

This process continued until I bought a Commodore 64 computer and printer and Easy Script, a word processor that replaced the typewriter in the mid-80s. It worked for years publishing a half-dozen amateur radio newsletters, a CW journal.

However, the writer’s block was never far from my writing machine of choice which happens, at the moment, is an iPad . When it visits out come the pens and pencils. They are so portable, require no external power source, no special lighting. The bonus, setup time minimal.

Pens, pencils, typewriters, desktop computers and iPads each have their place.