Roz Remembers the Way It Was

Patty and Roz

Time for another guest writer(s).  This post comes from a couple fellow scribes, Roz Burgess and Patty Neuman, who for some reason or other befriended me via the Twittersphere.  They share with us how their personal course has been altered by technology — and why they’re happy as clams as a result.  Click here to read more about Roz and Patty!

Eventually there comes a time when you have to explain to your twelve-year-old nephew Smart Aleck how things were done in the olden days. Specifically, how you wrote an entire novel and where you stored it. So, it goes something like this:

Aleck: What kind of input device did you use back then?

Me:     As I recall it was compact, sleek, and totally reliable.

Aleck: 4G?

Me:     We didn’t call it G, more like HB. No. 2, to be precise.

Aleck: Resolution?

Me:     Fantastic resolution, depending, of course, on how hard you pressed.

Aleck: Design?

Me:     Brilliant. The case came in many colors, but yellow was the most popular.

Aleck: How about GHz?

Me:     About two million.

Aleck: No way!

Me:     Oh, is that a lot? Okay, then let’s say five.

Aleck: Five hundred?

Me:     No, just five.

Aleck: Memory card?

Me:     Plenty of memory, depending on how much wine I’d had to drink.

Aleck: Wireless?

Me:     Naturally. No wires in sight.

Aleck: Battery life?

Me:     That sucker could go all night.

Aleck: Screen size?

Me:     Usually 8 ½ by 11, but it could be as big as the dining room wall if necessary.

Aleck: Upgrades?

Me:     As simple as pulling another device from its box.

Aleck: Sounds cool.

Me:     Absolutely, and did I mention that the delete button on one end was really good at cleaning gunk out of stuff?

Aleck: Huh?

Me:     Duh!

It seems impossible now, but my first novel was actually written in pencil. Patty, my writing partner of over thirty years, took my spiral-bound notebooks and typed them on a manual typewriter. Friends don’t come any better than that.

Since then we’ve progressed through electric typewriters, faxes, and e-mails. Now we just download to each other’s Kindle. It’s all so simple and wonderful and miraculously instant. And thanks to Aleck, with his aptly named smartphone, iPad, and who-knows-what-other input device he has up his short sleeves, it’s good to remember just how far we’ve come.


  1. Carolyn Ferriano says

    Oh so true!!!! Enjoyed this one.

  2. I wonder how Aleck will explain “modern” technolgy in thirty years!

  3. Even though not being as many times young as the authors, I totally agree with them 🙂

    Think about it: when you’re in a hurry because you’re on the phone TALKING or with a dead battery in one of your several devices (gasp, yes that has happened to me!)…who hasn’t gone for a dive for pen and paper…and started trashing drawers and tables repeating “There has to be one here”?

    Great read and a loud laugh 🙂

    • Thanks, Growth Hunter! But we have a feeling we’re older than you think. We’re older than WE often think 🙂 So true about finding the seldom-used pen and paper at our houses, too! We thank YOU for the LOL! And for taking the time to comment.
      Roz and Patty

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