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Before I entered the hobby of collecting ball jointed dolls, I was collecting Liv dolls and Moxie Girlz.  For those unfamiliar with either of these brands, take a moment to Google search them.  Liv dolls had great articulation (something doll collectors who like to pose and photograph their dolls MUST have), as well as wigs that could be changed, while the Moxie Girlz were sort of toned down Bratz girls with limited mobility but lots of cute personality.  They tended to have feet that pulled off so you could apply other feet (like the Bratz, their shoes were part of their feet).

For someone like me, they were a great source of creativity.  I discovered that Moxie Girlz heads fit on Liv bodies, and one could make completely articulated dolls.

As a result, I sort of went on a spree of collecting Moxie Girlz that were on sale (because at that time, they were being eliminated from the market) and Liv dolls that were unloved (ebay is full of those).

Moxie Girlz were made by MGA, who also brought the world Bratz.  They were meant to replace Bratz dolls by having more proportional mouths and big eyes and more prominant noses.  There is a history of who did what, when and where.  MGA was sued by Mattel over the Bratz line, claiming the man who used to work for Mattel designed the line initially for Mattel, who decided the line was too slutty, (in spite of Barbie being an unrealistic body type in those days--and the fact that Mattel tried to compete by creating the somewhat unsuccessful MyScene dolls that looked alarmingly like small-headed Bratz, or big-headed slutty Barbies...) and therefore was their property.  Oddly enough, Bratz popularity comes and goes, and the newer dolls have a little more articulation and slightly less slutty faces.

I actually have a few Bratz, but they were bought so I could steal their clothes and later became art practice dolls.  One got her head put on a Jackie Evancho doll because it made her more proportional and even pretty.  Another got repainted.  And a couple got bought just because I saw them as cute.  Thrift Stores are your Friend.


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Repainted Bratzillaz (one of the Bratz lines)

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Kitty Katz Bratz head on a Jackie Evancho body

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Bratz repaint.

One of the Moxie Girlz I especially liked was Kellan.  She was a redhead with big eyes who did everything from walk pooping unicorns to play with art.  The first Kellan I got was very basic.  So I found a Liv doll Hayden in the clearance bin at a toy store, and put the head of Kellan onto the body of the Liv.

She was really cute.  For a time, she was my travel friend.  If I drove long distance, I kept Kellan in the vehicle at my side, taking pictures of her at various stops along the way.


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Kellan, the Hybrid Liv/Moxie Girlz Doll

The second Moxie Girlz I played "Frankendolly" (those in the hobby know this as well as "Dollystein") was an Avery.  Not just any Avery.  Moxie Girlz created a line of dolls meant for children with cancer,  The dolls were bald and had no eyebrows, which meant they wore wigs (if one were so inclined) and had faces that could be repainted.

My Avery was given an older Fashionista body and a wig, and I painted over her eyes to make them look a bit more mature.

And for me, that is one of the best parts about this hobby.  The artist creation.  Yes, I have done a few goofy things (I currently have one of those Stitch antennae topper heads on a Equestria Girls body--for a while, I was trying that Stitch head on everything I could find just to make my doll friends laugh), and I have done a few things that were not meant as playthings but more as art dolls.

Nowadays, Moxie Girlz are far and few between.  For a time (and they might still have some) Target had a Moxie Girlz Friends exclusive line.  These dolls are a little flatter faces, made of harder plastic and have only the standard five points of articulation.

Though one can still go to the website at   and find a host of interesting things.

Now Liv Dolls, a product of Spin Master, were so wonderfully articulated, but their biggest problem was the only way they could be told apart was eye color.  They did have lovely inset eyes (I know a lot of doll owners who buy them solely to steal those eyes because they are lovely), but the manufacture used the same face mold for all the dolls, and there was little variety in the line.  Sad, because MGA did them one step better with the creation of Moxie Teenz, but again, variety is what doll owners want, and the same doll over and over in different clothes does not make for interest.  Moxie Teenz, however, were taller, more sophistocated and and their short run made them very popular.  You can find them selling for super high prices on ebay.


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Moxie Teenz Tristan wearing a dress made by a doll friend and a wig made by me.

Now mind you, Liv dolls have their place.  I used to purposely look for Katie Liv Dolls because of their green eyes.  The first doll I made a Loletta style dress for was a Liv Katie (she still wears it, standing proudly among my Monster High and other dolls on the dresser).  The Haydens were my least favorite (though I collect their olive green eyes and use their bodies for other dolls).  I have Sofia, Danielle, Katie, Alexis and Jake (the token boy) in my collection.  And even a Hayden.  But moreover, I have a lot of Disney Merida dolls who were given Hayden bodies because they matched skin tones and gave Merida better articulation (and put an end to that Merida Disney Doll Habit of spreading her legs when she sat down).

Bottom line is dolls are fun.  I collect them because they inspire my creative side.

The Writer Writes...Fear of Dolls

Pediophobia is the fear of dolls, manniquins and sometimes children.  The reason I brought this subject up is there are people who have decided I am a little creepy for collecting dolls.  No, I won't name names, but I do remember when I got my first Ball Jointed Doll Andy, I used to take a lot of pictures of him and post them on my Facebook page, and there were a few folks who came out and expressed a certain fear of the pictures.  One went so far as to suggest that my dolls would eat me in my sleep.

Seriously?

But Pediophobia is real.  There are people who cannot stand the sight of dolls.  People who cannot enter a toy store because dolls creep them out.

When I was a child, my Great Aunt Evelyn had a doll named Joetta.  She was a composit doll (one whose head was composed of a mixture of sawdust, glue, etc).  She had eyes that opened and closed and long curly dark hair.  And she sat in a corner of the upstairs bedroom of my Great Aunt and Great Grandmother's old house.

Now my mother loved Joetta.  I did not.  I played in that upstairs room a lot, and Joetta would sit there and stare at me, and it would get to me to the point that I would take one of the doillies and put it over her head (much to the annoyance of my Great Aunt) just so I did not have to look at her while I played with my paperdolls in the floor.  I don't really know why.  I was never scared by a doll as a child.

When I became executrix of my Great Aunt's estate, I was going through the house (which I lived in to keep it going for a couple of years), and there sat Joetta, staring at me.  I remember looking at her and thinking, "Ugh, you are still one creepy doll."

Mom did not agree.  So I took Joetta over to stay with Mom just because I did not want her around.

Suffice to say, when I started collecting dolls, I was more into action figures or dolls with realistic proportions.  I did not really care for Barbie, but adored Monster High.  I don't actually care for babydolls, though I have a few.  It is all a matter of taste.

But then, I got my first Ball Jointed Doll, and quickly discovered that there were a lot of people who were actually afraid of dolls.

I feel sad for those people.  I like dolls.  They are comforting, and they challenge my creativity and keep my brain active.  I sew for them, paint their faces, make wigs...  There are a lot of creative aspects to the hobby.

Most of my dolls represent characters from various stories of mine that have been published over the years.  I have Conor, Eithne and Rhoyd, the characters from my Demon-Bound Duology.  I even have Anwyn Baldomyre and several characters from that series of tales.

But back to Joetta and my distrust of her...

When my mother died, I went into her bedroom to straighten a few things out, and there sat Joetta.  Mom had redressed her in some gown she had found.  But the poor thing was so dusty and I could see that bits of her composit were chipping off and her mohair wig was looking tangled and disheveled and even a bit thin.  I stared at her for quite a bit and then thought, "Why was I afraid of you?  You are just a doll..."

Joetta has an honored place in the bedroom where I sleep now.  She sits atop a shelf with a stuffed dog for company.  I see her every night before I retire, and not once have I thought, "You are a creepy doll."

I don't really know what changed.  Collecting the BJDs (and they do look realistic at times) may be the reason I came to accept Joetta.  My dolls are just dolls.  Yes, I like having them around me.  I don't feel the least bit uncomfortable seeing them in the dark when I roll over at night.  I almost like to think of them as little guardians who keep me safe.

But they are just dolls.  Simple objects.  Nothing to be afraid of.  They cannot hurt me.  They will not eat me in my sleep.

And I will probably keep collecting them until I have no more room for them. ;-)
And of course, I always wonder if anyone really noticed... ;-)

Life has gone on slowly.  The family, minus Mom, got together for Christmas.  All seemed well...

And then my brother passed away back at New Year's, and all hell broke loose.

Those who know me know I never had a close relation with my brother.  Most of it goes back to a childhood of battles that started with him biting a hole in my tongue, and escalated when he put a gun to my head and tried to blow my brains out.  As folks can see, I survived that incident, but only because I took the gun away from him.

I have been told I had no respect for my brother.  Kinda hard to respect someone who was always slapping you in the face, hiding around corners and leaping out at you, shoving his hands into your underwear, attempting to push you to the ground...

Yes, these are the things I don't speak of normally.  If anything, my brother's stupid attempts at dominating me turned me into a woman perfectly capable of defending herself and not afraid of fighting back.

They also made me rather standoffish when it came to physical affection.  Yes, I got over that, but I know who I can trust, and it takes being respectful of me to earn my respect.

I never trusted my brother.  He was a con man.  He married more than one woman, sired many children, stole from people, spent time in jail...

In his old age, he tried to reach out, but as I said before, I only give trust and respect to those who give it to me first.  And in spite of mellowing, he never really changed.

When he died, I was sorry that he had gone so abruptly.

Of course, there are those who think I should have forgiven him.  Easier said than done.  I tolerated his calls because he was good about calling Mom on her birthday, Mother's day, his birthday, Christmas, etc.  If anything, he stayed in touch, and I did talk to him when Mom just didn't feel up to it.

So it confused me a bit when one of my sisters took it upon herself first to tell him I had a certain guitar he coveted that had belonged first to my Dad, then to my Mom and now to me.  My brother was always asking Mom for the guitar, and Mom would say no.  He persisted, and she finally said to him that she had been offered a large amount of money for it, and he said, "Oh, I guess I would have sold it if I had been offered that too."

Now Mom never said she had sold it.  She gave it to me and told me never to give it to my brother or my father, who kept hinting that he wanted it back.

But suddenly, my sister tells my brother I lied to him because I still had the guitar.

Which led me to conclude she was up to something.  She wanted him on her side for whatever nefarious purpose she had.  What she doesn't know is he called his daughter who noticed his stinging retort about the matter on the Internet.  And she relayed what he said to me.  My brother was angry and upset, and confused.  But it was Mom who lied to him in the first place, not me, and I made a vow to my Mom never to tell him I still had the guitar because that was her wish.

I am accused, of course, of doing my mother's funeral wrong, in spite of the fact that *I* was the person who took care of her all those years and listened to what she wanted, and assured her I would do as she asked.  She wanted a simple service.  My sister spent that service "apologizing" to all her friends for how bad a service it was.  My sister thinks I could not hear her, but I did.

My sister thinks of herself as the victim, but in truth, she was the one starting all the problems.  She was told, for instance, over a year before Mom's death BY MOM that Mom was leaving the house and everything in it to me.  After all, I was there all my life, taking care of her and my stepfather, then her alone.  My sister never did anything to assist.  She tried to take over, but did nothing to assist.  And for the record, it was always my mother's decision not to allow my sister to assist because I was the only one who assisted my mother the way she WANTED to be assisted.  I was patient with her.  I never pushed her to do more than she was able.  As a result, I kept her alive probably far longer than she would have lived between the CoPD and the heart condition and the cancer.

There is much more to this tale, but I won't bore folks with any more details.

I have moved on.  I am living my life as best I can.  I have freedom and peace and quiet now.

Apparently, I am not supposed to enjoy being alone now, but I do.

I worked hard to keep others happy, and the time has come for me to be happy.  Even if it means never acknowledging the sister who caused all the trouble (and still thinks of herself as the victim).  Maybe one day, I will reveal all her dark little secrets to the world.

Who knows.  Only Me. ;-)

The Writer Writers...What's in a Name

A local writer of my acquaintence came in today.  They asked some valid writer questions and I did my best to answer them.  Then they told me why they were asking these questions and what they were hoping to achieve, and I reminded them the bottom line was to write what you want to write and write what you enjoy writing.

"You don't make money that way," was their response.

Well, yes and no.  The truth is there is just a tiny percentage of writers who can honestly make a living off fiction.  It is, in fact, easier to make money with non-fiction (to a degree) since information is still key in our society today.

Fiction. It is a hit or miss thing.  I have been publishing short fiction, novellas, novelettes and novels since the late 80's.  I was doing nonfiction before that.

And I am still working at my day job.

I am no less proud of my writing.  Yes, I spent many years (and occasionally still have those monents) fighting Imposter Syndrome, the belief that I don't really deserve to succeed as a writer.  We are creatures with fragile egos, we writers.  We have to have a thick skin and a sensitive heart, and that sometimes makes for a fragmented human when it comes to success.

I don't really envy other writers their success anymore.  There was a time in my writing youth when I did.  Problem with that sort of envy is it can choke you as a writer.  It can interfere in your desire to create and make you bitter.

There was a time when I wrote every single day.  When the idea that I did not produce at least a few paragraphs in my allotted writing time made me crazy.

There was a time when I thought commercial success was the only reason to write.

I know better now.  I write because I want to write.  Because I have to write.  If I get paid for it, that makes it better, but I stopped competing with myself and with other writers ages ago.

If people want to read what I write, it is a good thing.  But if people say, "I have never heard of you before," I don't let it blow me out of the water.  I just smile and remind people there are a LOT of writers out there (too many with unicorn dreams about the industry making them rich and famous), and one cannot possibly know EVERY one of them.

The zen of writing is that I write because I am and because I want to.  Not because I have to.  It has taken so much pressure off my brain to just write because I want to write.  It does not mean I will stop trying to sell what I write.  But I won't be so bummed out when it doesn't.

While I still think young writers SHOULD at least attempt to sell professionally before becoming indies and shoving their own stuff out there, because frankly, there is nothing better than an editor to help you mold your writing into a truly readable product, I no longer care how a person got published anymore.

I am even dipping my toes in the self-publishing waters.  But I plan to do it the right way.  Make sure I have a perfectly readable product.

Nothing worse than disappointing readers.

The Writer Writes...How Time Flies

Things in my world are starting to calm down a bit.  They say time heals all wounds, and that we get over loss.

I don't really think we ever do, but we do learn to live with it. ;-)

I am trying to get my writing back on course, of course.  Still have a lot of distractions, but they are minor these days.

I have a couple of new dolls, for instance.  One is a giant, while the other is diminutive.  The giant, I chose.  He is an Impldoll Gnaeus, and he is my Ardemus Alden (whose name may be familiar to anyone who has read my novella "The King's Wind").  For the moment, however, because I do not have any clothes for him, he is just hanging around in a great kilt.

The smaller doll.  Well, I did not order him.  In fact, he is one of two dolls I got in a surprise bag.  The first one was a Dollzone Coral, which is a sort of cat/deer with wings.  Very cute in a strange way.

But the other one...he wormed his little resin way into my heart the moment I saw his face, and I named him Beebo.  He looks like a little space robot with a human head (he has a helmet that fits over the human head like something out of a futuristic biohazard story).  But his adorable face is what got me gushing when I opened my HaoQi bag from Mint on Card and found him.  I seriously thought I would only get clothes.  Nope.  Got another doll, and Impldoll Jozo, and I was delighted.

Without his helmet, he reminds me a little of the old Megaman cartoons.  Or Astroboy with more clothes.




At any rate, I now find myself bringing him to work to sit on my desk.  And already, I see myself writing a story about the future world he lives in.  I prefer to write fantasy over sf (some say that is a lazy thing, but I just see it as a preference--I do have science interests like astronomy and geology, as my mother and I both liked the idea of other worlds and interesting rocks, and I do like caves, but I have no desire to use those in stories), but I think Beebo is going to change that a little.

So there you have it.  My life is moving on.  I am preparing for Halloween (because I like Halloween), and I would also remind you readers that Demon in the Bones is available from Yard Dog Press, and if you liked Ard Magister, you will enjoy the sequel.

The Writer Writes...Never Enough Time...

Seems like I think I am catching up, and then things get wonky.  But I am a determined person.

I will get it done. ;-)

I am back to writing.  Some of it is journaling.  Some of it is editing.  And some of it is poking a stick and stirring up ideas to see which ones fly and which ones sink.  That image may seem a little strange, but it is true.  You poke ideas...more than one...and the ones that are good will fly up and demand a story.

At the moment, I have finished editing Shadow of the Faolan, a short novel that takes place almost immediately after Demon in the Bone (the print edition is available from Yard Dog Press, as well as the new electronic edition--go buy it and make my publishers happy.  Seriously, if you want them to publish more books by me, you have to buy the ones they have already published and make it worth their time).  I am very pleased with it, and hopefully it will get published.

I am also looking over Son of Stone and First Winter.  The former will be the next book in the Ard Magister arch of things, while the latter sort of tries to fill in a gap or two.  Then again, the latter may just end up as backstory for Son of Stone and the story that follows that one tentatively titled Shadow and Light. Eventually, I hope to get on to the final tales, but I will not spoil those for you at the moment.

I am also looking at Sons of Wexor which follows the "Demon Bound" duology.  And if I can get my act in gear, I am going to finish The Hob of Cooley Glen and look to a reprint of Hounds of Ardagh as well as finally getting around to putting together To The Flame.

Of course, I hear Anwyn whining in the background because I still need to finish the rewrites of Songs of the Magister, which is being renamed Magic's Song (not to be mistaken for the collection by that title that included the subtitle of "Tales of the Harper Mage") because I think it is about time to get Anwyn's story done.

I have a lot more time now to write.

Just gotta get it in gear.

That is, as long as fans keep asking "What Happens Next?"

The Writer Writes...and Writes, and Writes

It has been a strange few months, as most people who know me know.  I went through dealing with Mom's illnes, Mom's death and now the stuff one has to do after death.  We had a nice little memorial (though one of my sisters immediately went on Facebook and belittled it--no, I won't name names, but she knows who she is).  A lot of people came, which was nice.

Now I am just cleaning up and catching up.

Back in June, I went to SoonerCon, where I was surrounded by wonderful friends who made me feel welcome and treated me with respect.  My novel DRAGON'S TONGUE has been reprinted with a brand new cover (and I am told they might ask the artist to do a new cover for WANDERING LARK as well).

What I am proudest of is the release (FINALLY) of Demon in the Bone.  This is the sequel to Ard Magister and though it was previously released as an ebook, it got little attention.  It now has a kicking cover and my Writer Heart is singing.  So much so, I went on and edited Shadow of the Faolan (which immediately follows Demon) and to start looking at Son of Stone (which takes place several years later), and even thinking about a couple of other books that must be done in this series.

Suffice to say, the Writer is writing again.  I no longer have the mental trials and tribulations to keep me thinking straight.  Admittedly, taking care of Mom was a career unto itself.  When I brought her home to do hospice care, she sighed and said she wished she could have just hired me so I could get paid for taking care of her.

I assured her that having her around was payment enough. ;-)

So head over to http://www.yarddogpress.com and look at my books.  There are going to be more of them in the making.

The Writer Writes...RIP

Back in February, life seemed rather grand.  But at the end of that month, my mother ended up in the hospital.  Her CoPD was causing her serious breathing problems.  She had also noticed a lump in the area where her cancer surgery was.

We had been in the hospital at the end of January, and she mentioned the lump.  They looked at it and told her it was probably just a swollen node or something minor and gave her antibiotics because she had a strep infection in her blood.  Two weeks after we left the hospital, that unimportant lump burst open and started draining.  And causing Mom a lot of pain.  She ended up going to her doctor, who got her an appointment with the oncologist who did her original cancer surgery.

The conclusion was it needed to be biopsied, but Mom was in such pain, they decided it could wait until the antibiotics had finished.

But no.  Mom ended up back in the hospital.  The oncologist refused to come see her because she was there having heart and lung issues, and they did not see it as important.

After nearly two and a half weeks in the hospital, we *finally* convinced the oncologist to look at it again because the drainage had gone from clear to pure pus.  Wound care was called in to pack the wound, and Mom was sent to a nursing home for recovery.

She was in the nursing home from the middle of March (I had to cancel my attendance at MidSouthCon) until late April.  She came home for three days, and then went back to the hospital because thanks to a persistent nurse at the nursing home, the oncologist had to take another look at the wound and admit that it was a vulvar cancer.  Mom was scheduled to have surgery.

However, the day she went into the hospital, she went into congestive heart failure.  She ended up in ICU for three days, then was transferred to PCU for a couple of days.  I had to speak to her oncologist, who decided there was no reason to do surgery as she would not be able to handle it.  I had to speak to nurses and doctors who kept acting like she would get better, and hospice care folk who seemed convinced she would not.

In the end, I took my mother home.  She lasted five days.  On the fifth of May, in the wee small hours of the morning, she left me.  Quietly, in her sleep.  I was sleeping on the couch to be close to her while doing hospice care.  I had checked on her just a couple of hourse before.  She was having a lot of difficulty breathing.  I fell asleep and woke up because things were suddenly too quiet.

At first, I was numb.  I called the on call nurse from the hospice care group that was helping me.  I ended up sitting with my mother's corpse while several people came over.  I helped clean her and dress her before the funeral home arrived to cart her away.

It some ways it has been a relief.  In others, not so much so.  I muddle along each day.  I stayed off work for so long that I wondered if I would be able to go back.  I tried to straighten up the house, but I just look around and get weepy when I do.

I know that eventually, I will manage.  I am a strong person, and it may take a little time to get over my loss (and no, I am not belittling the fact that I have siblings who also are suffering from her loss), but I was the closest to her.  I took care of her.  She was a big part of my life.

In many ways, I have not just lost my mother.  I have lost the best friend I ever had.  When all is said and done, my mother and I enjoyed one another's company.  We were doing fine after my stepfather passed away.  We were making plans to travel more.  None of my siblings will ever really understand the relationship my mother and I had.  She was a funny person, full of wit, highly intelligent and at the same time, very goofy.  Yes, she had her opinions about everything from politics to television.  She believed in some pretty silly things.  But at the same time, she made good sense about others.

I had her cremated.  I have the main portion of her ashes in my possession.

And I plan to do some of the trips she and I always talked about...with Mom in tow.  Strange as that may seem, she loved to travel, and I would not dream of leaving her behind.

So I do apologize for not being out here as much.  Life just had some obstacles for me to overcome.

And overcome them, I will.

The Writer Writes...Just So You Know

March is the Month of MidSouthCon, and I have been given the honor of being this year's Toast Mistress.  This is a big thing for me.  I have done panels at conventions for years.  I have been keynote speaker at Writers Conferences, but this is my first Big Gig at a SF Convention.

MidSouthCon has always been good to me.  The people are down home and friendly.  The con puts on a good show.  I have never felt unwelcome, so for them to offer me this chance to stand up and be counted as a pro (which I should say, I have been a pro writer since I got paid for my first article at the tender age of 18) is a thrill and an honor.

So of course, I am telling you people out there that you should come to MidSouthCon this year.  It happens in Memphis.  Need information?  Try going to this website:
http://midsouthcon.org and take a peek.  They have a really good lineup of folks who will be GoH.  Christie Golden, Anne Stokes and of course, Yours Truly.

As I understand it, my job will be introductions, panels and in general having a good time entertaining the audience.

So I hope folks will attend.

It would make me very happy to see you.
In days of old, when Knights were bold...

When I first started writing stories...and I do mean first started writing because we are talking about someone who is 61 years old...I used pencils and notebook paper.  It was all we had, except for typewriters (remember those?).  As I saw it, if it was good enough for Edgar A. Poe and Samuel Clemens, it was good enough for me.

But of course, I was only a child, and the one typewriter of my acquaintence belonged to my Great Aunt Evelyn, and none of us were to touch it because she was a secretary.

At any rate, I wrote on notebook paper, and all my stories ended up in notebooks, and I would watch the pages go yellow and brittle (because of the acid in the ink and in the papers they sold in those days), and wish there was a way to preserve these things better.

When I decided I was going to write professionally (and I did that while I was in my teens--I just knew I was going to be famous in those days), I moved up to typing my stories on that old Royal Upright that my great aunt had allowed us to have because she had moved on to IBM electrics.  In some ways it was like beating rocks on paper (the description my mother often used when my younger sister was using the same typewriter to practice for her typing class and would sit it on the floor upstairs to work).

I had a Smith Corona Galaxy XII by then.  It was a Christmas present from same great aunt (though she was appalled by my choice as she thought nothing beat a Royal).  But I was still writing all my first drafts by hand, and retyping things as I went.  Those were the days of erasers and carbon paper.  Things I still get nostalgic about when I look at my collection of old portable typewriters.

My SC was a portable.  It weighed about 35 pounds and had a hard case that I used as a table when I sat on my bed typing.  I remember taking it on trips because I started traveling and going to conferences, and it was a burden to haul around, but I was a professional writer in my own mind, and that is what pros did...

So when I got my first electronic typewriter, I was astounded first by the lack of weight and the fact that it had a screen so I could type the line and look it over before I sent it to the paper.  From there, I moved to an electronic typewriter that was one step away from a computer--it had memory and used floppies--and then I bought my first laptop, a Bondwell B200.  It was a marvelous machine.  640kb RAM.  Two floppy drives (one for programs and one for saving to).  I used a writing program called Easy Working Writer that let me edit my work.

I got my first printer, and I remember hooking them up and watching my words being placed on paper.  My mother watched as well, and asked, "Isn't that cheating?"  When I asked what she meant, she explained that the machine was doing all the work...

Yeah, Mom was never a techie.  I had to gently explain that I did all the work of putting the words *into* the machine, and it was merely spitting them back out.

I advanced, getting a desktop, more laptops, discovered PDAs, netbooks and tablets, and still I find that when all else is said and done, I start working on stories on paper.  My brain works better that way.  With the computer, I just spit the words into it, and then rearrange them.  With the notepad and pen, I have to *think* about what I am writing.

In the end, I think that is what I miss about typewriters and notebooks.  The thinking.  One did not just spew out words, one carefully selected them.  Writing was (still is) an art form that requires proper selection of words.

It is the reason I think I am going to start my next novel in a notebook.

I miss those days of thinking about what I wrote.  They made me a better writer.

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