Friday, February 6, 2009

A Walk Down Memory Lane

Recently, I had a friend take me on a walk down memory lane.
“The 'good old days',” my girlfriend of nearly twenty five years said. “Ah, weren't they something? Times were simpler, more down to earth, more....”

Thank God she loves me, I had to tell her to shut it.

They weren't such good old days. Granted, we didn't have to choose between a gallon of milk or a gallon of gas. When I look back and consider things, but I wouldn't change anything. Let me give you a few examples:

We have big screens now, luscious 50” dreams with glorious High Def resolution on 150 channels. Back then, a 21' inch console (with 5 channels) was the highlight of your life. Well, only when Dad didn't tell you to get up to change the channel or move the ears.

We have SUVS, the luxurious demons of the road with DVD players and adjustable seats. I remember the family station wagon. We had our parents telling us to 'look out the window, you might miss something' or 'count highway markers'. There was the ever infamous 'he's touching me!' yelled by every kid in the back seat.

Microwaves? If your parents could afford one, it was the size of a 21” television set.

For authors that are under the age of 35, writing in the 1970's and 80's was a true test in fortitude.

Computers were the size of your standard household refrigerator. PC's didn't exist. If you wrote, you used something called a typewriter. (Go to your local antique store---they have lots of them!) Nope, I can do without the good old days.

An original manuscript was handwritten. You would have various notebooks scattered about, filled with scenes. You lived at the local library, for research purposes. Your typewriter had to have paper and ribbon and be well tended, oiled and lubed. A key jam wasn't something you could afford.

Manuscript completed, you had to find the “golden book”. This book would reveal the addresses of the thousands of publishing companies. There, if there hadn't been a major change over within the past year, was a contact name.

Time to submit a query letter with a self addressed stamped envelope and wait six to twelve weeks for a response. If your query was accepted, the real work would begin, the typing. Envision endless hours hunched over a typewriter, surrounded by bottles of white out, with aching fingers and chipped nails.

Typing completed, its off to the post office (again). The manuscript goes certified return receipt with a SASE. Now, the waiting games.

Six months later, if not more, there's another response. If accepted, it's time for the dreaded editing.

Yes, I hate editing. I hate it with a passion that makes my eyes burn and my head ache. I'm a weakling...

In the good old days, take your 300+ pages and look them over. There's enough red ink on each sheet to send your former high school English teacher into a faint. Rearrange, check spelling, pull out the thesaurus, delete, rewrite. Everything had to be RETYPED and sent back to the publisher for the grand finale. There goes another three to six months of your life.....

Ah, my precious PC, glowing lights and high speed internet. My precious...

Yes, that is said with me rubbing my hands together with glee. Oh, I forgot about that wildly maniacal look that just lit up my eyes.

Oops, just backspaced a little to far, hit undo....

Tamela Quijas - Author

Angel' Fire, Demon's Blood--- available at
Dante's Lady---available at ,
I Can't Cook Because I'm A White Girl---available at
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