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it came out of the wordwork

Writing up hill, both ways, and that was just the start...
As I'm going over a candidate script-splinter for Splinter Universe I'm brought to recall something today's young kid writers never had to go through -- printing the final draft of a novel on a 9-pin printer.

With Agent of Change, that meant we had to set the Star 9-pin on doublestrike, and stay awake for the entire 21 hours it took. The paper was a continuous form-fed, ribbon of super-fine bright white paper, expensive as all get out ... and it what it produced was a thick pile of paper that wasn't the real final draft.

By that I mean, once that ribbon of paper was collected -- sometime after we'd mollified the neighbors who'd also heard the 9 pin printer double-striking through the night ... we had to check the entire lot of 500 or so page for slippage, and burst it.

Never had to burst a manuscript? Well, see, in those days the paper had the paper feed-wheel edges that had to be carefully pulled off -- and then each sheet of paper had ot be parted from the neighbors, being reasonably careful not to tear them badly.  The cats loved tearing the side panels off, because if you did it right (with a novel manuscript) you could have a pair of paper snakes, each 400 or so feet long, for them to play in.

Yes, the fine or super finer perfs were supposed to make that .... effortless. Ayuh, kind in the way that taking a tree and making it into a cord of wood is effortless while you're sitting in front of a roaring fire. And you couldn't forget to have Band-aids and cotton swabs and antiseptic nearby, because paper cuts were endemic to the process. ...

Then just when you had a big lump of burst manuscript ... you weren't done -- because *then* you went to the copy shop and had the whole thing copied twice, at 97%, so the letter bled together better. If you were lucky, the copy shop had a box your script would fit in....

After that, you went to the PO and made their day.

All I'm thinking of this because? Because some of these pages I'm reading are still on the off-color, partial-burst original draft paper, where the edges have been taken off but the paper is still attached top-and-bottom. Ah -- yep, we wrote up hill both ways in those days, and when I was doing freelance newspaper work I wrote uphill both ways all night long, had to burst the stuff, and then get in the car to hand-deliver it!

For Splinter Universe, I'll scan this, edit on screen, and drop it into a template for the Wordpress page.

We've come a long way, baby!