Friday, September 21, 2007

Working on the Road in the "Old Days"

Back in the late 1970s I was still working a full-time job and writing on the side. My writing income was approaching half my job income, and taking less than half as long to earn, but I hadn't given any thought to writing fulltime (that wouldn't come up until 1981).

As I had small children then, it was typical to take a vacation trip during the summer, in addition to getting to several science fiction conventions each year. (This was during my annual vacation from my job.) One year I had a two-week trip set up. First a con, then a day and a half at Mammoth Caves, followed by two in Nashville, then a week in the North Carolina mountains, driving all the way. (I think we spent a day at Redstone Arsenal during that trip, too.)

But I had magazine assignments and other work to do. So I put my Smith-Corona non-portable electric typewriter in the car trunk and off we went. I put off working until we were settled in for the week in North Carolina, though. There were too many interesting things to do, and lots of (enjoyable) driving, during the first week. I got a lot of work done, but looking back I hardly believe I loaded up the heavy beast (along with paper and envelopes, etc.) and took it with me. Just a few years later I would be toting a TRS-80 Model 100 slab computer and silently working with that--what a difference!

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