Printer Ink!

So random real-life true story thingy.

So last night I was sitting on the floor leaning on the couch with the computer on my knees and kind of hunched and squinting at the screen, proof-reading.  Because I’m bad at proof-reading and slow at it, and don’t like it, and it’s boring, and so sometimes do it in front the TV.

As if that wasn’t obvious, from the quality of it haha.  And also as if it wasn’t obvious from how I post new stories late at night my time.

Anyways, I was doing that and partner said, “Why not just print it out and use a pen like a normal person.”

Or something like that, approximately.

And I said, “I’m a struggling writer.  I can’t afford to print things.”

Which I thought was kind of funny, so I’m telling you all my funny here.

And also, just because…

Ta-dah! A smarmy bit of social commentary masquerading as a SF infodump!

“In the early twenty-first century,” the rather pompous and dull teacher said.  “The global printer cartels had the world in a stranglehold.  Civilization was slowing, creativity was being stifled, all because of their greed.  Now this is an old, old story.  The railroads did it, too.  In this case we can be glad, because the loathing ordinary people felt for the despised printer cartels and their sordid tricks to sell more ink drove the tablet revolution in the early years of that century.  Because who can say, without this printer ink abuse, whether the dream of the paperless office would ever have been realized…”

The main character wasn’t really listening, and the teacher’s voice became a kind of  dull buzz.  So you don’t get it all repeated here, unlike a real old-school SF story where this scene would go on for pages and pages even though the pov character has zoned out, and would end with a rant about how public whipping reduces crime.

Of course, a real person would just avoid the class and the boring teacher and cut classes to smoke weed, but this is Real SF(trademarked) so even though there’s absolutely no reason for it, the main character feels strangely drawn to the teacher, like his wisdom and cleverness and valuable life lessons which will follow from being lectured to at great length by, well, a mediocre high-school teacher in an otherwise utterly average high school.  And this teacher will be remembered long after, even as the main character joins the space marines and fights aliens and saves the human race.  All because of this one afternoon in this one classroom.

I guess the future is different.  Or they use hypnosis and subliminal marketing in the classroom by then, or something.

Oh wait…  that’s probably how they recruit for the space marines, actually.


4 thoughts on “Printer Ink!

  1. Fun story. :)

    Honestly, I use as little printer ink as possible, and I’ve managed to keep going only buying one replacement cartridge. The colour cartridge ran out a long time ago, but I only need black ink, so… *shrug*

    I don’t know what you proof-read in, but surely you can define and temporarily apply some kind of paragraph style which gives you more spacing between lines.

    I suspect that professional proof readers like double-spaced not just so that they can write with a pen in between, but so that each line stands apart from the rest. This means that the natural tendency for the reader’s eye to drift from one line to the next is lessened, which means less missed typos. :)

    • thank you! i sort of like the idea of subliminal school brainwashing as an explanation of most old SF main-character behavior…

      and oh, um…. what? like that’s a thing? to change the spacing as you proof-read? or do you just mean you kind of add notes saying “fix this bit” rather than fixing it as you read and need room to write those?

      i just kind of read over the same bit i just wrote and type corrections as i go… which may mean you’re about to go YES WE KNOW DO SOMETHING DIFFERENTLY!!!!

      but yep, same with ink, like for me the printer is nothing to do with writing, and really only for forms and stuff, like things that need putting in actual envelopes and sending places, or giving to official-type people. but some people get used to printing everything at work and don’t seem to lose the habit at home, i think, which is why that got said… :)

      • Well I guess you could add notes if you like, I myself make a note under ‘things to edit’ on a different page. Unless it’s a really trivial change, then I just do it. :)

        Personally, I don’t chaznge my spacing when I proof read. I don’t do a lot of proof reading, I guess because I refuse to go more than a few words before clicking back to correct ‘teh’ to ‘the’ – old habits die hard. :)

        I should probably proof read more though. Two typos got picked up when I submitted a book to Kindle Direct Publishing, and two more I found afterwards when I was checking to see if it worked okay in Kindle. I’m definitely not infallible. ;)

      • um, sorry… kind of ironically or something, i went to sleep while proof-reading instead of answering you… um…

        but also, oh, ok, i’d never actually thought of making notes for later. i just kind of go through slowly fixing what i see, then do it again until there’s nothing more to fix… so, um, oh :) i think i get what you mean about not waiting to go back, but also because being worried i might not notice next time if i wait haha :)

        but that’s interesting, like i’d never thought of any other actual way to do it… which is weird, really :)

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