Ocular Toxicity

It’s toad weather in Fort Wayne (they were all over the walking trail near my apartment last night, throwing themselves out of the way of my feet), and as of this morning I am 40 words closer to posting chapter 5. That’s right, The Sister: I wrote nothing yesterday, and this morning it only took me 45 minutes to write those 40 words, putting my typing speed at less than 1 word per minute. When I know what I want to say I can type 100x that (typically 102 wpm with a handful of spelling mistakes thrown in), but when I don’t…well, you get the idea. On the other hand, if I keep up the pace, tomorrow I’ll have 80 words written, the next day 120, and in a month I’ll have written an entire 1,000 words, which is still only about a fifth of what I need to polish this story off. But still:


Speaking of wpm, does anyone else remember 6th grade typing class? The other day I realized that these classes are already a relic from the past (and let’s not talk about the Ace of Base tape my sister frequently borrowed from my brother, because Ace of Base was dope and so were tape cassettes when we were in elementary/middle school; never mind that “dope” wasn’t the slang back then).  Mom used to tell stories about learning on a typewriter with the key faces covered so the students were forced to learn without visual cues, but what I remember from the early 2000s are the typing games, which I found enormously fun probably because I was one of the best in the class–which is less amazing than it sounds, when you take into consideration that 80% of my class were Thai and English was their second language.

Mind you, it took me well into 7th or possibly 8th grade to admit to my family that I had learned how to type — and I can’t remember now how it actually came out — but I will never forget my father’s face when he learned the truth. He used to type up my stories/papers for me when I was in elementary school, and I knew the gravy train would dry up as soon as he found out that I could do it myself. Which it did. He sounded annoyed but looked enormously amused when he found out, and never typed another paper for me again.

Oh, and because I can’t keep my thoughts together at 7 in the morning, FYI it turns out that The Sister doesn’t hate my story because it hasn’t been updated in so long and she’s losing hope; she hates it because she can sense the bad ending coming and has already lost hope. She just wants to find out for certain whether her cynicism about this particular story holds water, probably so that she can start getting over it emotionally. Whether it’s actually bad or all in her head is a matter for the courts–I can neither confirm nor deny these rumors. I will say only this:

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.

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8 Responses to Ocular Toxicity

  1. The Sister says:

    At least something was posted on Tuesday, as promised, even if it wasn’t the beginning of the depressing story ending. That poor family is so doomed… Though the mom is already dead, so maybe a 10% chance everyone else makes it out alright.

    • Your Local Friendly IT Guy says:

      Hey, if you hold to pessimism, then you can’t be disappointed! 😛

    • A.L. Schultz says:

      I had an English teacher who told a story about a budding writer who killed off her entire cast in the last few paragraphs of the story. Why? Because she didn’t know what else to do with them. “Ah,” my teacher said, with understanding. “Cause of death: narrative expediency.”

      I had another teacher who came up with “The Dog Corollary;” that 90% of the time a dog shows up in a story, it’s only there to make you sad when it dies.

  2. Mark Schultz says:

    6th, 7th, and 8th grade subterfuge… It now becomes abundantly clear why I have no guilt whatsoever for having you compose Mom’s and my annual Christmas letter. As my buddy Worf so eloquently says: “Revenge is a dish best served cold.”

    • A.L. Schultz says:

      Well, you know what they say when you assume. (And, for the record, I never lied; only implied.)

      But here’s a question: when do I finish paying off my debts? I think last year was my tenth.

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