Award-winning Journalist Penny Fletcher, Author, Editor & Blogger

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Typewriter Technology on a News Year's Day

Posted on October 9, 2018 at 5:50 PM

  Wow, completely redoing my entire website from blank pages has been quite a job. I've been at it for about two weeks now, working around editing and everything else. I had no idea how to even make a video, and see now that you can't change the size of the video frame on my website so I have a big black space behind me. Still, I'm going to publish the site and keep working on it. I left the Blog video up because I like the things I said on it, completely from the heart, no notes, and think that's more important than the fact I couldn't fit it correctly into the frame. Next time I do a video though, I'll figure out how to do it directly on screen from the new YouTube channel I just set up for the some of the video Blogs; something else I just taught myself through much trial and error. (More error than trial!)

   You have to remember even though I've been doing my own site for the last eight or nine years, I only designed it once, with some tech help, and from then on I kept the same theme and just changed content. This site is completely new, emphasizing different things than before, even though I'm still an author and editor, now I want to Blog. I'm not too worried about figuring out this Blogging stuff. I want to do it because I've written editorials and commentaries at newspapers for so many years that it seems like the thing I should do next. Especially now that so much is going on in the world. (And the fact I have two new books coming out in 2019 is a good reason as well.) 

   If I ever figure out Web Store, I promised my editing clients I'd link their books on a rotating basis. Well, I set up the store, had a couple of books linked to "Buy Here," and then realized the payments would come to my site so I threw that idea out the window for now and killed the page. Later, after I get the hang of the new site and channel I'll figure it out.

   It wasn't until I was in my thirties that I saw my first computer; that was in the mid-1980s while I was a Bureau Editor for Sunbelt Newspapers. I remember going straight from a typewriter to something called an Apple 2 GS that had a DOS operating system where you had to migrate through a "shell"  that was an immense black cave that was easy to get lost in. But getting into it was the only way to find anything. Back then each time we changed the size or style of our print, we had to enter a series of codes, and they were always long strings of numbers. Photos were even worse. 

   Then there was the day after the New Year's holiday I went into my office to find my supervisor had promoted my two reporters (Joe Rice and Bob Smith) to editors and I had one newbie straight out of college and a brand new "drop-down-menu-type" computer I had no idea how to operate. But somehow, we made deadline. We always did, even though once the disks melted in the car- yes, we used floppy disks into the '90s- and had to rewrite what we could remember and grab things from other papers in our chain, right in the pressroom. That was back in the day when you cut and pasted stories from paper onto a heavy cardboard-like sheet with glue after cutting them to the right size with an exacto knife. I still have one of those in my "Special Box" in the envelope Janine Peliksa sent me with a note that said, "keep this, someday soon it'll be a real antique." 

    I guess today's Blog is kind of like New Year's Eve for me. Starting something new always brings memories of what's gone before. So welcome to "Perspectives." I hope to see comments and ideas as things progress.

    Meanwhile, I'll see if I know how to get this Blog on line because I can't go any farther, like checking the links or doing the SEO until it's live.     


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