In The Troublesome Apprentice Vic types for so long she gets blisters on her fingertips.
For those of you who learned to type on keyboards, this no doubt sounds implausible.
For those of you who learned to type on electric typewriters, this also sounds implausible.
For those of you who learned to type on non-electric prehistoric typewriters, this sounds completely believable.
I bought an ancient Underwood for $2 at a flea market. I could not believe how hard it was to use. One sentence in and my fingers ached. You required strong fingers to type on those machines.
Let me start out by saying a great deal of inventors decided the world needed something more legible than a man’s handwriting. And let’s face it, men are notorious for their chronic bad penmanship. A great deal of men attempted to conquer this dastardly problem. Over fifty of them managed to get something patented in the 19th century. But getting a patent and selling a viable product were two very different things.
The first European commercialized version of the typewriter was the Hansen Writing Ball in 1870.
Beneath the ball was a large cylinder with paper wrapped lengthwise around it and an electric carriage return. Thus, technically, it is actually was the first commercialized electric typewriter as well. However pressing down the keys was not electrically assisted. Only when I found this second picture could I comprehend how it worked. Honestly, the 1st pic looks like something a mute fortune teller would create to stay in business.
Still, the Hansen did allow men to type faster than they could write legibly. But, it only had capitalized letters, so all correspondence yelled at people as if they were deaf. Another issue, you couldn’t see what you were yelling. Still, it was used in some London offices until 1909, at which point they became polite again and switched to typewriters that didn’t have to be so bloody belligerent.
In America, Sholes, Soule & financier, Glidden created a typewriter in 1867 which they sold to Remington who made it look a bit like a sewing machine. (Remington already made sewing machines and evidently thought typing and sewing were much the same process. One stitches words together, and the other stitches fabric. Sholes hated the ridiculous end product and refused to promote it. Not surprisingly, this version of the typewriter was not successful.
In 1873 Remington turned out a better selling version without sewing accouterments. This version had been tested by a male stenographer who constantly broke all the typewriter prototypes Sholes sent him, then returned harsh critiques about the man’s work. Sholes’ new financier wouldn’t allow him to stop using the mean critic. Instead, he was chided to fix the problems. To stop the jamming of keys problem, Sholes worked out what we now call the qwerty board, which spreads out the letters most frequently used so they aren’t side by side. That’s right, the ‘non-alphabet confusion’ began here all because of a cranky critic.
The Qwerty typewriter was a vast improvement and this time people wanted it. Still all the early machines (excluding the Hansen ball) had keys that struck upward, hitting the bottom of the cylinder to create an imprint on the paper. This meant a person could not see what they were writing until the cylinder returned a few time, rolling the paper up. Thus, Vic types blind as she hammers away on her Remington. She doesn’t complain about it, because that is how it has always been.
However, if Vic could have convinced Xavier to give up his beloved Remington typewriter, there was a new typewriter out in 1893, the Daughterty Visible. This machine had front face key strikes, so the typist could see what he’d just wrote. Oddly, this wasn’t seen as a ‘must have’ improvement, and the under-strike machines continued to sell up until 1915.
Approximately half the Remington typewriters sold were shipped to England, so that’s what Xavier bought. That is also what Professor Rutherford at Oxford College purchased, and what he taught Vic to type on.
Good thing, because there was no standardization back then among the 50 inventors and Vic wouldn’t have fared so well with any other version of the typewriter.
Had she purchased her own, she might have chosen the less expensive, portable typewriter, the Blickensderfer 5. (Sounds like something Harry Potter would use.) However, it’s not a Qwerty board. Converting to a different board would have been hard for a typewriter (back then both the machine and the person using it was called ‘typewriter’. A few years later the Blickensderfer offered both keyboard options. And when women took over typing during World War I of the 20th century, they began calling the person who typed a ‘typist’.
Hope you enjoyed learning more than you ever wanted about something you will hopefully never have to type on. Let’s see what Xavier & Vic are up to…
The Adventures of
Xavier & Vic
The Troublesome Apprentice
By Liza O’Connor
Cases Requiring Resolution:
The Key to Aunt Maddy’s Death
The Missing Husband of Mrs. Wimple
The Disappearing Scarlet Nun
The Clever Butcher’s Wife
The Rescue of Lady Anne
While investigating the death of a friend and client, Maddy Hamilton, Xavier Thorn (reputed to be the greatest sleuth in England) is greatly impressed with Maddy’s nephew, Victor, and offers him a job as his secretary. Aware of Xavier’s history of firing secretaries, Victor garners a promise that for three months he cannot be fired. Vic then proceeds, in Xavier’s view, to be cheeky and impertinent at every turn. Xavier endures the impudent pup because Victor is most skilled in extracting the truth from clients and intuiting facts with little evidence to assist.
As they solve a string of cases, Xavier discovers a few more important details about his troublesome apprentice, such as her true gender, and the realization that she has awakened his long dormant heart.
Vic sighed with relief upon sight of the Remington in Xavier’s office. Her science professor at Oxford had declared her handwriting illegible and suggested she learn to type. Instead of taking insult, she’d investigated the myriad of typing machines currently available and settled on the same one Xavier had chosen.
She had just finished retyping the third letter when Xavier’s hands settled on her shoulders and he leaned forward to study her work. He remained bare-chested and in his silk sleeping pants and smelled wonderfully masculine, a mixture of musk and tobacco.
“Did I give you permission to enter my office?” he asked, clearly in a better mood, despite his provoking question.
“Implicitly you did, for you told me to retype the letter and, since you possess the only machine in the office, one can reasonably presume permission to enter the room it resides in order to complete your request.” Vic stopped talking because his hands remained on her shoulders and they caused a stirring within her. When he did not counter-challenge her observation, she continued. “Now, if you will give me the combination to your safe, I will retrieve the checkbook, deposit slips, and money required to complete the other tasks.”
He laughed outright while his hands encircled her neck as if he planned to strangle her. “Not bloody likely.” He loosened his grip, but did not release her. “I understand your need of the checkbook and deposit slips, but would you care to explain your need to pilfer my money?”
“We are out of stamps.”
“Ah…a false assumption. If you had checked my desk drawer, you would have found the necessary stamps.” He returned his hands to her shoulders.
She turned and frowned at him, trying to ignore his naked chest and focus on his sparkling eyes and beautiful hawk nose. “I would have expected you to keep your desk drawer locked.”
“Right you are, and you will not receive a key to that either.”
“Perhaps you could remove the stamps from your drawer and give them to my care, since I have need of them and you do not.”
He retracted his warm hands from her shoulders and a chill settled in their absence. After making a great fuss over opening the drawer, he presented her with stamps, placing them into her hand. “Do not lose them.”
She laughed at him as she rose. “Are you always so obliging in the mornings? I would have thought otherwise.”
“I seem to find myself in better spirits than normal,” he admitted. “No doubt due to your early arrival.”
The Troublesome Apprentice
I’m tired of telling my proper bio. So you get the improper bio.
Liza O’Connor was raised by feral cats, which explains a great deal, such as why she has no manners, is always getting in trouble, and doesn’t behave like a proper author and give you a proper bio.
She is highly unpredictable, both in real life and her stories, and presently is writing humorous romances. Please buy these books, because otherwise, she’ll become grumpy and write troubled novels instead. They will likely traumatize you.
Mostly humorous books by Liza:
Saving Casey – Old woman reincarnates into troubled teen’s body. (Half funny/half traumatizing)
Ghost Lover—Two British brothers fall in love with the same young woman. Ancestral ghost is called in to fix the situation. There’s a ghost cat too. (Humorous Contemporary Romance)
A Long Road to Love Series: (Humorous Contemporary odd Romance)
Worst Week Ever — Laugh out loud week of disasters of Epic proportions.
Oh Stupid Heart — The heart wants what it wants, even if it’s impossible.
Coming to Reason — There is a breaking point when even a saint comes to reason.
Climbing out of Hell — The reconstruction of a terrible man into a great one.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT
Investigate these sites:
Don’t Forget to enter to win one of the two $25 Amazon Gift Cards.
It is my pleasure to be part of the Tethered Blog Tour and in welcoming author, Pippa Jay who is giving us some insights on how writer’s create their Universes.
Creating a Universe by Pippa Jay
Hi, I’m Pippa Jay, author of scifi and the supernatural with a romantic soul.
Authors talk a lot about world building, and aside from being important, personally it’s one of my favourite aspects of writing. But because I mostly write science fiction, I usually have to create more than one world. In fact, I’ve created a whole universe. And while my latest SFR—Tethered—may not to be tied directly to my previous scifi works, they are all linked.
I’ve called it the Travellers Universe, because it’s where the stories about my time-travellers are set. For example, the G-Comm Wardens, of which my hero Zander was once a member, feature in my YA scifi Gethyon. The Nercaandi mentioned in Tethered are a big part of my sequel to Keir. And there’s a fleeting nod to my family of time-travellers, a reference to the mythical Travellers who have become a fairytale in the time of Tethered. It also means I don’t have to keep creating different technologies for every story. In this universe, warp gates are used to jump the vast distances between systems. Some spaceships have warp drives that allow them to bypass the gates, though that then carries the risk of becoming lost in that alternate dimension, something that my heroine Tyree dislikes intensely.
So how do I keep it all straight? At first relied on memory—although I’ve only been published just over two years, most of this has been in my head for over twenty. Then I created a glossary for the more common terms. Now I have a wikispace that I’m using to construct my own encyclopaedia for the Travellers Universe. A wikispace is pretty simple to set up and so far it’s fulfilling the function. I know some people prefer to use a blog, but the wiki is working for me. It’s not very comprehensive so far, but I hope to keep adding to it to help me keep everything straight as my books progress. Who knows, I may even bring out my own Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Travellers Universe! :P
So how do you keep your world or universe straight? Or do you prefer to write one off stories that don’t require keeping things straight?
Now for a chance to win an awesome DNA pendant necklace (shown below) and a $5 Breathless Press Gift Card, please follow the following link:
Thank you so much for stopping by Pippa and helping us to better understand how to create a Universe!
You can learn more about Pippa Jay and her stories be visiting, http://pippajay.blogspot.co.uk/ or http://pippjay.co.uk
Tethered is now available and can be purchased through one of the following sites:
Do not forget to read the Excerpt of Tethered that was posted on this blog!
You can also add it to your Goodreads TBR.
In honor of #WorldCatDay today, I am sharing my list of favorite cats from anime stories.
Jiji from Kiki’s Delivery Service
The Cat Bus from My Neighbor Totoro
Kyo Sohma in his cat form, from Fruits Basket
So how are you celebrating World Cat Day?
What cats are on your list?
I posted about this parody video created by The Hillywoods Show when it was first released over two months ago. Even though it has been that long, it just keeps getting better and better with each time I view it. I cannot be the only one that thinks so because this video now has over 1.5 MILLION views! That’s Amazing! Therefore, I just had to post about it again with some new comments.
Basically, the creators Hilly and Hanna Hindi along with the rest of their team did a fantastic job! The props, costumes, actors, script and sets were amazing and captured the look and feel of Doctor Who brilliantly. For instance, I recently re-watched that scene from ‘Partners In Crime’, which is one of the funniest scenes in Doctor Who that I have watched so far and this video captures that moment brilliantly!
These two ladies are the ultimate Fangirls and I congratulate them on their fine display of talent and effort! You Ladies Rock!
For more on the whole process check out the following behind the scenes video, like I did!
After viewing the behind the scenes video, I am encouraging you to join me in doing the “Time Warp, Again!”…
My sister, my husband and I spent a few hours at Detcon1 yesterday!
While we were there, my sister and I attended the panel on What’s New About Fandom’s Diversity. I have been an advocate for women and their right to be fans and creators of Science Fiction & Fantasy for awhile now. Therefore, this was a panel topic I was very interested in.
One of the things that stood out for me was that all of the panelists had diverse backgrounds and perspectives. I was really impressed with what each of the panelists had to say, especially Isabel Schetchter. Not only does Isabel represent the female point of view, but the Jewish and Latino points of view in Fandom as well. The most powerful statement she made had to do with a comment about not seeing a person by their ‘color’. I do not remember the exact quote, but it did make an impression on me and I my sister and will do my best to paraphrase it below:
Do not tell me that you do not see ‘color’! This just tells me that you are trying to ignore my ‘color’ because it makes you uncomfortable.
I have to admit in the past that I told many people that I do not see their ‘color’, ethnicity, race, etc in reference to Fandom. As a Fangirl, I always looked at the lack of diversity in Science Fiction and Fantasy Fandom, as a female and not by other aspects. Therefore, I never realized that in the mind of another fan, who faces diversity issues in Fandom that may or may not relate to just gender, that it could mean the opposite. This is a revelation to me and I hope that I can learn from this in my future dealings with other fans.
Dealing with Diversity in Fandom, as one of the panelists said (again I am paraphrasing)…
…is not about you and what you have experienced, but it is about listening to others. It is in the listening that you can learn that what you may have experienced, no matter how bad it is or was, may have also happened to another. Their experience may have been just as bad or even worse, but in a different way than what you experienced.
The panel closed with each of the panelist indicting what they see are the positives with Diversity in Fandom. The best quote on the positives of Diversity in Fandom is:
We are better off than we have ever been before because of panels like this!
For more on the topic of Diversity in Fandom you can check out the following:
War is Coming to Science Fiction and Fantasy Fandom via The Province
Neurodiversity and Fandom via TOR.com
As I mentioned before, I love Sailor Moon, and have been spending time lately re-watching this series on HuluPlus!
Sailor Moon Crystal Summary from HuluPlus
Based on Naoko Takeuchi’s legendary manga series, Sailor Moon Crystal retells the story of Sailor Moon as she searches for her fellow Sailor Guardians and the Legendary Silver Crystal to stop the dark forces of Queen Beryl.
I watched the first episode three times already, once this morning and twice this afternoon. Overall, I believe it is a wonderful start to a great series and I cannot wait to see the next episode in two weeks! However, there are a few observations that I want to mention here as a long time fan of the original anime series.
Observation 1: The art in Sailor Moon Crystal is very beautiful, like a painting that would hang in a gallery somewhere and not something that I would be watching on my 56″ HD TV or my tablet. Below are just a few examples from this first episode of the beautiful art created for this series:
Observation 2: Some of the characters, especially secondary characters, have slight differences in Sailor Moon Crystal compared to the original anime. For instance, Shingo, has the same attitude as in the original Sailor Moon anime, but in Sailor Moon Crystal he has blond hair, like his sister Usagi, while it was light brown in the original anime as seen below.
Observation 3: Background music and effects are toned down in Sailor Moon Crystal.
The background music in this episode of Sailor Moon Crystal is much more subtle than it ever was in the original anime. In the original anime, the background music was used as cues to the characters and what was going on in the story. In Sailor Moon Crystal, it is part of the beautiful background and is not really noticeable, except during the transformation sequence.
Observation 4: Opening Music
Although I loved both the original Japanese version along with the North American version of the original’s Opening Theme, I really love the new opening music by “Momoiro Clover Z”. I cannot wait to add this theme to my music collection!
Observation 5: The eye catches for the commercial breaks are just gorgeous when compared to the original anime! I plan on making this my new tablet background!
Observation 6 (and the one that bothered me the most for some reason): In Sailor Moon Crystal, Usagi’s room seems very empty when compared to the original anime. There seems to be some accents in her room and a few things on her desk, but not much stuff. In the original anime, her room contained lots of stuff including a Chicken Clock, a bookshelf full of Manga and other nic knacks scattered across the room.
So, have you seen Sailor Moon Crystal yet? If so, then what observations do you have? Inquiring minds want to know!