Sunday, June 14, 2009

Giving my Keyboard the Finger

Considering how much time I spend pounding (And believe me, I mean this literally, not figuratively) on a keyboard, you would think my life would be much easier if I could actually use, you know, all of my fingers to type. Instead, I am a two-finger man, relegating the other eight digits on my two hands to the role of useless cheerleaders as I weave my webs of thrillers, suspense and horror.

I actually took a typing class years ago in high school, when home computers were still the stuff of science fiction. We practiced not on laptops or desktop keyboards, not even on word processors, but on old-fashioned typewriters. They were electric typewriters at least, as I recall, but then again my memories may be distorted by all the time that's passed since then.

The point is, though, that at one time I did know how to type correctly, sort of. But in the decades since leaving high school that I spent earning a living and raising a family, what little typing talent I had - and it was very little - completely disappeared from my muscle memory, undoubtedly never to return.

And I'm not even a normal two-finger typist. A few years ago I broke the index finger on my right hand and was forced to compensate by typing with my middle finger. Typing with the index finger of my left hand while using the middle finger of my right was way too confusing for me, so I ended up learning to type with the middle finger of both hands. Eventually my broken finger healed, sort of, but I never went back to using those index fingers when I was writing.

So now I might just be the only person in the world who writes on a regular basis using the fingers most people reserve for flashing at motorists who piss them off when they're driving. I'm pretty good at it too, from all the practice, but it still seems I could save a lot of time or get a lot more done if I really knew how to type properly.

On the bright side, I don't think all that fast anyway, so my relatively slow typing skills almost always keep up with my relatively slow brain when I'm writing a story. I guess I'll just continue muddling along. I hope Mrs. Sanderson, my old typing teacher, is still alive, because if not, I guarantee she's rolling over in her grave.

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