I can not see I have not brought my specs with me I have not brought my spectacles with me! (Chorus to Quartermaster’s stores) I remember singing above lines as a Brownie and thinking them amusing. Now nearly half-a-century later they do not amuse. We live in a very visual age; computers, mobile phones, television, newspaper, magazines, books, kindle, driving, even getting money from a cash point require visual skills. I know I am luckier than many as I have sight in both eyes and just require glasses. My deterioration started in late 20s, probably due to computer print and use of screens. Both have improved; print-outs are now on normal paper and green, fuzzy letters on black is a thing of the past, unless you adjust settings. During my forties I didn’t work but returned in my 50s and soon experienced sight problems. Whilst before I had only needed glasses for reading I now needed different glasses for driving. A few years later I realised I was blanking people in supermarkets as I could no longer make out facial features at a glance. At that stage I gradually increased to wearing glasses full-time, when awake. I have vari-focals and driving glasses as I do not trust the vari-focals for clear long distance, although Tom Tom is easier to read with them. One of my biggest problems is small print. I can no longer read anything less than 10pt clearly. This causes problems with Facebook posts as my spelling and typing are not always exact, especially when using kindle or phone to type message as keys are smaller, so is print and autocorrect can be a pain. Luckily, I can often edit Facebook posts when I cringe seeing what I have actually posted differs from that I believed I had typed!
All this leads me to wonder why at this later stage of my life I should decide to write. But, in truth, it is not a sudden decision I have been writing different pieces for us long us I can remember. My writer’s badge was one of the few Brownie badges I achieved! It has been part of my leisure activities over the years. When I first lost my mother I lost the ability to write fiction, for a while I did not even notice but as my life gradually gained a new normal I started reading more and after a while my own need to write returned. I read ‘The Artist’s Way’ which is a self-help guide for any creatively blocked person. At first I had to force myself to pick up a pen and put it to paper and, at this stage, my writing was mainly a release of inner thoughts with no structure, no creative spark and I was normally glad when half-an-hour was over! I do not know when change occurred but during a bereavement counselling session the girl I was seeing said that the most animated I had been was when I was talking about my idea for a book. As any writer knows ideas are one thing and most of us have two before breakfast! The actual writing is a commitment during which the idea either develops legs to run with or peters out as it resists development. My initial idea has developed, even to the point where characters took over story veering it into a new direction that I was unaware of and causing a rethink of synopsis. It has taken longer than I expected and is still a work in progress, but I do enjoy doing it, even if I probably re-read and amend more than I should need to! I hope soon to have it completed, then I will need the patience to wait and then edit it.
These days I have more control on font sizes. I tend to only read books on kindle white has a sepia background with Georgia font set at size 7 (see note). I do write long hand, using pen and paper, to get ideas flowing, but to develop I use Word Calibri font set at size 11. Hopefully my sight will not deteriorate at the same rate of the last five years.
Note There is a discrepancy between stating 10pt originally, then noting Kindle is set at 7pt. I can only say that kindle’s 7pt is similar to at least 10pt on laptop. i