Typewriter Madness

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This is my typewriter. There are many like it but this one is mine.

It eats ribbons. The carriage slips randomly. Its clanking aggravates the dogs. And its ugly-as-shit green finish won’t win any prizes or tender a high resale value. But she’s mine and I love ‘er just the same.

At first, I thought that purchasing the above typewriter, a Royal Quiet Deluxe, would en-kindle the nascent spark for writing that I’ve been harboring for a few years. And, in many ways, expected and unexpected, it did just that. Unlike a laptop, I can’t sit down at it and unwittingly find myself off in a world of puking cats and dancing babies. No, Regina (that’s her name), won’t tolerate such nonsense. In today’s world, she sticks out like a woman wearing a poodle skirt and horn-rimmed glasses. She has presence. She sits there and taunts me with her singular purpose. Have I locked her in the closet on occasion for this? Maybe. But it wasn’t because she didn’t deserve it.

Regina forces me to consider what I am going to say well in advance because once the key is hit, it’s there forever. No amount of x’s will fix what should have been filtered out before the hammer struck the page. I re-read Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft recently and he said some of the best advice he received was to edit out at least 1/3 of the first draft. If I can do that mentally, then it feels less like I’m cutting off body parts when it comes time to polish the first draft.

There is also something satisfying about seeing the stack of pages grow from day to day. It’s tangible progress. I can pick up the stack of papers, flip through them, tap them against the desk, and feel the heft. You can’t do that shiz with a laptop. Well, you can, but your DVD drive could stop working.

There’s something innately satisfying about sitting in my office with a cup of coffee or a whiskey and hammering out page after page. Each clack and smudge of ink signalling a step closer to conclusion. Not every page makes it into the stack but even throwing paper into the trash can is far more satisfying then hitting the delete key.

Summary of Mishmash

Somewhere at some point while reading one of the many books that I have read, I fancied that it would be a fine idea to write some stories myself. It sounds simple…write a story. What could be simpler? Well, anything. It’s not like other avenues in life where the pathway is laid out before you by someone else and all you have to do is walk in a reasonably straight line.

With story writing, there is no predestined path. There is simply the white of the page. I say page because I purchased a Royal Quiet Deluxe typewriter with which to bang out stories. I look at it as I imagine a commercial pilot in this day and age gazes fondly at a P-51. Yeah, a 737 is safer, more efficient and all that but a P-51 is a direct extension of blood and sinew. The only thing between you and the ground is your wit and muscle, not invisible strings of digital code.

Anyway, I intend to use these posts as catharsis, a sounding board, and a repository for whatever string of consciousness, and the like, fancies to escape.