I’m Back in… Flannel! Not Wearing Black at the Moment…


Yep, I got myself this for finishing school and slam dunking my final exam. Still waiting on grade results for certification exam I took last Saturday (which is different than the school final).

This is the tool I am going to write on. I confess. I have sorely missed the typewriter since it was pushed out by the word processor some 20 to 25 years ago. I don’t like the writing process on the computer. It is a step removed from physical form. And this is even besides the fact that the computer is (especially now) nothing other than a giant distracting machine. The story itself lacks physical form while it exists in only my head, and when I thwack it out on a computer keyboard it still feels removed. I like the hammering from the muse down to my fingers forged, physical, onto the paper -whack! whack! whack!

I see it take physical form before me, from spirit to matter one stroke at a time. That, and I have always hated editing in a word processor. It is a slow, cumbersome affair. Just the act of selecting text is an extra inconvenience. There is no selecting text on a typewriter, there is the slash. The strikethrough. And replace features never impressed me. If I want to change the name of a character, I see no great advantage in being able to replace that character’s name in an instance throughout the manuscript. I edit line by line, word for word. I do not hit spell check and leave it at that (which I know is the universal way it is done now with embarrassing results).

Also, it in no way is an extra step in the writing process for me. I always printed out my work for hardcopy editing anyway.

However, now it will exist in no form in a computer when I am done editing so that is an extra step. I have thought of the scanning method with OCR, and I have experimented with it. However, it seems to be a little complicated. I think I will try the Dragon-speak oral method. I think this has several advantages. One is that I will be able to hear how my words flow in spoken form, especially when it comes to dialogue.

At the moment, since I have only just finished my education (the primary part anyway) I have been practicing retraining my fingers for the work of manual typewriting. Anyone younger than I probably hasn’t had the experience of manual typewriting. I takes practice, finger strength and coordination. How you press a key, and a succession of keys, determines how it will appear on the paper – or if it will appear on the paper, or if you’ll simply jam up your keys.

There is an authentic pleasure to writing this way that I never got on the computer. A sense of immediate gratification, if that is the way to explain it.

The picture is a picture of the actual typewriter that I purchased. It is a Royal Epoch, which is one of the few manual typewriters currently being manufactured. Royal is the brand I used back in the day which looked like this:


It is the basic full metal model that Paul Sheldon brained Annie Wilkes over the head with in Stephen King’s Misery.

When I become a homeowner, I will be collecting these machines wherever I find them and collecting them. Using some, restoring others.

Hey, if I ever become a successful enough author, I will just submit my work on typewritten pages. I am sure if Stephen King started submitting his work on such a machine, they would have to suck it up!


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