Tag Archives: typewriters

California Typewriter

Usually I loathe documentaries and only watch a couple in any given year. Mainly I don’t like material presented to me in such a manipulative format. I like it to be as close to data as I can get it and form my own opinion.

Or put it this way: If you are watching a Michael Moore film and you think you are getting facts, you live in fairytale land.

But this one is right up my alley. It is about typewriters! And how awesome they are. Although I had to abandon the idea of exclusively writing on one. I like to sit at it when I have a moment and have a continuing narrative going on with it.

The trailer was pretty interesting. It’s nice to know I’m not the only typephile out there. Tom Hanks says he has over 250 typewriters. Way to go, buddy, I feel your love!

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We Now (Slowly) Return You to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

Having finally finished school and acquired my certification, I am eager to get back a few thing things I have been putting off. Probably most pressing is getting into R.A. Lafferty’s Argo cycle:

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[Note: this is not a pick of my Argo collection, but a pic I lifted off of the esteemed Mr. Daniel Petersen from his site, The Ants of God Are Queer Fish.

I hope he does not mind.

My collection is only partly hardcopy. Tales of Midnight and Argo I only own digitally, the rest I own hardcopy.Hard to get all of them in a line up when they are not simultaneously on the same plane.]

Anyway, I am eager to get this series read because I do not know how long these digital copies will be functional on what machine for how long. I could get an update on my ePub reader tomorrow that makes the two books incompatible with the new software.

That, and I am eager to take the trip!

The next back burnered project was this:

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I had only reached (in the Adult Formation course I was taking) Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple before I had to put it on hold for the demands of school. It remains to be seen whether my internship and two jobs (hopefully a job in the medical field, no?) make this a project taken on even further in the future.

At the end of this course you get a certificate and I think I would be prouder of this one than any other. They also added a level two which is more generally theological/philosophical. The course curriculum for level 1 is here.

And, last but certainly not least, my writing. This has suffered a big-gloved, bitch-slap, crotch grab since January 2015. But I have been building back my finger muscle and coordination on my new typewriter for the last month. And when the job hunt is over, I am going to come on a swinging.

Having been with the typewriter for a month I can say it was no nostalgia that brought me back. I love the fact of having a first draft (alright I did a little writing…) that is as physically unique as the words themselves (as unique as I can make them anyway…). And if you look at the words on the paper, they are unique. No two people, except for perhaps two perfect secretaries from the 50’s typing at 90 words a minute without error, would type the same thing the same way. And since it is not diction, the two pages would not be the same anyway even if the words happened, by miracle, to be.

 


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

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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:

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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!