Vintage Manual Typewriters, Captivating


    Typewriter Olympia SM9 frontal pic1

For writing I chose a portable manual typewriter.  The venerable writing machines are captivating old technology that still convey messages and data to others. Typewriters of this ilk are productive with only human power. The use of these machines has given me new insights into my writing process.

I do not reject the “instant”, the digital, nor the have-it-your-way-now world. I watch as words develop instantly on the monitor. I enjoy digital spell checker. I add new words to the computer’s dictionary my way. I still produce documents with typos.

That is my feint in making comparisons. From my view there are no comparisons I find compelling, digital versus manual. In short, I am a different writer when I use a typewriter.

There it is, the human aspect of humane letters or writing the latest RSVP. I could text my response to an invitation. “Write and sent. Done and done,” next task please, “and done”, very efficient, slightly cold and clammy.

I chose to type or hand write a reply since the sender used an envelope and a stamp to get my attention. I responded in kind. Also, I am engaged in a different way.

I might ride a motorcycle or I might ride a horse. I love them both. I go from point A to point “” however I can. I am a different rider on a large sentient animal than one astride a large engine connected by two wheels.

The differences make me different, that is captivating.


Haunted Places, Part 1


I grew up with connections to the people who were known as “family” albeit long departed from this world. A lively, delightful Great Aunt mimicking B-movie dialog intoned, “they shuffle-d off this mortal coil.” We all understood the idiom because by the time we could appreciate her we had read some Shakespeare.

I heard stories about antics and everyday lives of the ancestors of three generations who no longer with us. Or were they? My Grandmother told the stories so that spanned about two hundred years – and not in dog years.

I feel sympathy for people who live in climate controlled cubicles wired and wireless but missing the occasional bump in the night or an errant iPhone that returns on its own. I assure you my dog companion doesn’t know my unlock code and it wasn’t chewed or moist.

The stories also involved sightings of particular family members whose expiration date had been up for fifty to eighty years. A typical traveling ectoplasmic manifestation was mentioned nonchalant in conversation or in letters (hand-written with a postage stamp).  “Was amazed to see “Uncle” last evening, was having a drink in the side room during a thunderstorm and there he was. What?”

No one would have suggested the lemonade had been ‘augmented’ since almost all of the family had come to accept weird and strange activities as par for the course. For me these events retained the feeling of ‘weird’ and ‘esoteric’.

[I plan to publish this piece in three parts. It is almost 775 words in total. I, of course, will appreciate your feedback. Is this a good plan, smaller parts, or would the whole enchilada be a better plan? I don’t know. Let me know in the comments section, if you please.]