August 30, 2018: Typing Assignment #19

It’s time for typing assignment #19 of Joe Van Cleave’s YouTube series.  This assignment is to write a one-page typewritten piece inspired by something you saw or felt while out and about.

At first, this was a difficult assignment.  I thought about how I would always go to Borders Book Stores when I needed to find guidance when experiencing challenges or seeking inspiration, but I couldn’t recall any specific lightning strikes of enlightenment.  However, something occurred in my life this week that I went about my usual process – though not at Borders but another book store, of course – and low and behold, there was an inspiring shift in the way I viewed the incident.  Hopefully this fits the theme.

This was typed on my 1938 Corona Silent 2S series.

 

For more typewritten pages, click HERE

August 5, 2018: Type-In at Literati Bookstore

While in Ann Arbor in late June, I stopped at Literati Bookstore to browse, where a flyer caught my eye.

I had seen other type-ins publicized around the state and country, but nowhere near me.  I was both excited and confused.  What do you do at a type-in?  After enlisting the advice of others who have attended them, I decided that I’d like to test-drive as many of the machines that were there.

The flyer said to bring my own, if I wanted.  Hmm.  Which one?  I decided to share my favorite portable – a 1954 Olivetti Lettera 22.  So I packed it up, and set out for Ann Arbor through a maze of weekend road closures due to construction.

Literati Bookstore is the ideal location for a type-in.  Co-owner Michael Gustafson’s grandfather’s 1930’s Smith Corona was the inspiration for the store’s logo.  When the doors opened in 2013, Mike placed a typewriter – an Olivetti Lettera 32 – in the lower level of the store, for the public to use.  A collection of some of the notes left on that public forum was published in Notes from a Public Typewriter (Grand Central Publishing, 2018).

Hosted by Charly’s Typewriter Collection and Repair, I met Charly as she and her assistants were setting up.  I added my Lettera to the long table, and soon others joined in.  Before long, the sound of clacking filled the cafe area.

There were over a dozen typewriters in the space, and I shot photos of most of them.  Included was Michael Gustafson’s grandfather’s 1930’s Smith Corona…

…a Neckermann Brilliant Junior, made in Communist East Germany in the mid-1950’s (note that the Y key and Z key are switched, and other German letter keys on the right hand side.)…

…a 1923 Underwood 3-bank, which has a cap-shift to capitalize the letters, and a figure-shift if you want to type the number or punctuation mark above the letter…

…and a 1963 Olympia SM9 with a cursive font.

Here are some of the other cool machines…

A few observations:
-A predominantly young crowd was embracing and/or sampling this analog technology.
-A young lady spent a lot of time at my Lettera.  I thought she may have been working on a novel, but instead she was typing from an old Stuart Typing Manual that was on hand.
-Everyone was engaged in what they were typing, and enjoying the camaraderie.

On my small sheet of paper, I did a little sampling, as I hoped.

I had a great time, and from the looks of it, so did everyone else.

Thank you Charly’s Typewriter Collection & Repair, and Literati Bookstore for holding this fun event.

(Other Typewritten Pages HERE)

May 24, 2018: Typing Assignment #17

Typing Assignment #17 from Joe Van Cleave’s YouTube channel “is to write a story inspired by a found photographic print.”

Instead of using any of my photos, I went out to find a photo to use for this assignment.  With Detroit City FC in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament, I drove down to Cincinnati, stopping in Findlay, Ohio at Jeffrey’s Antiques to see what I could find.  Well I found something.  Two somethings.

There were a handful of vendors with old photographs.  Pretty much all of them were portraits of individuals or family photos.  Of the many I sorted through, this one caught my eye, and became the subject of the story for the assignment.

The other thing I found was, of course, a typewriter.  This cute, 1956 Smith-Corona Skyriter was looking up at me, the pouch of its case containing the original owners manual, a book on learning how to touch type, a card with touch typing hints, and another owners manual for an unidentified portable electric typewriter.  I wasn’t in the market for a new typewriter, but its cute compactness was calling to me.  I left it behind, completed my drive to Cincinnati, took in the match and stayed overnight.  Just couldn’t get that little typer out of my head, on the way home I stopped back in and added it to my growing pack of rescued typewriters.

So, it seems only natural that I type this found photo-based assignment on the found typewriter I discovered in the process.

Other Typewritten Pages are HERE.

April 15, 2018: Typing Assignment #16

Joe Van Cleave’s Sixteenth Typing Assignment was a fun one.  “Write about a personal artifact in your possession. Fiction, nonfiction – use the object in your piece however you wish.”

It didn’t take me long to decide which personal artifact to write about.  I’ve had it for close to forty years, and its history prior to my possession makes for a neat contrast.

This was typed on my 1954 Smith-Corona Silent Super (not the one mentioned in the piece – my mom got rid of her typewriter which I used as a kid a few years ago, without inquiring if I had an interest in it).

The desk in the apartment, circa 2008-2013.

Other typing assignments can be found HERE.

October 21, 2017: Typing Assignment #11

Joe Van Cleave’s eleventh typing assignment is a one-page Halloween story. “(W)e’ll be writing on the subject of Halloween. It could be from any angle: history, personal accounts, fiction, even anti-Halloween. Whatever.”

Anti-Halloween sounded interesting, but I thought it best not to put a downer on those who enjoy this holiday.  Instead, I looked to last year. A writer’s group I’m in is about to hold its second Halloween party. Each of us are to craft a one-thousand word Halloween short story.  A couple weeks ago, I wrapped up my rough draft for the party, but it is too long to fit on a one-pager.  However, the story I wrote last year would work.

The protagonist of this story – Trevor Aldabra – is a character I have been working and developing for a few years now.  He’s a lawyer who represents those on the other side of life.  He came to me in a short story I submitted to the Michigan Bar Journal Short Story Contest (which earned the position of a finalist). Some day, I’ll have everything in place to develop a novel featuring him.  In the meantime, I’ve been crafting stories, playing with this character. And this is one of them.

This story was typed on my 1951 Royal Quiet De Luxe.  The pumpkin in the photo was painted by an inmate at the Lakeland Correctional Facility in Coldwater, MI. I was there to visit a client, and in the prison’s lobby a number of prisoner-painted pumpkins were being sold to raise money for local food bank.

For previous Typing Assignments, click the pumpkin below.

 

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October 15, 2017: Typing Assignment #10

Joe Van Cleave’s blog has set Typing Assignment #10 as a one-page free-form.  “Participants can write a one-pager on whatever they want.”

My initial thought was to kill two birds with one stone and write my Halloween story for the writers group I’m in.  However, the story filled more than a single page.

For this assignment, I decided on a re-run.  I participated in a Made in Michigan Festival in downtown Mount Clemens.  I took a few copies of my novel to sell – I am a writer that was Made in Michigan – and set up at a table as a guest of Paperback Writer Books/Weirdsville Records for a few hours on Friday, May 6, 2016.  Instead of just sitting there, watching the people go by, I decided to try something different.  I had recently read Richard Polt’s The Typewriter Revolution, and there was a section on a poet who typed poems spontaneously for people.  I’m neither poetic nor spontaneous, so I considered a different approach.  I would just type while there, taking in the sights and sounds and banging them out on the keys.

Below is the page I typed that day on my 1951 Royal Quiet De Luxe.

Other Typing Assignments can be found HERE

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