December 3, 2018: Typing Assignment #20.

Typing Assignment #20 from Joe Van Cleave’s YouTube channel (which you should subscribe to because he has all sorts of neat videos on typewriters and other cool stuff) is to type a one-page piece on a pet peeve.  Could be a personal pet peeve.  Could be a fictional piece involving a pet peeve.

This was a little difficult for me because of the number of avenues in which this could go.  But I settled on the common misconception that a haiku poem must be three lines with five syllables in the first, seven in the second, and five in the third.  Since I’ve been in a writer’s group that includes a poet, I’ve rekindled an interest in haiku, which sparked the writing of this pet peeve of mine, while at the same time facing it.  Needless to say, this assignment 1) sparked a project idea for me; 2) taught me some things about haiku and senryu I didn’t know; and 3) brought me much fun in formulating it and drafting it.

This was typed on my 1950 Olivetti Lettera 22.  Enjoy!

For more typewritten pages and Typing Assignments – GO HERE!
For my collection of typewriters – GO 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.







September 24, 2017: Typing Assignment #9

Yes, this is Typing Assignment #9 for Joe Van Cleave’s blog.  I did skip TA#8 due to busyness and just wasn’t moved by the prompt.

This assignment was to write a one-page hypothetical story in the life of a real-life stranger that you periodically see.  I did bend the rules a little on this one.  I was in a weekly bowling league for a few years, and though I bowled on a team of senior citizens, we only knew very general things about each other.  Early on, they knew I was a little different from them when I took offense to an off-color, Michelle Obama joke one of them made.  So I put myself in the mind of one of them, and fictionalized this speculative analysis.  It’s more a story about resistance and adjustment to change.

I typed this on my 1954 Olivetti Lettera 22, on one of the sheets of the Eaton’s corrasable onion skin paper from the box.

Previous typing assignments and typewritten pages can be found HERE.




August 27, 2017: Typing Assignment #7

This assignment typed on my 196? Sears Forecast 12.

This typing assignment for Joe Van Cleave’s blog, takes us down another avenue of personal history by describing a time in the writer’s life when he/she achieved something significant, or overcame a major obstacle.

For this new assignment, you’ll dig into your life’s experience and find something significant that you achieved, or a major problem you overcame. Perhaps you might think you’ve never accomplished much, never tackled some significant feat that’s worthy of note. But to ourselves, in our internal life experience, many things loom large that might otherwise be seen as insignificant to others. Our job as writers is to communicate the magnitude of our internal experience to others in a way that they can appreciate; to enable them to enter into our personal experience.

There was only one obvious obstacle that knocked me on my ass and nearly tore me down that I had to write about.  That damn Bar Exam.

Link to other typing assignments and typewritten pages.




August 11, 2017: Typing Assignment #6

Before I get into this assignment, I want to point out that Mr. Van Cleave has a YouTube channel in which he goes over all the submissions by presenting a slideshow of them (which allows you to read each one), then discusses each of them individually.

The sixth Typing Assignment from Joe Van Cleave’s blog is the following:

We all have someone in our lives who represents a story waiting to be told. That story could be uplifting, or not. But that’s the way true-to-life stories are; not all fairy tales and happily-ever-after and Prince (or Princess) Charming. But a story, waiting to be told, as a typed, one-page composition. It’s your story, to share with others.

For this assignment, I took my healed wrist to the 1951 Royal Quiet De Luxe, and tried to fit a single page in about Erma Henderson.  Though there is a lot to her story, and a lot of it has been shared, I chose to revisit her for this assignment because August 20, 2017 would have been her 100th birthday.

One of the take-aways from this assignment is that I need to allow myself a little more time to either hand-write or rough draft it on the typewriter and re-type.  One of the aesthetics of using a typewriter is the human error component of mistypes, misspellings, and rawness of thought.  If I’m going to continue this and publish them here, I need to consider providing cleaner copy.

Typing Assignment #1
Typing Assignment #2
Typing Assignment #3
Typing Assignment #4
Typing Assignment #5