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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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.

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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.

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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

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July 16, 2017: Typing Assignment #4

Typing Assignment #4 from Joe Van Cleave’s Blog was difficult this week.  An acute fracture in a bone in my wrist, which occurred at a soccer game on Tuesday, has been making every form of typing a challenge.  Furthermore, the assignment itself required some thought and imagination.  The past seven days busy with work and soccer, left little time for thought on this project.  But with the deadline near, I put this together.

The assignment “is to write about that old pangram: The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. You are free to use this phrase as a jumping-off point for wherever the create muse leads. Write from the perspective of the fox, or the dog, or the dog’s owner. Tell us the backstory, or what happens after. Is there animosity between the fox and dog, or are they friends? Why is the dog considered lazy – did he get a false reputation? You get to decide – it’s your story.”

Well, I took this in an entirely different direction.  Sort of like how my week went.  I used my 1961 Smith Corona Coronet Automatic, an electric typewriter which would be easier for my injured left hand, and, well, all I can say is that a quick brown fox did jump over a lazy dog.  The rest I’ll leave for you to decide.

Typing Assignment #1
Typing Assignment #2
Typing Assignment #3

 

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July 8, 2017: Typing Assignment #3

Today I completed Typing Assignment #3 for Joe Van Cleave’s blog.  These have been fun, both for content and to develop a habit for using the typewriter more often for writing, not just addressing envelopes.

Typing Assignment #3 is “to write a one-pager about youthful hang-outs. Write about some place you liked to spend time at when young, and perhaps a bit about the people you hung with and maybe even some special circumstance or story that transpired.”

Using my 1951 Royal Quiet De Luxe, (because the typeface is smaller and I can fit more words to the page), here is my submission titled “Leave the Driving to Us.”

Typing Assignment #1
Typing Assignment #2

 

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