Dr. Frankenstein’s Metal Monster

I was walking to dinner this evening when I noticed something sitting at the foot of a lamppost. It was the unmistakable suitcase that holds typewriters. Given my affinity for typewriters, I immediately investigated the scene of the crime.

DCPI Report:
On Saturday, January 23, 2010 at approximately 1756 hours police responded to the corner of West 112th Street and Broadway Avenue within the confines of the 26 Precinct in regards to an unconscious typewriter. Upon arrival police discovered an electric typewriter with lacerations to the body of the keyboard. The victim, a T/B/40’s, was unconscious inside of a trashcan at the location. EMS responded and pronounced the typewriter DOA at 1808 hours. The Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death, the investigation is ongoing at this time.

Family notification is pending for the deceased.
Continue reading “Dr. Frankenstein’s Metal Monster”

Two Roomies and a Typewriter

A couple of nights ago, my roommate Rick and I were drinking beer when we decided to whip out my typewriter, a 1964 Smith Corona Classic 12. Light Blue. Full manual. Rick and I are both writers – him the creative nonfiction type and me the reporter – so we decided to collaborate on an impromptu piece of creative journalism.

I started typing to show him how to use the metal brute. After a couple of quick lines, I plopped the typewriter in his lap.

it;s so he avy this typewriter
doyou want to put it on the floor.
nnah. it feels good.

Clacking keys on a manual typewriter is unlike any other form of writing. You realize the struggles that plagued writers of the past. Typing isn’t smooth and fluid like on a keyboard, it’s a pecking frenzy that leaves your hands twisted as they try and keep up with your mind.

Occasionally you’ll miss a space or hit half a letter in the quest to complete a sentence. But let the fingers warm up and watch the words pop as steel slaps ink on a page.

There is no delete key, only a backspace which can be used to turn r’s to n’s and p’s to g’s. When you screw up bad enough, you have to rip out the page and start anew. No wonder writers of the past were so damn good. One draft is never enough. The rewriting process is decided by the nature of the machine. Continue reading “Two Roomies and a Typewriter”