Monday, June 13, 2011

My Writing LIfe - then & now

Monday, June 13, 2011



     I was inspired by Ruth’s posts both yesterday and today to get writing, and stop all the voices in my head that say things like “no, you need to do the wash” or “the weeds are back again” or “it’s time to plan the grocery shopping”.   In the late Saturday post with things from Etsy, two of the pictures featured old typewriters, of which I own two, my grandmother’s Royal and my college typewriter, an Olivetti.  My grandmother wrote many things during her life, some stories for me growing up, to which she added music because she was a pianist, too.  Later in life she wrote one of those town life columns in the local newspaper that included who visited whom, announcements of births, glowing descriptions of weddings as well as obituaries.  She wrote these on the old Royal, sitting in a small office-type room in her old two-story house, papers surrounding her like the nest that Kim of Goldilocks And The Perfect Desk described. 




 My mother wrote poetry often and one of her happiest moments late in her life was a little book of her poems published, and given as gifts to family and friends on one of her last Christmases.  She used journals for her writing, and my brother helped her by putting them into his computer so the poems could be published.
     Just now, I sat at my college typewriter and typed a couple of lines.  It took much finger strength!  I marveled at the hours I’ve spent at that machine, clacking out pages and pages of reports, stories, poems, mostly for professors, but sometimes for me.  I have taken the typewriter in to let my students see how they work, to try out a bit of writing on it, and have also told them how lucky they are to have missed out on re-typing pages when grave errors had been made or having to estimate just the place to stop in order to add footnotes.  They too noticed their lack of finger strength.  However, that machine was certainly a friend, all through my undergrad years, and needed only new ribbons to be renewed.
      As for my own current writing life:  It seems to ebb and flow like the tide.  I have always written in journals and with my students, but lately, have been more active because of this blog, and the inspiration of the Two Writing Teachers and the Tuesday Slice People. I am determined to write every day, and mostly sit at the sofa in the picture, writing on my trusty MacBook Pro, loving every minute.   I still make lists in journals, but more and more am using sticky notes on the desktop for idea posting.  The tech world is taking me on new paths.  Happy Writing!

9 comments:

  1. I love seeing the old typewriters. I remember a big black typewriter that my grandpa let me use - clack clack clack. I wonder what the average typing speed was using one of those machines??? It does take plenty of finger strength! I'm inspired to see that every day you have a voice, a story, a moment to share with us. I am thankful for that -- let the writing continue!

    PS I also LOVE the desktop sticky notes. I use them for my to do lists -- never thought to jot down idea postings! I'll have to try it. :)

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  2. It's rather terrible, Michelle. My desktop is loaded, & not in a very organized way, kind of like those old cork bulletin boards!

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  3. You have just taken me down the memory lane with those typewriters. I am so grateful for keyboards, back space key, and delete. I remember those days of eraseable bond paper and the erasers with the brush on them. Doesn't it make you wonder how writing will change in the next 30 years?

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  4. Oh how I remember the typewriter days--and I have to say that computers are so much easier. I do miss the rhythm of clacking keys, the bell ping, and the jolt of the carriage return though. You could literally hear some sort of mechanical music when the words were flowing quickly!
    Thanks for sharing parts of your writing life with us!

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  5. Did you know with the desktop sticky notes you can double click the top and they will minimize -- the first line becomes the title. Then only a skinny note is visible. Maybe that will help clean up your desk top??? And maybe not if you have lots and lots of ideas!!! :)

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  6. Yes, I know, & thanks for the heads up, but in addition to the ideas, I have some quotes on some, some "things I want to remember" on others, etc. It's like the bookmarks, just need to clean them out, maybe put the ideas in a real file.

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  7. I love the term: the Tuesday Slice People. Yes, writing (like most creative endeavors) seems to ebb and flow. I try to ride it out, trusting it will come back full force when I'm at a low point. Thanks for sharing your link (and your photos). I'm jealous that you have those beautiful machines at your fingertips. I love the history of the storytelling typewriters. :) Happy writing, Ruth

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  8. What a great post....and thank you for the link back and mention!
    Oh I ADORE vintage typewriters...I also love the sound of a typewriter hitting each key. It is true that modern technology has made writing so much easier for us all. But there is something to be said for the vintage typewriters...
    Good luck with your aim to write every day.
    -Kim

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  9. Just last month I was talking with some young person about the old typewriter days with carbon paper and white-out, old ditto machines. I had forgotten all about taking an actual typewriting class versus Word or a keyboarding class.

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