The Intersection

i-b4927ba475bc113494dc7ec13746d844-376.jpgThanks to my favorite Mooney, I’m enjoying life as a writer. Well a blogger really, but that’s a style of writing just the same. Open correspondence to both everyone and no one at all. Chris recently considered whether bloggers should unionize and I suspect that will come with time as our new medium evolves.

One aspect of the blogosphere that particularly appeals to me is that while prose is encouraged, there are no rules. I’ve always found such formalities counter productively confining for any form of self expression. Most traditional, strictly-defined protocols are much too stifling for creativity because writing is an art form after all. It allows others a rare glimpse into our private selves so rules just have a pesky habit of mucking up the process.

This weekend finds me with the unique opportunity to use a vintage Smith-Corona Super Sterling Portable Manual Typewriter. Translation: typing with no plug, connection or correction. Imagine that…

My family had a typewriter when I was a couple of decades younger, but it was nothing like this remarkable throwback to a simpler time. Round creme colored keys suspended high above the frame. Here google can’t match advertisements to my text and emails do not interrupt flow of thought.

There’s something absolutely genuine about what an old typewriter like this can produce. The blank page in the carriage is full of possibility and somehow in what’s composed – even amid uneven spacing, missing letters, and misspelled words – I find freedom. Honesty assembled in plastic, metal, and ribbon.

And so this weekend I celebrate the typewriter and leave my laptop to the world of the wired. At least, that’s the intention. I will remain a recluse to the blogosphere and allow the Smith Corona to dance beneath my fingers as I wonder how many others have explored these keys and what else has been born on this very same machine. As winter approaches, I’ll write privately in the cozy confines of my warm apartment on a frosty November day. Me and a typewriter.


  1. #1 Linda
    November 9, 2007

    I think that you will have a boundless and happy opportunity to create your lyrical thoughts. I really felt with this particular post that I was reading poetry; you paint pictures with words…

  2. #2 Warren
    November 9, 2007

    I had a yellow Smith Corona in the 60s. Reading this makes me nostalgic.

  3. #3 Sam
    November 9, 2007

    Will you post what you compose? We’d like to see it.

  4. #4 Emily
    November 9, 2007

    An added bonus of working on a typewriter – your fingers will be much stronger as you build up the muscle volume needed to put ribbon ink to paper. Perhaps this novel method of hand exercise, which would evenly build muscle throughout the hand, could be offered as a therapy for Blackberry thumb.

  5. #5 decrepitoldfool
    November 9, 2007

    I found one like that in the trash – in its box in mint condition with the manual. Before I gave it to a friend, I photographed the entire owner’s manual and put it on Flickr for everyone who likes typewriters.

    In my office is an Olympia, “Made in Western Germany” – what a delightful instrument that is to use.

  6. #6 Ex-drone
    November 10, 2007

    No, no. Any Mugwump will tell you that, in Interzone, you write your reports on a Clark-Nova, not the Martinelli.

  7. #7 cvj
    November 13, 2007


    You’ve given me an hilarious idea. What about taking the typewriter to a popular and hip wireless enabled cafe where everyone has their laptops out…. and then getting it out of its case and typing away earnestly? That would be sooooo funny!

    I think I want to go out and buy a typewriter just to pull off the joke. Maybe I’ll do it next April 1st.


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