Many people may not know this about me but I am in love with typewriters. I love the soft gleam of sunlight on clean glass keys and the stiffness in my fingers after a long day of typing on a manual typewriter. I currently own two typewriters, I know it’s not a large amount of typewriters for an enthusiast but they are hard to find these days. I spent three hours wandering an antique mall the other night and I found four machines in three hours. One of which I took home.
My first typewriter is a (late 30’s) Underwood Universal. I cleaned it up and once the chrome sparkled against my fingers I knew I was hooked. This model has a heavy keystroke so when I work on it I feel it in my hands after only a few hours. I’m still building up my hand strength. The upside to that, however, is when I type on my computer I type so much faster.
The second lovely machine I have is a 70’s electric Smith Corona Coronet Automatic 12. She hums when I type and I’ve taken to calling her Paula. My Underwood is named Lucille in case you were wondering. She is a heavy machine in a robin’s egg blue and from the moment I saw her it was love at first sight.
Why did I take up such a strange hobby? Well, obviously I’m a writer and I was sifting through some old photos of authors at work on a very interesting website and came across so many pictures with writers using typewriters. I am terrible at procrastination when I write (as I sit here writing this blog post very last minute) and I’m always searching for ways to help me write that can disconnect me from the internet. When I first began writing I mainly wrote by hand but then that just became too much to input into a computer afterward. I considered an alpha smart type device that is just a word processor with no internet connection but I didn’t like the way the keys felt. Then one day I found an old typewriter on Craigslist for $20. I took it home, scrubbed it with a toothbrush, and now I consider it a cherished possession.
I get an instant sense of gratification as my paper stack grows beside my typewriter. I also use various papers–from funky pastels, to lined, to tracing and just plain white. It’s interesting and fun when I fan out the pages accomplished for a day. I always feel satisfied. Many authors I know have a taste for paper, pens, and ephemera and typing on a typewriter, holding the pages in my hands, and feeling the words I created indented on a sheet, is like a magic I can’t explain.
There are numerous resources for learning about typewriters. Even a typewriter Reddit that shares purchases and photos. Just like the blogosphere for books there is a blogosphere for typewriter enthusiasts and I’m learning so much from these people.
While I know some of you are wondering. I didn’t write this post on a typewriter, I wrote it on a computer…I get that comment a lot when I talk about my typewriter to non-enthusiasts. I would have typed it on the typewriter if most blogs didn’t have strict picture guidelines. Finally, another comment that is made to me a lot revolved around hipsters. I have a fair idea of what a hipster is…and a fair image in my mind as I do hang out a hipster coffee shop to write. The funny thing is the most enthusiasm in the realm of typewriting comes from older gentlemen. People who grew up with these machines and don’t want to see them relegated to technology antiquity.
There is even a resurgence of the typewriter. With governments across the globe having erm…security issues…many are purchasing electric typewriters for their secret work.
I’ll leave you with one final thought. Many a writer, of both fiction and non-fiction, has utilized these beautiful machines to bring to life some of the world’s most beloved characters. Tolkien is one that comes to mind immediately. He used an early 1900’s Hammond machine. All you have to do is search the web to find even more images of people like Agatha Christie, Sylvia Plath, and Earnest Hemingway clacking away at their own typewriters.
These pieces of history have been around for over a hundred years and I hope to be a part of the group that keeps them around for another hundred. Whether early 1900’s versions or late 70’s machines they should be loved and preserved for the literary feats they’ve taken part in accomplishing.
If you have any questions about typewriters or my story coming out in August please ask away!
Monica Corwin is an outspoken writer who believes romance is for everyone no matter their preferences. Displaced in Central Pennsylvania, Monica Corwin attempts to spend her days writing away in her home by the river. In reality she chases around a toddler and writes when she can. In her free time she drinks entirely too much coffee and collects tomes on King Arthur. Monica Corwin has over thirteen published works from publishers such as Crimson Romance and Cleis Press. You can find her on the web at www.monicacorwin.com
Rebecca, once called The Queen of Hearts, is the most feared assassin in the galaxy. Released from the Red Queen’s prison, she takes one last job in order to collect the bounty and flee to the edge of the verse. The cards are flipped into the air when she finds March at the end of her blade.
March, codenamed The Ace of Hearts, was Rebecca’s friend, lover, and partner. Believing her dead, he launches a revolution against the regime who took her from him.
Can she overcome the time they spent apart and the torment she endured during her incarceration to reap vengeance against those who wronged them both?
Buy a copy of ‘Down The Rabbit Hole’ here.