Sunday, August 23, 2015

Short order stories

Today's street fair in Cincinnati's Northside neighborhood featured a collaboration between the neighborhood's two typewriter-loving institutions, WordPlay Cincy and Chase Public.

Kids and volunteers from WordPlay joined writers from Chase Public to type stories (or poems) on demand for the passers-by. There were plenty of takers.

After interviewing the person commissioning the writing, the writers brainstorm and sit down at their machines.

The typist on the left was asked to write a poem about the experience of stepping on a screw. She came up with the perfect closing line: "Twist and shout."

Everyone who asked for a story got a ticket which they could match up with their finished piece as they checked the clothesline full of typescripts fluttering in the breeze.

The view from behind a typewriter. There's some tension and excitement as you work on your text, and it's not so easy to concentrate when belly dancers are undulating to loud music nearby—but you must produce something, there's no going back. I'd had the experience once before and was delighted to be invited to participate again.

Here's a poem I typed for a mother who wanted one about how Northside was a great place to raise kids. Also typed: a story about a dragon attending a new school, and one about a two-inch-tall boy who gets a new qPhone.

(The Lawnchair Brigade is a traditional part of the Northside Fourth of July parade. 
We've got to start a Typewriter Brigade.)


  1. Yay! I haven't yet been on the firing line typing on demand, but it looks fun. (:

  2. Looks like a great event. Nice to have 2 typewriter venues in the same area.

  3. What fun! And I never knew you had a flare for creative writing. Nice poem.

  4. super event, and thanks for reporting. by the way, i like the touch and speed medal in the background.

  5. Lovely poem - you are a poet and I did not know it :) Seriously, I don't know if I could come up with anything readable working in a situation like that.