Thursday, June 20, 2019

The fate of the blogless

This post has been scheduled in advance to be published during my digital detox period. Don't worry, I probably won't be wailing ... I think. But as I was rereading this text, I couldn't resist posting it.

"The Buribunks" is a uncannily prescient satire about a world where everyone is required to publish diaries about everything they experience. They are perfectly free to write that they have nothing to write, or that they hate writing—but if they actually stop writing, they fall into social oblivion.

An English translation is in the works, and I plan on contributing an essay to an anthology of buribunkological studies.

Monday, June 10, 2019

A couple of reader reviews for COLD HARD TYPE ... and I'm out

I just had to share these very nice reader reviews that were posted on Amazon.

Now, having had the pleasure of completing this two-volume project and sharing it with the typosphere, including the crowd at Herman's this last weekend, I am ready to embark on an extended period of analog rest. I explain the idea in this post.

In the next few days, I may schedule a post or two for publication while I'm offline. I may also write some blog posts when I'm offline, and post them when I return in early August. But no promises.

While I'm not touching computers, you are welcome to correspond with me on paper (see the "Write me a letter" link at the top of this page).

Have a great summer!

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Some more Cold Hard Type sightings

Thanks for these photos, folks! Happy reading.

At the moment, the volumes are on sale for $5.37 (Paradigm Shifts) and $5.02 (Escapements)!

Monday, June 3, 2019

Paradigm Shifts around the world

People are starting to post photos of Paradigm Shifts, hot off the press. It's very gratifying to see this volume existing on paper, in the hands of typospherians. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 1, 2019

COLD HARD TYPE II: Escapements now available

The second volume of COLD HARD TYPE is now available! I am glad to present Escapements: Typewritten Tales from Post-Digital Worlds.

With no digital technology, the world can be a harsh place—and a surprising one. Whatever happens, our typewriters will be there to document it. Imagine the possibilities in this collection of stories, poems, and art.

This volume includes contributions by Wendell Berry, Jenny Bristol, Rory Bristol, Ariana Davenport, Shelley K. Davenport, Jamie Davies, Frederic S. Durbin, Mathilda-Anne Florence, N. E. Glenn, Martyn V. Halm, Lori Hedges, John Howell, Scott Kernaghan, Shane L. Larson, Timothy Ley, LA Marler, Todd Mauldin, C. M. Mayo, Andrew V. McFeaters, Bill Meissner, Klaus Mielke, Eliezane Moon, Duane Morrison, John Munroe, Christopher Ochs, David W. Pedersen, Jim Pennington, Monica Quinn, Kim e. Revay, Charly Roland, Andre Gene Samson, Philip L. Simpson, Maria Tolentino, Armando Warner, and Donald Winzer.

You can purchase Escapements on Amazon now.

And don't miss volume 1, Paradigm Shifts!

Thursday, May 30, 2019

COLD HARD TYPE I: Paradigm Shifts now available

I'm delighted to announce the publication of Paradigm Shifts: Typewritten Tales of Digital Collapse.

This first volume of the COLD HARD TYPE project includes contributions by Linda M. Au, Wendell Berry, David G. Brechbiel, Valentine J. Brkich, Catalina Cariaga, Barbara DeMarco-Barrett, Frederic S. Durbin, Trinity Grau, Kristofferson Harris, Arkadiusz Hubczuk, Michael Kitchen, Steve Kuterescz, Jos Legrand, Bill Meissner, R. J. Montgomery, Vinny Negron, Robert Neuwirth, Erich J. Noack, Reine Nust, Carol Ochs, Christopher Ochs, Joey Patrickt, Cornelia Penner, Mark Petersen, Richard Polt, Aaron Schmidt, Nutthawut Siridejchai, Charles Sterrow, Istvan Takacs, Joe Van Cleave, Armando Warner, Matthew Weaver, and Brian Zimmerman.

The second volume, Escapements, should be ready in a few days.

You can purchase Paradigm Shifts on Amazon now. As promised, we have kept the price to a bare minimum. This means no profits for anyone involved, but it will also help to broaden the audience for this unique collection.

Thanks to everyone who has supported this project, promoted it, and submitted work to it. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Book review: As It Ends, by Denise Terriah

Terriah has some good, solid reasons for using a typewriter:

"When I write on a computer I'll save what I'm doing, second-guess, then rewrite half of it before I ever get started with the day's work. The more I've written, the more I second-guess and re-write. ...

"Secondly, I like a hard-copy of my work. I don't trust computers not to lose files, or me not to accidentally overwrite, or forget to save something important.

"The third reason I do it is that when I start work on my second draft I can't be lazy about it. Every page has to be typed onto the computer. When I'm doing that I have to go over every sentence."

Here are Denise Terriah's website, Facebook page, and Instagram feed.

You can buy As It Ends on Amazon.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Summer escape


I should add that this experiment will probably start in mid to late June.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Cold Hard Type cover designs

We are tentatively on track for our projected publishing date of June 1! Watch this blog for an announcement.

Here's a preview of the covers for the two volumes of Cold Hard Type.

Photo: Ish Takacs

Photo: Chris Ochs

These books are full of great, typewritten stories, as well as delightful poems, photos, and art. Their price will be within the budget of every typospherian.

I'm also starting a new publishing house for these books:

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

1950 Siemag II T typewriter

Last night I restored this 1950 Siemag II T which I imported from Germany several months ago. It just needed some cleaning to start functioning robustly again. "Robust" is certainly the word for this make. (I picked up a Royal KMM yesterday afternoon from Craigslist, and after hefting the Siemag around, the KMM felt light.) Everything on the Siemag is solid and well-designed.

The Royal-esque side panels come out very easily when you push buttons underneath them. This reveals levers that can be flipped to allow instant removal of the carriage. It's almost as easy as doing it on an Olympia SG1.

As just one glimpse of the quality of this machine, here's a close-up of the controls on the left side of the carriage. Note the thick, chromed pinch lever that selects the line spacing.

Will Davis's II T
More II Ts on The Typewriter Database

Monday, May 13, 2019

What is this madness?

On my latest trip, I found this little tablet on the table by my bed in the hotel room.

It was inviting me to read a welcome message, check out the Wall Street Journal, review the weather, and who knows what else.

Can it be true that most travelers want yet another screen in their lives? One that may be spying on them, for all they know?

Yes, the device has cameras in both front and back:

I stuck it between the pages of a good, old-fashioned, printed guide to local attractions.

No thanks, Keypr/Intelity.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019


On Tuesday, my colleague Tyrone Williams and I set up an Underwood and Smith-Corona outside Xavier University's main classroom building. We'd told no one in advance—it was a pop-up poetry and thought shop. Over about an hour and a half, we were kept busy by faculty, students, staff, and even a dean who came by and provided topics for our typing. Usually, each topic got a poem from Ty and a thought from me. This was a great way to break the ice and provide relief during finals week—as well as a way to loosen up our own minds. We plan to do it again!