Saturday, August 28, 2021


Of the books I’ve read on creative writing, this one is the most comprehensive. 

Burroway offers some advice that’s relevant to typewriter users, who may sometimes have wished that they had a more easily alterable, digital text.


 So don’t bewail the need to retype your work as you transfer it from typescript to computer. It may be a blessing.

(Scanning is also an option, but it may introduce errors that are tedious to correct. I retyped my novel, and don’t regret it.)

Saturday, August 14, 2021

The Potto Factor

Not everything in this blog has to be about typewriters, does it? I recently rediscovered this ca. 1979 artifact, preserved by a friend, that shows just how sophisticated my sense of humor was at the time. I was fascinated by prosimians. (The more modern term is strepsirrhines.) I did have my Remington Noiseless no. 7, but didn't choose to use it on this dustjacket for a prosimian action novel. Maybe it will bring some chuckles.

Note the prescient inclusion of a cell phone with video screen, and the reference to Ulan Bator, Mongolia. Little did I know that I would eventually own a typewriter that refers to Ulan Bator.

OK, so I did find a typewriter connection.

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Athenian adventure

I was invited to a small typewriter collectors' get-together in Athens, Ohio this weekend. It's a lovely drive on US 50, passing through places such as McArthur.

We gathered in a park, where kind organizer Dave Brechbiel and his wife Sherry were ready with cookies, veggies, and cool water. Dave also organized Virtual Herman's last year. No wonder he was the worthy recipient of this year's QWERTY Award—which was presented to him at dinner.

Dave got us started on Show and Tell with a story about the provenance of his Corona Zephyr.

My fellow Cincinnati-area collector Mitch Hamm told us about his beautifully restored Remie Scout.

Brandon Bledsoe showed us his dealer-repainted mint-green Royal portable.

Kirk Jackson (Nashville Typewriter) showed us a Lettera 22 once owned by pioneering TV critic Dwight Newton, complete with a letter by Newton about all the good things that came from this typewriter.

Dave Cannon told us how he got the Remington that has written many books with him.

Mark Petersen (Totally Your Type) showed us a bargain Underwood with a filed-off serial number that has brought him much joy. 

Preston English told us about several typewriters, including a very rare Royal HE electric with a wide carriage and a half-backspace key (on the far left on this table).

I myself showed the group Heidegger's typewriter.

Plenty of other machines were on display or for sale. I brought my folding Hammond and took this shot of it next to a wonderful letter from a Parisian Hammond dealer, in Mitch Hamm's collection.

Herman Price brought these extras from his collection for sale. You can see a Western Union Underwood mill (caps-only telegrapher's typewriter), an Annell' (relabeled Woodstock), a Stearns, and peeking out at the right of this photo is an ivory-colored Student (Bing no. 2 name variant).

A typewriter was hurt in the following part of the afternoon's events.

This is a Royal Scrittore II, a ca. 2012 typewriter made in China.

I'm sure you're asking the question I posed in my 2013 review.

Most religions involve some type of sacrifice, and typewriterism is no exception. Brandon and I had been planning to throw this machine from the window of a moving car, à la Royal Road Test
(memorably recreated in "California Typewriter"). But instead ...

Mark demonstrates his skill with a slingshot:

Too bad, so sad.

At least the Scrittore, which can't type worth a damn, did do something very well in its final act: it provided catharsis after an absolutely wretched year.

Our other activities included a round of miniature golf.

The winner of the tournament was Viktorija Hamm, who got an appropriate prize.

I said goodbye to four typewriters from my collection, including this Siemag II T ...

... this Woodstock ...

... my maroon Norwegian Klein-Urania ...

... and this nearly immaculate Adler Favorit II. 

Here's Adam S. testing the machine (but the buyer was Kirk).

I love these typewriters, as I love every machine in my collection, but I am learning the art of letting go. At this rate, if I make it to my actuarial time of death, I may get the collection down to a reasonable size for my heirs.

I have to admit I was sorely tempted by the prettiest R. C. Allen I've seen:

But I resisted, even though Dave was giving it away for free and it spontaneously typed an appeal to me.

Happily, it did find another home.

And I have to admit that my trunk did leave Athens ...

... with a new addition to my collection.