Our Mission Statement:

The mission of Pens & Pages Writers Guild is to facilitate and encourage writers of all genres, to share resources and tips about the writing process and, most of all, to provide a positive and productive forum that will encourage and support each writer in his or her creative endeavors.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Typewriter, Where Did You Go?

"Do I need a laptop?" I asked at a recent meeting of Pens & Pages.  "I get pretty tired of sitting in front of a computer."

That's when Solard reached into her tote bag and produced the Dana.
"You need this, or a Neo," she replied.

Turns out, Dana and Neo are the two latest USB writing gadgets from AlphaSmart; primarily light weight word processors which can go with you anywhere.  Really "plain Jane" with no frills or distractions ..... just writing---format it later---no internet---no email.  Just writing!

Sounds good.  So back in my office I surfed the net to find out more and came across the sweetest blog -- more like a forum: http://www.strikethru.net/2009/01/rebound-typewriter.html.  It twanged on my heartstrings like a comfy pair of old house slippers.  In addition to pros and cons re. Dana and Neo, there's much discussion (reminiscing, really) about trying to hang onto the days of pecking out stories, articles, essays, homework, etc. on the old Remingtons, Smith-Coronas, Royals, IBMs, and such.
The mission statement on "Strikethru" says:
"This blog heartily approves of typewriters, fountain pens, junk cameras, retrotech, ---- woodcase pencils, ephemera, Polaroid, rubber stamps, and fellow paper-based romantics who like the sound of a typewriter bell at the end of a sentence."

Doesn't that conjure up images of famous old authors pounding out best sellers one after another?  How many of us learned to type in school on one of those big old ugly cast iron Underwoods that weighed about 40 pounds and required ten pounds of muscle just to get the keys to hit the paper?  And you had to type 50 words per minute to pass the test!  Yes, we've come a long way BUT I don't know how anyone can manage without a typewriter.  There is surely some way to address a single envelope or print off a short note using a computer, but I haven't figured it out yet.  There are three IBM Selectrics at my house.  One is in the garage storage closet, one on the floor in my office and one still in operation on the desk.  I'm holding my breath on that one.

I guess each individual has to examine what's out there and be aware that the new mediums might actually be better.

Thanks, Solard.  I'll probably get a Neo once I've saved up a few extra $s.

Keep on writing, one way or another.
Grannie Carol


DJ said...

Grannie, I love it! I miss my "portable" Smith Corona. The belt broke. I got rid of it after hauling it around through several moves. I couldn't get it fixed anywhere. Once I junked it, I found some places on the internet that specialized in fixing old typewriters! Now I wish I had it back. :-( But I am happy with my NEO, and for making changes, word processors are truly wonderful!

MadeByAmanda said...

In high school I didn't have a computer, and I used my grandmother's old blue whale of an electric typewriter. It banged and made a lot of satisfying noise, but I am not a good enough typist to use a typewriter. I make way too many typos. So I would have these awful first drafts that I would retype on the computer at school.

I like the mechanical feel of typing on an old typewriter, but for editing and revision, computers are a real labor saver.

Robin said...

What a great post! You always say you write "just the facts ma'am" but this post had a lyricism that was amazing! (comfy old slippers?...loved it!)

You're a writer grannycarol, deal with it!

Grannie Carol said...

All of you talented ladies inspire me to write better than I think I can. Hugs to all of you.