Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sowing Ephemera

I've been thinking more about Typewriter Day 2009, and I think Olivander's inadvertently hit on a great theme for this year's type-0-bration. It removes the anxiety of typing drivel over someone else's work, but still gives your fingers and ribbons and keys a workout. I like it, and highly encourage you all to elect Olivander as your 2009 Typewriter Day Parade Marshal.

The only idea I've been able to come up wth somewhere is one that I stole from... someplace* on the Intertubes. One of the joys of coming into old typewriters or cameras or the like is the random bits of ephemera that sometimes are floating around in the case. My most recent acquisition of an old camera bag, for instance, included the lenses and such that I actually wanted, but also three cloth bags meant to hold a roll of exposed film and be mailed back for processing. Mailed where? Who knows... there's no address, but it's a neat thing nonetheless. Old film is even better, if you can find it. Whole flickr sets are devoted to this form of random treasure-finding.

Better still, though, is found writing. Marginalia in secondhand books, newspaper clippings pressed inside pages, the works. All fascinating stuff to the retro-minded. The only problem with it is that there's so little to go around. And so here I sit, with typewriters and paper and pens and pencils all around me, and nary a project in sight... hmmm. If only I could somehow share that joy of finding ephemera... double hmmm...

So I'm distilling the idea of a themed, typewritten letter with the joy of finding something personal in an unexpected place. Specificaly, I'm going to type up a bunch of stealth bookmarks and -- on the sly --"salt" books in the library and secondhand shops around me with these slips. Random phrases, lucky numbers, torn fragments from a Dear John letter. And it should keep this idle mind busy enough to stay out of serious trouble until June.

* One of the problems with subscribing/scanning/reading so many blogs is that I have a lousy memory for where I read a really neat thing, and rather than be able to link directly to it, I tend to natter on (like this) about this great idea I read... someplace... and can't give credit. So if you see this somewhere else, it's likely that's where I stole it.


Mike Speegle said...

That is such a great idea. I'm in.

I have at least 15 library book at my house ranging from Snow Crash to How to Draw to If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Let the sowing commence!

Oliver said...

I hope Typewriter Day Parade Marshals don't have to wear a silly hat.

This is my favorite piece of found ephemera so far. The quality is poor because it was scanned and inverted from a sheet of carbon paper.