Thursday, October 29, 2009

Circle Those Wagons

  • Pre-NaNo anxiety is setting in: what if this year's draft is as bad as last year's, what if I never finish editing last year's, what if I suddenly die of H1N1 and last year's draft is read aloud before family and friends at my funeral, etc.. I'm still trying to rope in more newbie suckers participants, because I'm highly competitive about word count, and me and the typewriters want to crush them.
  • Deep breathing... deeeeep breathing... I am the typewriter buddha... ooommmmmm...
  • Could not resist a Sperry-Rand Remington Premiere for $5 today, though it's anything but "Premiere." No tabs, no ribbon color select, no touch control, no auto ribbon reverse (pop the cover, flip the switch, replace the cover -- there's your reverse, wimps.) Still love it, though hating the caked on brown scuzziness on the surface. Tomacco stains, perhaps? Foul. Only Goo Gone and a lot of buffing is handling it.
  • I consider it kismet for passing up the similarly anti-featured 1950's Underwood Leader that seemed to hang around forever at the same price. Tip: the Remington typing experience is not like chewing on tinfoil while someone hits your hands with a meat tenderizer. This may be the NaNo-distraction-typer for my two year old to help her keep her hands off of The Beast while Daddy's working.
  • So far I've heard synposes of Olivander and Speegle's novels, and I want to be a reader for both (once they've pass a first-draft sanity check.) Want to start a typosphere reading circle of sorts? Anxiety aside, I might actually be able to share this year's novel, and would gladly read and critique others. Gotta pass the time 'til next November, after all.
  • The Typewriter Brigade topic is completely insane. Two hundred seventy-two posts at this point (yes, mostly mine, har har har.) Duffy, what foul Hell-spawn have you unleashed? I love it.
  • Hurry
  • Up
  • November

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I <3 Lovecraft?

Really loving the design of the cover of this book. The evolution is interesting, and of course the subject matter couldn't be better. Much respect to Adam Byrne for the rendition of the nefarious machine.

(The near-final, and final versions below.)

Patronize Me

I'm not a believer in Divine guidance, but I have to admit a certain cosmic coincidence was at play with Olivander's latest blog entry. How did you know I was going to make a post about this very topic? Spooky.

Blogiverse mysteries aside, I'd like to put forward a few of my own suggestions, based on careful five-minute research from the Internet (soon to take the place of "shelter" as one of life's essentials.)

Our newspaper runs a trivia column, and yesterday's edition contained this tidbit (added emphasis mine):
MODERN DEVICES need patron saints, too. Joseph of Cupertino was picked to be the patron saint of astronauts and air travelers because he could apparently fly. By himself. Claire of Assisi became patron saint of television after she saw visions of a Catholic mass on the wall of her cell. And Isidore is touted as a patron saint of the Internet because of his maniacal quest to gather the world's information on index cards.
I know about Saint Claire because I've been known to give out ticky-tacky plastic versions of her likeness to computer-obsessed friends and relations over the years. (And if you think that's particularly gauche, you should see the 6" glow-in-the-dark Saint Francis of Assisi plastic statuette I picked up from the National Cathedral gift shop some years ago. Who says Catholics don't have a sense of humor?)

Saint Isidore was new to me, though, so I looked him up. Unless index cards were in heavy use in the first century C.E., I think our trivia guy played it a little loose with the facts. However, there's still some hope for choosing Isidore as a patron of NaNo. Quoting from his biography:
Frustrated by his inability to learn as fast as his brother wanted and hurt by his brother's treatment, Isidore ran away. [...] When he returned home, however, his brother in exasperation confined him to a cell (probably in a monastery) to complete his studies, not believing that he wouldn't run away again.
Forcible confinement at the hands of a family member? Sounds like he was around week two of his novel to me. No mention of index cards in his bio, though. I was hoping that Isidore might have been a more contemporary saint, so I could drop in a picture of him looking beatific, hunched over his holy typewriter (probably an Olympia), cataloging like a madman. Alas, photographers of quality also seemed to be in short supply in the middle 600's. You'll have to make do with this photo of Vladimir Nabokov's cards. He reportedly wrote his novels by putting a paragraph on index cards, and shuffling them around until satisfied. As far as I know, though, Nabokov did not martyr himself or die some messy death, so he's probably out of the canonization running.

In fact, perhaps this idea of an official Vatican-approved protector for NaNoWriMo is a little too stuffy for the devil-may-care attitude of the event. My heart and mind is already solidly in the Mingo of Oakland camp, as recent posts here bear witness. I think NaNo-ers -- and especially Brigadiers -- would do well to follow his example of catchy tunes, fine clothes, and hard work, and save the novenas for the editing stage. God knows we'll need it.

Monday, October 19, 2009

More Mingo

Two weeks until NaNo lift off everyone... are you ready for some Hard Work?

A little music should help those fingers fly: just remember the admonition not to oil the segment of your typewriter, or this might happen...

The rings... the suit... and now the shoes! This man is my typing-fashion hero (sorry Olivander.)

Friday, October 16, 2009


One hundred sixty words a minute? That's 50K words in 5.2 hours. He could start on Monday at lunchtime and be done by Saturday night... if he took it easy.

Loving the bright orange machine, too. A Royal?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Two Things

  1. Because I can't leave well enough alone, I'm considering adding some rub-on transfers to strategic locations on the pimped-out Brother. I'll need to trek down to the craft store, but I'm thinking something in the interior of the case (like under the keys) would look pretty sweet, and break up all that eye-sweating redness. Stay tuned. I'm still hunting for designs that don't look like a frat boy tattoo.
  2. I know I mentioned The Impossible Project in an earlier post, but they have a new press release today announcing a modest resurrection of Polaroid cameras and Polaroid-branded film. Might want to harvest a couple from Goodwill while they're still cheap for the taking.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Oh Brother, I'm Gonna Dye

I passed on this one at first, but after very little convincing, it came home in the end, as I'm sure you knew it would. But now, there's a twist.
Brother Correction 7
Inspired by Alpha-Smartie Vance Fry, I'm going to try my hand at giving this old Brother a makeover. You can sort of tell from my photo: some of that yellow is the color scheme and some... well, some is not. It could be tobacco, or age, or a combination of both.

I considered trying my hand at mixing up a batch of Retr0Bright to bleach the colors back into newness, but honestly, I have no desire to do this. That yellow... that brown... it's time for it to go.

There's not a lot of color choices available in off-the-shelf vinyl dyes -- I could also choose black, beige, or a buffed silver -- but looking at those red keys got me thinking that this little machine wants more than a life of blah. So, red it shall be. Take a good long look, because that color scheme is going to dye.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Dear Everyone


That's pretty much all I can say. Wow.

My courtesy copy of Silent Type just arrived today, smothered under the monthly swarm of bills and pre-pre-pre-season Christmas catalogs. Recycle the catalogs and hang the bills, this thing is gorgeous and can't wait. Miles beyond the splotchy purple-mimeo'd 'zines of our youth*. I'm knocked out.

* Those of you who were hip enough to make such things, anyway. I was still snickering at

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