Wednesday, November 26, 2014

My First Day of Freedom With a Quiet-Riter

The keyboard was the only part that needed serious cleaning.
As I suspected, the carriage wasn't broken, just locked. 

This label is in great shape. I credit the locking system in the carry case, which hooks underneath the frame.

Phone number?

The only problem I couldn't immediately fix.

I wrote the typecast last night. This morning I went to the local hardware store. They were able to get me a screw. Turns out, the platen knob shaft uses a metric screw (4mm) and it uses a special Alan wrench, so I bought that too. While I was there, I nabbed some Gorilla Glue. The plastic knobs for the ribbon color selector and the ribbon reverse were prone to fall off, so I stuck them back on with a drop each.

All supplies, including tax: $4

The space bar was hitting the bottom of the carry case because I hadn't put the machine in correctly. It's a little tricky to get the hooks lined up, but once it's locked in, it's solid.

Keyboard after two treatments with Windex. Not perfect, but a great improvement.

All fixed up! No problems what so ever!

Although I've only typed two pages with this machine, I can tell we're going to get along just fine. The keys are perfect for my small, thin fingers. With my SM9, I'm always worried that I'll press two keys at once unless I use a perfect arched angle.

As for the touch control, I like the idea of only three settings with noticeable differences. With other machines you have a graded scale from 0-6 or no numbers at all. Whose touch is so sensitive that they can feel the difference between 1 and 2? I guess they're out there.

I'm very thankful that I was able to snatch this up when I had the chance (God blessed me with a wonderful mother). It's no wonder Remington sold these by the truckload! They're great machines! It's a keeper, and the commercial was right: I have an urge myself.

And speaking of things to keep, I received a letter from The Funny Times, a humor magazine I'd submitted to in September.

The Funny Times is old school! You have to submit via snail mail.
When I send them another batch of stories, I'll be sure to ask what typewriter they used for my envelope.

For those of you who don't write, let me explain this letter's significance.

When submitting fiction, you usually get one of four possible outcomes:

1) No
2) No, but good stuff.
3) We'll take it!
4) No reply

Since there are more people writing fiction and trying to get it published than ever before, most editors and agents do not take the time to write personal replies to rejected material. Form letters are common (and some editors will give no reply at all). In the old days, they were called "rejection slips" because, literally, all you'd get is a tiny piece of paper with one or two sentences.

In his book On Writing, Stephen King said that he had stacks and stacks of these on paper spikes all over his room as a teen. In my own experience, with most major companies and magazines going digital, printed rejections are as rare as hard copy submissions.

The letter above is an example of option #2. As you can see, the editor liked my stuff, but for whatever reason, wasn't able to find a place for in their most recent publication. However, the fact that she took the time to hand-write my name, sign it with her name, and add a nice compliment, shows that my work made an impression on her.

Perhaps, perhaps, I am that much closer to getting accepted? Only one way to find out.

So, not only was this a great encouragement, but I'm going to hold on to this little gem. It's a bit of historic typewriter interpretation.

Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. I love my Quiet Riter- you got a much better deal on yours than I did with mine! The only thing I don't like about it is that latching system... I once spent 15 frustrating minutes trying to get it in!

    1. Yeah, the latching is kind of weird and the feed roller clamp is right behind the right platen knob. However, that doesn't detract from the pleasure of using it! I hope I can find a good home for Skyfall.