Tuesday, December 29, 2015

If the Creek Don't Rise

Seriously, keep us in your prayers. We've had very little notice and very little time to prepare. This happened once before in 1993, and I hope I don't have to see it happen now. By Thursday, we'll know one way or another if the levee will hold.

Power to the pen.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Tis the Season

I'm going to have to give serious thought to whether or not Sunday is the right time to update this blog. When I'm not sick, I'm overloaded with work. Courtney and I are enjoying the last of a much needed three day break. Let me see if I can highlight what I've been thinking about for the past few weeks.

1. San Bernadino

Not surprised, and still horrifying. They said they would, and they did. The usual players came out to say their peace. It seems anti-gun activists are so focused on inanimate objects because they refuse to admit there is a fundamental problem with the character of our society and the latter is a much more difficult problem to tackle. My advice? Stay vigilant and get your concealed weapons permit if you haven't already, then get trained by professionals.

2. Christmas Parties

At work, we celebrated a traditional French festival called La Revellion, or The Revealing. It has been observed in Ste. Genevieve on Christmas Eve since the 1740s. We pulled out all the stops to make the place look (and smell) fabulous! Despite the rain, we had close to one hundred people come, and my boss tells me that is one of their best years to date.

Me and the Mrs.
Some singers and their musicians who delighted us with Christmas songs in French, English, and German.
An example of period desserts.
A hanging chandelier, which would have been common in French homes.
The candles represent the light of the world (Jesus).
The greenery represents everlasting life (through Jesus).
The apples represent the fall of man, while the wafers represent his redemption (though Jesus).
Everything is in pairs of three (Trinity).
Enough symbolism?
No manger for Christmas decor this old. This is a cresh. The figures are called santons, meticulously hand-carved and
hand-painted ornaments. The wise men are on the other side of the room, and won't be over here till Dec 25.
Notice that they are dressed like Frenchmen and not Jews. Also, the French didn't use Christmas trees at this time.
The main spread...which was later eaten.

After dark.

3. Typewriters

We had a bit of a financial scare, and I've had to stop buying any and all typewriters. Those of you who follow my posts on the FB collector's group know I came home with a Remington Rem-ette, but only because it was a measly $24. I've decided to sell it to another collector, who has the resources to get the feed rollers recovered. I'll put it on the TDB before it leaves the house. My SM7 has been dropped off at Vern's for repairs. Very soon I hope to report back on something special concerning my Corona 3. It's been in the works for over a month.

4. Writing

The in-laws will be coming to spend most of next week with us, so we cleaned out the office/guest bedroom. I found my beloved Air Jordan shoebox which contained the original manuscript for my contemporary novel Things to All Men (which will be rewritten at some point). I also found some of the first typecasts I ever made, including the poetic "A Typewriter Can." I'm tweaking a short story for submission to Popshot magazine, one of my favorite publications. Hopefully it'll be accepted. The fantasy novel continues at a snail's pace, but I am making consistent progress. It currently weighs in at 518 typed pages. My Lettera 32 is doing most of the work. Hopefully it will be finished before February of next year. This is the longest amount of time I've ever spent on one story.

5. Books

I've decided to make up for lost time and read the entire Harry Potter series. I just finished Hotel by Arthur Hailey, thought it was great. We had to buy another shelf to accommodate the rest of our library. Thankfully, we had an unused Walmart gift card, so we didn't have to dip into the paycheck. Courtney and I have probably read 50 books between us this year. We've been toying with the idea of buying into The Book Rack at some time in the future. The idea of running our own shop sounds like fun, maybe set up a few chairs, small tables, and public typewriters.

That's all for now. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Of a Human Need

I finished Steinbeck: A Life in Letters this past week. After reading over 800 pages and going through forty years of correspondences with friends, family, world leaders, other writers, and many more, I've come to identify with the man more than I ever thought possible. It's one of the best nonfiction books I've picked up in a long time. No biographer. Just the man himself with occasional footnotes from the editors to help clarify things, since you only read one piece of the given conversation.

But first, a major flaw.

The introduction clearly states:

"He lived in the mechanical age, and he could not ignore a machine so fascinating as the typewriter. He wrote enthusiastically whenever a secondhand or new typewriter came into his life and assumed that everyone he told shared his fascination with the touch, the type faces, and the symbols it was capable of." (p. viii)

Well, I read this book cover to cover and only found a few typewriter references. Only one of them even comes close to identifying a single make and model (there is no mention of the Hermes Baby he allegedly owned). In 1937, Of Mice and Men was gaining lots of exposure and good reviews, much in part to the success of the stage adaptation. Steinbeck wrote to his agent:

"You may notice that I have a new typewriter. We have never had a good one in our lives. Always something of about 1912. But after we saw this play was going to run a week at least, we went out and got a new one. And look what it has--! ñ '. A tila, and exclamation and a grave accent. Or rather an acute. I don't know where to use a grave and nobody knows where to use a circumflex, so we didn't get them. But isn't it beautiful? I hadn't realized that science had done so much while I worked on the 1912 model...You will notice too that this letter is longer than usual. That's because I can push down these keys with one hand instead of standing up and using both hands." (p. 145-46)

So, I guess we'll never know what the 1912 model was. I was kind of disappointed at first, but then again, most period literature from that area doesn't get specific about typewriters, as they were so common. It's like today. No one tells you, "I got in my Ford Focus" or "I packed up the Dodge Darkside Durango." They always say "car," even if the vehicle in question is a Mark IV Panzer.

Truth be told, Steinbeck mentions his fondness for yellow legal pads and sharpened pencils. In light of this, I'm sure why the editors put the paragraph about his love of typewriters in the introduction. I guess there are even more letters out there that were not included in this volume, but it seems to discredit your work if you hint that one thing is going to be in the book, and then it isn't.

I soon forgot about my disappointment and became fascinated with the man himself. As of today, I've only read Of Mice and Men, but East of Eden is next on my list, and The Grapes of Wrath whenever I can find my copy.

Steinbeck speaks to me as a writer because:

1. He sometimes struggled to keep going with a project.

"Ted, I swear to God that if I ever finish this novel I shall take to writing the tritest kind of plot stories or even true confessions. This is so damned hard. I have never worked so hard in my life and I don't seem to be getting ahead much. I don't know when this will be finished." (His first novel, Cup of Gold) - 1929, p. 16

2. He wanted to write stories with timeless elements, and doubted his ability. 

"A man must write about his own time no matter what symbols he uses. And I have not found my symbols nor my form. And there's the rub." - 1959, p. 650

3. He wrote because he wanted to, not for money.

"My work moves on slowly. I kind of like the way it is going down now. I threw out everything I read to you and started fresh before I got your letter...I don't know why I keep on. I have plenty of books for one lifetime. But perhaps because of long conditioning I go right on whether it is lousy or not. The great crime I have committed against literature is living too long and writing too much, and not good enough. But I like to write. I like it better than anything." - 1958, p. 596

4. Struggled with contemporary pieces about the present age. 

"It seems to me that most writers in America, and I myself among them, have gone almost entirely in the direction of the past. We are interested in setting down a celebrating old times. It is almost as though we wanted to define a past which probably never did exist. The stories of childhood, the stories of the frontier, the novels of one's old aunts, etc. This is fine, but there can be enough of it. There are very few American writers, notable writing for the New Yorker, who write about today or even today projected into the future. With something of a shock, I realize I that I have written about nothing current for a very long time. It has occurred to me that we may be so confuse about the present that we avoid it because it is not clear to us. But why should that be a deterrent? If this is a time of confusion, then that should be the subject of a good writer if he is to set down his time." - 1954, p. 485

Steinbeck speaks to me as a human being because:

*these items will not include citations, as there are too many to count

1. He was very interested in man's relationship to nature. Conducted research in the Sea of Cortez with friend and oceanographer, Ed Rickets. 

2. He loved both of his sons and spent as much time with them as possible, teaching them valuable skills and keeping them away from television and radio. Visited his eldest son, Thom, in Vietnam shortly before his death in 1968.

3. He was a patriotic American in spite of America's faults.

Other interesting facts:

- Corresponded with three Presidents.
- Had ties to Lyndon Johnson.
- His books were in high demand in the USSR and its satellite territories.
- He secretly met with dissident writer groups behind the Iron Curtain.
- He was hated in his native Salinas after publishing Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath, and Cannery Row. The press labeled him a Communist. The gas company cut off supply to his house. A deputy sheriff claimed he would be framed for rape if he stayed in a hotel alone. The persecution was so bad he left and never returned.
- He got thousands of letters from total strangers asking for money.
- He was fascinated with invention and wrote to a number of experts with ideas for new devices.
- He didn't like having lots of money.
- He was initially worried about receiving the Nobel Prize in 1962, since so many other writers had ceased work after the fact. He promised his friends that he would never stop writing.
- He despised the never-ending attention he received when traveling, and didn't like making speeches or appearances.
- Wrote Dr. King after the march on Selma.
- He was fascinated with the work of Sir Thomas Malory, and spent much of his time in the late 1950s working on a translation of Morté de Arthur.
- He had a great sense of humor.

I could go on and on, but then you wouldn't have motivation to read the book. I've never read a biographical work in this form, but I enjoyed it immensely. Some of his best-known quotes are in there, but I liked reading about his life before his Depression novels, and in between the better known parts of his life. If you're a fan or even remotely curious, I'd recommend this book without hesitation.

Power to the pen. Or pencil, if that's your fancy.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanks and Giving

The collection, and my father's Alvarez guitar, which he bought for himself upon graduating
high school in 1973. There's still a piece of paper in the body containing a list of songs he
used to practice with his best friend, who is no longer with us.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sick Once Again

Sorry if you clicked on this. Back soon.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Author Pamela Tuck Interview

Hey guys! I've been working on this for a few weeks, so I hope you like it.

When Courtney and I went to Jefferson City, we went to the Downtown Toy and Book Store. They had a lot of books to choose from. The YA and children's sections were right next to each other, and I noticed a book entitled As Fast as Words Could Fly.

I'm not usually one for children's books. They're not the sort of thing I write, but this stood out to me for several reasons. First, it's a book about using a typewriter (albeit, in the day when typewriters were king). Second, it's a kid's book about the Civil Rights era, which is never an easy topic to handle. Third, it's a good story!

I decided to contact the author, Ms. Pamela Tuck, and strike up a conversation. She was very receptive and we had several good emails go back and forth. Richard Polt told me that he'd read the book, and then I had an idea: why not do an interview for this blog? 

Pamela loved the idea. So, I came up with about a dozen questions and I'm very happy to present them to you now! First, a brief introduction from the author's website.

Pamela Tuck is a native of Greenville, NC. When she was a child, Pamela remembers entertaining her family by recording her own voice and telling “made up silly stories.” She won her first poetry contest in elementary school and continued to write short stories and plays. Most of Pamela's ideas come from her family and life experiences. She says “I have such a rich family history. . . there’s not enough room for it all on paper.”

- Your book was inspired by events in your father's life. Could you tell us a little about your childhood and some of your fondest memories with him?

I grew up as an only child, but the oldest grandchild. My grandfather was a master storyteller and I enjoyed sitting at his feet, listening to all his tales and stories about our family. I think this is where my love of storytelling began. My dad always made me feel as though I could accomplish anything in life. He wouldn’t let me doubt myself, but instead challenged me to try. I’m still a daddy’s girl.

- When did you decide that you wanted to write fiction? Did you always want to be a children's author?

I decided to write fiction in elementary school after winning my first poetry contest.  I think I was in the 2nd or 3rd grade. I didn’t decide to write for children until 2005, after being encouraged to do so by my late husband, Joel Tuck.

- When were you initially inspired to write Word Could Fly? Did the idea come all at once, or did it go through several revisions?

My late husband, Joel, found out about Lee & Low Books offering a New Voices Award Contest, and after reading some of their books, he suggested that I write my dad’s story of desegregating the all white school in Greenville, NC. I was a little reluctant at first, but I agreed. Since the story is based on events from my dad’s life, all the elements of the story were already in place. It was just a matter of retelling them in an interesting and informative way. I think I wrote my first draft in about 30 minutes to 1 hour after interviewing my dad. I revised the story until I felt confident enough to send to Lee & Low Books. After being accepted, it underwent several revisions.

- What was your father's reaction to the project? 

He was and still is very proud of me. He’s also honored by the recognition his book is receiving.

- Describe your working process. Do you have a routine when writing? 

I don’t have a set writing routine, unfortunately. I’m trying to work on that. But being the mother of 11 children makes “routine writing time” almost impossible…so I usually “steal” the time when I can. I write by inspiration. Once a subject interests me, I require complete silence (not an easy task for a large family…but possible) then I sit at my computer and let the inspiration take form. Most of the time, I can get a good story flow in my first draft. However, after doing more research (if necessary) and sharing the story with my family and writing colleagues, I generally know what areas I need to rewrite. Then I repeat the silent writing ritual until I’m satisfied with the story.

- North Carolina is not a state we often hear about in the wider narrative of the Civil Rights movement. Why do you think that is? 

Although North Carolina is a southern state, I think not much attention was given to smaller towns, like Greenville, because many of the monumental events took place in larger cities. During the Civil Rights Movement, leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., visited the larger cities to host rallies and marches. Residents of the smaller towns and communities would often travel to partake in such events. As my dad mentioned in one of his interviews, he heard Dr. King speak on making a difference in his own community, so when he traveled back to his small town, he was more encouraged to fight for equality because he knew he was taking part in a larger effort.

- How much influence did access to tools of expression (like typewriters) have in changing the status quo for people of color? 

The first person who comes to my mind in answering this question is world champion typist, Cortez Peters. He was the founder of the Cortez W. Peters Business School, which debuted in 1934. It was one of the first vocational schools in Washington, DC to prepare African Americans for business and civil services. The opening of his school became a pivotal point in history for African Americans.

- Now let's turn to typing itself. When I was in 7th grade, 2001, it had all shifted to computer keyboards. Was it different for you growing up? 

Yes it was a little different for me. When I started high school, typing class was still a part of the curriculum. I was able to experience the thrill of true “keyboarding”, although the typewriters had shifted from manual to electric by that time. Nevertheless, it was still rewarding to measure my progress based on timed typing drills.

- You once told me about using a Royal Quite Deluxe (like the one featured in the book) for events with schoolchildren. How do you introduce them to the machine and what are their responses? 

I normally display the typewriter as the centerpiece on my book signing table. I introduce my book first so the students can learn the history behind the typewriter and its reference to my story. I typically get the same response every time. The students are so fascinated by the typewriter and are very anxious to try it out. Most of the time they don’t tap the keys hard enough to make the letters appear on the paper because they’re so used to the soft touch needed for computer keyboards, but after a little time, they enjoy watching their letters jump onto the paper. They usually leave with the remark, “That’s cool.”

- Some writers have a single goal: to teach, provoke, entertain, etc. What are you literary aspirations? 

My literary goals are to enlighten, inspire and, encourage my readers to embrace diversity and have the courage to make a difference.

- Can you give us a hint of what your future books will be about?

I have two forthcoming picture book projects: One book is about my immediate family – a humorous spin-off of the Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme: The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe, told from my perspective as a young mother of 11 children and some of the antics that go along with it. My second book is another historical fiction picture book based on events from my family’s history.

- What are some other things outside of books that inform your writing? Any particular interests or hobbies? 

I enjoy nature, especially in the spring and fall. The calm and peacefulness of nature clears my mind and evokes my imagination. I also love spending time with my family: camping, biking, playing music and singing together. A lot of my story ideas evolve from my family, so spending time with them always informs my writing.

Thank you for spending time with us!

And Thank YOU again for your interest, contact and including me on your blog.

Pamela's father, Moses Teel, the inspiration for As Fast as Words Could Fly.

The actual typewriter Mr. Teel used.

I strongly encourage you all to support Ms. Tuck and visit her website!

Power to the pen!

Monday, November 9, 2015


Wow. Dat spelling...

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Been Sick

Wanted to do an update, but me and Courtney have both been sick. Will post more at a better time.

But I do have good news. The Praxis 48 I had given up for dead suddenly started working again. The E key had been unresponsive, but just like Vern said, it freed up once I worked it enough. Now the only problem is that several keys will keep striking if I hold them down. I could barely get through a short letter on the darn thing, and it was a rather difficult machine to type with. May just be part of learning the touch. The space bar was the most frustrating of all. I think it's way too easy to put multiple spaces between words if your touch is on the heavy side.

All for now.

Power to the pen!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Hermes Baby Carriage

Courtney and I have been in Lake of the Ozarks for two days. My boss got sick and had to send me to a work conference in her place. The weather was cold and wet, so there was no desire to go on the lake (and no time or money for that either). Along the way, Courtney and I ordered several books from Amazon (being unable to pay retail price at the store). They included: "Steinbeck: a Life in Letters," "The Dog Master," and "Shufu."

I've got an interview with the Missouri State Museum in Jefferson City tomorrow. It's been great coming back to the same place and the same motel where I had two internships.

I brought little Hermes along for the ride in his baby carriage.

I've had the Royal Traveller for awhile now. Paid $2 at a thrift store. After getting the old papers (which were fascinating and will appear later) and water out of it, I found it's the perfect size for stashing the Hermes, a book, and some typing paper. 

Of course, we had to go antiquing. The typewriter selection was not impressive.

This Royal Forward I is probably just a rebranded Signet. Made in Holland.
A few problems, namely the logo that needs to be glued back on.
The bottom half of the case is thick, like a built-in typing pad.
Sticky keys, but it had a nice 11 cpi font. $28
The Dutch-made Royal was a tempting repair project. It types better than the Hermes (which has weak keys around the edges of the keyboard), and isn't something I've seen before. However, I'm struggling to downsize and refine my collection as it is. I don't need to rescue any more at the moment.

Pretty nice Royal 10. Broken daw band. Everything else seems to work. $75
And that was it. Two machines. Kind of surprising for a city that is the state capitol, but with only 150,000 people, I can't say I'm surprised St. Louis has more to offer.

But I did find some nice typewriter-related stuff.

This memo stationary displays paper as if it was in the platen of a real typewriter.

This book, As Fast as Words Could Fly, was the most interesting find of the day. It tells the story of a young black boy, Mason, who is given a Royal typewriter by the civil rights group his father meets with. Mason learns to touch type so well that his teacher takes notice and enters him in a regional typing competition. Of course, even though he wins (against the others who have electric SCM 120 and 220s), he doesn't get the prize. Despite the blatant racism, his teacher is proud and Mason knows he has proven his worth.

I've said it before, typewriters are the greatest catalogue of human thought and feeling. This story proves it. I plan to write the author a letter of admiration as soon as possible.

Power to the pen!

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Hunt that Barely Started

Over the last week, I've contacted a few organizations for help securing info on the mysterious Jhon W Jones. A fraternal organization for the 1st Cavalry had no records to speak of, and the National Archives said that the only way they could release them to me was with express, written consent from the next of kin.

That means my only chance would be to call the consignment store, ask what house they got it from (which they probably wouldn't tell me), and then try to find out who lived there (which would come across as creepy), and then ask pesky questions about the alleged previous owner.

I was initially discouraged by the lack of progress, but then Courtney made a good point.

"Taylor, remember the original Star Wars? How much mystery surrounded Darth Vader's rise to power and the Clone Wars? Are you glad they made three movies revealing all the secrets?"

It's a fair argument. Even if I found the whole story, it might not be as amazing as I assume. I did learn that "APO" means Army Post Office. So, APO 24 was likely his forwarding address in San Fran while he was away. Being that the 1st Calvary was part of the Airmobile Division, which played a central role in combat operations in Indochina from 1965 onward, it is entirely possible that Jones went to Vietnam and took the Hermes with him.

It's also possible he never used it, but I've said it before, there is no greater catalogue of human thought and emotion than the words which passed through manual typewriters in the 20th century.

If nothing else, I could use this for a good story.

Next week, I'll show you how I use the Hermes Baby for an unexpected road trip!

Power to the pen.

Monday, October 19, 2015


Courtney and I took a much-needed three day trip to Springfield, Missouri to visit my grandmother. My parents, brother, his girlfriend, and the two of us went in one car and had an absolutely fabulous time. It was one of those perfect trips you don't get often. Nothing went wrong. We ate whatever we wanted. Got to see a great Beatles tribute band that was put together by George Harrison's sister (Google Liverpool Legends). There's a lot to write about, but time is against me. Work is going to get hectic again very soon, and besides, the experience I had was for me and the Mrs. only. Better remembered than dissected.

Oh, and I got a typewriter.

I check Craigslist all the time. There was a Facit 1620 that I'd been keeping my eye on. I'd contacted the owner a few months ago, but she wasn't willing to ship it to me for fear I'd scam her. On Saturday morning, before Courtney got up, I got back on just in case something had changed.

Sure enough, it had.

This little beauty was just sitting in a hole-in-the-wall consignment store and had been available for a few days before I came around. I called the owner and told her I'd be by shortly. Once I got there, I was greeted by the lady who took me to the back. There, I met the guy who'd brought it in: an bearded gentleman with a Kimber .45 automatic on his hip. "I don't know anything about these," he said. "I just drug it out of an attic while doing a house cleaning. We do a lot of estate sales."

$30 and it was mine, a 1952 Hermes that looks like it's hardly been used.

There are only two noticeable flaws with this machine.

1. The ribbon cover on the right won't stay shut. There's a metal clip that has broken off, but I think Gorilla glue will fix that. Looks like it was originally sodered on.

2. The "Q" key seems to have a linkage problem. It takes a lot more force to make a clean imprint on paper. However, that might be a design flaw. The farther you get from the center of the keyboard, the feeling changes a little at a time.

This thing competes with my Corona 3 and Lettera 32 for the smallest typewriter I own. It's lighter than the 32, but easier to type on than the Corona (but only by a small fraction, I like Brett).

There are a few quirks about this design I've noticed thus far. Using the carriage return lever on single-space is tricky. The machine is so tiny that using two pieces of paper at once will lift the bail bar, which acts as a stop for the lever. Use too much force, and you'll index the line by two instead of one. Threading the ribbon this thing is a pain. If you want to use a different layer, you have to take it out and re-install it upside down. There's no ribbon selector.

I can hardly imagine using this thing to write an entire novel, like John Steinbeck. But, since he was traveling a lot to cover the labor strikes in California, this might have been the best choice for him like the Corona was the best for Hemingway in the 1920s.

We went to an antique store later that day. I passed up an Underwood standard and a pristine Super Deluxe 500 from China. It was $13, but I figured nothing would be as good as what I already had...and I didn't know if the machine would last with hard use.

But little did I know the best was yet to come.

Later that night, I was pecking a few words on it and noticed some paper underneath the type basket. This paper tag, I think, was the previous owner's ID. I was blown away. How the heck does a typewriter get from California to Missouri? What're more, did Mr. Jones really take that thing to Asia with him? To Vietnam?

The 1st Cavalry Division suffered heavy losses in Vietnam with over 5,000 dead. They participated in the Battle of the Ia Drang Valley and fought at Hue during the Tet Offensive. I don't know how far I'll be able to get with researching Mr. Jones, but I'd like to try. I didn't have time to ask the consignment people a lot of questions (and that would have been awkward...).

If Jones did go to Asia, he would have been well-equipped. The "RS" symbol is for the rupee, which is the currency in India and a number of Asian countries. It also has the British pound as well as the dollar. Not often do you find a typewriter with so many currencies!

I foresee an episode of Front Stroke involving my lightweights...

Power to the pen!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Typewriters in Old Books

I've read three old novels in the past six months that specifically mention typewriters:

1. The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer

Published in 1948, it is Mailer's best known work besides The Executioner's Song. The story is set on a fictional island in the Pacific during WWII. In one scene, a lieutenant is begging for more men to bolster the strength of his recon platoon. One of the officers, a captain, threatens to "set you cleaning typewriter ribbons." Would the salt from the air or the sand from the beaches cause so many problems that the ribbons have to be clean, or was it simple a punishment job with no real goal in mind?

2. The Gold of the River Sea by Charlton Ogburn Jr. 

Set in the 1930s, this story is about a researcher sent to the Massanraduba region of Brazil to assess the possibility of mining. The book makes a number of references to a character that uses strange ink in all of his correspondences, an ink that turns purple once it hits the page. The book was published in the 60s. Did any such ink exist?

3. That None Should Die by Frank Slaughter

Published in 1941, the book presents a portrait of the struggles young doctors went through and the debates that were hot within the community (government-run health care at the top of the list). The protagonist is Ran Warren, and his wife Ann serves as his secretary. In one scene, while trying to establish private practice, she complains that her typewriter isn't loud enough and she fears that patients won't think there's enough work coming to the business. She writes personal letters and copies her favorite poems to give people the appearance that she's working. Talk about a team player!

4. Stratis' Remington

A short story recently published in Carve Magazine about a boy helping an old author and his typwriter adjust to modern submission guidelines. Read it for free here.

I've got lots of other old books I haven't read yet, but feel free to add to this list!

Power to the pen!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Sold My First Story!!!

About an hour before I got off work, I checked me email. Lo and behold was a notification from Bards and Sages. They have selected my story "The Nimrod Lexicon" to appear in their Great Tomes anthology next March!

This is a dream I've been working towards for nearly ten years. I've collected who knows how many rejection slips for short stories and novels alike. I thought that I'd never break into any market. More people are trying to get published than ever before. I'm still in the middle of a huge novel and often second-guessed myself for taking breaks to write shorter pieces.

But this piece really stuck out as a good idea, and I liked the characters. With plenty of encouragement from my loving wife, I put the novel on hold until the story had been polished and sent off.

Needless to say, I didn't expect them to get back to me before the contest was over, and I really didn't expect to be included! It was as if time stood still.

And the typewriter responsible for this?

A typewriter with a good memory is now a typewriter that helped my dream come true.

Power to the pen!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Lady Brett

I doubt I'll be using this to write lengthy documents any time soon. Even writing the blog post was challenge, but I'd rather save that discussion for the next Front Stroke ;)

On a side note, does anyone happen to have a case that would fit my Corona 3 or my Royal Arrow? I'm very interested in buying one.

 Power to the pen!