Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Typewriter

A dear Canadian pal of mine, found an abandoned typewriter beside a trash can in our city. He took it home where his nearest and dearest asked "what are you going to do with that?"
Thus I inherited the ancient artifact and now I am poised before the keyboard, ready to write a message to a friend back home, Wid and his family. It is a custom that used to take up a considerable part of my week, tapp├Čng out friendly letters on a Smith Corona. The portable I typed on for many years was a high school graduation present from my sister Neal. I still cherish that machine and all its memories.
Unlike a PC, you have to really think before you tap away. You can cross out, but your errors and slip ups are all your own and out there for all the world to see. It can be a daunting prospect. Anyway, it is all part of the writing process from another era. I read an interview with the English novelist Penelope Lively who shuns the use of word processors in the novel-writing process. She much prefers pen and paper, it is a custom that has produced wonderful literature and even earned her success. Alan Bennett, the playwright, also avoids PC use, I read, and prefers a typewriter. That was his habit until very recently, anyway. Writing is a sacred act however we compose our thoughts. -- Delmar Lemming

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