Friday, October 12, 2012

Old and New

 
Yay, it's finally here! I feel like a kid on Christmas morning. Yes folks, my new (old) typewriter arrived today via UPS. I am now the proud owner of a 1952 Smith-Corona Sterling model portable typewriter. It is funny that back in the day, this was considered portable when the shipping weight was just under twenty pounds.

I first learned to type in high school back in ... well, we'll just call it back in the day. We started out on manual typewriters and I later found the transition to an electric typewriter difficult. I do remember that I did not do well in typing class. I'm pretty sure I signed up for the class for the same reason I attempted home-ec class--girls.

Back then, I wrote most of my work out longhand, mostly because most of my writing back then was four line limericks designed to draw attention from all my immature friends. I still have the first short story I wrote for an actual grade. It weighed in at a whopping three thousand words. While the page had relatively little red on it, I was given a poor grade. My teacher cited my choice of subject matter for my average grade. I'm almost certain she called the story "blasphemous" at some point.

One would think that such scorning would prompt me to give up lying, I mean, storytelling forever, but it had the opposite effect. That paper and the scorning it garnered only spurned me on to write more stories that I hoped would be considered even more blashpemous than the first.

I personally never saw what was so wrong with that story. It was a kind of alternate history science fiction about a small group of individuals forced to escape their home planet as it was being destroyed by meteors. Their departure was hastily thrown together and they could only make it to the next planet in the solar system. Most of the members in the craft died on impact at the new planet but two survived.

Yeah, this is where it gets a little predictable. The surviving member's names were Adam and Evek. Hey, give me a break, I was like thirteen years old. One cannot possibly be expected to come up with unique names at that young age. Anyway, you might have guessed by now that the planet they landed on was Earth, and the planet they came from was Mars. Again, I was young, cut me some slack!

This new typewriter brings back memories of clacking away at the keys, producing what I was sure would be the next great blockbuster hit. I felt like Heinlein himself when I was at the typewriter. I felt like I could easily become the next Lawrence Block, or at the very least, Jill Emerson with the use of this wonderful machine. The typewriter made my writing more ... understandable. I must admit, to this day, my handwriting is atrochious.

Now I can't wait to hear that long-remembered sound of those metal keys firmly striking the paper as I conjure up the next great sentence, phrase, or word. I will surely write some poetry on my new machine. Who knows, I might even finish that long-awaited mystery novel I've had on the back burner for years now.