Tomorrow is October, and you know what that means. Just to get everyone in the mood, I whipped up a few countdown calendar wallpapers for all my National Novel Writing Month folk. Just click on the picture and download away.
|Read about 229 Spring Street|
Since Strikethru threw down the gauntlet and asked us to dream up our own writing shacks,I thought I\’d play along. This was easy, because I picked out this Dream Shack a few weeks ago while visiting Eureka Springs, AR and very nearly not returning.
So it\’s not a shack, actually, but it is for sale and it called to me distinctly every time I rode down the mountain to go into or out of town. This little house tugged at me, I tell you.
I know the conversation about writing shacks began with the whole back-to-basics, typewriter-on-a-table philosophy, and I wholly agree – we need to disconnect and find a room of our own. I get it. I\’m not having some kind of Pinterest-induced Southern Living magazine fantasy.
But LOOK at it.
Bear with me here. Let\’s say you\’re out in your backyard writing shack, in the gawdalmighty zone and typing like a best-selling fiend on the finest typewriter Remington ever made. You\’re an articulate machine gun, and you\’re thirsty for a tall glass of iced tea which should be within arm\’s reach, but is now empty. Or, you have to powder your nose. It happens.
Just then, your wife/husband/child/grandkid shouts out across the lawn and into your zone. \”Do you need anything from the store?\” they say. Or \”Hey, where are my…?\”
And it\’s gone.
The answer is to leave town, really. Move to, say, Eureka Springs and buy a sweet little house so you can live on two levels that step out upon two different streets. Better yet, win the lottery, buy the Eureka house, and tell absolutely no one what you have done. That way they can\’t follow you.
(Do click on the link and read about the house. There are more pictures, but I knew I\’d lose complete typewriter shack cred if I put them up here.)
|U.S. National Archives|
Elvis got that haircut at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. There\’s a nifty tourist shrine to the whole event at the Fort Chaffee Barbershop Museum. But that\’s not the point, really. The important thing is that, in a fit of tween desperation, Linda, Sherry, and Mickie felt impelled to write the only man who could stop this G.I. haircut madness: The President.
|U.S. National Archives|
I don\’t know whether the best part of this is imagining the three of those girls working this out at some slumber party, or whether the best part is that through a series of offhand decisions, their letter became a U.S. National Archives document. In perpetuity, no less.
And this is how to negotiate a poem:
|Tallulah the Royal Futura|
Please tell me I\’m not the last person to know about this. Look at all the familiar faces and names in this trailer. The typosphere is on fire, I tell you! Keep up with the movie\’s progress on Twitter (@LAtypewriter).
|Megan Chapman at Art Maven|
Having recently risen from a two year paper-grading-induced coma, I started poking around in my feedreader to see what I had missed. Quite a bit, it turns out.
Megan Chapman, one of my favorite Arkansas artists, created a series of paintings last year that floors me. It\’s a mixed media series using typed texts and vintage papers called Sometimes I Love You and other stories, and as luck would have it some of the pieces are for sale on Megan\’s Etsy site Art Maven.
Typing and aged papers and poetry – oh my! I adore everything about this series and am feverishly figuring out which piece needs to live at my house. Visit Megan at her blog as well – tell her Monda sent you and begs forever pardon for strolling in so late.
So I guess it\’s been a while. Because the reasons are neither dramatic nor interesting, let\’s put that aside for a bit and focus instead on my new gadget.
It\’s not a typewriter. It\’s not even cutting edge, since I\’m certainly the last reader on the planet to finally get a Kindle. The fascination is simply this:
My daughter understands her mama\’s odd techno-dichotomy enough to gift me with a Kindle wrapped elegantly in a Verso embossed typewriter cover. How delightful is that?
It may take me a while to learn to read without a pen in my hand to scribble margin notes, but I\’m thoroughly enjoying the clickety-click of zooming between books. No more going room to room to find one of the three I\’m reading at the same time. Ah, progress.
I don\’t really know where to begin. Maybe with that school counselor…
|at Amazon for a song|
It\’s like someone was reading my retrotech mind. Washing machines and dictaphones and typewriters, oh my! Never mind that this little ditty was published about seventeen years ago by The Cooper-Hewitt National Museum of Design, I never saw it so it\’s new to me.
Mechanical Brides covers all the gadgetry of cleaning, cooking, and rote office work. What I found most interesting is the chapter on office machines (of course) and the feminization of this technology. Turning a male clerk into a female secretary involved separating the act of writing into two distinct jobs: composition and typing. While male clerks had done both, female typists were relegated to writing as assembly line production. Interesting now is that we\’ve come full-techno-circle, because everyone with a laptop both composes and produces \”typed\” text.
Business invented a middle-woman and then obsoleted her. Not that it was a bad thing, really, but that\’s a rant for another post.
This book is as much about feminine identity as it is about the machines that defined it. Full of stunning/appalling advertising copy and art, it\’s a steal if you can find one either on Amazon or Ebay. In fact, I\’d like to have a copy just to cut up and frame.