Monday, October 1, 2012

My Early Birthday Gift

Instead of talking about my writing progress this week, I wanted to talk about some of the things related to writing that I find interesting.  I am absolutely abnormal when compared to most of the women I know.  Many women get excited about going shopping for clothes, shoes, make up, and jewelry.  I do not. Okay, I do like shopping for jewelry.  It sparkles!  How can I help it?

Anyway, I'm the type of girl who could be perfectly happy going to a Staples, or any other office supply store, on a date night.  And with my husband, it's more likely we'll do that than go to a coffee shop (which I would also love to do on a date, by the way).  I love shopping for office supplies!  I like looking at sheer variety of pens and pencils, and I enjoy comparing binders.  I keep a lot of hard copies of my stories on hand, and I need somewhere to keep them, right?  A person's choice of binder is critical.  Will it hold up to the strain of me stuffing it far past capacity with hand-scribbled notes about planned revisions?  Will the metal rings break and tear at the holes that I carefully created with my 3-hole-punch? Will I reach epic levels of frustration as the pages fall half out of the binder?

Now, on to the point of this post.  Contrary to appearances, I didn't intend to write about office supplies when I sat down to write this.  I merely meant to tell you all a little about me so that, when you see what my husband bought me for my birthday, you'll understand that it's a great gift for me.

My very own portable electric typewriter!
Jamon found a Smith Corona Two-Fifty XKE portable electric typewriter at a garage sale.  Even though it's my birthday present, he gave it to me the day he bought it even though my birthday isn't until October 11th.  Oh well.  I guess he was too excited to wait until then.  That, and it's difficult to hide something as large as this.  It may technically be portable, but it's far too heavy for me to carry around.  If modern day laptops were this hefty, you wouldn't see them in every coffee shop in the country.

We're ready to work!
I'm not going to use it to write novels.  In fact, I probably won't do more than play around with it from time to time.  I just like the fact that I have it.  It's fun to look at, it makes a good conversation piece.  If I ever do manage to get a writing room of my own in the house, I might display it.  For me, it's a fun piece of history.  I know I've seen far older typewriters, one of them belonging to my dad while I was growing up, but it's neat to look at how much typing has changed over time.

This typewriter came with a receipt.  I won't post a picture of it here since the name and address of the person who made the purchase is clearly visible.  I don't want to risk violating anyone's privacy here.  Still, some of the details I got from it are worth sharing.  I can tell you the purchase date is January 24, 1985.  I was born in 1985.  This sale was made right around the time I would have been conceived.  Now that's a weird thought.

I think my muse Pleiades lives in things like this.  I look at them, and I feel renewed energy about writing.  I'm reminded of why I love writing so much. When I saw this typewriter for the first time, I just wanted to sit down and get down to business.  Of course, I'd never get anywhere with this piece of equipment.  I make too many typos for that.  The delete key on my laptop is a necessity for me, and for most others I know.  It certainly reminds me of why secretaries decades ago were far underpaid for their work.  Typing on an old typewriter was a serious skill.


  1. Very cool typewriter. And they really aren't all that portable, are they?

    My sister has found my mom's old typewriter. The thing isn't even electric and is probably around 40 years old. She loves typing quotes and stuff and putting them on Tumblr.

  2. Really cool! I remember old typewriters like this because I used to have to type on them. I didn't have to learn to type until I was 16 and by then, I learned on a computer, but this was the norm for learning to type prior to my high school years. I always figured I'd learn on a typewriter. But, you couldn't stop the computer age from roaring like a lion. :)

  3. I have a very old portable typewriter still in it's carrying case. It manual, it works and still has a ribbon. I found it in an antique shop and used to display it in my office at work. Almost everyone who saw it wanted to buy it. It's my favorite!
    In high school I learned to type on an electric typewriter but had to change schools and that class was still using the old manual typewriters -- what a difference -- it was like learning to type all over again! I even learned the art of shorthand in high school. Oh, gosh, I am old... :(

  4. That is a very cool typewriter! I used an electric one once and it was a neat way to write, but I'll stick with my computer. :)

    You sound like me - I like going to common places for dates and I have way too many notebooks purchased on a whim. :)

  5. That's so neat!! My mom used to have one, and I got an electric word processor when I was about 8. It's crazy now how that was 20 years ago and how advanced we've become now!