Saturday, November 1, 2014

On Writing: Back in the Saddle ... Again


The first step in solving a problem is admitting one exists, and I see, by the dates of my last half dozen posts, that I have one. Or several.
I haven’t written much in the past twelve months. I have had a ton of ideas, but few have made it even partially onto the page. My Duotrope submission tracker has gone cold, and there’s a thick coating of dust on my guitar. The state of this blog speaks for itself.
I'm using this 46-pound machine as a life raft. Wish me luck! (Picture is from the Machines of Loving Grace website.)
I have the usual excuses: I got busy. I got sick. Blah-blah-blah-life. All three are true, but I let those excuses get in the way of the work. Maybe it was unavoidable, maybe not. It’s as hard to tell from the Look-Back End as it was from the In-The-Midst-of-the-Muddle View.

The last year wasn’t totally wasted. I met a lot of good, young people and gave them a whirlwind tour through creative writing and journalism. (Some of went back in and, I am happy to say, likely will be lost there for all time.) I started teaching part time at the college level, and I cleaned a lot of typewriters and had some success repairing others. My wife says I have thirty of the things now, but my mind refuses to count past twenty. Suffice to say, I have many of them.
Now, using NaNoWriMo and those typewriters as a crutch, I’m dragging myself back into the writing pool to see if I have some kick left. Step Two (see above for the first step), is to take NaNoWriMo seriously and write a book on one of those aforementioned typewriters. More likely, I’ll be using several of them, because my at-home typer, an Olympia SG1, weighs about forty-six pounds and makes a lousy portable. The book, nicely outlined, is sort of a paranormal revenge fantasy. I like the idea, and I hope I can do it justice. I’ll be typecasting random pages here as I go.
After that, I’m hoping I’ll be back in the groove or will have been successful wearing a new one. I’ll keep you posted.

9 comments:

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    1. Thanks. It's nice to be added. I will get my blog list going again and reciprocate.

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  2. The number I've found for my SG1 is about 32 pounds -- still a beast, of course, but I'm wondering which is correct.

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    1. I just weighed it on my bathroom scale (weighed us both really) and I got 38. It's possible I added the weight of its gravitas in my original post.

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  3. Welcome back to the world of using the proper tool for the first-draft job. (:

    Also, welcome to the Typosphere, and Godspeed with Nano November!

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    1. Thanks, Ted. I've used typers for the first draft of some short stories, but this will be the first time I've gone full novel on one. I will try to represent the Typosphere well.

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  4. @anonymous: SG weight is greatly influenced by the width of the carriage on the machine. There were at least seven widths available for the SG1, so for example, an SG1 with a 12 in. carriage would weigh 2.2 lbs less than one with the 15 in. carriage. I imagine if Rob Greene's machine has a 24 in. carriage and yours is fitted with the 9.5 in. that we'd be close to that weight discrepancy.

    Regardless, good luck Rob!

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    1. Thanks for the numbers. The thing is a beast at any rate (and weight) and it seems to like to pound out the words.

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    2. Well, I am using one of my SG1 machines for NaNoWriMo 2014 and just passed the 50k word count (163 pages of Elite) without it skipping a single letter (or missing a beat). There's no question that it's a true workhorse.

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