That Old Royal Typewriter And All That Jazz

I typed my first poem on a typewriter like this. Not in this good of condition but like this one. Up to that point, my poetry had been written long hand.  Sometimes I’d bring one to work to type on the IBM Selectric 😛  That was 1980 something.  I loved that old Royal typewriter.  I didn’t like typing on it, but I loved the way it sounded as though I was really, really, finally a poet with a (very used) typewriter.  I had it in my head that one day I’d own an IBM Selectric just like the one I had at work and I quickly went about obtaining one.  The way I did that was by putting up an index card, at Tulane University, offering to type term papers. Ugh!  I don’t remember what I charged but it took me over a year of typing term papers – at night after work – to save enough money.

By that time I was writing poetry and short stories. I carefully typed out every poem and story I’d ever written – on lined loose leaf paper because I didn’t want to waste money buying typing paper when I had a supply of loose leaf paper and thin, yellowish “newspaper print paper” that would last me a couple of years 😛  Oh!  I was in heaven to have my new IBM Selectric typewriter with a correction ribbon…I remember how refined and grown-up I felt.  I was 30 something.  I had been writing by hand for so many years that the middle finger of my right hand had a permanent lump on it from holding pen or pencil.  That little lump is still there today!

Now I have some Logitech keyboard and a huge Samsung monitor like this.  I don’t need typing paper or correction ribbons.  I don’t trust computers.  About a month or so ago, I had to put my poetry and stories on a memory key…just in case my computer crashed and wordpress went the way of dust.  It’s all amazing to me that the physical part of writing poetry and stories is so easy now. Even my journal/diary is on a memory key now.

The point of this entry is this:  if one looks over at my sidebar, I have entered 106 poems into my blog.  I said, a few weeks ago, that when I reached 100 poems, I’d begin to put together a little book of poetry.  Maybe 25 or so.  I’m fairly excited to begin this process.  This will mean finding 25 poems I feel are worth working on and putting in a little book.  I hope to have this process completed by March, 2014.  March because that is my birthday month.  I’ll be 63.  It’s time.  Maybe I should wait until I’m 64 since 6+4=10 and 10 is a lucky number.  Hmmmm…

Yikes!  This is scary stuff to contemplate.  I feel like Scarlett, from Gone With The Wind:  “I can’t think about this now. I’ll go crazy if I do! I’ll think about it tomorrow.”


2 thoughts on “That Old Royal Typewriter And All That Jazz

  1. Pingback: Another great find | poemattic

  2. My very first typewriter was an electric Smith-Corona which I did use for years. The typewriter was a gift from my mom because I was going to college and would no longer have access to my high school’s typewriters. As liberating as it was to be able to type and not have to struggle with my poor handwriting, it was still a lot of work. Any time I made even small changes to an essay or a story or a poem, I had to retype the whole thing. Now with word processing and a 20-inch monitor, I feel more creative because I can slash and burn my writing with impunity. And yet, what excites me the most is when I print out what I wrote. My writing almost doesn’t seem real unless I read it on paper.

    That you’re thinking of publishing a selection of your poems is very exciting. I honestly would love a book of your poems. For me, 3 is a lucky number (well, I just have a preference for things in 3s). If next year you are 63, then 6+3=9/3=3 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s