Monday, March 10, 2014

An interesting find

My sister had called and tipped me off about a typewriter she'd seen at Butler Antiques & Collectibles for eight dollars. At a price like that, I assumed that it must be broken, but at a price like that, I'd gladly buy a broken one. If nothing else, it could be a repair project.

The newest addition to my collection,
a Marxwriter children's typewriter.
Upon further investigation, we found out that it was a Marxwriter children's typewriter. It was marketed as an educational toy, but it is a functioning typewriter. Other toy typewriters I've seen involve selecting the desired letter with a wheel and then pushing down on a one-piece keyboard. The Marxwriter has a three-row keyboard, which types in capital letters only. The shift key raises the numbers and symbols.

Of course, for the price, there was no way I could resist. My 4-year-old nephew was instantly fascinated with it, so it might make a nice gift for him after he gets a little older and I've made a few minor repairs to the machine.

For collectors who may be interested, Butler Antiques & Collectibles also had a very old electric IBM model. It had obviously seen better days, and the shop quite honestly labeled it as "not sure if works." I'm not very interested in electric models, so I didn't inquire further.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Writing Routine

In the last week, I've been getting into a routine of writing in the morning. Putting in some hours on the typewriter with a cup of coffee nearby is a great way to start my day. Fortunately my day job doesn't expect me in the office until late in the evening, or else I might not be so chipper in the morning.

My ideal routine would be breakfast, then writing until lunch time. After lunch would be dedicated to calls, interviews, story assignments and scouring press releases for potential news stories. I say this is my ideal routine and not my actual routine, because I haven't quite made it fall into place, but I'm getting there.

Morning is a great time to write because my mind is still in that dreamy fog that allows for creativity to flow. The typewriter makes for a good first stop, because it keeps me in that creative zone. The computer carries too many distractions. I'll be tempted to check news links, Facebook and before I know it, I'm lost on YouTube for three hours.

I'm cautious about typing late at night, because the walls are thin in my apartment, and I don't want to disturb my neighbor with the sound of me banging away on the typewriter. We had some issue when she went off her medication and would scream and swear at nothing in the middle of the night, but she has been doing much better lately, so I try to extend the same courtesy to her. Let me tell you, I've heard some angry drunks swear before, but nothing is more terrifying than the raging of an insane old woman.

Writing fiction was my first interest in the written word, but that's not exactly a job where you get paid by the hour. Typically, you need to make time for it while working a day job ... or night job, in my case. That may change after I get my first New York Times Best Seller, but until then, I'll need to put in some good solid hours on the keys.

I'd like to hear from you. Leave a comment and tell me about your writing routine.