Gonna Write You A Letter….
Not long ago, I bought resume paper and matching envelopes. Not to send out resumes but for something more special–letter writing.
Once I load the paper into my 1951-model Smith-Corona Silent, (taking care to ensure the letterhead is correct), I write someone I’ve not corresponded with in a while. Maybe someone I have never written before.
My penmanship is better after months of hand-written Morning Pages. But how often these days does anyone receive the gift of a letter composed on a typewriter? Yeah, rarely.
My goal is a letter a day. One-page to let a special person know they were on my mind. This is so much better, not to mention cheaper than Hallmark. More original. More personal. More caring.
I don’t ask for a letter in return, though a typing pen pal would be nice. these days we dash emails and texts off with so little thought behind them. I enjoy my time at the typewriter taking the care to send genuine thoughts and to do my level best not to make any typos.
Dumping By Snapchat
A friend of mine had her son dumped by a girlfriend recently. She sent him a Snapchat message. He read the Dear John and it disappeared, forever. They’d been going steady for more than a year. They are 14, but still. This from a girl born in Alabama. She knows better and her mother taught her better, too. Emily Post is rolling in her grave.
My friend Harold Duncan often tells his mail carrier he wishes the Postal Service would bring “better mail.” The other day Harold had his wish fulfilled with a one-page letter thanking him for many years of friendship and support.
Typing With a Butter Knife
Owning a typewriter is rare these days. I bought my first last fall–a Smith-Corona Super Sterling like my dad had when I was a boy. In the documentary California Typewriter, Tom Hanks turned me onto the Smith-Corona Silent model. Hanks says that of the 250 typewriters he has, the Silent is the one he could not do without. I concur. It’s like typing with a butter knife.
My typewriters have changed how I write. The rhythm of the intricate machine slows my thought process. Words form pictures in my mind as the letters flow to my fingertips, depress a key, activate a series of levers and springs before compressing the fibers of a black ribbon and leap onto the white canvas of the non-glowing, porous page.
I revised my novel “The Voodoo Hill Explorer Club” on my typewriters. Instead of cutting, they helped grow the story into something new and magical. Yesterday I started querying agents.
Times are crazy busy. I’ve enjoyed the responses from friends who’ve received my letters. Writing them was worth it. Every clickety-clack….