Saturday, March 24, 2012

Estate sale Envoy

Behold! The Remington Envoy that I picked up at the estate sale this Friday.
Which begs the Envoy to whom?
Maestro Polt tells us that the Envoy is little more than a beefed-up Remette, putting it squarely in the "budget model" range. But! Seeing as how I have been more of a "build your own computer out of spit and baling twine" guy as opposed to an "able to afford the latest i-device" guy I figure that had I been around in the early 40's—and not being shot at by fascists—this may well have been the model I'd have owned.
The keys seen here are budget-standard plastic (or is it Bakelite? I'm not sure what the difference is), and although I cannot for the life of me remember where I heard it, were available in straight black and with silver-painted rims. Either the paint has worn off entirely, or the long-ago purchaser decided to shave a few bucks off the purchase price.
Ah, the "Remington smile" (which is—please note—entirely unrelated to the "Glasgow smile" or the "Chelsea grin." Brrr.), which I referenced in my short story, "To Kill a Comedian." Oh, have I not mentioned Pen and Platen in the last ten minutes? Well, if you haven't purchased a copy yet, follow the link on the right to get your copy. It like $0.99 dude. You spend more than that on coffee.
Hem. Back to the machine.

Pictured: something simple I only figured out through dumb luck.
The Envoy is the first machine I've seen in the wild that is permanently affixed to its case. It took me a moment to realize that instead of removing the machine from the lid, one simply removes the lid from the case! Fascinating concept, that. And yes, it's a bit dusty still.

Eraser crumbs: everywhere they are.
Also new to me are the curiously small ribbon spools, which happen to be conveniently labeled "RIGHT TOP" and "LEFT TOP." At least they left nothing to chance.

It's a mystery LED.

Finally, we see the carriage return lever and the magnifying glass/flash light of one Mr. Speegle the Younger. His insistence that clues were to be found on the machine as to various mysteries of the universe brooked no dissent.
And there you have it! Not bad for $15, and a happy foray into older-model Remingtons for Yours Truly.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Typecast: The thrill of acquisition


Accourse I couldn't have been bothered to get a picture yet — the Mrs. Speegle absconded to picturesque Bellevue for a business trip with the camera. And I refuse to use a camera phone.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ribbon get

Wanted: the best place on the 'net for high-quality, silk typewriter ribbons. Also cheap. Also fast.



Monday, March 19, 2012


It just figures. Three months ago, when perusing the local antique mall for Viet Nam-era machines, pre-war Royal and Remington portables were thick on the ground.

But now that I am in the market for one, with aims to add it to my cadre before the planned Tri-CityType-in?

Bupkis. Comma. Total.

Sure, there were a few old-timey desk machines, but I'd never be able to sneak one o' those past the lady wife. Plus, with the writing machines and crafting supplies around these parts, I would be at a loss for a horizontal surface to place it on.

So, Typosphere, if you happen to know where a fella can lay hands on a pre-war portable machine (that you know, works) for relatively cheap and in a timely fashion, let a fella know.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Manuscript case

I made mention of my new manuscript-totin' acquisition in my last post, then promptly forgot to include a picture. Startin' to lose it in my old age.

At any rate, here it is!

Manuscript case, in repose

Manuscript case, in action

Friday, March 16, 2012

Typecast: Tri-City type-in?

EDIT: It turns out there is no such word as "supoort," although now that I think about it, there should be. ALSO, I quite accidentally used a "grocer's apostrophe" below. Ignore it as best you can.


Sweet linkin' goodness from the typecast:

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Hey! I recognize that typewriter.

With Jack "Originator of the BAROP" Kerouac's birthday coming up tomorrow, the beats are once again in the news. The Slate has a pretty good photo essay featuring those poor lost souls, and one in particular caught my eye.

© Nicolas Tikhomiroff / Magnum Photos

Like him or lump him, William S. Burroughs has good taste in typewriters; if I'm not mistaken, that machine at his elbow is an Antares Parva, and it's not even a creepy talking bug thing!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

What I should have written

I screwed up.

Looking back, I think it's because I was scared. Scared of that that horrible, empty feeling brought on by rejection letter after rejection letter. That shitty feeling of looking in at the people who get it, happy, younger people with fellowships and bright, shiny futures.
It was that scared feeling that made me write the letter of intent that I did. It was that scared feeling that made me wax philosophical about an inspiring teacher, how I wanted to write because she inspired me towards greater things.
I mean, don't get me wrong, she did inspire me, but that has absolutely dick to do with why I'm applying for a Creative Writing MFA.
See, ever since I went eight for eight on rejections last year, I have been writing furiously. I released Pen and Platen, my short story collection, on Amazon in December. I have two finished novels, Collision Course and Good Friday in the hopper awaiting my red fountain pen. I am currently leapfrogging across three projects right now: Chet Masters is Alarming, a heist satire story; Silas Starkweather Rides Again, a follow-up to a western piece in P&P; and Third, about a young girl who finds a typewriter in the ashes of a by-gone world.
All to stave off that horrible scared feeling, like I'm paddling around in open water. Yeah, P&P has moved better than 350 copies in three months, but that's mostly due to good friends and dumb luck. But mostly I'm just flinging shit at the wall and seeing what sticks. It's — pardon the pun — a crap way to do things. Which is why I want this MFA thing so bad.
And hey, I understand that I don't look like anything special. I'm a working-class guy with a working-class guy education. I attended a state college. Growing up my parents did their best by me, and I have known lean times but never starved, and good times that lasted just as long as they should have. I have been outside the country exactly one time, and that was to Ensenada, Mexico. My employment history is a lesson in mediocrity. I have a wife I've been married to for ten years and a five year-old son who wants to be either a scientist or a super hero when he grows up. Oh, and I'm a writer.
But that's problematic, too. On my best day, my work can hardly be described as "literary," not do I adhere to genre conventions. Well…most the time. More accurately, I just write whatever comes into my head, whether it's humor or horror or sci fi or a story about a guy who sets off smoke detectors in department stores and then robs them. I'm just a writer.
But I want to be a better one.
That's it. No university job, no doctorate. I just want to get better at what I love to do, whether in ten years I'm still spamming Amazon with eBooks or purchasing a really nice typewriter with fat royalty checks.
So there's that. It may suck, but it's about a million times more honest.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

More free stuff: When life gives you Clemens...

...make Clemenade!

Srsly though, if you haven't already picked up your free copy of Mike Clemens' immensely amusing One Last Quest, then you, sir, are missing all the way the damn out.

So click here to pick it up on Smashwords, and be sure to enter the coupon code RE100 for free-time goodness.

Yes, I know I spoil you, Internet.

Monday, March 5, 2012

We're #1! We're #1!

Pen and Platen just hit #1 in the Amazon Anthologies store!

So does that mean my lust for success has been sated?

Hells. To. The. No.

This tiny taste of success has naught but whetted my appetite for more. MORE!

So let everyone you've literally ever met know that P&P is free for one more day. Help me devour the competition, to lay waste to their villages and to hear the lamentation of their women! Also, I wanna hit #1 in Contemporary Fiction. And in the Free Kindle Store.

And then books in general.

And then...the world.

Help me hit #1!

OK, so I'm trying no to come over all super-effusive at online rankings...but failing!

As of right this second, Pen and Platen occupies the #4 spot in Amazon's anthologies rankings, the #98 spot in contemporary fiction, and #1,505 in free books!

I swear, I can just taste that #1 spot. It tastes like...victory.

So if you even have the slightest inclination towards super fun-time literature, click this link and get your free copy right now! Tell a friend about it! Tell an enemy! Tell that one guy, you know the one!

Thanks, guys.

Free Stuff Day!

Today's the day! Head over to Amazon and get your free copy of Pen and Platen: Short Stories Written the Long Way! 

In other news, P&P is now #17 in the Kindle category for genre fiction anthologies! With your help, I feel like the top ten is within my grasp! Thanks, denizens of the interwebs.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Free stuff (which I know you like)

Because I am constantly biting of M. Clemens' style (imitation = flattery? or maybe just copycattery?), I have decided to also offer my humble scribblings for the low low price of free. Just swing by Amazon on Monday, March 5 through Tuesday, March 6 and pick up a copy for exactly bugger-all.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

To my reviewers...

To the kind folks who received a free copy of Pen and Platen in exchange for an Amazon review – could you be so good as to post up said review as soon as would be convenient?

Thanks, and happy reading!