Friday, August 29, 2008

Smith Corona dreaming....

Had a couple of the portables out last night, actually. Fun...though it also clarified just how nice the big beast is. It doesn't move. It takes less effort to get a good imprint. It's much easier to go fast with accuracy. It's taller, so it's easier to see what I'm typing and easier to jot notes or corrections on my draft as I go. And it's just more comfortable for marathon typing sessions. Man, I'm lucky! I think at this point, I'm fast becoming primarily a sometime collector of portables and a user of a big ol' desktop. It's a bit more dull than the little guys, but (for me) it's a better writing machine.

But I do love the *snap* of that SCM. It just sounds and feels like a typewriter to me.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Second draft in progress

Yes, I'm posting too much lately. I'm seriously considering starting another blog as a place to dump thoughts on writing and music practice, without cluttering this blog. The catch is coming up with a name for it and filling in that new blog application form. Commitment is scary.

Moving on...

Based partially on the drafting discussion on Click Thing a few weeks back, I've decided to write at least one more draft of my short story on the typewriter before either typing it into the computer (my usual MO) or attempting to OCR it. I test-scanned a page of text from the new SG3 this morning and was pleasantly surprised at how well it translated. I was afraid the odd typeface would throw the software for a loop: even with the cleanest typeface, I've not had good luck with that particular software (the free program that came with my cheapie flat-bed Canon). There were three minor glitches, and that's it. I may try it. Wouldn't want to scan a whole novel that way, but ten double-spaced pages (less, if I do this right) shouldn't be too bad.

I finished the rough draft of this story night before last. It was *very* rough -- I had decided the most important thing was to push myself to finish. Last night, I went over the whole thing with purple pen. I was brutal. On careful reading, the most obvious problem was my tendency to babble: often I take many times longer than necessary to express a thought. I chopped off whole *pages* that just slowed the little plot down. I also changed a major part of the plot (killed the husband of one of the two characters instead of leaving him dying...), which made her motivation a little more logical. The ending is still a bit fuzzier than I'd prefer, but the changes I've made should bring that into better focus this time around.

I'm pretty pleased with my progress! I'm not sure I could do this sort of in-depth editing and revision with a full manuscript without resorting to the computer, but it does make for better prose. I'll probably do one more draft after this one. Gives me excuses to play with the typewriter, for one....

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Some pictures added!

From the side:

From the front:

And, just to show how gargantuan Bernard really is, look at how he dwarfs my SM-9 -- which isn't exactly petite!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I think I'm in love....

Ack! One last edit! I think the typeface is actually 11 pt -- it's just taller and more open than my other 11 pt Olympia typeface (Stinky's), so it seems bigger. Closest match I can find in the typeface files in the Yahoo group is Senatorial, but I'm not 100% certain of that.

I guess I just accept it for what it is, without my usual over-analyzing. Whatever it is, I like it!

I'm off to pick up an SG-3!

I'm soooo stinkin' excited.

It looks to be elite (I'd prefer pica, but oh well) and pretty grungy, but apparently all the pieces move, and it's not like these come up often.

It's also pouring rain. And starting to get dark. But I know I wouldn't be able to sleep tonight if I didn't run and get it. Come to think of it, I may not sleep much anyway, if it ends up needing a heavy-duty cleaning session.

The things we do and the lengths we go to for this obsession....

Watch this space!

Monday, August 18, 2008

I was an evil child....

A recent spate of childhood papercasting reminded me of this masterpiece from my own younger days. Judging from other dated items in the same folder, I would have been somewhere between nine and maybe eleven.

As you can see, I was already well acquainted with strike-through methods. Even I'm not really sure what exactly I meant to say in a couple of those lines!

Pretty brutal. Why, I wonder, are kids so fascinated by gore? It wasn't like we, personally, were exposed to much either. We didn't have TV for the most part for one thing, and didn't watch movies except for the occasional old classic. Closest we got to bloody violence was listening to murder ballads, and reading The Boy's King Arthur...which is, admittedly, pretty gory. "...and with a mighty stroke he smote Sir Maurhaus upon the helm such a buffet, that it went through his helm, and through the coif of steel, and through the brain-pan, and the sword stuck so fast in the helm and in his brain-pan that Sir Tristam pulled thrice at the sword or ever he might pull it out from his head, and there Maurhaus fell down on his knees, and a piece of the edge of Tristam's sword was left in his brain-pan..." Lovely stuff, that. Yum.

I have a confession to make....

I'm a serial hobbyist.

I have a lot of interests, but I have trouble with combining them, with the exception of crocheting and writing, which seem to go hand in hand -- every November I do NaNoWriMo and crochet up a storm. But other than that, I tend to pursue one interest at a time with a completely obsessive focus.

So...lately it's been music. I went to Kamp Kaufman back in June, and I've been to various jams since then, plus one bluegrass festival (and counting -- hopefully I'll make a few more of the small ones before the season is out. There's an Irish session in town that I want to start going to. I've also been hanging out on FLATPICK-L, and playing my guitar. A lot. Usually a few hours every evening, sometimes more. I play for a bit when I first get home, just sitting on the couch. I play while watching TV, both while watching shows, and sometimes try to pick out the melodies during commercials, just for practice. (Anyone else ever jam with the guy? Don't answer that....) I play along with CDs, especially since I picked up a nifty little program called Amazing Slow Downer (cheesy, but descriptive) that lets me adjust pitch and speed. Mostly I've been working along with Steve Kaufman's Four Hour Bluegrass Workout, which has backup tracks for a whole bunch of fiddle tunes. Very nice. I still have to learn about nine-tenths of them, but hey, it's a start.

The sad thing is that I'm only *just* getting back to where I was last time I obsessed over guitar. I spent a few years way back when being a total guitar junkie. Then in 2002, a lot of things happened: my mother passed away, leaving me (legitimately or not) feeling like I was partially responsible for helping out with my youngest siblings (littlest sister was 12 at the time). Also, many of us spent much of the summer working toward and then attending World Youth Day in Toronto. Then my job was eliminated (remember this was right after 9/11), and I got more into playing the mandolin (though it's never had quite the draw guitar has, for no logical reason), and that November -- maybe the biggest reason my focus changed -- I participated in my first NaNoWriMo. Guitar fell by the wayside. I lost five years worth of potential practice time. There's no going back, and I'm really kicking myself for it. I'm determined not to let that happen again. I ain't getting any younger, and I really want to get to the point where I can participate in a jam without embarrassing myself. Maybe learn some swing, too.

Now the trick is to keep writing in the picture, too. If I could stay away from this here Internet thing, I'd have a better chance! Hence my love for typewriters....

Speaking of which, although I've told myself I'm *not* going to buy anymore, there's currently what appears to be an SG-3(?) on Craigslist. I don't have a desktop model yet. If I can ever get the seller to respond, I might have to make an exception for that one. If. Twenty-four hours and counting. What's up with that?