Using typewriters to write in unlikely places.
Thinking back, once I learned to type in High School, there was probably never a time I did not own a typewriter. Even when the early laptops came out, I was taking an ultraportable Smith Corona Zephyr on tour with me on Greyhound busses and Amtrak trains.
Finally when I could afford a laptop I was lured away from the “machine with the built-in printer” for a time, but what I missed was the sound of the keys! The typewriter slugs, as they are called, imprinting ink from a ribbon into paper.
During the pandemic when I was looking for a “warm” creative outlet to offset all of the virtual performances I was doing, I got my old Zephyr serviced, and acquired a few others, like the Olympia SM3, the Hermes Baby, and my current favorite, the Groma Kolibri. When I got the idea to slide one into a rucksack and go somewhere to write on site, no matter the season, “Extreme Typing” was born.
Since then I have written on the spot in dozens of locations, even donning waders to see if trout will rise to a well-crafted phrase like a dry fly.
And that’s it. Exactly. Often times there is a nugget of real inspiration, an “Ah ha!” idea, part of an answer to a nagging question that comes as a result. Maybe it’s the typewriter as a tool, maybe it's sound like an old guitar, maybe it’s the outdoors, it could be all three.
“Extreme Typing” is not a stunt. It’s a creative path, a trail to a new experience, its music on a different acoustic instrument that has a lot of beginnings in journalism, essay writing, fiction and non fiction, in the fresh air of the outdoors.
Check this page to see where it takes me. Better yet, rediscover your own favorite Typer and get out there yourself.