The Royal and the Valentine
I drafted this post on my 1930’s Royal Quiet De Luxe typewriter. I am challenging myself this month to do all my drafts on a typewriter. Writing on a computer is hard for me because of the distractions; spell and grammar checks, alerts, email, messages, and the general seduction of the Internet. It is easy to lose an hour (or many hours) following legitimate needs that lead to links, visuals, videos, and ends in I can’t remember what I was going after.
I have been loyal to my Royal but truth is, I have others. Over the last several years I've had an addiction. A serial falling in and out of love. But Royal is my first love with the best keyboard for my hands; the glass keys which can’t be beat. I should have stopped while I was ahead but one leads to more: Hermes 3000 (Mid-Century, Swiss), Royal Safari (70s big doll), Hermes 3000 (cursive type) and Erika (20’s delicate little beauty, laptop-like but with a European keyboard). All of them are wonderful typewriters but, with the exception of Erika, they are not for my hands.
Last week, being a member of the typewriter community, I got an email from Typewriter Review , which is a great review site for writers. The current review compares two Olivetti typewriters. I have long wanted an Olivetti Lettera 32, not to mention the design icon, Valentine. The review pushed me right over the eBay edge. I found one and it was in pretty great condition. It had a perfect case (won’t buy one without a case) and all the original documents (rare to get them). But, I told myself not until I sell the others and went back to revising a poem.
Well, some days I have a struggle writing a poem, story, or essay; Saturday I had a struggle with all three. The cure was the Olivetti Lettera 32 because, well, Sylvia Plath wrote her poems on one. I put in a low bid and left it up to fate. I should be getting the Olivetti in two weeks!
So now, I am looking at creating an eBay shop to sell the Hermes and Safari which are in their perfect cases in a line along the back wall of my writing shed.
I will sell them, if only to find my Valentine .
P.S. If you are ever in Venice, Italy, visit the Olivetti Museum.
More on the Typosphere: http://typosphere.blogspot.com
Famous writers & their typewriters: http://mentalfloss.com/article/80104/19-authors-and-their-typewriters
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