A typewriter for Christmas. Lucky, lucky me.

Corona Typewriter

I write my novels on a computer. I scribble ideas in notebooks and on Post Its and on the backs of phone bills and, once, on a roll of cash register paper I begged from a bartender in a snowy Colorado restaurant. Then I sit down and type CHAPTER 1 on a Mac laptop.

But there’s nothing like a manual typewriter.

When I was a kid, and dreaming of being a writer, I wrote stories on wide-ruled binder paper and illustrated them with crayon drawings. Occasionally, I got the chance to use my dad’s typewriter, or my grandmother’s. Rolling a sheet of onion skin paper into it, and hitting the keys, seeing my words appear on the page, felt grown up. It felt magical. This was what real writers did. I can still hear the clop of the keys against the paper, and smell the ink, and see my fingers smeared black because I typed too fast and then had to free all the keys that had tangled near the roller. This was what real writers did. And if I was doing it, maybe that meant that someday I could be a real writer.

Christmas morning, I opened the gift my family got for me. I gasped. It’s a Corona travel typewriter. Judging by the serial number, it was built in 1935. The Husband found it in a little shop in rural Texas on a Saturday when I was teaching a writing workshop in the town library. He hid it in the car, and brought it home, cleaned it up, found new ribbons for it, and snuck it under the Christmas tree. He told me I was going to love my present. The kids said I was going to love it. I do. It’s awesome. I could not have asked for anything better.

It’s my dream come true.

7 responses to “A typewriter for Christmas. Lucky, lucky me.

  1. Wow. Great gift. Lucky you!

    My kids too believe that I am most useful for making oil (aka Dino-Dad); but, I am with you that the words appearing on the paper are magical. Despite thirty-five years of immersion in technology, I still manage to type like a dyslexic chimp. Backspace key required.

    Wonderful gift.

  2. That is lovely – lucky you!

    Reminds me of the letter keen typrewriter, Tom Hanks, wrote after being gifted a Corona: http://www.lettersofnote.com/2012/10/damn-you-all-to-hell.html

  3. Very nice, Meg. I have fond memories of typewriters, and taking a final exam on one when an earthquake hit.

    My best gift this year was a letter opener (nicely weighted, with a six-inch ruler etched into it). It is a very sweet gift, and well thought out too.

    Happy New Year

  4. I loved the clackity clackity clackity ding! (That ! is part of the ding, not the punctuation of the sentence, so it doesn’t count towards my yearly allowance of two !s) And, on my Smith Corona manual (1969), the energetic swipe of the arm to return the carriage. Both it and the electric version that replaced it are still in my basement. Just in case.

    I think I was far more productive then (or was it that my brain was more productive then?)

    Nice. Very nice.

    (and if we’re sharing excellent gifts from partners this year, my guy made me, completely out of scraps from his basement, a Little Free Library!)

  5. I get goosebumps and butterflies whenever I hear the ‘click’ of a typewriter… One is certainly on my wish list!! Enjoy!

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