East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai



The reason I like typewriters is, exactly like bicycles, they are a sort of hands-on technology. You can actually get to work on them using a screwdriver and a wrench, get your hands dirty, set them straight if they break. Works for PCs and old cars, too – but not for smartphones and recent automobiles. And let’s not get started on the issue of software.

There is actually a spreading grassroots movement that demands manufacturers to allow access to the tech of their products, so that they can be repaired and updated instead of thrown away and replaced. It’s an interesting approach, and it has my full support. My grandfather was a tinkerer, and he taught me it’s OK to get your hands dirty while fine tuning a piece of machinery.

I think this approach also applies at the way I write, but let’s save that for another time. Let’s talk typewriters.

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Stained fingers and ideas backup

My fingers are stained black and red. I have just fitted the new ribbon in my mother’s old Lettera 35 – tomorrow afternoon, together with my friend Fabrizio Borgio, we’ll challenge the heat and the fishbowl-grade humidity doing our Burning Typewriters challenge, and we’ll write a story each, in public, in Nizza Monferrato.
I hope someone will take pictures.

And I’m not kidding about the heat – here’s the forecast…

Screenshot from 2018-08-03 12-27-30

Meanwhile, a story proposal I mailed about four weeks ago got a positive response, so I am re-writing/revising the story.
Which leads to an important suggestions for writers: talk about your plot ideas with your family. Continue reading