Tomorrow I’ll be staffing the Maryland Writers’ Association table at the Baltimore Writers Conference. And I just found out that Gary Lester, my old cohort from my days at Channel 37 will be able to make it too. That will be nice. We used to staff the MWA table at various conferences around the state, so it will be like old times. In fact, the idea for Channel 37 hatched during a discussion Gary and I had while staffing a table at BWC a few years ago. Who knows what crazy get-rich-quick schemes we’ll cook up this time.
Anyway, one of the traditions wherever MWA has a booth or a tent is to host a “Story in the Round,” essentially a written Exquisite Corpse story. This is usually done by setting up a flipchart on an easel, and writing the opening sentence to a story. (One reason I’m particularly glad Gary will be there is because he writes absolutely killer opening lines.) Then we encourage people to add a sentence to the story to keep it going — or to send it off into bizarre new directions, just to see what the next person can do with it.
Well, this time I’ve decided to bring along my trusty L.C. Smith & Corona Standard and let people type their sentences. Then I’ll scan the results and post them on the MWA’s blog as MWA’s first official typecast.
Hopefully, a classic manual typewriter will be a conversation starter when plunked down amid a gaggle of 100+ writers. Plus, it looks the part, it’s rugged, and it has probably the most classically “typewriter-y” sound of the machines in my small collection. Plus, it’s a pretty quiet machine too, so it won’t disturb people. Not that the sound of a typewriter has ever been known to disturb writers.
I’m excited! This is the first time I’ve taken one of my machines on walkies. I hope people will enjoy it. And when I post the typecast, I’ll link to it here. The stories usually go off in wonderfully inventive directions; I’m intrigued to see how a typewriter will influence their storytelling decisions.
A question for fellow typospherians who have brought their machines along to events to share with people: what were your experiences? Anything I should be forewarned about?
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