This Keyboard I Got

I’ve been thinking about it.

I don’t really write too often. I enjoy writing, and always have. It’s a pleasure to create and speak and I attest (as someone who enjoys the sound of their own voice very much) that I enjoy talking as such.

But I don’t. And why is that? Writing written off by minutiae. I want to read more about this thing. The laundry needs hanging. I have to work tomorrow morning. When was the last time we ate out? I should clean up the room. I want to wait until I finish the other website I’m designing. There’s a backlog of pictures to upload. I need to do X before Y because Y is not as immediate as X, although Y is a long-term goal so I’ll still feel bad and want to.

I don’t know why I don’t write as often. I guess that I don’t identify as “a writer” much anymore, because I do so many other things. But I still write. As said before and better, by others, it fills all the little gaps in one’s daily existence. It rests in small spaces between cracks in the sidewalk, tiny green life poking through the sidewalk, not defiant, just pleasantly and idly existing. I may not write like a madman, fifty-thousand soldiers strong, but I write.

Today I write anew. Today I found a keyboard in the basement of my place of work, and I took it home and it is magnificent. It is a vintage IBM Model M keyboard with bucking spring design; the keys are pressed, they give resistance, and then they *click* and the moment they click the character is registered. There is no latency. There is no softness. It is a machine and it is mechanical. It’s called force-feedback, and it is totally neat. It is a different feeling, one I’d never expect. I’ve typed this whole thing with nary a typing error to speak. Amazing.

And now I am reading the Wikipedia entry on the Model M and I notice something… this is the keyboard of my childhood. The very keys I used to play “Ernie’s Big Splash” when I was 6, are the keys I now use to blog about not blogging. Incidentally, the former still seems more fun. Incidentally, I still don’t like the word “blog.” And now I remember that I used to write on that thing all the time, back when computers had the one font and the one size, text white on blue, and what-you-saw wasn’t what-you-got cause that was set on the printer itself. A matrix of dots made the things you wrote magically appear, and then they could go on the fridge or something.

All of this does beg the question, though… if something as simple (if sensory) as clicky-typing can cause me to reflect on my writing and gain understanding of why I might do it or not do it, and write this much about writing, aren’t I preoccupied with it enough to put a little more effort into it?

I refuse to make a resolution. How bout a to-do item instead?

To-do: write more. Clicky keys nice.

Writing of Dreaming

I had a dream last night, and I had to write it down. It’s sort of complicated. What was weird was it’s dream-within-a-dream recursion, a fake-world created entirely by those inhabiting it, who journey there from the real world, which itself may not be real. Or is it? Teasing logic like that permeated the whole thing, and I only barely understood it myself.

There was dinosaur wrestling. And pet tigers. I should speak about that. I dream things like that a lot. Rarely does it make sense, but it made a lot of sense last night. I wrote four pages this morning, and in the process I figured out how to write the story—I think. I’ve never written a choose-your-own-adventure story of any length, and I think I wrote the last one when I was four. I wouldn’t know where to start. I suppose I could start at the beginning.

It’s harder than it sounds.

A Non-Novel Experience

I’m sad, because there’s not a chance in hell for me to accomplish something I wanted to do. Mostly we all know what that is, it being November 30th and all. Yeah. I don’t have a book, and so for the second year running I have failed at National Novel writing month. I don’t have even close to the 25,000 that I scaled back to. I have about an eighth of that. The question I kept being asked during November, and which I find myself asking even now, is why? Why do I want to write a book in the first place?

Well, I didn’t, dummy. That’s the whole point of putting it on a blog, is that it’s not a book. It’s just a steady output. It’s a constant stream of writing, that, while perhaps over-effluent at times and perhaps a tad indulgently repetitive, et cetera, et cetera, it’s writing. And I remember enjoying writing.

I remember that when I was in eighth grade I joined “Writer’s Circle.” It was a bunch of geeks who got together every Friday… in a circle… and read stuff they had written. It’s how I met one of my best friends, Lauren. It’s when I wrote my first full-length story, and where I got some of these weird ideas in my head that still stick around there even though they’ve never been justified—like that one shouldn’t repeat nouns, adjectives, or non-common verbs within a 1-page radius, and that the sentence structure should alternate. Like this. Short, long, short, long, personal, non-personal, object-based, perceptive, non-personal, personal, et cetera. Et cetera. Et cetera. And it’s where the very beginnings of what I now generally think of as “flair” started: little stylistic, randomly emergent oddities that occur as the writing turns in on itself. Like this one. It brought about my writer’s philosophy, so to speak.

This experiment was just something to try to walk further down that path. Like the fair-weather flagellant that I am, most likely I’ll come back next year with high hopes. I’ll do the same thing. I’ll make compromises and I might not meet them. Probably won’t. And I’ll make the same apologies to myself. I might start in October just to cheat, like some I know who actually made it… I’m looking at you, Miss 60,000. I’ll do it all over. I’m not that sad about it, anymore. Better to have dreams and not attain them then to not have dreams at all.


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