The Carriage Return

Press hard. Write well.

A Poem

We’re still working on scanning in some of the bits and pieces of poems and stories you all left us at the Ribbon and Rhyme events… but here’s one of my own I took a picture of with my phone.  It’s not great and it’s not edited, but, then again, that’s the whole point of using these machines: to turn off your editor as you write.  (To all you would-be copyright thieves: This is protected by online copyright law.  All rights reserved and all that jazz.  Also, stealing is bad for your health).  

This is for my brother, my childhood co-conspirator.  Hope this takes you back to a brighter time, buddy. 

Pictures Worth At Least As Much As A Thousand Words

Thanks so much to Stan Rawrysz for taking these gorgeous shots of the Ribbon and Rhyme event at the High Point Branch this past weekend.  We had nearly TEN times the participants as the weekend before and we couldn’t have been more delighted.  Thanks to Ken Gollersrud at the High Point Branch and all our volunteers.  We had a great range of ages show up, and we got several (hand typed!) notes of thanks for putting on the event.  

Y’know, there’s this moment of transformation we get to witness every time we do this.  It’s a look, a smile, a shift in body posture that indicates the person seated at the machine has just gone from confused observer to excited participant.  And it’s nothing short of magical.  It’s why we do what we do.  Enjoy.  We’ll see you next week. 

Ribbon and Rhyme, Day 2

Please join us at the High Point branch (West Seattle) of Seattle Public Library today from 2:30 till 5:30 for another installment of Ribbon and Rhyme!

If you’ve never heard the sound of a half dozen typewriters in a room before, you’re in for a treat.  Though we didn’t take any pictures of the event on Sunday, we DID get a little sampling of that sweet, sweet sound.  This will be my soundtrack for the week. 

Ribbon and Rhyme, Installment 1

THANK YOU to everyone who volunteered and visited on Day 1 of Ribbon and Rhyme, the collaboration between the Seattle Public Library and The Carriage Return!  

You know how sometimes things just all coalesce in just the right way? Sunday in West Seattle was like that.  I think we experienced what Hannibal from the A-Team meant when he said, “I love it when a plan comes together.”

We had two teenagers cranking out mini-stories on our machines, featuring a character named after a typewriter manufacturer, and replete with hand drawn illustrations!

We had a lovely gentleman stop by and stay the whole three hours to work on the FIRST poem he’d EVER written in his life.  Amazing.  He even submitted it to the library’s poetry contest!

A man just back from his travels in Japan stopped by to suggest we do a photo shoot of all the machines in our collection.  Stay tuned for more news on that!

Here was maybe my favorite part of the day:  the first time poem writer, Gordon, told us he had a machine at home that he’d purchased on eBay that he couldn’t get working.  He thought maybe the ribbon was defective.  Since he saw that we were able to trouble-shoot our own sometimes-finicky machines, he thought we might be interested in taking a look at his.  And interested we were.  He went home to fetch his machine.  And what turned up half an hour later was one of the most gorgeous machines I have ever seen.  This:

How incredible is that thing? Can you see now how the name would launch a thousand mini-stories?  In under ten minutes, we got the thing working (ribbon spools are as finely calibrated as hummingbird wings, methinks).  And later on that day, I wrote a poem on her.  

At one point in the day, I stepped outside the room we were all in just to listen.  And what I heard was so very satisfying.  The librarians even commented on the soothing effect of that sound.  As my lovely husband commented, it sounded like “a news room during wartime.”  And there it was, in the span of a few hours, the whole reason the Carriage Return was launched in the first place:  That slowed-down pace of creativity, that soundtrack to our imaginations mimicking our own heartbeats. 

Thanks, again, to everyone who participated.  I’ll feature some of the writing just as soon as I scan it.  In the meantime, mark your calendars for this Saturday’s event at the High Point branch.

Hope to see you soon.