Over the past few weeks I’ve had things bubble up in my head and I’ve had a strong urge to write, but when I sit down at my computer I’m at a loss for words. I get distracted by whatever rabbit trail interests me, usually something on Pinterest, or some fascinating piece of e-mail loaded with links. It makes me wonder if I’d be better off with a writerly pad of paper or one of those trendy moleskin journals sitting in a leather chair with classical music in the background and a beverage in a fancy glass. Maybe. But that’s not how I used to write either. I like words flowing off my fingers and the feel of a soft touch keyboard and rhythmic plink of the keys.
I remember the fascination I had for the portable typewriter my parents had. It had a carrying case that lifted off to reveal its magical abilities to put perfect letters one right after another tap tap tap across the page, with the reward of a ring and zip upon pressing the carriage return. I loved to listen to my Mom type on occasion, or my Dad pick his way through his many report forms he had to fill out as a Wisconsin State Patrolman. I’d beg to keep the typewriter out when they were finished so I could hunt and peck words of nonsense onto my very own sheet of translucent onion skin paper rolled oh so carefully into place.
Later I jumped at the chance to take typing early in summer school before my freshman year in high school. I got an A of course. And I met my future husband. Yup. I met my husband as a 14-year-old, learning to type on a manual typewriter and the ever so modern IBM electric typewriter. Oh the thrill of pressing the keys and the powerful return that made the typing tables bounce, and the flutter of my heart when I caught that cute boy gazing at me from across the room…even more thrilling.
I remember hearing about the idea of a home computer and magical things one could do but that was not really part of my experience until much later in my life. We didn’t own a computer until 1998 and it took me three months to get bold enough to turn it on by myself. I never looked back. Oh how I love technology and the world it has opened.
It’s also good to take a break, to look back, look forward, and find inspiration for a fresh view. It’s kind of like changing wallpaper, or the curtains. It’s the same room, it’s just fresh, and perhaps that cute boy is still the inspiration for the words on my page. And, he is.