Friday Fictioneers — Old School

85E5FE2C-7310-4960-99F8-B501DE6E150FHaving recently retired and with time on his hands, Clark decided to fulfill his life’s greatest ambition. With a head full of ideas, interesting and compelling characters, and intricate, twisty plot lines, he would write the great American novel.

Clark was old school. It wasn’t that he was a technophobe. He just liked the feel of using a manual typewriter. So he put aside his laptop and took out his old, antique Underwood, slipped a piece of paper on the roller, and started pounding away on the keyboard.

Before he finished the fourth page, though, Clark stopped typing. “Damn arthritis.”

(100 words)

Written for this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt from Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Photo credit: Jeff Arnold.

29 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers — Old School

  1. pendantry March 27, 2020 / 10:21 am

    The solution is obvious: a robot typist hooked up to speech input 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Marleen March 27, 2020 / 10:32 am

    My oldest son wanted an old typewriter from an auction — which we bought — when he was about ten. I was very happy about this, and he used it for months (even though he had a computer he already used).The question, however, was where to get more typewriter ribbon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango March 27, 2020 / 11:11 pm

      Try Amazon. I’d be surprised if they don’t carry it.


      • Marleen March 28, 2020 / 1:21 pm

        That’s a good idea; I kinda wish we’d kept the typewriter. It even had the original fabric cover. That was back before amazon or really much on the internet. But, perhaps we could’ve still found replacement ribbon at an office store then. It didn’t occur to me since the reels (or whatever they’re called) looked “original” or very — very — old-fashioned… old metal.

        I heard, by the way, that amazon dropped a bunch of their independent sellers “overnight” within this last week. Remember Elizabeth (Warren) talking about how they would conduct surveillance on how the independents made sales on their site and then undercut them or set up their own competing product to undermine the independents?

        There’s also this idea:

        In addition to the basic “instructions,” it might be helpful to read some comments:

        I would use stamp pad ink, not India ink or any water-based ink.


        I was wondering if I could use board marker ink instead of fountain pen ink.
        Would it work the same?


        There is no such thing as fountain pen India ink. If you use India ink in a fountain pen, it will clog up.

        This does seem to be an independent; it’ll be good if it persists:
        This site mentions amazon, but also offers other options.

        Some analysts are postulating that takeovers (especially considering the corporate handouts just voted upon — the slush fund in the trillions — to give more money, again, to rich interests) are going to lead to our country being irredeemably dominated by (and almost exclusive to) amazon, Walmart, and Costco. So, I’d like to suggest others.

        Some of what’s considered “vintage” now wasn’t vintage then.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Marleen March 28, 2020 / 1:37 pm

          Question: I have a 1966 Sears Citation 2 manual and a Bradford manual, both with 2″ spools. Do you know if this ribbon will work for either or both machines?
          Answer: If you have the original spools, you can get any new 1/2 inch ribbon and roll it onto the old spool from the new one. I’ve had hundreds of antique machines and that’s the way I always do it. With a little practice, it takes less than five minutes.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Marleen March 28, 2020 / 2:13 pm

        Are typewriter ribbons universal?

        Beware of ribbons being offered as a “universal” typewriter ribbon. There is no one-size-fits-all typewriter ribbon, or universal spool for that matter. … Manual typewriters perform best with a specific grade of ribbon material while their electric counterparts perform better with another. Widths vary and some typewriters rely on a small eyelet inserted into the ribbon in order to actuate a ribbon reverse mechanism when the ribbon reaches its end. Some other models do not use this method and still others require their own unique metal spools to perform this task.

        Choosing the corrrect typewriter ribbon will enhance your typing experience.

        We can help you purchase the best ribbon for your typewriter.
        Typewriter Ribbons – Antique Typewriter Collecting

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Sadje March 27, 2020 / 10:33 am

    Yeah, that would hinder the progress.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango March 27, 2020 / 11:27 pm

      I’m not sure I’d welcome a case of coronavirus as an alternative to connectivity issues. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Iain Kelly March 28, 2020 / 8:29 am

    Laptops are definitely less punishing on the fingers and hands!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mike March 28, 2020 / 4:34 pm

    Time for a dictaphone, and a secretary,


  6. leigha66 March 29, 2020 / 12:47 am

    I remember “playing” with Mom and Dad’s manual typewriter as a kid. They moved onto a fancy electric and shortly after got rid of the old one. Still wish to this day it was still in the house. There is however an old manual adding machine they never got rid of (also something both me and my sister would play with). I wonder if it is worth anything?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. msjadeli March 30, 2020 / 11:38 am

    Ain’t it the truth! Good story, Fandango.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Nobbinmaug March 31, 2020 / 11:31 am

    Typewriters are like cars without power steering. One has to be strong to even attempt usage.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Scotty’s Keep April 4, 2020 / 8:47 pm

    Amazon and eBay both carry typewriter ribbon. I used to trade storied with Pablo, a man living at me most southern tip,of Baja. Any subject matter, any length was okay. The only hard fast rules where we had to use mechanical typewriters and we were not allowed to make any corrections. If a word was misspelled we left it and typed the correct spelling after the period.

    I miss the challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Marleen April 24, 2020 / 3:54 pm

    “You know, you are the only person I’ve ever known to have the name Corona – like the ring around the sun, a crown,” the double Oscar winner wrote to the boy.

    “I thought this typewriter would suit you,” an image of the letter showed. “Ask a grown up how it works. And use it to write me back.”

    Hanks hand wrote at the end: “P.S. You got a friend in ME!”

    Liked by 1 person

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