Typewriter Surveillance

Here is a post from Steve over at Write Elephant. If you have a passion for typewriters then this is definitely the blog for you.

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“No, you misunderstand me, Helga. When I say the typewriter has been tapped, I mean by someone other than yourself …”

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I, Writer … #19

I, Writer … #19

WRITER’S BLOCK FOR SALE …

Writer’s Block. I rather liked the sound of that so I ordered one on eBay – £2.75 + Free postage.

OMG! Cheap or what. I mean, it was coming all the way from bloody China. How they can afford to send something that heavy and not have to charge postage is beyond me. Absolutely insane. The postman had to actually drag it down my garden path and damn near gave himself a hernia. It now takes pride of place on the mantlepiece between my Captain’s Log and my Housemaid’s Knee.

Also, when I visit sunnier climes I’m always sure to pack my handy tube of Writer’s Block. Smother it on. Lie back and enjoy the scenery. It smells like rancid cheese in a sewer rat’s armpit but it certainty does the trick.

I also keep several bottles of Writers Block in the wine cellar.

Gentle on the palate. Easy on the pocket. Plays bloody havoc with everything else. Still, who gives a flying fig after a few glasses of that.

Other types of Writer’s Block are available.

Open your book …

Open your book …

Jackie Collins … queen of the bonkbusters!

Jackie Collins … queen of the bonkbusters!

Jackie Collins OBE (1937-2015) was an English romance novelist. She moved to Los Angeles in the 1960s and spent most of her career there. She wrote 32 novels, all of which appeared on The New York Times bestsellers list. These include The Stud, Hollywood Wives and The World Is Full Of Married Men. Her books have sold over 500 million copies and have been translated into 40 languages. Eight of her novels have been adapted for the screen, either as films or television miniseries. She was the younger sister of Dame Joan Collins.

Jackie Collins wrote her books in the office of her house in Beverly Hills. During an interview with the Daily Express in October 2013 she spoke about her writing routine and work habits …

How do you write – longhand or laptop?

I always write longhand on plain white typing paper and I always use a black felt tip pen. I used to always write in yellow legal notepads but white paper works just as well. Then I hand over the pages to my assistant, she types them up for me, I read it back, make changes and we go back and forth until I am happy.

Do you give yourself a minimum number of words or pages to write every day?

I desperately try to be strict with myself but some days I will write 10 pages, some days I will write only one. I write a book a year though, so I have to block out time for all the promotional side, so that means travelling and time to get over jet lag etc. As soon as I finish one book I will try to start on the next.

Do you write at a particular time of day?

I generally start at about 9am and I work through until 4pm(ish). I don’t take any breaks and just have a couple of bottles of water on my desk. I won’t have anything to eat until the afternoon but at 4pm I will stop because I find writing so physically exhausting.

Describe where you write.

I have seven desks in seven different rooms around my house and I sit in different places depending on my mood and what I am working on. For example if I am working on my screenplay I will sit in a room at the back of my house that looks out on to my garden. If it is a novel I will be in my study. I have a real passion for desks and can’t seem to stop buying them.

Do you ever suffer from writers’ block?

I suffer from “getting to the desk block”! I think maybe I’ll have another coffee or I will remember that someone has asked me to do something for them, or the dog has thrown up or something but once I get to the desk I am fine and the words come easily.

Jackie Collins Website

Be who you are …

Be who you are …

Dr. Seuss …

Dr. Seuss …

Theodor Seuss Geisel (1904-1991) was an American author, political cartoonist, poet, animator, book publisher, and artist, best known for authoring children’s books under the pen name Dr. Seuss. His work includes several of the most popular children’s books of all time, selling over 600 million copies and being translated into more than 20 languages by the time of his death.

Geisel adopted his “Dr. Seuss” pen name while he was still at university. He left in 1927 to begin a career as an illustrator and cartoonist. He worked for Vanity Fair, Life, and various other publications. He published his first children’s book And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street in 1937. During World War II, he worked in an animation department of the United States Army where he produced several short films, including Design for Death, which later won the 1947 Academy Award for Documentary Feature.

After the war, Geisel focused on children’s books, writing classics such as If I Ran the Zoo (1950), Horton Hears a Who! (1955), If I Ran the Circus (1956), The Cat in the Hat (1957), How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1957), and Green Eggs and Ham (1960). He published over 60 books during his career, which have spawned numerous adaptations, including 11 television specials, four feature films, a Broadway musical, and four television series. He won the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1958 for Horton Hatches the Egg and again in 1961 for And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. Geisel’s birthday, March 2, has been adopted as the annual date for National Read Across America Day, an initiative on reading created by the National Education Association.

In 1936, he was returning from an ocean voyage to Europe when the rhythm of the ship’s engines inspired the poem that became his first book: And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. 

Based on varied accounts, it was rejected by between 20 and 43 publishers. According to Geisel, he was walking home to burn the manuscript when a chance encounter with an old college friend led to its publication by Vanguard Press.

On where he gets his ideas:

“I get all my ideas in Switzerland near the Forka Pass. There is a little town called Gletch, and two thousand feet up above Gletch there is a smaller hamlet called Über Gletch. I go there on the fourth of August every summer to get my cuckoo clock fixed. While the cuckoo is in the hospital, I wander around and talk to the people in the streets. They are very strange people, and I get my ideas from them.”

On the inspiration for Horton Hatches the Egg:

“I was in my New York studio one day, sketching on transparent tracing paper, and I had the window open. The wind simply took a picture of an elephant that I’d drawn and put it on top of another sheet of paper that had a tree on it. All I had to do was to figure out what the elephant was doing in that tree.”

On whether that trick ever worked again:

“I’ve left my window open for 30 years since that, but nothing’s happened.”

Website

Pamela L. Travers and “The Tale of Beatrix Potter” (Part I)

This is part 1 of a 2-part post about two quite remarkable writers.
A really well written piece.

The Mary Poppins Effect

Beatrix Potter1

I have long held that the secret of the successful children’s book is that it is not written for children. … Outside appreciation of any kind is of secondary importance to the true children’s writer. For him the first and ultimate requirement is that the book should please himself. For he is the one for whom the  book is written. With it he puts to sleep his wakeful youth and tells the story of the hidden child within him.Such works are more often than not the results of an imaginative mind playing its light over lonely childhoods. What the child lacked in those tender years the imagination gives back to it. 

Pamela L. Travers 

This is what Pamela L. Travers wrote, under the pen name of Milo Reve, in her review of Beatrix Potter’s biography “The Tale of Beatrix Potter” written by Margaret Lane.  

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