CW 7

Where You Go, I Will Go

A Modern Retelling of the first chapter of Ruth

Dark clouds hung forbiddingly over the dismal scene, the sun hiding itself from the heartbreaking sight at the graveyard. A woman, whose hair had not yet grayed, but yet was old enough to have grown children herself, knelt in front of her husband’s grave, her face in her hands as she wept bitterly for her loss. Her family left Israel for America so that they could have a fresh start, a place to raise their boys away from the turmoil of the Middle East, and instead she had lost her dearest love in a country far from home.

This land still felt so foreign and strange to her. She didn’t know how she would be able to live in a country that was not her home, but she knew she must. Both of her sons were engaged after all, and to American women who would not be willing to give up their safe houses just to provide their mother-in-law relief from the culture shock.

She jumped, the feather light touch of a hand on her shoulder startling her.

“Parvin?” Her soon-to-be daughter-in-law’s voice said softly, “We should go inside now. It’s starting to rain.”

Parvin looked up in surprise, only now noticing the icy chill that had crept into the air as the misty rain had begun to fall. She heard the sharp snap of an opening umbrella and the area around her darkened even further as Kate wrapped a warm arm around her shoulders, holding the umbrella above their heads. Now the rain began in earnest and the two women hurried inside.

Ten Years Later

The sharp scent of fresh Italian filled the modest kitchen and living room, the television droning on with the latest news in the background.

“…more Israelis living abroad are making their way back home, new immigration statistics show. But the immigration data may be more indicative of America’s economic woes than of Israel’s growing attractiveness…” The anchor was saying before the ringing doorbell stole Kate’s attention.

“Coming!” She called as she wiped her hands off on a damp towel, swiftly removing the plain apron protecting her neat floral dress from the red spaghetti sauce she had been fixing. With only a brief pause to smooth her hair in front of the hall mirror, Kate hurried to the front door to let her guests in.

Her mother-in-law and sister-in-law stood bundled up against the cold of January in New York City. A chilly wind seemed determined to remind them of why the townhouse looked so inviting, the house warmed by the fires on the stove and in the small fireplace, and Kate quickly ushered them in.

“Sarah, Parvin!” Kate exclaimed happily, taking their coats and scarves. “You got here just in time. Dinner’s almost ready and Matt called about thirty minutes ago. He said Keth’s meeting was finally over and they were on their way home, so they shouldn’t be too much longer.”

Sarah sniffed the air, peering at the bubbling pots on the stove top. “Italian?” She queried with a wry smile. “You always make Italian when it’s your turn to cook. Is that all you know how to make?”

Frowning slightly, Kate replied, sounding a little hurt, “I thought you liked my Italian.”

Parvin quickly intervened. “Kate dear, everyone likes your Italian. Sarah was only teasing.”

Sarah opened her mouth to argue otherwise when Kate’s phone rang, sending her scurrying into the kitchen to answer it.

“Hello?” Kate said cheerfully, not recognizing the number.

“Is this Kate Morrison?” An unfamiliar man asked.

“It is.” She replied curtly. “May I ask who’s calling?”

“I’m Officer Dixon. I’m sorry ma’am, but your husband and his brother were in an accident.”

Two Months Later

The three women sat around the table silently, their actions an unpleasant parody of happier meals spent together with the two men whose places now sat empty.

Parvin broke the painful silence with an even more painful sentence. “I’ve decided to move back to Israel.”

Kate jerked her head up to stare at her mother-in-law, shocked. “You’re leaving?”

Nodding, she said seriously, “I’ve made up my mind. I cannot support myself here in this country, and after all these years, I still do not understand it. It’s time I returned to my own country –there is nothing left to keep me here.”

“But you have us!” Sarah exclaimed.

Parvin smiled. “I am certainly grateful for the love you girls have shown me over the years, but if I were to stay, I would only be a burden. I’m ready to go home.”

“Then let us come with you!” Sarah said determinedly.

Kate nodded her agreement. “Parvin, you know that I love you as I loved my own parents. You and Sarah are the only family I have left. Please let us come with you.”

Parvin only shook her head. “I could not allow it. I am an old woman who has nothing left but to return to her home. You two are young –you still have a future to look forward to. I will not let you throw that away to blindly follow me.”

“Then at least let us help you how we can.” Sarah pleaded. “We can help you pack or sell your house or anything else you need.”

A slight smile tugged at the corners of Parvin’s mouth as she replied, “I would appreciate all the help I can get.”

Three Months Later

The day of Parvin’s departure dawned crisp and clear, the summer sun quickly burning off any early morning fog. Kate arrived at Parvin’s apartment bright and early, having volunteered to drive her to the airport.

“What am I going to do without you two girls?” Parvin asked with a chuckle as Kate took the suitcase she was struggling to pull down the steps, and quickly loaded it into the back of the van. As she looked at the car however, she realized that something was different. “Kate, whose car is this? You have a van.”

Kate smiled, a twinkling gleam in her eyes. “It’s a rental actually. I sold my car yesterday. The contract for my house is finalized too –the couple should be moving in by the time we reach Israel.”

“Kate, dear, I was only kidding a moment ago when I asked what I would do without you. I am perfectly capable of living by myself; I don’t need you to give up everything to take care of me.” Parvin told her.

“Parvin, I told you before that you and Sarah are my only family.” The younger woman began, turning to look her mother-in-law squarely in the eye. “I love Sarah dearly, but you’re the one I don’t think I can live without. These past ten years, you are the one who has always been there for me as my whole world seemed to fall apart. When my parents died, you were the one who held me as I sobbed and wondered how such a thing could happen to me. You gave me hope that I would see them again, hope I hadn’t had since I turned my back on God. You have been my solid rock since Matt died, and now my mind is made up. Where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay.”

With a sigh, Parvin asked, “There is nothing I can say that will change your mind?”

Kate shook her head.

“Then how can I be upset?” She asked, joyful tears springing to her eyes. A wide smile lit up her face, and she opened her arms up to her daughter-in-law. “I have been blessed by you more than I deserve.”

Kate stepped into the hug, holding Parvin tight. Finally she gently pulled away, saying, “We had better get going. We don’t want to miss our plane.”

J7

Waiting on a Love Story

Something I wrote a few months ago: Though I am a writer, I confess that my true joy is not in writing my love story, but in watching the Creator of the Universe reveal HIS love story to me, one chapter at a time. No matter how much I write, rewrite, or edit the script to my own love story, it could never be as perfect as the one God has in mind for me.

On Saturday I had the pleasure of being a part of the wedding of a dear friend, mentor, and role model of mine. As a member of the small group that she was the leader of, I was blessed to be able to watch as she struggled with being single, her heart’s desire to serve God through her singleness, and her joy as God revealed her husband-to-be. I wish every young woman I know had a chance to watch such a lovely woman of God go through this time of their life, and learn the powerful lesson I learned on waiting patiently on God’s timing.

One of my favorite quotes about relationships is by Maya Angelou, “A woman’s heart should be so lost in God that a man must seek Him first in order to find her.” I was able to view this first hand through my friend, encouraging me to wait without anxiety for the Lord’s timing. Instead of spending my time worrying over the fact that there aren’t any boys asking me for my number, I strive daily to follow after God in everything that I do, to become the young woman He desires me to be.

Waiting is still difficult however –I am only human after all. But I take comfort from Jeremiah 29:11, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.’” I know God has a plan for my future more amazing than I could ever imagine.

If you’re a girl who reads…

…or if you’re a girl who writes

My response to the blog post, “Date A Girl Who Reads.”

If you’re a girl who reads, you know you won’t be happy with a guy you have to hide your insanity from. You’ll always be on the lookout for a guy who knows that you name inanimate objects, who sees you talking to thin air, or giggling to yourself for no apparent reason and takes it all in stride. He gets bonus points if he starts referring to it as if it is the most normal thing in the world.

You’ll look for the man who will never laugh at you for your crazy half-baked schemes, only with you when they go wrong.

If you’re a girl who writes, the man for you is the one who comes home early to find you sword fighting an imaginary foe with a spatula in the kitchen –and asks to be your backup. Your evenings out will rarely be typical –he’ll let you drag him along to the swing dancing place you heard about or to a museum with the most fantastic exhibit on the Ancient Egyptians and he’ll know that the smell of old books smells better to you than any flower. He’ll sweep you off your feet. He’ll know what he’s getting when he marries you and he’ll be looking forward to every second of it.

If you’re a girl who reads, you’ll want a guy who understands words like you do. He’ll know to check himself before he says something in anger because he knows the devastation one little word could bring to your self-esteem because even if they are forgiven, words can never be taken back.

When a guy is willing to listen to you go on and on about a world that does not exist anywhere but on paper –or even just in your head!—, who is willing to listen to you carry on about the drama of the relationships between characters, you’ll know he’s a keeper.

If you’re a girl who writes, you’ll want a guy who listens. Whether you are complaining about unruly characters or ecstatic because the words seem like they are flowing onto the page, he will always be there to lend a listening ear. He’s the one who will listen to you ramble on and on about the minutiae of people in your head and will be willing to give you help where you need it.

If you’re a girl who reads, you’ll long for a guy tough enough to be able to hold you in his arms and make you feel safe, but sensitive enough to go out of his comfort zone to surprise you with a romantic dinner when you have had a rough day.

You’ll need a guy willing to hold you in his arms and let you know everything is going to be alright when he finds you curled up in a corner or in the back of the closet, your face red and splotchy from crying over characters like they were your best friend.

If you’re a girl who writes, you’ll need a guy who will always be there for you. He’ll know the importance of a few simple words of encouragement when you are struggling with your writing, whether it is a scene that you just can’t seem to get down onto paper, or a chapter that refuses to be edited. When you get a rejection letter, he’ll be there to remind you that it isn’t the end of the world and to tell you that you are still a wonderful writer.

If you’re a girl who reads, you’ll look for the guy who sees the extraordinary in the everyday. You’ll look for the one who understands that sometimes, a good book and a cup of coffee by the fire is more fun than that party you were invited to. He won’t make fun of you when he finds you staring intently at a drop of rain on a leaf or sitting with your head in your hands, dreamily watching as a butterfly floats on the breeze in front of your kitchen window, soap dripping down your shirt because you forgot you were washing dishes.

You’ll look for a guy who sees the best in everyone because he knows that good always triumphs over evil. He’ll know that there is good in everyone and that to find it all you have to do is look hard enough.

If you’re a girl who writes, you’ll look for a guy who sees magical things in the most mundane tasks. He will challenge you to be a better writer by showing you your story in a different light, with different lenses.  He’ll make sure your writing is fantastic, not dull.

If you’re a girl who reads, you’ll look for the guy who loves you for who you are. He will challenge you to become a better person, whether that means gently correcting you when you are wrong, or pushing you to do those hard things in your life.

You’ll look for a guy who love you just the way you are, but won’t let you get stuck in a rut to become a hermit either. He will push you to get out of your comfort zone, challenge you to do things you would have thought impossible.

If you’re a girl who writes, you’ll want a guy who is willing to put up with holding ink stained fingers. He won’t dismiss your quest for the perfect pen or an extraordinary notebook because he knows there is a reason you do this—even if he doesn’t know what it is. He’ll put up with your flowery synonyms when you can’t find the word you are trying to say –though no one can blame him if he hides your thesaurus when he thinks you are doing it on purpose. He’ll swear he didn’t hear a thing when you are up in the wee hours of the morning incessantly tapping away on your keyboard, trying to get an idea down.

If you’re a girl who reads, you know you’ll never be happy with anything less than the perfect man for you. No, he certainly won’t be perfect and by now you’ve gathered that romances make it look a little too easy sometimes, but you can’t give up.

You won’t settle for Mr. Okay, you’ll find Mr. Right. He’ll be the one willing to go that extra step to cheer you up, to make every day special, just to see the smile on your face.

If you’re a girl who writes, you’ll know that people mature over time. You’ll know that love is an action, not just a feeling, and that the right man for you will be the one willing to go through hard times with you, through every fight and disagreement that you have, and love you more and more every single day.

Countdown

NaNoWriMo begins in t-minus 7 days…

I have got an itch and I cannot seem to scratch it! NaNoWriMo kicks off in 7 days and lucky for me, in all my excitement looking forward to November 1st, I seem to have caught a terrible case of the Writing Flu. My symptoms? An unstatible need to start writing! And a bit of an inability to focus on boring things like ironing clothes and cleaning my room, but I keep on getting these fantastic ideas for my story! and then I have to write them down straight away or I won’t be able to remember them. Come to think of it, I just realized who the villian should be…

J6

Unlocking the Enchantment of Poetry

The story of how I became a lover of poetry

Before this year, if someone had asked me if I liked poetry, I would have probably shrugged and given them a non-committal, “It’s okay, I guess,” before moving on to a different topic. It wasn’t that I disliked poetry in any way; it was just that I hadn’t spent enough time reading poetry to truly form an opinion on it. I knew from my experiences studying poetry in English 2 that I enjoyed Robert Frost’s poetry, but that was based on reading a few of his most famous poems such as, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”, “Nothing Gold Can Stay”, and my favorite of his, “The Road Not Taken.” Could I really say that I liked poetry based on such a narrow pool of works?

Finally, after borrowing the complete works of Robert Frost from the library and not being able to make a dent in the 607 page volume, I took the plunge and bought a copy of the book so I would be able to read it at my leisure. When I caught myself speed reading through the book instead of catching the lyrical quality of the verse, I realized I had been looking at poetry all wrong. The next time I read, I did so aloud, albeit in my bedroom with the door closed as I muttered the words to myself. I began to do this more often, sometimes sending myself to sleep as I softly read the soothing poetry.

I added a volume of the complete works of Edgar Allan Poe for my birthday, carrying it with me when I pet sat to read the eerie poem, “The Raven,” aloud in the empty house. Soon I was combing the local used book store for more titles to add to my rapidly growing collection. Now hardly a week goes by that I am not pulling down one of my poetry collections to read a poem or two, enchanted by the graceful dance of the words.

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

 

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

 

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

 

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

CW6

The Valiant KnightCW6-The Cross

An allegory of the cruxifiction and resurrection of Christ

Once there was a valiant knight,

Always clad in naught but white,

Forever doing what was right,

Champion of the needy and poor,

Never did he ask anymore,

Than to help those others did ignore.

One day, a dark plot he beheld,

For in that room a traitor was to tell,

All the knight’s secrets he was to sell,

Secretly, like a thief in the night,

For they wanted to douse the bright light,

That was the valiant white clad knight.

Driven by their jealousy,

They hung him on a tree,

They nailed him up on Calvary,

He died that day, to pay the price,

For his death alone would suffice;

Only he could drink of the chalice.

Three days they bitterly mourned for him,

But do not lose hope, he rose again,

All to fulfill what was set for him.

NaNo Prep Day

Today is NaNo Prep Day! Although I’m not much of a planner –I learned that from my second go at NaNoWriMo when my story fizzled out in no time flat due to too much planning–I do still do a little bit. I’ve added some more pictures to my corkboard, I’m plotting out some major plot points, and getting some basic details on my characters worked out. Plus all of the little things like changing the backgrounds on my phone, iPod, and computer to more appropriate “wintery” themes and making up a few writing playlists on iTunes.

I’m super excited about NaNoWriMo this year. Not only am I writing another fantasy novel –something I haven’t attempted since my first NaNo, despite my love for the genre–but I finally convinced my mom to do NaNoWriMo with me! There was a bit of wheddling involved, (and I may or may not have *cough* bribed her *cough* by promising to help her for an hour around the house if she wrote with me an hour every day) but I know once she gets started she’s really going to love it. 😀

Only 14 days 15 hours 49 minutes and 10 seconds left!

CW5

Brer Rabbit Turns the Tables

Dedicated to my grandfather, Paw Paw Big Bob, who kept me enthralled when I was little with tales of Brer Rabbit’s escapades.

It so happened that one day while Brer Rabbit was a laughin’ and a laughin’ over the latest in a long line of tricks he had played on the other creatures in the forest, Brer Bear, Brer Fox, and Brer Wolf decided they’d had enough of his trickin’. They wanted revenge. None of ‘em wanted their revenge ruined by more of Brer Rabbit’s trickin’ neither, so they all agreed it’d be best for them to go an’ visit ole Brer Owl. It was a well-known fact in that part of the woods that if you were lookin’ for a piece o’ wisdom for any kind of situation, you needn’t look no further than the tall pecan tree that was home to Brer Owl. As soon as Brer Rabbit scampered off somewhere’s to trick some poor animal into givin’ ‘em their lunch, the three animals hurried off to the tall pecan tree.

“Brer Owl!” Brer Fox called from the base of the pecan tree, “Brer Owl, we need your help gettin’ rid of that trickin’ Brer Rabbit once and for all!”

Now, if those three animals had been thinkin’ properly instead of bein’ so worried ‘bout hows they was gonna trick ole Brer Rabbit, they might’ve remembered that Brer Owl didn’t sleep durin’ the night like most animals, but slept durin’ the day. As it was, it just so happened that Brer Rabbit had a hankerin’ for some pecans for his lunch an’ had climbed that pecan tree to eat himself some.

Thinkin’ he’d play a right funny trick on them three other animals, and get himself out of some hot water too, Brer Rabbit called down, disguisin’ his voice so it’d sound like Brer Owl, “I can’t be of no help to you right now, Brer Fox, seein’ as I’m too hungry to think any! Bring me some nice potatoes and sit ‘em at the bottom of this here tree. Then come back tomorrow an’ I’ll help you then.”

Still picturin’ their revenge, they didn’t think it odd that Brer Owl wanted potatoes. Instead they scurried off to find him some.

The next morning the three came back again, havin’ left the sack of potatoes under the tree the night before, ready to get their promised advice.

“Brer Owl!” Brer Bear called up, “Brer Owl, you ready to think now?”

Brer Rabbit called down again, “I can’t be of no help to you right now, Brer Bear, seein’ as I’m still too hungry to think any! Maybe if you bring me some onions I won’t be so hungry an’ I’ll help you tomorrow.”

The next morning the three came back again, havin’ left the sack of onions under the tree the night before, ready to get their promised advice.

“Brer Owl!” Brer Wolf called up, “Brer Owl, you ready to think now?”

This time Brer Rabbit called down, “Those onions were just what I was needin’! As I was eatin’, I was thinkin’. You know what is even better ‘an onions and potatoes? Rabbit stew with onions, potatoes, an’ carrots. You bring me a big pot with water tonight, an’ some potatoes, onions, and carrots, an’ I’ll cook us all up some rabbit stew. You don’t have to worry ‘bout nothin’! I’ll take care of all of it myself.”

So the three animals did as he asked, lugging a big ole pot full of water through the trees to a little clearin’ near Brer Owl’s pecan tree, an’ fell asleep straight away, tired as they was from carryin’ that big ole pot. When they woke up again the next morning, the stew in the pot was boilin’ away merrily, Brer Owl nowhere to be seen.

Brer Fox walked over to Brer Owl’s tree an’ called up, “Did you catch ‘em Brer Owl?”

An’ Brer Rabbit called down, “I sure did Brer Fox. That pot you brought me was just big enough to fit ‘em in. If you three get close, but not too close mind you, you might just be able to see him squirmin’ in the pot!”

Of course all three of the animals were anxious to see the rare sight of Brer Rabbit squirmin’ and they didn’t pay any mind to Brer Rabbit’s warning not to get too close to the water. Quick as a wink the heat burnt the whiskers off of all three of their faces! They yowled an’ cried an’ howled an’ squealed a racket like you ain’t never heard. An’ when they looked up to see Brer Owl they could see Brer Rabbit just a laughin’ and a laughin’.

J5

All the World’s a Stage…

How I ended up on stage alone despite a serious case of stage fright

Last year I handed my youth drama director a forwarded e-mail my grandfather had sent me that I thought she would be interested in looking over as an idea for a future skit. So when she told me a few days later that she had already adapted it into a script and wanted me to play one of the parts, I said yes. Unfortunately for me, I only skimmed the stage directions and hadn’t realized that I would be the only one on stage. Acting out a six minute skit. In front of the whole church –twice. When I did figure that out, I was petrified.

Although I may be fairly good at acting like I’m extroverted because of many other personality traits that trump my fear of talking to people, acting on stage is just acting. I don’t have any personality traits that do away with the butterflies I get in my stomach, or the shaking hands, or my heart beating faster than a freight train, or way I start breathing like I’ve just run a marathon. When I’m up on stage, it doesn’t matter how well I know my part. No matter what, I am always nervous.

I thought about asking my drama director if we could film the skit so that there wasn’t quite so much pressure on me, but right before I asked, she sent me an e-mail saying that she had secured us a time slot during the worship service, something that had only happened twice before. Now I was stuck. No one else could learn the skit in time, and no one else really wanted the part anyway. There had been many condolences that came my way after we found out that I was to be on stage by myself, while the actor playing God wouldn’t even need to have his lines memorized, seeing as no one would be able to see him.

The Sunday I was to perform the skit came, along with an early morning sound check and a last run through before we had an actual audience. By then my stomach had tied itself in a very complex knot that nothing I tried could untangle. Even the other actor’s jokes and funny voices couldn’t take my mind off of the swiftly approaching skit. Finally it was time to sneak out of the Sunday School room to head downstairs to the door that lead onstage. The service was running late too, so the two minutes of waiting to go on became five anxious minutes of reciting my lines to myself under my breath, praying for God’s peace, as I tried to slow my racing heart.

Hands shaking, heart pounding, stomach churning, and breath catching in my throat, I walked on stage to take a seat in front of the crowd, waiting for my cue. As the light switched on, and I began, “Our Father who art in Heaven,” my fear fled, just like it always does, in the face of God’s peace.

Typewriters and Fountain Pens

The Tools of the Trade

The Art of the Fountain Pen

In the age of computers, to most people, fountain pens belong to history as obsolete writing utensils. Ballpoint pens have replaced fountain pens as the more widely used instrument, but the disposable, easily broken ballpoint cannot imitate the high quality of a fountain pen. Though it requires more maintenance to keep a fountain pen in working condition, the fountain pen more than deserves the extra work. However, most find the true beauty of the fountain pen in the way it transforms everyday handwriting into something elegant and beautiful. Long lasting and hardy, the extra effort put into the upkeep of a fountain pen delivers an elegance and style to handwriting that other writing utensils cannot match.

Fountain pen’s superior quality provides years of use. “Many years ago before ballpoint pens people would purchase and use the same fountain pen their entire life or at least for many years” (Fountain Pens). While today we might go through more than ten ballpoint pens a year, depending on the quality of the ballpoint we use, fountain pens do not outlive their usefulness until the pen itself breaks. Not made with the thought of disposability in mind, they continue to last today, as shown by the number of vintage fountain pens still bought and sold the world over.

Of all of the detractors to the fountain pen, only the higher upkeep merits mention. Predictably, as with anything used over the space of at least several years, fountain pens necessitate more time and effort to maintain. Nibs.com recommends a thorough cleaning which includes flushing the pen out with water and leaving the nib feed to soak overnight every time you change ink colors or once a month. Adding inconvenience to the maintenance of the pen, fountain pens require refilling the pen with ink every few pages. Fountain pens demand more effort to keep them in working order, but the time and effort necessary provides a high quality instrument.

More than simple instruments, fountain pens express personality. Graham Green once said, “My two fingers on a typewriter have never connected with my brain. My hand on a pen does. A fountain pen, of course. Ballpoint pens are only good for filling out forms on a plane.” Ink from a fountain pen flows effortlessly onto the page, making the distinction between two different individual’s handwriting all the more evident. Because of the simplicity of changing the ink, the color can reflect mood and whim instead of the plain black of most ballpoint pens. Fountain pens transform handwriting to practically an art form –an expression of each individual’s personality.

Enthusiasts can debate the pros and cons of fountain pens until they turn blue in the face, but truthfully no one can measure the worth of a fountain pen in substantial terms. Used for a lifetime and then some, the allure of a vintage fountain pen lies in its ability to endure. After feeling the pen glide across the page, the ease of writing makes it hard to go back to using comparatively simple ballpoint pens. They lend weight and personality to the simple, everyday act of putting words onto a page.

 

Click Clack Goes the Typewriter

Most people would regard typewriters as obsolete and unnecessary in our culture today because of the invention of computers, but many people still regard typewriters as unique. When said aloud, the word ‘typewriter’ immediately calls up the sound of loudly clacking keys, the ding as the type guide gets to the end of the page, and the sliding sound as the lever brings it back to the beginning. Despite their flaws –loud, unwieldy, hard to type on, and even harder to edit—typewriters have a magical quality about them that makes them so special. Computers just cannot mimic the feeling of watching the pages pile up, each typewritten page added to the stack already written. Simply for writing, typewriters have character, will never go obsolete, and they transform even the simplest of essays into something more.

Typewriters have one function and one function only –to write. Computers do so many things today that they can make it hard to focus on writing. With all of the games, the internet, music, and many different fonts and formats accessible on a computer, simply writing on a computer without getting distracted can prove difficult. Hardy machines, typewriters have proved themselves incredibly more reliable than the average computer; they will not die or delete data in the middle of a project as computers sometimes do. They allow you to focus on simply writing without all of the distractions that the computer, while entertaining, holds.

Other machines do not have character that typewriters have. Strangely endearing, the loud click clack of the keys as the type bar types the letters onto the page sets the mood for writing. As the carriage return lever moves on to the next line, it makes a ding that computers cannot replicate. Unlike computers, no two typewriters type exactly the same –each machine has its own little quirks that make it special. Because computers write so precisely, writing sometimes loses its charm. Typewriters have a presence that computers cannot compete with.

Each different model of typewriter has a different specialty. Where computers become obsolete after a few newer models come out, different typewriters hold appeal for different reasons. As antiques, they represent a bit of an age gone by that remains to whisper stories of the past. Small typewriters, noiseless typewriters, desk typewriters, manual typewriters, electric typewriters…the list goes on and on. With so many different types of typewriters, each useful for a different reason, typewriters will never become obsolete.

Writing on a typewriter transforms the act of writing itself. Typewriters make the words come alive –the power put into pressing the keys transfers itself onto the page in an intangible way. Words somehow become more powerful, more poignant, as a direct result of the act of typing the words on a typewriter. Scrolling down a computer screen cannot duplicate the magical experience of seeing the fruit of our labor gathered up in a tangible pile as we type up more and more. Typing on a typewriter makes the act of writing special in a way typing on a keyboard never can.

Beautiful old machines, typewriters represent so much more than just a writing utensil. Gems of a time gone by, they carry a little bit of history with them. Though they do nothing more than write, each one has their own quirks, each model has its own appeal, transforming even the simplest story into pure magic. Typewriters have lasted 200 years and, unlike computers, they will continue to last. They bring a spark to writing that makes putting up with all of the quirks of the machine worth it.