"I don't suppose you have a copy of The Mabinogion here do you?"
I explained. The guy behind the counter tried to type it into The Great Computer That Can Find Anything, but he had forgotten it can only do so, if you spell it correctly. I wasn't feeling purposely mean but the least you should expect of a man that works in a bookshop and calls himself a bookseller is that he is equipped with all the knowledge you need in order to be one - otherwise, you are nothing more than a guy that works in a shop.
He looked up at me from behind the counter, looking for a little assistance with my query, but the best I could do was to shrug like I didn't know either.
I had intended to begin forging a relationship with The Typewriter yesterday but I was headed off at the pass by smoke and flames appearing from behind the front tyre of my car. A minor annoyance in the big scheme of things but kind of scary too when you're still driving it.
Anyway, me and The Typewriter sat down this afternoon and had a talk about what we would like to write together. Any partnership will have its foibles in the early days and this one is no different. First we had line spacing issues, then we had tabbing and margin issues but by the time we got to four pages of work, we had more or less ironed them out. The most noticeable thing about moving to an analogue machine is speed. My mind has always moved at a certain rate and with a laptop, my fingers have more or less learned to keep pace.
Sitting with The TyperThing however, my mind has slowed down noticeably. Not only does it have to create the story, it now also has to listen for the bell at the end of the line, remember to hit the carriage return bar when it pings and all kinds of other things. This has made my spelling dreadful as I strike the wrong keys but an interesting bi-product of all of this is that it's made me create at a different speed.
I'm finding there's room within this speed to think differently. It's changed the way I tell the story to myself as I commit it to paper. It's peculiar to say the least but this afternoon, 2000 words came out of us. 2000 words that do not belong to the me who uses a pen and neither do they belong to the me who can type at the speed of sound on a MacBook. I'm sure these pages will need some serious editing later but the last 1000 words will hopefully need a lot less than the first.
I like it. It was a different kind of writer experience but because it demanded so much attention from me to even work it, I was absorbed rather than distracted.
If nothing else, a couple of thousand words that didn't exist before is always a good way to the day.
Yesterday, I caught wind of the fact that there are just 7,000 cheetahs left in the wild. That's not many at all. In 15 years, there will be less than 3,500. By the time my children are getting old, maybe you'll be able to count them on your fingers. I've got my hands full with bears right now, but you know... if ever you felt inclined to chip in with some crazy idea to reverse that decline, that would be pretty cool.
On which note. it's the last two days of the second month of the Big Bear Rescue t-shirt project. There must be a better way of pushing the idea to the public (and making it work) than social media and next year - which is those very same two days away - I'm going to find out what it is.
For now however, here's the link to the current shirt and come Monday/Tuesday next week, there will be a whole new design up for January... and it's a killer. More on that when it's actually on sale.