• Clarke Wallace


It was the photo in a recent copy of the Toronto Star that caught my attention. It was about typewriters and how hot they are today. That prompted me to send out PART ONE last week.

The article and photo showed Thom Cholowski of Saskatoon (Canada) holding an Underwood portable typewriter. He’s the owner of Rebel Typewriters. He tells us how he sees computers as analytical machines whereas, as he puts it, ‘a typewriter has a soul.’

He could be right, but I sure as heck wouldn’t write on one every day.

When I switched to computers, Heaven opened up and the sun flooded in. No paper to crank into place, no carriage to push across to reach the next line.

It doesn’t seem long ago that the big switch was made to computers. Life took another turn when I bought my first laptop. Take it anywhere. Work anywhere.

Here’s a confession: I began typing with two fingers on my first newspaper job. I was asked if I could type, I lied, I had two weeks before starting there to prove I was worth hiring. I began with the forefinger on each hand. Or those ones you stick up when responding to remarks that aren’t particularly flattering.

I still use the same two fingers. They’ve come in handy when writing books, and several screenplays. Neither (finger) seems to have suffered from overuse.

Author’s comment: Admittedly it’s a lot of work typing with two fingers. My eyes focus on the keyboard, rather than the screen. Yet there I am hitting those keys, stopping every now and again to fix typos and spaces that should, or shouldn’t be there.

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