Every part of Pinecone Park is tidy, the cistern is full, I’ve plenty of wood and kindling and the hot tub water is pristine. Everything is in its place; everything is working and we are all well. What we have is what we want: Homeostasis!
It’s time, therefore, to start working on my figure, so that’s what I’ll do when I come back from the dog walk. I’m excited about getting back to crafting. Today, I’ll start with the bold strokes of the armature. I’ll be trying to define the basic elements: arms, head and neck, bodice and dress—plus the tip of one foot. The hardest thing I plan to do is to create a paper handkerchief that looks real. It will require a particularly light wire armature that’s particularly difficult to build in a way that doesn’t affect the surface texture of the tissue paper that will cover it.
And oh what a good old boy am I! I’ve got my revised will already to go to the lawyer’s. I’ll take it in next week; that’ll be another important thing done.
From “The White Man’s Guide to White Male Writers of the Western Canon,”
Cormac McCarthy purchased a powder blue Olivetti Lettera 32 mechanical typewriter in a Tennessee pawnshop, in 1963, for fifty dollars, and used it for the next five decades, producing an estimated five million words tickling its ivories. An author’s instrument is more than a tool; it is an extension of his very soul. With that in mind, choose your weapon carefully. (I use the Olivetti Lettera 22—an earlier model—myself*.)
Ballpoint pen: Let me guess—you probably have a great idea for a book that you’ve been meaning to write but haven’t actually got around to starting?
Fountain pen: You don’t use contractions because you think that they degrade the language, and your epigraphs are all in Latin. You include epigraphs in everything you write.
Electric typewriter: All of your protagonists are thinly veiled versions of yourself. You order rye at bars and secretly think that you should have been alive in the sixties.
Manual typewriter: You spent six hundred dollars on a typewriter that you’ve used twice.
No. 2 pencil: You keep one behind your ear because you think it looks writerly, but exclusively use it to jot down to-do lists.
Pencil you can only sharpen with a pocket knife: You have gone camping two or three times in your life and bring it up at least once per conversation.
Mechanical pencil: You’re taking notes in an Algebra 2 class.
MacBook: You like the idea of hiking more than you actually like hiking and are impressed with yourself for liking the Beatles.
Desktop computer: You are either a Serious Writer who needs to be cut off from distraction in order to focus completely on your art, or you are sixty-five years old.
Red pen: You are either grading undergraduate papers or you are a sociopath.
Micron: Your notebook is the type with the grid dots because you think that lines constrain your creativity but you still need to write straight.
Quill: You have gone to a Renaissance Faire unironically. Please, for all of our sakes, stop calling women “m’lady.”
Tablet: You type with a single finger.
* by Dana Schwartz