Rooster became obsessed with the Batwing Typewriter. This blog focusses on his search for the antique typing machine,
What is a Batwing Typewriter?
Rooster has a new hobby. My husband came across the illusive Batwing typewriter one afternoon while searching the web. These antique typing machines have a unique look, which he found appealing. He decided he wanted to have one of his own.
These machines were manufactured by the Oliver Typewriter Company in Chicago, Illinois during the early 1900s. They were cutting edge at the height of the Batwing’s popularity.
I believe it might be the unusual look of the Batwing Typewriter, which caught his fancy. He’s spent countless hours cruising the internet to find the perfect deal. He showed me innumerable pictures of the ancient writing device. We’ve searched through antique shops on Saturday mornings to see if the pricing on the internet was too high.
I thought his interest would diminish given time, but it hasn’t.
How Rooster Acquired One of These Antique Typing Machines.
I never dreamed he’d act on purchasing an illusive Batwing typewriter until the day I came home from work and found the machine sitting on my desk. It was a shiny green color with off-white keys waiting to be fingered. The Q was missing. Rooster claimed it was why he was able to snatch the typewriter up so cheap.
The striking keys flared out on both sides of the machine waiting to spring into action. They gave the typewriter its unusual name. The carriage had fascinating unfamiliar silver levers attached to help the paper move along its path. A tiny bell ring when you typed out a line.
In the Batwing’s youth, it would have had a revolutionary design for a typewriter. Today it’s nice to look at, but the technology has made it an old trinket from the past.
The Twisted Writer’s Mind Constructs a Batwing Story.
My writer’s mind couldn’t stop working. I imagined the illusive Batwing typewriter had once belonged to a famous author. Someone like Hemmingway, Fitzgerald, of Flannery O’Connor. They typed out their words long into the night with the silence and the darkness being their only companions.
Consequently, this Batwing was abandoned at the time of their death. Stored out in the barn or tucked away in the corner of an attic until some unsuspecting person made the decision to place it up for sale.
Thus, this writer’s husband orders an illusive Batwing typewriter from the internet because he became overwhelmed with an unexplainable obsession. It shows up on her doorstep on a magical mission to bring her good fortune in her hunt for the perfect blend of words.
At first, the typewriter brings inspiration to the struggling author. She’s in the grips of a two-year streak of writer’s block. That all ends when she rubs the Batwing for luck. The bottle is uncorked. Words flow from her fingers onto the computer screen, but there is a twist.
Isn’t there always a twist because happy endings are boring. The stuff the writer is putting down starts taking place in the world around her. Tragedy unfolds in her daily life. People she loves die because she wrote about a similar person dying in the story. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? However, the story sounds vaguely familiar. Therefore, it might be a good idea to leave evil twists to the pros like Stephen King.
Nanowrimo is right around the corner. I plan to rub the Batwing for luck. I’m going to need it this year. My 50,000-word goal centers around writing a vampire story with time travel. I will throw the city of New Orleans into the mix to keep things interesting.
I tend to be a pattern, but this year I will go into the NaNoWriMo adventure armed with only a vague idea about what I’m going to write. This year I know it will be fun. I have a Batwing typewriter to bring me inspiration. Rooster has his eye on a Smith Premier. This bad boy has 80 keys and was manufactured in the 1890s.
I can’t wait for the adventures we will have searching for one of those rare machines. Rooster might be cheap, but he claims a writer should have an antique typewriter to remind her of how far she has come in this world.
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana, who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures click here.
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