THE NEVERENDING DRAFT

Even though GHOSTING was published years ago, I still get emails and letters asking when the fifth novel, DRONE, will be published. So, here’s a typecast explanation on my long, long hiatus.


Typecast: 1969 Olivetti Valentine

Street writing at Nieuwmarkt Amsterdam on my 1938 Seidel & Naumann Erika S, with the Olivetti Valentine in its case next to my bench.
Overview of the Olivetti Valentine as I’m wrting the typecast below.
This machine was Made in Italy. That seems quite obvious for an Italian brand, but from my research it seems that only the first few Valentines were made in Italy. Most of them are from either Spain or Mexico.
The earlier models had the small orange bolt to keep the black metal spools tight against the machine. Later models have a wider orange bolt, covering most of the spool.
The very odd serial number, 3000-08.
Edited to add, see the close up below, the hyphen is acutally a 4
The keyboard, with the missing key top for the margin release. The empty slots to the left and the right are for the tabulator set/clear and the orange tab button, both absent on my machine.
The iconic case with the black rubber cross tabs, still fully intact.

Edited to add:

I wondered about the missing tabulator settings and key, but I found this link about a first edition Valentine, also Made in Italy and also missing the tabulator set/clear and key.

And the mystery about the serial number is solved — Stephen Green from the Facebook Olivetti Valentine group suggested that the hyphen might actually be a 4, so I cleaned it up some more and took another picture and, yes, the number is 3000408. Since the first Valentine was the 3000001, this is one of the first Valentines.


Typecast: Street Writing in Amsterdam

Writing @ Amsterdam Oosterpark
My ultra-comfy Helinox camp chair, with the Street Writer canvas bag and the Gaston Lagaffe piggybank.
The 1955 Groma Kolibri @ Vapiano
The 1955 Olivetti Lettera 22 @ Oosterpark.
Writing examples with stickers and the Gaston Lagaffe piggy bank.
My favourite on the road machine, my 1964 Swissa Junior.

Typecast Movie Review: They Shall Not Grow Old.


Review re-written on 1964 Swissa Junior.

The draft was typed immediately after the movie on my 1937 Hermes Featherweight:


Typecast Movie Review: Bohemian Rhapsody

Typecast typed on 1964 Swissa Junior:

Draft typed on 1955 Groma Kolibri:


Typecast: 1937 Hermes Featherweight Baby

From left: 1937 Featherweight, 1956 Baby, 1967 Baby.
The only decals still left on this machine, but these are pristine….
And just a smidgen higher than the Groma Kolibri.
The original 1937 spool.
The 1955 Groma Kolibri is slightly lower and slopes down more than this Featherweight.
My 1957 Royal FP in the background for size comparison.
The Featherweight in working order, with new metal spools and new ribbon.

Typecast: My 1955 Groma Kolibri



Typecast: 1962 Swissa Junior

Such a stylish emblem!
The story continues after a few images:
Full glory, with the handsome little suitcase behind it.
Hey, that’s the same Wilhelm Tell crossbow as the one embossed on my Hermes 2000
And a couple of more images:
The Untangle Key on the right. You can see this is a Dutch keyboard, it has an ij key.
Couldn’t find the serial number until I shone a bright light through the keyboard. The first two digits of a seven-digit Swissa serial number give the year of production, so mine is from 1962.
For some reason, whenever I link a blog post, it selects the last picture in the post as the main picture and I think this picture is more interesting than the serial number picture…

Typecast essay: Incorrigible.





This is not how I usually transport my typewriters!


Typecast: Hello Gorgeous!

That ‘coule’ should be ‘couple’, of course.
Hello Gorgeous! My 1939 Hermes 2000
When you don’t have a manual, these mechanical margin stops are pretty hard to find, but they’re under the paper table which you can fold back gently.