Monday, November 21, 2011

To Type With Conviction

Friends, today I crossed off one of the items mentioned in my previous list of Christmas-gifts-I've-always-wanted-but-never-asked-for-for-obvious-reasons. Her name is Olive. She's my new Olivetti Underwood vintage manual typewriter.
She's used, but works well, according to the seller on Ebay, and I love her already. I've thought about why typewriters are so appealing to me. They're inconvenient, loud, and inconvenient again. Yet, there is a power in the stubborn keys that I've only recently articulated to myself.

First, there is the writing process that I'm adopting: As Stephen Tuttle says, every first draft is nothing more than an outline. And every time I rewrite a second draft, the result is exceedingly better than the first. So, why tempt myself with convenience? This typewriter will be my first draft writer, forcing me to really look at my work and only save what is excellent.

Second, renowned writer Barry Lopez visited BYU campus a few weeks ago and talked about his experience writing essays, fiction, and poetry. Lopez was very warm, eloquent, and passionate. I immediately grasped the depth of his love for his work and felt in turn a need for that depth. Lopez was asked after his reading about the fact that he still uses a typewriter. He replied that the typewriter is a comforting machine for him, not only because of his age, but because each key takes determination. Lopez writes every word, sentence, page, and story with passion and zeal at his typewriter, and he infuses his pieces with the most intense forms of truth.

Truth. I have thought much on this idea as of late. In my church, we are privileged to receive personal blessings that illuminate potential accomplishments in our lives if we live righteously. They are called patriarchal blessings, and I treasure my own greatly and often look to it to remind myself what I am capable of. In my blessing, I have been told that there will never be a time in my life where I am not searching for truth, and that I should take every opportunity to build my testimony; to share it and strengthen those around me. I am becoming more and more sure that this life of writing is my great testimony--my declaration of truth.

I strive to write emotional truth and to place my readers in situations they are initially unfamiliar with, but as the story continues, they find truths and insights that feel much closer to them than many common-place facts. This aspiration of mine is something I need reminding of every day. I can't forget that I write to transcend my experiences and help others do the same. I write to connect all of us through the Human Experience. I'm excited for Olive to come. I anticipate her heavy keys and obnoxious click, click-click, rrrring as I pound out my stories, holding the highest conviction to change the world with truth.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Hey all! I'm so sorry to have skipped out on many potential posts, but I've been rather busy. To sum up, I'm in grad school, loving it, Divine Comedy might become a TV show on BYUtv, and I sang Firebolt at the Quidditch World Cup this last weekend. (: I am very blessed.

And I'm so excited for CHRISTMAS!!! For this season, I've decided to make a list of gifts I'd like. These aren't the normal kinds of gifts, however. There will always be the typical $, clothing gift cards, and movies, but this is the list of Christmas-gifts-I've-always-wanted-but-never-asked-for-for-obvious-reasons.

1. A pottery wheel.

Since seeing the movie Ghost as a child, I have wanted a pottery wheel. It's messy and therapeutic and you get to make pots! I remember my friend Mal buying me pottery clay for my 11th birthday. I was so excited, but realized that it was just the clay and no wheel. Mal was disappointed too; she thought she'd fulfilled my childhood dream, but it remains on the list.

No, I do not mean a stuffed animal armadillo, I mean a real, bona-fide, taxidermied armadillo. This is inspired by the movie Simon Birch. When I was a kid, I saw Simon Birch and realized that the only cool stuffed animal to have would be an armadillo. When else can you hold an armadillo? This is my only chance, and thus, puts it on my list.



Yes, it's a temporary gift. It will last for as long as my discipline allows me to savor it, and then it will be gone. But come on, it's Harry Potter.

It's no secret I LOVE sharks. This is the ultimate ultimate gift. It's a body pillow and sleeping bag. I could disappear in a shark's mouth and snuggle up to it's innards. It is 7 ft. long, and handmade plush. $300, but worth every penny. I'd never have to buy bedware again. Until I got married, but even then....

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
Patch Adams
You can tell that many of my most yearned-for gifts are results of my obsession with movies. But this is a tactile experience I must encounter before I die. I would replace this with any food item, so long as it is textured and I can immerse myself in it. This is a bucket list item, and that's that.

6. A typewriter

This is an addition to my list. I'd forgotten about it, but ever since going to my mom's work as a kid and playing on their typewriters, I've wanted one. I probably wouldn't use it for writing novels (heavens, no). But letters, notes, etc. I think everyone should receive a typewritten letter at some point in their lives. (:

After 22 years, I've written it all down. That's the first step, I suppose.