Friday, December 21, 2012


May be prone to any of the following:
Loud Shrieks
Other loud noises
Louder Noises
Kermit Like Spazzes

Apocalypse... what my classmates are calling the drinking binge they're starting in

Monday, December 10, 2012

Slight Anger

You know when you ask a friend and artisan to make you a gift for Christmas, and then they bail on you?

Yeah, just happened to me.

And I'm kind of angry.

Okay, really angry.

Not trying to melt down and rage. And really trying hard not to tell him he ruined Christmas.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Hipster Identity

*deep breath*
Going to admit it.

I think I've become a hipster.

Most of you in the typosphere are aware of this term, as it has a direct impact on the growing costs of typewriters, so I'm not going to define it in general. However, I will clarify what I mean by it.

Where I'm from, there are different types of hipsters--and all of this is gross generalization, I know, so sorry if I offend anyone. You have the hipster hipsters, who look homeless as they sit on their Macbook Pro outside the local coffee shop. There's the drunk hipsters, who love their PBR. There's the scientists, hanging out at coffee hour, riding their 80s road bikes all over campus. And then there is the group that I feel like I belong to--and one of the more prevalent groups where I come from--the outdoors hipster.

We're the ones who drive the "outdoorsy" car--usually a Subaru, often covered with stickers from companies we by our gear from, bike or ski rack on the top, and of course, dirty, because we have to let everyone know that we do stuff outside. We wear the skinny jeans and flannel shirts and boots partially because it is stylish, and partially because it is practical. See, cool thing about skinny jeans is that they don't get caught in bike chains--because yeah, we tend to ride bikes. We do things like rock climb and ski and hike and generally enjoy being outdoors. Some enjoy their microbrews and local food, while others love the cheapness of PBR. We're all about supporting our small local businesses--coffeshops and gear shops and those quirky little bookshops that pop up in random places.

I definitely fit into that category. No, I don't exactly drive a Subaru, but the only reason that my car isn't covered in stickers is that they got lost in the move. I own and use multiple typewriters, write movies and novels, and my daily pen case carries more than one fountain pen. I ride my bike most days, but have carried a Timbuktu bag for far longer than I've been riding my bike--same for the skinny jeans too. One of the things I miss most about home are those quirky little shops--there aren't the used bookstores and stationary shops and galleries and hole in the wall restaurants here that we had at home. Same with coffeeshops. I've found one, so far, that even comes close to fitting the category of cool local place--in the middle of a shopping mall. Whole foods is mainstream, which is good, because there aren't little markets anywhere either. The guys at the gear shop here are more used to tourists than locals, you can tell that. But it's okay. I'm bringing my slight hipsterness to where I live, so that's a good thing, right?

Funny thing is hipster is one group I never really planned on fitting into, but when I think about the people back home, and look for an easy way to explain them to the people I meet, it's the one word that kinda describes us. That, and hippies, the kind that wear Chacos until the snow is deep and are proud to show up to class covered in dirt from an early morning climbing trip, and will serve you squash for dinner when you go home with them. I guess we're a weird combination of both.

And that's where we kind of aren't hipsters. We don't like things because they're ironic or do them to make a point. We do what we do, love what we love because we love it, pure and simple. I collect typewriters and fountain pens because they make me happy. I ride my bike to save gas and to exercise--I do far too much sitting on my butt lately. I eat organic produce not because it costs more or makes any sort of statement. It just lasts longer and tastes better--shopping at Whole Foods isn't a status thing for me. It mostly just keeps my body happier.

So maybe my calling myself a hipster isn't exactly true. I have the traits but it's not something that I could ever give myself fully too--I'm too much of a hippie to ever adhere to one school of thought. But, I will admit to embracing my hipster side. And, now, I'm proud of it.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Crossed it! Many thanks to Brother Simon for the inspiration! 1000 words in maybe 20 minutes that felt like five? That's a great feeling!!

RHINO I LOVE YOU, wherever you are...

Thursday, November 1, 2012

And lo, there were shenanigans.

And squid.

Yes. I'm writing a blog post rather than working on one of my two nano novels. Huzzah!!!!

And I'm laughing at how strange one of my profs is... I don't know what they used to put into the water int he Eastern Bloc...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Thursday, Thursday

*cue Friday backing track*

Nanowrimo starts on Thursday!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Doo doo do do doo

Mnah mnah.

Doo doo do do doo.

Mnah mnanowrimo!

Monday, October 15, 2012

November, November

Can't it be here already? I admit that the Vignette Challenge was a fail, but I'm kinda getting excited for NaNo...

Saturday, October 13, 2012

In which I declare this year's vignette challege over.

Also known as in which I decide to scrap this year's vignette challenge.
Or I admit defeat.

I just couldn't get into it.

I know what I billed the vignette challenge as--a way to prep for NaNo and get the groove started. That's what I honestly thought it would be. But that just isn't happening, at least for me. This year, NaNo is going to rely on a bunch of cards with random phrases on it, and I'm hoping that that will work. Otherwise, things will be rougher than this month has been.

And other news... I officially give up the hunt for a typewriter. I've been to a handful of stores lately, and nothing down here. Nothing. So, I'm giving it up. Yeah. Yup.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Dos: Paraphernalia


Brought to you courtesy of the Remington #3
Also visible in this image: my Saran Wrap platen fix!

Monday, October 1, 2012



Typed with Mr. Polt's Lucien font.

Sunday, September 30, 2012


The vignette challenge starts tomorrow!!!!!!

Friday, September 28, 2012

October Approaches...

...and with it, this year's vignette challenge. It's a great way to get your brain groovin for NaNo.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Stolen Quote

So, with NaNoWriMo and the Vignette Challenge coming up, I just want to inspire you with a quote I stole off the comments of Mr. Clemens' latest blog post:

"Having time and the ability to write are not prerequisites. Otherwise a lot of us would be in serious trouble."

Yup. very true.
Now back to work!!!

Monday, September 10, 2012

The New Vignette Challenge

Well, I was all set to run this challenge in September, but it didn't happen--still trying to get into the groove of school, and to flat out start writing again. That said, I would like to announce the second annual vignette challenge--October 1-31. Think of it as a prep for NaNowriMo. If you remember how this goes, awesome. For those of you who are new to Ars de Carta and my random challenges, the vignette challenge is thus:

As many of you know, I love vignettes. Small portraits of a moment, a place, a time. So, to help with writing the many essays that will be coming this summer, I want to introduce a challenge.
15 vignettes, thirty (one) days. 15 snapshots, related or unrelated--it doesn't matter. (and neither does length!) The challenge starts October 1.
Indicate your interest in the comments. I look forward to seeing the vignettes you all come up with--I for one will be posting my 15 on arsdecarta.

So... Who is in this year?

Monday, September 3, 2012


Why does the urge to read manifest itself when we have so much to do, but not when we're bored? Why do household chores we always avoid become so appealing at the eleventh hour? What is it about mind numbingly stupid flash games that can drag us in and never let us up?
Oh, if I could find the answers to these questions.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Great Cricket Hunt

It's always funny how something so small can cause a ruckus.
My place looks like a tornado hit it, and it's all because of this little guy.

So there's even a story here.

Two nights ago, I fell asleep on the couch studying. Half woke up, the lights still on, I see something on the floor. I realize it might be a bug, but roll over because I'm tired. Kinda thought about it in the morning, but didn't give it much thought beyond that.

Last night, sitting there watching TV instead of studying, and he comes out again. I try to hit him with a binder, he jumps away. I look around, don't see him, so I give it up as a lost cause.

So maybe ten minutes ago, about the same time as last night, I see him. And try to hit him again. This time, I must have stunned him a bit, because his jump was to somewhere that I could see. Try again, and he jumps away again. So I start tearing my place apart, holding a very heavy physio text with the intention of smashing him. Of course, it turns out it's not as easy as you'd think to use a textbook to smash a bug, and I trip over my whiteboard and my computer so he doesn't jump on me. The search continues, moving books and pillows and stuff to find him (and rug burning my knuckle somehow), until I realize that he's under my couch. The whiteboard becomes a weapon, one I never get to use. I discover he's jumped to where I keep my shoes.

This was the end. Chacos turned out to be his demise.Cricket is no more. I kinda felt bad, but that was before the primal rush of triumphing over a small insect set in. It felt good.

Okay, back to studying now.

So I still exist...

...and M is alive too.

Just thought you all should know.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

What did I do?

OtherI turned down a typewrite on my list.

It was a $10.25 Underwood Touchmaster.

Okay, there's a backstory here that I should explain.

First, I'm moving in a few weeks, and I don't know how much space I'll have in my new place. Having never seen a TM in person, I didn't realize just how HUGE they are. I have no clue where I'd put it, not to mention even getting it moved.

Second, I only had $10 with me and didn't want to bum money off my mom. (I heart girls antiquing trips though!)

Third: The TM was sitting outside on a table. It wasn't covered, and if the smell off a Sterling I opened was any indication (by the way, what is it with Utah and baby poop brown Sterlings in the tweedish cases?), as well as the fading on the price tag, it'd been out there, and who knows what it'd seen. I've had enough with fixeruppers... So I passed it up.

Sure, some of me is regretting it, because the action seemed to work and the parts were moving.

But, I think that I'm going to stick to portables right now. 
Oh, and in other sightings news:

Couple of standard Royals.

Old Underwood Standard.

Two baby poop brown SC Sterlings

And, at my local shop, a cute 30s Corona Four... Was tempted by it, but I don't know if it works, and money is my limiting factor right now.

Well, sorry for not getting pictures of any of these, but it's been a fun few days! Gotta love summer!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Am in Shock.

I don't know what to say. I enjoy NaNoWriMo, but I love Script Frenzy.

I will be continuing to write. Every April.

Saturday, June 30, 2012


Yeah, you heard it!

We don't actually know where. Or when. But it's happening.

So, if there are any closeted Utah typospherians who are interested in joining us, shoot us an email at arsdecarta [at] We'd love to know that we're not the only ones!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Look what I found in the neighbors' shed last night!
They were amenable, so I am now the proud owner of one militantly ugly electric typewriter.
It's an Olympia International, Electric 45.
Despite years in the shed, it runs like a dream.
My thirteen year old brother is nearly as fascinated with it as I am.
He grabbed the manual to try it out first and five minutes later he's yelling at me to come help him.
It was an owner's manual for an air conditioning unit and he hadn't even noticed.
I laughed over that one.
I threaded some paper for him and we've been arguing over whose turn it is ever since.
I think I'll call her AC.

M on Facebook

Just made my morning:

I finally got my hands on a typewriter!


Monday, June 25, 2012

A subtle shift

Things are changing around here. In a month, I move out of Utah. I don't know where Ars de Carta as a project is going to go, to be honest. I still have a long list of posts I'd love to write, and I'm still looking forward to the Vignette challenge in July, but beyond that, who knows?

M and I had talked about doing a best of post for our 200th post, but maybe it'll be for 250. Or 201. or 213 or 293. It might happen, it might not. But isn't that where the fun comes in, from the not knowing?

There's a lot of that in my life right now. Things are changing, big time, like I said above. Mike will have to move my little marker thingy to a new state, but, despite what the detractors say, I'm pretty damn stoked.

It's summer now, which means a change of pace for life. More outside, lots less computer. So I'm going to go enjoy that, and we'll be back to you in July, or maybe the fall (yes, I'm suggesting postponing the challenge.)

Enjoy the summer. :)


Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Verdict

I'm not doing Camp NaNoWriMo.

I started a climbing blog instead.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo

Should I do it?

That's the question.

It'd have to be June, as I start school in August. Thing is that I don't know if I'll have the time to work this in November, so maybe a trial run would be good? That said, I'm working at an actual camp this summer, and I'm wondering if I'd rather focus on that and climbing... and just see how November goes? That might be more fun, as a computer and bouldering don't really mix. Blood just makes my computer dirty, and packing it on a long approach to routes isn't exactly practical. I've been writing, just not at the pace that I'd need for a summer comp (unless it's a set your own goal sort of thing, in which case, tell me and I'll reconsider.)

Sitting here thinking about it, I'm leaning towards something I wrote about last July (oh, and maybe I should save my writing impetus for July and the Vignette Challenge--I'll give it one last go before declaring it an official flop.)

Here are more awesome videos about bouldering... including some stuff that has kicked my butt recently.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I had a dream.

In which I found a Skyriter.

Now only if it would happen in real life.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Epic Journey: Flashback

Remember all that writing?

And all that posting?

So do I.

I would love to regain some of that motivation. Paper due by midnight and massive 6 hour final tomorrow... and tomorrow is the 30th.

You may well see "A Slightly Less Epic but still rather Epic Epic Journey" in the next few weeks, as I have one paper to tackle after this one.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Problem with E-readers

...they're useless when you can't find the power cord.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


It's done, or mostly so. Sure, there are a few places that I'll be expanding, a few conversations, etc, but it's done. I just wrote the last dream sequence. It's a bit short, hence the expansion, but wow. This is a great feeling.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Script Frenzy Day 6

Okay, so I'm kind of in a strange place right now. I've never been this close to actually finishing a script during script frenzy. Not talking 100 pages finishing. But finishing as in having a story that makes sense, where it flows, and where I maintain continuity. Now I just got to write the last three scenes without psyching myself out--I've been putting them off, because they're the biggest scenes of the movie.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Script Frenzy Day 4

Halfway there.


Saturday, March 24, 2012


Toothpaste: 2. Nicotine: 0.

In other news, the cat refuses to come down from a tree.

Monday, March 5, 2012

In which I realize that ITAM is over, CLUB is starting, and I don't know how much I care.

Yup, another long title.

February and ITAM is over... I typed on a typewriter once, it acted up again, I put it away, and didn't touch it or any of my other machines for the rest of the month.

But I did think about it.
And I thought about the Typosphere.

Then the news came from M and it brought back a lot of memories for me, and I've spent time with them, rather than the blog. My apologies.

Now, it's time for Celebrate Local and Used Bookstore Month, and I don't know if I'm going to do anything for it. My life has changed in these past few months, and it's put a lot of things into perspective that I hadn't thought about before.

So I'm sorry for neglecting this space, for not posting typecasts or pencasts or even the beautiful letter to my great aunt that is sitting in my desk, just waiting to be transcribed and posted. Maybe we'll get back on track, one day.

We'll see.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012


In the gracious words of my little sister that are posted on the fridge even as I write this...


It takes just
six small letters
to make a hero of
a well functioning
and the previously unknown
location of the
becomes obvious:
It's in the back of the mind
near Hope,
just below "What's For Dinner",
and next to
"How Does One Say

~ G

This is the best explanation I can offer for my long and not exactly sporadic absence.  The woman who can call down the hummingbirds to her welcoming fingers, who loves an exasperating man and raised six exasperating sons and one stubborn daughter, who taught me stillness and pies, who gave me dainty ankles and dimpled cheeks, her middle name, and hatboxes on my birthday, will be gone before long.  I haven't a moment to lose.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Spring Tension

Anyone have a suggestion on how to determine the proper spring tension for a replacement spring on a Silent Super? I keep trying to cannibalize springs from other sources, but can't get it to type more than half of a page before the problems start again.

Maybe I should write


Just maybe.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

ITAM already?

it's here again?



Thursday, January 26, 2012


I discovered this last night. Its an interesting thought; give it a read!

Book Matters: What is your bookprint?

Chew on this

Couple days ago, I pulled a post I'd written because honestly, you guys made me mad. All you could do was sit and bash on Vegas (justifiably, I'm sure), without making a case for the opposition. Sounds like a pretty poor defense to me. But, the again, that's how a lot of people work. Bash something but don't really defend the alternative--let it shine on its own, they say, but screw anyone who dares voice a protesting opinion--use your vehemence to shut them down before they even start.

I don't give a damn that Vegas is hot as hell--I'd be more likely to avoid the Pacific Northwest for 300 cloudy days a year. How the hell do you people deal with that? Heat is easy--clothes are meant to be taken off. But lack of sunshine? In the words of my coworker, "fuck, man." I'll be stuck in a building a lot of the time anyway... why would I want somewhere that I can't play when I do get the time to go outside?

I'm not going to ask my question again, because this whole deal made me realize that I don't really give a flying rat's ass. I'm sure one of you would chime in in defense of the desert, so sorry for pulling it, but it was better this way. I'm going to go where will be the best for me.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Truth?

This would affect us too!!!

I'm just not feeling writing. Maybe it was December, but here I sit again, with assignments due and a blog wanting, and writing is one of my last choices of a diversion. Whoda thought that the person who posted 20+ pieces in a week would feel this way.

So I'm going to go back to staring at my computer screen and my notes... I'll be back, I promise. There were a few ideas that I'd thought about writing and they might not be totally dead yet.

until then...

Let's work to keep our blogs free, to allow us to post and share work and things we find cool or just plain handy. 

I'm not a code wizard who could figure out how to black out (aside from the really cool elephant background) our site, but I can still take a stand.

Learn more: 

We may be the ones that are all about the retrotech, but the high tech is what makes our community possible. Without it, we'd just be isolated enthusiasts, and the typopshere would be little more than a dream.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

And Now...Back to Our Scheduled Programming

Sorry folks...graduation hit, then Christmas, and then the virus to end all viruses which left me with an ancient desktop that couldn't summon the energy for anything remotely as complicated as Blogger.  A blank white screen was the best it could muster.  But my laptop has been de-bugged and I PROMISE...that life will be getting back to normal now.  I missed you all...