Back in the days when I took poetry very seriously, I knew a man (who was always talking) and he sd. that whenever he was using big sheets of paper he ended up with long poems and whenever he was working on little sheets of paper he ended up with little epigrammatic works. (Note that I toss this example out nearly at random to lay the groundwork for a domestic anecdote rather than to address any larger aesthetic issues. The contingency of content on physical forms has been probed by individuals with graduate degrees and need not be further addressed here.)
So anyway -- we picked up a free manual typewriter yesterday off somebody's front lawn. (The typewriter sat beside a sign that said "FREE" so it wasn't like we had snatched it from beneath the hands of some young Hemingway.) I would guess the typewriter dates from the 1960's. Aside from a few hiccups with the upper case, the typewriter works OK. The kid was immediately fascinated with the idea that one could bang out something on the typewriter and text would spontaneously appear on paper without the intermediary step of a printer.
Quite naturally, she insisted we write a book.
The kid has shown greater dedication to her craft than I ever did -- we've already produced two stories and the gripping first chapter in "The Duck and the Duckling." (We have left the first chapter with the rainbow duck and the featherless duckling flying off in a magic sleigh propelled by a shower of shooting stars streaming out behind them.)
The kid comes up with the stories a sentence or two at a time while I throw out leading questions in an effort to complicate the plot.
"But what do people say when they see the rainbow duck?" I ask. "What is the rainbow duck's place in the wider social context?"
"They say 'What a beautiful duck!'"
Anyway, things are churning along here at the writer's colony. I have essentially had to shove the kid away from the typewriter so I can get the dishes done and the laundry on the line. These bourgeois concerns have historically been at odds with the artistic vision and no doubt I will begin to hear thinly-veiled allegorical tales of fairy rainbow horses yoked to a peasant's plow.