Hemingwrite Is Alright

For as long as I can remember, being a “tough” guy has been important to me. Not that I’m that tough. On the contrary, I’m kind of a wimp. But the idea was always there – the image!
I have been in my share of fights and been hurt more times than I care to remember, but I never felt TOUGH.

I looked up to the guys. And, for me, those were guys that fought, fished, drank, hunted, and chased the ladies.

Hell, I am an American male. We don’t cry, show emotions or back down from adversity.

Shit, I have backed down so many times I don’t know what looking forward means anymore. The Ten Thousand Lakes don’t have as much fluid in them as my eyes have shed… the emotion part… shit! I wear my heart on my sleeve. And, some people do not seem to grasp the simple notion of ANGER being an emotion.

Expressing anger is easy, at the time it erupts – in the heat of the horrible moment – it comes just as naturally as tears during times of despair.

Yet, the Tough Guy image endures.

Being a writer, I gravitated to the man I thought most tough in typing out the words defining himself. The American man of prose and letters and novels and short stories.

Out of all the scribblers – Mailer, Thompson, Bukowski, Dos Passos, Faulkner, Kerouac – it was Ernest Hemingway that caught my attention the most. He willingly went to wars, ran with the bulls, out-drank everyone, and would fight anyone. – Oh, it was Hemingway I admired so much, and, to this day, still do. His life and work are that of legend… what legends and legacies are made of.

It was Hemingway that taught me I was a writer. And that I wanted to write for the rest of my life.

Today, on this chilly and wet and foggy December day in North Carolina, I was given a gift – an early birthday present. My birthday is next month, Christmas is two weeks away, and, most importantly, my wife wanted me to have the early offering for professional, private, and loving reasons.

(I am using the gift now, to write this funny little column to all of you.)

When I opened one of the two boxes Tara brought to me from the day’s mail, I was stunned.


At a loss for words as I looked at the tan, briefcase-looking bulk with the word Freewrite on its face.

My wife had gotten me a Smart Typewriter. And not just any Smart Typewriter. What lay on my lap – what I am typing on now – is the Ernest Hemingway Freewrite Signature Edition, a.k.a. the “Hemingwrite,” complete with a leather attache case for easy transportation and travel.

Now, I have Hemingway first edition books, a Hemingway shirt, biographies of the great man, a postcard featuring Papa Hem’s home in Key West, and a postage stamp with the Author’s image. At one time, I had a signature pair of Hemingway eyeglasses. To have this writing tool added to my treasures dedicated to one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century is beyond wonderful… beyond wonderful because it is not merely a piece of memorabilia – it’s a fucking driving force to work. A tool. A soon-to-be best friend I turn to churn the words inside my mind into pages.

We are just getting acquainted, now. Our first interaction with one another is going very well.

Today has been a funny day:

Not only did I receive the wonderful Hemingwrite typewriter, but the punching bag I ordered for myself came in today, as well.

A typewriter and a punching bag.

I’m feeling tougher already.

Thank you, my love, for being so thoughtful, for saving my life – and for not being patient!

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