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Michael Jackman
Singer-Songwriter, Multi-instrumentalist, & Poet


Under this menu you will find all things to do with me and writing. Choose a submenu to find out more about what I’ve published and to read some lessons on writing. Here’s a little more about how I write.

A Love of Mechanical Typewriters, Fountain Pens, and Scrivener Software

I type most manuscripts on a 1940s Smith-Corona Sterling or 1960s Olivetti Lettera 32, or write them with a fountain pen. I do love the Olivetti. So much that I nicknamed our new puppy, Olive, “Olivetti.”

Our new puppy, Olivetti (Olive) and her new best human, Theo, April 2020
Our new puppy, Olivetti (Olive) and her new best human, Theo, April 2020

My favorite fountain pens: classic Parker 51s, a Pelikan M140 tortoise shell, a couple of Lamys, a Noodler’s flex tip, and an ornate dragon fountain pen given to me by a dear friend.

I use inks by Parker, Noodler, Private Reserve (made in Indiana!), Pilot’s Izukoshuro line, Herbin (I especially love their 1670 line!), and Pelikan.

But fountain pen and fine ink lovers soon learn that you also need fine papers. My paper of choice: Tomoe River. It doesn’t bleed and the finish makes the ink stand out.

I do use the computer for some manuscripts. I used to use Microsoft Word, but have switched to an amazing software, specifically designed for writers, called Scrivener. It’s well worth the learning curve.

My Olivetti Lettra 32
My Olivetti Lettera 32, a fantastic mechanical typewriter that was the portable workhorse for many journalists and writers.
Smith Corona Sterling, circa 1940s
My 1940s-era Smith-Corona Sterling. Solid and wonderful. Takes a lot of strength to hit those keys. I’ve even taken it to campsites and typed some poems I love on it.
Zenith Z8080 IBM PC Clone. My first computer.
My first PC – a Zenith version of the IBM PC, running DOS and two floppy disks and using the famous Intel 8088 microprocessor. See the floppy disk tray to the right? I wrote most of my undergraduate papers for Belmont University and a bunch of short story and poetry manuscripts on it.

Back in the early 1980s when personal computers were new, I drafted and revised on this Zenith IBM PC Clone, running DOS and WordPerfect on separate 5″ floppy disks. State of the art and no hard drive! Does anyone remember the awesome WordPerfect? Apparently, it’s still made, though not for the iMac OSX operating system I now use.