Every once in a while, I’ll see a commercial on TV, or hear an ad on the radio, and I’ll be prompted to say out loud, “Now that’s clever.” (My most recent example is Red Lobster’s “Sea Food Differently.”)
So when I learned about Poet Maya Stein‘s quest to haul a typewriter across America—by bike, I was first impressed with the name: Type Rider. It’s perfect!
I was curious about her plans to “set up a mobile typing booth with the purpose of inviting people to contribute to a collaborative piece of writing” along the way. I didn’t exactly get it, but it seemed interesting.
Then I read the story of the typewriter Maya’s dad put in the hallway when she was a teenager, and the collaborative stories her family would write. How fun!
And I learned that she was planning to bike to Milwaukee, Wisconsin—because that’s where the typewriter was invented. How appropriate!
Impressed enough to invest
The more I learned about this adventure, the more intrigued I became. I have never met Maya Stein personally or bought any of her books, though I do receive a 10-line poem from her every Tuesday, and I appreciate her sense of rhythm and subtle rhyme. But the name of this trip, the well-thought-out details, and the creative idea of building community through both writing and riding really impressed me.
So much that I decided to invest.
Maya is trying to raise $15,000 by April 23 in order to make Type Rider a reality. I felt I had to do something to support her. In a world where misplaced apostrophes spread like chicken pox, immune to any grammatical Calamine lotion, it would be wrong not to support vibrant, healthy wordplay when I see it!
(Side note: Even the name of the fundraising site she’s using—Kickstarter—seems perfect. It reminds me of kickstand!)
The power of story
All in all, I think Type Rider is a great example of the power of words well-chosen, and the influence a well-shared story can have. Maya’s cleverness moved me to not only donate, but also to share her story with you! And if you appreciate wordplay, creativity, community, and stories, maybe you’ll donate, too. (There’s a comfortable range of giving options, each of which is rewarded with a clever, appropriate gift.)
Well done, Maya! Ride on!