The Olivetti: flash fiction

Rows and rows.  Small wooden desks, each home to a heavy, metal typewriter centered and locked in place. Woman after woman. They sit up, backs straight in their hard, metal chairs. Eyes down. Hands stationary with manicured nails of red; others chipped or broken. Yet, their fingers fly from black key to black key. 
They are masters of the Olivetti. 
Drab, green and gray machines with worn keys. Cold metal type clacking under the driven intent of these women. They have saved  factories,  banks,  government agencies from failure; prevented or shortened wars. They have saved others' lives and those of their families with words typed relentlessly. These women have labored doggedly for less than they were worth, then, been discarded for the next newest, cheapest commodity.
They have gone the way of the Olivetti.



SEE ALSO,
For more on Adriano Olivetti – Secrest, MerylE. “Adriano Olivetti, Industrialist, Typewriter King… Antifascist? On Espionage and Resistance in World War II Italy,” Literary Hub, November 18, 2019. <https://lithub.com/adriano-olivetti-industrialist-typewriter-king-antifascist>.
WORKS CITED
Liberman, Howard, photographer. Typewriter. Sept. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2017698703>.
Yilti, Seller. Vintage Italy typewriter Olivetti ICO portable 1940s. Retrieved From EBAY, <https://www.ebay.com/usr/yilti>.

Poetry from the Porch: cusp 2020/2021

The Moon

Winter’s Haiku

The dark months linger

on. The heart sleeps untethered 

to weights of past heartache.

Dedicated to people whether, working in Hospitals & Nursing Homes or those Caretakers at home, who have sustained others ill and failing during the pandemic of 2020. Especially dedicated to Toni Ryan of Mississippi.
Tina Hudak 2020 December 31

Picture book: review

A gem for every age!

children's picture books cover with elephant and tiny boy
Arthur and the Forgetful Elephant by Maria Giron

Everything about it has taken the young reader into consideration. And yes, it is pedagogical; it does carry an overt message about aging, most poignantly about losing one’s inherent strength. Yet, this message takes second place. Every page carries exquisite, pastel illustrations, outstanding page design in type and layout, and offers a palate of visual cues. The elephant’s eyes express the ultimate sadness; the perspective of tiny Arthur hugging the elephant’s trunk shows his vulnerability despite size. But, joy always conquers in these pages.

The flawless translation from Catalan, El Petit Artur i L’elefant Sense Memoria to English retains strong storytelling with a simplicity of words.

Highly recommended for any young or old reader!

What's It Like To Be a Cat? Children's book cover.
The author is also the illustrator and her minimalist design enhances the story much like Betsy Lewin’s art for this picture book, So, What’s It Like to Be a Cat?

Giron, Maria. Arthur and the Forgetful elephant. Flyaway Books: Kentucky, 2021. Print (in English)
Kuskin, Karla, and Betsy Lewin, illus. So, what’s it like To Be A Cat? Atheneum Books for Young Readers: new York, 2005. Print.

Poetry from the porch: Fini 2020

in gratia cantantes

In the year of a pandemic and death,

the year of bloated political egos,

the year missing those I love;

losing others who I ,have loved.

This year is the best of all.

For what life has taken from me,

in this year,

it has given other gifts in equal measure –

It has given me you.  

The year of SARS-CoV-2 virus, or COVID19, a worldwide pandemic.

Droppings Issue #X

A Blue Bunny Studio Zine

The the past year during the COVID19 pandemic, I have come to appreciate zines. They are a form of art that is easily accessible to viewers during this year when money is scarce, and the need to write and create visual art is essential.

Signing up to participate in my first meeting of the Zine Club at the University of Maryland’s BookLab invigorated my artistic curiosity when it was waning, frankly. Yesterday I played around, not really having any big goal in mind other than to make something tangible. (See also, Barnard College Zine Library and their listing of other Zine libraries.)

So, I present my first publication (Artist’s proof) of Droppings (get it? a bunny?) using previous writing and artwork, and layout with MS Publisher. I am not sure if I am following the “rules” for zine-making or not, but I imagine tonight’s meeting will provide me with great feedback and a huge learning curve.

Folded zine.
  • Print
  • Fold lengthwise
  • Fold in thirds

Poetry from the porch #13

I AM

I AM FROM THE
SKY'S SUBTLE SHADES OF
CHANGING LIGHT
IN ALL ITS
HUES OF GRAYS.
I AM FROM THE
COOL DAMPNESS OF
WET GLUE BRUSHES
DRYING BY THE
OPEN WINDOW.
I AM FROM THE
CHEAP PLASTIC PEN
FOUND IN THE STREET
WRITING THESE WORDS.
I AM FROM
NOWHERE.
I AM FROM
EVERYWHERE.
Poem & art (in progress to be posted in December, A BLUE BUNNY STUDIO )by Tina Hudak, ©2020
A “thank you” to The Writer’s Center (Bethesda, MD) and Mathangi Subramanian for her inspiration.

Book : a brief commentary

Dark Water: Art, Disaster, and Redemption In Florence

Due to my Zia Clara and sister having been in Florence during the historic 1966 flood of the Arno River this title so appealed to me. Due to my bad habit, some might say, of not doing research on a title beforehand as usual I dove into it with my usual ignorance on a subject. Wow! I was in for it!

Clark begins with the history of the Arno River itself and its effects on Firenze through the centuries. Obviously, this covers an incredible amount of Italian history. This includes its very early Roman and Etruscan era, the importance of Dante and Michelangelo to the city’s evolution, and moving on to the British invasion by writers and artists in the 1800 (See, A Room With A View by E. M. Forster) As I read, I kept wondering WHEN he would actually get to the 1996 flood, since I was already about half way through the book.

When he does it is so detailed that you must either love Florence, itself or love art history and restoration. Fortunately, I am somewhat besotted with Firenze and love to learn art history because this non-fiction account meanders all over the place. Not that I didn’t enjoy it, but I did have to stop and do some research. I am not sure why the editors did not include maps, images of the art before and after, photographs of the flood itself. The omission of visuals can easily be a deterrent to the reader who is not completely versed in art history.

So, I would suggest to have this along side you:

  • historic and 20th century maps of Italy, during the Etruscan and Roman periods
  • an art history book specifically with Cimabue‘s Crocifisso before and after the flood
  • access to Life Magazine’s issue – November 18, 1966
  • one of the several videos, including Franco Zeffirelli’s or Firenze-1966 showing original footage in real time.

There are also several other blogs on this topic and/or book that are worth a visit


Clark, Robert. Art, Disaster, and Redemption In Florence: Dark Water. First Anchor Books, 2009. Print.