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An Astonishing Simulation

Posted by Dirck on 14 December, 2018

Today’s film exactly replicates the experience of watching TV as a child in the mid-1970s. It also gives a very good idea of what watching TV in the Netherlands is like for an English speaker.

On the second point, there’s not so many horrifying hellbeasts on Dutch TV… or at least there weren’t the last time I was there.

Today’s pen: Pilot Vanishing Point
Today’s ink: Herbin Vert de Gris

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Posted by Dirck on 13 December, 2018

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 10 December
  • 11 December
  • 12 December
  • 13 December
  • Fourth draft of “Heretics”
  • First draft of… um… an SF thing.
  • The usual banging out of dents I hadn’t noticed I’d made.
  • 12 manuscript pages.

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A Ghost Story Near Christmas

Posted by Dirck on 7 December, 2018

After running out my own seasonal ghost story for the year, I thought I’d follow the theme at least for this week. Today’s film is more in the line of the traditional seasonal ghost story, which if I take anything from the works of M.R. James don’t usually have that much to do with the season.

The other point of interest is that it’s being told by Algernon Blackwood. I’m sure some will have said who? to that name, so I’ll explain briefly that he was famous for writing creepy stuff in the first half of the 20th century. No, that’s not quite right– through the first half of the 20th century. He began a little before radio for home entertainment became possible, and was in the public eye long enough to make stuff like the following for an entertainment-hungry post-WWII public.

He’s sort of like Stephen King in terms of career length and popularity, although I think he’s got a better delivery when he’s reading his own work (King probably has him beat in the rock guitar department).

Today’s pen: Waterman Executive
Today’s ink: Diamine Sargasso Sea

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Posted by Dirck on 6 December, 2018

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 3 December
  • 4 December
  • 5 December
  • 6 December
  • Second draft of an as yet untitled Christmas story
  • Final draft of Wassail, which finally grew a title.
  • Final draft of “Palmer’s Folly”
  • 2239 typed words.
  • Gentle polishing.
  • Adjustment of contours

To expand, on a couple of points– the more important of which is that “Wassail” is out in public right this very instant!!! on my writing side. As a special bonus, the recipe for eggnog which my family has enjoyed for at least two generations (a third awaits the arrival of drinking age) is in a link hidden away in the copyright notice at the bottom of the story.  You’ve still got time to make some!

Also, while I’m still not quite convinced “Palmer’s Folly” will ever add its weight to slush pile, my readers have told me they enjoyed it. Since they’re entirely willing to dash my feelings against rocks in response to “tell me what you think of this story,” it’s probably not mere words of gentle friendship. Debate continues.

This was a quite productive week, to, when you consider that there was a power failure on the 4th, affecting a lot of the province for about six hours. Oddly, The Regular Job was dark, but home had power. Lucky me! I was sent home because productivity was impossible, and I managed gobs of it!

For a sense of scale, from the bottom right corner of the outage to the upper left extent of it is about 600km– so at highway speed, you could only just drive across it while the lights were out, if there were a single road running that way.

 

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Narcissistic Self-regard

Posted by Dirck on 30 November, 2018

It’s my birthday.

This means that I’m going to my favourite brew-pub, where they have a special enormous mug for birthday kids… which by various constraints and mis-timings I have never held. I slightly worry that I’m going to draw the wrath of mysterious unseen forces by mentioning this plan aloud.

Let us push worry to one side, and start the drinking early.

The guy chanting “hops, hops, hops…” has pinned down why I don’t like a lot of US craft beers. Some people don’t want 1200 International Bitterness Units in our pint, eh?

This stuff, on the other hand, is right up my alley:

I may follow my giant mug with a bottle of La Trappe Quadrupel, if they’ve got any on hand…

Today’s pen (which looks very like the passage of light through a proper trappistenbier): OMAS Arte Italiana
Today’s ink: Edelstein Topaz (which is indeed my birthstone, for those who care about that sort of thing):

 

 

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Posted by Dirck on 29 November, 2018

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 26 November
  • 27 November
  • 28 November
  • 29 November
  • MUCH BETTER second draft of “Heretics.”
  • First draft of an as yet untitled Christmas story
  • 1801 typed words in total.
  • 12 manuscript pages.

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Winter Fun!

Posted by Dirck on 23 November, 2018

We had freezing fog here this week. Freezing at this time of year is not uncommon, but fog is pretty rare. It lasted the better part of a day, and unlike freezing rain what it mainly did was make things pretty–

So, I’m willing to be charitable, for the moment, about winter. Let’s go sledding!

Today’s pen: Pilot Vanishing Point

Today’s ink: Herbin Vert de Gris

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Posted by Dirck on 22 November, 2018

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 19 November
  • 20 November
  • 21 November
  • 22 November
  • Second draft of “Heretics”
  • MUCH BETTER second draft of “Heretics.”†
  • 1741 typed words.
  • Um… well, it’s down to 1652 words now.

†Here’s what happened: I keep my story ideas in two different places. I have a couple of notebooks that I’ll write them down in, and I also have a Google spreadsheet as a back-up. When I started in on the story, I did no more than scan down the Google document to see what caught my fancy as the next story up, and the vague description I’d put down there tickled me so I got down to scribbling.

The vague description I’d typed… oh, at least a couple of years ago.

Thus, when for reasons of book-keeping (literally– I move the notebook page into a binder when the story is underway or done) I had the original idea in front of me, I saw that I had forgotten the vector I’d initially intended… and it was much better than what I’ve spent the last two weeks banging away on.

It’s not all lost work.  There’s a good deal of fine description that is sticking.  It’s not that long a story, in any event, and the much better aspect soothes what sting I might still feel. But the lesson is learned– if you want to remember something, write it down… and then bloody well read it when the time of remembering comes about.

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Up the Creek

Posted by Dirck on 16 November, 2018

This is HOURS late because of The Regular Job getting some odd curlicues on it this week. Anyway, here’s someone with some old swords.

There was a time when I thought I might take some grave goods with me. I was easily influenced as an undergraduate history student.

Today’s pen: Waterman Executive
Today’s ink: Diamine Sargasso Sea

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Posted by Dirck on 15 November, 2018

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 12 November
  • 13 November
  • 14 November
  • 15 November
  • First draft of “Heretics”†
  • 11 manuscript pages.

†While I technically began this one rather a while ago, this week saw a complete change in direction which we might as well call a do-over. For a change, I’m actually pleased with how it’s currently developing, despite the apparent slowness (Monday was a household chores day, enhanced by a horrible cat/plant interaction with much fallout).‡

…so Fate is shaping up to keep me from touching it again until next Tuesday, alas.

 

‡The cat is fine.

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