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Archive for June, 2015

Goodbye Again

Posted by Dirck on 26 June, 2015

Just over a year ago, I was announcing the advent of my summer vacation, so it will come as no surprise that I’m about to do so again.  Three weeks of no Regular Job, because I need more time to shore up the fabric of the house against utter collapse.

On the subject of utter collapse, in that same entry, I was mentioning that one of my childhood heroes was…

...this fellow.

…this fellow.

I am thus rather downcast at the news of his passing.  One of my Facebook contemporaries, responding to that news, said, “You must have had something if you could make a 10 year old kid from Canada want to wear a bowler,” and while I’ve never quite gone in the direction of bowler, I agree with the sentiment.  The Avengers is responsible for my early interest in martial arts and being a decent chap.  This came to me before I had any interest in the possibility of those pursuits attracting Emma Peels; it was just that Steed was so profoundly a good guy that emulation seemed the only thing.

So, because it’s Friday and I always thrust some moving images in here, I have scraped up a bushel basket of Avengers for you.  No Thor, no Iron Man, just a rather decent chap with a dangerous umbrella and a young lady who is (by the lights of the 1960s) his equal.

I don’t promise utter radio silence in the next three weeks.  I may, plumbing and carpentry permitting, make some entries about pens.  Shocking.

Today’s pen: Parker 75
Today’s ink (and about 0.03ml of it, too): Jentle blue-black


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Posted by Dirck on 25 June, 2015

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 22 June
  • 23 June
  • 24 June
  • 25 June
  • First draft of “The Parade”.
  • First draft of Choose Your Own Doom.
  • Second draft of “The Parade”.
  • Second draft of “Inconvenient Weekend of the Dead”.
  • 5 manuscript pages and done.
  • Ditto.  Any more messing around gets called second draft.
  • 495 words, and also done.
  • 770 words, also done.
  • 45 min.
  • 55 min.
  • 40 min.
  • 45 min.

The timorous cowering away from the big project of last week became a (probably regrettable) examination of the least possible effort to bring the thing to a conclusion.  I don’t think that’s quite what the chap running the workshop at the end of last month meant by his advice to always be finishing something, but it does get that phase of it off my neck.  In an attempt to hew somewhat closer to the spirit of the advice, I think I’m going to turn to some more second, third and 10,000-grit-polish drafts of some other stuff.  If nothing else, I’ll renew the illusion of momentum I’ve been dazzling myself with.

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Sailing Away

Posted by Dirck on 23 June, 2015

Not an entry on my own behalf, but a plug for the Planetary Society’s Lightsail kickstarter, which is in its final few days.  Apart from contributing to an effort which may slightly increase the chances of putting humanity’s eggs in more than one basket, if you throw in at least $150, you’ll get a rather neat pen!  Check it out:


I may occasionally get mystical here in when muttering about pens and the creative process, but I’m also a big supporter of science.  The Planetary Society does some pretty cool stuff in that direction.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Imperial Triumph (which as Carl Sagan pointed out, is covered in stuff made by the death of stars)
Today’s ink: Herbin Vert Empire (very slightly more mundane ingredients)

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Nothing Funny About It

Posted by Dirck on 19 June, 2015

A friend showed me this today, and I can’t think of anything I’d rather do with my little corner of the internet on the day I usually show a video made by someone else. It is somewhat US-centric, but there are sentiments more broadly applicable.


The thing about comedians– the good ones usually understand humanity too well.

Today’s pen: Pelikan P1
Today’s ink: Herbin Bleu Myosotis

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Posted by Dirck on 18 June, 2015

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 15 June
  • 16 June
  • 17 June
  • 11 June
  • First draft of “Inconvenient Weekend of the Dead”
  • First draft of “Decorations”
  • More “Decorations”
  • …and all but the end of that story.
  • 4 manuscript pages and done.
  • 4 pages.
  • 5 pages.
  • 6 pages.
  • 35 min.
  • 40 min.
  • 45 min.
  • 45 min.

If you accuse me of laziness in not getting back at the big choose-your-own project, I will defend vigourously with a claim of cowardice; the necessary extra work, even though less than what has already been done, intimidates me.  There’s also something not dissimilar to luxurious greed or even lust, because the two little things I’ve knocked out this week have really been offering themselves to me and producing the sort of endorphin effects I think writers and work-out fanatics both pursue in their separate ways.

But I’m about to run out of excuses.  {quivers}

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Posted by Dirck on 12 June, 2015

I didn’t mention the worst thing to happen yesterday in my world, because it wasn’t personal to me.  Alas, alas, the world is without Christopher Lee.  Today’s lifted  film is just him, talking.  Because his is a voice one wants to listen to.

It’s also a great contemplation about regrets over paths not taken.

Today’s pen: Wing Sung 233
Today’s ink: Herbin Lie de Thé

P.S.: An advantage of this format of blog– you don’t have to watch me crying.

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Posted by Dirck on 11 June, 2015

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 8 June
  • 9 June
  • 10 June
  • 11 June
  • First draft of Choose Your Own…
  • The same.
  • Almost done… oh, damn.  That thing I forgot.
  • First draft of “Inconvenient Weekend of the Dead”
  • 6 manuscript pages.
  • 6 pages.
  • 7 pages.
  • 4 pages.
  • 45 min.
  • 40 min.
  • 45 min.
  • 30 min.

A couple of reasons for the change of project today.  First, there was yesterday’s triumph of completion followed by the needle-across-record sound of realizing I’d forgotten a bunch of stuff that I’d meant to do after I finished a bit about a month ago.  I need a break from that damn thing, and a short and hopefully humorous story is just the ticket.

There’s not much of it because the expected letter of rejection appeared in my inbox this morning.  It was very polite, and Stoic philosophy is really a good way of keeping life’s blows from smarting, but… well, the wind isn’t out of my sails, but they are out of trim.

Or, to shift metaphor, I’ll see about getting Mickey to cut me, and then it’ll be back into the ring, no problem.

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Frederic Wertham was Right!

Posted by Dirck on 5 June, 2015

No film today.  Today’s fun assignment is reading…




Someone just showed me a excerpt from a monumentally creepy comic, and I want to share it with all of you.  You’ll have to skip over the the site where it’s been scanned in, and be careful to not look ahead at the thumbnails, but it’s really worth it.

If, that is, you haven’t been having enough nightmares lately.

Today’s pen: Parker 50
Today’s ink: Chelpark black

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What’s the Worst That Can Happen?

Posted by Dirck on 4 June, 2015

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 1 June
  • 2 June
  • 3 June
  • First draft of Choose Your Own…
  • The same
  • A critique to pay for critiques I get
  • 4 manuscript pages.
  • 5 pages.
  • About 750 words and THINKING!
  • 35 min.
  • 40 min.
  • 55 min.


I’m taking today off from production because I’m spending all my energy on sweating and trembling.  I’ve just sent “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” off to an actual serious pays-for-stories publisher of science fiction.  It’s a sensation not unlike that of having shoved my tender little son onto the school-bus the first day of Kindergarten, if school involved savage judgement of my own worth.  I cringe and revel simultaneously, with all the pulled muscles that suggests.

The title of today’s entry is a phrase that flashed through my imagination as pointer hovered nervously over the SEND button.  Despite knowing that in any work of entertainment that very phrase leads to ninjas, devouring, or sudden penetration of the thoracic cavity by a Buick, I pressed the button.  Because really, the worst that can happen is a few weeks will pass before I get an email which says something along the lines of “it’s not quite what we’re looking for.  Better luck next time.”  Not even “never contact us again” or “the FBI has been given your contact information”.

The worst is, of course, also the most likely.  However, there is that small potential of good outcome opened up by taking the plunge.  Something like, “Congratulations.  Here’s some money and a quantity of recognition for your art.”  This would be a vindication, a triumph, and would throw open absolutely no doors for me.  Actually, that’s not quite right.  It would make it possible for me to join some professional writing associations, providing I was also willing to pay them for the privilege.  Which I would be.

Reckless dreaming offers “Say, that’s just what we need for an upcoming anthology; here’s (relative) gobs of extra money and even more recognition.”

The mad amorphous thing at the centre of my personal universe whispers the nigh-impossible, which I hardly dare put down in words that others may read: “Send more of your work.”

Today’s pen: Wing Sung 233 (not a penance or offering of sacrifice; I’ve just been indulging in some hoity-toity pens lately and I thought it was time to come back to earth)
Today’s ink: Herbin Lie de Thé (which might be construed as a hoity-toity indulgence.  I’ll wear it)

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