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The Last Progress Report

Posted by Dirck on 28 December, 2017

Oh, wait, that should have “…of 2017” on it.  How sadly click-bait-y of me.

I’m doing this somewhat to camouflage the complete lack of progress on the novel this week, although if pressed I will shout something about wanting to relax and enjoy a day off with my family.  And then having to do other stuff during writing time yesterday.  It happens.

So, what of the year just passed?  I won’t just dwell on the writing, and frankly I won’t have anything at all to do with the situation of the wider world.  You can get at a reputable news outlet just as easily as I can, if you want to spend some time lamenting.

I will start with the writing, though.  You will of course remember this from August:

Well, let me show you its kids:

Three gauges reading 68.9, 57.6, and 46.22

Huey, Screwy and Blooey

What’s with the triplets? Well, you’ll remember that I mentioned back in November that my estimate of length seemed off.  Rather than abolish the probably-wrong dial, which is also the closest-to-done, I supplemented.  The least-done dial represents what the November measurement of first-draft thickness suggested.  The middle child is a mere average of the two, and on the most recent application of ruler to manuscript it seems to actually reflect reality.  This means that I can confidently declare that I am somewhere between eight and twenty weeks from finishing a second draft which will be between 254 and 379 pages long.  I will gild this uncertainty by declaring it to represent comfortable margins.

Proper professional writers will, I’m sure shake their heads at this, and I’ll accept that.  I’m not under contract, I’ve got no deadline; I’ll take what comfort the latter provides, given the chilly winds blowing from the former.

I would also, had I not been banging away at the novel, be a little worried about an apparent loss of momentum represented by this:

Oh, no! He’s falling to bits!

Now, when I add in the progress on the novel, which I don’t include in that chart until it’s actually finished, then it’s… actually, now I am starting to think I’m losing my powers, because it’s just shy of 60,000 for the year.  Perhaps I will claim the suppressant effect so many writers have noted inflicted upon them by the political events of the year.

But, to end the writing portion of this retrospective on a high note, I will remind myself that I made a sale to a relatively big-deal publication… which I still decline to mention until things are a little more certain.

Yes, I showed this recently. I show it again, because it releases endorphins every time I do so.

This went home in exactly this state (clicky for bigness, if you want to gander at the horror in detail).

In the pen department… no huge triumphs, but no horrifying debacles, either.  I didn’t utterly smash anything (important)(that wasn’t mine)(that wasn’t already mostly broken), which is nice when repairing pens.  I did fetch up against a Parker 61 which was utterly resistant to repair– bits were loose which shouldn’t be, and those that needed to be to do something about couldn’t be undone because of the loose bits.

Sleek, to be certain. Very sleek.

The latter part of the year brought a couple of minor triumphs.  Yesterday’s pen, the Sheaffer Taranis, was something I had been very curious about since its release four years ago, and a recent sale brought one within financial reach.  Hurray!  Happily, ‘curiosity’ is not quite the same thing as ‘desire,’ so the appearance of the actual object did not bring with it a shattering disappointment.  It did not, alas, bring glee, either.  I was completely whelmed by it, neither over- nor under-, because it was very nearly precisely as I had expected it, and I had expected it to be good enough as a pen but not particularly amazing… and almost certainly not worth as much as Sheaffer wanted for it.

One of the other pen purchases of the year did bring glee.  I have been intermittently enthusiastic about TWSBI for some time, but even with that as a background, I was surprised by how much I enjoy writing with their Classic.  I suspect I’ve got an unusually good example of the 1.1mm point, a real point-bit-of-bell-curve individual.  This combines with amazing mileage (if you check back, you’ll find I’ve been using the same load of ink since the end of October, and it still doesn’t quite need a reload) to fill me with glee, to the extent that I’m amazed I haven’t been shouting “You must buy a TWSBI Classic if you hope to lead a happy life!” into the faces of strangers I pass in the street.  It really is jolly nice.

Of course, you might not like this colour. That’s cool– they’ve got others.

This past year, then, was not so very terrible for me as an individual.  And I’m very, very aware how lucky I am in this.  I hope, indeed, I almost literally grovel in the dirt in hopes of convincing Fate that it will treat me no worse in 2018.  And, as the new year looms up on our collective horizon, I’ll hope that you are all treated at least as well.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Snorkel Sovereign
Today’s ink: Herbin Violette Pensée


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