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Archive for August, 2018

Lupine Nostalgia

Posted by Dirck on 31 August, 2018

I was listening to a presentation of “Peter and the Wolf” while driving back from lunch just now, and it felt like Fate suggesting today’s film. So, sure.

I also spent much of that insubstantial drive trying to imagine the story from the wolf’s point of view– even listening to this very version as a kid, I did find my sympathies leaning toward the wolf, and now, aware of habitat encroachment and the vital role of apex predators in every ecosystem, that inclination grows.

Today’s pen: Parker Moderne (which is, coincidentally, about the same age as the piece of music)
Today’s ink: Herbin Lie de Thé


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Posted by Dirck on 30 August, 2018

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 27 August
  • 28 August
  • 29 August
  • 30 August
  • First draft of “The Third Frame.”
  • First draft of “Kick a Cat…”
  • Second raft of “The Third Frame.”
  • Fourteen manuscript pages.
  • Seven manuscript pages.
  • 1106 typed words

The little bit of “Kick a Cat…” was actually done on Tuesday, in interstice produced by a dental appointment keeping me from The Regular Job in the morning, and I was not inclined to step into the office until just before Mr. Slate yanks on the birdasaurus’s tail to indicate the end of lunch. But why lose a day of writing, even though I’m away from the current project? A stop at a dollar store on my way to a post-dental lunch produced a notebook with shockingly good paper (seriously, it’s somewhere between Rhodia and Tomoe River), and I used my lunch stop to write publicly like a damned hipster.

French onion soup, a chicken breast pretending to be a burger by hiding under bacon, and a pen that’s a little too fine for the job at hand; how I enjoyed some free time on Tuesday.

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Something to Ponder

Posted by Dirck on 24 August, 2018

A friend showed this to me earlier in the week (along with a load of others, via Facebook). It reminds me very much of the sort of thing the NFB was ushering into the world when I was a kid, and that’s exactly the kind of stuff we looked forward to in the school day film viewings which inspires this flavour of entry here.

The idea of showing this sort of thing to the kids was, I think, to instill some sense that art was a thing worthy of pursuit. I call this art. You may not, but if you stick to that line, you can expect the shades of Ray Harryhausen and Willis O’Brien moaning under your bedroom window until they see some sign of repentance.

Today’s pen: Ohto Dude
Today’s ink: Waterman Florida Blue

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Posted by Dirck on 23 August, 2018

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 20 August
  • 21 August
  • 22 August
  • 23 August
  • Second draft† of “A Legion of Candles.”
  • Third (Threcond? Secird?) draft of the same.
  • Third draft of “When Regrets Replace Dreams.”
  • 56 words typed.‡
  • 6,250 words all together, many pre-typed.
  • So many typos. So many.


†Usually my path is hand-written first, typed second, and then off for comment by readers before third. This story got a complete POV change and I didn’t feel like restarting the process, so because I’m the boss of me! we might consider this second draft more of a v.1.1.

‡ After vast struggle to push the narrative forward on Monday, I realized belatedly that it wasn’t moving because it had fetched up against the buffers at the last station on the line. Those 56 words are vanishing as I smack around the current version into the usual “second draft” shape, so what this really records is the waste of a whole writing session.

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Trembling Anticipation

Posted by Dirck on 17 August, 2018

It’s just over a month away, and I’m already getting anxious. How will I ever sleep the night before?

What is “it?”

Why, the Pelikan Hub, of course! Is anything else important happening before Hallowe’en? To either placate or stoke my internal fire of pen-driven desire, I’m going to watch this video of the last year’s Hong Kong hub:

So many pens… (I now make a noise like Homer Simpson seeing a pile of hamburgers). The one in Regina isn’t going to be so big, but the venue is a little smaller, too.

Today’s strangely non-Pelikan pen: Faber-Castell e-motion
Today’s ink: Herbin Pousièrre de Lune

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Posted by Dirck on 16 August, 2018

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 13 August
  • 14 August
  • 15 August
  • 16 August
  • Second Draft of the choose-your-own project.†
  • Second draft of “A Legion of Candles.”
  • About 1,700 words typed.
  • 2,106 words typed.


For those who don’t look in at my fictional enterprise, or notice the slowly changing links to it over in the side-bar– I sold a story! Two years ago! And now it’s been published! I hasten to add that the delay was due to the work of some sinister outside forces who committed an outrage upon the publication; the publication are not to blame for it, and I’m glad they’re back even leaving aside that they have brought forth my story as part of that return.

†Well, I was an industrious lad over the weekend, wasn’t I? Part of this is down to the record-setting heat of last weekend; at 41F, I’m pleased to find a reason to be in the basement.

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Cheap Laughs

Posted by Dirck on 10 August, 2018

Those who follow the news will be aware of one of the attempted distractions which has just been offered– the voting for the logo of the proposed US Space Force. I was saying to my brother, who makes a living designing logos, that they mostly look like something designed to appear in a film for children from the early 1960s.

So, here’s a film for children from the early 1960s, to distract you from the distraction.

I’m sure we were all having an innuendo-fueled giggle, too.

Today’s pen: Waterman C/F
Today’s ink: Waterman Blue (vintage)

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Posted by Dirck on 9 August, 2018

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 6 August
  • 7 August
  • 8 August
  • 9 August
  • Second Draft of the choose-your-own project.†
  • Second draft of “A Legion of Candles.”
  • About 1,500 words typed.
  • 1,487 words typed.‡


†Monday was a holiday, and since the grass is too parched to need mowing, I had time to work on the thing.

‡Monday was a holiday, so I lost a day on this thing.

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Warm Enough for Ya?

Posted by Dirck on 3 August, 2018

I’m stepping back somewhat from my usual inclination toward whimsy with the Friday Film, and also spending a lot of typing to explain why.  This week I read a rather depressing article (which I suggest should be followed by this one) about the signal failure of the world’s masters to do something about global climate change in the same snappy manner, and almost in the same moment, as they acted to stop stripping the planet’s UV protection.

This reminded me of something I watched in 1989, and which regularly bobs to the surface of my imagination whenever the latest news of climate gone bonkers (“50C or higher in all of Spain!” or “Wildfire season in California two months early AGAIN!”).

As with any science fiction, there are some clangers of prediction among the eerie moments of prescience.

Today’s pen, not looking forward to going back to the house with no air conditioning: TWSBI Classic
Today’s ink, into which a plunge might bring momentary relief: Diamine Marine Blue

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Posted by Dirck on 2 August, 2018

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 30 July
  • 31 July
  • 1 August
  • 2 August
  • First draft of “A Legion of Candles”
  • Second draft of the same†
  • 19 manuscript pages.
  • 2,016 words typed.


While we’re here– did anyone go out for a gander at Mars on Tuesday when it was at its closest approach? Back when I got my camera, I also got a reasonably good telescope which son and I took out after sundown on that auspicious night.

It was… underwhelming.  The lad peered in, said, “That orange dot is Mars?” and sighed a little when I confirmed it.  It was not a complete loss, though. We got to see the tiny specks of four Jovian moons (and I’m convinced I made out the banding of the planet) and Saturn was showing off his rings excellently.  Also, there was an owl hooting in a nearby tree, which pleased us both.

† I did not actually finish the first draft. I had one of those moments of realization as sleep takes hold, which makes the receiver sit up with a gasp in a flourish of bedclothes. In this particular case, I realized (once again) that the point of view was not the right one for the story I was telling– an observer more than a participant, and I could certainly look through a participant. Rather than trudge along to the end of the draft, I called it quits and embarked immediately on the adjusted version. Since the utility of the first draft is, for me, mainly to get the narrative outside my head, I was far enough along that I’m content with the shift from edit-resistant hand-written work to banging away on a keyboard where, if not careful, I’ll spend ten minutes swapping “which” and “that” out of a single sentence.

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