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Archive for January, 2019

Posted by Dirck on 31 January, 2019

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 28 January
  • 29 January
  • 30 January
  • 31 January
  • Second Draft of “Cannon Fodder.”
  • 1635 words typed

I got essentially no writing at all done yesterday, as I was returning a couple of pen… well, not to the owners, but to Paper Umbrella, where the owners had left them for me to collect; a very obliging shop, that.

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Can You Do The Robot Dance

Posted by Dirck on 25 January, 2019

Today’s film appears entirely because it happened to pop up on one of the lines of social media I wander through, and it gave me both a laugh and a comfortable shiver of horror.  It’s a little raucous, so you may want to turn the volume down before you start.

How did I miss this until now? Probably because I’m ancient and the last time I made a point of watching music videos was about the time Star Trek: The Next Generation was getting over its teething troubles.

Today’s pen: Pelikan M20
Today’s ink: Lamy blue-black

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Posted by Dirck on 24 January, 2019

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 21 January
  • 22 January
  • 23 January
  • 24 January
  • First Draft of “Cannon Fodder.”
  • Third Draft of “Preserve My Fondest Memories.”
  • 17 manuscript pages.
  • A couple of sentences relaid and three stupid typos extinguished.

 

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An Old Man and the Sea

Posted by Dirck on 18 January, 2019

The weather has finally noticed that it’s January (brr!) so my thoughts become escapist. How about a nice trip?

To be honest, I’m not sure immersion in the North Atlantic is more appealing than walking to the car, even if the wind will be in my face crossing the parking lot.

Today’s pen: Sailor Pocket Pen (the fact that it’s a Sailor today was entirely unplanned, but amuses)
Today’s ink: Herbin Bleu Calanque

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Posted by Dirck on 17 January, 2019

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 14 January
  • 15 January
  • 16 January
  • 17 January
  • First draft of “Nicest Guy on the Cinder.”
  • Second draft of “Fresh Milk.”
  • First Draft of “Cannon Fodder.”
  • 11 manuscript pages.
  • 290 typed words.
  • 4 manuscript pages.

You would be correct to chastise me for not bowing to one of the great commandments of writing. The first of the (oh, dear) three stories underway this week took a turn into “Two People Talking in a Room” which can make for a good story, but it’s quite what I’m after. The second is one that frankly hasn’t had time to gestate properly, despite how long ago I dumped the first draft out of my head… so I started yet another today. It, happily, is unrolling in a willing manner, so I should be able to stick with it until it’s ready for someone else to tell me what needs fixing in it.

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The Missing Link(s)

Posted by Dirck on 11 January, 2019

Here at last, an answer to a long-standing question which has vexed me since I was a child. Not vexed enough to go and find the answer without it running in front of me, so I guess “mildly distracted” would be a better term. In any event, I (and you) need wonder no more:

…and that was, while rather extended, is sensible if slightly unsatisfactory.

Today’s pen: Parker 51
Today’s ink: Diamine Evergreen

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Posted by Dirck on 10 January, 2019

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 7 January
  • 8 January
  • 9 January
  • 10 January
  • First draft of “Nicest Guy on the Cinder.”
  • 17 manuscript pages.†

†I would like the Department of Heroic Effort to take notice of this, because it happened despite incipient cold and a migraine which spread itself across three days.

Looking back at some of it, now that a semblance of coherence has returned, I’m surprised to find that this weeks production is actually pretty good. Perhaps I should do all my writing while breathing through one nostril and wearing a slowly tightening belt over one eye…

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Just Plain Fun

Posted by Dirck on 4 January, 2019

My son is experiencing a spasm of nostalgia for things he enjoyed in the earlier part of his childhood. His memory extends a long way back (I suspect, in part at least, through his autism).

I find this is having a good effect on my internal state. Not, in the main, because I’m remembering him as he was in years past, but because of the uncomplicated joy some of these show latch onto, regardless of the viewer’s age.

I did not, because I don’t want to hand out earworms, go with The Backyardigans which is also on the current playlist, but I will say to parents of small ones– it’s a lot more tolerable than many other options.

Today’s pen: Sailor Pocket Pen (whatever it may be)
Today’s ink: Herbin Bleu Calanque

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Posted by Dirck on 3 January, 2019

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 31 December
  • 1 January
  • 2 January
  • 3 January
  • Scrambling in pursuit of a functional iPad.
  • Baking for a family New Year’s Day meal.
  • Second draft of “Preserve My Fondest Memories.”
  • Apparent success†
  • see below
  • 1179 typed words, and complete.

I decided to try a new thing with baking– flaky rolls. Since I had some success, I’ll share.

First, make up a batch of rough puff pastry dough (which sounds like it should be swaggering along an alley in a Carebears setting, does it not?). I amended that recipe in using common Canadian all-purpose flour and salt of unknown provenance, and rather than carefully “rubbing in” the butter, I just let my stand mixer molest the butter into the flour until it was in smallish bits before adding the water..

After the final rest and chill of the dough, roll it out, then cut it into twelve squares about 10cm on a side. With each square, fold the corners into the middle and press then down so they stick together (this is purely decorative; I expect more or less the same results from just folding in half along whatever axis tickles your fancy). Arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment, brush with beaten egg, and cook at 375F for about 35 minutes. It’s almost like croissants, but with substantially less faffing about with rising– I finished this in under an hour and a half, and you really can’t get croissants in less than eight hours.

As a bonus, there’s the trimmed edges of the dough which you can… if you’re inclined… form into twists, throw on a sheet of their own, and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. You could even, if feeling very charitable, tell the other members of your family about having made these little side-treats.

† No sign of the misery the initial iPad offered. Indeed, 747 words of this week’s production were banged out using tablet and its Bluetooth-enthralled keyboard, as a proof of concept effort. I may soon become a stereotype writer, lurking in a corner of a cafe and clattering away for hours after ordering a single inexpensive beverage.

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