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Archive for June, 2019

(No) Planes, Trains (Hopefully) and Automobiles

Posted by Dirck on 28 June, 2019

I am trembling on the very precipice of my summer vacation, even as I type. Since I schedule it to coincide with Son’s birthday, I hope the weather will allow us to ride a relatively nearby steam engine; it can run in the rain, but won’t because not everyone is as dedicated as the lad when it comes to this kind of fun. There was a time, though, that catching a train was considered to be worth all kinds of effort…

As is usual for my time off, I’ll likely neglect matters here pretty vigorously. There will be a new story appearing next week on my place for that kind of thing, but that’s likely to be the extent of my attention to my online presence. Domestic bliss and domestic shoveling, some writing, and a whole lot of not Regular Job. There’s apt to be the odd gin and tonic, too.

Today’s pen: Lamy 2000

Today’s ink: Edelstein Olivine

BONUS SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT! Regina is over the minimum number of participants for Pelikan Hubs 2019, so there will be one here! Something to look forward to! In fact, looking at the map, Saskatoon will be in on the fun as well this year, and every province except Nova Scotia and Newfoundland-Labrador have a mark, which makes me feel all cosmopolitan and citizen-of-the-world-ish.

 

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Posted by Dirck on 27 June, 2019

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 24 June
  • 25 June
  • 26 June
  • 27 June
  • First draft of “Those Whom Ambition Calls”.
  • Second draft of same.
  • 10 manuscript pages.
  • 908 typed words.

I can’t say any more than this, although I am fairly bursting with it: I’ve had acceptances of two stories, and two more have been declared short-listed by the publications I sent them to. I will, obviously, be shouting about venues when I’m able (although the latter two may not resolve themselves for a few months, yet, and based on the production history of another anthology I’d love to point the world to, a similar delay may affect the others).

†The pen in the rotation was the Pelikan P1, but someone was very distracted by having to leave early to take the van in for some repairs (cheaper than promised, hoorah) so the on-deck Pen of Fiction gets to have a round of general duties for a day.

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Confrontation Makes for Clicks!

Posted by Dirck on 21 June, 2019

…and who doesn’t enjoy playing the clickbait game now and then? Since I am doing another pen-tuning clinic this weekend, it’s about time I had a little more pen action here. So, get your popcorn, perch near the edge of your seat, and watch as the case is made that one perfectly nice fountain pen is superior to another:

Do I have an opinion? Of course, for I am human and issued with them along with tubes and orifices by whatever agency created me. It’s not a particularly strong opinion, though, because as I hinted above, both are perfectly nice pens. I incline very slightly toward the Lamy, on the basis of weight and low-ink indicator (which is derided as an inadequate ink window in the video; that’s not what it’s for). If I have any real objection to the Pilot, it’s that the all-black trim of the specific example in the video turns none of my cranks. That’s not a strong objection.

Today’s pen: Parker Duofold
Today’s ink: Lamy black

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Posted by Dirck on 20 June, 2019

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 17 June
  • 18 June
  • 19 June
  • 20 June
  • Second draft of “Found on Roadside, Dead”.
  • Third Draft of “Fourteen Nights of Day”.
  • Third Draft of “A Doting Mother Cradles Her Wayward Child”.
  • Second draft of “Feel My Pain”.
  • 667 typed words.
  • Surprisingly, little more than typo corrections.
  • Ditto.
  • 1766 typed words.

Good heavens, I’m actually finishing some of the things I started. [CHORUS: It’s about time!]

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Action!

Posted by Dirck on 14 June, 2019

Horror films are tricky. Get it wrong and if you’re lucky you get something amusing. Comedies are even harder, because while a failed horror can be an entertaining comedy, a failed comedy is just plain horrid. Action films, it seems to me, are more forgiving, because even if some of the elements don’t gel, as long at you make a good faith attempt at providing action, you can claim to have succeeded.

Good comedy, when it happens, is a delight. Even more so when it involves writing instruments.

Today’s pen (hardly visible as it whirls toward the next opponent): Platinum PKB-2000
Today’s ink (blinding attackers, leaving them vulnerable to the riposte): Edelstein Topaz

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Hub! Hub! Hurrah!

Posted by Dirck on 13 June, 2019

I appear to have had a stunning lapse in my brain function, as I have not clambered onto the rooftop of this enterprise to shout about the opening of registration for this year’s Pelikan Hub… and now there’s barely more than two weeks before the deadline!

Yes, I am making free with a fragment from this year’s Pelikan Fine Writing catalogue.

So, drop whatever you’re doing and go to the sign-up page! If that link doesn’t work, try getting there through this page, but by all means, get yourself registered. There’s goodies given away, and you can spend an evening hanging around with people who really like pens. It was hoot last year.

I am, of course, talking most specifically to people in the area of Regina, because I’m anxious that last year’s hoot not be a one-time event. But certainly, wherever you dwell, dear reader, get thee registered.

THE HYPNONIB COMMANDS YOU

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Posted by Dirck on 13 June, 2019

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 10 June
  • 11 June
  • 12 June
  • 13 June
  • First draft of “Found on Roadside, Dead.”
  • Second draft of “Found on Roadside, Dead”.
  • 2 manuscript pages.
  • 2152 typed words.

Where, oh where, that huge speed of a couple of weeks ago? Well, it’s probably being absorbed by long stretched of pensive sitting. Sometimes the second draft differs from the first only in tiny matters of a word here, a phrase moved a little. This time, there’s a wholesale transformation; ensemble piece down to a single player, vast adjustments in the emphases in descriptions, and a shift of overall tone from BOYS ADVENTURE to quiet elegy (that’s possibly a little too grand, but I’ll leave it to make myself feel like an artist). So, yeah, pensive sitting. The slow turning of the creative millstones. There’s no set deadline on this one, so that’s just fine.

Edit: I have no idea how I managed to get the dates of the week two weeks ahead, as they were before this edit. Wishful desire for my summer break, probably.

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Reports Are Just Now Arriving

Posted by Dirck on 7 June, 2019

I made the briefest possible acknowledgement of D-Day yesterday, and I’m not very pleased with myself. It was, after all, the 75th anniversary of the landing, and I have made more of it in the past.

Today’s film takes a look at the event from an unusual perspective, and I think posting it a day after the fact is actually appropriate to the content. Lines of communication were unreliable, after all…

Notice that this is the work of a German fellow. I am tooting my horn as a supporter of EU unity in this, distant well-wisher though I may be. A fragmentary Europe has been, historically, a source of unhappiness for those within and those around.

Today’s entirely unthematic pen: Sheaffer Taranis
Today’s ink (mildly historical): Skrip blue-black (’70s disco edition)

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Posted by Dirck on 6 June, 2019

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 3 June
  • 4 June
  • 5 June
  • 6 June
  • First draft of “Found on Roadside, Dead.”
  • Second draft of “Fourteen Nights of Day” (a working title).
  • Third draft of “Tiger on My Back”.
  • 6 manuscript pages.
  • -812 typed words.
  • Complete and submitted instantly.

There is a negative number in the progress this week. I wrapped up the story, and found it was over the word limit given out by the target anthology’s call for submissions. So, last week’s remarkable output proves to have been a bit of a foot-shoot.

I am, alas, not surprised by this development. But it’s done now, two words under the limit, and ready for examination by my patient readers.

Those who actually follow these updates will be shocked at how long I left “Tiger on My Back” sitting in a commented-upon-yet-unedited state. Well, I started some other stuff, then found the call “Fourteen Nights” responds to… and having thumbed through it when the last reader finished I figured the gratifyingly few issues they found were low priority. Until I found another call for submissions yesterday, seeking WW2-related stories. I’m susceptible to magical thinking, and submitting today of all days with that as the criteria was irresistible.

And for those who are feeling clever– yes, indeed, it is that kind of Tiger.

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