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Archive for August, 2019

Posted by Dirck on 29 August, 2019

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 26 August
  • 27 August
  • 28 August
  • 29 August
  • First draft of “Underground Follies” (working title).
  • Second draft of same
  • 2 manuscript pages
  • 1946 words typed

I said I wasn’t going to mention it again, but… that Kickstarter has succeeded, so “The Moon Forest” (first met here as “14 Nights of Day”) will indeed be published, and if the publisher is true to their schedule, it will be available before the end of the year. Hoorah!

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Larger Than Life!

Posted by Dirck on 23 August, 2019

Oh, boy! The weekend! Time from some movies!

But wait! Are you appreciating them PROPERLY? WHile I’m not against escapism, I don’t encourage movies which urge “Just shut off your brain and go for the ride!” because they’re usually not offering much more. My wife and I frequently spoil our own film-viewing by out-loud contemplation of the direction. Sort of like this:

I imagine you’ve joined me in wondering what the hell a Bronchiosaurus is. I’m going pretend I heard something else.

Today’s pen, soaring toward the vanishing point from the upper edge of the screen: TWSBI Precision
Today’s ink, canted slightly relative to the frame edges to lend a subtle, almost subconscious, wrongness to the action: Diamine Midnight

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Posted by Dirck on 22 August, 2019

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 19 August
  • 20 August
  • 21 August
  • 22 August
  • A slightly indulgent blog entry.
  • First draft of “Underground Follies” (working title).
  • See previous entry
  • 15 manuscript pages

I will mention once more, and probably only once more, the Kickstarter in which my recently-written story “The Moon Forest” will find a home… if they reach the funding goal which is painfully close to completion. If I assume my story is of average quality for the collection (it’s the only one I’ve read, so I can’t say otherwise), it’s going to be pretty darned good– I’m very proud of my work on that one. So, tell your family, tell your friends, tell passing strangers who look like they enjoy a good yarn, and let them have a look at the campaign page. They may be the very person who gives it the shove into existence!

SO CLOSE TO FULL! LESS THAN A WEEK TO RUN! SEND HELP!

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A Brief Lamentation

Posted by Dirck on 19 August, 2019

A long time ago, I got a new(ish) camera. I went on about it at some length, too, because I was able to take pictures that weren’t hideous, which up to that point was not the wrong word to use.

I mean… you can tell it’s a pen, but otherwise, uck.

Somewhat more recently, I got an actually new, fresh out of the box camera, and not only had it not taken pictures before, it was objectively good. Again, I mentioned it previously, and hinted that I might be switching over to it for site photos.

I did not. Why? Consistency. Let’s have a look at a pair of pictures from that earlier post:

The old Canon

The new Nikon

The new Nikon

They’re both good enough for my purposes, but they’re not the same, even though they were taken with the same lighting in the same place. And that made me not want to make the switch– I’m a lazy bugger, sometimes, and learning how to process the new shots so they’d look like the old was too much trouble. Also, the little table-top camera I use has a little trouble bearing the weight of a real cameral, even if it’s not carrying a mass of film in its guts. So, I carried on until…

Until it was time to show you all my super-cool Apollo commemorative pen. I headed down to the photography grotto, and found the camera wasn’t switching on. So I replaced the batteries. Which didn’t work. And that’s why this picture looks a little odd:

Something I don’t know how to adjust in an iPhone: white balance

It turns out the (nearly) modern phone camera  is pretty good, but getting pictures out of it, into my computer, and then washed and filtered until they’re consistent with the other shots on my site is even more work than dealing with the real camera. Ironically, that whole process would probably be easier if it wasn’t an all-Apple environment, but that’s the bed I now lie in.

Anyway, having finally convinced myself that the little old point’n’shoot is never going to open its eye again, I’m using Gargantua and putting in the slightly increased effort it takes to make it look about as duff as my previous efforts:

You might think I took this two years ago instead of mere days (also– coming soon to a website near me!)

I should be happy, because the pixel count is vastly higher now… although you wouldn’t know it. Rather than reducing image size by about 20% as part of the effort to make all pictures the same visual length, so visitors to the site can compare images side by side for a real sense of the pens’ relative sizes, the new standard needs an 80% reduction. In theory, this will disguise more in the way of scrapes and cat hair, leading to more beautiful pictures.

I will miss that little camera, though.

Today’s pen: Parker 50
Today’s ink: Herbin Bleu Calanque

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Stealing Someone Else’s Work

Posted by Dirck on 16 August, 2019

“The same thing we do every Friday, Pinky!”

I don’t have much clever in me today, and I have to save what I have for a writers’ group this evening, so in the spirit of what this blog used to be, here’s someone thinking very hard about a pen:

It looks jolly nice, so the complaint about its function is disappointing.

(He looks toward the tools of point manipulation, and tries to suppress an all too familiar urge. “Why not get one and see for yourself?” says a voice without source. “You can… amend… the performance.”)

Vade retro, you. I’ve spent this quarter’s pen budget already, and most of the next two, because I couldn’t resist a rocket-pen.

Today’s pen, once wrong and now put right: Waterman Citation
Today’s ink, ever a delight: Jentle blue-black

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Posted by Dirck on 15 August, 2019

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 12 August
  • 13 August
  • 14 August
  • 15 August
  • First draft of “Beyond the Wall.”
  • Second draft of “Beyond the Wall.”
  • A letter to my mayor and city councillor about a really stupid item of policy that is about to become manifest, destroying 200 small local businesses.
  • Third draft of “Beyond the Wall.”
  • Four manuscript pages
  • 417 words
  • Much carefully-worded bile, about three spleens worth.
  • Up to 491 words, which is still fine.

A short story to fill the week, because Pseudopod is running a flash contest which closes at month’s end. The stupidity that comes in the midst of it is the sad sort of little guys vs. corporate greed thing that makes up so much of modern life– you can read about it if you’re inclined.

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The Bertie Wooster Prototype

Posted by Dirck on 9 August, 2019

Sometimes Youtube’s algorithms are a delight. I occasionally look at things about naval history, and that’s almost certainly what brought this magnificent tale of comedy afloat to my attention:

All it lacks is a long-suffering and hyper efficient valet preventing disaster at some point, and perhaps a lovelorn Fink-Nottle and it’s a perfect example of a Wodehouse frolic. And how about that surprise twist after the credits?

Today’s pen: TWSBI Classic
Today’s ink: Monteverde Malibu Blue

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Posted by Dirck on 8 August, 2019

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 5 August
  • 6 August
  • 7 August
  • 8 August
  • Pulling weeds because it was a holiday.
  • Second draft of “Those Whom Ambition Calls”
  • Third draft of “Feel My Pain”
  • Enough to get overheated and cranky about.
  • 542 typed words (some of which did not want to come out).
  • Removed a couple of paragraphs, to land at 1799 words.

 

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Erasing A Stain Upon Honour

Posted by Dirck on 2 August, 2019

Something which we readers of historical fiction sometimes have a hard time getting our heads around it the concept of the duel as a cure for an affront. To be sure, intolerable provocation is still a defence against a charge of assault (at least in Canada), but the law demands a pretty damn high pile of provocation. “That’s a terrible haircut” isn’t quite there, and yet you could draw a duel for it, back in the day.

I should point out that Canadian law also has a specific injunction against duelling. That intolerable provocation thing is more about campaigns of bullying finally deranging the victim, not accusing someone of cheating at cards.

Today’s choice of weapon: Pelikan 140
Which contains a half-charge of: Herbin Vert de Gris

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An Unusually Content-packed Progress Report

Posted by Dirck on 1 August, 2019

It’s so colossal, it gets a title!

The first thing I want to do is direct your attention to a Kickstarter, which I will now steal some words from:

2019

The 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Lunar Mission.

The 40th anniversary of the classic horror film Alien.

One year after the proposal of the US Space Force.

How could we not create a collection of space themed horror?

What We Are Doing

Jason, the Leprechaun, even the Cenobites and the Critters ended up going into space. We decided it was time to give some other monsters that same chance.

Earlier this year we started accepting submissions for an anthology featuring classic monsters with the stories set in space. We have collected 16 stories and one poem that we think you are really going to enjoy.

And by enjoy we mean scare the space suit off of you.

I will declare my interest in this project– one of the sixteen stories contained in the collection is written by me, and I’m both proud of it and delighted at the prospect of its publication. So, If you’re interested in this sort of thing (and what sensible person isn’t?) take a moment to back that Kickstarter.

It’s not just an image, it’s also a link

…and now on with our regularly appearing material (but stay tuned– there’s cats lower down!).

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 22 July
  • 23 July
  • 24 July
  • 25 July
  • Second draft of “Those Whom Ambition Calls”
  • A trip to the dump†
  • 1,430 typed words.
  • 70 kilograms, according to the before/after weight of the van.

†I mentioned at the beginning of the month that we’d had a furniture collapse, and that dump trip was the disposal of the corpse of the old couch/futon object. The replacement is meeting with broad popular acceptance.

Kees is, as ever, mildly smug about his enjoyment of the new couch.

Bram is often tense, as is common in a hemi-demi-feral cat, but even he can relax into the luxury of our gracious new furniture item. That shred of paper near him was brought over by Kees, who is helpful that way.

Hercule, the last of our feline triumvirate, declined to initial the photo release form, but he apparently also thinks it’s nice. Happily, the three humans in the house also find it at least moderately comfortable.

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