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Archive for January, 2020

Never Give Up

Posted by Dirck on 31 January, 2020

This is not a video thrown at me by our Algorithmic Masters, but a chap that I watch regularly. He’s entertaining (if slightly Navy in his vocabulary now and then). It’s not the sort of thing he usually does, either, but I found it was an interesting and useful contemplation in the area of acquiring skills.

There’s also just some minutiae of painting a gaming figure which might not be entirely gripping for all, but that’s life. Seriously, though, “I am not good at X” is a statement which in most cases can have “yet” appended to it. My own handwriting is substantially better than it was when I started keeping this screed, through no more than some applied and conscious effort. We’re in a great time for learning how to do stuff. Follow, within reason, your joy.

Today’s pen: Pilot Metropolitan
Today’s ink: Montblanc Racing Green

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Posted by Dirck on 30 January, 2020

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 27 January
  • 28 January
  • 29 January
  • 30 January
  • First draft of “Second Impression”.
  • 13 manuscript pages.

 

†This pen reminds me that pens of this age are not very pleased to be left sitting idle for days at a stretch. I uncapped it this morning to find that what ink remained in it was… not freely flowing, let’s say. As a back-up, I’m pressing the TWSBI Eco which produces my fictional output into some non-creative uses. I’m sure it will be all right.

In fact, it may even get rotated out for a different high-capacity modern pen I don’t mind leaving at The Regular Job for months on end. I don’t remember the last time it had a break, and it will be in my pocket at the end of the day.

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Endings

Posted by Dirck on 24 January, 2020

First, this lovely eulogy regarding one of my childhood heroes (yes, really– my childhood was a little eccentric):

Now, let’s be hopeful. This is the end of a series of videos, but the first that presented itself to me. Are you ready to revel in scholarship and skill? Then let’s begin.

…and yes, I would like one of those coats scaled to fit my thuggish dimensions.

Today’s pen: Parker 51
Today’s ink: Skrip black

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Posted by Dirck on 23 January, 2020

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 20 January
  • 21 January
  • 22 January
  • 23 January
  • Third draft of “Grand Finale”.
  • Third draft of  “Uncle Bert’s Best Friend”
  • First draft of “Song of the Pen”.
  • SO MANY TYPOS
  • Fewer. Still plenty.
  • 5 manuscript pages.

On the depression front, because I might as well update that too: General improvement, but with a recent hitch. The magic brain pills I’ve been prescribed have been slowly ramping up dosage, and a week ago they got to what the doctor described as the low end of “a maintenance dose.” Cool. Except now I’m always very sleepy– I should have gotten more done on “Song of the Pen” but yesterday I actually had a nap instead.

Well, not really. I sat in my chair at The Regular Job with my eyes closed. Actual sleep might carry on past the end of the lunch break and demand official notice.

I’ll have to look into whether this is something one eventually gets used to, because right now it’s very like I’m perpetually crammed with antihistamines and that doesn’t seem a lot more supportable than the depression.

…and maybe it’s worth having thyroid levels looked at, too. Who knows? “Don’t assume zebras when you hear hoofbeats” is something said to young doctors on TV, but there’s other things than horses in the farmyard.

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The Whisper of the Conscience

Posted by Dirck on 17 January, 2020

Mid-January, huh? Just about the time for people to start pretending they never made any New Year’s resolutions.

…and then some jerk like me comes along. I won’t judge. I’ll just suggest some self-improvement which is within reach. Loads of people want better handwriting, and today’s film is some hints in that direction (and some low-power advertising; we are fish in an ocean of capitalism).

I am not, I should say, of the same school of handwriting as herself. I find some of her notions of correct letter shape unappealing. That said, there’s nothing wrong with studying other schools to discover new means of mastering the art. You see it in kung fu films and samurai movies all the time.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Balance Craftsman
Today’s ink: Diamine Sargasso Sea

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Posted by Dirck on 16 January, 2020

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 13 January
  • 14 January
  • 15 January
  • 16 January
  • First draft of “Morgue Attendance” (which is likely a working title).
  • First draft of “Song of the Pen”.
  • 9 manuscript pages. †
  • 7 manuscript pages.

†  I find with “Morgue Attendance” that I begin to run into a problem in the why is this happening? department. I can usually dispel that with a cry of Because CREEPY! and carry on, but the specific shape of the story won’t allow that kind of easy evasion. So, back on the shelf it goes until something sensible ferments.

‡  Two black inks in the same rotation?! I had meant to fill the Parker with something else last Friday, and discovered there was a mere syrupy drop left in the bottle. Panic took over, as I had less then five minutes to get on my way to work.

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Who’s a Pretty Birdy?

Posted by Dirck on 10 January, 2020

For today’s film, let’s enjoy looking at some lovely songbirds.

I honestly do find them appealing, and it’s not just because they’re in the name of the site.

Today’s pen: Parker 51
Today’s ink: Skrip black

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Posted by Dirck on 9 January, 2020

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 6 January
  • 7 January
  • 8 January
  • 9 January
  • Second draft of “Uncle Bert’s Best Friend”.
  • First draft of “Morgue Attendance” (which is likely a working title).
  • Complete at nearly 2700 words.
  • A single manuscript page.

 

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Retrograde

Posted by Dirck on 3 January, 2020

Well… I had a notion of looking forward for this first film of the year, but last night’s international developments made be do an about-face. So, let’s see what a pen-seller of some repute thought were good pens in the previous year, and avoid looking at the news.

Dear heavens, though… what they did with the point on that first Diplomat. Brrr!

Today’s unflexed pen: Lamy 2000
Today’s ink: Diamine Oxford Blue

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Posted by Dirck on 2 January, 2020

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 30 December
  • 31 December
  • 1 January
  • 2 January
  • Second Draft of “Uncle Bert’s Best Friend”.
  • That retrospective maundering posted here.
  • Blessed sleep†
  • Second Draft of “Uncle Bert’s Best Friend”.
  • Not much…
  • Surely you saw it.
  • Just over ten restorative hours.
  • …but up to about 1070 words now.

† Strangely, I opted for a no-booze New Year’s Eve, keeping my evening lubricated with just shy of a gallon of iced tea. So that sleep, starting late though it did, was not an alcoholic coma. Just the human frame finally collapsing from the forced march of daily employment in the modern understanding of the term.

Whether the depression and treatment thereof had anything to do with the brief teetotalling is unclear. I don’t think so, as I certainly had a small neat whisky the next day. Perhaps it’s… *gasp*… maturity asserting itself at last.

God, I hope not.

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