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Posted by Dirck on 21 September, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 2,997 words typed

Not a terrible week, I guess, and more than I thought I’d manage– a couple of segments attacked this week were very like pulling teeth.  I’m also not going to manage to present a new work at the other outlet this week, as I have the last couple, because this week The Regular Job entered one of its infrequent “this is as much fun and effort as juggling flaming bears” phases.  I know I’m disappointing some people, and I’m also disappointing me.  The reproachful looks over the bathroom sink are going to be very hard to take.

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Salve Atque Vale

Posted by Dirck on 15 September, 2017

Uh-oh.  Like the school film presentations this Friday feature of mine was inspired by, I’m veering perilously into undisguised educational material.  Well, too bad.  Today was the last day of the Cassini space probe, and as one who grew up watching things like the latter Apollo missions (which, damn it, were real) and Skylab I take a small interest in the probing of space.  Apart from the science expansions it offered, which I admit to comprehending imperfectly, the whole enterprise produced some really cool pictures.  Thus, we have a retrospective of a fallen robot’s valiant efforts.

Also, I rather like the fellow’s voice.

Today’s pen: Lamy Safari
Today’s ink: Iroshizuku Fuyu-Syogun

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Posted by Dirck on 14 September, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 3900 words typed (and I do feel good about that, yes)

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Good Vibrations

Posted by Dirck on 8 September, 2017

This week’s film entry isn’t, again.  It’s just sound.  But this time, it’s just music.

Why?

Because it drifted past in the mad flood of things Youtube thinks I might care about, and as the saying goes, if you throw enough eventually something sticks.

Always been a sucker for that kind of sound.  I hope it’s made you all feel as good as it did me.

Today’s pen: Pelikan 120
Today’s ink: Pelikan Brilliant Brown

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Posted by Dirck on 7 September, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 1,926 words typed

Yes, it should be more. A long weekend and a trip to the eye doctor conspire against me.

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Looking Elsewhere for a Moment

Posted by Dirck on 1 September, 2017

I’m sure each and every one of us has had as full a budget as possible in the past week of bad environmental news, given events in Texas, Louisiana and… well, most of south Asia.  Today’s film is not altogether a distraction from those events, although it addresses them directly in no way.  It is a glance at the other side of the coin, as it were; a little dot of hope for the future as far as the interaction of the natural world and humanity’s urge to make big tools.

Also, it’s got that guy from Red Dwarf in it:

Isn’t that swell?

Today’s pen: Waterman 12
Today’s ink: Diamine Bilberry

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Posted by Dirck on 31 August, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 2,812 words typed

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Buckle Up!

Posted by Dirck on 25 August, 2017

YouTube decided, in the depths of its inscrutable algorithmic quasi-sentience, that I wanted to see what I’m showing as today’s film.  I’m not sure that I did, frankly, although it gives the same sort of dizzy separation from reality one gets with a brief whiff of nitrous oxide… and it certainly costs a good deal less!  It doesn’t have too much of the casual racism of it’s day, either… but it is in there, so be warned; expect a moment of lurching stomach, about half way in.  That caveat delivered, it’s time for another trip to Cognitive Malfunction Theatre:

I find myself wondering if this, like the original run of Merrie Melodies from Warner Brothers, was meant to sell music.

Today’s pen: Pelikan 120
Today’s ink: Pelikan Brilliant Brown

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Posted by Dirck on 24 August, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 2,620 words typed (and remembering Monday was idle)

An interesting discovery attends this first week of the new draft.  Received wisdom has it that a page of double-spaced text is roughly 250 words, yes?  Well, the spreadsheet that I’m keeping track of my progress on, which is how I get those spiffy gauges, has a cell which takes the current word count and divides by 250… which does not agree at all with the page count in the word processor.  It turns out that in the accepted Shunn format, well-loved by almost everywhere one submits work to, the words-per-page turns out to be more in the line of 300.

Interesting, but utterly unimportant.  We are concerned with the word count, after all, and not the amount of paper involved.  But interesting all the same.  Received wisdom not quite in accord with facts?  When does that ever happen?

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Unexpected Role Models

Posted by Dirck on 21 August, 2017

Today, I wasted my lunch period; rather than return the flayed flap of skin on the front of my face to the proverbial grindstone, I raced home to share the Great Eclipse(!!!) with my son.

That is pretty much the peak of totality where I was standing.

Wait a minute… by “wasted” I mean “utilized in the best possible manner,” because while eclipses happen regularly enough, they don’t happen here a great deal; the last one like this was in 1979.  But this is all digression, really, because it is writing I will eventually touch upon.

Today at The Regular Job has been very quite, so much so that I have tacit dispensation to do whatever I liked so long as I was handy to the telephone; thus, I have done a little tidying of the back room of my site, soon (I hope) to appear with a shiny HTTPS in its address and prevent Google from blacklisting me.  In the course of this, I found some backtracks from this very blog hiding among the apprehended spam, and entertained myself with a bit of reading– because, once upon a time, I actually produced content on this thing, some of which was vaguely amusing.

One of the items of past glory I examined was a slightly meta examination of my own writing style, which I’ll synopsize here so you don’t actually have to click that link.  I had found a place which claimed to analyse the style of any text pasted into it, and discovered that the writing of this screed as it existed then was like David Foster Wallace, H.P. Lovecraft, Mary Shelley, Cory Docotorow, and (shudder) Dan Brown.

All of which was somewhat interesting to the current version of me.  Then-Me was about a year away from getting nearly serious about fiction writing, and somewhat further away from getting as serious about it as I am now (which some might say is still “insufficiently so” but I work with what I’ve got).  What, Current-Me wondered, would be the effect of feeding some of my fiction into that purported analysis engine.  Indeed, did it still exist?

Why, yes, it did!  And here’s me with idle hands!

The results are… interesting to me.  Certainly satisfactory, although in a head-scratching way which I’ll explain presently.  As with the last attempt, I gave thing ten samples in an effort to see if there was any consistency in it.  Whole stories, too, not just snippets.  I was told with one of them that it was stylistically like the work of Arthur C. Clarke.  That story, the only one of the bunch that has yet been shown publicly, was aiming for more of an M.R. James flavour, but I will never decline to be likened to Clarke.  Two others came up with Anne Rice as the style-mirror for me, and seven of them produced Agatha Christie.

And here I became bemused.  I understand the presence of Clarke in these estimates.  Rice and Christie confuse me.  This is not a fragile male ego baulking at being compared to women, because really, honestly, that’s not the way I roll.  The source of the confusion lies in what I know about my own reading.  I have read loads of Clarke.  His influence creeping into my own work?  Sure.  However, my reading of Anne Rice is limited to Interview with The Vampire, once, in… I think 1990.  I have read Christie more recently, but rather less of her; a single story, about two years ago.  I have watched the entire run of Poirot Mysteries, but that’s hardly like reading the books upon which they are based.  The similarity of style is unlikely to be a result of emulation, however unconscious.

Bemused, then, but not exactly put out.  No reference to Dan Brown, which pleases me greatly, however commercial his work might be.  “Commercial” is a word one might apply to any of the three this recent sampling produced; not only are they all considered good writers in the literary art sense of the word (none without debate, of course– that’s art critics for you) but they have been widely published.  I am very content to be compared to people who got publication galore.

…of course, one also say “widely published” of Edward Bulwer-Lytton, for a particular period.  Ulp.

Today’s pen: Parker Senior Duofold
Today’s ink: Waterman blue (vintage)

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