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Posts Tagged ‘Cross’

Posted by Dirck on 5 March, 2020

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 2 March
  • 3 March
  • 4 March
  • 5 March
  • Third draft of “Second Impression”.
  • Fourth draft of “Stuckman’s Miracle Men”.
  • Ground to an unlikely 3456 words, and sent to the publication that inspired its creation.
  • Reshaping based on comments from editors who declined it.†

†The lesser reason for doing this a rather long time after getting the third draft into what I thought was final shape is pangs of artistic pride. The greater is that I was in a fever to get MOAR STOREES!!1! written, and since in my head this one had a COMPLETED sign hung over its pigeon-hole, the notion of returning to it usually didn’t strike me at any useful time (he pauses, shirtless, toothbrush in frothy maw, and thinks, “Oh, damn. That. Maybe tomorrow…”). I managed to convince myself that the re-edit was actually the thing that was going to follow getting that Lovecraftish thing (“Filter Feeder” currently, but it may change again).

Yes, I do picture my mind as a vast array of pigeon-holes. All oak and brass, well-loved by its owner, but rather dusty and far from state of the art.

 

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Whetstone

Posted by Dirck on 21 February, 2020

This week’s film is the start of a new series on Youtube, and I am specifically doing this to boost its bandwidth. The face you see below belongs to someone who hands out plenty of good advice about writing online, and I found this opening episode encouraging in much the same way his Twitter threads are. So, as the kids have no doubt stopped saying now, smash the like and subscribe buttons.

The name of the series also tickles the hell out of me.

Today’s pen: Cross Century II
Today’s ink: Herbin Poussière de Lune

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Posted by Dirck on 13 February, 2020

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 10 February
  • 11 February
  • 12 February
  • 13 February
  • Second draft of “Second Impression”.
  • 1887 typed words.

 

 

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Posted by Dirck on 6 February, 2020

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 3 February
  • 4 February
  • 5 February
  • 6 February
  • First draft of “Second Impression”.
  • 15 manuscript pages.

 

 

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Posted by Dirck on 14 April, 2016

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 11 April
  • 12 April
  • 13 April
  • 14 April
  • Third draft of  “The Loss of Deep Waters,” followed by more first draft on “A Mistake of Timing.”
  • Pressing on with “A Mistake of Timing”.
  • Struggling against many interruptions which should not be….
  • The interruption pendulum swings back, hoorah.
  • Six manuscript pages on the latter
  • Eight pages.
  • Five measly pages.
  • Eleven pages.
  • 55 min.
  • 45 min.
  • 35 min., over an actual 50 min. span.
  • 55 min.

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Friction Fit

Posted by Dirck on 8 April, 2016

I would be comfortable betting that most of the people who look in here are fans of craftsmanship in its general meaning.  With that in mind, here’s a little bit of pornography which is entirely safe for work.  Heck, you could share it with your kids and no prude in the world would say “boo” about it.

Isn’t that astonishing?

Today’s pen: Cross Century II
Today’s ink: Quink Black

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Posted by Dirck on 31 March, 2016

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 28 March
  • 29 March
  •  30 March
  •  31 March
  • Second draft of  “The Loss of Deep Waters”.
  • First draft of “Exciting New Designer Jeans”.
  • Third Draft of “The Mermaid’s Husband”.
  • Third Draft of “Wilden Klausen” (title amended after consulting German people)
  • Done at 2,631 words.
  • Two manuscript pages.
  • Down to 7,111 words.
  • Only one darling killed, and a whole month before the deadline!
  • 45 min.
  • 35 min.
  • 45 min.
  • 35 min.

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Posted by Dirck on 24 March, 2016

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 21 March
  • 22 March
  • 23 March
  • 24 March
  • First draft of  “The Loss of Deep Waters”.
  • Conclusion of that first draft, beginning the second of “Wildenklausen”.
  • More second drafting, with some unexpected bonus time late in the day.
  • Thanks, bonus time!  Now it’s done!
  • Seven manuscript pages.
  • Two pages, then 945 words typed.
  • 2,219 words.
  • A total of 3,606 words.
  • 45 min.
  • 55 min.
  • 100 min.
  • 35 min.

Another new development in the past two weeks– I’m writing not merely to get the stories down, but to externally-imposed deadlines.  “Wildenklausen” and “The Loss of Deep Waters” are aimed at two different anthologies, both of which close at the end of April.  This is not a very tight pair of deadlines, admittedly, but it’s a good deal more pressure than what has been my usual practice of getting the thing written briskly but comfortably, for eventual presentation.  I think I’m enjoying it.  Probably.

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Here’s Hoping

Posted by Dirck on 16 June, 2014

I’ve mentioned a couple of times in the recent past that there’s a review I have been meaning to at, as soon as I remembered to process the pictures.

Well, it turns out it was “picture”, singular. I thought I’d snapped more.

No, I have not shown you this picture previously. It just looks rather like a lot of other pens.

What we have here is a bit of an enigma, and I have little to offer on it other than my own particular flavour of speculation.  The word, offered by none other than Dame Rumour herself, is that this is a company set up in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation, and that the production was aimed at sales to the occupying forces.

I have no evidence for nor against this.  However, it doesn’t sit quite right, for a few reasons.  First, there’s the very notion of a new business setting itself up in wartime Holland.  Amsterdam, unlike Rotterdam, was not particularly worked over in the invasion, so it’s not an impossible prospect, but it seems likely that anyone doing so would be apt to be tarred with suspicion of collaboration even if they were not collaborating with the invaders.  That would make it hard to hire much of a workforce, if my father’s stories of the social forces in the Netherlands at the time are valid.  However, like certain current national governments, the Nazis were great friends to business, so it’s not absolutely out of the question.

With an eye specifically on pens, established makers in Germany like Pelikan and Montblanc were rather oppressed by the demands of the wartime economy, and it seems out of character for the Reich to smile upon an effort to set up new enterprises which weren’t given to at least nominally military goods.  If the target market were the Dutch population itself, it might be a little more likely, but since the Dutch population was having trouble getting enough to eat, the pen market was probably not so big.  There were the occupying forces, of course, but (1) they were busy with the occupation, (2) they also didn’t constitute a huge market (non-comms and other ranks got more mileage out of pencils, officers weren’t so thick upon the ground), and (3) I suspect they’d prefer a German pen, just to keep the Gestapo from asking pointed questions about loyalty.  One is led to believe this last item became extremely pointy as the war went on.

Then there’s the name– “espero” is Spanish for “I hope”, on the face of it a likely name for a company set up under the shadow of the Nazi eagle, and the sort of thing the Dutch have gotten up to since at least the time of Napoleon when very unlikely family names were offered to tax collectors (things like “of the Salmon” or “the Ribbon“– ridiculous!).  Spanish is a very odd choice, though, as if there’s any nation the Dutch have a historical grudge against, it’s Spain– the yuletide threat against naughty Dutch children is the prospect of being spirited off to Spain by the helper of St. Nicholas.  Now, this may have been a way to disguise subversion, and the same word is used in Portuguese, so this may be another front of speculation that can’t stand up to scrutiny, but I still harbour doubts.

Espero

“The better fountain pen made in the Netherlands”

There is, however, evidence that Espero is an actual Dutch company.  The image to the right is, according to the scanty information provided at the source, from March of 1949, so if the brand wasn’t wartime it might be a post-war employment builder like Merlin.  The slogan is a bit of a slag upon other Dutch pens, because the examples I’ve seen on the internet prompt one to ask, “Better than what, exactly?”  One may usefully compare Espero to Wearever of similar age; an exterior of perhaps slightly better than average attractiveness, filled with works that aspire to nearly being adequate.

The actual pen I had in hand, for example, is a generally robust button filler– it seems a reliable rig, but the whole inner mechanism was gone.  I don’t think it actually dissolved, but if someone took the trouble to shake it out, it can’t have been in good shape.  The clip is interesting, as it is mounted on a very flexible bit of steel in such a way that it can be opened like a clothes-pin, similar to earlier Conklins and the later Sheaffer Stylist.  However, that very flexible spring also gives a little tremulous feedback, as if it is only just holding itself together; “hope springs eternal” does not seem applicable in this case.  The plating is very nearly a res ipsa loquitur;  it might be gone merely due to a long and interesting career, but it’s more likely a result of having been no more than a couple of molecules thick.

The point… how can I hope to comment on it?  If this is a post-war rather than a wartime pen, it might be the original.  If the pen is pre-1945, though, it almost certainly can’t be– it’s of English manufacture, and the rules governing gold-use under the Nazis were essentially “Send it all to Goebbels; he’ll put it somewhere safe.”  Pelikan and Montblanc were having trouble getting any.  A start-up in Amsterdam was unlikely to get special dispensation.  Having said all that, it’s a delightful example of a loose flex point, and I was very happy to have a chance to play with it, however briefly.

And that’s about all I’ve got on the topic.  I hope I wasn’t too contrary, and I hope the owner of the pen enjoys it for a good long time.  Hopefully it’s such a tissue of nonsense that someone with firmly grounded facts will swing in to explain the truth of it all.  We live in hope!

Today’s pen: Cross Century II
Today’s ink: Diamine Sherwood Green

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Posted by Dirck on 12 June, 2014

WHAT: Second draft of short story “Yard Light”.  I’ve hope I’ve hired enough camels to get to the far side.

HOW MUCH: 883 words.  Well begun is half done, we’re told, but I don’t think I’m going to put much stock in that.

HOW LONG: About 40 min.

Today’s pen: Cross Century II
Today’s ink: Diamine Sherwood Green

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