What's up at Ravens March.

Vintage pens-Handmade books-Silly statements

Posts Tagged ‘Duofold’

Posted by Dirck on 3 January, 2019

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 31 December
  • 1 January
  • 2 January
  • 3 January
  • Scrambling in pursuit of a functional iPad.
  • Baking for a family New Year’s Day meal.
  • Second draft of “Preserve My Fondest Memories.”
  • Apparent success†
  • see below
  • 1179 typed words, and complete.

I decided to try a new thing with baking– flaky rolls. Since I had some success, I’ll share.

First, make up a batch of rough puff pastry dough (which sounds like it should be swaggering along an alley in a Carebears setting, does it not?). I amended that recipe in using common Canadian all-purpose flour and salt of unknown provenance, and rather than carefully “rubbing in” the butter, I just let my stand mixer molest the butter into the flour until it was in smallish bits before adding the water..

After the final rest and chill of the dough, roll it out, then cut it into twelve squares about 10cm on a side. With each square, fold the corners into the middle and press then down so they stick together (this is purely decorative; I expect more or less the same results from just folding in half along whatever axis tickles your fancy). Arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment, brush with beaten egg, and cook at 375F for about 35 minutes. It’s almost like croissants, but with substantially less faffing about with rising– I finished this in under an hour and a half, and you really can’t get croissants in less than eight hours.

As a bonus, there’s the trimmed edges of the dough which you can… if you’re inclined… form into twists, throw on a sheet of their own, and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. You could even, if feeling very charitable, tell the other members of your family about having made these little side-treats.

† No sign of the misery the initial iPad offered. Indeed, 747 words of this week’s production were banged out using tablet and its Bluetooth-enthralled keyboard, as a proof of concept effort. I may soon become a stereotype writer, lurking in a corner of a cafe and clattering away for hours after ordering a single inexpensive beverage.

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Posted by Dirck on 28 December, 2018

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 24 December
  • 25-27 December
  • 28 December
  • First draft of “Preserve My Fondest Memories.”
  • Festive Family Frolicking
  • Not much of anything, alas.
  • 5 manuscript pages.
  • PREPARATION OF TECHNOLOGY
  • Use lunch hour for lunch? Lunacy!

I’ll get into that technology thing on Monday, when I’m considering the year in review. As one does at this time of year.

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Posted by Dirck on 20 December, 2018

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 17 December
  • 18 December
  • 19 December
  • 20 December
  • First draft of “Fresh Milk.”
  • First draft of “Preserve My Fondest Memories.”‡
  • 9 manuscript pages.
  • 5 pages.

Holy cats. That’s a wholly unplanned run of Herbin inks. Good thing the Vanishing Point ran dry so I can bring in something else, eh?

†I’ve run into some incontrovertible evidence that the number I’m relying on is a date-code. So it’s not a Sailor 102… it’s a Sailor pocket pen made in February of 1971, the model of which I still have to work out. The page will be updating soon to reflect this.

What appears to be becoming a common unease with the result of the first draft has settled onto me regarding “Fresh Milk.” This makes sense, for a change, because the idea only lightbulbed its way into my life the day before I started on it. “Preserve…” on the other hand is something that has been lying patient in the root-cellar for quite some time now, sprouting pale, curling ramifications; only the first day of work on it, but it’s looking like it’s going to develop as I’d hoped while “Fresh Milk” gets to rest and ferment a little.††

††Yes, that is a mixed metaphor. I will also mix gin with tonic or whiskey with Drambuie, when the mood strikes.

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Posted by Dirck on 22 February, 2018

Before getting to the usual meat of Thursday, the other sort of progress report.  I’ve fixed the thing that was broken with the site!  However, I broke some other stuff getting that accomplished.  You will get more than a blank screen now, but you won’t get the sought-for content.  Yet.  Work continues, when I’m able.

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 4,148 words typed.

Holy moly, that’s pretty good, eh?  I will dash water upon myself that pointing out that last week got exactly as much done as I reported here; absolutely nothing.  On average over the two weeks… a little scanty.

However, let be not cling to gloom.  This week’s big number is thanks to me having been at least prepared to get some work done away from The Regular Job, if the dual entertainments of decluttering and quivering in the throes of mental stress’s equivalent of the Bends allowed.  Monday was Family Day here in Saskatchewan (or, as we traditionalists call it What Do You Mean You Want An Actual Day Off In February Isn’t Valentine Chocolate Sufficient Day), and I actually found a couple of hours loose in the afternoon in which I could grapple with a keyboard.  That one session was equivalent to a full week’s working through lunch.

And so, I start to think, which is ever dangerous.  Shall I break in upon the relaxation of the weekend with this other sort of work?  Shall I take away time I might devote to baking an injurious dessert for the weekly family get-together?  Will I at last admit that time spent driving and destroying imaginary tanks, however little of it I do in a week, is not time best spent?  I think, given how long this novel is taking and how much is left, I had better give it a try.

Speaking of “how long”, my initial length estimate hilariously tells me that I have only 4,034 words left until completion.  The initial estimate is, and let me whisper where it cannot hear me, completely off its rocker. The more-likely estimate says a bit over 20,000 words yet to go. Which, at the pace of all weeks before this one, means another eight weeks of typing (curse you, groundhog!).  The idea of nearly doubling my pace begins to glow with attraction.

Which means I’d better get the site sorted out tonight.

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Posted by Dirck on 8 February, 2018

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  •  2,691 words typed.

As a small indication of the sort of time I’ve been enjoying the last couple of weeks; I only just now noticed that the thing I had meant to post last Friday… isn’t. Isn’t up. Isn’t around. Isn’t available. I put the effort into writing one, but there is no trace of it whatsoever. This gives me a slight headstart on tomorrow, since I have a memory of what it was, but to not have noticed at all AND to have it vanish is disconcerting.

I will not put this down to the Mandela effect, as much fun as side-slipping through the multiverse might be, but simply to my own stress-cracked brain. To address this issue, I’m taking next week off from The Regular Job. This may see a dose of writing done, since my son will be in school and he’s the main impediment to writing at home (I love him, and he loves me; his manifests as “you must watch this Annoying Orange video with me again” and mine manifests as submission to that insistence).  However, I may also just sleep for 127 hours without a break, too.  We’ll see how that works out.

One of the minor positive elements to not having sold the novel to anyone yet, nor secured an agent; no deadline.

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Posted by Dirck on 1 February, 2018

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  •  2,737 words typed.

You might think, with that relatively high word count, I’d be a happy fellow.

Hey, look, I’m using foreshadowing, like a writer.

It has, by most other metrics, been a fairly abominable week… and a bit.  I’m not going to share the whole sad yarn, but one form of woe which came to the house lately I will offer here, because it’s a kind which I have shared previously.  We have lost yet another cat.  This time, at least, it’s a loss which we saw coming, because unlike so many of the others, this chap lived to the sort of age we expect a cat to last to.  He was the child of she who passed from us eight years back (good heavens, but haven’t I been at this while?), and was creeping stealthily toward his nineteenth birthday.  Alas, like so many desirable prey will, it seems to have noticed him stalking it, and fled away.

He made a pretty good hunt of it, though.  Farewell to Oberon, then.

And because he was adopted by the wrong sort of people, his full name was Oberon Kenobi.

Our sole survivor, Hercule, is as bereft as you might expect from looking at this. Once we’ve cleaned up the place a little, we’ll be seeking new companions for him.

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Posted by Dirck on 23 November, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 2992 words typed

 

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Posted by Dirck on 16 November, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 2125 words typed (long weekend)

Also, here’s a thing that happened this week:

Which is encouraging in two contradictory ways.  The first is obvious enough– oh boy, halfway done!

But… am I, really?  Remember, the gauge is based on an estimate of the word count based on a comparison of previous projects’ first draft page counts to final word counts.  “Estimate” can be accurate, or not.  So, let me run something by you.  When I finished the most recent bout of typing, I closed my manuscript and held a ruler up to it.  When gently compressed, it is a stack of paper roughly 3 cm tall.  The sticky-note which indicates where I left off is about 1 cm from the top.

…so I may be more in the order of 33% finished.  Which is great in terms of what the final word count may be; possibly as much as 100,000, a much more genre-appropriate weight (in as much as this thing fits a genre– closest to horror, although… have I mentioned this?… there is a tendril extending into the camp of detective fiction).  Wonderful!  Fantastic!

Those who know my capacity for dashing cold water on my own head will already have noticed the other hand presented by this second encouragement, though– I have been speaking of an estimated finishing date sometime in the first half of February.

Estimated.

It begins to look as if I’m in for a longer haul….

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Looking Back at a Preview

Posted by Dirck on 10 November, 2017

Today’s film is about tomorrow’s Remembrance, although it was filmed last week.

Also, while we’re on the topic, this is something I failed to note on 8 November:

If you do as I do, you will think some sober thoughts tomorrow. More than most days.

Today’s pen: Parker Duofold
Today’s ink: Herbin Bleu Nuit

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Posted by Dirck on 2 November, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 2,021 words typed

I notice a couple of things.  Yesterday was the start of NaNoWriMo, and tomorrow is the anniversary of my first word on paper for this novel.  There’s a connection, of course, because I arbitrarily set the start of the latter to co-incide with the former, and then buggered up my own timing slightly.  I continue to be pleased that I said NawNoHeyNo to the prospect of trying to finish in a month, because that expectation would have me feeling like a colossal failure by now.

The other thing I notice is that my word count for the week is low, thanks to the Hallowe’en thing I did over on my other front.  Not colossal failure, but it’s not helping the cause; I believe I’ll be doing some extra work tonight and tomorrow to advance things.  All the same, very nearly half-done the current draft, so the nebulous early- to mid-February finish line remains in place.

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