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Posts Tagged ‘Duofold’

Posted by Dirck on 2 February, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  •  23 manuscript pages (that’s a little better).


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Posted by Dirck on 26 January, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  •  18 manuscript pages.

That’s an alarmingly low page-count for this week, which is down to an unexpected office celebratory lunch.  Free lunch, yes, but not only did it cost me a day’s efforts, it made me rather ill so yesterday was not very productive either.  Boo.

However, if my page/word ratios are right, I’m now above 25,000 words, or 100 typed pages.  For something that only gets poked at over lunch-hours, that’s coming along reasonably well.

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Posted by Dirck on 19 January, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  •  22 manuscript pages.

A joyful… more or less… realization on Tuesday, that the point-of-view of the novel wasn’t quite where it should be.  This will make extra work on the second draft (thus “or less”), but it also mean some elements that have been a drag-inducing burden to the narrative can be more easily handled and I should be able to skip along a little more briskly henceforth.

I’m also faced with a couple of other projects that might distract me from this hoped-for brisk skipping; there’s a call from weird stories which also examine the effects of colonization in the Victorian era, and my wife is urging me to convert something to a screenplay for a local competition.  Egad.

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Posted by Dirck on 12 January, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  •  26 manuscript pages.

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Posted by Dirck on 5 January, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  •  20 manuscript pages.

A minor disaster has occurred for me on the mechanical side of the writing. I managed to jostle my book at the end at yesterday’s writing session, causing a Rube Goldberg cascade which threw my fiction pen to the floor.  This was not the Sailor, but my well-loved Touchdown Valiant, and it now has a small crack opened up at the rear of the barrel which defeats filling.  I’ll take it away for repairs, but I think I’ll rotate something else in so I don’t feel like I have to rush the repaired pen back into service before the solvent-weld has a chance to knit properly.  Probably a slightly older Sovereign II, which has very similar writing properties.  I am somewhat low in my spirits about this accident, though– I love my pens nearly like children, and to have injured one through my own clumsiness stings.

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Posted by Dirck on 29 December, 2016

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  •  12 manuscript pages.

Another duff week for writing, because I had Boxing Day off and allowed it to be entirely off (apart from struggling through newly-come toys and drifts of discarded wrapping in an effort to find scraps of food that were not sugar- or nog-based).  I may be derided for insufficient devotion to my art, I guess.

I also appear to have been entirely taken over by Diamine inks.  I should try to use something else soon, although I’m happy to offer them an unpaid endorsement– they’re darned good inks, and a bargain as well.  Speaking of which, I was recently scandalized when I found a bottle of Quink washable blue at a big box for $20.  It was directly below a sign declaring a couple of linear feet of shelves as Fine Writing, so I guess they feel justified in putting prices up madly– no wonder people have an impression fountain pens are the exclusive domain of rich people (I notice, parenthetically, that on Parker’s site, they think about $10 is closer to right, so it’s not a universal dementia).

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Posted by Dirck on 22 December, 2016

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  •  14 manuscript pages, plus 1,840 second-draft words of “Free Balloons for All Good Children”.

The low novel output this week is only in part a result of Christmas pressure, or I guess direct Christmas pressure.  It occurred to me on Monday that the antagonist of the novel, who has yet to even appear as more than a suggested presence, is a lamentably two-dimensional character.  Twenty percent done is an uncomfortable place to run up against an objection like that, and like a ship running onto a sand-bar, I’ve lost a little momentum; hopefully I’ll glide over it presently rather than having to wait for the next spring tide.

Also, last week I was told by my banker we could presume upon the equity of the house to extend line of credit and give the credit card a good kicking.  I hesitated, because the reason the credit card currently needs a good kicking is immediately after the last time we played this trick (mentioned here in connection with needing to replace a vehicle), there was a string of disasters in the household which gobbled up all the available credit.  However, it was a sensible plan, replacing 28% interest with 4%, so yes, let’s do that.  Monday night this week, my son did something to express his joyful high spirits which saw the drainpipe of the bathroom sink snapped off at the outflow and the wall; it’s unclear just what he was at, since alone time in the bathroom is a right we respect, but since he’s eight it was probably literal rather than figurative monkey-business.  The impending expense of fixing this, just after having done all the Christmas shopping (and most of that on ready cash, like wise people do), lowered my own spirits substantially, and added more drag to my creativity.  That’s the indirect Christmas pressure at work.

Oh, while I’m talking about Christmas pressures; if you want to try something that will taint forevermore your happy associations of the concept “Egg Nog,” you need only get some of the Bolthouse Farms Limited Edition Holiday Nog.  An oily body coupled with a persistent pickled cedar undernote to an otherwise hard-to-define suite of flavours ensures that this is a product which will not be getting invited back to our celebrations.  I like some of Bolthouse’s other stuff, but this is just plain wrong.

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Posted by Dirck on 19 May, 2016

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 16 May
  • 17 May
  • 18 May
  • 19 May
  • First draft of “Suspension of Disbelief.”
  • Third draft work on “Mistake of Timing” and “Poor Old Micheal Finnegan.”
  • Second draft of “Late Retirement.”
  • Ditto
  • 690 typed words, and done.
  • Stuff.  Adjustments.
  • 863 typed words.
  • 684 words, owing to distraction.*
  • 55 min.
  • 55 min.
  • 40 min.
  • 40 min.

* Bad news, of the deeply inconvenient sort: a bank which lies between that of Regular Job and me, whose job it is to move my pay from one to the other, has had some sort of system error.  Since “paycheque to paycheque” is the marching orders for my household, as it is for so many others, this is a nervous-making development on the leading edge of a long weekend.

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Posted by Dirck on 12 May, 2016

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 9 May
  • 10 May
  • 11 May
  • 12 May
  • First draft of “Late Retirement.”
  • And a fun first draft it’s becoming!
  • Fun, and persistent.
  • Done… but for a satisfactory last sentence or three.  GRRRR!
  • Eight manuscript pages.
  • Seven pages.
  • Eight pages.
  • Five pages.
  • 55 min.
  • 45 min.
  • 50 min.
  • 55 min.

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Contemplation of Colonialism

Posted by Dirck on 11 May, 2016

I recently added a few pages on my site… wait!  Don’t rush over there!

As it happens, I’m making this entry because I know that people who habitually look in there are not necessarily people who habitually look in here, and because on one of the added pages in question, I only make a little bit of scandalized screeching and don’t feel I’ve quite had my screech out, yet.

Usually, my scandalized screeching as is induced by Italian pen makers is the result of an interaction of the cost of a pen and the need for remediation to actually function; I have this strange notion that a pen which costs $1000 should actually write well and when requested, a notion it seems high-end Italian pen makers are not entirely committed to.  This is not the case this time, at least not entirely– that element is present as well, but only as a trace by comparison to the main issue.

The pens in question are Delta’s “Indigenous Peoples” series, limited edition pens that have appeared not quite every year since 2003.  The thrust of this series is, if I can distill several different years’ advertising puffery, to celebrate “enduring,” “unchanging,” and “most authentic” cultures of the world, which is laudable if a little hard to satisfactorily define.  What gets me screeching is the specifics of how Delta has gone about this purported celebration.

Let me touch first on cultural appropriation.  These pens being meant to call to mind specific cultures, they have applied to them motifs drawn from those cultures.  This becomes problematic if, as I believe is the case, this is done without consultation with the culture in question.  It veers into objectionable if we see a big pile of money being made off those motifs without any of that money moving in the direction of the owning culture, especially when many of the cultures Delta has seen fit to celebrate thus have had rather rough handling.  This sort of thing lies in the direction of intellectual property theft, which I am not in favour of (speaking from a place of self-interest as a nearly-professional writer, but not only from that place).  There is not even the traditional unequal trade of the beads and knickknacks in exchange for left side of continent style which so many of these cultures have been treated to in the past.  Perhaps, as some individual artists have been told, they should be pleased to be getting exposure.

Now, the thing that really got me going is not this sufficiently-inflammatory realization of a pen-maker wringing money out of people in a more than commonly one-sided way.  No, what really set my teeth on edge was the numbers of the limited editions.  As you know, I’m no fan of artificially-rare pens, an opinion I expanded on some time ago, but it’s a common enough practice to stamp “X of XXXX” on the side of a pen to render it collectible and excuse a giant price-tag.  Delta had done that with these pens, and that’s all well and good, but in getting my research in hand I noticed that the size of each version’s run varied.  The number of each pen had meaning for each culture it “celebrated,” and that meaning was frequently deeply troubling.  Here’s a spread-sheet I made up for the page, of which you may for current purposes ignore the third, fourth and fifth columns:

If I were to stop here, I think most of you would see the point… but I’m still full of rant.  Some of those are innocuous enough, and the Maya one is actually a functional, reasonable way of celebrating an achievement of that culture.  There are at least three that are essentially direct affronts to the cultures involved.  But with that one exception for the Maya, the whole thing acts as an instant example of colonial thinking; your culture is defined in terms of what mainstream European culture thinks of as a significant interaction with mainstream European culture (and I will include the mainstream North American culture as, in essence, European).  There is no you in absence of us.  You are no more than a quantum wavicle, we are the observer who by the act of observation defines your state.  It’s frankly amazing that the number for the Maya isn’t 1521 or 1697, because then they would be reduced to a sideline of European history, too, which is apparently the done thing.

Have I shocked you?  I hope so.  It’s no more than a transmission of my own shock at realizing what Delta has done, a shock enhanced by the thought that it probably didn’t occur to anyone there that there was anything wrong with the way they were approaching this business.  It should be shocking.

As is ever the case, I have comments open on this entry, so you may join me in screeching or offer explanations that might moderate the shock.  If something turns uncivil, I will moderate it with great force; discussions of racism and colonialism can descend into poo-flinging all too easily, and I won’t have that in my parlor.

Today’s pen: Parker Duofold AF
Today’s ink: Jentle blue-black

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