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Posts Tagged ‘H.P. Lovecraft’

Happy Belated

Posted by Dirck on 2 September, 2016

I suddenly realize that I missed Lovecraft’s birthday this year. YIKE!  Today’s film is a back-tracking based on that realization, but I’ll mention that if you haven’t read the story upon which it is based, you probably won’t get as much joy from watching as if you had.  Go ahead and read it– it’s one of the least racism-inclusive stories of his, and is probably also the least stilted, told as a conversation over drinks rather than a fevered diary entry set down by someone who has only ever read Poe.

Read it?  Good!  Time for the film:

Today’s pen: Pelikan P488
Today’s ink: Waterman Florida Blue

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I Need Cheering Up

Posted by Dirck on 13 May, 2016

Yet another rejection for a story yesterday, alas.  The fact that I’ve gotten more rejections this year than I have previously made submissions is, in a way Superman’s imperfect duplicate would understand, positive… yet I do find I’m a little blue.  Therefore, today’s imported film is a comedy.

There, that’s buoyed me up a bit, and reminded me that it took one of my favourite authors a while to find a market.  All set for tomorrow’s free tuning clinic.

Today’s pen: Waterman Phileas
Today’s ink: Herbin Poussière de Lune

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Unearthing Some Entertainment

Posted by Dirck on 5 February, 2016

For today’s Found Film, a freshly-posted treatment of a moldering short work of literary fiction.

Tee hee.

Today’s pen: Pilot Vanishing Point
Today’s ink: Waterman blue-black (modern)

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There’s Still a Little Cake

Posted by Dirck on 21 August, 2015

After yesterday’s festivities, the theme of the Friday Film was foredoomed.  I think this one does a great job of getting the flavour right, without the striving for a visual presentation that usually scuttles attempts at “Lovecraftian film”.

I think I know what I’m going to start calling the most troublesome moggie in our house….

Today’s pen: Pelikan Signum

Today’s ink: Montblanc Royal Blue

This is what imagination suggests will happen. Imagination is not good at scale.

This is what imagination suggests will happen. Imagination is not good at scale.

But I should also mention that a week tomorrow, there’s another of my pen-tuning clinics happening at Paper Umbrella (or, as they’re known on Facebook, Paper Umbrella).  That’s Saturday, 29 August, for those who want to mark their calendar.  If you show up, I promise not to bore you with jibber-jabber about the trials of authors or the joys of horror fiction.  Nope, all jibber-jabber will be focused upon fountain pens and related accessories (with which Paper Umbrella is stuffed to bulging– ink! Paper! Other kinds of pen!).  Show up with a pen that’s not running quite to spec, and I’ll see about putting it on its feet.  Buy a pen, and I’ll make sure it’s had the right treatment from the factory.  I know I’ll have fun, and I hope you will too.

I made cookies last time.

{edit– if you are going, why not make a note of it on the Facebook Event page?  Knowing people are going to be there would help me mentally prepare myself for actually being seen}

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Thinking of You on Your Birthday

Posted by Dirck on 20 August, 2015

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 17 August
  • 18 August
  • 19 August
  • First draft of “Old Home Week”.
  • “Old Home Week” continues, and I should tell you the story behind it when I’ve a moment.
  • Yet more “Old Home Week”.
  • Seven manuscript pages
  • Six pages.
  • Six pages
  • 55 min.
  • 45 min.
  • 40 min.
  • 30 min.

Since it’s the 125th birthday of a gentle professional author and amateur racist from Providence, I might as well do a little open thinking about writing, both his and my own.

I’ll let ego take the fore; what’s that story I hint at in the Progress Report?  Well, it promises to be almost entirely uninteresting, but here it comes:  A few months ago, I had an idea for a story and wrote it down.  During my extended vacation, there came to me a mental image of how a story that fits that idea would start, and I nurtured that image until I had leisure to get it written down (for those without one, a school-age child when there’s no school is a magnificent preventative against sitting quietly and writing, so my vacation had almost no writing in it).  “Decorations” followed thereafter.  When I got the story finished, or as finished as it’s going to be until I pass it through the improving mills of third-party, semi-anonymous readers, I found that there was some dissatisfaction in me.  I still quite liked the mental image that had come on me, and wondering if putting the whole thing into a format that would serve a visual medium would quiet my restless heart, I went through the screenplay effort mentioned on past Reports.

Success of a sort.  I certainly think the exercise was worthwhile.  At the workshop I attended at the end of May, our guide mentioned that it is useful to try handling the same story with different points of view.  Usually, this is meant to be more internal to the story, moving from “I walked along the street, carefree, until a squelching sensation underfoot and a rank smell brought me up short” to “Halfway along the block, old Mr. Crun is pausing in his morning constitutional to briskly scrape one shoe on the edge of the curb, while shouting imprecations at the whole genus Canis.”  What I did was a little more meta- than that, moving the point of view from reader to viewer, but the effect on writer I think was much the same.  I saw the story from a new place, and I realized what my problem was.  Success!

…of a sort, because the problem was this: I didn’t actually write the story that the idea described.  That was the source of the dissatisfaction.  Thank goodness it wasn’t a novel, eh?  If you look at the few paltry things I’ve got in the Art Department here, you’ll get a good sense of the sort of thing I habitually do.  I like the shiver of effect more than I do committing a satisfying arc.  This is probably a result of my frequent indulgence in Lovecraft’s writing, and while I don’t think it’s wrong, it’s not always right.  In the case of what I meant to write, I realized I shouldn’t be trying to hang out in Arkham or points along the Aylesbury Pike, but should rather be thinking more in terms of October Country.  I get to begin again, with dials in my head adjusted properly– “Shocking Revelation” is turned down, “Sweet Melancholy” turned up a little past half-way.  As much as I honour the Old Man, sometimes art lies in directions he tended to avoid.

All of which is a very long way of reiterating the importance of reading if one means to be a writer.

I cannot discover the true source of the image; if you click on it, you'll end up whence I lifted it.

I cannot discover the true source of the image; if you click on it, you’ll end up whence I lifted it.

Today’s pen: Waterman 52
Today’s ink: Reeves blue-black

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Posted by Dirck on 8 May, 2015

Well… the disarticulated corpse of Old Man Winter has made a strange and alarming twitch around here, so I guess there’s something marginally thematic to today’s slightly chilling amusement.

Slightly chilling, and rather unexpected.  Damn it, that’s right on point for today’s weather.

Today’s pen: Waterman Préface
Today’s ink: Pelikan violet

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Cut It Out

Posted by Dirck on 27 February, 2015

No particular theme for today’s film; just a little bit of nonsense based on the works of the noted author and recreational racist H.P. Lovecraft.  Because I like his work in the former line, and because he didn’t recruit too hard for the latter.

As outre as this is, it’s a good deal less upsetting than at least three Betty Boop features I’ve seen.  Actual cartoons of the 1920’s were weird.

Today’s Pen: Pelikan New Classic
Today’s ink: Iroshizuku Fuyu-Syogun

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Spine-Tingling Romance!

Posted by Dirck on 13 February, 2015

Valentine’s day tomorrow?  Well, that calls for a thematic film:

…and I just saved you from having to go to the theatre and watch 50 Shades of Grey.  Ain’t I a sweetie?

Today’s charming pen: Pilot L-150MS
Today’s cute ink: Herbin Bleu Myosotis

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Making A Foolish Choice

Posted by Dirck on 10 February, 2015

I find, I think in common with many people of a similar family situation, than I frequently want to strangle my brother.

I’m not going to, this is no open confession of murder or even actual murderous intent.  A Simpsons-style strangling, with lots of funny noises and no one actually getting hurt, would be the ideal, in that it would vent the frustration without engaging the interest of the police or one’s own sense of guilt.  However, since that’s not really an option, I’ll just have to live with wanting to do it.  Anyway, it is frequently useful or comforting to have a sibling, sometimes even both, so I try not to hang onto the sensation.

Sometimes, though….  But I’m being obscure.  I was talking about something I had seen on these Interwebz of ours a couple of weeks ago, the thrust of which was the failure of most games that get “Lovecraftian” hung on them to handle the great lurking menace to all reality properly.  The problem is, in a nutshell, that games offer the chance to win, even if winning is really hard, and the whole point of the notion of “Lovecraftian” is that the greatest triumph possible is to never realize how utterly insignificant all human activity is on a cosmic scale.  My brother isn’t quite as much of a fan of Ol’ Providence as I am, but he reads enough Mike Mignola comics to appreciate that sort of thing.  I went on like a dummy to say that I had a vague notion of writing a fake review of a game that actually does it right.

He had a laugh, and then grew thoughtful.  I believe I have mentioned that my brother is a graphic artist.  By this we understand that his brain doesn’t work quite like a normal human thinker.  Some damn muse or another spoke into his receptive ear, and like the conduit to the invisible that all artists occasionally become, he spoke.

“That would make an awesome Choose-Your-Own Adventure book!”




Not only was he right, he seems to have stuck the notion firmly down my interhemispheric fissure.  All last week it was wearing away at the cortex it was up against as I was getting through those second and third draft things that were screeching for attention, and I actually began writing it on Sunday.  I’m now thirty-five pages along, and it’s turning into actual work.

The positive aspect of this current project is that I suspect it will be rather good practice for a proper novel; all this keeping track of different story lines, without the requirement that they all end up connecting or at least agreeing at the end, is bound to help the eventual full enterprise.  The negative aspect, apart from “what’s the market for Choose-Your-Own Adventure works?,” is that it will make the progress reports even more boring for the foreseeable than they have been (and I’m under no illusions on that front).  Adjustments may occur, if the Watchful Conscience will allow.

But there’s still some time left, and the blank pages call.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer 300
Today’s ink: Pelikan Violet

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M’nar-ry Christmas? Nope, That’s Not Right….

Posted by Dirck on 15 December, 2014

I’m writing today because I don’t have time to write; a paradoxical statement, but I’m sure the writers in the audience follow the logic of it.

The weekend saw me abusing the dickens out of my magnificent stand-mixer, making double batches of seasonal cookies without irritating all the joints in both arms.  Three pounds of shortbread (of the cornstarch sort; I’m still considering the more traditional Scots version), and about five of speculaas.

Speculaas is not, for those to whom it is a new word, something I’ve just made up.  Its a traditional Dutch cookie I found a brilliant recipe for last year, and it went over so well last year I don’t forsee any problem getting that much finished cookie into appreciative gullets.  The thing about speculaas is that it’s meant to be molded, and I didn’t trouble with gathering up the family molds this year– because they were a little tedious last year, and the last thing I wanted to introduce into a batch of 150 cookies was extra work.  I just rolled it out, used a pizza wheel to bang it into appropriate oblongs, and only four man-hours later I was done.

…except of a little dough left over when the last tray was full.  Madness and the creative impulse got into me then, and while that now-penultimate batch was cooking, I made some art.  If one uses a very broad definition along the lines of that presented in the seventh chapter of Scott McCloud’s treatise on sequential art.



“It represented a monster of vaguely anthropoid outline, but with an octopus-like head whose face was a mass of feelers, a scaly, rubbery-looking body, prodigious claws on hind and fore feet, and long, narrow wings behind. This thing, which seemed instinct with a fearsome and unnatural malignancy, was of a somewhat bloated corpulence, and squatted evilly on a rectangular block…,” as initially described. I might have done better if I’d had the sketch at hand instead of working from memory.

I’m among those who wonder if it will ever get eaten.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Valiant TD
Today’s ink: Pelikan Brilliant Brown

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