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Posts Tagged ‘Hero 100’

Posted by Dirck on 14 March, 2019

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 11 March
  • 12 March
  • 13 March
  • 14 March
  • First draft of “Tiger on My Back.”
  • First draft of a thing about lawn culture that needs a title.
  • Second draft of same. “At Work on the Back 40,” maybe?
  • 1240 typed words.
  • Around 1100 typed words.
  • 364 typed words.

So… what’s with all the non-manuscript first drafts? A small experiment, although “Tiger” began as a typed thing because I’m working on it Sundays using the iPad/Keyboard combo I was so avid about at the start of the year; I’m also annoying other parents at the son’s gymnastics class (it’s specific for kids with ASD, so it’s really more of a class in trampoline bouncing until you’ve had all you can take followed by quiet lounging in a foam pit). The other thing is one I thought I’d just see how it went if I dove straight into typing for a change.

I discover two things. I appear to have trained myself out of the urge to faff around with obsessive, productivity-smashing edits in the first draft even if it’s an available option, so that’s good. I also find that I would still prefer to start out with pen and paper, because the slightly slower pace of getting the words out gives the scenes a chance to form in the air around me more fully. Either way, I’m still pausing to stare at the wall in front of me at regular intervals while the unwritten bit clarifies, but those pauses are shorter working with a pen.

They’re also more decorative, since a man poised to return pen to paper with a faraway look in his eye is a slightly more romantic figure than someone slumped idly in front of a keyboard.

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Posted by Dirck on 7 March, 2019

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 4 March
  • 5 March
  • 6 March
  • 7 March
  • First draft of “Tiger on My Back.”
  • Second draft of “The Curse of the Dragon.”
  • 960 typed words
  • Cripes, I keep going back and undoing stuff. Maybe… 2500 words? It’s not that long, though.

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Posted by Dirck on 17 August, 2017

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

Say, that doesn’t seem like a very productive week, does it? Well… let me counter that impression with a couple of pictures.  The first is slightly misleading.

Why is this misleading?  Because it implies a mathematical precision exists in the growth of what is, really, an organic structure.  We don’t look at a basketball player and say, “That person is 114.3% tall,” right? So, on to the other, more completely accurate picture:

Yep. END.  The story has run its course, the protagonist slumping off to face the rest of his life in the wake of the harrowing events laid out on the preceding 802 pages†, and I get to have a beer to reinforce myself at the prospect of the second draft (which I was already dreading as part of an entry in May).  It may only be 97.9% of the projected length, but for someone who hasn’t a lot of novel-ing experience, and who a couple of times thought the plot was gurgling out of him much too briskly, I’m fairly proud to have landed that close to the target.

I’m trying to decide now whether I give myself a bit of a break and work on a short story or two, or if I should just get onto the smoothing of this roughly-gouged bit of word-granite into something that actually looks like a viable novel.  I believe that I’ll decide this at leisure, over the course of the weekend.  Under the influence of large beer and strong drink.  You know, like those writers you see in movies.

 

†You see the format of all those pages, of course.  If my estimates are near correct, that’s just shy of 300 pages of legible, typed material.  I ain’t no Stephen King, nor any George R.R. Martin (yet)‡.

 

‡This parenthetical barnacle may be considered a sign of raging hubris.  I’m sure I’ll get over it as the magnitude of the work ahead of me becomes apparent and notes from my helpful readers begin to appear.

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Posted by Dirck on 10 August, 2017

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

A short week, we having celebrated “OK You Can Have A Long Weekend In August” Day on Monday.  That last entry was actually run out at home, making it one of perhaps a half-dozen generated there.  I expect I’ll be doing some work on the novel tomorrow, rather than my usual lunch out, to satisfy my own sense of devotion to the work.  Here, have a look at how things stand:

I am, as it happens, right in the middle of the climax.  This is fantastic, from a standpoint of the climax landing just about exactly where I’d hoped it would, but it is also amazingly frustrating because I have all the words surging about in my head right now, and if I could actually convince the whole world to ignore my existence for… I’ll say a solid five hour block of time, I could get it all out in a single session rather than stuttering along for a few pages before Mr. Slate yanks the pteranodon’s tail to announce the end of lunch.  And I can’t just say to the family “I’m not actually here” in the evenings, because my wife has a role in a stage production of A Turn of the Screw and rehearsals are every damn  night this week– the son wants a companion and the wife can’t drive.  I got duties.

But enough lamenting.  The end is nigh!  Hoorah!

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Basic Maintenance

Posted by Dirck on 7 August, 2017

I came to discover recently that I have been letting my site slide into squalor.  Of course, with a vast media empire such as mine, it’s not surprising that some elements suffer occasional neglect from the not only the owner, but even the managers and frontline staff.

…all of whom is me.

A couple of weeks ago I got an email from someone seeking a thoroughly incomplete but slightly helpful set of data which resides on my page for Swan pens.  Or rather, it should reside there.  The sender of the note had been disappointed to find instead a sullen note from Dropbox that they’d stopped letting all and sundry wander into the castle, tracking up the carpets and pointing in an ill-bred manner.

Oh, dear.

I thanked this confidential informant and set to work on fixing the problem.  Once I had it sorted on that page, it struck me that I was using Dropbox for several useful little tidbits, mainly scans of instruction booklets from ages past that I wanted to share with the world.  The problem had become a hydra.  Then, as I landed on another page that needed attention, I found a deeply unlovely image where there should have been a picture:

Do NOT go to that URL

On the older incarnation of my site, I had trouble uploading images, so I relied on… the service named above.  At the time, that service was fairly benign.  When I committed the overhaul of the site, the uploading of images was not longer a challenge and I had taken fresh pictures in which one could make out little details like “Which end is the front?”  What I forgot was that there were several images over on that service which I deemed at the time sufficiently adequate in illustrating a point to bring over.  Thus, as word that this service I decline to name (to keep from helping their search engine score) had ceased to be benign and was in fact a heaving mass of pop-up ads and annoyance filtered into my consciousness, it never occurred to me that I should react.  It is also likely that the lazy element in my subconscious glanced at the news, decided it would be too much work to do anything about, and concealed it from the more active parts of my make-up.

“As ye sow, so shall ye reap” is not quite apt here; the usual crop of laziness is loads of extra work, and I don’t see the equivalence.  In any event, when I realized what a dog’s breakfast some of my pages had become, I grasped the nettle and did what I could to put it right.  If you flip through the site, or indeed the back issues of this little enterprise, you will find no other reproductions of that nasty extortionist of an image, and so far as I can discover no disappointing billets doux from Dropbox.

However… I know that the real solution is to host my own images, and this I have not done.  My brother and I both have lamentably image-intensive sites, and neither of them brings in vast heaps of money (his more than mine), so I’m loath to suggest that we pay for more storage, and even more loath to suggest that I take over more of what’s there.  Thus, I’ve made a problem for another day by stuffing all these things on what are currently benign third party storage.

I just hope Google and WordPress don’t get all grabby about their monetization, the way… that other service… did.

Today’s pen: Hero 100
Today’s ink: Herbin Poussière de Lune

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Posted by Dirck on 3 August, 2017

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

If you hear a slight humming noise, it may well be me in my excitement at being so close to finished the first draft. The climax is not quite underway, but the fuse on it is burning and about to enter the touch-hole.

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Posted by Dirck on 27 July, 2017

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

That’s a rather better week of it.  The summit is at last in view, too– I’m only about 90 pages from my goal.  This is good news, because what little I know about pacing is shouting at me that delaying the climax much based on where the story stands now is not wise.

I also want to be slightly self-congratulatory about this weeks perseverance, as yesterday saw an honest parade of painful stupidity at Regular Job.  I was able to grunt through it for the noon writing session, but at the cost of forgetting completely to reply to some emails from people seeking work on their pens.  I’d best get at that, eh?

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Posted by Dirck on 1 October, 2015

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 28 September
  • 29 September
  • 30 September
  • First draft of “Aliasing Harmonic” (definitely a working title)
  • See previous
  • …and still a better title eludes me…
  • …as does real concentration.
  • Ten manuscript pages.
  • Five pages.
  • Six pages.
  • Four measly pages
  • 55 min.
  • 30 min.
  • 35 min.
  • 40 min.

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Posted by Dirck on 24 September, 2015

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 21 September
  • 22 September
  • 23 September
  • 24 September
  • A free lunch (yet I grumble)
  • Second draft of “Old Home Week”.
  • The same.
  • So near the end….
  • Not a metaphoric sausage
  • 1,036 words typed.
  • 978 words.
  • 1,041 words.
  • 65 min.
  • 35 min.
  • 35 min.
  • 40 min.

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Posted by Dirck on 17 September, 2015

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 15 September
  • 16 September
  • 17 September
  • Second draft of “Old Home Week”.
  • The same.
  • …and again.
  • 1,366 words typed.
  • 384 words.
  • 1,008 words.
  • 50 min.
  • 15 min.
  • 35 min.

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