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Posts Tagged ‘OMAS’

Posted by Dirck on 2 January, 2020


Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 30 December
  • 31 December
  • 1 January
  • 2 January
  • Second Draft of “Uncle Bert’s Best Friend”.
  • That retrospective maundering posted here.
  • Blessed sleep†
  • Second Draft of “Uncle Bert’s Best Friend”.
  • Not much…
  • Surely you saw it.
  • Just over ten restorative hours.
  • …but up to about 1070 words now.

† Strangely, I opted for a no-booze New Year’s Eve, keeping my evening lubricated with just shy of a gallon of iced tea. So that sleep, starting late though it did, was not an alcoholic coma. Just the human frame finally collapsing from the forced march of daily employment in the modern understanding of the term.

Whether the depression and treatment thereof had anything to do with the brief teetotalling is unclear. I don’t think so, as I certainly had a small neat whisky the next day. Perhaps it’s… *gasp*… maturity asserting itself at last.

God, I hope not.

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Surprisingly Good

Posted by Dirck on 31 December, 2019

Looking back over the year, as one does in these closing moments of any calendar, one struggles to find positives. Most of the things in the world that were in a terrible state at the end of 2018 got worse, if not by any possible objective measure then by the more rational subjective ones. From my own perspective, this was the first year in a lifetime of dalliance with depression that it got to the point of demanding professional treatment.

On that– the magic brain pills are helping, but the awareness of international politics and environmental issues are certainly not. The only reason I haven’t given up on anything that brings news of such things to me is that I find a blow hurts a little less when you know it’s coming. Just imagine being blissfully engrossed in The Expanse or reruns of The Muppet Show for several months and then stumbling over what’s happening in Australia right now.

Your heart would stop, right?



I am also aware that the people in my life, both physically present and even in the apparently cursed realms of Social Media, are kind, caring, deeply human beings. This is great comfort. It’s not specific to the events of 2019, since most acquaintances predate the start of the year, but that’s fine. It is a situation which persisted through a year larded with ugly awfulness.

Also, I find myself in a fortunate position regarding all that ugly awfulness. I’m insulated from the majority of it. I live in Canada, and our recent nation election was not a frenzy of self-destruction by the majority of the voting public… although there was certainly a tint of that surrounding the event. The province in which I live is not in the best hands… oh, no, they’re a pile of short-sighted stumble-bums to be sure… but there’s at least two other provinces under the control of premiers who are visibly avid to make life as miserable as possible, as quickly as possible, for the maximum number of people. Relatively speaking, things could be a lot worse here.

This is all somewhat negative, still, or at least a very passive from of acceptable. Can I point to any authentically good events, he asked in a highly rhetorical manner?

Let me count them. The first is good for me somewhat at the expense of others– the decision to step back from pen repair was absolutely the right one, even if I didn’t fully understand what was driving the decision when it was made. The reduction of external pressures kept me from an absolute crash. The magic brain pills (and some other non-chemical treatments) are working, yet I’m still… I’m secure enough in myself to say “fragile.” So I’m very glad to be dealing with no pens but my own.

There’s also the writing, which suddenly proves to have been going very well indeed. Four stories accepted this year, and three of them published in the past month! Where?

These and a somewhat (and forgivably, understandably, delays payment on another story) means that my writing income for the year soared into the mid-three figures!

All right, it’s not vast riches, but it’s a nice layer of frosting on the overall sense of accomplishment which publication brings. Speaking of which, I’m also pretty proud of managing a story a day in October, during the icy depths of depression.

Finally– I’ve really got a grip on this baking malarkey:

My brother’s comment: “That stollen is SWOLLEN.” I’m pretty sure that’s meant to be a compliment

I can’t take all the credit for this most recent object. Countless yeast gave their lives for deliciousness, and I also found a rather good recipe (as long as you know to let the thing rise for about 45 minutes after the first flour installment and an hour or so once all the flour is in). It has brought joy to many, and that joy reflects in me. So, yeah, despite efforts on so many fronts, it has been a surprisingly good year for me.

And I’m sure we all may hope the next year proves much better still.

Today’s pen (also a source of delight): OMAS Arte Italiana
Todays ink (more amusement than joy, given the name): Pelikan Brilliant Brown

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Posted by Dirck on 19 December, 2019


Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 16 December
  • 17 December
  • 18 December
  • 19 December
  • First Draft of “Uncle Bert’s Best Friend”.
  • Various pre-Yule rushing-about chores.
  • 6 manuscript pages, and done.


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Let’s All Take a Wee Break, Hm?

Posted by Dirck on 13 December, 2019

I made a mistake. I paid attention to the coverage of the political situation in the UK over the past couple of years, and then glanced at their election results.

This leads me to want to take a little break from watching avoidable self-destructive behavior.

Ah, that’s a treat. Sensible action in the face of looming threats. Fantastic.

Today’s pen: OMAS Arte Italiana
Today’s ink: Pelikan Brilliant Brown

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Posted by Dirck on 12 December, 2019


Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 10 December
  • 11 December
  • 12 December
  • 13 December
  • First Draft of “Uncle Bert’s Best Friend”.
  • 12 manuscript pages


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Posted by Dirck on 5 December, 2019


Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 2 December
  • 3 December
  • 4 December
  • 5 December
  • Second draft of “Grand Finale”.
  • First Draft of “Uncle Bert’s Best Friend”.
  • Complete at 1935 words
  • 10 manuscript pages


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Posted by Dirck on 29 November, 2019

Well, that was a week. I was otherwise engaged yesterday; let me hint at it:

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 25 November
  • 26 November
  • 27 November
  • 28 November
  • 29 November
  • Second draft of “Grand Finale”
  • Assisting a fallen father
  • My wife’s day surgery (two days)
  • Catching up on the Progress report
  • 690 words
  • Lifted
  • So much waiting
  • You’re soaking in it!

I had thought to have been here yesterday, probably finishing up on that second draft. Oh, well. For those who are concerned– a long-awaited gall bladder removal was the wife’s lot, and the extension of her hospital stay was an excess of caution on the part of the hospital as she reacted with unusual (lack of) vigour to the morphine. And since we’re in Canada, this all cost a grand total of $2 for parking and $9 for the post-op Tylenol III I picked up from our neighbourhood pharmacy after bringing her home at last†.

And my Dad’s tippiness did him no actual harm. He needed more encouragement than hoisting.

Oh, but look, it’s not only Friday, but Friday right next to my birthday! Let me indulge myself a little–

Ideally, next week will be more normally arranged. My lightness of tone here belies the stress felt, which I’m rather more conscious of now that I’m an official owner of An Depression, and I’d like rather less of that stuff, thanks.

† Full disclosure: The opioid-laced pills would have cost more but for some insurance provided by The Regular Job. Something like $20. So, for those in the US concerned about the insurance industry, take heart– it still has some function in a setting of socialized medicine.

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Posted by Dirck on 13 December, 2018

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 10 December
  • 11 December
  • 12 December
  • 13 December
  • Fourth draft of “Heretics”
  • First draft of… um… an SF thing.
  • The usual banging out of dents I hadn’t noticed I’d made.
  • 12 manuscript pages.

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Posted by Dirck on 6 December, 2018

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 3 December
  • 4 December
  • 5 December
  • 6 December
  • Second draft of an as yet untitled Christmas story
  • Final draft of Wassail, which finally grew a title.
  • Final draft of “Palmer’s Folly”
  • 2239 typed words.
  • Gentle polishing.
  • Adjustment of contours

To expand, on a couple of points– the more important of which is that “Wassail” is out in public right this very instant!!! on my writing side. As a special bonus, the recipe for eggnog which my family has enjoyed for at least two generations (a third awaits the arrival of drinking age) is in a link hidden away in the copyright notice at the bottom of the story.  You’ve still got time to make some!

Also, while I’m still not quite convinced “Palmer’s Folly” will ever add its weight to slush pile, my readers have told me they enjoyed it. Since they’re entirely willing to dash my feelings against rocks in response to “tell me what you think of this story,” it’s probably not mere words of gentle friendship. Debate continues.

This was a quite productive week, to, when you consider that there was a power failure on the 4th, affecting a lot of the province for about six hours. Oddly, The Regular Job was dark, but home had power. Lucky me! I was sent home because productivity was impossible, and I managed gobs of it!

For a sense of scale, from the bottom right corner of the outage to the upper left extent of it is about 600km– so at highway speed, you could only just drive across it while the lights were out, if there were a single road running that way.


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Narcissistic Self-regard

Posted by Dirck on 30 November, 2018

It’s my birthday.

This means that I’m going to my favourite brew-pub, where they have a special enormous mug for birthday kids… which by various constraints and mis-timings I have never held. I slightly worry that I’m going to draw the wrath of mysterious unseen forces by mentioning this plan aloud.

Let us push worry to one side, and start the drinking early.

The guy chanting “hops, hops, hops…” has pinned down why I don’t like a lot of US craft beers. Some people don’t want 1200 International Bitterness Units in our pint, eh?

This stuff, on the other hand, is right up my alley:

I may follow my giant mug with a bottle of La Trappe Quadrupel, if they’ve got any on hand…

Today’s pen (which looks very like the passage of light through a proper trappistenbier): OMAS Arte Italiana
Today’s ink: Edelstein Topaz (which is indeed my birthstone, for those who care about that sort of thing):



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