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Posts Tagged ‘Pelikan P488’

Posted by Dirck on 22 August, 2019

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 19 August
  • 20 August
  • 21 August
  • 22 August
  • A slightly indulgent blog entry.
  • First draft of “Underground Follies” (working title).
  • See previous entry
  • 15 manuscript pages

I will mention once more, and probably only once more, the Kickstarter in which my recently-written story “The Moon Forest” will find a home… if they reach the funding goal which is painfully close to completion. If I assume my story is of average quality for the collection (it’s the only one I’ve read, so I can’t say otherwise), it’s going to be pretty darned good– I’m very proud of my work on that one. So, tell your family, tell your friends, tell passing strangers who look like they enjoy a good yarn, and let them have a look at the campaign page. They may be the very person who gives it the shove into existence!


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Posted by Dirck on 15 August, 2019

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 12 August
  • 13 August
  • 14 August
  • 15 August
  • First draft of “Beyond the Wall.”
  • Second draft of “Beyond the Wall.”
  • A letter to my mayor and city councillor about a really stupid item of policy that is about to become manifest, destroying 200 small local businesses.
  • Third draft of “Beyond the Wall.”
  • Four manuscript pages
  • 417 words
  • Much carefully-worded bile, about three spleens worth.
  • Up to 491 words, which is still fine.

A short story to fill the week, because Pseudopod is running a flash contest which closes at month’s end. The stupidity that comes in the midst of it is the sad sort of little guys vs. corporate greed thing that makes up so much of modern life– you can read about it if you’re inclined.

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Posted by Dirck on 3 November, 2016

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 31 October
  • 1 November
  • 2 November
  • 3 November
  • Second draft of “Discoveries in the Wake of the Last Crusade.”
  • More second draft.
  • Done, done and done (yes, there are three endings), AND some third draft polishing of “Rearranging Deckchairs.”
  • First draft of Impossible Bodies (eeee!).
  • 626 words typed
  • 715 words
  • A total of 2,777 words on the one, and some minor corrections on the other.
  • Eight manuscript pages.
  • 45 min.
  • 55 min.
  • 45 min.
  • 55 min.

You’ll note the use of italics rather than inverted commas on the title of the new project. The long haul has begun!

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Embarkation Date Announced (some delay expected, small hints given)

Posted by Dirck on 1 November, 2016

I’m not troubling myself to look back for it, but some time ago I announced that I would use the start of National Novel Writing Month as the trigger for beginning my own novel.  I also said that I would certainly not be done in a month, and I’m sticking to that declaration even as I wriggle my way out of actually getting the novel going today. There’s a few things I need to tie up before I go face-down into a ream of blank pages.

Foremost, I’m going to finish the second draft of “Discoveries in the Wake of the Last Crusade,” because if I don’t I’ll leave it to go moldy in some corner like a couple of other things I’ve walked away from during the first draft.  I’m not expecting huge commercial success out of the story, but unlike those other projects, this one isn’t inherently flawed.  I just started it later than I should have, and there’s no reason it should stifle in its crib because I was a little off in my timing.

There’s also a little bit of research that I was dumb enough to imagine I had plenty of time to look into and thus put off… several times.  This is less of an issue than the previous point, and to a large extent I can adjust the novel to allow for the results of the research even if I start right now, but since that previous point is in play, I’m not going to start right now.

I’m also slightly undecided about what pen I’m going to be using for the great project; another matter which procrastination has handled roughly and, alas, without proper consent.  There’s several candidates vying for the position.  Since I envision (dream/suffer a delusion of) doing some work over weekends as well as my weekday routine, I got into a stupid indecision vortex about maybe having two pens in operation for the length of the project, which hasn’t helped matters.  Whatever pen gets chosen, it will not be the TWSBI Eco, as it has recently opened up a tiny crack at the molding seam along the mouth of the section.  My prediction of durability hasn’t, sadly, borne fruit, and I will have to bug TWSBI about the matter.  The pen or pens will be of moderate size and have a built-in filler; I’m not messing about with cartridges, converters or syringes in this pursuit.

I do, at least, know what ink I’m going to be using.  I am down to 4ml of the Diamine Prussian Blue I’ve been applying to my writing for the last… year and a half, at least, and the discovery that it actually costs less to order bottles of ink from England than to stop in at the local Staples for some Quink moved me to whistle for a bottle of Oxford Blue from Diamine; this is even now bobbing across the ocean’s billows to reach me, and should be here before I get to the bottom of the Prussian Blue.

For those who wonder about such things, the paper will be the cheap and abundant Hilroy refill paper (so cheap, in fact, that they don’t even have it on the page for refill paper on their site).  It feathers only a little, doesn’t show through much, and is cheap and readily available.  These latter two points are important, because I may need more than a thousand sheets of the stuff.

“All of which is fascinating, of course,” the ear of my imagination picks up, “but will you ever mention what the book is about?”  Well, like any other writer in the early phases of the illness, I suffer from a raging paranoia that someone will steal my ideas!!, despite full conscious awareness that even if I gave a detailed synopsis, no other writer would produce what I’m intent upon.  So, let me give the merest bare-bones description of what I have in mind– a murder mystery, in which an experienced detective is faced with evidence of a killer possessing supernatural powers.  Said killer will not, by the way, be a vampire of any degree of sparkle, nor will the setting stray particularly from the real world except in the area of MO– the aim is more of a Wallander thing with a leavening of one small flapping corner on our accepted reality.  The working title shall be The Impossible Bodies.

Oh, yes, that reminds me– I’m also planning to adjust the progress reports somewhat.  Tedious as they may be, I find that public declarations of action are very helpful to keeping myself on task, but I think I’ll probably just give a week’s page count rather than a daily one while the novel is the thing that is underway.  It won’t be any more or less boring for my long-suffering blog-followers, but it will save me a little bit of typing which only indirectly advances the project.

Finally, a bit of a prognostication about when I might be done.  Let’s look at the spreadsheet I use to track my progress (I’ve learned from reading the online thoughts of some writers that obsessive nit-pickery is not uncommon, so this seems less weird than it did when I started):

Yep, obsessive nit-pickery is running smoothly.

Yep, obsessive nit-pickery is running smoothly.

Remember how I spent the beginning of 2015 slaving away on that “Choose Your Own Eldritch Horror” project?  That’s where the discontinuity between first draft production and finished output comes from.  However, I’m taking the trend to mean that I can get this thing through its first draft by spring of next year, and perhaps even knock the thing into submittable shape before the end of summer. I don’t expect my pace of production to pick up a LOT from where it is currently, but if I can actually apply some evening/weekend time to the campaign, this seems manageable for a moderately-sized novel; not much beyond novella, perhaps, but sufficient.  The point of the chart is less to show that I will be able to meet an arbitrary deadline, than to prove that the lunch-hour chipping away at the rockface of creativity actually produces palpable results.  At very least, by this time next year, I’ll have a well-formed book ready to show to the world.

Then we’ll enjoy the horrors of trying to get it sold.  This is not a mere exercise in creative “Can I Do It?”

That’s it, then.  Not actually begun, but moving to the blocks.  It’s a good thing I’m also the one firing the starter’s pistol.

Today’s pen: Pelikan P488 (and wow, does this EF point ever make a cartridge last!)
Today’s ink: Waterman Florida Blue

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Posted by Dirck on 27 October, 2016

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 24 October
  • 25 October
  • 26 October
  • 27 October
  • First draft of “Discoveries in the Wake of the Last Crusade.”
  • I can see the end, but can’t quite reach it…
  • First draft of “Discoveries” concludes, followed by some prep for next month.
  • Second draft commences.
  • Six manuscript pages.
  • Six pages.
  • Three pages.
  • 935 words typed
  • 45 min.
  • 40 min.
  • 25 min.
  • 50 min.

I had been having some trouble settling on the ending for the current project, having three viable but mutually incompatible possibilities.  Happily, I remembered over the weekend that in this brave new technological age of ours, one can have a story with different endings.  That “Choose Your Own Unspeakable Fate” thing I was working on last year (and am slowly putting into second draft, honest) is essentially just a bigger and more complex manifestation of the thing, but I even have a subscription to Sub-Q, a forum specifically intended for “interactive” texts.  Thus, when “Discoveries…” is ready to roll, I know exactly where I’ll be submitting it first.

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Posted by Dirck on 20 October, 2016

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 17 October
  • 18 October
  • 19 October
  • 20 October
  • First draft of “Discoveries in the Wake of the Last Crusade.”
  • First draft plods along.
  • I’m gettin’ my Clarke on with it.
  • But not today; a task needed doing for my wife.*
  • Seven manuscript pages
  • Five pages
  • Six pages
  • Roughly 6 km driven
  • 50 min.
  • 40 min.
  • 40 min.
  • Enough to be a problem

* Lest you think nothing in the writing line transpired today: a story I sold has been published by they who bought it!  I expound upon this on the other front, but I am… rather pleased.

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Posted by Dirck on 13 October, 2016

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 10 October
  • 11 October
  • 12 October
  • 13 October
  • Flan de Café for Thanksgiving* at the wife’s parents.
  • Second draft of “Tale of the One-Handed Engineer.”
  • The exciting climax of “One-Handed Engineer.”
  • And the conclusion.  Done!
  • One recipe makes eight serving
  • 921 words typed.
  • 601 words.
  • Somewhat above 700 words, for a total of 3,240.
  • All day, if one includes presentation
  • 45 min.
  • 40 min.
  • 50 min.

* Yes, we celebrate that in early October here.  Remember that it’s a harvest festival, not a saint’s day.

** The reason we use pens before selling them on– this one has needed several little tweaks to get the tine alignment just so, which little bits of scribbling hadn’t revealed.  Prolonged writing, however… well, I’d have been embarrassed to have sold it earlier.

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Posted by Dirck on 6 October, 2016

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 3 October
  • 4 October
  • 5 October
  • 6 October
  • First draft of “Tale of the One-Handed Engineer.”
  • A quick vacation in Migrainia
  • First draft completed
  • Second draft of “Engineer”.
  • Six pages.
  • All I could take
  • Four pages.
  • 748 words.
  • 45 min.
  • Seeming eternities
  • 40 min.
  • 50 min.

* Not that they saw much use.

** Last Sunday, on a whim, I swapped the F point the pen came with for a 1.1mm italic that I keep around specifically to feed whimsy.  The fact that this pen suddenly has line variation has been startling me all day.

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Posted by Dirck on 29 September, 2016

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 26 September
  • 27 September
  • 28 September
  • 29 September
  • A day off.*
  • First draft of “Tale of the One-Handed Engineer.”
  • More “Engineer”
  • Still first draft.
  • The Witch and 10 Cloverfield Lane count as fertilizer for my fields.
  • Seven manuscript pages.
  • Six pages.
  • Six pages.
  • A full indolent day.
  • 55 min.
  • 45 min.
  • 50 min.

* A thing to do with The Regular Job demanded six hours of “volunteer” labour in the middle of both days of the weekend, so I converted some built-up vacation hours into not going on a chair-throwing rampage that would have livened up a slow-news Monday (locally; the US presidential debate was likely to hold onto the national ratings, regardless).

†Did I mention I got a whole lot of this stuff in a donation?  Expect to see it in a lot of pens that accept Waterman cartridges.

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Posted by Dirck on 22 September, 2016

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 19 September
  • 20 September
  • 21 September
  • 22 September
  • Second draft of “Rearranging the Deck Chairs”.
  • More second drafting.
  • Oh, it’s fighting hard today.
  • Second draft complete (despite the anti-histamines).
  • 729  words typed.
  • 631 words.
  • 403 words (plus ½ pint of sweat).
  • A total of 3,849 words.
  • 50 min.
  • 45 min.
  • 55 min.
  • 60 min.

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