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Posts Tagged ‘Pelikan’

Posted by Dirck on 23 May, 2019

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 20 May
  • 21 May
  • 22 May
  • 23 May
  • First draft of “Found on Roadside, Dead.”
  • Second draft of “Fourteen Nights of Day” (a working title).
  • Staring bleakly at a balance sheet
  • 7 manuscript pages.
  • 2413 typed words
  • Several tugs at the collar.

Good heavens! I managed to get some writing done on a long weekend! This gets balanced out by having to take today off to visit my bank, because like everyone else making less than a quarter-million a year, I’m getting killed by the difference between cost of living increases and raises of salary, so things need to be done. On an utterly unrelated point, have I mentioned that I accept donations?

Despite the current financial worries, I appear to be able to afford a robot to hit the “publish” button for this thing. I’m not even looking at it! Oh, what a dizzying age we live in!

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Includes Small Healthcare Excursion

Posted by Dirck on 16 May, 2019

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 13 May
  • 14 May
  • 15 May
  • 16 May
  • First draft of “Fourteen Nights of Day” (a working title).
  • 13 manuscript pages.

That’s not much for the week, especially considering I imported some work from Sunday into this week’s total. So, what’s up?

Gall stones!

Not my own, for which I am grateful, but my wife. I’m hoping this is a purely matrilineal thing (her mother and sister have had similar problems) and that our son remains untouched by it, because she was not having fun when I came home from work on Monday. So little, in fact, that Tuesday morning saw me installing her at the ER, and I was 100% of the household childcare staff for Tuesday and Wednesday. She’s home now, having been shaken free of the blockage of the moment by the modern miracle of ultrasonics, although we’re told the offending organ will have to be removed… probably in the next couple of weeks.

Anyway, without preparation (and the whole time was very much a lack of information exercise; the ER is a bit of a black box) I was unable to get any writing done. Thus, little accomplished. The draft is complete, which is good, since the anthology I aim to submit it to closes in July… unless they fill all their slots before then.

As a data point to my American readers, let me tell you what this week’s entertainment costs were. The entertainment consisted of:

  • Admission to the ER;
  • 36 hours of IV fluids, because surgery might have happened at any time;
  • as much morphine as someone without previous tolerance to stand (apparently gall stones really hurt);
  • ultrasound imagining to get a firm idea of what the problem really was;
  • the ultrasonic treatment;
  • three consultations with doctors;
  • loads of interactions with nurses;
  • the use of hospital linens.

The total cost of this was One Canadian Dollar, paid to park in the lot not devoted to ER patients when I was picking her up. I could, conceivably, not have paid that, but I didn’t want to plug up a parking space close to the door which someone with a box full of severed fingers might need. I’m considerate that way. You might also say “Oh, but you pay so much tax there,” to which I reply– I got a refund on my income tax because our household doesn’t bring in a lot. And were we entirely without income and thus paying no tax, we’d still have got that very same level of treatment. I’d just have trouble coming up with the dollar. This is why the resistance of the US to socialized medicine is such a point of amazement to so many outside that country.

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Posted by Dirck on 9 May, 2019

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 6 May
  • 7 May
  • 8 May
  • 9 May
  • First draft of “Fourteen Nights of Day” (a working title).
  • 22 manuscript pages.

 

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Trans-dimensional

Posted by Dirck on 3 May, 2019

I’m sure we’ve all heard of the concept of multiple universes, whether we accept them or not. Occasionally, one stumbles across an item which gives the idea a little shove into the foreground. “This thing,” one says, “cannot have sprung up in the history I know. This thing is from a similar place, but not the same.”

I was shown one of these this week, and I’m going to share it with you. It’s probably just a prime example of novel-length source material being horribly handled on its way down to a audio-visual version one can easily sit through, but it may also have slithered through a pore in the skin of the universe.

Aside to the possible violence it might do to your notions of causality, it’s also a little hard to take for purely artistic reasons. The fact that stuff like this was considered cutting-edge entertainment in my childhood is part of the reason why I don’t get too nostalgic for that time. Other reasons include… well, when you’ve got a few minutes to spend weeping with despair, google “1970s fashion” and consider the poor kid who had to look at that stuff every time he left the house… or regarded himself in a mirror.

Today’s pen: Pelikan M600
Today’s ink: Lamy black

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Posted by Dirck on 25 April, 2019

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 22 April
  • 23 April
  • 24 April
  • 25 April
  • Second draft of “Doting Mother Cradles Her Wayward Child.”
  • Third Draft of “A Duty of Upkeep is Owed to Your Neighbours.”
  • First Draft of “Share My Pain.”
  • Finished, at 2,142 words.
  • Extra euphony installed, goonish misspellings abolished.
  • 10 manuscript pages

A bit of good news came to me on Monday (which was, alas, otherwise a little too true to the its stereotype); “The Glamour of Battle” is being held for final editorial consideration after passing three rounds of reading. This is not acceptance, and acceptance may not come, but it’s still encouraging.

Actually, I also got a very pleasant item of feedback from someone who had read another story, sent for a competition some time ago, and thought that they should send along a few under-the-counter words of encouragement. Very kind, entirely unlooked for, and deeply appreciated. I may persist in this writing nonsense if treated thus.

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Posted by Dirck on 18 April, 2019

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 15 April
  • 16 April
  • 17 April
  • 18 April
  • A sudden and possibly hasty reaction to the day’s events
  • Third draft of “Curse of the Dragon”
  • Second draft of “Doting Mother Cradles Her Wayward Child”
  • See previous entry.
  • Finished, at 5,755 words.
  • 1,629 typed words.

I completely fumbled last weekend’s potential for writing, and thus did not manage the Monday deadline for “Curse of the Dragon.” Not a big deal; it won’t go moldy waiting for the next submission window, and I’ll be able to give it the proper post-completion examinations it wouldn’t have gotten had I pushed it through.

This is not quite as silver-lining flavoured as the news of how intact Notre Dame has remained, but it affects me more directly.

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We Cannot Have Nice Things

Posted by Dirck on 15 April, 2019

All things end. We know this. Any notion of permanence which we attach to anything at all is an illusion induced by our brief window of perception. The stars themselves cannot last.

We should not be surprised, then, when something built by humans meets a terminal fate.

About an hour before I started writing this, news of a plume of smoke drifting across Paris from the roof of Notre Dame cathedral penetrated my part of the world. And despite all having these little cushioning ideas to hand, I’m at the very edge of tears. One who is not a follower of that faith, one who has never seen the edifice in person, choking on emotion.

Because it was the work of generations. Because it is possible, just barely, to imagine the communal effort over centuries that went into the construction, the combination of individual hopes and aspirations that shifted and shaped so much wood and stone. I mentioned in a previous entry here how a letter is like holding hands at one remove with the writer, however long ago the writing happened; these great old buildings have the same power to connect a modern visitor to people long gone. Not only the builders, either. Thresholds and staircases are reshaped by generations of passers-by, so that going there now allows one to quite literally stand in their footsteps, and microscopically leave new marks, so that those who will come after are brought into the chain of inclusion.

All of that, gone in hours.

Choking upon emotion, because it is a piece of art, a huge multimedia presentation of carved stone and stained glass, with an occasional auditory element when the bells are rung. Perhaps it isn’t to all tastes, but what art can be? When some item of art is lost, the balance between Beauty and Ugly is dragged into a worse place. When that item is a large, durable one, can the loss be felt as other than a blow?

Drifting pale smoke, grey ash, heat-shattered fragments of rock. Whither beauty then, except perhaps when an accident of light from a setting sun produces a brief gilding?

To avoid ending on that grim note, let me offer some possible solace. To start with, let’s look the problem in the face.

Image result for notre dame

This is pretty damn serious, and this is well before it got worse.

All things come to an end. We accept that this structure will never be the same. But… this is not the first cathedral to suffer a massive fire. A little over a century ago, Reims cathedral also had a huge conflagration, and (despite later propaganda) just as accidental:

Image result for reims cathedral

We may expect Notre Dame to look just like this, in a couple of weeks.

And yet, if one visits that city today, one finds…

Facade, looking northeast

Oh. There it stands.

That’s looking pretty good, although despite re-opening in 1938 (only 24 years after the fire, and 19 years after the start of rebuilding) the work has never actually been declared finished. That’s fine, though. That’s just fine. Cathedrals are not quick. They should be generational. Köln cathedral was started in 1248 and wasn’t considered built until 1880, after all, and they’re still putting it right after some knocks it took in the Second World War.

Let’s have some hope, then. Perhaps in a mere generation, when many of us are still here to see it, Notre Dame will be largely restored. Not the same as it was, of course, but with enough of the old fabric to maintain the connection across hundreds of years, and a whole new layer of craftsmen’s marks upon it to give far distant humanity a strong sense of connection to our time.

We cannot have nice things. Not forever. But we can keep striving for them, and revel in them while they last.

Today’s pen (may be in use a hundred years from now, unless I sit on it): Pelikan M600
Today’s ink (not so pretty, but depleting all the same): Lamy black

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Posted by Dirck on 11 April, 2019

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 8 April
  • 9 April
  • 10 April
  • 11 April
  • Third draft of “Curse of the Dragon”
  • 3409 typed words (and boy, are my arms tired).

I… might… make that Monday deadline for this story. Last week’s worries about sufficiency of editing remain strong, though.

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Posted by Dirck on 4 April, 2019

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 1 April
  • 2 April
  • 3 April
  • 4 April
  • Second Draft of “Tiger on my Back”.
  • First draft of “Doting Mother Cradles Her Wayward Child”
  • Third draft of “Curse of the Dragon”
  • 2532 words and ready for eyes other than mine.
  • 3 manuscript pages, and also done.
  • 1201 typed words.

Wait, third draft? Yeah. I was on the verge of poking “Curse” at some readers when I had an uncomfortable vision of the much better story it could be, once I almost completely re-wrote it. Sigh. What makes this problematic is that the first place I’d like to send it when it’s ready closes submissions in eleven days. This is going to call from some hard graft on my part, and I may have to submit it without the usual safety net of another reader or two point out glaring stupidities.

Uncomfortable thought. You see all the glaring tyops and and double words that show up in this ongoing document; that’s fine (more or less), because I don’t expect anyone to pay me for this stuff. Something I hope to get paid professional rates (cue harp glissando) for should be, if not polished, at least without sharp corners for editors to tear their imaginations on.

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Posted by Dirck on 28 March, 2019

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 25 March
  • 26 March
  • 27 March
  • 28 March
  • First Draft of “Tiger on my Back” finished
  • Second draft of “A Duty of Upkeep is Owed to Your Neighbours”
  • First draft of “Doting Mother Cradles Her Wayward Child”
  • Another 609 words.
  • 510 typed words, and we’ll call it done as well.
  • 18 manuscript pages.

Yes, I’m back to handwritten drafting, and loving it. Thanks to a power outage yesterday as well as the return of a co-worker from vacation, The Regular Job is pressing upon me a little less viciously, I got a ton of work on the new story. Very gratifying, and horribly suggestive of what’s possible if I… um… abandon my sole source of sufficient income.

Y’know, phrased like that, some of the appeal goes out of it.

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