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Posts Tagged ‘Quink’

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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Posted by Dirck on 29 November, 2018

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 26 November
  • 27 November
  • 28 November
  • 29 November
  • MUCH BETTER second draft of “Heretics.”
  • First draft of an as yet untitled Christmas story
  • 1801 typed words in total.
  • 12 manuscript pages.

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Posted by Dirck on 22 November, 2018

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 19 November
  • 20 November
  • 21 November
  • 22 November
  • Second draft of “Heretics”
  • MUCH BETTER second draft of “Heretics.”†
  • 1741 typed words.
  • Um… well, it’s down to 1652 words now.

†Here’s what happened: I keep my story ideas in two different places. I have a couple of notebooks that I’ll write them down in, and I also have a Google spreadsheet as a back-up. When I started in on the story, I did no more than scan down the Google document to see what caught my fancy as the next story up, and the vague description I’d put down there tickled me so I got down to scribbling.

The vague description I’d typed… oh, at least a couple of years ago.

Thus, when for reasons of book-keeping (literally– I move the notebook page into a binder when the story is underway or done) I had the original idea in front of me, I saw that I had forgotten the vector I’d initially intended… and it was much better than what I’ve spent the last two weeks banging away on.

It’s not all lost work.  There’s a good deal of fine description that is sticking.  It’s not that long a story, in any event, and the much better aspect soothes what sting I might still feel. But the lesson is learned– if you want to remember something, write it down… and then bloody well read it when the time of remembering comes about.

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Posted by Dirck on 8 November, 2018

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 5 November
  • 6 November
  • 7 November
  • 8 November
  • Second draft of “Palmer’s Folly”
  • Third draft of “Palmer’s Folly”†
  • Third draft of “Kick a Cat…”
  • 465 typed words.
  • Additions and removals, which stuffed in a further 348 words.
  • Rounding of high points, filling of gaps.

†This story has really been dodging me, and I’m not convinced it’s done– while it’s now in a state that others can see it, and it produces more or less the effect I was after, but I was struck last night as sleep descended with a much more betterer approach to the whole damn narrative. This one in its current form and “Kick a Cat…” may have been mere experiments of writing, destined to lie on a shelf forever (unless I become famous, in which case they might disappoint readers of a posthumous anthology).

‡I’m not given to saying this, but I’m really not enjoying my time with this pen– it and my hand don’t work well together. I won’t condemn the model as objectively bad, since it’s doing pretty much everything a pen ought, but I think I’m going to retire it from my lineup. I have, fortunately, other pens I may resort to.

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Vacation Time!

Posted by Dirck on 29 June, 2018

I’m doing this backwards– holiday pictures at the START of the holidays.  Such is life.  And also not entirely true, because I’m looking back at last year’s vacation, first.  The Regular Job is, contrary to my grumbles, not without some perquisites, and one of them is travel vouchers at five-yearly intervals.  Last year’s paid for us to spend a few days at Fort Edmonton, which I documented last year.  However, since I’m not able to return (this year) I would like to support the place by showing enticing moving pictures of it to the Internet.

This year, we’re only getting a little bit of travel in under our belts, but I found this video which allows all of you to come along with us.  And not have to drive through that sort of landscape for an hour to get there, and then the same to get home.  And not spend a whole hour on the train, which is nice but… well, I’m not as enthusiastic as Son, for whom these trips are a birthday present.

That’s probably the last you’ll hear from me for at least the next two weeks.  I expect much of my time will be devoted to the ongoing struggle to prevent entropy from sinking the house, and I do have some pens (not of my own) that need fixing.  I hope you’ll all be well in my absence.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Valiant Tuckaway (yes, twice in one week; I’m not starting a new pen now)
Today’s in: Quink Washable Blue (vintage)

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Posted by Dirck on 28 June, 2018

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 18 June
  • 19 June
  • 20 June
  • 21 June
  • Second draft of “Prolonging the Inevitable” (nee “Quest for El Dorado).
  • Third draft of “No Easy Way Out.”
  • Second draft of “Until Regrets Take the Place of Dreams”
  • A fine polish, and a title!
  • Paragraphs moved about! Words reconsidered!
  • 2,233 words typed.

Also…

(Good heavens, the spectators gasp, can there be anything more in such a jam-packed week?)

…I got a positive swarm of story submissions out.  This is important for a couple of reasons:

  1. Unsubmitted stories are unpublished stories;
  2. Novel writing is, apparently, a big distraction from submitting.

I got a little out of the habit.  It’s one I should nurture, so I’m glad to have been at it so vigorously this week.

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Excellent for Clogged Drains

Posted by Dirck on 22 June, 2018

I’m returning to a source I recently used for today’s diversion, and it is again a mere voice rather than a set of moving images.  I think I’m right in saying that this could, with the right application of talent, be a pretty amazing film.

And now that you’ve listened, the title of this entry makes some sense. For some reason, when I was listening to it, I was struck by what a giant leap of the imagination the concept of interplanetary travel was when this was made; this was a time, after all, when there was no such thing as an extra-atmospheric launch, and the broader popular conception of rockets turned either toward fireworks or that skater in the newsreels who set his pants on fire.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Valiant Tuckaway
Today’s in: Quink Washable Blue (vintage)

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Posted by Dirck on 25 May, 2017

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

†Apart from having to spend most of Monday prostrated before an effigy of Victoria, d.g. Reg., Def. Fid., Imp. Ind, as required by Canadian federal law and thus getting no writing done‡, I find that the air up here as I approach 60,000 words is getting damn thin.  I’ve sent a team of Sherpas back to the last supply cache to drag up a few extra cylinders of inspiration, but until they get back I’m moving fairly slowly.

‡In all honesty, I was mowing the lawn and pushing my son on the swings.  While it’s not getting the book finished, both are valid (and in the latter, important) uses of my time, so I thank Her Late Majesty for imposing a day off in the best part of the year upon me.

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Posted by Dirck on 18 May, 2017

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

I’m about, according to my own estimates, 70% finished the first draft.  This is not going as quickly as I might have hoped, although it’s not going quite as slowly as I’d feared.  I found another gap in my research today, which I should be able to comfortably fill in during the second-draft process, and this lead me off on another tangent of thought….

Part of me is beginning to yell at the other parts regarding the mechanical approach to the writing I’m following.  “Hand-written first draft?  Fine for a 4,000 word story, but on this scale… what is wrong with you?!”  I don’t think I’m going to listen to it, because as this late stage to shift to the the sort of writing production that most normal people seem to pursue these days, banging away on a keyboard rather like I’m doing right this minute, doesn’t seem possible without jumping right into the second-draft process.  Which would mean leaving the back 30% of the thing in a nebulous form while I re-write what already exists, only picking up the weaving when I travel back to this point… and I don’t know that the narrative would survive this sort of interruption of its gestation.

HOWEVER, for those who are (still, somehow) interested in this process, and for Future Me who will one day be writing another novel (I have vague outlines for at least eight, so I’d best pick up my pace), a couple of thoughts on this hand-written first draft stuff.  On the negative side, it is taking a long time, and it means second draft will also take a long time, since that won’t just be amending stupidities, but will be an entire re-write to transform marks on paper into an electronic format that editors and publishers will actually look at.  Also, as it stands now, my very-literal manuscript is a unique object; no redundancy, no off-site back-up.  This has been a source of some concern for about the past month and a half, as the imp of the perverse keeps painting pictures of fire, flood and brief-case theft.  I find that the difference of scale between a 4,000 word short story and an 80,000 word novel radically alters my ability to look at these potential disasters and greet them with an indifferent shrug.  I might well toss myself into a lake if the current heap of paper were to meet with a bad end.

The benefits of hand-written creation are still present.  I don’t go back and fiddle with specifics, so the flow of the work remains (generally) good.  I might be closer to done now if I had hit the keyboard ab initio, but I might also be only half as far along, having allowed myself to spend a full day getting one paragraph just so because the text is so malleable when it’s electronic.  Hand-writing harnesses the power of laziness in this regard, or perhaps lashes it to the power of cheapskate-ish-ness, because to do that sort of thing now would be a lot of fruitless scribbling and wasted paper.  At this point, though, I think I may have enough practice with rushing ahead on extruding the basic concept of the scenes without giving into the urge to fix things that aren’t quite the right shape that I may be able to conduct the practice in a keyboard-driven environment and thus be able to attack novel-length projects with better efficiency.

I guess we’ll see when I’m done this one.  Which… sigh… won’t be very soon.

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Posted by Dirck on 11 May, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  • 17 manuscript pages (plus two of utterly useless gibberish that ate time pointlessly on Monday); the muse but whispers this week.

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