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Posts Tagged ‘Sheaffer Sovereign’

Posted by Dirck on 8 February, 2018

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  •  2,691 words typed.

As a small indication of the sort of time I’ve been enjoying the last couple of weeks; I only just now noticed that the thing I had meant to post last Friday… isn’t. Isn’t up. Isn’t around. Isn’t available. I put the effort into writing one, but there is no trace of it whatsoever. This gives me a slight headstart on tomorrow, since I have a memory of what it was, but to not have noticed at all AND to have it vanish is disconcerting.

I will not put this down to the Mandela effect, as much fun as side-slipping through the multiverse might be, but simply to my own stress-cracked brain. To address this issue, I’m taking next week off from The Regular Job. This may see a dose of writing done, since my son will be in school and he’s the main impediment to writing at home (I love him, and he loves me; his manifests as “you must watch this Annoying Orange video with me again” and mine manifests as submission to that insistence).  However, I may also just sleep for 127 hours without a break, too.  We’ll see how that works out.

One of the minor positive elements to not having sold the novel to anyone yet, nor secured an agent; no deadline.


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Posted by Dirck on 1 February, 2018

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  •  2,737 words typed.

You might think, with that relatively high word count, I’d be a happy fellow.

Hey, look, I’m using foreshadowing, like a writer.

It has, by most other metrics, been a fairly abominable week… and a bit.  I’m not going to share the whole sad yarn, but one form of woe which came to the house lately I will offer here, because it’s a kind which I have shared previously.  We have lost yet another cat.  This time, at least, it’s a loss which we saw coming, because unlike so many of the others, this chap lived to the sort of age we expect a cat to last to.  He was the child of she who passed from us eight years back (good heavens, but haven’t I been at this while?), and was creeping stealthily toward his nineteenth birthday.  Alas, like so many desirable prey will, it seems to have noticed him stalking it, and fled away.

He made a pretty good hunt of it, though.  Farewell to Oberon, then.

And because he was adopted by the wrong sort of people, his full name was Oberon Kenobi.

Our sole survivor, Hercule, is as bereft as you might expect from looking at this. Once we’ve cleaned up the place a little, we’ll be seeking new companions for him.

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Posted by Dirck on 25 January, 2018


This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  •  1,825 words typed.

Yesterday saw my writing time somewhat taken up by a surprise concert given by the Migraine Tabernacle Choir. This makes me cry “Tabernac!” in the mode of my compatriots from Quebec, because the going on this current patch has been slow enough. I had really thought I’d be through the depths of re-arrangement by this time, but it looks like the slog will continue for a day or two more.

Thank the diverse gods of writerly inspiration that the result is, hoorah, markedly better than the first draft.

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Posted by Dirck on 18 January, 2018

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  •   2,173 words typed.

Some real excitement here, which may have affected my rate of production.  First, there is a signed contract in place now, so I can reveal that “Free Balloons for All Good Children” was bought by Pseudopod, and that it is at least tentatively scheduled to appear there in the latter part of April.  I will of course be adding links to the story itself once it appears, in addition to yelling from rooftops and possibly breaking into your house to make sure you’ve had a look at it.  Yes, you.

The other item that has set me all a-bubble is a second note of acceptance, this time on “Without Fear, Favour or Affection,” which some who persist in following this low-impact content of mine may remember I took a hiatus from the novel about this time last year to work up.  It will be going into an anthology, about which I will reveal more as matters the phase state of the arrangement moves closer to solid.  But I am giddy on the current liquid-approaching-slurry, I assure you.

Cripes.  I can actually start to wear the mantle of professional author.

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Posted by Dirck on 11 January, 2018

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  •  1,889 words typed.

Another subpar week; this is not down to the old-style entry I indulged in on Tuesday, but stems from having to rearrange some plot elements convincingly and from today’s visit by Mr. Throbbing Migraine.  Fun.

It’s also the reason this appear HOURS later than usual.

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The Last Progress Report

Posted by Dirck on 28 December, 2017

Oh, wait, that should have “…of 2017” on it.  How sadly click-bait-y of me.

I’m doing this somewhat to camouflage the complete lack of progress on the novel this week, although if pressed I will shout something about wanting to relax and enjoy a day off with my family.  And then having to do other stuff during writing time yesterday.  It happens.

So, what of the year just passed?  I won’t just dwell on the writing, and frankly I won’t have anything at all to do with the situation of the wider world.  You can get at a reputable news outlet just as easily as I can, if you want to spend some time lamenting.

I will start with the writing, though.  You will of course remember this from August:

Well, let me show you its kids:

Three gauges reading 68.9, 57.6, and 46.22

Huey, Screwy and Blooey

What’s with the triplets? Well, you’ll remember that I mentioned back in November that my estimate of length seemed off.  Rather than abolish the probably-wrong dial, which is also the closest-to-done, I supplemented.  The least-done dial represents what the November measurement of first-draft thickness suggested.  The middle child is a mere average of the two, and on the most recent application of ruler to manuscript it seems to actually reflect reality.  This means that I can confidently declare that I am somewhere between eight and twenty weeks from finishing a second draft which will be between 254 and 379 pages long.  I will gild this uncertainty by declaring it to represent comfortable margins.

Proper professional writers will, I’m sure shake their heads at this, and I’ll accept that.  I’m not under contract, I’ve got no deadline; I’ll take what comfort the latter provides, given the chilly winds blowing from the former.

I would also, had I not been banging away at the novel, be a little worried about an apparent loss of momentum represented by this:

Oh, no! He’s falling to bits!

Now, when I add in the progress on the novel, which I don’t include in that chart until it’s actually finished, then it’s… actually, now I am starting to think I’m losing my powers, because it’s just shy of 60,000 for the year.  Perhaps I will claim the suppressant effect so many writers have noted inflicted upon them by the political events of the year.

But, to end the writing portion of this retrospective on a high note, I will remind myself that I made a sale to a relatively big-deal publication… which I still decline to mention until things are a little more certain.

Yes, I showed this recently. I show it again, because it releases endorphins every time I do so.

This went home in exactly this state (clicky for bigness, if you want to gander at the horror in detail).

In the pen department… no huge triumphs, but no horrifying debacles, either.  I didn’t utterly smash anything (important)(that wasn’t mine)(that wasn’t already mostly broken), which is nice when repairing pens.  I did fetch up against a Parker 61 which was utterly resistant to repair– bits were loose which shouldn’t be, and those that needed to be to do something about couldn’t be undone because of the loose bits.

Sleek, to be certain. Very sleek.

The latter part of the year brought a couple of minor triumphs.  Yesterday’s pen, the Sheaffer Taranis, was something I had been very curious about since its release four years ago, and a recent sale brought one within financial reach.  Hurray!  Happily, ‘curiosity’ is not quite the same thing as ‘desire,’ so the appearance of the actual object did not bring with it a shattering disappointment.  It did not, alas, bring glee, either.  I was completely whelmed by it, neither over- nor under-, because it was very nearly precisely as I had expected it, and I had expected it to be good enough as a pen but not particularly amazing… and almost certainly not worth as much as Sheaffer wanted for it.

One of the other pen purchases of the year did bring glee.  I have been intermittently enthusiastic about TWSBI for some time, but even with that as a background, I was surprised by how much I enjoy writing with their Classic.  I suspect I’ve got an unusually good example of the 1.1mm point, a real point-bit-of-bell-curve individual.  This combines with amazing mileage (if you check back, you’ll find I’ve been using the same load of ink since the end of October, and it still doesn’t quite need a reload) to fill me with glee, to the extent that I’m amazed I haven’t been shouting “You must buy a TWSBI Classic if you hope to lead a happy life!” into the faces of strangers I pass in the street.  It really is jolly nice.

Of course, you might not like this colour. That’s cool– they’ve got others.

This past year, then, was not so very terrible for me as an individual.  And I’m very, very aware how lucky I am in this.  I hope, indeed, I almost literally grovel in the dirt in hopes of convincing Fate that it will treat me no worse in 2018.  And, as the new year looms up on our collective horizon, I’ll hope that you are all treated at least as well.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Snorkel Sovereign
Today’s ink: Herbin Violette Pensée

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Posted by Dirck on 21 December, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 3,526 words typed.

Thank you, extended action sequence! That balances out last weeks miserable plodding nicely.

This week has been remarkably productive, indeed.  Not only that great outpouring of novel, but I got a little story up on the other enterprise as well, AND… well, let me show you a very nice thing indeed from my profile on Submittable:

I have not been diligently submitting my stories, since most of my thoughts are filled with novel, but I have been poking away at it, and that poking had pulled out a plum!  I won’t mention the name of the publication just yet, fearful of drawing the ire of Fate under the Counting Of Chickens Act of 1609; rest assured, there will be a big fat link to them as the date of presentation firms up.  This is a pretty wonderful Christmas present for me, even if it did appear a couple of weeks ahead of the official day of HoHoHo.


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Posted by Dirck on 14 December, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  •  1539 words typed.  Wait… what?!

Yeah, that word count is accurate.  Technically.  I did a stupid thing yesterday– I took another look at my first chapter.  It seems that despite having been conscious at the time, or so I claim, I did not apply sufficient thought to the thing.  It needed a good deal of work, because it spent a sad amount of energy introducing a character who does not appear in any subsequent chapter.

That is… not a good way to tell a story.  I know this.  I have known this for a while.  Why I forgot entirely not only back in August but also the previous November (second draft, yes?) is a dark mystery.  At least I noticed it before I handed it around to a lot of readers, so I haven’t damaged my reputation in the eyes of any but myself– and I’m well aware than I’m a vast collection of flaws lodged in a matrix of well-marbled meat.

The fix, which had created a vastly superior opening chapter, did so at the cost of about eight hundred words of length.  Eight hundred gangrenous words that needed to go, certainly, but however medically necessary, an amputation always leaves a smaller patient.  That and a relatively steep bit of revision on the part of the story I was already working on this week produces what looks like a very poor week for output indeed.

But I am working, damn it.  To the spectral figure of Work Ethic who floats about my head, I say stop hounding me!

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Posted by Dirck on 2 June, 2016

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 30 May
  • 31 May
  • 1 June
  • 2 June
  • First draft of the “Swimmer’s Build”.
  • More of that (easier without the migraine).
  • I think this is going to stretch out some, to be honest.  It’s still in the “hinting at the problem” stage.
  • Yep.  A leisurely development on this one.
  • Four manuscript pages
  • Seven pages
  • Seven pages
  • Seven pages
  • 35 min.
  • 45 min.
  • 40 min.
  • 50 min.

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Posted by Dirck on 26 May, 2016

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 23 May
  • 24 May
  • 25 May
  • 26 May
  • Second draft of the Choose Your Own DOOM project.
  • Second draft of “Late Retirement.”
  • First draft of “Inside Voice”.
  • Mundane errands (insert threatening grumble here).
  • Um… about 1,000 words.*
  • 1,120 typed words, for a total of 2,267.
  • 993 typed words (flash fiction doesn’t get the handwritten treatment).
  • Less than should have been accomplished in the time.
  • 55 min.
  • 55 min.
  • 55 min.
  • 60 min.

This week brought another rejection which encourages– it’s amazing how some kind, non-pro forma words cushion such blows.

* I’m slowly working this into shape thanks to discovery a couple of months ago of Twine as a means of formatting that sort of a story (as with most discoveries, it was there long before I found it).  It’s still a back-burner exercise, the thing I do on weekends (or Victoria Days, as in the instant case) when I have a little free time and I don’t have the current front-burner story at hand.  I also don’t keep careful track of how much gets done at a sitting  At the current pace, and with the estimated 60,000 words the whole thing runs to, I should be done it by 2019.

** 23 May was also my anniversary, so I was treating myself.  I treated my wife to a pleasant sushi restaurant excursion, where we enjoyed raw fish like the freaks we are, and we were both given a subsidiary gift of our son’s willingness to cram salmon nigiri into his head without hesitation.  He’s not not picky, but he’s kind of specific in his pickiness, and we’re quite proud to be the European-descended parents of a kid born only 500km from the geographical centre of North America who took willingly to various sorts of Asian cuisine (and peas!).

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