What's up at Ravens March.

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Posts Tagged ‘Sheaffer Targa’

Posted by Dirck on 2 April, 2020

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 30 March
  • 31 March
  • 1 April
  • 2 April
  • Second draft of “In Loco Parentis”.
  • A nap
  • Second draft of “In Loco Parentis”.
  • 297 words typed.
  • Sleave (sic) remains somewhat raveled.
  • 446 more words.

I hadn’t thought the COVID block which many writers are mentioning on Twitter was afflicting me, but it may be. It may also be the extra extra stress of being one of the few still at The Regular Job atop the previously-mentioned extra stress, the latter of which is even stressier at the transition from one month to the next. It’s almost certainly responsible for the torpor which overtook me on Tuesday, and yesterday it quite cut into my writing time.

Hopefully next week will see some lowering of pressure, and I certainly am aware that I’m neither as crushed as anyone in Healthcare, nor anything like as mentally burdened as those who find themselves out of work and weeks away from the various government assistance plans coming into effect… and who aren’t sure if those plans will actually include them.

On that last point– Canadians who are worried about such things should have a look at this chart, in which helpful people have translated from the various levels of government’s official mystical utterances into something which can be understood.

 

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Freude ohne Schaden

Posted by Dirck on 27 March, 2020

Schadenfreude, shameful or spiteful joy, has become a fairly popular concept in the English speaking world, because it is a very useful description of a sensation, like the one felt upon hearing Rand Paul tested positive for COVID-19.

For today’s film, prompted by the current plague and a means of dealing with it, trims away the Schaden– in many versions you will hear a jolly sounding operatic fellow bellow out “FREUDE!” at one point in the final movement.

Given the source, I probably should have put “Vreugde zonder Schaamte” as the title, but then I wouldn’t have been able to make all that prologue waffle.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Targa
Today’s ink: Edelstein Topaz

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Posted by Dirck on 26 March, 2020

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 23 March
  • 24 March
  • 25 March
  • 26 March
  • First draft of “In Loco Parentis”.
  • Adventures in shopping for necessities during a lockdown.
  • A letter I’ve been shamefully neglecting.†
  • 2 manuscript pages
  • No spare probe covers for our Braun aural thermometer, alas.
  • Ready to mail.

 

† The letter to which I respond arrived just before Christmas. I plead “really a lot of powerful distractions”.

‡ The last time I used this pen (not quite two years ago, I discover with alarm), I also used brown ink. The only rationale for this association I can think of is that brown was big in the ’70s.

I am, by the way, still at work. The Regular Job turns out to count as “essential services”, and I’m apparently essential to it, so I’ll be the last one out before management is made to lock the doors. Let’s all hope it doesn’t come to that.

 

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Posted by Dirck on 19 March, 2020

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 16 March
  • 17 March
  • 18 March
  • 19 March
  • First draft of “Morgue Attendance”.
  • Fidgeting about coronavirus, and an attempt to find some yogurt in the picked-over grocery store.
  • First draft of “THINGY”
  • 1 manuscript page, and then some doubts about direction creep in…
  • A stunning success on both fronts; thanks to St. Patrick for the latter!
  • 8 manuscript pages

 

 

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Posted by Dirck on 12 March, 2020

Before the status report, a status report, because one of the regular readers here expressed appreciation at my tiny contribution to the effort to de-stigmatize mental illness. There is a substantial amount of stress at The Regular Job right now. There was not quite so much about a month ago, but apparently it was enough to move one of my colleagues to reach over her head, grab the yellow and black striped handles, and launch herself into early retirement.

This is what everyone’s desk chair looks like, right?

She had been here quite a while, and thus had accreted a lot of small duties with obscure processes, known to her more as muscle-memory rituals than as steps in a logical sequence. It’s fallen to me and one other co-worker to take over doing what she did, which involves a certain amount of archaeology, paleography, and cautiously touching a quivering fingertip to the huge black monolith in the break room.

Stressful.

And yesterday, as I was finally finished the work of the previous day, it struck me that six months ago, this turn of events would have destroyed me. Every bit of the shattering sensibility in the concept nervous breakdown would have come to me. Absolutely no doubt. But as it stands… well, no one likes extra work, but there’s no attendant dread to the current load.

I can’t say whether this is down to coping strategies from counselling, Magic Brain Pills, or whatever went wrong in my head last year correcting itself as mysteriously as it blew its breakers. It’s probably a combination of the first two, with a possibility of the third providing extra flotation. I’m strangely unwilling to experiment by discontinuing use of either cognitive tools or modern chemistry. I’d rather live with this small uncertainty than try to live with a return of the full-size Black Dog.

I occasionally hear it sniffing around, just the other side of the metaphorical tree line.

But enough introspection. Let’s have a look at what the week’s self-imposed labours produced:

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 9 March
  • 10 March
  • 11 March
  • 12 March
  • Third (but really second, sort of) draft of “Filter Feeder”.
  • Revision of “The Mermaid’s Husband”.
  • First draft of “Morgue Attendance”.
  • Rubbed with a towel, weighted at 2402 words, and sent to the publication it was meant for.
  • Dropped about a page of unwanted weight, and also sent to that same anthology.†
  • 5 manuscript pages

 

†At the risk of uttering a spoiler against my own work, “The Mermaid’s Husband” contains more direct Lovecraft reference than “Filter Feeder”, since it’s crammed with his blasphemous fish-frogs. Seeing that the Lovecraftian anthology smiled upon multiple submissions, why wouldn’t I try to find a home for one of my slime-dripping darlings?

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Posted by Dirck on 5 March, 2020

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 2 March
  • 3 March
  • 4 March
  • 5 March
  • Third draft of “Second Impression”.
  • Fourth draft of “Stuckman’s Miracle Men”.
  • Ground to an unlikely 3456 words, and sent to the publication that inspired its creation.
  • Reshaping based on comments from editors who declined it.†

†The lesser reason for doing this a rather long time after getting the third draft into what I thought was final shape is pangs of artistic pride. The greater is that I was in a fever to get MOAR STOREES!!1! written, and since in my head this one had a COMPLETED sign hung over its pigeon-hole, the notion of returning to it usually didn’t strike me at any useful time (he pauses, shirtless, toothbrush in frothy maw, and thinks, “Oh, damn. That. Maybe tomorrow…”). I managed to convince myself that the re-edit was actually the thing that was going to follow getting that Lovecraftish thing (“Filter Feeder” currently, but it may change again).

Yes, I do picture my mind as a vast array of pigeon-holes. All oak and brass, well-loved by its owner, but rather dusty and far from state of the art.

 

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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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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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