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Posts Tagged ‘TWSBI Vac 700’

More Than Usually Complete Progress Report.

Posted by Dirck on 21 April, 2016

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 18 April
  • 19 April
  • 20 April
  • 21 April
  • First draft of “A Mistake of Timing.”
  • Second draft of “A Mistake of Timing”.
  • More second draft effort.
  • Yes, still more.
  • Ten manuscript pages, and done.
  • 1,070 words typed.
  • 804 words.
  • 934 words.
  • 55 min.
  • 45 min.
  • 45 min.
  • 40 min.

…and also, let me brag a little.  Last weekend, after a bit of a dry patch, I got an absolute mass of pens repaired, all but one one of them for other people.  These included a PFM, three Snorkels, a Vacumatic with a lock-down filler, and a Balance First Lady, plus some slightly less challenging objects.  The Balance, Vacumatic, and two of the Snorkels were moving between generations in one family, which I find always provides a happy glow the the work.  Since the Balance and one of the Snorkels were more than usually resistant to being taken to bits, a happy glow was a welcome counterbalance to black vexation.

The PFM, which was otherwise in quite good shape, had suffered a refit at some past date under the hands of one who was mislead into thinking rubber cement was an appropriate sealant.  I’ve grumped about this sort of thing before, so I’ll leave that link and its contents to express my refreshed thoughts on such behaviour.

The third Snorkel dealt with was, for a joy, one of my own; yet another donation from a friend mentioned many times before who keeps finding things at garage and estate sales.  It is also not a model I owned until she handed it to me:

That model being a Saratoga

That model being a Saratoga

I have a before picture, but it failed to quite capture the squalor this pen had fallen into.  I suspect it lived in a smoking house, because the yellow-brown patina I mercilessly polished away certainly seemed to be nicotine (I know this because our own house was owned for fifty years by the same smoking person, and the hallway still breaks out in a nicotine sweat every winter).  It cleaned up nice, and I’ll be taking it out for its first run tomorrow, making very very very thin writing in pursuit of the day’s labours.  The Sheaffer catalogue of the day only claimed to go down to extra-fine, but this thing, despite acceptable wetness, is toying with the limits of human perception in the fineness of its line.


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Posted by Dirck on 22 October, 2015

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 19 October
  • 20 October
  • 21 October
  • 22 October
  • Another fiction roll-out and worrying about the election.
  • Stress-reaction to the results of the election.
  • First draft of “Aliasing Harmonic” despite migraine.
  • Almost the last of that first draft.
  • All day.
  • 45 min.
  • 25min.
  • 35 Min.

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Posted by Dirck on 8 October, 2015

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 5 October
  • 6 October
  • 7 October
  • 8 October
  • First draft of “Aliasing Harmonic”
  • “Aliasing Harmonic” and the latest story release on the fiction side.
  • Man, am I going to have to rework this thing hard.
  • A break for non-fiction over on my fiction site.
  • 35 min.
  • 15 min. (there’s a surprising number of steps in a release).
  • 30 min.
  • 45 min.

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Raise the Alarm

Posted by Dirck on 2 October, 2015

The Regular Job presented me with several metaphorical fires to put out today, which has eaten into my lunch break!  Thus, a late and entirely thematic Friday Film From Faraway

Today’s pen: TWSBI Vac 700
Today’s ink: Diamine Sargasso Sea

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Posted by Dirck on 24 September, 2015

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 21 September
  • 22 September
  • 23 September
  • 24 September
  • A free lunch (yet I grumble)
  • Second draft of “Old Home Week”.
  • The same.
  • So near the end….
  • Not a metaphoric sausage
  • 1,036 words typed.
  • 978 words.
  • 1,041 words.
  • 65 min.
  • 35 min.
  • 35 min.
  • 40 min.

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Posted by Dirck on 17 September, 2015

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 15 September
  • 16 September
  • 17 September
  • Second draft of “Old Home Week”.
  • The same.
  • …and again.
  • 1,366 words typed.
  • 384 words.
  • 1,008 words.
  • 50 min.
  • 15 min.
  • 35 min.

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Moonlit Romance

Posted by Dirck on 11 September, 2015

I started out calling this Friday Film Folly “To the MOON, Alice!”, but I never find myself longing for the days when it was thought comedic to threaten to punch your wife as hard as you could.  Nuts to you, Kramden.

I do, however, find myself occasionally wanting to send a cat to the moon.  One specific, subtly brain-damaged cat, without whom our house would smell oh, so much sweeter.  However, funding, physics and (in the driver’s seat) morality prevent this, so I’ll have to stick with this rather nice little object.

Not only does it have some very subtle overtones of Lovecraft, it references the word I was so caught on yesterday.  Now, back to work on prepping.  Dig, dig, dig!

Today’s pen: TWSBI Vac 700
Today’s ink: Diamine Sargasso Sea

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Films Elsewhere

Posted by Dirck on 12 December, 2014

As I’ve been unusually devoted to the writing this week, I don’t have a film spooled up for this week.  However, thanks to the active and better-focused Ed Jelly, I can direct you to a group of films sponsored by Montblanc (the capacity which suggests they’re making as much money as we suspect them to be) which are all inspired by phrases of Nelson Mandela.

Rather than embed the videos, as is my usual practice, I’m just going to give the link to Tribeca Film Institute’s place of display.

Today’s pen: TWSBI Vac 700
Today’s ink: Pelikan Brilliant Black

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Posted by Dirck on 4 December, 2014

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 1 December
  • 2 December
  • 3 December
  • 4 December
  • Fourth draft of “The Blue Room”
  • Finished that, on to the third of “The Healing Power of Crystals”
  • Third draft of “The Healing Power of Crystals”
  • Second draft of “The Dutch Walk”
  • Some.  A few.  You know.
  • The finished item is now 5,050 words.
  • Many drops of blood appeared on the forehead
  • 536 words
  • 35 min.
  • 55 min.
  • 55 min.
  • 30 min.

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Holding Forth: Writing Edition

Posted by Dirck on 27 November, 2014

With the end of NaNoWriMo coming up over the weekend, I thought it would be a great time to distract people by revealing my writing secrets which guarantee results.

…and also to screw slightly with silly Google search parameters.

Let’s start at the beginning; I started to look on writing as something I might engage in about the time Stanley Kubrick and Stephen King were beginning their bitter disagreement over the nature of The Shining.   The thought process was as follows: I have been good at making crap up for a long time, and I’ve always had a broad vocabulary.  I can stick sentences together pretty well.  I have read a lot of books, many of them inappropriate to my age (I didn’t get through Catch-22 until my third attempt; the first was around age 10).  Therefore, why not write?

And you know what I though, after trying it?  “Oh, heck.  This is pretty easy!”  Easy, that is, as long as my parents didn’t interrupt me with trivial like “this place needs cleaning up” and “are you done your homework?”  In fact, in the mid-1980s I wrote two novels… which I’ll get back to.

I break off here because a discovery I have made since.  Writing is an awful lot more work than I thought.  I was, as many people with the sort of facility I mention , labouring under the delusion that all I really needed was some time and quiet to tip words out of my head and onto the page– a delusion which I hasten to mention I still indulge when I lay down entries here (pondering and proofreading get occasional admission to this space).  However, as pointed out in this excellent article, having a predisposition towards something is not the same as mastery, whether one looks at writing, gymnastics, or astronautery.  Doing it well requires actual practice and actual effort.

Happily, I worked this out before I tried to submit in un-polished form either a very rambly novel about a werewolf killing far too many people in a small town (which had some way cool cars and guns built into the story) and a speculative fiction thing that was pretty much Day of the Jackal wearing a rainbow wig and Groucho glasses.

The best advice for writers I’ve yet to come across, though, is to not take the advice of others too seriously, because unlike gymnastics or rocket surgery, there’s a lot of approaches that yield success.  Some buggers can actually bang out a functional first draft of an intricate suspense novel by retiring to a quiet room for two weeks, emerging only for the necessary bodily functions and not worrying about researching anything until second draft.  Some people need half a year of research and planning before they dare start the actual writing of an airy slice of life romance.  Some swear by a hand-written first draft, some swear at it as a foolish antiquity (I was in the latter camp in my younger days, but have since joined the former).

The only other item of advice I’d try to offer is a well worn one– read a lot.  Read in a smart way, though.  One the thrill of a magnificent passage has passed along your spine, once the tears of joy or horror that the author has forced into your eyes have subsided, read it again with a clinical focus.  What are the levers in that sentence?  How is it that this paragraph did that thing that it just did to me?  This is something that my own beta-readers, one valuable one in particular, is always yelling at me about in reference to my own writing, and it’s damn good advice.  It’s also advice that can take you outside your favourite genre, in the same way a sensible marital artist will ponder the skills of people from different traditions.  Just because it’s not what you want to pursue doesn’t meant it doesn’t have some tricks to teach you.

As far as guaranteed success… hey, if I knew that, you’d have a copy of all my books filling up a shelf in your library, wouldn’t you?  I certainly subscribe to the sort of thing described in the video you’ll find down this link— success is the result of a confluence of working like mad to be good at what you want to do, and having the unspeakable luck to get noticed as being good at what you do.  Oh, also, once you get noticed, keep working like mad to stay good.  I think we can all name an artist of some stripe who has decided they’re good enough and stop trying; it’s sad, and it eventually makes the fans angry as the skills atrophy.

By the way, I’m not a fan of the concept of NaNoWriMo.  Apart from not having the time to devote to it, I think that it would suck the joy out of the exercise of writing for me to have to produce a certain amount of content each day.  I write as much as I’m able to in what little time I have to write on a daily basis, and I love it even when it’s clearly curdling on me (I’m looking at you, “And Then the Screaming Started”), but if I had an internal guy in a leather vest pounding on a pair of drums and occasionally shouting “Ramming speed!” it would turn into a chore.  Who wants to do chores?  I am pleased to find I’m not alone in this, either.

I do, however, think that getting some writing done at extremely regular intervals is a very good idea.  I somewhat credit several years of these little stream-of-consciousness efforts with finally putting my authorly trolley back on the rails.

Today’s pen: TWSBI Vac 700
Today’s ink: Pelikan Brillian Black



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