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Posts Tagged ‘Waterman Carène’

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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Posted by Dirck on 4 May, 2017

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

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The Wages of Immortality

Posted by Dirck on 1 May, 2017

I don’t believe I’m being original when I say that we are effectively immortal in the eyes of our pets, so long as we stick to relatively pedestrian companions.  A household Galapagos tortoise or even an African Grey parrot will have a different perspective.  As immortals, we change only slowly while the pet passes from one end of life to the other.  They experience continuity, barring horrible accidents.  We experience grief.

This is Cleopatra Harris, named because we are silly about connecting ancient Egypt and cats, and because her hair was reminiscent of Ron Glass’s in Firefly but Cleopatra Book didn’t have the right flow.  This morning she ceased to be, having passed from a kittenhood of nicotine addiction (not her choice, and not ours; she joined her litter mates at our house after a brief stay with someone else who had a SERIOUSLY rough patch in their life which eventually developed to “I can’t look after this poor cat, please take her”) to a seniority of incontinence and eventual diabetes.

Actually, the incontinence was a long-term thing.  This is the cat who, if you read back through the years when interesting things happened on this blog, I frequently swore at.  Part of the expense of owning her for the past couple of years has been buying puppy training pads in job lots, because she decided litter boxes should occupy half the floor-space of the house, and we had to very nearly carpet the place and largely upholster all our furniture with disposable absorbents… which she mostly didn’t miss.  She is the cat who, if I may be frank, was making a very good case for “let’s not have any more cats in the house” in the head of a guy who has loved cats since age 5.

Over the weekend, it became clear that her life had at last become even more a burden to her than it was to me.  This estimation was made by my wife, who was not as oppressed by the cat-based squalor as I, finding in her heart an adamantine core of affection which the misbehavior could not damage or even discolour (it’s not like the cat was actively trying to kill our son, after all), and her decision was based on that affection.  We thus prepared son for the impending loss as well as we could, gave Cleo one last taste of the great outdoors during which the above picture was taken, and committed the act of medically-assisted euthanasia this morning.  She may not look ill in the picture, but she was essentially nothing but a lot of hair around a collection of extremely sore joints.

And yes, I wept throughout the time in the vet’s office.  She was a filthy destroyer of the fabric of our house, a vast and constant drain on our scant finances, and occasionally bite-y.  But she was also beautiful, extremely willing to let son practice the humane treatment of animals upon her, and (when not actively ruining a carpet) a cuddly, loving beast who sought the affection her infirmities did so much to alienate.  I will not miss the messes, but I will miss the cat, because we all contain multitudes and there was good in her even I can appreciate, and what was bad was bad without intent.

We are, once a thorough cleaning has been undertaken, likely get yet another young cat that we can outlive and mourn.  If classical mythology teaches us anything, it’s that immortals are gluttons for self-inflicted punishment.  It’s the patches of delight between the bouts of grief that keep us going.

Today’s pen: Waterman Carène
Today’s ink: Quink washable blue (vintage)

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Posted by Dirck on 27 April, 2017

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

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Posted by Dirck on 20 April, 2017

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

Another lost Monday, alas, this time to a phone-call which ran long over the start of my lunch break.  By the time I had basic sustenance down me, there wasn’t time to get the machinery churning properly on the novel.  As petty revenge for this, I filled free moments in the rest of the afternoon doing some preliminary world-building for a future story with a (relatively) hard SF setting– I now know just how big my ship is, and how quickly it rotates to provide 1G on the main working deck and Mars-equivalent gravity in the recreation area.  Idle brains are the Devil’s plaything, after all.

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Posted by Dirck on 13 April, 2017

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

The paucity of output this week is down to Monday being too taken up with agony to be creative. You may remember a really dumb thing I reported doing to my leg about four months ago.  Well, I managed to do almost the same thing without the assistance of ice on Sunday evening, simply through inattention; I stepped too long for the last step in a flight, and then down I went.  The damage isn’t as bad this time (although I really should have a medical professional opine upon how things stand with my inner rigging), but it was sore enough on Monday to make creativity in anything other than self-directed terms of abuse fly right out the window.

And to avoid leaving people up in the air about important things: the pen I had in my pocket at the time is completely unscathed.

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Posted by Dirck on 21 July, 2016

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 18 July
  • 19 July
  • 20 July
  • 21 July
  • Second draft of the “Swimmer’s Build”.
  • The same, and yes, it is a long one.
  • More of the same.
  • STILL more, although the climax is, at last, upon us.
  • 835 words typed.
  • 888 words (which I think is good news in some numerologies).
  • 821 words.
  • 827 words.
  • 55 min.
  • 60 min.
  • 50 min.
  • 60 min.

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Posted by Dirck on 14 July, 2016

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 11 July
  • 12 July
  • 13 July
  • 14 July
  • Second draft of the “Swimmer’s Build”.
  • The same.
  • …with opposition, alas.
  • Less opposition, but a real “blood on the forehead” session.  First and second drafts diverge.
  • 769 words typed.
  • 984 words.
  • 589 words.
  • 390 words.
  • 55 min.
  • 60 min.
  • 45 min.
  • 40 min.

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Posted by Dirck on 7 July, 2016

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 4 July
  • 5 July
  • 6 July
  • 7 July
  • Second draft of the “Swimmer’s Build”.
  • More “Swimmer’s Build,” which goes slowly because I was too timid with the first draft.
  • Second drafting persists.
  • Radical change of perspective!  And gosh, it was the way to go.
  • 532 words typed.
  • 645 words (see?).
  • 640 words.
  • With chops and changes, it’s about 800 new words.
  • 45 min.
  • 50 min.
  • 45 min.
  • 30 min.
  • 60 min.

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