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Posted by Dirck on 18 October, 2018

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 15 October
  • 16 October
  • 17 October
  • 18 October
  • First draft of “Johnson’s Folly.”
  • Second draft, now “Palmer’s Folly”
  •  18 manuscript pages.
  • 846 typed words.
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Posted by Dirck on 11 October, 2018

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 8 October
  • 9 October
  • 10 October
  • 11 October
  • First draft of “Johnson’s Folly.”
  • 17 manuscript pages.

Contrary to usual policy, I’m being specific about what was done on the holiday Monday, which was Thanksgiving here in Canada and thus an actual lounging-around type of day. It’s… possible… that the installment of the writing was done on Sunday, while sitting in the stands at son’s gymnastics class (which, now that I think on it, is where the initial work of my “serious phase” of writing began).

Alas, I lost a day this week to a variety of family health issues– running the cat into the vet, and taking over as the Collector of Son from School office which my mother-in-law has been filling while we wait for my wife’s leg to be see to… because my father-in-law was told to come to a neighbouring city to get a new kidney. Alas, kidney proved non-viable when it and he got into the same place, so it was an excursion to no benefit.

The cat, because I know everyone is vitally interested, has been experiencing Horner’s Syndrome thanks to an ear infection. The ear infection is cleared up, but the eye is still somewhat occluded (doesn’t worry the vet) and his balance is off (worries the vet); we may, if we’re interested, spend half a month’s income on having his head scanned. I’m hoping he’ll improve without imagine, so this decision is being extemporized. We’ve already spent vast sums this month on plumbing and other unexpected unavoidables.

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Posted by Dirck on 4 October, 2018

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 26 September to 3 October
  • 4 October
  • First draft of “Johnson’s Folly.”
  • First draft of “Heretics.”
  • Six manuscript pages.
  • Five pages
  • A mad rumpus of pens still inked from last week and the Pelikan Hub.
  • Pelikan 120

I did not go to Ontario. My father had a fine time.

I stayed home and saw to my wife’s needs… as well as I could, after twisting the crap out of my ankle shortly before noon on the 26th last.  This put paid to a lot of the “Oh, well, at least I have a week of not going to work so I can do X and Y around the house” notions I had developed the night of my last entry when the final decision was made. Not only did I not accomplish much, what I did manage was painful and frustrating. At least I managed to get antibiotics into the sick cat on a more or less regular basis, even though I had to limp into the basement to catch him for at least half the doses.

I see I did not mention the sick cat in the last entry. Yes, there was also one of those.

And to cap all, I left the book I hardly got anything written in the whole time at home, so to not waste today’s writing time, I had to start something new. Which will get precedence next week, I wonder….

Just so I don’t leave the day on without any shine on it– happy birthday to Buster Keaton, who would, had he defied entropy like he defied physics, be 123 today.

He was, clearly, born to party.

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The Curse of George Bailey

Posted by Dirck on 25 September, 2018

Yes, I know it’s only Tuesday. All will be explained presently.

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 24 September
  • 25 September
  • Second draft of “Kick a Cat…”
  • This thing you’re reading now.
  • 702 typed words.
  • Also roughly 700 words.

Before I explain, I will mention that the Pelikan Hub was a gas, for those who dig on fountain pens, and I strongly plan to attend next year; this means I will also be yelling at people from this pulpit and others to sign up in about ten months. I now have a lot of Pelikans with ink in them, but happily I really like Pelikans.

Now, on with the heart of the matter. On 9 September, while having the regular Sunday dinner with my parents, they asked if I would like to accompany my father to a reunion of his siblings; my mother usually rides shotgun for him, but some minor side-effects of the aging process disincline her to face the demands of travel.

I was slightly hesitant because apart from The Regular Job’s current state…

Yes, I do indeed like this GIF, and will use it too much. It’s evocative.

…I’m the only driver in the house; my wife doesn’t, by choice, and my son is still too young to be legally allowed in the front seat. But wife agreed, having her parents and my mother to rely on for transport and food deliveries, so I explained the situation to my masters at Regular Job, and was granted the necessary week’s leave.

Part of the reason I got asked to attend is because my brother has been to… a couple… of these family get-togethers in the current millenium, while I have not done such a thing since 1996. Why? Because there’s always some damn thing that crops up to prevent me going. It’s usually been work related (not so much a tyrannical denial as fearing starvation for lack of pay upon return), but not always. I have said aloud that I feel somewhat like George Bailey, the put-upon protagonist of It’s a Wonderful Life, who is forever being thwarted in his plans to have travel anywhere for any reason.

In so much as this thought even occurred to me at the time, I put it aside on the grounds that it’s not really a vacation. I saw my role as assistant and chauffeur as well as companion, and that’s sort of like work.

Apparently this view was not shared by the mysterious powers that run the universe.

I got home from work on 10 September to find that my wife was in gasping agony, she thought from an unusually pernicious cramp in her leg. This persisted the way a cramp does not, for days, and she got off to the doctor to get some insight. Consultation, x-rays, and eventually we get the news– through arthritic changes, my wife no longer has any cartilage in her knee, and her hip is looking rather suspect too. We await contact from the rheumatologist her doctor is calling in to advise (while not as bad as US politicians make out, there are some delays in the functioning of Canadian health-care; since I pay naught for it but a small yearly income tax, this inconvenience is balanced out).

So now I’m pinched between duties. I may be departing for thriving, populous Ontario tomorrow morning at about 5:00am, if my wife feels she will be able to look after our son and cats without my assistance in the evenings, and I will spend the following week in mild fit of worry.  The alternative is a week of sick guilt while my father is on his tod in a distant province full of traffic and maple trees, plus the lasting sensation of having caused the waste of money in the form of unused air fare. Unless my father decides he’s not going for want of a companion, in which case the guilt will derive more from knowing that he’s one of the youngest of his siblings, and he may be missing a last encounter with at least one of them.

We do not have any bridges I can offer to pitch myself off of, hopeful of inducing a cherubim in a hobo disguise to intervene.  Even if we did, Clarence’s assistance was more in the line of a feverish acid trip than a proper miracle, and to be honest a miraculous cure of my wife’s ailment is exactly what’s needed.

In any event, I’m incommunicado for the next week; either very far away and busy, or using that time off of work to attend to my wife as fully as I wish I had been doing the past two weeks. I’ll let you know how it came out at the regular progress report time in the first week of October.

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Posted by Dirck on 20 September, 2018

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 17 September
  • 18 September
  • 19 September
  • 20 September
  • Second draft of “Kick a Cat…”
  • 2815 typed words

Those who were paying attention for about four hours yesterday will have seen a gestational version of this post– apparently somebody hit POST rather than SAVE yesterday. I will put this down to mental exhaustion– the rowers are all present on their benches now, but the guy in the jerkin keeps banging away on his drum.

Tonight is going to be full of powerful mental activity: choosing and inking pens for tomorrow’s Pelikan Hub! The New Classic is definitely coming along. I think one of the P1s will, too, and some of the less-known (at least around here) cheap moderns– I know the local hubmaster is bringing a plentiful selection of Souveräns for other attendees to ogle, and my thing has always been breadth of collection rather than depth.  Still, I’ll likely bring my own M600 along, because it would be mean to not take it to a party meant for it.

I may also bring some not-Pelikans, too, just to keep accusations of favouritism down a little.

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Posted by Dirck on 13 September, 2018

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 10 September
  • 11 September
  • 12 September
  • 13 September
  • First draft of “Kick a Cat…”
  • Second draft of “Kick a Cat…”
  • 16 manuscript pages.
  • 784 typed words

 

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Posted by Dirck on 6 September, 2018

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 3 September
  • 4 September
  • 5 September
  • 6 September
  • Third Draft of “A Legion of Candles.”
  • Third Draft of “The Third Frame.”
  • First draft of “Kick a Cat…”
  • The grinding, faceting and polishing of a gem of deathless prose!
  • Um… ditto.
  • 13 manuscript pages.

I hope you all enjoyed Labour Day. I marked it by labouring to keep the Lego glaciers of my son’s making from engulfing the living room, which kept me from the Choose Your Own project.

If you missed it in the sidebar– there’s a new story on the writing site, the genesis of which I explain in this post.

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Posted by Dirck on 30 August, 2018

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 27 August
  • 28 August
  • 29 August
  • 30 August
  • First draft of “The Third Frame.”
  • First draft of “Kick a Cat…”
  • Second raft of “The Third Frame.”
  • Fourteen manuscript pages.
  • Seven manuscript pages.
  • 1106 typed words

The little bit of “Kick a Cat…” was actually done on Tuesday, in interstice produced by a dental appointment keeping me from The Regular Job in the morning, and I was not inclined to step into the office until just before Mr. Slate yanks on the birdasaurus’s tail to indicate the end of lunch. But why lose a day of writing, even though I’m away from the current project? A stop at a dollar store on my way to a post-dental lunch produced a notebook with shockingly good paper (seriously, it’s somewhere between Rhodia and Tomoe River), and I used my lunch stop to write publicly like a damned hipster.

French onion soup, a chicken breast pretending to be a burger by hiding under bacon, and a pen that’s a little too fine for the job at hand; how I enjoyed some free time on Tuesday.

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Posted by Dirck on 23 August, 2018

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 20 August
  • 21 August
  • 22 August
  • 23 August
  • Second draft† of “A Legion of Candles.”
  • Third (Threcond? Secird?) draft of the same.
  • Third draft of “When Regrets Replace Dreams.”
  • 56 words typed.‡
  • 6,250 words all together, many pre-typed.
  • So many typos. So many.

 

†Usually my path is hand-written first, typed second, and then off for comment by readers before third. This story got a complete POV change and I didn’t feel like restarting the process, so because I’m the boss of me! we might consider this second draft more of a v.1.1.

‡ After vast struggle to push the narrative forward on Monday, I realized belatedly that it wasn’t moving because it had fetched up against the buffers at the last station on the line. Those 56 words are vanishing as I smack around the current version into the usual “second draft” shape, so what this really records is the waste of a whole writing session.

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Posted by Dirck on 16 August, 2018

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 13 August
  • 14 August
  • 15 August
  • 16 August
  • Second Draft of the choose-your-own project.†
  • Second draft of “A Legion of Candles.”
  • About 1,700 words typed.
  • 2,106 words typed.

 

For those who don’t look in at my fictional enterprise, or notice the slowly changing links to it over in the side-bar– I sold a story! Two years ago! And now it’s been published! I hasten to add that the delay was due to the work of some sinister outside forces who committed an outrage upon the publication; the publication are not to blame for it, and I’m glad they’re back even leaving aside that they have brought forth my story as part of that return.

†Well, I was an industrious lad over the weekend, wasn’t I? Part of this is down to the record-setting heat of last weekend; at 41F, I’m pleased to find a reason to be in the basement.

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