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Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Posted by Dirck on 19 October, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 2,901 words typed

Hey, that’s a more productive week!  Since we’re getting close to the anniversary of this project, now is as good a time as any to announce:  This project will absolutely be finished long after we pass that anniversary.  Earlier optimism on this point was unfounded, and now that I’ve got a strong sense of my weekly output… February *mbbl*th is the likely completion date.  Not what I’d hoped, but given the tiny slice of time I can apply to the matter, I’m actually feeling pretty good about that.

Speaking of feeling pretty good, and to wrap up a slightly loose end from last week.  Doctor seen, x-rays taken, and the verdict is– if the knee is sore, put on a brace for a while, and take a mild anti-inflammatory (which most popular over-the-counter pain relief is).  No other treatment needed.  I may yet dance!

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Posted by Dirck on 12 October, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 793 words typed

That’s a pretty weak showing for the week. Let me explain, and perhaps even justify.  Monday was Thanksgiving up here in the Great White North, and that meant I was paddling about the house doing important house stuff prior to heading to my in-laws’ place for the traditional attempt to eat enough to last out the whole winter.  And that meant no writing.

But wait!  There’s more!  Today, indeed even as this entry is being posted by cool and unsympathetic electronic hands, I am off to see my doctor.  You may remember that in December and then again in April I mentioned having wrenched the crap out of my knee.  Up until the last week of September, I would have told you that I was pretty much recovered from this.  Mid-way through that week, for absolutely no reason I could notice, the knee was all inflamed and painful again; no new acrobatics, no attempted heroics, not even inclement weather.  That became the point at which I allowed common sense to overcome self-destructive idiotic laziness; I made an appointment to have it looked at.

Given the intermittent use of Canada’s handling of health-care in the debate over how things might be re-arranged in the US, I’m going to talk about this astonishing delay for a moment. I will admit that the distance between making the appointment and its arrival is somewhat inconvenient, although the leg is back to being merely somewhat sore.  However, I don’t want anyone to point at this and shout, “There!  See the horrible toll TEH SOCIALIZISMS takes on those poor benighted fools in Canada!” Here’s my take on this delay–

First of all, my doctor is quite good, popular and getting to be of an age where he wants to work less than five days a week; this makes for a full calendar.  Given that the most recent injury was five months ago, I can hardly call this an emergency, and even if I did call it an emergency, it’s not an Emergency Room emergency.  I could have, if moved by relentless agony, have sat for a couple of hours in any one of a number of open clinics around the city, and have my problem seen to by a competent if unfamiliar doctor (and thus left the emergency room less burdened by dummies like me and able to concentrate on people in authentic serious emergency trouble).  The delay is the price I pay for insisting on seeing the doctor I have chosen… which we can do here in Canada, honest.

Importantly, whether I wait several hours in an ER (because triage would put me waaaaay down the list of people needing attention), a couple of hours at a clinic, or a couple of weeks while the line of many satisfied patients my doctor enjoys cycles through to me, I am not paying for it.  Yes, I am paying for it through taxes, and that’s fine with me, because I’d be paying taxes anyway, and at about the same rate if I lived in neighbouring North Dakota, the same way I’m paying for police and fire departments and all that other stuff that people forget about when they complain about taxes.  However, my experience today will include no billing– I enter, I am probed, I get medical advice on my physical state, I leave and that’s that.  If I am sent for x-rays, same deal, but with extra radiation.  If the doctor tells me to come back in a month to see how I’m getting on, then it’s the same deal again.  If I have to start a long series of treatments because he notices I have a powerful and long-simmering case of The Spon Plague, then it’s still the same deal.  Watch as carefully as you like, as no time will my wallet leave my pocket.

I think that’s a pretty good deal, and certainly worth the .  I don’t know why people in the US resist it so fiercely (other than that they’ve been convinced by the people who make money off their system that it’s the only way to roll).

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Posted by Dirck on 5 October, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 2,977 words typed

I applied a little thought (uh-oh) to the pace of work, and it appears I’m not going to have something to dangle in front of publishers and/or agents until late January at earliest.

Sigh.

But, as the movie said, if you rush a miracle man, you get lousy miracles.

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Posted by Dirck on 28 September, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 3,408 words typed

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Posted by Dirck on 21 September, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 2,997 words typed

Not a terrible week, I guess, and more than I thought I’d manage– a couple of segments attacked this week were very like pulling teeth.  I’m also not going to manage to present a new work at the other outlet this week, as I have the last couple, because this week The Regular Job entered one of its infrequent “this is as much fun and effort as juggling flaming bears” phases.  I know I’m disappointing some people, and I’m also disappointing me.  The reproachful looks over the bathroom sink are going to be very hard to take.

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Posted by Dirck on 14 September, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 3900 words typed (and I do feel good about that, yes)

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Posted by Dirck on 7 September, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 1,926 words typed

Yes, it should be more. A long weekend and a trip to the eye doctor conspire against me.

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Posted by Dirck on 31 August, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 2,812 words typed

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Posted by Dirck on 24 August, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 2,620 words typed (and remembering Monday was idle)

An interesting discovery attends this first week of the new draft.  Received wisdom has it that a page of double-spaced text is roughly 250 words, yes?  Well, the spreadsheet that I’m keeping track of my progress on, which is how I get those spiffy gauges, has a cell which takes the current word count and divides by 250… which does not agree at all with the page count in the word processor.  It turns out that in the accepted Shunn format, well-loved by almost everywhere one submits work to, the words-per-page turns out to be more in the line of 300.

Interesting, but utterly unimportant.  We are concerned with the word count, after all, and not the amount of paper involved.  But interesting all the same.  Received wisdom not quite in accord with facts?  When does that ever happen?

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Unexpected Role Models

Posted by Dirck on 21 August, 2017

Today, I wasted my lunch period; rather than return the flayed flap of skin on the front of my face to the proverbial grindstone, I raced home to share the Great Eclipse(!!!) with my son.

That is pretty much the peak of totality where I was standing.

Wait a minute… by “wasted” I mean “utilized in the best possible manner,” because while eclipses happen regularly enough, they don’t happen here a great deal; the last one like this was in 1979.  But this is all digression, really, because it is writing I will eventually touch upon.

Today at The Regular Job has been very quite, so much so that I have tacit dispensation to do whatever I liked so long as I was handy to the telephone; thus, I have done a little tidying of the back room of my site, soon (I hope) to appear with a shiny HTTPS in its address and prevent Google from blacklisting me.  In the course of this, I found some backtracks from this very blog hiding among the apprehended spam, and entertained myself with a bit of reading– because, once upon a time, I actually produced content on this thing, some of which was vaguely amusing.

One of the items of past glory I examined was a slightly meta examination of my own writing style, which I’ll synopsize here so you don’t actually have to click that link.  I had found a place which claimed to analyse the style of any text pasted into it, and discovered that the writing of this screed as it existed then was like David Foster Wallace, H.P. Lovecraft, Mary Shelley, Cory Docotorow, and (shudder) Dan Brown.

All of which was somewhat interesting to the current version of me.  Then-Me was about a year away from getting nearly serious about fiction writing, and somewhat further away from getting as serious about it as I am now (which some might say is still “insufficiently so” but I work with what I’ve got).  What, Current-Me wondered, would be the effect of feeding some of my fiction into that purported analysis engine.  Indeed, did it still exist?

Why, yes, it did!  And here’s me with idle hands!

The results are… interesting to me.  Certainly satisfactory, although in a head-scratching way which I’ll explain presently.  As with the last attempt, I gave thing ten samples in an effort to see if there was any consistency in it.  Whole stories, too, not just snippets.  I was told with one of them that it was stylistically like the work of Arthur C. Clarke.  That story, the only one of the bunch that has yet been shown publicly, was aiming for more of an M.R. James flavour, but I will never decline to be likened to Clarke.  Two others came up with Anne Rice as the style-mirror for me, and seven of them produced Agatha Christie.

And here I became bemused.  I understand the presence of Clarke in these estimates.  Rice and Christie confuse me.  This is not a fragile male ego baulking at being compared to women, because really, honestly, that’s not the way I roll.  The source of the confusion lies in what I know about my own reading.  I have read loads of Clarke.  His influence creeping into my own work?  Sure.  However, my reading of Anne Rice is limited to Interview with The Vampire, once, in… I think 1990.  I have read Christie more recently, but rather less of her; a single story, about two years ago.  I have watched the entire run of Poirot Mysteries, but that’s hardly like reading the books upon which they are based.  The similarity of style is unlikely to be a result of emulation, however unconscious.

Bemused, then, but not exactly put out.  No reference to Dan Brown, which pleases me greatly, however commercial his work might be.  “Commercial” is a word one might apply to any of the three this recent sampling produced; not only are they all considered good writers in the literary art sense of the word (none without debate, of course– that’s art critics for you) but they have been widely published.  I am very content to be compared to people who got publication galore.

…of course, one also say “widely published” of Edward Bulwer-Lytton, for a particular period.  Ulp.

Today’s pen: Parker Senior Duofold
Today’s ink: Waterman blue (vintage)

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