It’s Wednesday. That’s writer post day. The first post on the new computer. I’ve upgraded my primary writing tool. No longer do I have an 8 year old Toshiba Satellite Black Friday Special (thank you, Mom and Dad – that gift back then was a complete God-send). The Toshiba served me well all those years – it’s not dead yet, we’ll keep it around a while to make sure I have everything off it I need.
I’m now on a 16GB Dell Insipirion with a 1TB (TERRABYTE!!!!!) hard drive, touch screen, and an immediate upgrade to Win10 out of the box. We’ve also upgraded to Microsoft 365 – meaning I’m working on getting everything moved to the Cloud (as well as locally saved/backed up – haven’t totally drunk that Kool-Aid yet). And learning the joys of subscription based software, but both Jimmy and I can have the same Office Suite on both PCs and tablets. Documents are pretty easy. We’ll see about email.
What does this have to do with writing? It’s one of the things you do as a writer – keep your tools sharp. I probably waited too long to replace my laptop – but I’m a “use it till the wheels fall off” type person. And this one came up at the right time – and on sale – so the frugal side of me was able to meet Jimmy’s “we need to get you the best we can because it’s your primary writing tool”. So go me – bells and whistles!
And what have I been doing? Paper edits/feedback for the ROTA novel. I’m almost done with the second pass. Then I’ll start inputting the notes I made on my sections. Then I can move on to other things – pretty sure I’m going with the YA novel (or novelette) next. Not sure how long it’s going end up being by the time it’s done.
Oh, and I’ve been scanning the Hugo results. I had to see the fall out, even if I’m not participating. Here’s hoping all that is over, but alas… I fear it is not. I shudder to think the damage the whole thing has caused on both sides of the argument, and hope not too many careers were harmed in the cross fire. To all who won – congratulations. For those categories with “No Award”… I’m sorry.
Now…back to doing what I do best – write stories and hope people like them. Oh, and spending some time doing maintenance on my website. Parts of that are woefully out of date – and being a short story judge for a comic book convention in October (wish me luck).
Yeah, hey look, it’s Tuesday. I’m sorry, I’m tracking down a missing JetPens shipment. I have a new computer, so I’m still getting used to everything.
I’ll get it back up and running again very, very soon.
Hello, Wednesday, and thanks for the Summer Cold Front. This blog’s easy to write. Yesterday was the Book Launch party for Tarbox Station at Roll2Play. I want to thank my friends and family who came out and hung out. Raven and Tiffany for letting us come and hang out. And to the random people who came into the store on a Tuesday.
It’s kind of fun to have a book launch at a game store – one, it’s a different set of people than who you might get otherwise; and two, in store’s like Roll2Play with a rental/borrow section, there’s stuff for people to do if they want to hang out until the end of the party. I introduced my parents to a game from Playroom Entertainment called, “Cosmic Cows” – which is getting difficult to find…
We ordered a cake with the book cover on it. Actually got it from my local Kroger for less than I thought (yay! Frugality), and managed to get it over to the store undamaged. We set out some desserts and drinks – with help from Tiffany – and books. We got there early, dropped off stuff, hit this lovely little Vietnamese restaurant right next door and had dinner.
rge, but they were people I care about who were there to support a friend. That means everything. I even got to see a friend I haven’ t seen since we both escaped a soul-sucking place of employment. I want to thank everyone who bought books. I greatly appreciate it. I’ve had parties where no one’s showed up. Thank you for showing up.
If you couldn’t make it, but still want to be part of the magic? Order the ebook from Amazon or the print version at Yard Dog Press – or come see me, Mitch Bentley, and all the other Yard Dog offerings at FenCon.
Oh, hi… Monday, you’re slipping away from me. I should try to get something done… But first, a couple of interesting notes:
The Pelikan Edelstein long cartridge DOES fit in the Jinhao fountain pen barrel. HUZZAH. The Jinhao’s – which I’ve reviewed before – have a sturdier clip and a better grip than the Pelikan I was using. My Jinhao came from the Dallas Pen Show – but is now available on JetPens for less than I spent at the show – the same pen I spent $10 last year is now $5.25 on Jet Pens. The model on JetPens is called the Jinhao 599 (or maybe the 599A) – I once found it called the Ebony Jewel. They have more “fashion”/higher end models that run not more than $8. But the ones I have on my “wish list” are the transparent ones. I like seeing the ink levels, and they have more visibility than the windows in the 599 series.
So, let’s do a little revisit on both the ink and the pen. I still like the depth of color of the Edelstein Garnet ink. But being in a finer point nib than the Pelikan beginner, it’s easier to work with for editing hardcopy manuscript. The barrel is narrower but longer, giving the writing experience a whole different feel.
This is a decent fountain pen from China created on the Lamy Safari style. It’s just under 5.5″ long capped and 6.5″ with the cap posted. The barrel is plastic with viewing windows to show ink levels. The grip is smooth plastic but with triangular cuts that make it ergonomic. The grip design does help to hold the pen “correctly” and comfortably. The cap does post firmly, and though it’s light plastic, it’s got a good feel.
The nib is considered a “light medium” or a “heavy fine” – which makes it a nice line. The flow (once I got it going) is strong. The nib is marked as 18k GP (I’m going to assume white gold – and it’ll be a vermeil type plating – meaning just microns of gold… thank you Day Job for that).
1. How does it work? – 0.5 – It works like it’s supposed to. The nib is smooth and solid. The barrel is light but well-balanced with a good feel. The nib feels strong, like it won’t bend if you’re heavy-handed writer. A little “scratchier” than the Pelikan, but it’s a finer nib.
2. Grip and feel – 1 – They make an effort for ergonomics. Though there’s not a “grippy” part, it’s all smooth plastic, the grip is designed to fit comfortably in the hand. And the cap posts a LOT more securely than the Pelikan.
3. Material – 1 – It is what it is, a replica Lamy in plastic. It’s light but comfortable. The nib is marked 18k GP. The clip is metal with the company name stamped in Chinese. Doesn’t feel like it’s going to break.
4. Overall Design – 0.5 – I like it. It might be a little long for some people. It’s also more designed for the converter than cartridges – and works better for the long cartridge than the short. But the ink works.
5. Price Point – 1 – As long as you buy it through JetPens, the price point is MUCH better for a beginner or everyday fountain pen. This pen – depending on which model it is – 599A or 599 – runs between $3.45 and $5.25 – MUCH better than the $10 I paid last year. Welcome to the price drop.
That’s 4 of 5 bronze pencils.
Come join us for desserts, beverages, and check out the wide assortment of games — and of course, books. 😎
Well, lookee there, it’s Wednesday. Happy blog day.
In less than a week, we have a launch party for the novel at Roll2Play in Carrollton. I don’t want to overly push it, but I also don’t want to have a party where no one comes. The Roll2Play folks are too good for that. So, if you’re in the area and don’t already have plans, 7-9pm… there will be cake.
Thanks to Roll2Play, again, I might be reconnecting with an awesome non-profit – with an event right here in town in November. And I was able to introduce a rep to a FenCon rep for potential “Have You Met” moment for a future charity for FenCon (we always need new ones). Fingers crossed on that one. Good people doing good work. Will let you all know when stuff happens.
I’m getting close to finishing the next project needing finishing – then it gets handed off to those who handle it next. Then I get to write something fun for me that doesn’t have a deadline (just yet). But it’s all part of writing regularly (even if some crazy days are only a handful of words). New words are new words – even during editing and such. Which reminds me… I need to do a second read of the Four Redheads book for the last bits of notes (right now there aren’t many).
I owe a band an apology – with all the deadlines and stresses and craziness of the last few months, I’ve failed to review a CD. I need to do that, and get back to that part of my writing, too. Because it’s something I enjoy doing. And it’s good music.
Oh, and there’s the troublemaker part of me… I pretty much got ripped off in a Kickstarter for a certain product. I still have the person on Facebook until the whole situation is resolved, but it’s no one I truly remember ever meeting in person. I’m active on the Kickstarter comment page. I’ve approached this person TWICE (at least through private messaging) – the second time has been roundly ignored. IF this situation goes to legal action (fraud) I will support the suit. I don’t make these decision lightly because I tend to think well of my fellow person – but the patterns are too clear. And the lack of admission of making a mistake? That’s an indication of Actions Needing Consequences.
Today is pen blog day. And this is going to be a wee bit different. Last week I helped man a table at an event for my day job – and pillaged the other tables before I left I have a giant pile of promotional pens.
So over the next few weeks, I’m going to go through some of these, do the research on where they can be found – if you need promotional pens for any reason. And I might even compare a couple side by side. Let you know about features, printing space, mechanisms, and the like. Most of them are black ink. Some have better grips or options than others. We’ll see how they stack up against each other and as “normal” pens.
I’ve also got to do inventory on what I have in my gigantic pen stash that I haven’t ever gotten around to review. It’s a good thing I still have plenty of things to write to test pens and make fictional writing progress – such as with the Christmas play I MUST finish in the next two weeks. So lots of opportunities for pen testing and reviews.
So that’s where I am for the blog. And I’m about due for a JetPens order – therein lies the future of the blog. I’m also open to recommendations – from anyone: readers, retailers, manufacturers… Let me know what you want to see, and (within price range reason) I’ll see what I can do. There is a future for the blog, because this is one of the ones I can keep going and enjoy doing.
Finger’s crossed – someday I’ll be able to review some of the nicer, luxury pens that right now, frankly, I can’t afford no matter how much I drool over them at pen stores like Paradise Pen Company – one of my happy places. Oh, and soon there will be the Dallas Pen Show (which I’ll have to make a bigger effort to get to) since our convention hotel isn’t near there anymore. Lots of opportunity coming up. Looking forward to it.
Oh, hey, it really is Wednesday – it’s been one of those strange weeks. It felt like Thursday for a big chunk of the day. The Day Job ran long with a late meeting about a new(ish) project that I didn’t know about until after I was at work today. It’s thrown off my rhythm today, but on the upside, things have progressed on the writer front.
I got my box of books this week. Tarbox Station LIVES! Not only that, but there’s going to be a party for it. Thanks to Tiffany, Drew, and the whole crew at Roll2Play. Tuesday night, August 18th from 7-9pm in Carrollton, we’re going have a low key “welcome to the world” party to my first solo novel with some dessert snacks and games and talking. I couldn’t have done it without all of you guys supporting me. So come out and help me celebrate it – we’ll miss Tex Thompson who’s in the Pacific Northwest until the end of the month.
The next big push for the book will be FenCon, my convention-going friends. That’s the place where all of us will be – Yard Dog Press, me, the awesomely talented Mitch Bentley who did the cover. That’s the next place of action – you can have a book there signed by BOTH of us. And, well, let’s face it – any YDP author you ask, because we’ll sign just about anything you ask us to – whether we had anything to do with it or not. 😎
NOTE: If you’re buying the ebook – buy it from Amazon. If you’re buying the hard copy buy it from Yard Dog Press (or from me).
Also, I signed contracts for a short story I wrote back in June. It should be out at the end of October. More details when know for sure I can talk about it. But it makes me happy that the effort I put into finishing it by the deadline was worth it. Makes me more motivated to continue with the word counts.
I should be (and have been) working on the Christmas Play for church. It’s about to be woefully overdue, but it’s really hard to think about Christmas and winter when it’s 102 with a heat index of hellfire. But I made a commitment and I’ll keep it. Fortunately this time, I’m leaving LOTS of room for music, so there doesn’t need to be as much “story”. 😎 It’s going forward. Forward is good.
This week’s pen is the last one of my birthday pens from Paradise Pen Company. This is one of their signature brand pens – a Padrino. This is the Padrino Tech Silver Roller Ball Pen in black ink. This is a moderately priced gift/luxury ball point pen. It retails for $45, but right now it’s on sale for $20 online (and probably in store, if you can find it. I think I got the last one at the Dallas store).
The Padrino Tech has a brushed silver barrel with a smooth, modern sweeping clip. The cap is solid and posts well. There’s no fear of the cap flying off willy nilly. It takes a good tug to get the cap off. The clip is sturdy and solid. This pen won’t go anywhere without an effort.
The pen writes smoothly and has a good weight and balance. It’s about 5.25″ long capped and just over 5.5″ with the cap posted. It’s is long enough to be comfortable with a medium diameter for a decent grip – no ergonomics. The finish can show dirt – I thought I saw dings, but just buffed them out with little effort. But I’d still be careful in a purse or briefcase.
If you need a gift pen, or a pen just to look good on your work desk, you can’t go wrong with this one. With the easily findable refill, it’s easy to use over the long-term. The sale price, makes it quite reasonable for a graduation gift or any other reason. It’s a well-built pen, which is something I’ve come to expect from Paradise Pen Company. Padrino is their “house” brand and stands up to more expensive brands.
To the numbers:
1. How does it work? – 1 It’s good. It’s a smooth ink in a decent point. The twist retraction mechanism is smooth and easy to use.
2. Grip and feel – 0.5 – It has no real ergonomics. There’s no good grip, just the brushed metal finish. The cap lock creates a ridge that can dig in during long term use.
3. Material – 1 It’s a solid metal pen. It has a strong, artistic clip. The finish seems like it shows marks, but cleans well and easily.
4. Overall Design – 1 – It’s a standard capped roller ball point pen. But it works well, looks good, and cleans better than I expected. This is a pen that will live out its investment.
5. Price Point – 0.5 – If you pay full price, it’s expensive at $45. The fact that even the website has it for $20 makes it a good value for its class – but it is refillable so there’s that, but it’s definitely an investment pen.
4.0 out of 5 Bronze Pencils
It’s Wednesday. I’m about to have a bunch of people over for dinner. So, here we go… some semblance of a blog post. Let’s go with “Updatery…”
My book is out – at least in electronic form. The print copy is coming, and now I have the cover up on Amazon. I know of TWO WHOLE copies that have sold. If there are more, yay. But to those two – and to Margaret who’s already reviewed it – THANK YOU!!!! If you feel so compelled, please buy and review. I know most of my friends are waiting for the print version. That’s cool, too. And now the cover shows up! Oh, and apparently the print IS also now available! Score! If you buy the ebook, get it from Amazon. If you order the print online, get it from YardDog, please.
ArmadilloCon was great. Good panels. Good audiences. I know there were people there I wanted to see – but didn’t because our paths just never quite crossed. I barely got to speak to J. Kathleen Cheney – and we had a signing together, but she was on the other side of Martha Wells. Michael Ashleigh Finn and I had a joint reading Friday night at 9 pm – EIGHT people showed up. I was very grateful.
This was an oddly scheduled convention for me. I tend to do the early panels (much more of a morning person than a late person). But this convention was not that. I didn’t even start my Saturday of paneling until 2pm – but then went to 11 pm (that 10 pm Comics on TV panel was both fun and hard). Then there was talking with Joe Lansdale and a table full of fun and awesome folks before doing a tour of parties. It was…interesting… not being the one that had to have the alarm set. 😎
ArmadilloCon was also good for one thing… Joe Lansdale flat out asked me if I was still writing regularly. I am – though not always brand new fiction words – with all the editing I’ve had to do and blog posts. But now I’m determined to be BETTER about making sure the writing regularly means new words on top of the other stuff – like the Redheads read through.
Next up on the docket – there’s Christmas play I need to finish. Then I figure out my next project. There are projects needing finishing – both long and short fiction – so we’ll see. But I’m leaning toward the YA fairy tale universe(ish) novel /novelette (depending on how long it comes out), since a story I just sold ties into it…
Fortunately – after tomorrow – the “major” things currently on my calendar this week will be done. We have no plans to leave the house this weekend. Now I need to go cook up a bunch of bacon and sausage for a waffle dinner. Yum…