Progress Report #53

My iMac

The Machine

So far all my work on  Street Song has been done on this iMac. Because I’ve been working on a machine, the text is somewhat flat, the voice is monotone, the prose is…prosaic. This second draft is up to 800 pages now, with another 200 or so to go. I intend to bring the third and final draft in at around 300 pages. That’s where I need to find the magic. In the hope that they will enhance my creativity in the last stretch, I recently purchased some specialized and somewhat hard-to-find writing tools.


My myPad

I love my pad and I’m eager to start working with it. But I have to finish this draft first. I’m torn between blue and black ink, but I still have several months to decide.


8 Responses to “Progress Report #53”

  1. Chandani Diaz Says:

    Use blue – preforable azure blue, I came from an “old country where there wasn’t even TV” – we filled our pens at the professors’ stations and felt it was really SPECIAL when we could write in BLUE (azure) ink.

    Want to know HOW you developed such a command of the English language living on the streets. I have a M.Sc. in anthroplogy and English was my 4th language but I still can barely catch up to you. You must be exceptionally gifted and that is a godly gift which one cannot deny.

    Best of luck to you!

  2. Karen Says:

    My father was a shorthand reporter for federal court for decades, being one the last who used shorthand rather than a stenotype machine to report what was said in the courtroom (he said he found the machine too slow). He used two special gold-nibbed fountain pens that he filled from a large bottle of PURPLE ink. He used purple ink because he said purple flowed more smoothly onto the paper than black or blue ink, thus minimizing hand strain. Purple was also easier on the eyes; he had to spend hours reading and transcribing his notes.

    • markbittner Says:

      Judy used to use purple ink and liked it. Maybe I should give it a try. One of my big concerns is the amount of pressure I need to use. Why would purple flow more easily?

  3. Karen Says:

    Probably has something to do with the chemistry of the ink. I just know that Dad said his experience proved to him that purple ink was the best when you have to write for long periods of time, which he did. He also used top quality pens, and I’m sure that made a difference, as well.

  4. Karen Says:

    In trying to find out more about purple ink, I found the story of Vivien Spitz, who, like my father, was a court reporter. At 21 she volunteered to go to Germany to report the Nuremberg Trials. My father was actually tapped to go (he was still serving in the U.S. Army at the time) but in the end he was not sent — perhaps because Mrs. Spitz went? He was forever grateful that he didn’t have to go; he knew the experience would have permanently traumatized him.

  5. Margaret Says:

    Black ink…because the writing which is visually most beautiful, calligraphy, is done in black strokes against the white page. I think the beauty and power of it would flow inward and inform your prose.

    • markbittner Says:

      Yes. This describes perfectly my reason for preferring black ink. But I have arguments in favor of blue, too. (Privately, I’m serious about this topic, but bringing it into the blog was actually a bit of a joke.)

  6. Linda Says:

    I like sepia too, it is easy on the eyes also, but i would be torn between the purple and the sepia because I just like purple!

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