Finished January with 30 stories. Some are good. Some are not. None, however would be considered wastes of ink.
I definitely approach these handwritten stories differently than when I type them straight into the computer. There’s a dreamy, fable-like undercurrent to them. Though none of the stories are linked to any other, you can see an overarching cohesiveness. Even the two non-fiction piece, the one about the Corvette Stingray and the Day 27 essay, fit the themes quite nicely.
At some point, counting may have gotten confused, so I’ve had to define it: the days will not coincide with the days of the year, but with the number of stories. So when I say Day 26, it’s the 26th story, regardless of how many actual days into the year it is. Since I only took one day off in January, Day 26 is actually January 27. Here’s a brief quote from that story:
The door opens, and the first of the demons emerges.
Day 27 was a non-fiction essay:
Knowing how a thing is done is not the same as knowing how to do a thing.
Day 28 incorporates something that happened to me a long time ago, when I was attacked while working the night shift at a gas station.
He’s something of a poet. He sees the beauty in the flaws and the flaws in the beauty.
Day 29 is all about a temp employee and the guy who’s supposed to be training her.
It was her eyes, he finally decided, that he couldn’t forget. They were too far apart, or too narrow, or two coppery in color.
I ended January with Day 30:
It is a big house built of dream stuff and whispers and champagne.
Reaching February, I gave up the small Moleskines for a regular-sized Moleskine. I’d gotten used to the unlined pages, but now there are lines. I still crammed three lines into the very last so as not to use only the top line of a page. Funny thing I’ve noticed, I tend to write to, or very near to, the bottom of the last page, and I subconsciously adjust my handwriting as I’m nearing the end of the story to make it fit. There was a moment of panic today when I almost spilled onto the next page, as the Virgo in me would demand I start tomorrow on a fresh page.
Here’s a bit from Day 31:
He saw my hands already on the back of my head and said, “So good of you to come quietly.” He glanced at my discarded weapons.
“That wasn’t the plan,” I admitted.
My aim for February: to do a bit more non-fiction. One rambling about Corvettes and an essay on secrets may have been enough for January, for the start of this project, but that will not be sufficient going forward.
I’m more and more conscious of the fact that, as a whole, this is an art project. I’m starting to think of what may or may not happen along the way to this–I’ll say it now–collection. I don’t actually plan to collect them. But they are, naturally, a collection, and at the very least connected by the InkStains project and all it entails. I am very much enjoying the process as well as the results.
Here, I reissue the challenge I gave at the start: come up with your own variation of InkStains and join me. Get a pen. Get some paper. Write a thing down.