I have completed my 174th InkStains story today.
That’s six months of stories.
To recap: I undertook my InkStains project on 1 January. The purpose: to write a story every day. A complete story, whether fiction or non-fiction, in any genre. By hand. I bought a fountain pen and a few Moleskine notepads and, on the 1st day, wrote a story about that started with the moon.
I’d wanted to give myself two days off every month, floating days, that could be used whenever I needed them, but I was convinced to go with three in a month — not quite one a week. As it turned out, six months in, I’ve used only one day every month.
I wrote stories whilst in St. Augustine and Orlando and New Orleans. Travel did not give me extra days off.
I’m finding that there’s an overriding cohesion to these InkStains. Not a theme (though I did, for June, decide on a theme of love, sex, romance, erotica, and pornography), but something underneath that ties them all together. Imagery I return to regularly, and themes, and thoughts. There’s a lot of ink mentioned in these InkStains, and a number of poets on these pages (though, as yet, no poetry). More than that, it’s a guide to me, who I am as a writer and a person. I, John Urbancik, am the cohesive force behind my InkStains.
Six months in, and I’m enjoying it thoroughly. Yes, there are some days the stories feel shallow or indistinct or under-ripened. But there are also days when the stories have, at least to me, felt wonderfully rich and extremely satisfying.
Tomorrow, 1 July, I will begin the second half of InkStains with a new notepad, a Monsieur, bound in red leather and anxious for the ink.