Monday, January 25, 2010

Stamp Stuff...answers

There is this really kewl stamp store based in Illinois that I usually go to when I have a dollar or two to throw at my collection. It is run by Ralph Schneider and I asked if he would look at the last post I made and answer some of my questions. I did not think he would have the time to do it or if he did get around to it, he would get back to me in a week or so. His answers arrived just a few hours after I sent him the link.

His store is here: R. Schneider Stamps

Scott # 1: (MI 1Xb) orange on hand made paper.
Scott # 2: appears to be hand made paper, but he wasn't sure.
Scott # 3: The first is hand made paper, the second he couldn't tell. Neither are laid paper.
Scott # 5: Both are type II printing (he did explain that how to be sure would be a very long answer.)

He did not mention # 4, but he did lead me to the book I need to get to do my research. I think I mentioned that neither Scotts, nor ANK provided adequate descriptions as to determining what is what. Mr. Schneider recommended the Michel Austria Specialized catalog. He also recommended that I join AUSPS (Austrian Philatelic Society) which I will look into. From what I can gather at this time, joining would be a great learning experience.

Vengeance of the Ghost is progressing. The editting session of last weekend was a great help. Some rather jumpy parts to the story were ironed out so that it reads much easier. Besides that, their input is always great motivation.

More later,

A couple more stamps:

This poor stamp (filler till I can get a better one) is Scott # 28: 3 kreuzer green from the 1867-72 issue.
This is Scott # 29: 5 kreuzer rose also from 1867-72 issue. I believe it is the Type II variety.

Scott # 41: 2 kreuzer brown from 1883.
Scott # 42: 3 kreuzer green, also 1883
Scott # 43: 5 kreuzer rose from 1883.

All of these stamps are fillers until I get better copies.

Stamp stuff

One of my many hobbies is stamp collecting. I've been playing around with it on and off for many years. My most recent delving into the hobby is focused on Austrian stamps. Stamp collecting, regardless of the country or subject, has many nuances that must be learned. For example: the first five Austrian issues have quite a few varieties. They were issued on two types of paper, handmade and machine made and there are several varieties to the actual designs and colors. I'm finding that the Scott's catalog and the ANK catalog are not much help with determining which is which.

Scott # 1. I have yet to discover how to determine the paper used for the issue. The Type I variety is supposed to have one heavy line around the coat of arms center. The Type III has two thinner lines around the center. I'm not exactly sure which lines they are talking about.
1 Kreuzer yellow. Either 1850 or 1854 (depending on the paper.)

Scott # 2:

2 Kreuzer black.

Scott # 3: I have 2 of these and I'm not sure if they are the same issue or one of each issue. The first one, when compared to the second one, appears to be handmade paper. This is a guess on my part. It could be 'laid paper' which is another variety for this stamp.
3 Kreuzer red.

Scott # 4: This one, like numbers 2 and 3, could also be on ribbed paper. I have yet to find out how to tell if the paper is ribbed or not. The ribbed paper variety is for the 1850 issue.
6 Kreuzer brown.

Scott # 5: I believe that these are both either type II or type III due to the '9' being much higher than the word 'Kreuzer'. Once again, the thick line or 2 thinner lines around the coat of arms will determine the final outcome. Once that is determined, the paper used needs to be identified.

9 Kreuzer blue

I'm posting this blog in the hope that someone sees it and helps rid me of some ignorance. I would be greatly appreciative if someone does that!

More later...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

More progress...

Vengeance of the Ghost has finally broken the 30,000 word mark and Chapter 11 is written. I'm finding the third book to be much darker than the first two. I believe Arienna, Mistress and Kht-dulm are the reason for this. Just like most nasty-bad types, they like to get a lot of attention. Chapter 11 features Kht-dulm and sets up some other stuff that will happen soon.

I know of at least one reader who had difficulty with seeing Karnak as evil. His role in the story makes it very difficult to show his 'true' self. I do try to bring out his nature in some of his dialogue. If it were his story, things would be much different. I mention that, because I don't believe the evil characters in Vengeance will disappoint that reader.

kaben nine has also made a return visit to me. Before long I will have to return to his story or he will begin depriving me of sleep again. As for now, Chapter 12 begins tomorrow. Next Saturday, I meet with my support group friends and I'm really looking forward to it. These meetings are usually quite unpredictable, but they always center my focus and make the writing process much easier. I don't think I'd have made it this far without those people.

More later,
Thanks for reading!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Progress, slow but getting there...

Vengeance of the Ghost is progressing. I've finally finished the first draft of Chapter 10. It has taken so long that I am going back over the story before beginning Chapter 11. This helped solve one of the problems I've been having. Chapter 4 originally had the seduction of Simon by his older sister in it. This being the third book of the series and that subject matter appearing for the first time, I decided to cut it. This left Chapter 4 rather skeletal and rushed. During the re-read, I worked on it again. The skeletal framework gave me a good start to building the new Simon. I think it reads much better now.

The second problem I've been having was that I was fighting the story to make it go my way. This began in Chapter 10. At first it was going to be the start of the war between the dwarves and the deep-elves. That didn't work so I changed it to concentrate on what was happening to Tal. The result was that a certain elf was going to die, or so I thought. Apparently, the story didn't want the character I wanted to kill the elf to do the deed. The story had other plans. After fighting to get my way for over a month, I decided to surrender to the story and things turned out much better. The elf that was going to die still lives, though probably not long and another problem that I would have had later has been solved. Hopefully, I'll be caught up with my re-read and moving on to chapter 11 tomorrow.

During the writing of the first two novels, I had several friends encouraging me along the way. They provided the support I needed to believe what I was writing was good enough to publish. Over the last few months, real life has made their lives too hectic to give the story much attention and my support and belief went with them. I have no bad feelings towards them, they are friends and I realize that other things are far more important than reading someone's story. It just makes the writing far more difficult. I find myself questioning every word I put on the word-processor. I'm sure they'll be back when things calm down, but until then, writing will probably be slow.

At this point, I still plan to have Vengeance out by May or June. That will be delayed if the book has not reached the standard of professionalism I expect my stories to have. I'll keep posting updates as the book progresses.

Thanks for reading.