What's up at Ravens March.

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Posted by ravensmarch on 1 October, 2014

WHAT: Second draft of “The Blue Room”.

HOW MUCH: 1,171 words.  The climax should get onto paper tomorrow, and there’s not much denouement.

HOW LONG: 50 min.

Today’s pen: Lamy 2000
Today’s ink: Jentle blue-black

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Posted by ravensmarch on 30 September, 2014

WHAT: Second draft of “The Blue Room”.

HOW MUCH: 861 words.

HOW LONG: 40 min.

Today’s Pen: Parker 50
Today’s ink: Quink black

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Posted by ravensmarch on 29 September, 2014

WHAT: Second draft of “The Blue Room”.  “Join the Chorus” finished up at 1,464 words, for those who like to keep track.

HOW MUCH: 1,175 words, and boy, are my arms tired.

HOW LONG: 55 min.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Snorkel Valiant (about which I may relate a story of its selection, if I’ve a moment this week)
Today’s ink: Herbin Poussière de Lune

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The Final Impediment

Posted by ravensmarch on 26 September, 2014

Much of the writing I do is in the “weird” or “horror” line.  This is to be expected, because this is an area I do a lot of reading in.  However, I also read a quantity of what me might call vintage sci-fi.  If you ask me who my favorite SF writer is, I will instantly answer, even as I blush, H. Beam Piper.  If you press me to name a modern SF writer instead, I will probably produce William Gibson, after a bit of a struggle to think someone who’s a little more of a current poster for the genre.

But I have a hard time getting up any steam writing SF, despite really liking it, because I speak the language in a stilted and archaic manner and I know it.  One of the things that appeals to me about the old stuff is they were writing about a future in which Moore’s Law had not been hit upon, and could assume that the graph of technological progress was a line rather than an upward curve.  Piper’s powerful computers, capable of hyperspace navigation, had paper-tape outputs!

Despite this, I occasionally look at the big dumb space opera I have drifting around in my head.  One can always, as has been popular since Moore spoke the Cassandraic doom for my favorite sort of SF, posit some kind of semi-apocalypse that sets back any kind of technology that one doesn’t want to deal with.  A cheat, but it can work out.

What shoves the space opera back down under the surface of my imagination’s brackish waters, though, is wanting to have a some big intense scenes of fleet action, human and alien ships in deadly conflict in the darkness between the stars.  Weird fiction and horror (which are not quite the same thing) rely on throwing something that patently cannot exist into the mix, be it a spider the size of a moderate Subaru, a gas that turns people inside out, or a sudden failure of the concept of “up”.  Good SF can’t tolerate that sort of thing, so even if one mumbles a little on the matter of faster-than-light travel, there’s some items of physics that won’t lie down and leave you alone.

Which brings us to this week’s film:

For the record– I think Larry Niven’s “Known Space” series played pretty fair with this sort of thing (there’s some great examples in Protector), and Babylon 5 wasn’t too far off base in some of its battle scenes.  It still takes the wind out of my sails.

Today’s pen: TWSBI Diamond 540 (last appearance for a while– I’m not letting it get a third month on deck).
Today’s ink: Diamine Syrah

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Posted by ravensmarch on 25 September, 2014

WHAT: Second draft of “Join the Chorus” which I see I managed to not mention the first draft of in previous progress reports.

HOW MUCH: 1,070 words

HOW LONG: 55 min.

Today’s pen: Lamy 2000
Today’s ink: Jentle blue-black

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Posted by ravensmarch on 24 September, 2014

WHAT: First draft of “The Blue Room.”

HOW MUCH: Five manuscript pages, only one of which is to be kept, and which requires the banishment of one of yesterday’s pages into the bargain.  I don’t know about you folks, but I find finishing a story well is a harder job than starting it.

HOW LONG: 50 min.

Today’s pen: TWSBI Diamond 540 (which is still about 30% full after nearly two months on station, thanks to deeply parsimonious F point it’s mounting; I may perform an executive action upon it to make way for someone new).
Today’s ink: Diamine Syrah

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Posted by ravensmarch on 23 September, 2014

WHAT: First draft of “The Blue Room.”

HOW MUCH: Six manuscript pages.

HOW LONG: 40 min.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Balance Statesman
Today’s ink: Herbin Vert Empire

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Posted by ravensmarch on 22 September, 2014

WHAT: First draft of “The Blue Room.”

HOW MUCH: Six manuscript pages.

HOW LONG: 35 min.

This is, and I note it mainly for my own amusement, the first day of writing with an old Sheaffer cartridge pen brought specifically for the task rather than the current desk pen.  Apart from being slightly worried about running out of desk pen ink (the current bottle, from April of last year, is getting rather low), it’s nice to reconnect with my first real writing tool for this exercise.

Today’s Pen: Parker 50
Today’s ink: Quink black (a bottle from the ’70s or ’80s, containing Solv-X; it certainly has no flow issues, as the new stuff is accused of)

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The Day After (Scottish Edition)

Posted by ravensmarch on 19 September, 2014

Since yesterday was such a serious one for Scotland (congratulations and/or sympathies, Scots; as a Canadian of a certain age, I know how upsetting that sort of thing can be, regardless of outcome),  I thought that today’s film should be non-serious, but touch upon Scotland.  Having rejected Monty Python’s Tennis-Playing Blancmanges and McKamikaze Highland Brigade, both probably rather inflammatory, I remembered something done by Scots which is extremely funny.

If you’re a fan of Lovecraft, anyway.  Mildly amusing, otherwise.

Sadly, our cats seem to be in league with whatever’s in the basement.

Today’s mostly euclidean pen: Sheaffer Balance Statesman

Today’s ink: Herbin Vert Empire

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Posted by ravensmarch on 18 September, 2014

WHAT: First draft of “The Blue Room.”

HOW MUCH: Six and a half manuscript pages– because sometimes a sentence keeps falling to bits before you can quite get it on the page, and it’s better to build a new one than rely on tape.

HOW LONG: 55 min.

Today’s pen: TWSBI Diamond 540
Today’s ink: Diamine Syrah

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