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Small Forgotten Things

Posted by ravensmarch on 24 October, 2014

Two items I dare not leave until next week, so we get a special Late Edition (please imagine an urchin in a flat cap shouting “Extry! Extry!” has just placed it in your hands).

First, a reminder of my all-singing, all-dancing* fountain pen tuning clinic at Regina’s own Paper Umbrella tomorrow from Noon until 4:30pm.  If you’re in or near the city and have a pen that needs a stern word or two, stop by and let me do my thing for you.  Free!

Second, an email I got which I reproduce here as a public service:

Hi everbody!

You’re getting this email because you’ve helped to support the Newton Pens Scholarship in the past.  If you don’t wish to receive any more emails like this in the future, please let me know and I’ll be sure to remove your email from this list

See the full post with answers to frequently asked questions, photos of past raffle pens, and a few pictures of materials at:http://newtonpens.wordpress.com/2014/10/16/2015-newton-pens-scholarship-october-2014/

Want to win a custom pen and help some lucky deserving students with their college expenses?

Enter to win a custom Newton Pen for the Month of October to support the Newton Pens Scholarship!  So far we’ve raised $2969 with those awesome student art post cards and other donations and contributions.

Read all the rules on how to enter here.

Entry period starts October 16th and ends Saturday night, November 1st at 9pm Central US time.  If you have ANY questions at all, don’t hesitate to ask.  I’m always more than happy to answer.

Thanks for supporting Newton Pens Scholarships!

That’s it for this week.  Really.

*dancing and singing are entirely unlikely

Posted in General Blather | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

It’s For The Kids….

Posted by ravensmarch on 24 October, 2014

Like most folks in North America, my understanding of the eerie underpinnings of Hallowe’en came long after I had learned to look forward to putting an uncomfortable vacuum-formed plastic mask based loosely on Boris Karloff across my face and screech for chocolate.  I’m very pleased that this tradition continues in my own part of the world, too– this “mall trick-or-treating” drives me toward apoplexy.

Hallowe’en is, in my mind, for two constituencies.

Observant pagans who want to keep the spectral influences at bay.

Kids of most ages with room in their heart for innocent scares.

For the earlier cohort of the latter group, I offer today’s longish film:

Next week will be devoted to the older cohort.  People who think it’s about drinking while being in a room full of Sexy {Occupation} costumes can go hang… from any convenient hook or rope.

Today’s pen: Waterman Executive
Today’s ink: Pelikan violet

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Posted by ravensmarch on 23 October, 2014

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
22 Oct.


23 Oct.

First draft, “The Third Act”


The same, now completed.

14 pages


11 pages

50 min.


About 45 min.

Waterman Crusader


Pelikan M600

Private Reserve Supershow Blue


Herbin Bleu Myosotis

Is this more tolerable, d’you think? As I said on Tuesday, I can’t give up entirely on the idea of external oversight, as tedious as that is for the draftee overseers, but it won’t come up more than once a week.

…and I still get to mention all the week’s pens in public.  The internet is nothing if not the panderer to strange pleasures, and it turns out that’s one of mine.

Posted in Progress Report | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Fair Comment

Posted by ravensmarch on 21 October, 2014

Ah, meta-blogging– how long I’ve avoided it!  However, it’s time for a little navel-gazing, with a small hint of resentment (but not for obvious reasons).

Those who look at comments will have seen the one on yesterday’s progress report.  For those who don’t, the main part of it:

Pssst,… can I talk to you for a second? Uh… please, please, please forgive me but, … uh… I think you’re grossly over estimating your readership’s interest in “what”, “how much” and “how long”, especially since we never get to see the results of this effort [emphasis added for reasons to follow]. I know, I know we got to see one, but still… these progress reports read too much like, and are about as interesting as the log my gastroenterologist had me keep for a while many years ago. Please, please, I,… WE beg you, go back to your missives and musings.

I would be lying if I didn’t  admit to wondering if this wasn’t the case.  However, there have been a quantity of “like” button pokings and even some new “follow” activity that plainly isn’t just robots trying to sell me stuff.

When I started with the progress report entries back at the start of the year, I had in mind two silly things.  Thing one– if I stop making a noise on a daily basis, people (read, my father as perceived by me at age 13) will think I’m not actually working and become disappointed.  Thing two– how will everyone know what pen I’m using on a given day?  The celestial spheres will catch in their tracks without that intelligence reaching the world!

It has been a LONG time since I referred to the primary reason this enterprise came into being.  While I’m happy to point people at the main site and in that way drum up some business for one of the things I’d rather be doing for money than The Regular Job, that’s not why I started yelling at the internet during my lunch breaks.  I did it so I wouldn’t spend far too much time pondering the various auction sites of the world and getting into trouble when the temptation of a fixable and almost-affordable pen becomes too much to resist.  This avoidance is still an important part of daily routine, indeed all the more so as the federal and provincial governments keep stamping on the middle class with both feet, but the turn to fiction (which is also high in the list for rather doing than The Regular Job) is quite handily turning me away from the sirens of internet commerce.

We will not, out of politeness, mention that even in the absence of the fiction distraction, this thing would have dried up about the same time for want of non-fictional material to chew over.  That first five years of working here really emptied my shot locker.  The infrequent non-progress reports are about all I had in me.

So the only reason I’d keep at what, as I have already admitted, is something I wonder at anyone reading is because some people are clearly interested; this gets me back silly thing one, above. I’d probably give up on the whole progress update concept entirely if I didn’t know my own powers of slacking off if entirely unobserved, so what I think I may do is this– some sort of week’s workings report, possibly on Thursday to avoid distracting from the fun of the Friday Fumbled (from someone else’s pocket) Film, and otherwise silence unless I’ve got something interesting to offer.  Interesting within my previously established idiom, that is– let’s not get over-excited.  I forget that with that “follow” button poked, people who are actually interested in what I’m at, whether it’s carving a story out of my brain, contemplating odd choices of style in mens’ wear, or being beaten into an unrecognizable heap by a pen unwilling to be fixed, will have the new developments thrust upon them.  Daily howling is not strictly required.

Which leaves me with a couple of loose ends to tie up, or possibly down.  Let me first address the emphasis added to the quote, which is another thing I’ll admit to some guilt about.  On that, while I’m not going to instantly open the vaults, since some folks have turned the phrase “First Worldwide Rights” into a terrible lurking entity in my world– “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh First Worldwide Rights R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn!“– but as Hallowe’en is coming up I am planning on putting something out where it can be (potentially) enjoyed by one and all.  I may also post that contest entry from the summer here too, since First Worldwide Rights the Great and Terrible has caused the forum all the entries are on to hide them from non-members and web-crawlers.

Finally: resentment.  Yep, there’s resentment infused into this entry.  Not, as I hope I’ve made clear with all the preceding, regarding the content of the message.  Rather, I find myself simmering because I’ve spent time blogging about blogging when a perfectly nice first draft story lies hardly begun.  This suggests some degree of addiction.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer TM Valiant (fully recovered from previous surgery)
Today’s ink: Herbin’s Lis de Thé

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Posted by ravensmarch on 20 October, 2014

WHAT: First draft of “The Third Act.”

HOW MUCH: Ten manuscript pages.

HOW LONG: About 55 min.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Snorkel Valiant
Today’s ink: Herbin Poussière de Lune

…oh, yes, and happy 132nd to Bela Lugosi; may your rubber bats always flop vigorously on the ends of their strings.

Posted in Progress Report | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Some More Seasonal Music

Posted by ravensmarch on 17 October, 2014

There’s always a lot of controversy about when Christmas carols should start up (my position: after 11 November, damn it!), no one talks about Hallowe’en music.

This might be due to a lack of it.  There’s a very low limit to how much “Monster Mash” anyone can take.  However, I’ve lifted a couple of films for this week’s installment that have some Hallowe’enieness about them.  One classical, one modern, one all of a natural piece, one a… perverse union of sound and image, we’ll say.  I leave it to you which order you listen to them in.

We’re out to select our pumpkin on Sunday.  If we survive the terrors of the garden market, I’ll see you all next week.

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

Posted in General Blather | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Posted by ravensmarch on 16 October, 2014

WHAT: First draft of “Funeral Notice.”

HOW MUCH: Seven manuscript pages (but VERY high quality).

HOW LONG: About 50 min.

Today’s pen: Waterman Crusader
Today’s ink: Private Reserve Supershow Blue

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Posted by ravensmarch on 15 October, 2014

WHAT: First draft of “Funeral Notice.”

HOW MUCH: Eight manuscript pages.

HOW LONG: About 40 min.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Snorkel Valiant
Today’s ink: Herbin Poussière de Lune

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Posted by ravensmarch on 14 October, 2014

Away yesterday for harvest festival gorging.  Today’s residual tryptophan processing (yes, yes, it’s all a myth; we’re still dozy, regardless) made for little evident progress, but more than the reporting of it suggests.

WHAT: Third draft of “Join the Chorus”, which amounted to very little beyond typo wrangling.  This was followed by updating my progress notes, backing up of files (oh, the redundancies!) and pondering which of the ideas in the hopper is on deck for first draft treatment.  All of which is to say the evident immobility and indolence that people see in writers and shout “Get to work!” over, despite the frantic internal stoking of creative fires.

Honest.  Sitting still is still working madly.

HOW MUCH: Externally, five typed words, replacing three.  A vulcanologist will tell you about surface appearance versus actual activity.

HOW LONG: About 30 min.  There being insufficient time to get stuck into the next project, I will admit some actual indolence (lolcatz, is there anything you can’t degrammaticize?).

Today’s pen: Pelikan M600
Today’s ink: Herbin Bleu Myosotis

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I Feel Like Dancing!

Posted by ravensmarch on 10 October, 2014

Before I get to the Lifted From Youtube feature of the week, I find I can release my exciting news rather earlier than expected.  Hang onto your hats, folks–

On 25 October, I will be conducting a free pen-tuning clinic at Paper Umbrella, which I have previously mentioned as my favourite place to get stationery and the only place in the city worth looking into if interested in buying a new fountain pen.  From noon until 4:30 p.m. that day, people within travelling distance of Regina will be able to stop around the store, see the living fossil that churns out this material, get a pen that’s not quite living up to expectations whipped into shape and perhaps buy some nice ink and paper to apply to it.  The event draws inspiration from the action in this video (shown here in July, and nibbling at my imagination ever since), although my version of it has rather less in the way of power tools.

There’s fear as well as elation, of course.  The thing’s being publicized on Facebook.  Mobs may ensue.

The combination of fear and joy brings us to today’s film, founded on a song from the HPLPS yuletide collection.

I don’t know about you, but that song moves me deeply.  Oh, I should add a link to the original story for those unhappy souls who aren’t following the references.

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

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