What's up at Ravens March.

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Alarmed Vision of the Future

Posted by Dirck on 17 November, 2017

This is probably because I’m on a Nigel Kneale kick.  And because of the star.

Nothing to do with current events.

Today’s plusgood pen: OMAS Arte Italiana
Today’s doubleplusgood ink: Diamine Bilberry

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Posted by Dirck on 16 November, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 2125 words typed (long weekend)

Also, here’s a thing that happened this week:

Which is encouraging in two contradictory ways.  The first is obvious enough– oh boy, halfway done!

But… am I, really?  Remember, the gauge is based on an estimate of the word count based on a comparison of previous projects’ first draft page counts to final word counts.  “Estimate” can be accurate, or not.  So, let me run something by you.  When I finished the most recent bout of typing, I closed my manuscript and held a ruler up to it.  When gently compressed, it is a stack of paper roughly 3 cm tall.  The sticky-note which indicates where I left off is about 1 cm from the top.

…so I may be more in the order of 33% finished.  Which is great in terms of what the final word count may be; possibly as much as 100,000, a much more genre-appropriate weight (in as much as this thing fits a genre– closest to horror, although… have I mentioned this?… there is a tendril extending into the camp of detective fiction).  Wonderful!  Fantastic!

Those who know my capacity for dashing cold water on my own head will already have noticed the other hand presented by this second encouragement, though– I have been speaking of an estimated finishing date sometime in the first half of February.

Estimated.

It begins to look as if I’m in for a longer haul….

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Looking Back at a Preview

Posted by Dirck on 10 November, 2017

Today’s film is about tomorrow’s Remembrance, although it was filmed last week.

Also, while we’re on the topic, this is something I failed to note on 8 November:

If you do as I do, you will think some sober thoughts tomorrow. More than most days.

Today’s pen: Parker Duofold
Today’s ink: Herbin Bleu Nuit

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Posted by Dirck on 9 November, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 2,297 words typed

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Fountain Pen Day, Hooray!

Posted by Dirck on 3 November, 2017

It is indeed that day again.  Like the reformed Scrooge, I try to keep Christmas in my heart the whole year through, but my personal deformities mean that Fountain Pen Day is the one that’s there every other day of the calendar, while being charitably inclined toward all my fellow humans remains rather more of an aspiration than an achievement.

But since it is Fountain Pen Day, let us focus upon the noble pens!  Here’s what I sent out to the wider world via Instagram earlier:

…which became this year’s OFFICIAL PEN OF THE OFFICIAL DAY because it was a runner-up last year and because it’s very pretty.  I want to share the delight, not cause jealousy.

And now, for the Friday Films– living vicariously through others’ visits to pen shows!

 

Sigh.

Today’s joyous pen: OMAS Arte Italiana
Today’s festive ink: Diamine Bilberry

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Posted by Dirck on 2 November, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 2,021 words typed

I notice a couple of things.  Yesterday was the start of NaNoWriMo, and tomorrow is the anniversary of my first word on paper for this novel.  There’s a connection, of course, because I arbitrarily set the start of the latter to co-incide with the former, and then buggered up my own timing slightly.  I continue to be pleased that I said NawNoHeyNo to the prospect of trying to finish in a month, because that expectation would have me feeling like a colossal failure by now.

The other thing I notice is that my word count for the week is low, thanks to the Hallowe’en thing I did over on my other front.  Not colossal failure, but it’s not helping the cause; I believe I’ll be doing some extra work tonight and tomorrow to advance things.  All the same, very nearly half-done the current draft, so the nebulous early- to mid-February finish line remains in place.

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Imitations of Mortality

Posted by Dirck on 27 October, 2017

It’s practically here!  The most funnest day of the year!

If, like me, you’re not interested in going out to a bar and watching people in Sexy (Insert Profession) costumes destructively testing their livers, may I suggest a movie?  Here’s a couple.  The first is short and… kinda splattery.

The other is just the thing to fill an evening.  I’ll be wearing a costume labelled “Sexy 1950s British Television Licence Payer (xxxl)” while I hunker down for this one:

If you have access to the all-colour Hammer version and somehow haven’t seen it, you really should set aside a couple of hours.

Today’s slightly thematic, in terms of name and vintage, pen: Mabie, Todd & Co Blackbird
Today’s potentially mood-setting ink: Herbin Lie de Thé

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Posted by Dirck on 26 October, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 3,111 words typed

A small item of note this week:

Yes, that cat is startled that I’ve passed the hundred-page mark in my efforts, as am I.  I’m also fairly pleased that this falls at the point I’m at in the story, because it means that I am very likely to end up with a longer word-count than the first-draft projections indicated.  And that means that I won’t be devastated when I am told by an editor that great dripping chunks of it have to go, because even with necessary surgical reduction it won’t be reduced to something too small for a publisher to consider.  I hope.

Also, about that cat– the image is a tiny segment of a seasonal desktop wallpaper offered by the artistic genius whose serialized works appear here.  She offered it to her Patreon supporters, so if you want to see the whole wonderful thing you’ll have to consider supporting an artist.

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A Bowling Ball Named Homer

Posted by Dirck on 25 October, 2017

A quick story about today’s pen:

A recent windfall put me in a position to buy a new pen… and by windfall, I mean I had $50 I could part with without feeling I was stealing food out of my son’s mouth.  The very day this happened, Goulet Pens announced a restocking of the this-year-only colour of the TWSBI Classic.

A cheap pen of which I don’t have one.

However, my wife’s birthday is impending (it is, in fact, the very next Saturday we encounter).  And she rather likes the colour chosen as the one specific to this year.

And suddenly I feel like Homer Simpson, proudly producing for Marge a bowling ball with his name on it.  So she would always remember who gave it to her.  You may not recall it; it’s from the first season.

There are a couple of important differences between me and Homer, aside from skin tone and lifetime radiation exposure.  I learn from the bad example of others, and I learn from my own mistakes.  I also pay attention to stuff my wife says.  Something which has come up more than once in the nearly-twenty years that we have been a couple is that she does not like surprises.  Even when the outcome is good (“Here’s a cheque for twenty million dollars!”) she is put out of countenance by the unexpected.  She admits that this is a bit of a failing, a want of flexibility in the face of an inherently unpredictable world… but it’s certainly a foible I can make adjustments for.

So, when the pen arrived a few weeks ago, I showed it to her, explained that I thought she might like it and that it was hers if she wanted it, only if she actually wanted it, and that she could ponder the matter until her birthday.

She declined, preferring to stick to her swarm of NoNonsenses.  So I now have a new bowling ball pen, although I have also made clear that she can have it back at a word.  I’m trying not to get too attached to it on account of this; how can she resist the retro yumminess of this?

Say hello to little Homer.

This does not mean, by the way, that she gets nothing for her birthday. While I still have a lot of credit to ride on thanks to one surprise she has enjoyed, I’m not riding on that– I listen to stuff she says, and have bought a couple of things based upon this skill.  And I’m not going to say here what they are.  It would ruin the surprise.

Today’s pen: TWSBI Classic
Today’s ink: Diamine Oxford Blue

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Forgotten Thing!

Posted by Dirck on 20 October, 2017

I’ve mentioned it elsewhere, so I forgot to mention it here!  Let me show you the notice from my site:

If you’re at all like me, that picture of a link to Paper Umbrella which remains unclickable will be driving you nuts.  That link is this one.

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