What's up at Ravens March.

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Archive for March, 2019

Onion Slicing Time

Posted by Dirck on 29 March, 2019

I’m sure everyone and their dog saw this when it was released a little while ago, but in case you missed it, let me run it past you and ensure that your tear glands are functioning properly.

There’s an old Warner Brothers item which does a similar number on the emotions but in a more idyllic setting– you can watch it, too, if you’re not lachrymosed-out already.

Today’s pen: Waterman Number Seven
Today’s ink: Jentle blue-black


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Posted by Dirck on 28 March, 2019


Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 25 March
  • 26 March
  • 27 March
  • 28 March
  • First Draft of “Tiger on my Back” finished
  • Second draft of “A Duty of Upkeep is Owed to Your Neighbours”
  • First draft of “Doting Mother Cradles Her Wayward Child”
  • Another 609 words.
  • 510 typed words, and we’ll call it done as well.
  • 18 manuscript pages.

Yes, I’m back to handwritten drafting, and loving it. Thanks to a power outage yesterday as well as the return of a co-worker from vacation, The Regular Job is pressing upon me a little less viciously, I got a ton of work on the new story. Very gratifying, and horribly suggestive of what’s possible if I… um… abandon my sole source of sufficient income.

Y’know, phrased like that, some of the appeal goes out of it.

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Bach Where I Belong

Posted by Dirck on 22 March, 2019

Google is doing one of its clever time-eating doodles in honor of Johann Sebastian Bach, composer, descendant of composers and powerful progenitor of composers. Which suits me right down to the ground. When I was a kid, my favourite record was a Time/Life compilation of classical music, but I really only played the Toccata and Fugue in D Minor on it, an organ version which is similar to the following in degree of reverb.

I was an odd kid. I have, however, expanded my musical tastes since then; the educational part of today’s films would have made the pre-teen version of me very cranky, as a misapplication of the divine principles of the great master (I probably wouldn’t have phrased it that way– I was odd, but I wasn’t that precocious). The modern me, though, rather likes this:

Today’s pen: Jinhao 159
Today’s ink: Pelikan Violet

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Posted by Dirck on 21 March, 2019

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 18 March
  • 19 March
  • 20 March
  • 21 March
  • Second draft of “A Duty of Upkeep is Owed to Your Neighbours” (hey, I found a title!)
  • 2767 Typed words

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On My Wavelength

Posted by Dirck on 15 March, 2019

I often… well, back when this was an entertaining blog, I frequently derided ballpoints. I admit it. But I also have to admit that the sometimes have their place. And so I was very pleased to find this film, showing as the title indicates, how to properly write with a ballpoint:

It’s nice to know I’m not the only one like that, although I see they are willing to call a ballpoint a pen. Did I say earlier that ballpoints have their place? Sure they do, but it’s not in my hand.

Today’s pen: Parker 75
Today’s ink: Lamy black

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Posted by Dirck on 14 March, 2019

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 11 March
  • 12 March
  • 13 March
  • 14 March
  • First draft of “Tiger on My Back.”
  • First draft of a thing about lawn culture that needs a title.
  • Second draft of same. “At Work on the Back 40,” maybe?
  • 1240 typed words.
  • Around 1100 typed words.
  • 364 typed words.

So… what’s with all the non-manuscript first drafts? A small experiment, although “Tiger” began as a typed thing because I’m working on it Sundays using the iPad/Keyboard combo I was so avid about at the start of the year; I’m also annoying other parents at the son’s gymnastics class (it’s specific for kids with ASD, so it’s really more of a class in trampoline bouncing until you’ve had all you can take followed by quiet lounging in a foam pit). The other thing is one I thought I’d just see how it went if I dove straight into typing for a change.

I discover two things. I appear to have trained myself out of the urge to faff around with obsessive, productivity-smashing edits in the first draft even if it’s an available option, so that’s good. I also find that I would still prefer to start out with pen and paper, because the slightly slower pace of getting the words out gives the scenes a chance to form in the air around me more fully. Either way, I’m still pausing to stare at the wall in front of me at regular intervals while the unwritten bit clarifies, but those pauses are shorter working with a pen.

They’re also more decorative, since a man poised to return pen to paper with a faraway look in his eye is a slightly more romantic figure than someone slumped idly in front of a keyboard.

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Just One Day, Huh?

Posted by Dirck on 8 March, 2019

Like so many of these days, I wonder at the notion of a single day of attention being thought of as sufficient to address past years of studious neglect, as well as the ill use that gets dished out every other day of the year. But, it’s what we have to work with, and International Woman’s Day is at least one day when (perhaps) more people pay attention to the issues at hand.

So, for today’s film, a blast from the past in a couple of ways– the film not fresh, and it looks at a time that was even more blinkered in its approach to the rights and abilities of women than our own sadly unreformed era.

Perhaps some will, like a post-ghosts Scrooge, take today’s observances as a cue to keep the spirit of the day in their hearts through the whole round of the year.

Today’s pen: Pelikan 140
Today’s ink: Herbin Vert Empire

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Posted by Dirck on 7 March, 2019

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 4 March
  • 5 March
  • 6 March
  • 7 March
  • First draft of “Tiger on My Back.”
  • Second draft of “The Curse of the Dragon.”
  • 960 typed words
  • Cripes, I keep going back and undoing stuff. Maybe… 2500 words? It’s not that long, though.

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My Mind Palace Has No Heating Bill

Posted by Dirck on 1 March, 2019

In many parts of the world, February has just ended, and thus spring is right around the corner.

Here in Saskatchewan, March is a mere annex to February, a place where that bleak month stores the misery it just could not dish out in its own compass. We’re told it will go as low as -29C tonight… which is better than much of last week, but it’s hardly “balmy.”

So, like many people around here, my thoughts are turning to warm places which I can no longer even imagine with any fidelity. Today’s film is, in essence, a view of what’s happening inside my head this very moment.

I’m told winter ends. I wonder what that means…

Today’s pen: Waterman L’Étalon
Today’s ink: Waterman Florida Blue

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