What's up at Ravens March.

Vintage pens-Handmade books-Silly statements

Archive for September, 2021

Posted by Dirck on 30 September, 2021

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 27 September
  • 28 September
  • 29 September
  • 30 September
  • Actual what-the-monkeys?! research for the upcoming story.
  • Ducks in a row

Posted in Progress Report | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

An Impediment to Worldbuilding

Posted by Dirck on 24 September, 2021

While I haven’t been doing as much of it as I would like, I still call myself a writer. And as a member of that self-torturing happy breed, I spend a lot of time weaving whole new worlds out of the cobwebs and bits of moss that lurk in my head. One of the tricks to worldbuilding is coming up with something which doesn’t knock someone’s disbelief off the hook, because then it will get all fractious and start asking uncomfortable questions.

With that in mind, here’s an interesting explanation of why you can’t have suns of a particular colour if you’re writing a world with extant physics:

I’ll freely admit this was not a thing I had known until this week. So, there’s me learning new things and (hopefully) staving off dementia for another few days.

Today’s pen: Waterman 52
Today’s ink: Diamine Evergreen

Posted in General Blather | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Posted by Dirck on 23 September, 2021

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 20 September
  • 21 September
  • 22 September
  • 23 September
  • Video conference for the Sask. Writer’s Guild
  • Re-reading “The Lurking Fear” to make notes for a story I mean to write.
  • Shopping to replace broken junk in the household…
  • Friendly gabble achieved.
  • Finally done.
  • …because it can’t wait for the weekend.

Posted in Progress Report | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Technical Solutions

Posted by Dirck on 17 September, 2021

Hey, my site is working again! You may imagine a look of happiness upon my face.

That look, though, is nothing compared to the delight you’ll see in this video (CW: a well-healed amputation).

As I’ve said previously, while living in the eerie future of the 21st century (yes, in know some of you have lived in no other century) is frequently disappointing when compared to the non-dystopian fictional version presented in the 20th… sometimes it really does live up to expectations.

Today’s pen: Pelikan M600
Today’s ink: Pelikan blue-black

Posted in General Blather | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Posted by Dirck on 16 September, 2021

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 13 September
  • 14 September
  • 15 September
  • 16 September
  • Re-reading “The Lurking Fear” to make notes for a story I mean to write.
  • Also trying to get some updating done on my website.†
  • Nearly done, and getting some useful new insights.
  • Part of a page.

†”Trying” faces more than usual hurdles:

The host is being pestered. If you have a pressing pen question, my slow frequency of updates means that this Wayback Machine capture from January isn’t missing too much.

Posted in Progress Report | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Boys Being Boys

Posted by Dirck on 10 September, 2021

I hesitated over the title, because it’s often used to excuse crappy behavior. In this case, it’s just jolly rough and tumble.

I can’t offer the citation, but I have seen it said of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow that all technical excuses for making a bad movie were no longer available (script, acting and direction remain lamentably available). I think we can point to this as a proof of that notion– these guys did not have big studio budget to throw at their effects, and yet… well, just look at it.

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

Posted in General Blather | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Posted by Dirck on 9 September, 2021

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 6 September
  • 7 September
  • 8 September
  • 9 September
  • Not working on the fake-out version of Labor Day.
  • Re-reading “The Lurking Fear” to make notes for a story I mean to write.
  • Plenty of nothing (comrades).
  • About half of it

Posted in Progress Report | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Posted by Dirck on 2 September, 2021

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 30 August
  • 31 August
  • 1 September
  • 2 September
  • Back to school panicking.
  • Yesterday’s entry.
  • Getting a UV-C air purifier because the provincial government is using Texas as a model for COVID response.
  • Managed to get everything needed.
  • The whole thing.
  • Success†.


† This is assuming that I haven’t already taken a dose of Delta inside my doubly-vaccinated lungs already (despite still masking). I heard this morning that vaccination reduces not only the severity of the initial infection but the likelihood of having your organs wrecked by an infection, so I’m still happy to have gotten my shots.

Posted in Progress Report | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Thinky About Inky

Posted by Dirck on 1 September, 2021

Last week I put two Pelikans into the current roster, which is (apart from the week around a Pelikan Hub) contrary to policy. As I said on Friday, I set the rules, so breaking them isn’t a big thing… and I had a reason.

A few years back, Pelikan 4001 blue-black became encaustum non gratum in the US for some extremely silly bureaucratic reasons*, and since Canada is in the same shipping lane as far as ink is concerned, it vanished from stores here as well. This got somewhat up my nose, because Pelikan blue-black was a favourite ink– I liked the somewhat protean colour, I liked the permanence, I liked the lack of cost, I liked the way it played with most paper.

At the time, I thought that I could probably fill the gap by ordering from a source in Europe. About twenty minutes after I’d had that thought, I dropped it– the ink wasn’t expensive, but the shipping was.

A few years later, though– a sale at a UK stationer who ships everywhere, the relatives costs of shipping and ink changing, and the ongoing disintegration of the British Pound from the bumbleshart that Brexit in the hands of an enormous floppy pink Johnson has become got together and convinced me that I could probably have a go at importing a couple of bottles. Given my current hoard of ink, 125ml will last me through as much future as I can foresee.

So, here I am, bootleg illicit ink in hand, happy as a… um.. about that. Buddha teaches us that desire is the seat of all suffering, right? The reality of the desired item never lives up to the imagined glory. Thus, I should not have been surprised to find that my reaction to finally, at long last being able to put Pelikan blue-black into my Pelikan M600 was “That doesn’t seem right…”

It’s too blue! It’s hardly grey at all! Have they amended the formula? Here, have a look at it next to a sample I wrote back in the pre-prohibition days.

More ink samples
The paper is the rather good stock which tax refund cheques are printed on– fool that I am, we’re now on direct deposit.

You’d hardly know they were related, right? Oh, the bitter disappointment!

But because mannenhitsu-do is a contemplative path, I retreat from the initial impression and give it a bit of a think. Thinking about the means by which the ink gains its permanence through a touch of ferro-gallic chemistry… which leads me to wonder if dissatisfaction with new laid next to old is not unlike castigating a seed for not being a tree. Let’s have a look at a preserved sample of the old, when it was fresh.

Picture of some words

Well… perhaps I lament prematurely. I remark in my profile of the ink that it has a different character in just about every pen, and I hadn’t seen it in this one yet, had I? Thus do I transform my dismay into anticipation of future wonder (and if you point out that this is very like misery-breeding desire, I’ll ask you to mind your own business). The old sample is still grey-er but it’s still more blue than the aged sample. I can’t remember what pen I used to write that aged sample, but I imagine it’s a dryer pen than the M600. There’s hope that I can look forward to stuff I’m currently writing getting all vintage-looking.

There’s a bonus possibility in hand as well. It turns out that TWSBI blue-black looks a lot more like its Pelikan counterpart than I had thought. I hasten to point out that they are certainly not the same ink, because the TWSBI is more given to feathering and the Pelikan doesn’t smell all flowery.

Rather less-good quotidien paper from the Regular Job’s photocopier

…which means it might also one day be cool and vintage-appearing. Yay!

Today’s pen: Parker Senior Duofold
Today’s ink: Diamine Honey Burst

Posted in General Blather | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »