What's up at Ravens March.

Vintage pens-Handmade books-Silly statements

Archive for the ‘General Blather’ Category

A Little Trip

Posted by Dirck on 31 July, 2020

Some nations are unclenching (and some are doing so recklessly, too) so travel is less of a distant dream than it was a couple of months ago. But it’s still not easy or necessarily wise. To help with this, let me present the sounds of some weird damn birds.

You can take “trip” to mean other things, too, although I only have movie and TV depictions of the experience to base that upon.

Today’s pen: Parker Duofold
Today’s ink: Quink Black

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

GET BACK TO WORK!

Posted by Dirck on 24 July, 2020

*znnnrk* Huh? Oh, right. Vacation’s over. Cripes! I missed Thursday’s update! Let’s dash that off, quick!

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 20 July
  • 21 July
  • 22 July
  • 23 July
  • First draft of A Science Fiction Story
  • 350 words typed

I got as little done during the vacation as I’d hoped, and to be honest the past week hasn’t been as trying as one expects from the first after a vacation. Something I did manage to build during my time off was a low-key manifestation of writer’s block, which I managed to kick loose yesterday by means of a free writing prompt. I had meant to make it something short, but now that I’ve started, I’m going to let it expand; one does not look a muse in the mouth.

To make up for the long silence here, how about a long spoken-word presentation:

That’s some good fun.

Today’s pen: TWSBI Diamond 580 ALR
Today’s ink: Pelikan Violet

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

Corvidpalooza!

Posted by Dirck on 3 July, 2020

As we’re all still under the dark shadow of COVID-19, to a greater or lesser degree, I’m going to add an R to it to celebrate the start of my vacation– the month, you see, has no R in it, so by complicated and slightly insane connections, this works… um… to keep viruses away…?

WHATEVER! PRETTY BIRDS NOW!

 

I am also wearing a damned mask. Poorly developed magical thinking is only one of the approaches I’m taking to staying healthy, and a rather less important one than listening to doctors. The two-week isolation I’m about to undertake is nothing to do with being infected, just tired.

Today’s pen: Parker Arrow
Today’s ink: Jentle blue-black

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

Meeting New People

Posted by Dirck on 26 June, 2020

Today’s film is a little more ad-riddled than I could wish, but it’s worth the pain. We, by which I mean the Common North American Lummox (of which vast herds roam wild across the whole continent, wherever there’s life-sustaining air conditioners), don’t often get to consider an early cultural contact from the non-European side of the fence.

Speaking of learning how to deal with a new culture, notice that there is now a link to a whole new Inks page. I, a mighty bull Lummox, have successfully negotiated with my newly-arrived computer to process scans to a point where they more or less match previous output. I may get the slightly more daunting prospect of photograph manipulation sorted out this weekend!

Today’s pen: Lamy 27
Today’s ink: TWSBI Sapphire Blue

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

Inspiring Abba Titles Since 1815

Posted by Dirck on 19 June, 2020

A quick film today, and probably uninteresting to nineteen of every twenty of you who look in here, but I’ve never been able to grip the flow of this event in the various fictional accounts I’ve read, so I found this both diverting and useful.

I suspect it doesn’t apply so well to the version of the event in Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, but that’s OK. Also, I realize the anniversary of the event was yesterday, and for the American element of my audience today has a significance all its own; I didn’t feel qualified to dabble in the latter, and I am in a mood to contemplate the overthrow of a tyrant.

Today’s pen: Parker Arrow
Today’s ink: Jentle blue-black

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

Comfort Eating

Posted by Dirck on 5 June, 2020

I was thinking of putting up some socially conscious material today, because what’s going on across North America is very damn important and I haven’t mentioned any of it here.

BUT

I haven’t mentioned any of it here because I’ve been attending to it elsewhere. I have a sufficiency of privilege that I am able to withdraw  when it becomes too much to bear, keeping this space as one of my redoubts. Frankly, watching a 75 year old man getting what might be a fatal head injury and then be studiously ignored by those who gave it to him… yeah. I need a little break, and I suspect others do too.

Thus, a retreat into childhood.

I bless him for using butter rather than margarine. I don’t know that I’d brown it, though, and that seemed like an awful lot of salt. I do absolutely agree that making marshmallow is over the top (and, to be honest, it’s sort of like playing with lava– I want to make treats, not engage in the less fun aspects of glass-blowing).

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m going to contemplate what I might get up to this weekend.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Balance Statesman
Today’s ink: Skrip Black

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

Posted by Dirck on 2 June, 2020

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 1 June
  • 2 June
  • 3 June
  • 4 June
  • Third draft of “I Will Not Leave You Comfortless”†
  • Submissions.
  • The extended whine below.
  • Three very awkward sentences shown the error of their ways, and some other polishing.
  • The barrel of the launcher grows perilously hot.
  • Yes, I’ve got something to whine about.

‡ A note not about the ink, but about the absence of a link to a profile. My new computer arrived!

Yay!

I still can’t update the site effectively!

Ya… wait, what?

It’s the sort of thing that will rise up like a patch of cursed bog to confront you when you don’t replace your computer for a decade or so. That program you like? The one that you’re very familiar with?

Yes, that’s right. It’s not compatible with the new OS. One of the reasons for that is, as you’ll discover when you go looking, that the company behind the program stopped offering software at some point in the past three years or so, and now make sensor hardware.

This is deeply inconvenient when the program is question is the one that you… or rather I, have been processing all my images through. Cleaning them up, Trying, despite appearances, to get them to be consistent in tone and brightness. Editing out moles and other blemishes on the otherwise smooth skin of my models.

Which means that I have to both find a replacement and figure out it works before I can add yet more images to my image-rich site. And also resist the urge to play World of Warships, which is something the new computer can offer, unlike the previous one. I’m leaning towards something in the GIMP direction, and not just because that’s an unkind nickname I hung on my brother when I was about eight.

† This is a much more satisfactory title than “Ancestral Curse”. Trust me.

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

Spoiler Alert

Posted by Dirck on 29 May, 2020

I’ve mentioned I like horror as a genre, both in books and films, right?

Oh, such a disingenuous opening. Putting aside rhetorical coyness, then– today’s film is a small commentary on the unexpectedly repetitive work of one of the great modern names in the genre.

For the record, I think Crimson Peak was an extremely fun film, and given the sort of thing it was set out to emulate, a quite successful exercise in its sub-genre. You’re certainly allowed to think otherwise, of course.

Today’s pen: Parker 75
Today’s ink: Edelstein Olivine

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

It’s Like They’re Twins

Posted by Dirck on 15 May, 2020

Joy and Terror, that is.

I just put in the order for the new computer. I know that for some a new computer is a trivial expense, or perhaps a minor inconvenience. I’m not like that. Three people, one paycheck (plus the vast wealth which writing short fiction generates); it’s not an arrangement with a lot of loose cash. So, the strange fluttering in my chest at the prospect of a new, fully-functional computer arriving on the doorstep soon is… hard to ascribe a genesis to.

Oh, look; it’s next month’s credit card statement.

Let’s put terror aside, now, and consider horror. Fun horror.

Had I a little thought to spare at the moment, I might do my own suggestions in this style, but for the moment– that’s a pretty solid list.

Today’s pen: Pelikan th.INK
Today’s ink: Herbin Poussière de Lune

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

Take a Break, Lads.

Posted by Dirck on 8 May, 2020

It’s V-E Day, gang, and I have made no secret about how the conflict that was brought to an end seventy-five years ago today weighs upon my imagination (for recent readers: my father grew up in occupation).

But, since we’re all after entertainment in the grim current setting, let’s join The Tank Museum as they brew up some perfectly good  abominable damp cups of tea.

There. A comforting cuppa. What could be better (other than not having to be in a tank to drink it)?

Today’s post-war pen: Pelikan P1
Today’s really unappealing drink, hot, cold or anywhere between: Diamine Midnight

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