What's up at Ravens March.

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Posts Tagged ‘Lamy Studio’

Posted by Dirck on 6 October, 2016

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 3 October
  • 4 October
  • 5 October
  • 6 October
  • First draft of “Tale of the One-Handed Engineer.”
  • A quick vacation in Migrainia
  • First draft completed
  • Second draft of “Engineer”.
  • Six pages.
  • All I could take
  • Four pages.
  • 748 words.
  • 45 min.
  • Seeming eternities
  • 40 min.
  • 50 min.

* Not that they saw much use.

** Last Sunday, on a whim, I swapped the F point the pen came with for a 1.1mm italic that I keep around specifically to feed whimsy.  The fact that this pen suddenly has line variation has been startling me all day.


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Childhood’s Bend

Posted by Dirck on 30 September, 2016

I’ve had a couple of unusually stinging rejections this week, and was beginning a mental retreat into the safety of childhood when I realized that, as far as mental geography goes, childhood is the most shifting ground possible.  Observe, if you will:

By comparison, a Martian invasion seems sane and welcome.

Today’s pen: Lamy Studio
Today’s ink: Lamy Black

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Posted by Dirck on 22 September, 2016

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 19 September
  • 20 September
  • 21 September
  • 22 September
  • Second draft of “Rearranging the Deck Chairs”.
  • More second drafting.
  • Oh, it’s fighting hard today.
  • Second draft complete (despite the anti-histamines).
  • 729  words typed.
  • 631 words.
  • 403 words (plus ½ pint of sweat).
  • A total of 3,849 words.
  • 50 min.
  • 45 min.
  • 55 min.
  • 60 min.

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Guess What’s For Lunch?

Posted by Dirck on 16 September, 2016

Here’s a fun little film which should get you smiling.

My response to this film might be coloured by the fact that I’m a fan of Tom Noonan; have been since 1986 (and I’ll let you churn the internet to figure out why, if you’re interested).  And because I’m also a fan of writers being recognized for what they do, I will provide a link to the original story.

Today’s non-meat pen: Lamy Studio
Today’s ink (contents unknown): Lamy Black

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Posted by Dirck on 8 September, 2016

Oh, before we get going– new story up on my other enterprise.  I’d say “get it while it’s hot!” but that implies it won’t be good later.  It will be.

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 5 September
  • 6 September
  • 7 September
  • 8 September
  • Ironing some kinks out of a Pilot MYU’s point.*
  • First draft of “Rearranging the Deck Chairs” and the climax is imminent.
  • …and now I’m right in the middle of it!
  • Much labour!
  • Six manuscript pages.
  • Six pages.
  • Seven pages.
  • All day.
  • 40 min.
  • 45 min.
  • 50 min.

* Yes, I am still working on pens.  And thanks to this one, I now have to work up a new page for my site.

** This is the last of that particular packet of cartridges– the campaign to use these things up is producing results!

† I was about to do some very stupid show/explain-the-monster stuff. so three of the previous day’s pages become recycling fodder.  Such is life, eh?

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Progress, and deep thoughts about the near future

Posted by Dirck on 3 September, 2015

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 1 September
  • 1 September
  • 2 September
  • 3 September
  • First draft of “Old Home Week”.
  • Pondering Patreon, Kickstarter, and Gofundme.
  • The same (more story than pondering).
  • “Old Home Week” concludes
  • Five manuscript pages.
  • Deeply.
  • Seven pages.
  • Four pages, and about a pint of tears– this one really opened an emotional vein on me.
  • 30 min.
  • All damn day.
  • 40 min.
  • 35 min.

The three crowdfunding things listed above are another response to the current dire financial straits I’m bound up in, of course.  The prospect of strangers sending me money is, for a dinosaur like me, a slightly odd one, even in the versions where there’s some strings of performance attached.  At the moment, what I’ve got in my head looks like this:

1) Kickstarter


  • Everyone has heard of it (and yet I provide a link to show what it is…)
  • Doesn’t call for repeated output, just a single explosion


  • Should have a specific goal in mind (a novel, an anthology, a comic, something with a title hung on it)
  • Categories include “publishing” but not “writing”, and I’m not sure I have the knowledge nor the stamina to figure out self-publishing.
  • Need to come up with a lot of extra little treats for the various levels of support
  • Needs a certain amount of flashy production in the presentation to be really successful

2) Patreon


  • Has a discrete “writing” heading.
  • May provide enough of an ongoing income that writing displaces The Regular Job (may–  I’m not insane in my optimism on that point)
  • Pushes me to push my writing out the door (much as one must eventually sent the kids to school, no matter how tiny they look crossing the playground).
  • I know there’s probably a curious follower or two here that would like to actually see the stuff I’ve been boring you with for the past couple of years
  • Comes closest to the “get paid for what you like to do” sensation I’m hoping for


  • Anticipates extremely regular output which means:
    • relentless pressure to keep producing (so a long, time-consuming thing like a novel or that still-awaiting-second-draft Choose Your Doom project becomes difficult);
    • on-line releases of material, which burn first-publication rights (a consideration when hoping to get into more traditional print anthologies)
  • That extra treats problem raises its head again, although possibly more manageably
  • A lot of the writing projects seen there seem to view the natural measure of funding as “per project” rather than “per month”; it takes the time-pressure off, granted, but doesn’t seem like a good way to get bills seen to.
  • Also needs a somewhat flashy production (although perhaps less-so than Kickstarter) in the presentation to be really successful

3) Gofundme


  • Doesn’t have to be reliant on productivity– “I am broke” is a viable pitch
  • Not as Big Fat Project-ish as Kickstarter, but also not open-ended like Patreon; looks like a good middle ground for funding the effort of a novel without having to see it all the way through the presses (if it was a novel rather than bills that were my current prime concern…)
  • Less anticipation of rewards for donations, but it is there.


  • Embarrassment factor of shaking a begging bowl, especially when it’s not a discrete “house burnt down” situation.
  • Not as well-known as either of the others for artistic funding; I know when I see it I’m thinking “people in trouble” more than “project needs funding”

I need to do something, because The Regular Job isn’t keeping up its end of the social contract, and there’s little alternative in “real jobs” otherwise for reasons I won’t bore you (moreso) with.  Right at the moment, I’m wondering if I don’t try two of the above; I begin to see, with some serious thought-experimenting required to finish, how I might be able to work my way into a Patreon client, and while the house hasn’t burnt down, I have the sort of real concerns about it remaining intact without renewal of the roof that make Gofundme seem wise.  The martyr/proud idiot element in me shouts that doing both at once is somehow cheating; I don’t understand why any more than you do, but it’s in there.  Kickstarter is where the money is, and I think I’ve got sufficient powder for the charge if I go that way, but it’s SO daunting in the department of stuff that would still need doing should funding be successful… and frankly also in the prep needed for a pitch.

This is not, by the way, mere rhetorical muttering.  There’s space for comments, and I will happily greet anyone’s suggestions or descriptions of experience (and, with a nod to the embarrassment angle mentioned above, I will at request anonymize or remove those comments from public view).  Speak out, please!  I’m going to do something really soon, and I’d rather do it after suggestions are in.

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Unexpected Glory

Posted by Dirck on 26 August, 2015

I will occasionally make low moaning noises here about the state of my personal economy.  The fact that I haven’t lately is down to me not wanting to interfere with:

  1. the purported creative process which I’m now giving so much of what was once blogging time to pursue;
  2. the enjoyment of their own lives which my readers may be feeling.

The fact is, though, that I’m on the edge of selling about half my current collection, needing only to get a few pictures sorted before throwing onto eBay what I hope will be a very attractive job-lot of pens to appeal to a well-heeled person who hasn’t yet established the foundation for a collection.

Now, last week, when comparing bank and credit card statements to formulate this plan of action (and even pondering the notion of gofundme), something happened which makes the upcoming separation sting far less than it might.  A large and unanticipated box was delivered in the mail.

Part of the sting-reduction lies in a forced perspective, and not the sort that Bert I. Gordon made so much mileage out of.  The return address revealed the identity of the donor, and that alone was enough to take some of the wind from the sails of moping.  Donor is a correspondent, or rather a lapsed correspondent, with whom I now keep up with only via Facebook.  This person (who is by any metric an uncommonly decent person) had a rather bad turn of health a couple of years ago, and the perspective forced on me is this: however unburdened with cash I may be, I am still quite sound wind and limb.  In fact, for someone of my age whose exercise is down to going up a flight of stairs twice a day, I’m in startlingly good health.  Rest assured, I take those stairs two at a time in an effort to remain healthy.

In the box was a great deal of packing material, the items protected by that material, and a note.  The note explained that the items were, in the donor’s new accommodations at a long-term care facility, no longed supportable, and would I give then a good home?  I was momentarily concerned that I might be about to find a singing frog, but no such doom awaited.  One of the items was green, though…

Technically a black-tipped jade Lucky Curve; do you see “Duofold” anywhere on that?

This is a pen I had worked on previously; the donor had, during the time of our correspondence, sent a lot of pens for me to have various issues seen to (this line of work gave my mild prejudice against Italian pens a lot of fertilizer, too; pretty, but not necessarily functional).  It has a rather dreamy factory stub point, and is from early enough in the run that it doesn’t say DUOFOLD under the breather hole, but LUCKY CURVE.  Good fun!

The other item is a real jaw-dropper, and left me staggering around the room, clutching at furniture for support lest I faint:

OMAS Arte Italiana Milord in Arco Brown (say that five times, fast).

Arco Brown OMAS Arte Italiana Milord– say that five times, fast… it you aren’t stuck at “zowie” or “ohhhhhh, my.”

This is now officially the most expensive pen I own, and is in the top… we’ll say twenty… for most expensive single item I own.  If things I will fit into are dismissed (house, car, washer if I’m properly folded), then it’s top five.  And because it’s a gift, it’s objective value is multiplied by about ten thousand in terms of how much money someone would have to thrust at me to part with it.  Donor also reports it as just about the best-writing pen ever to grace that once-vast collection, in which it was not the most expensive thing, which means I also get a kick in the shins of that previously-mentioned prejudice– any undermining of prejudice is a positive good.

Thus, the upcoming departure of a bunch of pens doesn’t trouble me too deeply.  Aside from the arrival of a couple of really splendid replacements, I am once again reminded of the vast luck in my life which has brought me acquainted with some really marvelous human beings.  There’s a lingering sense of not quite deserving such things, but that informs the effort to become worthy.  Do unto others and all that, arranged as a feedback loop.

Today’s pen: Lamy Studio
Today’s ink: Herbin Éclat de Saphir

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Thinking of You on Your Birthday

Posted by Dirck on 20 August, 2015

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 17 August
  • 18 August
  • 19 August
  • First draft of “Old Home Week”.
  • “Old Home Week” continues, and I should tell you the story behind it when I’ve a moment.
  • Yet more “Old Home Week”.
  • Seven manuscript pages
  • Six pages.
  • Six pages
  • 55 min.
  • 45 min.
  • 40 min.
  • 30 min.

Since it’s the 125th birthday of a gentle professional author and amateur racist from Providence, I might as well do a little open thinking about writing, both his and my own.

I’ll let ego take the fore; what’s that story I hint at in the Progress Report?  Well, it promises to be almost entirely uninteresting, but here it comes:  A few months ago, I had an idea for a story and wrote it down.  During my extended vacation, there came to me a mental image of how a story that fits that idea would start, and I nurtured that image until I had leisure to get it written down (for those without one, a school-age child when there’s no school is a magnificent preventative against sitting quietly and writing, so my vacation had almost no writing in it).  “Decorations” followed thereafter.  When I got the story finished, or as finished as it’s going to be until I pass it through the improving mills of third-party, semi-anonymous readers, I found that there was some dissatisfaction in me.  I still quite liked the mental image that had come on me, and wondering if putting the whole thing into a format that would serve a visual medium would quiet my restless heart, I went through the screenplay effort mentioned on past Reports.

Success of a sort.  I certainly think the exercise was worthwhile.  At the workshop I attended at the end of May, our guide mentioned that it is useful to try handling the same story with different points of view.  Usually, this is meant to be more internal to the story, moving from “I walked along the street, carefree, until a squelching sensation underfoot and a rank smell brought me up short” to “Halfway along the block, old Mr. Crun is pausing in his morning constitutional to briskly scrape one shoe on the edge of the curb, while shouting imprecations at the whole genus Canis.”  What I did was a little more meta- than that, moving the point of view from reader to viewer, but the effect on writer I think was much the same.  I saw the story from a new place, and I realized what my problem was.  Success!

…of a sort, because the problem was this: I didn’t actually write the story that the idea described.  That was the source of the dissatisfaction.  Thank goodness it wasn’t a novel, eh?  If you look at the few paltry things I’ve got in the Art Department here, you’ll get a good sense of the sort of thing I habitually do.  I like the shiver of effect more than I do committing a satisfying arc.  This is probably a result of my frequent indulgence in Lovecraft’s writing, and while I don’t think it’s wrong, it’s not always right.  In the case of what I meant to write, I realized I shouldn’t be trying to hang out in Arkham or points along the Aylesbury Pike, but should rather be thinking more in terms of October Country.  I get to begin again, with dials in my head adjusted properly– “Shocking Revelation” is turned down, “Sweet Melancholy” turned up a little past half-way.  As much as I honour the Old Man, sometimes art lies in directions he tended to avoid.

All of which is a very long way of reiterating the importance of reading if one means to be a writer.

I cannot discover the true source of the image; if you click on it, you'll end up whence I lifted it.

I cannot discover the true source of the image; if you click on it, you’ll end up whence I lifted it.

Today’s pen: Waterman 52
Today’s ink: Reeves blue-black

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Posted by Dirck on 13 August, 2015

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 10 August
  • 11 August
  • 12 August
  • 13 August
  • Third draft of “Decorations” revisited.
  • Pursuing the screen-play lark to the end.
  • …and having now gotten to the end, the formatting.  Oh, the formatting!
  • Formatting done, and if I try this sort of thing again I’m going to look into dedicated screenplay softward.
  • …because the change in perspective of the script exercise gave me a better view of a pacing problem.
  • Four pages.
  • A total of 15 pages (which I’m told means about 15 minutes on screen)
  • {makes frowny face, looks at blood on ends of fingers}
  • 45 min.
  • 35 min.
  • 40 min.
  • 30 min.

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Your Moment of Zen

Posted by Dirck on 31 July, 2015

I have this to thank the internet for:  if anyone ever asks me, “What was it like in the early 1970s, when you were a kid?” I can answer them easily.  I just have to fire up a browser, sit them down, and say, “Someone thought this was something that should be on TV.”

Honest.  Prime time.

Today’s with-it pen:  Lamy Studio
Today’s happening ink, man: Herbin Éclat de Saphir



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