What's up at Ravens March.

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Posts Tagged ‘migraine’

Posted by Dirck on 1 March, 2018

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  •  4,685 words typed.

Why, yes, I did let writing come between me and what counts for sports in my world (which is: twiddling my thumbs in a specific way to make pixels do stuff) last weekend.  It has had a useful effect, hasn’t it?  Please don’t say “You’d be done long ago if you’d done that sooner” because I’m exquisitely aware of this.

No forward movement on the site, alas.  There’s a couple of things that I will be trying this weekend, because I need my home computer for several hours at a stretch to try it rather than stolen moments of Regular Job access.  I might have done it yesterday afternoon, which I took off after commiting very few words of novel indeed, except I did that thanks to Mr. Migraine abducting me.  Moaning and vomiting took up the whole time between lunch break and bedtime.


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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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Posted by Dirck on 15 September, 2016


Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 12 September
  • 13 September
  • 14 September
  • 15 September
  • First draft of “Rearranging the Deck Chairs”.
  • Not more than three sentences from the end of it.
  • Second draft of “Deck Chairs” after finishing the first.†
  • Second draft proceeds.
  • Four manuscript pages.*
  • Five pages
  • 551 words typed.
  • 804 words typed.
  • 45 min.
  • 45 min.
  • 50 min.
  • 50 min.

* A bad night thanks to migraine means I’m amazed I got that much accomplished.  Dull of intellect am I of this Monday.

† I was right about it needing three sentences, and not even big ones.  But, like the door of a house, however little mass of the whole it represents, you can’t say “That’s done!” until it’s in place.

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Posted by Dirck on 2 June, 2016

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 30 May
  • 31 May
  • 1 June
  • 2 June
  • First draft of the “Swimmer’s Build”.
  • More of that (easier without the migraine).
  • I think this is going to stretch out some, to be honest.  It’s still in the “hinting at the problem” stage.
  • Yep.  A leisurely development on this one.
  • Four manuscript pages
  • Seven pages
  • Seven pages
  • Seven pages
  • 35 min.
  • 45 min.
  • 40 min.
  • 50 min.

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How to be Content in Marriage: An Example

Posted by Dirck on 1 March, 2016

Last night, just after supper, I took my son’s boots to the basement to apply some commercial rubbery shoe sealant to them, because they were developing cracks between sole and upper, and it’s too damn late in the season to go and buy a new pair that absolutely won’t fit next October.  This is done in the basement, because the volatile compounds of the sealant agitate my wife’s asthma.  Since I make a trip into the basement each morning to do the day’s initial examination of the internet, it would be no big deal to bring the by-then stench-free boots up with me and set them, as will a good Japanese host, ready for my son to slip into and step out the door for his school day.

Unfortunately, I had Mr. Migraine yelling in my ears (or, in truth, eyes) this morning, and forgot all about that plan until about five and a half hours after son’s school departure time.

At this point, I called to apologize to my wife.  She dismissed this as unnecessary.  She had, shortly before departure time, found a thing that needed to be taken downstairs and put right beside the place the boots sat; there was no real effect on the course of her day from my error, and she told me as much.

And there’s your happy marriage in action.  Mistakes admitted and dismissed as trivial.  I think I’ve mentioned in the past that the extent of our “fights” is generally along the lines of “No, you take the remote.  I don’t want it,” and today’s event is a branch of the same root that produces those set-tos.  We do not strive for mastery over the other.  We each treat the other as an equal partner in the household.

What I find amazing is that this strikes some people as remarkable.

Today’s pen: Parker 51
Today’s ink: Diamine Marine (which is really the wife’s ink, but she doesn’t mind it I use some)

PS– since I’m making noise now, I won’t wait until the Thursday progress report to mention that there’s a new story on the fiction front.  My wife, who is somewhat biased, says it’s her favourite thing there thus far.

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Put on a Happy Face!

Posted by Dirck on 11 December, 2015

The migraine is trying to make me glum today.  I respond thus:

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling better.

Today’s pen: Platinum PKB-2000
Today’s ink: Montblanc Royal Blue

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Posted by Dirck on 6 March, 2014

WHAT:  First draft of short story “Ring and Run”.

HOW MUCH: Not quite two pages of manuscript.

HOW LONG: About 45 min.  Thanks a heap, Mr. Migraine.

DONE?: Yep.  Now… do I keep on banging out first drafts of things I’ve got only in the form of suggestive sentences in various note pads, or start polishing some of the stuff I’ve built up?  I’ll work that out once Mr. Migraine stops urging a visit to the Joseph Ignace Guillotin Interactive Museum.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Admiral
Today’s ink: Herbin Vert Empire

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Concession Speech

Posted by Dirck on 3 February, 2014

I’m having a moment of self-clarity, and it’s just as uncomfortable as one could expect.  My current powers of dashing letters off are such that I dare not commit to InCoWriMo even so far as I did last year.  The most I will manage is getting caught up with the current smallish backlog of smallish letters and sending an apologetic post-card off to someone to whom I owe a great deal of writing.  I’m unwilling to give up these little clumps of nearly-satisfactory fiction writing I’ve been engaging in (see previous comments re: momentum), and I somewhat doubt it would work anyway.

Today, for example, all the sutures on my skull have let go, and my brain is exposed to the air.  Or so it feels.  Before I subside into utter insensibility, though, let me encourage all with a whiff of spare time to mount the InCoWriMo barricades.  I seem to recall it was fun.

Today’s Pen: Parker Challenger
Today’s ink: Herbin Éclat de Saphir

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A Postcard…

Posted by Dirck on 26 June, 2013

…to let you know we’re all have a sufficient amount of fun on the vacation, despite the transition from Sunday to Monday being marked by a distressing and prolonged migraine.  What a treat to not have to go to work three hours after the concluding emesis!

But the real reason I’m here is give you all a present I’ve brought back from my travels– a link to a maker of profoundly retro kitchen appliances (or, as auto-correct was suggesting mid-word, kitsch appliances).  If there were cash reserves sufficient to restore our kitchen to its initial glory, that’s the place a lot of the budget would go; we kept the robin’s egg tone of the original paint, and there’s fridge and stove to match!

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Admiral
Today’s ink, almost all gone through catching up on letter writing: Diamine Prussian Blue

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Winning Against the Odds.

Posted by Dirck on 6 May, 2013

But for some happy developments yesterday, the title of this entry would be “Who is Russell Stover and why is he doing these terrible things?”  On a whim, I picked up a box of that confectioner’s products, and it seems that it was mislabelled as Assorted Creams.  Experience shows that it was actually a box of milk chocolate-enrobed Personal Weakness Agitators; my wife had one and was beset by her asthma, while I spent about 25 hours in the grip of a migraine thanks to the single sample I made.  There was no mention of kryptonite or holy water in the ingredient list, either.

To wrap up the whine portion of today’s blurb, the migraine was the sort that defied all remedies and the efforts of Morpheus, so did not sleep at all Saturday night.  This led to a certain amount of creeping about on Sunday, but that creeping about was a manifestation of wanting to be very careful and not inadvertently damage myself or anything I interacted with– very much like the wise drunk, who is aware of incapacity and thus declines to drive.  However, unlike the wise drunk, I did not decline to engage upon surgery.

The surgery in question was, of course, on pens, so the stakes were much lower than in actual medical practice.  I was also committed to act, since yesterday was a firmly-set deadline for finishing up on a client’s pen I’ve mentioned a few times previously, a contrary and even wicked Waterman Citation.  The problem with it was my old nemesis, India ink; mere application of ultrasonic cleaning wasn’t doing the job, and the only answer was to knock out the point and feed.  The problem with that was two-fold; the inherent difficulty of doing this usually trivial operation on a Taperite section, and the bleeding India ink.  Not only was it clogging the channel, but is added a brake to the feed.  All my previous efforts had accomplished was to get the feed about 20% moved, and there it jammed, and it seemed no application of  mallet nor heat nor lubricant nor invective could shift it.  I had one last trick to apply, and if it didn’t work I would have to admit that I could not do the job, period.

The trick is an inversion of the usual response to a resistant pen– apply some cold.  Saturday, moments before downing the delicious Asbestos-Curare Creme, I had nipped the offending part into the fridge.  With the careful slowness that characterized yesterday, I got all the necessary tools laid out, retrieved the section from cold storage, and very briefly applied heat to the section.  The theory is that the section itself would expand while the as-yet chilled feed would remain slightly contracted, and the two could be separated during this window of microscopically-increased clearance.

It isn't something I'm eager to try to replicate, though.

Mission accomplished!  It isn’t something I’m eager to try to replicate, though.

Theory became merry practice.  Those who have missed a whole night of sleep will know the dullness that wraps around one’s heart, and so will understand how any small uplifting becomes magnified.  I was able to assert “be careful” over “caper about the room in a transport of glee”, but inside I was a colossal So You Think You Can Dance audition.  Buoyed up by this little victory, I was able to concentrate almost as one who has slept on the cleaning up and the matter of reuniting the parts, and press on with a couple of personal projects (resacking a Wahl Oxford desk-pen, soon to be seen on a desk near me, and unbending the tines of an Imperial desk pen that I got at the same time as that enormous jug of ink) before the effort of holding a pen up near my face became more than I could support.

Is there a big moral lesson in this?  “Observe personal deadlines vigourously,” or perhaps “You’re more capable than you realize?”  The only ones I think I’ll cling to is “Being extra careful pays dividends” and “Working on a Taperite feed is as much fun as a land war in Asia.”  I do, at least, have confirmation of the utility of a new tool (the nib-block attachment to hold the section without beating it up) and of an approach to coercing unwilling components, which may be Fate’s way of balancing the damage to my system done by going a full 36 hours without sleep.

Today’s pen: Parker Vacumatic
Today’s ink: Waterman vintage blue

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