What's up at Ravens March.

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Posts Tagged ‘Montblanc’

Posted by Dirck on 19 October, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 2,901 words typed

Hey, that’s a more productive week!  Since we’re getting close to the anniversary of this project, now is as good a time as any to announce:  This project will absolutely be finished long after we pass that anniversary.  Earlier optimism on this point was unfounded, and now that I’ve got a strong sense of my weekly output… February *mbbl*th is the likely completion date.  Not what I’d hoped, but given the tiny slice of time I can apply to the matter, I’m actually feeling pretty good about that.

Speaking of feeling pretty good, and to wrap up a slightly loose end from last week.  Doctor seen, x-rays taken, and the verdict is– if the knee is sore, put on a brace for a while, and take a mild anti-inflammatory (which most popular over-the-counter pain relief is).  No other treatment needed.  I may yet dance!

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Posted by Dirck on 5 October, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 2,977 words typed

I applied a little thought (uh-oh) to the pace of work, and it appears I’m not going to have something to dangle in front of publishers and/or agents until late January at earliest.

Sigh.

But, as the movie said, if you rush a miracle man, you get lousy miracles.

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Posted by Dirck on 28 September, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 3,408 words typed

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Posted by Dirck on 21 September, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 2,997 words typed

Not a terrible week, I guess, and more than I thought I’d manage– a couple of segments attacked this week were very like pulling teeth.  I’m also not going to manage to present a new work at the other outlet this week, as I have the last couple, because this week The Regular Job entered one of its infrequent “this is as much fun and effort as juggling flaming bears” phases.  I know I’m disappointing some people, and I’m also disappointing me.  The reproachful looks over the bathroom sink are going to be very hard to take.

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Posted by Dirck on 14 September, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 3900 words typed (and I do feel good about that, yes)

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Posted by Dirck on 29 June, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  • 18 manuscript pages (thin air up here.  Thin indeed).

The annual summer silence is about to descend on this enterprise, as my two weeks away† from The Regular Job begin on Monday.  Of course, the way things have been running lately, the interruption will be almost imperceptible.  As it ever the case, I’ll hope to get some writing done around the expectations of family and fabric of the house without expecting to.  This will make for a good deal more physical work than last year, carting the giant heap of paper home and then shifting it out of the way while doing whatever it is that gets in the way of writing is; we remember that another translation of codex is “lump of wood.”

We will try to overlook a more colloquial use of the word by native Latin speakers; blockhead.  I’m sure I shall feel like one in a fortnight when I’ve failed to advance the work beyond its current state, however much I hope to.

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Posted by Dirck on 15 June, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  • 21 manuscript pages.

No profound thoughts this week; I do find myself having to tamp down impatience to be bloody well done this first draft, and not just because I’d like to get onto the back-up-able phase and silence worries about fire, flood and nesting rodents.  The calendar pages are flying off the wall!  Other stories want writing!

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Posted by Dirck on 8 June, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  • 26 manuscript pages.

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Unfashionable Political Views

Posted by Dirck on 5 June, 2017

A funny thing happened here over the weekend, and of course, “funny” can be variously interpreted.

…as in “unusual or uncommon”:  I got about thirty times the usual amount of traffic.  The behind-the-scenes stats reveal that this is a result of sudden notice being taken by people considering fountain pens on Reddit.  More to the point, people were looking at an old entry in which I write in a fairly loose manner about my Soyuz accordion-filler, and coincidentally about western perceptions of the way things got made in the old Soviet economy.  We can put this down to a freak spasm of the internet, of course; the all-seeing eye of humanity’s collective online presence passing over something of mine in such a way that I actually noticed it.  Apart from the strange up-tick of status, no big deal in the grand scheme, although there is an odd inward twinge of pride mingled with performance anxiety.

…as in “amusing”:  Because my stats let me look at the Reddit entry… well, I looked.  And then I had a giggle.  At least one of the commenters there urges me to get over the fact that there isn’t a Soviet Union anymore, I guess because I express doubts about capitalism being substantially better than Marxist Leninism.  The giggling is that someone would think I was pining for the good ol’ days of the Cold War based on the fact that I’m not convinced that capitalism is super-awesome (on the basis of income inequality, environmental degradation, and that even the IMF isn’t enchanted with all aspects of current fiscal thinking), or even, good heavens, that I was pining for a chance to join the fellowship of the long queues for black bread and dodgy vodka.

Seriously, no thanks.  In as much as my memory stretches back that far, I also remember the sort of literally life-or-death risks people would take to get out of the Soviet Union and its satellite states.  I may not be a capitalism cheer-leader, but if what called itself communism in the USSR is the alternative, I’ll definitely stick with what I’ve got.

For the record, I think we’re in the throes of some kind of socio-economic paradigm shift brought on by corporate capitalism’s inclination towards cannibalism; I’m not much happier about that than I am with the current state of play, because paradigm shifts tend towards discomfort.  I’m also in no position to suggest what that shift is towards, since they’re inherently opaque from one side, and I just hope that when it settles it’s something a little more humane than what we’ve got currently.  If I were to express a hope, it would be utterly Utopian, something like Scandinavian socialism writ large with some of the more benign aspects of the Federation of Planets thrown in… but that’s wishful thinking.

And, no doubt, I will offer some amusement for someone else, now that I’ve written all that down.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Stylist (a company that practiced (GASP!) profit sharing with the employees!)
Today’s ink: Montblanc Royal Blue (giving away my paradoxical inclination towards monarchy as a foundation of government!)

PS: I also have a notion that the failure of my humour to transmit properly might be down to a shift in the terrain.  In 2012, when that entry was written, post-Soviet Russia wasn’t an entity we were taking anything like as seriously as we’re taking it in 2017.

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Public Acknowledgements

Posted by Dirck on 8 March, 2017

I have mentioned time and again that this pile of words was born out of a need to distract myself from the perils of eBay.  Since I began it, all those years ago, that need has slipped under the waves– I have found other and more useful distractions in the shape of fiction writing, and have become increasingly alarmed at the ratio of income to demands for payment in my household.  Sometimes, however, a peek into the den of temptation is required, and therein lies today’s story.

In December, I was contacted by a fellow that needed some point-work done on a Parker 75 and a Montblanc 149.  The former has some resistance to dismantling in its fabric, but I know its ways and can overcome it.  The latter, though… to get that apart needs special tools.  However, as coincidence would have it, I had just been reading on the forums about a place for those of us not anointed with the white bird splat of approval to get functional tools.  Where?  An eBay storefront belonging to someone with machining skills.

Here was the impetus as well as the opportunity to order the tool, or rather tools, because they vary with era, and a wrench capable of drawing out the piston mechanism as well.  So I said yes to the fellow with the pens and placed the order on eBay.

…and as of yesterday, I was thinking that I would have to send an apology to the pen-owner for my inability to deal with his pen, as the tools were clearly never going to appear.  “I will,” the inner voice said, “hold off until Friday to send this note.”  Patience and timidity combine, then, to make way for joy– the package with the tools in it arrived today.  It is postmarked for December, so it was definitely sent briskly; apparently this global shipping crisis is affecting the mails as well.  Or, possibly, Canada Customs are giving a parcel of mysteriously-shaped bits of metal a long hard think before passing it through.

The joy is tinted, though, because the window for providing eBay feedback is closed.  So, let me share with you the note I dashed off to the vendor:

I mean it, too, and am making good here on the promise.  They’re as professional a set of tools as you could hope to find, and I’m delirious with glee at the prospect of unsanctioned rummaging in the guts of Montblanc pens.

While I’m at this, I think I should also do my small part to boost the Google results of Custom Pen Parts, since I’m very nearly as happy with the small purchase I recently made from them– my Pelikan 140 is back in circulation thanks to a part they provided, and their PFM fore-seals are really hard to tell from the factory originals.  I don’t doubt the rest of their catalogue is as satisfactory.  I mentioned this a little while ago, but I don’t think I mentioned it vigorously enough.

Are these, a cynic will wonder, paid endorsements?  Not at all.  Any money connected to this contented burbling has moved away from me; I feel I’m repaid in quality goods, but the fact that I’m saying it out loud is perfectly non-commercial.  I’m not uninterested, but I am the dictionary definition of disinterested… except to the extent that it serves my own interests to see their enterprises flourish.  Quality tools and parts for elderly pens?  YES, PLEASE!

Today’s elderly pen: Sheaffer Imperial Triumph
Today’s quality modern insert: Herbin Lie de Thé

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