What's up at Ravens March.

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Posts Tagged ‘Parker’

Posted by Dirck on 20 April, 2017

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

Another lost Monday, alas, this time to a phone-call which ran long over the start of my lunch break.  By the time I had basic sustenance down me, there wasn’t time to get the machinery churning properly on the novel.  As petty revenge for this, I filled free moments in the rest of the afternoon doing some preliminary world-building for a future story with a (relatively) hard SF setting– I now know just how big my ship is, and how quickly it rotates to provide 1G on the main working deck and Mars-equivalent gravity in the recreation area.  Idle brains are the Devil’s plaything, after all.

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Move It, Soldier!

Posted by Dirck on 7 April, 2017

I have, sadly, more or less stopped fighting in armour.  Time constraints, fears about (more) concussions, equipment failures… it all adds up.  Something that I don’t entirely miss about it is that “scalds with safety” thing Shakespeare mentioned.  However, I did enjoy, when we did public demonstrations, people being surprised at how well we could get about in our outfits.  Just check this chap out:

…and yes, I wish I had that gear.  Look in your heart– I’ll bet you do, too.

Today’s pen: Parker 51
Today’s ink: Herbin Vert Empire

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Posted by Dirck on 30 March, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  • 20 manuscript pages†

†I think I actually brushed up against writer’s block this week!  I found the strands of the novel had gotten out of their bundle and would not be gathered for almost half of Monday’s session.  I’m sure there are some writers in the world that would like to skin me very slowly for having dealt with the problem after only about twenty unproductive minutes, but I am pleased that I found a cure (this time, at least) in thinking very carefully about the sequence of events in the as-yet-unwritten chapters.

Also– this happened this week:

I am pretty pleased about that, especially given that I took almost a month off it to work on something else.  I can now pretend that I’m on the downhill part of the expedition, rather than the bit where a sensible climber is breaking out the oxygen cylinders.

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Idle Hands and all that

Posted by Dirck on 29 March, 2017

I thought I’d share a little craft project I did the other day– I made a blotter.

Someone at Regular Job has a stamp with outdated information on it, and wondered if there was any protocol for disposal.  “Nope!” said I, having zero notion if there were or not.  “Leave it with me, I’ve got a use for it.”  I rooted around my desk for some promotional coasters which I have absolutely no idea why Regular Job ordered (we’re nothing to do with beverages at any level), and with a little bit of amendment of both…

Step one

Step B

Test drive

…and I’ve got a nice little blotter which I will almost never use.  Here it is with the rest of my archaic desk accessories of the moment:

Not shown: the stapler that little bronze Buddha keeps reminding me not to throw at people

The other thing I’ve been filling small moments of my workdays with, segments between actual duties too short for a nap, is writing up some notes regarding my thoughts on some pen manufacturers.  As I mention on the page in question, these are even more subjective appreciations than the profiles on my site (yes, that is actually possible).  I probably won’t get beyond a half-dozen or so entries; if I don’t have strong feelings, it’s hardly worth the effort of typing.  As with everything else here, it’s only interesting for a very specific value of the word “interesting”, but chances are if you’re reading this at all, you accept that value.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Valiant TM
Today’s ink: Jentle blue-black 

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Posted by Dirck on 23 March, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  • 17 manuscript pages†

†I took Monday off work so my wife and I could have a nice St. Valentine’s Day lunch at one of our favourite local restaurants.  If the lateness of that observation troubles you (external forces at work; if we could have swung it, it would have been on or near the right date), then take it was our celebration of the arrival of the vernal equinox.  The part of the day I would have been writing in was otherwise engaged.

Also, today’s output was seven pages, despite yesterday afternoon’s tacit admission by the provincial government that they have indeed mismanaged the economy into a dark, glowing sulfurous hole, and thus will be eliminating as much as they can in the new budget of things that make life here tolerable (seriously; 100% reduction of funding for urban libraries).  That I didn’t just spend my whole lunch hour shrieking obscenities in the direction of the Legislature is a testament to my work ethic.

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Posted by Dirck on 16 March, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  • First draft surges onward: 29 manuscript pages!

†Why yes, I do have two pens with the same ink on the go, which is outside my usual practice.  I put the TM in battery last week for an evening’s writing workshop, and I’ve decided to write it empty rather than flush it.  This also puts more Sheaffers into rotation at once than is usual, but as I’ve no one in a position to chastise me effectively for policy breaches who isn’t me, I don’t think I’ll get in much trouble out of it.

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Posted by Dirck on 9 March, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  •  Finished up the second draft of “Lots of Land and The Open Sky Above” at a little over 4700 words… and I’m contemplating a title change… which puts me back onto the novel: only 12 pages done, but they’ve got some momentum to them.  The break was useful to the novel as well as the shortie.

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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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A Disputable Premise

Posted by Dirck on 3 March, 2017

This is a charming little film, and although it rests on a shaky foundation, I thought the tone of it is just what the current age calls for.

I know at least four households that defy the notion of cats and dogs not living together well.  And that’s not counting The Simpsons.

An aside– I published a little something on my fiction front just now, for those who care about such things.

Today’s pen: Parker 51
Today’s ink: Herbin Vert Empire

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Posted by Dirck on 16 February, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  •  only five manuscript pages, but seventeen for that Victoria-era thing.  Progress, I calls it!

I’ll also remind everyone to have a look at the previous entry if for no other reason than to rush to the end of it and give your input on the matter of the Challenger challenge which challenges me.  There has been some response there, but not quite what the pollsters would call statistically significant (although the unanimity to date is pretty suggestive).

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