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Posts Tagged ‘Pelikan Signum’

Who Says Germans are Dour?

Posted by Dirck on 19 September, 2019

Oh, you know the stereotype; cool, efficient, probably wearing a black turtleneck.

Stereotypes, man. I should be wearing a lot more flannel, according to international concepts of my nation.

Now, the usual Thursday entry, which will display what an atypical week this has been in more ways than one. It’s not just the impending Pelikan Hub that has kept me from my usual industry– there’s been a lot of stupid demands on my time this week, and they rendered me dull or incapable of using my free time as I would wish. This was, by the way, AFTER choices of ink were made– that degree of dull unoriginality happens without any outside influence, and with a huge array of bottles from several brands all laid out in front of me.

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 16 September
  • 17 September
  • 18 September
  • 19 September
  • First draft of “Whistling Through the Graveyard”.
  • Third draft of “Disruptions on the Line” (nee “Underground Follies”).
  • 5 manuscript pages.
  • About 10 minutes of mildly-focused attention.


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Posted by Dirck on 18 September, 2019

…or is it Pelikanitarian? These ads come from about the same period as Sheaffer was whipping up The Battle of The Sexes in the interests of selling stuff, and yet it’s suggesting than men and women may find the same model of pen equally delightful.

I imagine some will put it down to the decadence of Europeans rather than a far-sighted notion of equality.

For those who follow German even less than I do– in the first bit, young Timmy (or what ever the German version of that name is) is concerned about what to get his Dad; he suddenly realizes that Pelikan is making a grown-up version of his Pelikano, and everything is right in the world!

Today’s entirely gender-neutral pen: Pelikan Signum
Today’s ink: Pelikan Violet

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I Have No Justification For This

Posted by Dirck on 13 September, 2019

Movie time. But what? Usually something pops up that I think is amusing, but this week has brought me little other than politics I don’t want to inflict on anyone that doesn’t take an active interest and some beekeeping.

Not that beekeeping isn’t interesting…

There. That’s fun.

Today’s pen: Pelikan Signum
Today’s ink: Pelikan Violet

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Posted by Dirck on 5 September, 2019

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 2 September
  • 3 September
  • 4 September
  • 5 September
  • A day of labour trying to get a ten-year-old computer to do things.
  • Getting some submissions away that should have happened yesterday
  • Third draft of “Those Whom Ambition Calls”.
  • First draft of “Whistling Through the Graveyard”
  • All I could stand.
  • All I have hoped to.
  • Remarkably little adjustment needed.
  • Four manuscript pages.


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Posted by Dirck on 21 December, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 3,526 words typed.

Thank you, extended action sequence! That balances out last weeks miserable plodding nicely.

This week has been remarkably productive, indeed.  Not only that great outpouring of novel, but I got a little story up on the other enterprise as well, AND… well, let me show you a very nice thing indeed from my profile on Submittable:

I have not been diligently submitting my stories, since most of my thoughts are filled with novel, but I have been poking away at it, and that poking had pulled out a plum!  I won’t mention the name of the publication just yet, fearful of drawing the ire of Fate under the Counting Of Chickens Act of 1609; rest assured, there will be a big fat link to them as the date of presentation firms up.  This is a pretty wonderful Christmas present for me, even if it did appear a couple of weeks ahead of the official day of HoHoHo.


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Posted by Dirck on 14 December, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  •  1539 words typed.  Wait… what?!

Yeah, that word count is accurate.  Technically.  I did a stupid thing yesterday– I took another look at my first chapter.  It seems that despite having been conscious at the time, or so I claim, I did not apply sufficient thought to the thing.  It needed a good deal of work, because it spent a sad amount of energy introducing a character who does not appear in any subsequent chapter.

That is… not a good way to tell a story.  I know this.  I have known this for a while.  Why I forgot entirely not only back in August but also the previous November (second draft, yes?) is a dark mystery.  At least I noticed it before I handed it around to a lot of readers, so I haven’t damaged my reputation in the eyes of any but myself– and I’m well aware than I’m a vast collection of flaws lodged in a matrix of well-marbled meat.

The fix, which had created a vastly superior opening chapter, did so at the cost of about eight hundred words of length.  Eight hundred gangrenous words that needed to go, certainly, but however medically necessary, an amputation always leaves a smaller patient.  That and a relatively steep bit of revision on the part of the story I was already working on this week produces what looks like a very poor week for output indeed.

But I am working, damn it.  To the spectral figure of Work Ethic who floats about my head, I say stop hounding me!

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Posted by Dirck on 30 November, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 2130 words typed

Why such a low week? Well, apart from the efforts called for by events mentioned on Monday, yesterday’s writing session finished with me saying, “Well, that’s it for today.  Time to save!” followed immediately by the failure of power in the entire northern half of the city.  Autosave meant that I only lost about a third of the work… but still.  Boo.

Oh, for those who are putting a bow on their NaNoWriMo efforts today, let me offer this admission of marginal defeat:

Marginal defeat, of course, because I’m not actually running that race, and if I claimed to be you could all shout Cheat! because that’s not talking about the first draft and I started in late August.  I mention it only because it’s (sort of) close to the official participant’s goal.

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Happy Anniversary!

Posted by Dirck on 24 November, 2017

I’m breaking from my usual routine here, because today is very important to me.  And I don’t just mean that it’s a day when I’m profoundly thankful that I am not swept up in the madness south of the border, itself an odd sequel to a day of what is meant to be thankful prayer for the the good in one’s life.  I guess “good in one’s life” is somehow enhanced by a TV with a bent screen and a tatter of someone else’s scalp embedded in one corner.

BUT NONE OF THAT FOR ME!  I am happy to announce an anniversary, because today is the day three years ago that someone very special came into my life.  I’ll coax them in front of the camera for a quick snap…

Bottle of fountain pen ink beside its box with "24 Nov 2014" written inside the top flap

Smile for the camera! No, no one cares that you haven’t had your teeth whitened.

That’s the bottle of ink which is used almost exclusively for filling whatever pen has desk duty at The Regular Job.  Back in 2014, it apparently struck me as worth jotting down the initial opening date of the bottle, probably because I felt I’d gone through the previous at a startling pace but I didn’t have any documentary foundation for that feeling.

No such feeling now, although I suspect part of that is down to the colossal 80 ml nature of the Diamine bottle.   Here we are, three years later, and still going strong!

Actually… no.  We are in fact very close to the end of the bottle.  Next month I’ll be bringing in my Snorkel desk pen to finish the draining of the bottle, because it’s almost down to the point of having insufficient depth to allow even the Parker 51 to draw.  And that’s fine.  Three years of essentially constant use, including the odd dip of another pen (you can, if you’re inclined, try sorting through the last three years’ back entries for mentions of Diamine Midnight; I decline to do so), is pretty good for a single bottle of ink, and I am pleased to have associated with it so long.

But, today is the anniversary, and I discover through looking at the internet that the third anniversary gift should be either leather, crystal or glass.  I have just the thing, then, to mark the occasion– something apropos, made of glass:

Look! Diamine has slightly changed the packaging!

Today’s pen: Pelikan Signum
Today’s ink: Waterman Florida Blue

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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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What The Weekend Holds

Posted by Dirck on 28 August, 2015

I thought for this week’s film from fomeone elfe, I’d get as close as I could to what I’ll be up to for much of tomorrow’s regular business hours.

It won’t take quite as long on a case-by-case basis because I won’t be pausing to explain what I’m at, and there’s some variation of technique, and I’m not going to be so casually dressed (because such things are no longer in my wardrobe’s power), but this is pretty much it.  If you’re interested, you can carry on watching part 2 and part 3, although I won’t be getting up to a lot of the third part on Saturday.  Be sure to listen to the caveat at the beginning of each, which I also agree with.  Especially the bit about pliers.

I do somewhat wonder whether those who watch will say, “Oh, is THAT all there is to it? Anyone can do that!” or “Good heavens, that’s a lot of painfully fine adjustments!  I’m glad there are other people who will put themselves through that hassle.”

Today’s well-regulated pen: Pelikan Signum
Today’s mostly-domesticated ink: Montblanc Royal Blue

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