What's up at Ravens March.

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Posts Tagged ‘Sheaffer Craftsman’

Posted by Dirck on 23 April, 2020

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 20 April
  • 21 April
  • 22 April
  • 23 April
  • First draft of “Ancestral Curse” (working title).
  • 9 manuscript pages

I can only imagine how much COVID is affecting others, when I, whose life has barely changed as a result of it (still at work, no fear of money running out, family waiting at home at day’s end), am having trouble stringing my entertaining lies onto a thread. I wish you all good health and mental fortitude.

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Posted by Dirck on 16 April, 2020

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 13 April
  • 14 April
  • 15 April
  • 16 April
  • First draft of “Ancestral Curse” (working title).
  • 9 manuscript pages

† I hadn’t realized that the pen was so humble that I hadn’t even put together a page for it or its nth tier maker when I pulled it out of storage. I also hadn’t really meant to use this ink again so soon, but when the idea of putting a ridiculously expensive ink (free to me, but still) into a pen so cheap it was affordable during The Great Depression tickled me deeply.

I’ll try to edit in a picture of it later. Like a lot of really cheap pens, the celluloid is quite striking.

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Posted by Dirck on 9 April, 2020

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 6 April
  • 7 April
  • 8 April
  • 9 April
  • Not much.†
  • A whole bunch of it.

† It’s definitely the work-exhaustion that’s doing in my writing; I find I’m having to do things that I normally can see to between the regular duties of The Regular Job. Now, since I’m not shoved out of work like so many millions, I don’t want this construed as a complaint… although I am mightly happy that we are facing a long weekend. The prospects for a return to something more like my preferred level of work-effort are not certain, but there may be some relief next week. Mid-month is, generally speaking, slack time. All the same, I don’t feel wrong re-using this:

‡ I got a bottle of this as part of the social contract I perceive to be in place, which suggests that we who still have an income try to support local businesses. My favourite local place for pen and pen-proximate things, Paper Umbrella, has responded to the current plague by setting up a web-store. Locals like me can, on the way to collect vital groceries, pause to have stuff thrust out the door at us. So I did.

Sadly, you won’t see anything about the new ink on my own site, because my computer has finally noticed that it’s very very old and can no longer support running anything except its OS. I’d probable have started a Gofundme to seek the help of well-heeled but charitable folks, if not for the sudden explosion of people who are seeking the same money for more dire purposes– being able to maintain a site like mine is definitely not of the same importance as food and shelter.

I can, I think, manage my tax return without the computer, and because our household income is low, there’s a plague on, and we can expect a big fat rebate of the federal carbon tax, there’s some hope that tax refund can be turned into a new computer. Just like happened eleven years ago. Of course, I wouldn’t say no to a well-heeled passer-by throwing some money at me…

I should mention that I quite like the TWSBI blue-black. It’s only a little darker than Herbin Bleu Nuit, but it plays well on non-great paper, it’s reasonably water resistant, and it has a very inky scent. I’m sure there are some who would call that ink-stink, but I like it. It also comes in a whopping great 70ml bottle which has a plastic inner vessel to allow for low-ink filling, so the bottle will be a keeper even when it’s empty.

Long weekend, so no film tomorrow. I’m going to TRY to get some fiction out of me.

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Posted by Dirck on 30 January, 2020

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 27 January
  • 28 January
  • 29 January
  • 30 January
  • First draft of “Second Impression”.
  • 13 manuscript pages.

 

†This pen reminds me that pens of this age are not very pleased to be left sitting idle for days at a stretch. I uncapped it this morning to find that what ink remained in it was… not freely flowing, let’s say. As a back-up, I’m pressing the TWSBI Eco which produces my fictional output into some non-creative uses. I’m sure it will be all right.

In fact, it may even get rotated out for a different high-capacity modern pen I don’t mind leaving at The Regular Job for months on end. I don’t remember the last time it had a break, and it will be in my pocket at the end of the day.

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Posted by Dirck on 23 January, 2020

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 20 January
  • 21 January
  • 22 January
  • 23 January
  • Third draft of “Grand Finale”.
  • Third draft of  “Uncle Bert’s Best Friend”
  • First draft of “Song of the Pen”.
  • SO MANY TYPOS
  • Fewer. Still plenty.
  • 5 manuscript pages.

On the depression front, because I might as well update that too: General improvement, but with a recent hitch. The magic brain pills I’ve been prescribed have been slowly ramping up dosage, and a week ago they got to what the doctor described as the low end of “a maintenance dose.” Cool. Except now I’m always very sleepy– I should have gotten more done on “Song of the Pen” but yesterday I actually had a nap instead.

Well, not really. I sat in my chair at The Regular Job with my eyes closed. Actual sleep might carry on past the end of the lunch break and demand official notice.

I’ll have to look into whether this is something one eventually gets used to, because right now it’s very like I’m perpetually crammed with antihistamines and that doesn’t seem a lot more supportable than the depression.

…and maybe it’s worth having thyroid levels looked at, too. Who knows? “Don’t assume zebras when you hear hoofbeats” is something said to young doctors on TV, but there’s other things than horses in the farmyard.

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The Whisper of the Conscience

Posted by Dirck on 17 January, 2020

Mid-January, huh? Just about the time for people to start pretending they never made any New Year’s resolutions.

…and then some jerk like me comes along. I won’t judge. I’ll just suggest some self-improvement which is within reach. Loads of people want better handwriting, and today’s film is some hints in that direction (and some low-power advertising; we are fish in an ocean of capitalism).

I am not, I should say, of the same school of handwriting as herself. I find some of her notions of correct letter shape unappealing. That said, there’s nothing wrong with studying other schools to discover new means of mastering the art. You see it in kung fu films and samurai movies all the time.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Balance Craftsman
Today’s ink: Diamine Sargasso Sea

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Posted by Dirck on 7 February, 2019

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 4 February
  • 5 February
  • 6 February
  • Second Draft of “Cannon Fodder.”
  • About 1700 words typed

The output for this week is pretty good, given a Tuesday on which I was called away during writing hour and a Thursday when I am wriggling in the grip of stomach flu/food poisoning/unexpected necromantic curse. If I’d had any warning yesterday, I’d have brought the thing home so I could work on it. But no.

And on that note, it’s back to the WC for me.

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Posted by Dirck on 25 May, 2017

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

†Apart from having to spend most of Monday prostrated before an effigy of Victoria, d.g. Reg., Def. Fid., Imp. Ind, as required by Canadian federal law and thus getting no writing done‡, I find that the air up here as I approach 60,000 words is getting damn thin.  I’ve sent a team of Sherpas back to the last supply cache to drag up a few extra cylinders of inspiration, but until they get back I’m moving fairly slowly.

‡In all honesty, I was mowing the lawn and pushing my son on the swings.  While it’s not getting the book finished, both are valid (and in the latter, important) uses of my time, so I thank Her Late Majesty for imposing a day off in the best part of the year upon me.

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Posted by Dirck on 18 May, 2017

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

I’m about, according to my own estimates, 70% finished the first draft.  This is not going as quickly as I might have hoped, although it’s not going quite as slowly as I’d feared.  I found another gap in my research today, which I should be able to comfortably fill in during the second-draft process, and this lead me off on another tangent of thought….

Part of me is beginning to yell at the other parts regarding the mechanical approach to the writing I’m following.  “Hand-written first draft?  Fine for a 4,000 word story, but on this scale… what is wrong with you?!”  I don’t think I’m going to listen to it, because as this late stage to shift to the the sort of writing production that most normal people seem to pursue these days, banging away on a keyboard rather like I’m doing right this minute, doesn’t seem possible without jumping right into the second-draft process.  Which would mean leaving the back 30% of the thing in a nebulous form while I re-write what already exists, only picking up the weaving when I travel back to this point… and I don’t know that the narrative would survive this sort of interruption of its gestation.

HOWEVER, for those who are (still, somehow) interested in this process, and for Future Me who will one day be writing another novel (I have vague outlines for at least eight, so I’d best pick up my pace), a couple of thoughts on this hand-written first draft stuff.  On the negative side, it is taking a long time, and it means second draft will also take a long time, since that won’t just be amending stupidities, but will be an entire re-write to transform marks on paper into an electronic format that editors and publishers will actually look at.  Also, as it stands now, my very-literal manuscript is a unique object; no redundancy, no off-site back-up.  This has been a source of some concern for about the past month and a half, as the imp of the perverse keeps painting pictures of fire, flood and brief-case theft.  I find that the difference of scale between a 4,000 word short story and an 80,000 word novel radically alters my ability to look at these potential disasters and greet them with an indifferent shrug.  I might well toss myself into a lake if the current heap of paper were to meet with a bad end.

The benefits of hand-written creation are still present.  I don’t go back and fiddle with specifics, so the flow of the work remains (generally) good.  I might be closer to done now if I had hit the keyboard ab initio, but I might also be only half as far along, having allowed myself to spend a full day getting one paragraph just so because the text is so malleable when it’s electronic.  Hand-writing harnesses the power of laziness in this regard, or perhaps lashes it to the power of cheapskate-ish-ness, because to do that sort of thing now would be a lot of fruitless scribbling and wasted paper.  At this point, though, I think I may have enough practice with rushing ahead on extruding the basic concept of the scenes without giving into the urge to fix things that aren’t quite the right shape that I may be able to conduct the practice in a keyboard-driven environment and thus be able to attack novel-length projects with better efficiency.

I guess we’ll see when I’m done this one.  Which… sigh… won’t be very soon.

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Posted by Dirck on 11 May, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  • 17 manuscript pages (plus two of utterly useless gibberish that ate time pointlessly on Monday); the muse but whispers this week.

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