What's up at Ravens March.

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Posts Tagged ‘Sheaffer Valiant’

Posted by Dirck on 6 April, 2017

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

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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Someone at Regular Job has a stamp with outdated information on it, and wondered if there was any protocol for disposal.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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Generational Divide

Posted by Dirck on 24 March, 2017

A pair of films today, and once again I’m looking toward Japan for my film content.  Both of these tell the same story, but were made about sixty years apart.  The new one is more accessible to we who speak no Japanese, but I’m putting the old one in the place of prominence not only because it came first; it’s more technically interesting (compare to similarly-aged stuff from the US), it’s not (redundantly) dubbed, and it’s less (obviously)  skewed to a young audience.

Apart from the radically different standards of care (one gets a much stronger sense of “product” off the newer production), I find my self pondering why the switch from tengu to oni as the agents of the supernatural.  Is it that Japanese kids of the 1980s wouldn’t recognize the former, or that it was thought the latter would be more likely to mess up a guy’s face simply because he isn’t a particularly good dancer?

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

 

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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 5 January, 2017

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

A minor disaster has occurred for me on the mechanical side of the writing. I managed to jostle my book at the end at yesterday’s writing session, causing a Rube Goldberg cascade which threw my fiction pen to the floor.  This was not the Sailor, but my well-loved Touchdown Valiant, and it now has a small crack opened up at the rear of the barrel which defeats filling.  I’ll take it away for repairs, but I think I’ll rotate something else in so I don’t feel like I have to rush the repaired pen back into service before the solvent-weld has a chance to knit properly.  Probably a slightly older Sovereign II, which has very similar writing properties.  I am somewhat low in my spirits about this accident, though– I love my pens nearly like children, and to have injured one through my own clumsiness stings.

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Posted by Dirck on 29 December, 2016

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

Another duff week for writing, because I had Boxing Day off and allowed it to be entirely off (apart from struggling through newly-come toys and drifts of discarded wrapping in an effort to find scraps of food that were not sugar- or nog-based).  I may be derided for insufficient devotion to my art, I guess.

I also appear to have been entirely taken over by Diamine inks.  I should try to use something else soon, although I’m happy to offer them an unpaid endorsement– they’re darned good inks, and a bargain as well.  Speaking of which, I was recently scandalized when I found a bottle of Quink washable blue at a big box for $20.  It was directly below a sign declaring a couple of linear feet of shelves as Fine Writing, so I guess they feel justified in putting prices up madly– no wonder people have an impression fountain pens are the exclusive domain of rich people (I notice, parenthetically, that on Parker’s site, they think about $10 is closer to right, so it’s not a universal dementia).

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‘Twas Two Nights Before Christmas…

Posted by Dirck on 23 December, 2016

I’ve mentioned previously, at roughly twelve-month intervals, that I’m a devotee of Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, to the extent that I’ve actually read it (gasp!).  However, I am happy with a relatively passive enjoyment of the work– I’m not what one might call obsessed with it.  Unlike the poor soul behind today’s filched film, who appears to have spent an awful lot of effort in composing a fugue and variations on the subject.  If you can’t enjoy it, at least be astonished:

For my part, I’ll be watching dear old Alastair Sim again tonight, in what I hold to be the definitive version.  But that’s merely my opinion.  Stay warm, be of good cheer, and keep the day in your hearts throughout the whole of the year.  I’ll see you next week.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Snorkel Valiant
Today’s ink: Diamine Denim

 

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Posted by Dirck on 22 December, 2016

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  •  14 manuscript pages, plus 1,840 second-draft words of “Free Balloons for All Good Children”.

The low novel output this week is only in part a result of Christmas pressure, or I guess direct Christmas pressure.  It occurred to me on Monday that the antagonist of the novel, who has yet to even appear as more than a suggested presence, is a lamentably two-dimensional character.  Twenty percent done is an uncomfortable place to run up against an objection like that, and like a ship running onto a sand-bar, I’ve lost a little momentum; hopefully I’ll glide over it presently rather than having to wait for the next spring tide.

Also, last week I was told by my banker we could presume upon the equity of the house to extend line of credit and give the credit card a good kicking.  I hesitated, because the reason the credit card currently needs a good kicking is immediately after the last time we played this trick (mentioned here in connection with needing to replace a vehicle), there was a string of disasters in the household which gobbled up all the available credit.  However, it was a sensible plan, replacing 28% interest with 4%, so yes, let’s do that.  Monday night this week, my son did something to express his joyful high spirits which saw the drainpipe of the bathroom sink snapped off at the outflow and the wall; it’s unclear just what he was at, since alone time in the bathroom is a right we respect, but since he’s eight it was probably literal rather than figurative monkey-business.  The impending expense of fixing this, just after having done all the Christmas shopping (and most of that on ready cash, like wise people do), lowered my own spirits substantially, and added more drag to my creativity.  That’s the indirect Christmas pressure at work.

Oh, while I’m talking about Christmas pressures; if you want to try something that will taint forevermore your happy associations of the concept “Egg Nog,” you need only get some of the Bolthouse Farms Limited Edition Holiday Nog.  An oily body coupled with a persistent pickled cedar undernote to an otherwise hard-to-define suite of flavours ensures that this is a product which will not be getting invited back to our celebrations.  I like some of Bolthouse’s other stuff, but this is just plain wrong.

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Posted by Dirck on 15 December, 2016

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  •  19 manuscript pages, plus 7 pages of “Free Balloons for All Good Children”.

For those who take an interest in such things (I can’t be the only one), I yesterday depleted the last of the Diamine Prussian Blue which I started writing the novel with, so we can say with some authority that 4 ml of ink in a Sheaffer Valiant “fat” TD, with what I’d take to be a smaller medium point, will produce 226 pages of double-spaced writing on ruled 8½X11 loose-leaf paper.  Given the vast amount of fiction I got out of the full 80 ml bottle, that seems about right, and that seems like pretty good value for money.  Writing ink now shifts to the Diamine Oxford.

The miserable output on the novel this week is down to the demands of the Christmas season upon a fellows time, by the way.  I suspect next week will be even sadder.

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