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Posts Tagged ‘Sheaffer Valiant’

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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Posted by Dirck on 8 December, 2016

Oh, let me tell you about some fun I had on the weekend. Through my own negligence as a householder, I slipped on some ice.  The main injury was not, as my initial vector would have had it, through taking the edge of a concrete stair to the parietal lobe, but resulted from my quick “thinking” to avoid such a blow; the non-slipping leg suddenly took the weight, slipped sideways on an entirely different but smaller patch of ice until it found traction… at which point everything below the knee stopped moving, while everything above the knee carried on for another three or four centimeters.

This hurt rather a lot.

The silver lining in this was twofold.  I discovered that my son does not panic when a parent collapses in a howling heap, but waits for a break in the screaming to ask if he should go inside and call 911 (not this time).  Also, I was presented with an unusual opportunity to amend the lyrics of a Sesame Street song to run “One of These Knees is Not Like The Other” for the amusement of my family.

The reason I mention all this is that my page output is a bit low this week.  For some reason, I was having trouble focussing on Monday.  Things are rather better now– I may even put aside the cane before the weekend is done!

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  •  24 manuscript pages, plus 11 pages of “Free Balloons for All Good Children”.†

† This is one of those stories that you either vent off by writing or go nuts from it presenting new and ever more upsetting details on the screen of imagination.  I’m cracked enough already, so I’m dividing my attention until the short story is safely pinned onto paper; lunch for the novel, idle minutes in the last half-hour of the work-day and through the evenings for the this horror.

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Polysyllabicgermanword!

Posted by Dirck on 2 December, 2016

I don’t speak German– I took a single 100-level class in my first year of university back when Bonn was the capital of German Federal Republic– but I can occasionally follow it if it’s spoke slowly enough and the vocabulary isn’t too complex.

So with today’s video, I’m pretty much just looking at the pictures.

Pretty pictures, though.

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

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Posted by Dirck on 24 November, 2016

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

* This combination is going to be around for a while. I’ve got a bottle with so little ink in it only a Snorkel can get at it, but not so little that I’m willing to fling it.  The pen has a very fine point, and there’s probably four or five fills to go, so expect to see it into the new year.

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More Than Usually Complete Progress Report.

Posted by Dirck on 21 April, 2016

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 18 April
  • 19 April
  • 20 April
  • 21 April
  • First draft of “A Mistake of Timing.”
  • Second draft of “A Mistake of Timing”.
  • More second draft effort.
  • Yes, still more.
  • Ten manuscript pages, and done.
  • 1,070 words typed.
  • 804 words.
  • 934 words.
  • 55 min.
  • 45 min.
  • 45 min.
  • 40 min.

…and also, let me brag a little.  Last weekend, after a bit of a dry patch, I got an absolute mass of pens repaired, all but one one of them for other people.  These included a PFM, three Snorkels, a Vacumatic with a lock-down filler, and a Balance First Lady, plus some slightly less challenging objects.  The Balance, Vacumatic, and two of the Snorkels were moving between generations in one family, which I find always provides a happy glow the the work.  Since the Balance and one of the Snorkels were more than usually resistant to being taken to bits, a happy glow was a welcome counterbalance to black vexation.

The PFM, which was otherwise in quite good shape, had suffered a refit at some past date under the hands of one who was mislead into thinking rubber cement was an appropriate sealant.  I’ve grumped about this sort of thing before, so I’ll leave that link and its contents to express my refreshed thoughts on such behaviour.

The third Snorkel dealt with was, for a joy, one of my own; yet another donation from a friend mentioned many times before who keeps finding things at garage and estate sales.  It is also not a model I owned until she handed it to me:

That model being a Saratoga

That model being a Saratoga

I have a before picture, but it failed to quite capture the squalor this pen had fallen into.  I suspect it lived in a smoking house, because the yellow-brown patina I mercilessly polished away certainly seemed to be nicotine (I know this because our own house was owned for fifty years by the same smoking person, and the hallway still breaks out in a nicotine sweat every winter).  It cleaned up nice, and I’ll be taking it out for its first run tomorrow, making very very very thin writing in pursuit of the day’s labours.  The Sheaffer catalogue of the day only claimed to go down to extra-fine, but this thing, despite acceptable wetness, is toying with the limits of human perception in the fineness of its line.

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