What's up at Ravens March.

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Posts Tagged ‘Sheaffer’

Posted by Dirck on 3 October, 2019

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 30 September
  • 1 October
  • 2 October
  • 3 October
  • Three stories… so far.

As I explain over there, I’m squandering my writing time this month on a misappropriation of Inktober– the eagle-eyed here will have seen the notices advancing down the left-hand sidebar. Daily stories, all month long! EVEN WEEKENDS!

And I got so busy at that, I am rather late posting this.

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A Brief Lamentation

Posted by Dirck on 19 August, 2019

A long time ago, I got a new(ish) camera. I went on about it at some length, too, because I was able to take pictures that weren’t hideous, which up to that point was not the wrong word to use.

I mean… you can tell it’s a pen, but otherwise, uck.

Somewhat more recently, I got an actually new, fresh out of the box camera, and not only had it not taken pictures before, it was objectively good. Again, I mentioned it previously, and hinted that I might be switching over to it for site photos.

I did not. Why? Consistency. Let’s have a look at a pair of pictures from that earlier post:

The old Canon

The new Nikon

The new Nikon

They’re both good enough for my purposes, but they’re not the same, even though they were taken with the same lighting in the same place. And that made me not want to make the switch– I’m a lazy bugger, sometimes, and learning how to process the new shots so they’d look like the old was too much trouble. Also, the little table-top camera I use has a little trouble bearing the weight of a real cameral, even if it’s not carrying a mass of film in its guts. So, I carried on until…

Until it was time to show you all my super-cool Apollo commemorative pen. I headed down to the photography grotto, and found the camera wasn’t switching on. So I replaced the batteries. Which didn’t work. And that’s why this picture looks a little odd:

Something I don’t know how to adjust in an iPhone: white balance

It turns out the (nearly) modern phone camera  is pretty good, but getting pictures out of it, into my computer, and then washed and filtered until they’re consistent with the other shots on my site is even more work than dealing with the real camera. Ironically, that whole process would probably be easier if it wasn’t an all-Apple environment, but that’s the bed I now lie in.

Anyway, having finally convinced myself that the little old point’n’shoot is never going to open its eye again, I’m using Gargantua and putting in the slightly increased effort it takes to make it look about as duff as my previous efforts:

You might think I took this two years ago instead of mere days (also– coming soon to a website near me!)

I should be happy, because the pixel count is vastly higher now… although you wouldn’t know it. Rather than reducing image size by about 20% as part of the effort to make all pictures the same visual length, so visitors to the site can compare images side by side for a real sense of the pens’ relative sizes, the new standard needs an 80% reduction. In theory, this will disguise more in the way of scrapes and cat hair, leading to more beautiful pictures.

I will miss that little camera, though.

Today’s pen: Parker 50
Today’s ink: Herbin Bleu Calanque

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Posted by Dirck on 8 August, 2019

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 5 August
  • 6 August
  • 7 August
  • 8 August
  • Pulling weeds because it was a holiday.
  • Second draft of “Those Whom Ambition Calls”
  • Third draft of “Feel My Pain”
  • Enough to get overheated and cranky about.
  • 542 typed words (some of which did not want to come out).
  • Removed a couple of paragraphs, to land at 1799 words.

 

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An Unusually Content-packed Progress Report

Posted by Dirck on 1 August, 2019

It’s so colossal, it gets a title!

The first thing I want to do is direct your attention to a Kickstarter, which I will now steal some words from:

2019

The 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Lunar Mission.

The 40th anniversary of the classic horror film Alien.

One year after the proposal of the US Space Force.

How could we not create a collection of space themed horror?

What We Are Doing

Jason, the Leprechaun, even the Cenobites and the Critters ended up going into space. We decided it was time to give some other monsters that same chance.

Earlier this year we started accepting submissions for an anthology featuring classic monsters with the stories set in space. We have collected 16 stories and one poem that we think you are really going to enjoy.

And by enjoy we mean scare the space suit off of you.

I will declare my interest in this project– one of the sixteen stories contained in the collection is written by me, and I’m both proud of it and delighted at the prospect of its publication. So, If you’re interested in this sort of thing (and what sensible person isn’t?) take a moment to back that Kickstarter.

It’s not just an image, it’s also a link

…and now on with our regularly appearing material (but stay tuned– there’s cats lower down!).

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 22 July
  • 23 July
  • 24 July
  • 25 July
  • Second draft of “Those Whom Ambition Calls”
  • A trip to the dump†
  • 1,430 typed words.
  • 70 kilograms, according to the before/after weight of the van.

†I mentioned at the beginning of the month that we’d had a furniture collapse, and that dump trip was the disposal of the corpse of the old couch/futon object. The replacement is meeting with broad popular acceptance.

Kees is, as ever, mildly smug about his enjoyment of the new couch.

Bram is often tense, as is common in a hemi-demi-feral cat, but even he can relax into the luxury of our gracious new furniture item. That shred of paper near him was brought over by Kees, who is helpful that way.

Hercule, the last of our feline triumvirate, declined to initial the photo release form, but he apparently also thinks it’s nice. Happily, the three humans in the house also find it at least moderately comfortable.

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Posted by Dirck on 25 July, 2019

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 22 July
  • 23 July
  • 24 July
  • 25 July
  • Second draft of “Those Whom Ambition Calls”
  • Third Draft of “Found On Roadside Dead.”
  • 1,746 typed words.
  • Ducks firmly in order… and then I find the place I’d meant to submit closed days earlier than expected. Alas.

 

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Posted by Dirck on 18 July, 2019

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 15 July
  • 16 July
  • 17 July
  • 18 July
  • First draft of a story for Owl Canyon Press Hackathon 3.
  • … and then we notice a single word in paragraph 20 we’d missed, which makes it necessary to start afresh.
  • Second draft of “Those Whom Ambition Calls”, because that competition story turned slippery.
  • 708 typed words.
  • 251 typed words.
  • 332 typed words.

I got essentially zero writing done over the vacation, about which I am not very pleased, but the failure was the payment for actually getting something done about the state of the house.

Also, there was this distraction: a couch we bought in 2012 (mentioned in passing here), intended to be more or less disposable in the face of the now-passed incontinent cat Cleo and the ever-expanding menace to durable goods which is my son, collapsed somewhat. It was a cheap item… as couches go… so its failure has always been anticipated. However, it brought with it the unwelcome expense of replacement. We spent someone more on the new one, since the current bunch of cats seem to have a better sense of what litter boxes are for and sonny doesn’t randomly up-end containers of staining foods so much these days.

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Posted by Dirck on 27 June, 2019

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 24 June
  • 25 June
  • 26 June
  • 27 June
  • First draft of “Those Whom Ambition Calls”.
  • Second draft of same.
  • 10 manuscript pages.
  • 908 typed words.

I can’t say any more than this, although I am fairly bursting with it: I’ve had acceptances of two stories, and two more have been declared short-listed by the publications I sent them to. I will, obviously, be shouting about venues when I’m able (although the latter two may not resolve themselves for a few months, yet, and based on the production history of another anthology I’d love to point the world to, a similar delay may affect the others).

†The pen in the rotation was the Pelikan P1, but someone was very distracted by having to leave early to take the van in for some repairs (cheaper than promised, hoorah) so the on-deck Pen of Fiction gets to have a round of general duties for a day.

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Posted by Dirck on 20 June, 2019

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 17 June
  • 18 June
  • 19 June
  • 20 June
  • Second draft of “Found on Roadside, Dead”.
  • Third Draft of “Fourteen Nights of Day”.
  • Third Draft of “A Doting Mother Cradles Her Wayward Child”.
  • Second draft of “Feel My Pain”.
  • 667 typed words.
  • Surprisingly, little more than typo corrections.
  • Ditto.
  • 1766 typed words.

Good heavens, I’m actually finishing some of the things I started. [CHORUS: It’s about time!]

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Posted by Dirck on 13 June, 2019

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 10 June
  • 11 June
  • 12 June
  • 13 June
  • First draft of “Found on Roadside, Dead.”
  • Second draft of “Found on Roadside, Dead”.
  • 2 manuscript pages.
  • 2152 typed words.

Where, oh where, that huge speed of a couple of weeks ago? Well, it’s probably being absorbed by long stretched of pensive sitting. Sometimes the second draft differs from the first only in tiny matters of a word here, a phrase moved a little. This time, there’s a wholesale transformation; ensemble piece down to a single player, vast adjustments in the emphases in descriptions, and a shift of overall tone from BOYS ADVENTURE to quiet elegy (that’s possibly a little too grand, but I’ll leave it to make myself feel like an artist). So, yeah, pensive sitting. The slow turning of the creative millstones. There’s no set deadline on this one, so that’s just fine.

Edit: I have no idea how I managed to get the dates of the week two weeks ahead, as they were before this edit. Wishful desire for my summer break, probably.

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Reports Are Just Now Arriving

Posted by Dirck on 7 June, 2019

I made the briefest possible acknowledgement of D-Day yesterday, and I’m not very pleased with myself. It was, after all, the 75th anniversary of the landing, and I have made more of it in the past.

Today’s film takes a look at the event from an unusual perspective, and I think posting it a day after the fact is actually appropriate to the content. Lines of communication were unreliable, after all…

Notice that this is the work of a German fellow. I am tooting my horn as a supporter of EU unity in this, distant well-wisher though I may be. A fragmentary Europe has been, historically, a source of unhappiness for those within and those around.

Today’s entirely unthematic pen: Sheaffer Taranis
Today’s ink (mildly historical): Skrip blue-black (’70s disco edition)

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